Battle of the Blitzers
By now you’ll almost certainly have heard of at least one of these two blenders.
They’re considered the be-all-and-end-all of home kitchen blending utensils, capable of whizzing all your favorite ingredients into a delicious super storm of flavor, but if they’re both the best, which one should you buy? That’s what I endeavoured to find out!
What are they? They’re both highly versatile, space and storage-friendly, single-serve, countertop blenders. NutriBullet has been the buzz topic in health communities for years now, but the more recently released Nutri Ninja is posing some stiff market competition.
They’re not the simple smoothie slingers you grew up with. They can blend solids such as nuts and ice. Technically, as they’re both centrifugal blenders, they’re not the healthiest option for juicing.
To maximise nutritional content, you’ll need a cold hydraulic juice press, which you can learn more about here.
Why are they so popular? Never has a kitchen utensil garnered a passionate cult following of diehard fans and now suddenly there are two of them.
Well, the reason that these two products are touted as being so much more than your average blender is because they have the power to break down ingredients on a molecular level, liquifying anything they can get their metal teeth on. No other products in their price range are capable of such exquisite culinary synthesis.
When my sister visited me last year, she expressed her utter confusion at the fact I didn’t own one of these two revolutionary blenders.
So reliant is she on her own blender that she simply couldn’t fathom how my partner and I had been living our lives without one all this time.
It was her impassioned speech that inspired me to get into the blender game and see what I was missing out on. What you can expect from this article are the results of my own striving to find the ultimate blender.
Before we get started, if you’d like to have a peek at the products directly straight away, you can check out the NutriBullet here.
By container, I mean the receptacles in which the magic (blending) happens. Besides one glass speciality model each, both NutriBullets and Nutri Ninjas use BPA-free plastic containers.
There’s nothing particularly wrong with plastic containers; they’re chip-resistant, lightweight, dishwasher safe, and easy to hand clean. The only issue is that plastic can, over time, discolor and in some instances even absorb strong flavors.
As both brands use plastic containers and have one glass option available, we’ll call this round a draw.
Blade Design Which Blender has an Edge on the Other?
The blade design of a blender is one of the most important features, afterall, it’s the blades that are doing all the work.
If they’re lacking in any way, they’re not going to be capable of blending the tough stuff like the cocktail connoisseur’s ice or the vegan’s cashews (FYI, vegans almost always love cashews). Poor blades may not even be able to properly liquify soft ingredients, which can lead to the dreaded chunks, lumps, bits, pith..they go by many names and have one purpose, grossing you out.
The Nutri Ninja has much longer blades that feel sharp enough that I was actually a little afraid to run my thumb over the edges.Two primary blades do the majority of the zhuzhing, while two secondary blades catch any escapee ingredients looking for safety at the bottom of the container.
I expected this design to make small work of my ingredients. Surprisingly, what I discovered is that it wasn’t quite as efficient at obliterating the tough ingredients such as frozen fruit and nuts, leaving a slightly gritty texture after roughly 60 seconds of blending.
The NutriBullet blades are a little more squat, and their edges didn't strike as much fear into me, but they work beautifully. After 60 seconds of work, all my hard ingredients were silky smooth, no grittiness to be found.
That said, these blades aren’t without their flaws. Smoothies with lots of leafy greens posed the biggest challenge, but as long as you don’t mind waiting a few extra seconds for the NutriBullet to work its magic, it’s not a problem.
They’re both capable of producing incredibly fine-textured smoothies even if you’ve added protein powders or plenty of un-soaked nuts, but the NutriBullet works out the kinks a little faster.
That said, those razor sharp Nutri Ninja blades are more efficient when it comes to juicing leafy greens. Both designs feel nice and sturdy and they’re easy to clean too. It’s a close call, but as it makes small work of the hard stuff, this round goes to the NutriBullet.
Motor - Which is the Brawniest Blender?
While the blades of a blender account for much of its abilities, they’re useless without a powerful motor driving them into a cyclonic frenzy, so let’s take a look at what’s going on under the hoods of these two brilliant machines.
Historically speaking, Nutri Ninja products are more powerful, ranging from 900 to an insane 1700 watts. Standard household blenders are normally capped between 500 and 750 watts, so you can believe that these things mean business.
