Blending health delicious green smoothies needn’t cost you the earth. There a lot of positive reasons to head down this path like boosting your immune system – ready to stave off the office cold or shed a couple of kilos ready for summer.
The bullet blenders small size makes them easy to store in a cabinet when not in use, and they are also much more affordable and require less ingredients than a traditional juicer. They consist of a small base that contains the motor and a variety of blending cups that attach directly to it.
Are you intrigued? You’ve come to the right place! We’ve compiled some of the most useful information – good and bad – about five popular models too help you find the perfect addition to your kitchen. If green smoothies are not your thing, just keep in mind that these blenders are adaptable to suite different situations. Independent test show these to be some of the best blenders under $100 that your will find.
With over five thousand reviews and an average rating of 4.5 stars on Amazon, the NutriBullet is probably the most well-known out of the bullet blenders in its class. This machine is on the small side – it is compact and lightweight (only 3.6 pounds), which makes it easy to store when you don’t need it.
It also comes with a helpful book of recipes adapted specifically for its strengths that can get you started, and there are hundreds of additional recipes that are easy to find online. The NutriBullet has a 600 watt motor – which is best for turning ingredients into smoothies, but it can be a little too powerful for making dishes like salsa or guacamole, that you might want to be a little less uniform in texture.
The high RPMs can also make the blenders motor run a bit warm, which makes it less than ideal for making shaved or crushed ice alone, though you can still add ice to blend into your smoothie ingredients without issue.
The NutriBullet also isn’t made to run for more than about sixty seconds at a time – the motor does have a known tendency to overheat when you push it beyond its limit – but if you aren’t trying to overfill it or use ingredients that are really too hard for the blade, you shouldn’t need more than a full minute to blend.
One of the biggest drawbacks are the plastic tabs on the blending cups, which are sometimes weak and can break. When these break, it renders the machines unusable as these tabs activate the motor when the cup is pushed into the base. Fortunately, replacement parts and cups for the system are available online.
A standard set comes with three blending cups, one tall and two shorter, for blending and two blades – an extractor blade for all your chopping, grating and blending and a milling blade best for grinding things like nuts (after removing the shells, of course) or whole coffee beans. The NutriBullet is also very affordable, well short of $100 (at the time of this article).
Nutri Ninja Pro
The Nutri Ninja Pro falls under the popular Ninja Kitchen System brand of food processors and blenders. Based on other reviews, the overall customer satisfaction on this particular blender is very high.
With a more powerful, 900 watt motor, the Nutri Ninja Pro can handle whole vegetables, seeds, nuts and even ice cubes with ease, breaking everything down in a few seconds. Your smoothies will be ready fast and will be a finer consistency than you might be able to get with a motor of lower wattage.
Not standard with other blenders, this device comes with travel cups and accompanying lids so you can actually blend your drink, detach the cup, put on the lid and go without having to pour it into another glass.
One thing you might need to keep an eye out for with this machine is due to the intense vibrations of the powerful motor – over time this can cause the blades to become loose and sometimes the unit can begin to leak.
The Nutri Ninja Pro comes with three blending cups – a 24 oz. capacity cup for making multiple servings at once, and two of the 18 oz. travel cups with lids, and two blades, and will cost you under $89.
NutriBullet Pro 900
Intended as the next step up from the original NutriBullet, but with a more powerful, 900 watt motor and a blending cup with more capacity, this souped up version of the popular NutriBullet system is extremely easy to use – offering the best performance.
The motor no longer struggles with more solid ingredients like ice cubes, nuts or seeds and with the larger capacity cup, you can more or less toss everything in at once, screw it onto the motor base and turn it on. Like our other featured blenders, it has only one speed.
This blender also features convenient, travel style blending cups with lids, and comes with a good selection of machine specific recipes.
Unfortunately, some users have found that the blades are prone to break when put under stress and the on switch can stiffen over time, making it difficult to use. There have also been some complaints about the amount of noise this blender makes, but this is likely due to the more powerful motor when compared to the original NutriBullet blender.
However, even with these potential issues, the Amazon rating remains at a fairly high 4.5 stars and customers on average seem to be very satisfied with the performance of the machine. The NutriBullet Pro 900 is priced at about $72 and comes with four cups and two blades, making it an affordable and high quality choice to consider. Of the blenders listed in this review, it offers the best performance for under $100.
Nutri Ninja Auto iQ
The Nutri Ninja Auto IQ is a recent addition to the Ninja Kitchen System line and is the most expensive model of the five blenders in this comparison. This said, it also contains the most powerful motor at an impressive 1,000 watts.
In addition to being a small and compactly designed machine that packs a punch in the motor department, this blender also differentiates itself from our other blenders by featuring an impressive looking array of timed settings that are designed to allow users to input a little information and let the pre-programmed settings do the work for them.
Letting this machine do the work for you is meant to prevent any over processing of your ingredients and also means your results will be consistent each time you use it. It takes out the guesswork that can result in running your motor too long and possibly damaging your machine or churning out completely liquified ingredients when you meant to make salsa.
The output of this blender is very smooth, even if you’ve included ingredients that are usually a little difficult to blend, like seeds or frozen fruit, and it is capable of producing a completely blended smoothie in less than two minutes. Another smart detail on this model are the suction cups on the bottom of the machine, allowing you to secure it to your counter top when you aren’t using it.
The downside of such a powerful motor is a noisy machine, and the blades on this model are said to be prone to pitting, which can weaken them. There have also been a few cases of the lid tightening when the blender is in use.
However, this model has been well received in general. It is very easy to clean and offers a different and efficient user interface that is simple enough for users to operate it right out of the box. The Nutri Ninja Auto IQ comes with three cups and one blade.
The Magic Bullet blender is actually made by Homeland Housewares – the same company that makes the Nutribullet line of blenders – but the Magic Bullet offers something more akin to a food processing experience than that of all the other high speed bullet blenders mentioned in this comparison.
A frequent staple of the late night infomercial offerings, the Magic Bullet is the smallest blender on our list in size (it only weighs 2.3 pounds), offers the best price (a very affordable $68.50) and by far, motor power (250 watts). It’s the cheapest in our list, falling well under $100.
The low wattage of the motor means that this unit is going to struggle when tasked with finely processing raw ingredients or crushing ice cubes, but it is supposed to be great at breaking down steamed or blanched vegetables and sliced or peeled fruits and turning them into healthy, home made baby food – one of the machine’s selling points – and it can also grind whole coffee beans and make whipped cream.
If you don’t see yourself needing the more substantial muscle of the other blenders on our list, the low cost of the versatile Magic Bullet makes it the best choice if you’re looking for something a bit more in line with a traditional blender or simple food processor.
The Magic Bullet system comes with two mixing cups (a short one and a taller one), two cups with handles, and lids for each cup so you can store what you’ve blended. There is also a larger capacity, 72 oz. pitcher and an additional flat blade attachment for harder foods that don’t come as part of the standard collection, but can be purchased separately.
This concludes our round up of the best blenders under $100! No matter what bullet blender you decide to go with, you’ll soon be able to enjoy delicious smoothies high in nutrients. You’ll enjoy the added boost to your energy levels, possibly shedding some unwanted weight in the process.
All the featured blenders in this review have the power to create smoothies – some better than others. If you plan on blending harder ingredients such as ice, raw carrot, celery or pumpkin – you’d best stay away from the magic bullet as it won’t have the grunt to get the job done – tho is perfect for softer ingredients.