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 in the mix.
We've tested over 85 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. Although plenty of blenders can get the job done and cost less, if you want something heavy-duty with a fantastic overall performance, it's a great option. It's extremely well-built and comes with a 7-year U.S. warranty (depending on where you buy it) which is important if you use your blender daily for crushing ice and other hard ingredients, like frozen fruits. It comes with a 64-ounce jar and has a simple control scheme, with a speed dial and a switch for pulse mode that you can use for ice crushing.
Like the Vitamix 5200, which we recommend as the best blender for smoothies, it's part of Vitamix's 'Legacy' line. The 5200's narrower jar is better for making single-serve smoothies, but for crushing ice, the 7500's wider pitcher has an edge. Otherwise, they look and perform similarly. Like other 'Legacy' models, no part of the blender is dishwasher-safe, but it's easy to clean by hand. It doesn't have blending programs, so you need to stop the machine manually when it's done. If you want an ice crushing blender with more features, you might prefer an 'Ascent' model like the Vitamix A3500. It's dishwasher-safe and offers a variety of blending programs. It costs more, and you don't need all the extra features for the best blending performance.
If you're not prepared to spend that much on a blender, you might prefer the Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot Blender. This full-size blender doesn't feel as well-made as the Vitamix 7500 and lacks a long warranty, but still has excellent build quality and versatile performance. Using its 64-ounce jar, it quickly makes snow-like ice perfect for frozen drinks, blended cocktails, or icy desserts like snow cones. It makes a very smooth puree with fibrous ingredients, which is important for silky-smooth drinks with fruit like pineapple and blueberries.
The main jar is made of glass, which you might find is less prone to scratching and discoloration than plastic. It has many automatic blending programs, which is nice if you often have your hands full in the kitchen. Also, like our top pick, it can hot blend and heat ingredients, so it's worth considering if you want a multi-purpose blender with a fantastic ice-crushing performance. However, its design has some downsides. The heating element built into the jar's base means it can't go in the dishwasher or be immersed in water. It makes it difficult to clean by hand, but on the plus side, if you're just working with ice and liquids, it has a self-clean blending program that will do most of the work.
The best mid-range blender for crushing ice is the Ninja Professional Plus Blender with Auto-iQ. This blender comes with a large, 72-ounce main pitcher and is ideal for making a big batch of crushed ice for cocktails or frozen drinks at a summer party. With its 'Ice Crush' blending program, it can crush a dozen ice cubes in about 30 seconds. It's not as well-built as the more expensive options on this list, and its motor base and gears are made of plastic, but it still feels very sturdy and well-made. The lid for the main jar isn't a two-part lid that allows you to add ingredients mid-blend but has a spout so you can easily pour your recipe into glasses.
However, its design isn't as convenient as the pricier models listed here, and it doesn't perform as well for purposes besides crushing ice. Unlike the Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot Blender, its blade assembly is a column of very sharp blades. Many Ninja blenders have a similar design, and while it works well for ice crushing, it makes it hard to clean the blender by hand because it's so easy to cut yourself on the very sharp blades. This model also struggles to fully process fibrous ingredients in its main jar, so drinks with leafy greens or frozen fruits won't be as silky.
If you don't plan to use your blender for much besides ice-crushing, a straightforward, budget-friendly blender might be just what you need. This blender is just as good for crushing ice as our previous pick but comes with fewer features and a less sturdy build in exchange for a cheaper price tag. It doesn't have automatic blending programs but otherwise has a similar design, with a 72-ounce main pitcher and a lid with a pouring spout. It can make snow-like crushed ice in about 30 seconds using its manual 'Pulse' mode.
However, it's not ideal for processing fibrous ingredients, especially in large batches, so it's not that well-suited for smoothies or frozen drinks with ingredients like leafy greens. That said, you may not mind that if you just want to crush ice for cocktails or make drinks like slushies and blended margaritas. Like the Ninja Professional Plus Βlender with Auto-iQ, its extra sharp blades can make it tricky to clean by hand, but it won't be hard to clean if you're working with liquid ingredients. The jar, lid, and blades are all dishwasher-safe as well.
You may not want a bulky full-size blender to make blended cocktails for only one or two people. 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 easier to store out of the way in a cupboard when you're not using it. It comes with a pair of 24-ounce 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 so you can bring your drink on the go.
It's very 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 running. It's versatile for a personal blender, thanks to its 14-ounce 'Smoothie Βowl Maker' that works very well for thick mixtures like nut butter. It's well-built, like the Ninja Professional Βlender 1000, but 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. That said, it's easy to clean by hand, and all the jars, lids, and blade assemblies are dishwasher-safe.
Jan 16, 2023: Added the KitchenAid K400 and the Ninja Mega Kitchen System BL770 to Notable Mentions.
Nov 17, 2022: Updated text to provide more information about the recommended products.
Sep 20, 2022: Reorganized picks due to Test Bench 1.0 updates. Added the Vitamix 7500, the Ninja Foodi Cold & Ηot Βlender, and the Ninja Professional Plus Βlender with Auto-iQ.
Jul 22, 2022: Added the Ninja Blender Duo with Auto-iQ BL642 as the 'Best Mid-Range Blender For Ice Crushing' and moved the Ninja Mega Kitchen System BL770 to Notable Mentions.
Jun 30, 2022: Replaced the Ninja Professional Plus Blender with Auto-iQ with the Ninja Professional Βlender 1000. Added the Vitamix A3500 as the 'Βest Ice Crushing Βlender For Professional Use'.
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.