The Nutri Ninja I was investigating was a 1000-watt model, which is more than enough power for the average morning juicer, or evening smoothie sipper.
When the NutriBullet first arrived on the scene, it was a relatively low powered device, relying on it’s intelligent blade design to do most of the heavy lifting.
There’s no doubt if they still came with those 400-600-watt motors, the Nutri Ninja would be blending circles around them, but thankfully, they were given a power boost to 900 watts. Even though this power promotion isn’t enough to challenge the Ninja’s raw muscle, realistically, you don’t need any more.
In terms of pure horsepower, I have to give this round to the Nutri Ninja. That 1000-watt motor will power through almost anything, but consider this... the Ninja is so fast, it can whip regular or coconut cream - so can the NutriBullet.
The Ninja is so fast, it can churn butter from raw nuts - so can the NutriBullet. Being that the NutriBullet’s 900 watts is capable of the exact same things as the Nutri Ninja’s 1000, it’s a fairly negligible victory.
Side Note - If you do decide to make some lovely fresh butter, prepare yourself for one heck of a cleanup. The sticky residue can be quite problematic.
Controls - Which Blender is More Articulate?
These blenders may be powerhouses of liquifying excellence, which is fantastic on those mornings you need to blast some ingredients pronto to make it to work on time, but not so great in other situations.
If you’ve got time on your hands or you’re using mostly soft ingredients, there’s simply no reason to run these blenders full throttle, so let’s take a look at their controls in order to establish which is the more nuanced machine.
With three different power settings, the Nutri Ninja comes fairly well equipped. Giving you the choice between regular speed, turbo speed, and pulse, you can whizz through your ingredients in an appropriate manner, saving you money on the energy bill. The pulse setting is an especially nice touch, allowing you to fine tune textures by degrees.
Unfortunately, the NutriBullet only does one thing...full speed. That’s right, folks. You can’t slow this thing down. It’s all or nothing all of the time. There's nothing horribly wrong with that; it does exactly what it says on the tin: turns stuff into liquid.
It’s just a little bit underwhelming is all. Judging by the 900-watt motor, I’d estimate that the NutriBullet’s single speed is somewhere between the Nutri Ninja’s regular and turbo settings.
It may not matter to some, but including extra speeds or functions on a blender shows a thoughtfulness on behalf of the manufacturer.
Even if you only ever use one of the settings, it just feels like more of a consumer-friendly approach, and if you do utilize the extras, a single-speed alternative doesn’t seem like such an attractive prospect.
In light of this, the Nutri Ninja takes this round by storm. With its dual speeds and Pulse function, it offers the more nuanced approach to blending.
Performance - Which Product Provides the Best Blending Experience?
Now for what really matters...
The whole idea of a blender is based on practicality, but which of our two feuding food processors really makes your life easier.
Brace yourself because you’re about to hear one of the biggest flaws in the Nutri Ninja design. You have to physically hold the Nutri Ninja container down.
Now, you may be puzzled as to why I’m being so dramatic about this seemingly small detail, but make no mistake, this is a huge detail that changes everything about how the blender integrates into your life. Not being able to leave the Ninja to take care of business on its own means you’re losing time in the day.
Granted, it’s a minimal amount, but in this time you could be preparing breakfast for your family, getting ready for work, brewing a hearty cup of joe...these morning minutes are a valuable commodity, and they’re kind of wasted on the Nutri Ninja.
On the flip side, the NutriBullet is an independent blitzing boss! Just set it to go and walk away. Like I said, this is a small amount of free time, but imagine how that adds up over the course of a month, a year, five years. The NutriBullet understands that every second counts, and I love it for that.
Here’s where the Nutri Ninja manages to claw back some dignity. Despite that powerful 1000-watt motor, it’s technically the quieter blender, and not just because it has a low speed setting. Even at full speed, the Ninja, owning the stealthy connotations of its name, is quieter than the NutriBullet.
Having said that, it’s not a silent machine. You’re still going to be waking people up if you’re downstairs juicing at 6 O’clock in the morning. It can reach 88dBA in turbo mode, which is louder than a jackhammer, so yeah...it’s a noisy little scamp.
