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The Nutri Ninja Pro is a 900-watt compact blender. It’s about $65 [check current price on Amazon], but we’ve seen it for both more and less. This blender is meant to be convenient — blend-and-go style. While it achieves that, it isn’t equipped to handle anything too thick or difficult to blend. It has a hard time with really frozen fruit and getting stems and leafy greens down to a smooth texture. It also needs a decent amount of liquid, so if thick smoothies or smoothie bowls are your thing, the Nutri Ninja Pro isn’t the best pick.
This little blender is better suited to thinner blends you want to make in a hurry. So if you’re a handful of berries, protein powder, and milk kind of person, this will get you and your smoothie out the door with no fuss.
The Ninja Professional NJ600 is 1000-watt pitcher blender that you can get for around $79.99 [check price on Amazon]. Unlike most blenders, it has stacked blades. Ninja’s site explains the purpose of their stacked blades, saying, “Our durable design creates maximum contact with tough ingredients like stems and seeds for the best possible results.” However, these blades quite often miss the mark and tend to throw things around the pitcher while failing to get it all mixed in. It’s also way too easy to cut yourself on the blades while cleaning. Plus, if you take off the lid to pour, the blades fall out of the blender.
But if you’re not in a hurry, not blending anything too intense, and on a budget, the NJ600 should work for you. As an example, Jeff uses this daily to make protein shakes, protein pancakes, and other food items that he thinks taste great even though they don’t. It’s perfect for someone like him that thinks about price and wants a more versatile blender. He doesn’t really test it’s limits, but he uses it enough that having a larger pitcher is helpful.
The Nutri Ninja DUO is a higher-powered combination of the Nutri Ninja Pro and the NJ600. The DUO comes with three blending cups in different sizes, as well as a pitcher with stacked blades. At $179.99 [check price on Amazon], it actually costs more than buying both of the smaller blenders. However, you’re also paying for the extra power — 1200 watts —, the Auto-iQ features, and the simplicity of having one blender that serves dual purposes.
When using the blender cups, the DUO works very well. Although it’s a bit disappointing that not all of the Auto-iQ settings work with the cups and not all of them work with the pitcher. For example, you can’t use the Frozen Smoothie setting with the cups or the Auto Blend setting with the pitcher. However, the settings that you can use work just fine. You can also choose to skip the Auto-iQ settings and just use the low, medium, and high blend options.
Auto-iQ Settings on the Nutri Ninja DUO
While the cups work well — better than with the Nutri Ninja Pro — the pitcher is still fairly disappointing. It’s nice that the option of a pitcher is included, but we ran into all of the same problems that we encountered with the NJ600. Really, it all comes down to those stacked blades. They’re just not our favorite.
Overall, the DUO is worth the extra money. It’s not an ideal pitcher blender, but blending with the cups works really well. Much better than with a standard to-go cup blender.
The Ninja Chef High-Speed blender seems to be Ninja’s attempt to compete with Vitamix and Blendtec [Shop Blenders on Amazon]. It’s not quite as powerful and it probably won’t last as long, but it’s the closest Ninja has come to producing a comparable product. The Chef is a 1500-watt blender that’ll cost you $199.99 [check price on Amazon]. It’s the most expensive blender on this list, but it comes with a few significant advantages that are ultimately why we say this is the best Ninja blender.
First off, the Chef’s pitcher has blades at the bottom instead of those stacked blades. Not only does that eliminate the problem of having sharp detachable blades to deal with, it also creates a better, more thorough blend. With the blades at the bottom of the pitcher, you get a vortex that pulls all of the ingredients down through the blades.
Secondly, this blender has manual speed controls in addition to the pre-programmed settings. While the Auto-iQ settings can be convenient, especially if you’re not so experienced using a blender to achieve various textures, it’s also nice to have the specific control you get with doing it manually.
Not only does the Chef have an actually useful pitcher, it’s also compatible with Ninja’s blender cups. They don’t come with the purchase, but you can choose to buy them separately if you like having the option of using to-go cups.
Pre-programmed Settings on Ninja Chef High-Speed Blender
My biggest gripe with the Chef is that (like all of Ninja’s blenders) the drive system is made with plastic. That means it’s going to wear a lot faster than a Vitamix or a Blendtec, which are made with metal. It also means you get that overworked plastic smell after just 30 seconds of blending.
Ultimately, though, of the Ninja blenders we tried, the Chef was the best performer. And even though this is the priciest Ninja, as far as high-powered blenders go, it’s actually quite affordable.