This appealing blender looks great, with a rounded triangular shape that marries form and function. It pours perfectly and cleans beautifully, but what we noticed first was the terrific grip on the handle: firm and comfortable, like a great handshake. The lid is also well designed, sealing easily and snugly, with tiny rubber tips attached on three sides to facilitate a smooth release and opening. This blender packs a lot of power, puréeing in seconds and turning eggs and oil into mayonnaise in fewer than two minutes. Five speeds let you whip up everything from chunky salsa to velvety soups; there's also a pulse mode when you need an extra surge to add solids or give something one last stir. As a bonus, this blender looks great on the counter or stores easily in two parts in the cupboard. --C. Whitney-Ward
Editor's Choice:Braun's PowerMax blender is an ideal first blender--not too expensive and still heavy-duty enough for many blending tasks--and is our pick for best blender under $50. It has five speed settings and a pulse feature. The blades are made of stainless steel, which makes them strong enough to crush ice (don't pack the ice too tight, though), and they remove easily for cleaning. The blades, jug, and lid go in the dishwasher, while you wipe the base by hand with a damp towel.
Now that I'm on a diet, I practically live with my blender. It helps me make low-calorie and nutritious beverages that are filling without being fattening. The key, however, is making sure the blender can do the job. This Braun blender tackles the job. Whether you're watching calories or enjoy creating delicious smoothies and shakes, this blender has got the professional power to mix and blend almost anything.