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 30 blenders and below are our recommendations for the best blenders for ice crushing you can buy. See also our recommendations for the best blenders and the best blenders for smoothies.
If you're looking for a full-size model, the Ninja Mega Kitchen System BL770 is the best blender for ice crushing that we've tested. It has a durable, premium-looking build, and it's outstanding for crushing ice. Its main jar has a 72-oz capacity, and it even comes with two additional 16-oz jars for making single-serve blends.
It has a dedicated high-speed preset mode called 'Crush' that's ideal for crushing ice cubes. In about half a minute, it blends a dozen ice cubes down to a snow-like consistency, so it's well-suited for making frozen drinks. If you like to make other foods, it also has a versatile performance, and it can easily make spreadable almond butter and well-blended smoothies. It's easy to clean by hand, and its jars are all dishwasher-safe.
Unfortunately, like most full-size blenders, it has a bulky design that may take up a bit of space on your kitchen counter. It also doesn't have a lot of extra features, preset modes, or speed settings, and it can't hot blend ingredients, which may be disappointing if you like to make soups or sauces. That said, this is the best full-size blender for ice crushing we've tested.
If you're looking for a versatile blender that can crush ice and make lots of other blends, consider the Vitamix A3500. While it doesn't come with any personal jars like the Ninja Mega Kitchen System BL770, this full-size model has a more premium build and better all-around performance. It has a few presets available in its control scheme, and since it's Bluetooth-compatible, you can use the Vitamix Perfect Blend app to access even more preset modes, including the 'Frozen Drink', 'Baby Food', and 'Frozen Cocktails' modes. It's incredible for crushing ice, as it makes snow-like ice in about half a minute using the 'Frozen Drink' mode. Unlike the Ninja, it can also hot blend, and it has a timer to help you keep track of how long you've been blending your ingredients. It makes an impressive smoothie and a better almond butter than the Ninja, too.
If you want something straightforward for crushing ice with personal jars, check out the Ninja, but if you prefer a more versatile blender, consider the Vitamix instead.
If you're looking for a personal-sized option, the best blender for ice crushing we've tested is the Ninja Nutri Ninja Auto-iQ. It comes with an 18-oz jar and a 24-oz jar that are well-suited for making single-serve blends. There are even two to-go lids, so you can easily bring your mixes with you to work or school.
It's outstanding for crushing ice. In around two minutes, it turns a dozen ice cubes into bar-quality ice for cocktails and other frozen drinks. If you want to use it for purposes other than crushing ice, it also makes a decent smoothie using both of its jars. Its components can be washed in the dishwasher, and they're also very easy to clean by hand.
Unfortunately, some of the materials used on the base feel a bit cheap, so it doesn't have the most premium build quality. It also has some trouble blending tougher ingredients like almonds and kale. However, it's a solid choice for making frozen drinks for one.
The best blender for ice crushing in the budget category that we've tested is the Ninja Professional Plus Blender with Auto-iQ. This full-size model has a 72-oz main jar that's ideal for making large batches of food. It's well-built and seems durable, especially compared to some of the other options in this price range.
It comes with several different preset modes, including a high-speed 'Ice Crush' preset that helps break down hard ice cubes. Using this preset, it can make snow-like ice in less than a minute. When you're finished, it's easy to clean by hand, and you can even put its components in the top rack of your dishwasher for a faster clean-up.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have the most versatile overall performance, and it struggles to make almond butter and a well-blended smoothie. It also doesn't have a lot of extra features or attachments, and it can't hot blend. That said, if you're just looking for a blender that can crush ice, it's a solid choice.
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.