With a 350-watt motor to easily crush ice and touch-pad controls offering seven speeds, including pulse, this blender not only creates frosty cocktails, smoothies, ice-cream shakes, and other drinks, but also mixes smooth soups and sauces, chops bread crumbs and nuts, grinds hard cheeses, emulsifies salad dressings, and produces party dips. (Recipes included.) The 5-cup glass container and the heavy base (made of plastic but resembling brushed chrome) spell durability and look great on bar or counter. Fully assembled, the blender stands 15 inches high, and its oblong base measures 8-1/4 inches deep. The glass container, plastic lid with its 2-ounce measuring insert, and stainless-steel blade are dishwasher-safe. The blender carries a three-year warranty against defects. --Fred Brack
Cuisinart’s SmartPower 7-Speed electronic blender boosts both power and capacity to take blending to the next level. The line of high performance blenders includes this 7-speed deluxe model that can handle any task that comes along. A powerful 500-watt motor mixes up 40 ounces of spectacular fruit smoothies in record time. Preprogrammed speed controls are lined up alongside an oversized on-off switch to let users. Go ahead - Pulse, Stir, Mix, Puree, Chop, Liquefy or Crush Ice with just the touch of a button. Customers love this big blender because when the job is done. The jar and lid go right into the dishwasher.