I’d consider running volume to be one of the largest turn offs in the NutriBullet. They’re loud when new, but if the ball bearings start to wear, they slowly get worse, eventually reaching volumes in the realm of 100dBA.
Loud as these blenders can be, they don’t make such a full-bodied noise, so it doesn’t travel all that well through to different rooms. You can’t really have conversation standing right next to them, but even with the louder NutriBullet, I could chill in the next room and watch TV without having to crank the volume.
You can also take measures to dampen their running volumes. Placing them on a rubber mat can help reduce on-surface rattle, and a specialized blender bell cover will do a decent job of cutting their motor noise.
So, just how good are the fruits of their labor? You can put a lot of money into these blenders, especially if you’re using fresh, organic produce, so a delicious and nutritious outcome is essential.
Smoothies - Both of these blenders are capable of delivering some truly next level smoothies, even when you load them up with tons of frozen fruit or tough root vegetables; however, the NutriBullet has a slight but distinct edge.
It doesn’t make all that sense considering the Nutri Ninja has a more powerful motor and larger, sharper blades, but the NutriBullet really smooths things out much more efficiently. I’m not saying the Nutri Ninja is incapable of grinding down the lumps, it just takes it a little longer to reach a truly silken consistency. When I threw a few strawberries into the mix I noticed that neither blender was able to thin out the seeds, so I was left with a lightly textured smoothie. It’s by no means unpleasant, but worth reporting.
Butters - The ability to make things like nut butter is one of the biggest selling points of these kinds of blenders, but which one is the best for the job? When I tried to make cashew butter, I found that the NutriBullet did a fine job. The consistency was mostly smooth and surprisingly runny, with a few lovely little crispy granules here and there. The only problem is that it started to heat up a little bit, which isn’t great, so it’s best to use it in short bursts when making butter.
The Nutri Ninja wasn’t quite as capable, which was a shock to me. I thought that the powerful motor and those blades would work a real treat on some soaked cashews, but it doesn’t quite achieve the right consistency. What’s more, the blades toss the mixture up and to the side of the container so you have to pause and manually shift things around a few times. I would still consider the final product a butter of sorts, but it certainly didn’t have the same runny quality that the NutriBullet butter had. It was more solid and grainy.
Dips - The Nutri Ninja really shines when it comes to making dips. The pulse setting gives you full control of the texture so you don’t pulverize everything all of the time. My favorite things to make with the Nutri Ninja are dips for home-made nachos. Using the pulse setting, I made the most wonderful rustic salsa packed with beautiful colors, fragranced with shredded coriander and parsley. I also threw in some peppers, garlic cloves, avocados, onions, and spices and blitzed up one hell of a chunky guacamole. You can achieve a similar result with the NutriBullet, but it takes some extra effort and attention..
I really enjoyed Ninja’s pulse function when it came to making rustic dips. It’s a real shame that Homeland Housewares, LLC didn’t see the value of fitting the NutriBullet with a similar function, but taking each aspect of performance into account, the NutriBullet is still on top for me.
I’ll admit that the fact you have to steward the Nutri Ninja as it blends is a huge part of my reasoning, and credit where credit’s due, it’s a much quieter machine. It just can’t quite compete with the NutriBullet when it comes to finished products, at least not in the same time frame.
Style and Design - Which Blender Looks Best in Your Kitchen?
NutriBullets have a very refined and modest aesthetic. They exhibit a form of stylistic neutrality that would work as a constant fixture of any home kitchen. They neither dominate the room nor completely sink into the wallpaper. Those not yet initiated in the esoteric cult of NutriBullet may walk by without noticing it at all, but those in know will be drawn to it like a moth to the flame. The rounded edges and tinted metal soften its presence and imbue it with a welcoming object personality.
The NutriBullet power base is just so dang compact, allowing it to slink into place practically anywhere without much fuss. Smaller than your average kettle overall, it’s a nice countertop mainstay ready to work with rather than against established aesthetics.
Some Nutri Ninja models don’t stray too far from the classic NutriBullet look, but there are some distinct differences that I should mention, especially as you get to the larger models.
The Ninja has a fairly sinuous frame, but the front is far more angular than the NutriBullet. The steel and black plastic body exude high-end coffee maker vibes, and sort of leans into more of a professional aesthetic than the NutriBullet. You can really picture it sitting behind the bar of a restaurant amongst all the other commercial-use equipment.
