Both the Nutribullet RX and the Ninja Auto IQ are great smoothie creators. Both are inexpensive, easy to operate and come with a host recipes to get you started. The question beckons, if they are both as good as they claim – how do I decide between them? Are there any drawbacks or benefits that distinguish one form the other?
Below ill highlight their positives and lesser known secrets to help you decide..
Side by Side Comparison
As you can see above, the Nutribullet RX’s motor towers over that of the Ninja. The Nutribullet packs 1700 watts of power while the Ninja pack only 1000 watts. Independent tests (and those of my own) show that the Vitamix S30 beats them both with a less powerful 790-watt motor, proving power alone is not the defining factor.
When put through its paces, the Nutribullet RX dose a fantastic job of pulverizing anything you place into your cup or pitcher. It tackles tough ingredients such as ice, frozen berries and nuts with ease. It also does a great job at breaking down seeds as small as those found in blackberries. Soups come out creamy without any of the lumps you might expect.
You start by placing the ingredients into the cup for smoothies or pitcher for hot soups. You screw on the blade housing and tighten with the provided tool. You place the cup / pitcher on the base of the blender. The Nutribullet will detect the container and blend automatically for 1 minute. If you press the soup button on the base, it will extend the cycle up to 7 minutes.
Once finished, you take the container off the base and remove the blade housing with the tool you used to tighten it with. Attach the sip lid to the cup or pour the soup into a bowl to serve. It’s that simple to use and operate.
While you can’t make hot soups with the Ninja Auto IQ, you can make cold soups and heat them up. For smoothies and cold soups, the Ninja dose a superb job of breaking down ice, frozen berries and nuts. It may not be as granular at the Nutribullet, but that’s down to individual taste.
To operate, you fill your cup with ingredients following one of the 30 provided recipes or create your own master piece. You hand tighten the blade housing on to the cup and lock on the base – ensuring you have the plastic tabs lined up. The base will display a “0” on the countdown interface signalling its ready to go. You select the Auto-IQ Blend or Auto-IQ Ultra Blend setting depending on what you have in the cup.
The blender will then alternate between blending, pulsing and pausing to achieve the perfect texture. A nice feature over the Nutribullet is the ability to manually control the device via the start / stop button. The Pulse feature is also great for quick chopping without liquefying.
Once finished, you twist the cup in the opposite direction to release it from the blender’s base. Secure the provided lid to make portable or drink on the spot. The additional controls on the base allow for more granular control and flexibility.
What’s normally kept quiet
Ok, now down the hidden secret’s that you only find if dig deep into the negative reviews or have owned the product for a while. I’ve already done this in my own pursuit of truth and knowledge. Below are the most common problems faced by each blender.
The biggest advantage these blenders have over the more expensive and established brands, is their entry level price. In order to keep prices low, they often use cheaper parts and labour. Unseen on the shiny surface – you often don’t realise this until you’ve used it for half a year.
The biggest issue that faces both blender is the gasket ring. The gasket ring is a rubber seal forms an air tight seal between the blade housing and the cup / pitcher that stops liquid leaking out during use.
Not mentioned in either instruction manual – this seal needs to be removed and cleaned regularly. If you don’t, you risk food contamination. People first often notice a foul odor emanating from the device.
On both machines, the gasket is located inside the blade housing. In both cases, you need to pry it out with a dull object such as a butter knife. Once clean, you need spend time stretching and threading it back into place, exposing your fingers to blades.
The biggest problem that faces the Nutribullet is the cooling vent. The cooling vent is located on the outside of the blender’s base – half way up, under the warning messages. They are the small holes drilled into the side in a circular shape.
The vent is used to cool down the extra powerful motor during use. There is no safe guard over the vent to protect it. Should liquid spill over the holes during use, it will be sucked into the motor causing damage.
From time to time things can become stuck while blending, especially when you’re not using much liquid. As the unit comes with no On / Off switch, you are forced to remove the cup / pitcher form the base, while its blending – give it a shake, then return it to the base.
Ninja Auto IQ
As I briefly touched on above, the Ninja comes with two settings – Auto-IQ Blend and Auto-IQ Ultra Blend. You use the Ultra Blend setting if you add tough ingredients into the mix such as ice and nuts. You use the Blend setting if you add softer items such as banana and spinach.
If you aren’t a fan of ice, you’ll want to avoid using the Ultra Blend setting. It forces the motor to work harder generating more heat – warming up your green smoothie in the process. Most people skip the ice as the blade housing is quite large, taking up valuable cup space.
Common to the Ninja family of bullet blenders are the plastic tabs, used to secure the cup to the base. These tabs either ware thin or snap off with constant use. If any one of the four tabs were to stop the cup form locking in properly – it would cause the blender’s base not to turn on.
Now that your better armed with the positives and negatives that befall each device, you’ll be in a better position to select between them. Overall, both devices do a superb job at pulverizing what every you place into the container – be it for a green smoothie, soup or other favourite.
Both the Ninja and the Nutribullet cost considerably less that your traditional brand name blender. If you plan on trying out green smoothies – these blenders will sever you well. If like me, you find creating soups enjoyable and replace the occasional meal with a green smoothie – you can always upgrade down the track.
I hope you have enjoyed the Nutribullet RX vs Ninja Auto IQ challenge!