If you like to make frozen drinks and slushies on a hot day, you'll want a blender that can crush ice. However, not all models can blend ice cubes, as ice can sometimes get stuck on the blades, preventing the cubes from breaking down. For a pleasant and tasty drink, most users want a consistent, snow-like blend without any uneven chunks or clumps left behind.
We've tested over 95 blenders, and below are our recommendations for the best blenders for ice crushing you can buy. See our picks for the best blenders for frozen drinks, the best blenders, the best Ninja blenders, and the best blenders for smoothies.
The Vitamix 7500 is the best blender for ice crushing we've tested. Even though plenty of blenders can get the job done and cost less, it's worth considering if you want something heavy-duty with versatile overall performance. This high-end blender is very well-built and comes with a seven-year U.S. warranty (depending on where you live and where you buy it), which is nice if you use your blender daily for crushing ice and other hard ingredients, like frozen fruits. It comes with a 64oz jar and has a simple control scheme, with a speed dial and a switch for pulse mode that's useful for ice crushing.
It's part of Vitamix's 'Legacy' product line, and like other 'Legacy' models, its jar isn't dishwasher-safe. It has a straightforward design without blending programs, so you must stop the machine manually. If you want a blender that can crush ice automatically and stop when it's done, you might prefer the Vitamix Propel 750. It's more expensive but has a 'Frozen Drinks' mode that crushes big batches of ice at the push of a button. However, it's not as well-built as the 7500, which has durable metal siding around the motor base instead of plastic. It offers a better build quality in exchange for the extra cost.
The KitchenAid K400 is a cheaper option that still offers a fantastic ice-crushing performance. While it's not as well-built as the Vitamix 7500, it's still very sturdy. It easily makes big batches of snow-like crushed ice for frozen treats and cocktails, although it does it a little slower than the Vitamix. This blender is also very versatile. It has a two-part lid, so you can pour more liquid into your recipes without stopping the machine. It has no problem liquifying stubborn ingredients like kale or blueberries, so you can also make silky smoothies.
It doesn't come with a tamper, and it's not as easy to use for thicker recipes as the Vitamix. To make a thick smoothie bowl, you might have to stop the machine to remove the lid and stir for the recipe to blend properly. The jar's non-removable blades are tricky to clean if you're working with sticky ingredients, but if you're mostly blending ice and liquid, that won't be as much of an issue. All of its components are also dishwasher-safe.
If you want a cheaper option that can easily crush ice, consider the Ninja Blender Duo with Auto-iQ BL642. This sturdy blender isn't as well-built as the KitchenAid K400, but it's just as good for ice-crushing. It has a pulse mode to help break up big chunks and makes snow-like crushed ice quickly. The 72oz main jar is big enough for multiple servings of slushies or blended margaritas at your next party, and the lid includes a pouring spout that makes it easy to serve drinks without spilling any.
The blender also comes with three 32oz personal jars, so you don't have to use the big jar when you're just blending for one. It makes a very smooth blend with fibrous ingredients in the personal jars, which is important for the silkiest fruit smoothies. However, the main jar makes a grainy blend with leafy greens or blueberries, making it less than ideal for bigger batches of smoothies. It's also more difficult to clean by hand than the KitchenAid and the Vitamix, and if you plan to use your blender for a variety of recipes, it's worth noting that you can't use it for hot blending.
If you don't plan to use your blender for much besides crushing ice, a straightforward, budget-friendly blender might be just what you need. The Ninja Professional Plus Blender with Auto-iQ is just as good for making snow-like crushed ice as the previous picks but offers less versatility in exchange for a cheaper price tag. It only comes with a 72oz jar, but its controls include a button for pulse mode, which can be useful for breaking up bigger chunks of ice, as well as a few automatic blending programs, so you don't have to manually shut off the blender when a recipe is done.
Like the previous pick, it doesn't have a two-part lid for the jar, so you must stop the machine and remove the lid to add ingredients. However, the lid has a pouring spout, which helps serve drinks directly from the pitcher. It won't make a completely smooth blend with fibrous fruits and vegetables, which can result in grainy smoothies and blended cocktails. It also has the same blade design as the Ninja Blender Duo with Auto-iQ BL642, which makes it difficult to clean by hand. Still, all of its components are dishwasher-safe. It's also the quietest blender listed here.
You may not want a bulky full-size blender if you usually just need to blend enough for one or two people, but not all personal blenders are suitable for crushing ice. The Ninja Foodi Power Nutri DUO is a personal blender that easily crushes small batches of ice. Its short, compact motor base also makes it easy to store out of the way in a cupboard. It comes with two 24oz jars that you can use to make snow-like crushed ice. Unlike most of the blenders on this list, it also does a fantastic job of processing fibrous ingredients, so you can use it to make silky single-serve drinks with ingredients like kale. The jars each come with a resealable lid to bring your drink on the go.
It's loud when running but has a few automatic blending programs, so you don't need to stand next to it the whole time. It's versatile for a personal blender, thanks to its 14oz 'Smoothie Βowl Maker' that works very well for thick mixtures like nut butter. It's well-built, like the Ninja Professional Plus Blender with Auto-iQ, but it doesn't feel as sturdy as the more expensive blenders on this list. Like most personal blenders, it can't hot blend and has only one speed setting, which limits its versatility. It's easy to clean by hand, and all the jars, lids, and blade assemblies are dishwasher-safe.
Dec 18, 2023: Removed the Ninja Foodi Power Pitcher System because it's close to the same price as the Ninja Blender Duo with Auto-iQ BL642. Added the KitchenAid K400 as the new upper mid-range pick because it has a more versatile performance than the Ninja.
Aug 22, 2023: Made the Ninja Professional Plus Blender with Auto-iQ the 'Best Budget' pick because its price has decreased, and added the Ninja Foodi Power Pitcher System as the new 'Best Mid-Range' recommendation.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best blenders for crushing ice for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper blender wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no blenders that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our reviews for blenders for ice-crushing. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no blender is perfect, most blenders are great enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you look for them.