Personally, I feel that the Nutri Ninja makes more of a statement than the NutriBullet which can be seen as good or bad depending on your tastes. With that stainless steel finish, I can see it suiting a very modern kitchen with matching metal appliances. The larger up the Nutri Ninja scale you go, the more angular and imposing the design becomes, risking relegation to the dark recesses of an appliance cupboard.
Of course, style is always a subjective matter, so I can only give my personal opinion in this round, but for me, it’s the NutriBullet all the way. The sweet countenance and neutral aesthetic make it a much more attractive option for the average kitchen.
Accessories - Which Blender Comes with the Most Loot?
Accessories aren’t exactly essential as they can be purchased separately, but a decent selection included in the box can really sweeten a deal, so let’s take a look at what comes with these blenders and what doesn’t.
The NutriBullet comes with two 32oz BPA-free cups, two to-go covers with flip lids, and two rim lips with handles for if you’ve got a more leisurely day ahead of you, but what accessories aren’t included in the box?
One thing that comes separately that I personally would have liked in the box is a smaller cup. These are great for serving your kids up a shake or if you don’t have enough ingredients to fill the larger cup. You can also buy ‘colossal’ cups. There are a couple of different pitchers as well, one for large cold mixes for when you’re dishing out the drinks on a scorcher, and one for hot mixes.
In terms of blade options, you can buy a milling blade for pulverizing solids into a powder, a flat blade, an easy twist extractor blade, an ice crusher blade, a cross blade, an extractor cross blade...the list goes on.
Nutri Ninjas tend to come with two cups as well - one big, one small - and a similar pair of sippy cup lids for taking your creations on the road with you. You don’t get any lip handles, though.
The list of accessories you can buy separately isn’t nearly as long for the Nutri Ninja. It mostly consists of various cups and a couple of different cup toppers; however, Nutri Ninja is a fairly new product, so there’ll likely be more to choose from in the future.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t briefly mention that both blenders come with a fantastic recipe book full of wonderful ideas to get the juices flowing so to speak. Once you try a couple of the recipes, your confidence and sense of adventure grow exponentially, inspiring you to try your own wild ideas.
It’s another round for the NutriBullet here. I did really appreciate the different size cups in the Nutri Ninja package, but that alone just doesn’t stack up to the wealth of replacements and expansions NutriBullet has to offer.
Warranty - Which Blender has the Best Returns Policy?
The NutriBullet comes with a one-year warranty as standard, but you can purchase an extended three-year warranty if you prefer. Every Ninja product comes with a limited one-year warranty.
With the option to extend your warranty for a fee, NutriBullet takes this round.
Both brands offer affordable, entry-level blenders for roughly the same price, but the NutriBullet is slightly cheaper. You can expect to walk away with a basic bundle for around $70, whereas the cheapest Nutri Ninja goes for about $15 more.
Maybe these basic options are all you need, but I’d highly recommend choosing a more advanced model to truly make the most of the blending brilliance. You’ll also want to put some money aside for some slick accessories too.
I’ll call this one a draw seeing as there’s barely anything between these blenders price-wise.
Going by category wins alone, the NutriBullet is the obvious victor, but there was never really that much in it in the key rounds, so it's actually a much closer call than it seems. When it comes down to it, they’re both highly versatile, compact, high performance blenders with wallet-friendly price tags.
I really love the Nutri Ninja’s versatility in terms of power, and that pulse button is fantastic. Living in a fairly small house with paper-thin walls, I also developed a soft spot for the Ninja’s slightly quieter running volume, but in the end, I chose the NutriBullet for two reasons. One, you can leave it to its own devices, and two, I often blend harder ingredients like cashews, frozen fruits, and seeds and the NutriBullet smooths them out at an ever so slightly faster rate.
Which is RIght For You?
The good news is that these blenders are so evenly matched that it doesn’t matter all that much which one you choose. Ultimately, they do the same stuff and they do it well. To decide which is right for you, ask yourself how you intend to use it. One will be more suited to your blending habits than the other, making your healthy lifestyle easy and full of delicious treats!
Why don’t you take another look to help you decide.