Best blenders of 2013, Breville The Hemisphere Control BBL605XL (Courtesy of Breville)

1. State of the Art

Breville The Hemisphere Control BBL605XL ($200, amazon.com)

A quiet powerhouse, this 6-cup blender has every conceivable feature: five speeds, "ice crush" and pulse settings, a timer, and even a ring to help remove the lid. The touchpad controls with illuminated buttons wipe clean with zero fuss.

Bing: Breville The Hemisphere Control BBL605XL

2. Value Buy

Oster Osterizer Classic Blender 4270 ($70, amazon.com)

This back-to-basics classic with a 48-oz. glass jar and stainless steel blade turned out near-flawless drinks and finely ground coffee. Its one switch couldn't be simpler.

Bing: Oster Osterizer Classic Blender 4270

3. Best Single-Serve

Oster MyBlend Blender BLSTPB ($25, amazon.com)

Take your smoothie to go with this mini model. It makes drinks inside a 20-oz. sports bottle. Just press down, twist to blend, and screw on the lid.

Bing: Oster MyBlend Blender BLSTPB

How we tested

  • 1,820 ice cubes — along with tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and superfine sugar — went into our frothy margaritas
  • 16 lbs. of frozen strawberries + OJ, yogurt, kale, and ice became smoothies
  • 5 lbs., 10 oz. of whole coffee beans were pulverized (yep, a good blender can moonlight as a coffee grinder)