Very good compared to other personal blender, and pretty good compared to full size blenders. This is great for small portions of smoothies and other blended ingredients, but it sometimes struggles with frozen ingredients and seeds.
Great at crushing ice
Great with leafy greens
Excellent with protein powder and creatine
Not always great with frozen ingredients
Struggles with larger chunks
Doesn't blend seeds
Good for backpacks but not handbags
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I was very far from convinced when we first called this in. Portable blenders have always struck me as gimmicks; I could never see a situation where I'd need to blend a green smoothie while on the go. Even on the commute or while working out, I didn't see the benefit. The point of smoothies is to have fresh ingredients, so mixing a smoothie in my frankly gross local gym did not appeal.
However, when I put it to the test, I found a good blender in its own right. It did a great job with berries, leafy greens, and protein and creatine powders. It's remarkably good at crushing ice for a blender of this size and I used it at home for a delicious slushie. It lived up to our commute test, and it has lots of excellent safety features.
It's certainly not perfect - it struggles with larger chunks of frozen ingredients like mango or papaya, and it can't blend seeds like a big countertop blender. However, it does everything you'd expect of a good portable blender.
|Colors:||Denim blue, cranberry red, forest green, passionfruit purple, white, black,|
|Speed settings:||2; pulse and blend|
|Dimensions||10.71 x 3.54 x 3.54 inches|
Who would it suit?
I think it's good for single people needing their own blender or for small households. For example, my partner doesn't really like smoothies, so there's no need for us to have a 72oz monster blender taking up room in storage. I can just have one of these for blending for myself. I think it's also great if you're on a health kick and don't need a full size blender around all the time. It's good for smoothies and mixing up protein and creatine.
Setting this up was pretty easy. We loved the packaging; it comes in a little cardboard cylinder that's totally recyclable and a welcome break from big, clumsy boxes. It includes a sip lid with a carry handle, a blending motor, a pitcher, pitcher cap, and blade cover, as well as a USBC charging cord.
There's nothing to build or set up, but you're told in the instructions that you need to charge it for a couple hours, which is mildly frustrating. Once you're charged, it's very easy to use. There are handy instructions which tell you the order you need to add all your ingredients to the blender, as well as a handy minimum liquid line to make sure you add enough for the blender to work. There's also a guide to the LED lights around the start/stop button. Purple means you're good to go, red means you need to charge, and orange means the blades are blocked. It's simple and effective.
Test 1: Protein shakes
I love this test because I designed it to catch blenders out. With every blender, we make a mix of frozen berries, spinach, protein powder, creatine, and ice, topped with almond milk. We try this combination because these ingredients are as tricky as it gets for a blender, all in one. Frozen berries can be tough, especially the skins and seeds, and it's the same story with spinach. Protein powder and creatine are a good test for two reasons. The first is that they're the precise use case for a blender like this. It's clearly designed for taking to the gym or work to help you meet your macros. The second is that powders like these are notoriously difficult for blenders of all sizes, because they can easily clump or make the smoothie taste gritty.
This blender did a remarkably good job for its size. There were tiny but noticeable scraps of berry skin and spinach, but you wouldn't notice them unless you were looking for them. It was less good on protein powder, with a little grittiness. However, we trialled in on a single 30-second blend programme. If you ran it again I think it would probably handle it well. It's only really for protein, too - when I've since used it on creatine alone it did a fantastic job. Even better, it easily handled the ice, too.
I think it's probably about as loud as an electric toothbrush. I don't think you could do this at your desk while people are working, but you could probably get away with it in an office kitchen.
Test 2: Hummus
Sure, this is a little challenging for a blender of this size, but we have to be consistent. We test all our blenders on this and it shows how they handle thicker ingredients. All we use is a can of garbanzo beans, a clove of garlic, a splash of olive oil and a little lemon. The process was far from perfect. We had to shake it around a lot and it was stuck a couple of times.
However, it made a pretty passable hummus. It wasn't the greatest I've ever made, as it was a little grainy, but it was definitely servable with crudités. If you want a homemade dip, this blender will just about manage it.
Test 3: Ice
Ice is the cornerstone of a good blender. Crushing ice is a summer essential, and if you can't make a frozen margarita in a blender you should stay well away. Seeing as I was testing this on the clock, I didn't make anything alcoholic, but I did make a delicious lemonade slushie. I'm amazed how good this is on ice for a blender of this size. Other portable blenders - specifically, the Nutribullet GO - will just rattle ice around and be unable to crush it. I filled this to the max fill line with ice and the minimum fill line with lemonade to really test it, and it more than met the mark. It made a delicious, ice-cold slush that's the perfect drink for summer.
Test 4: the commute
A portable blender is only useful if it's actually portable. That why we always take them into work with us on a busy commute. I made the purplest, biggest stain-risk smoothie possible before removing it from the blade base and screwing on the travel lid. This did not feel great - the thread on the travel lid is pretty shallow and while it screwed on very securely, I had the ominous feeling that it was going to burst open on the subway. I tucked this in next to my work laptop (don't tell our IT guys) and took it to work. It was perfectly fine. I had the smoothie mid-morning and it was a great way to up my fruit intake. However, while it easily fit into my backpack, at 10 inches it might not work for some handbags.
Cleaning this is really easy. You can add a dash of dish soap and some warm water into the blender and run a blending cycle, and it will take care of a lot of the cleaning. It's not perfect - it left some big daubs of hummus up the inside, but it removed a lot of smoothie leftovers. There's a spot on the blender motor that traps some of whatever you're blending, but it's easy enough to remove with a long-handle brush.
Best of all, I loved the safety features included. I'm the sort of person to leave things out on the drying rack for a while, which meant the blender pitcher wasn't attached. I've had more than enough little cuts in my years testing blenders and food processors and the sight of the motor housing with the blades out briefly worried me until I remembered the plastic blade covering. You just screw it on the same as you do with the pitcher and the whole unit is safe, even if you turn it on.
How does it compare?
The fairest comparison with the Ninja Blast is the BlendJet 2, a similarly designed portable blender. However, the Ninja is slightly bigger, slightly more powerful, and does a better job on ice. It's a very close run thing but I think the Ninja wins. However, the Ninja is also more expensive, so if you just want something cheap to make smoothies, the Blendjet is a better bet.
Should you buy the Ninja Blast?
Yes, I think you should, but with some caveats. If you already have a blender you like, don't bother. I'm still not entirely convinced that there's any real reason to blend on the go, and you can make drinks to take with you in a bullet blender like a Nutribullet 900, so this blender isn't unique.
However, if you're in a small home, I've found this is a great option. 18oz is a lot of smoothie, and since there's only my partner and I in our apartment, I've found this makes enough for two. There's no need for us to get some behemoth that will dominate our space - one of these is good enough.
I also think it's a good choice if you just want to be a little healthier. I've definitely felt better for having this around. It makes for a fast, efficient way to improve your fruit and fiber intake.
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As Head of eCommerce, Alex makes sure our readers find the right information to help them make the best purchase. After graduating from Cambridge University, Alex got his start in reviewing at the iconic Good Housekeeping Institute, testing a wide range of household products and appliances. He then moved to BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine, assessing gardening tools, machinery, and wildlife products. Helping people find true quality and genuine value is a real passion.
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