The Best Blenders for the Money

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In just seconds, a blender helps you whip up your favorite cold drinks; crush, mince or chop foods like tomatoes or nuts; and puree fresh vegetables and cooked meats into a smooth homemade soup. From the dozens of blenders that line the shelves of your neighborhood home appliance store, food critics and home appliance testers have picked some of the top models that give you the best blend for your money.

Kalorik BL-16909

  • The Kalorik blender is a budget-priced modelwith superior blending results. The editors of "Consumer Reports" tested more than 36 different blenders and rated Kalorik's appliance well. It features a straightforward control dial that lets you pulse -- which works well for chopping -- or blend on low or high. Its 500-watt motor makes quick work of even hard substances like ice while stainless steel blades ensure a speedy cleanup.

Oster Classic Beehive Blender

  • "Good Housekeeping" magazine tested 38 different blenders and fell in love with Oster's model. Its traditional aesthetics add some retro flair to your countertop, but it's not just easy on the eyes. Everything from a multidirectional handle that both right- and left-handed users will like to a lid with a built-in measuring spout help to make blending a little easier. A wide array of customizable settings provides great precision, all the way down to ultrafine blending like grinding coffee beans.

Waring Professional Bar Blender

  • For the cook who wants a blender that excels at making drinks, this bar blender from Waring comes recommended by "Wired" magazine. The magazine specifically loved its high-powered, 500-watt motor that puts its razor-tooth blending blades to good use. It can "duplicate practically any drink...made in restaurants and bars," promises the magazine. Margaritas, blended coffees and healthy, fresh fruit smoothies are just around the corner.

KitchenAid Immersion Blender

  • Immersion blenders are for the high-speed cook who needs to pulverize or blend a food within a cooking dish or pot. "Bon Apetit" magazine recommends KitchenAid's immersion model. Its stainless steel blade is protected by a steel splashguard and helps with everything from slow mixing to whipping. You can also purchase additional attachments such as a whisk to get even more out of this appliance.

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  • Photo Credit fruit smoothie image by Shirley Hirst from Fotolia.com
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