I am looking for a blender that will crush ice without jamming, for iced beverages & smoothies. Do you have a good one you would recommend?
Be sure to also post over in the Cooking forum, lots of people who use their blenders a lot over there, too.
Here is a link that might be useful: Cooking forum
About 6 months ago I purchased a Kitchenaid, 5 speed blender for just this purpose. Smoothies! It's so quiet it purrs....looks great,I got the silver & black color combo. Paid $45 with a buy it now on Ebay, the seller was "kitchenaid". Gave me a factory warranty!
Here is a link that might be useful: Kitchenaid on Ebay... link
VITA MIX without a doubt but that is quite a pricey machine. There are others in a similar price range and quite a lot of rivalry between those top blenders. Do you research and see which one has the features you need.
Also keep in mind the height of the blender if you need it to stay out on the counter top and under the upper cabinets
Check out Breville. Excellent performance, top-quality construction.
We have a KitchenAid KSB560OB 5-Speed Blender with Polycarbonate Jar. Case is metal. Chops ice like it was butter. I highly recommend it.
I have the same KitchenAid as mentioned one post up...it's awesome. I make frozen pina coladas and margaritas with no ice chunks. The key to getting it perfectly smooth is to let it blend for at least a full minute.
LOVE our BlendTec Home blender. Much like a Vitamix, which I was interested in at first. The BlendTec has a shorter and wider jar for easier clean out and easier fit under upper cabs, doesn't need 2 different blades for wet and dry, and I got 2 jars with it for a total about $100 less than a Vitamix.
I checked with my niece who has managed stores in major coffee chains, and she said they used to use VitaMix, then switched to BlendTec, so she had lots of experience with both. She said they exhibited the same excellent performance and durability.
I have been amazed at how quickly and smoothly ice smoothies, salad dressings, etc turn out with this blender. It took me over a year to decide to spend the money, but it was worth it.
You have to check out the YouTube videos about the BlendTec blender, in a series titled "Will it Blend?"
In one of them the demonstrator sucessfully "blends" a rake handle to sawdust. So I'm pretty sure it could handle ice without jamming.
We have a heavy duty Hamilton Beach and it handles ice -- we've never had any problems with anything we've asked it to do. But it is so noisy! May-be they all are -- I have only experienced this particular one.
The best blender I have found and bought was the Ninja. Fantastic for frozen drinks, it crushes ice fine and doesn't jam,. It was only $34 at walmart.(I got the cheap one) It works for all blended items also.
I have a Blendtec as well. It was pricy but I use it daily so it was worth it to me to get good machine. Doesn't jam, in fact I make ice cream in it with ice and it turns out perfectly creamy. It turns ice into 'snow'. And I can put raw vegetables it it and have soup in 90 seconds. All that AND it fits under the cabinets so it can stay handily on the counter top.
If you're looking for something to make frozen drinks with you can't go wrong with a Blendtec. Check out the deal they have on then @ Costco's website. Definitely check out the youtube videos.
I also have the Blendtec and use it daily. It makes great "larabars", smoothies, fruit sherbet, salad dressings, etc. I got it @ BBB with a 20% off coupon, but the Costco deal is also good as it comes with 2 jars. I purchased the smaller twister jar to make larabars, hummus and nut butters. It can take raw nuts to nut butter in about a half minute.