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 are capable of blending 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 45 blenders, and below are our recommendations for the best blenders for ice crushing you can buy. See also our recommendations for the best blenders for frozen drinks, the best blenders, and the best blenders for smoothies.
The best full-size blender for ice crushing that we've tested is Ninja Mega Kitchen System BL770. With its 'Crush' preset, it takes less than a minute to crush ice into a snow-like consistency, which is fantastic. It comes with two 16-ounce personal jars in addition to the 72-ounce main jar, so you can make frozen drinks in big batches or single-serve portions.
The build quality is very good, as it's made out of premium-feeling plastic and feels quite sturdy. When you're done using it, clean-up is remarkably easy, since the removable blade assembly and jars can be put in the dishwasher. When you're not using it to make frozen drinks, it can also make smooth, spreadable almond butter and an outstanding, silky smoothie. It even comes with a food processor bowl that includes a dough blade assembly, although we don't currently test that feature.
Unfortunately, it's not the most versatile, as it can't be used for hot blending. Also, the main jar produces a grainy, foamy smoothie, so you may want to use one of the smaller personal jars if you're using it for that purpose. That said, it's incredible at crushing ice and is one of the best blenders we've tested.
If you want a good ice-crushing blender with more versatile performance, consider the Vitamix A3500. Unlike the Ninja Mega Kitchen System BL770, this full-size model doesn't come with any additional jars or attachments, but it's better-built and can be used to blend hot ingredients. With its 'Frozen Drink' preset it can crush ice into a snow-like consistency in less than a minute. It also produces smooth, spreadable almond butter and an excellent smoothie. It has dedicated modes for a variety of other uses, like 'Hot Soups', 'Dips and Spreads', and a self-cleaning cycle. The companion app, Vitamix Perfect Blend, allows you to choose from a wider selection of presets, including settings for 'Baby Food' and 'Spice Grind'.
If you want a full-size blender that can crush ice and also comes with personal jars, go for the Ninja. If you prefer a better-built, more versatile option, consider the Vitamix.
The Ninja Foodi Power Nutri DUO is the best personal blender for ice crushing that we've tested. This well-built model can make snow-like crushed ice in roughly two minutes. It comes with one 14-ounce and two 24-ounce jars with matching to-go lids, so you can use it to mix single-serves of your favorite frozen drinks.
It offers versatile performance, as it can produce a fantastic smoothie in any of its jars. The 14-ounce jar is equipped with manually-operated rotating arms that work to push food towards the vortex for a smoother blend, and you can use it to make fantastic, spreadable almond butter. It's easy to wash by hand, and you can also put its jars, lids, and blade assemblies in the dishwasher.
Unfortunately, its motor base feels a bit plasticky and not very premium. That said, if you're looking for something that can crush ice in small batches for shakes and slushies, this is one of the best blenders for frozen drinks that we've tested.
The best blender for ice crushing that we've tested in the budget category is the Ninja Professional Plus Blender with Auto-iQ. This affordable full-size model has an impressive, solid build quality. Using its 'Ice Crush' preset, it can crush ice into a snow-like consistency in roughly 30 seconds, which is outstanding.
It comes with a 72-ounce main jar, so you can use it to make frozen drinks in big batches, and it can also produce an okay smoothie. The design is fairly simple, with a few different speed settings and presets, as well as a pulse mode. It's easy to wash with soap and water, even when you're working with stickier ingredients. The jars, lids, and removable blade assemblies are all dishwasher-safe, too.
Unfortunately, it makes disappointing almond butter and can't be used to blend hot ingredients. It also struggles to fully incorporate leafy greens like kale into smoothies. However, if you want a budget-friendly blender that can crush ice, this one is definitely worth considering.
01/08/2021: Minor updates to text with no changes to recommendations.
12/17/2020: Added the Vitamix 5300 to Notable Mentions.
11/05/2020: Replaced the Ninja Nutri Ninja Auto-iQ with the Ninja Foodi Power Nutri DUO for 'Best Personal Blender for Crushing Ice'. Moved the Ninja Nutri Ninja Auto-iQ to Notable Mentions.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best blenders for ice crushing 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.