The Blendtec Designer 650 did well across all our rating metrics, with no significant flaws. However, it didn't do amazingly well and failed to oust any of our previous award winners with its performance. It blends a mean frozen margarita and crushes ice quite well, but it can't match the performance of the top appliances that we have seen. Unfortunately, while the Blendtec can't match these premium blenders in terms of performance, it does match (and sometimes exceed) them in price, somewhat dissuading us from recommending it.Editor's Note: We revised this review on May 4, 2022, giving more blender buying recommendations.
Blendtec Designer 650 Review
Pros: Great at crushing ice, makes a mean blended margarita
Cons: Very pricey, not amazing at making smoothies
Compare to Similar Products
Blendtec Designer 650
$359.00 at Amazon
$488.81 at Amazon
$345.99 at Amazon
$81.99 at Amazon
$39.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Great at crushing ice, makes a mean blended margarita||Excellent at crushing ice, perfect at pureeing, superb at smoothies, durable||Fantastic smoothies, great at crushing ice, silky-smooth purees||Great blended drinks, excellent at pureeing, solid at making nut butter||Very inexpensive, solid for smoothies|
|Cons||Very pricey, not amazing at making smoothies||Pricey||Blade showed signs of wear and tear||No presets, no digital timer, food sticks under blade, motor overheats and smells||Can catastrophically leak if base isn't attached, struggled with grating hard cheese|
|Bottom Line||The Blendtec Designer offers a middle-of-the-road blending performance at a top-tier price||This burly blender earned the top score overall but comes at a premium price||This is one of our all-around favorite kitchen appliances and we highly recommend it for all of your blending needs||This budget blender holds its own with the top-tier products fairly well||If you are shopping for a blender on the tightest of budgets, this one will do the job|
|Rating Categories||Blendtec Designer 650||Vitamix A2500 Ascen...||Cuisinart Hurricane...||NutriBullet Blender||Hamilton Beach 58148A|
|Specs||Blendtec Designer 650||Vitamix A2500 Ascen...||Cuisinart Hurricane...||NutriBullet Blender||Hamilton Beach 58148A|
|Power||Peak 3.0 HP||Peak 2.2 HP||Peak 3.5 HP||1.6 HP||Peak .94 HP|
|Dimensions||15.5" x 9.25" x 7"||11" x 8" x 17"||10.05" x 8.50" x 17.55"||16.5" x 9.8" x 7.5"||14.7" x 6.5 " x 8.7"|
|Jar size||36 oz||64 oz||64 oz||64 oz||40 oz|
|Dishwasher safe||Pitcher; top rack only||Yes||Yes||Pitcher; top rack only||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
This model finished in the middle of the group, yet exceeds the price of some of the better-performing blenders.
We bought all the top blenders that are currently available on the market, then tested them side-by-side to see which of these kitchen appliances is really the best of them all. We compared their skills at whipping up the perfect frozen margarita or smoothie, pureeing and grinding food, and how convenient it is to use. We split our testing process into five weighted rating metrics, with the Blendtec's results described below.
The Blendtec got off to a good start, doing a respectable job at mixing up smoothies, which accounts for 30% of the total score. We made a green smoothie, a berry smoothie, a fruit & oat smoothie, and an Oreo malt in each blender, grading the texture and taste of each beverage produced.
Per the manufacturer's instructions, we used the "Smoothie" preset for the green, berry, and fruit & oat smoothie and then the "Ice Cream" setting for the Oreo malt. The green smoothie came out quite well, liquefying the ingredients much more than some other blenders.
It only left a few residual pieces of greenery unblended, but overall we felt that the texture of the smoothie was just a little too watery, failing to match the velvety-smooth texture of the top products.
The berry smoothie turned out similarly, with the Blendtec only failing to blend a small chunk of fruit and seed. This blender doesn't really obliterate the seeds, and the finished drink was slightly seedy if we drank it unsifted, though overall it still created one of the better smoothies of the test group.
The quality dropped a little with the fruit and oat smoothie — it didn't struggle with the thicker smoothie, but it left some unblended oats on the side of the pitcher. We also noticed that the Blendtec slightly heated up the smoothie, with the finished product being noticeably warmer than the beverages produced by other blenders.
The Blendtec finished out with an okay performance at making an Oreo malt, though it practically reduced the ice cream to milk if we ran it for too long. However, it totally obliterated all of the sandwich cookies.
Next, we moved on to our Ice metric, which constitutes 20% of the overall score for each appliance. This metric is composed of two tests: crushing ice and mixing up a frozen margarita. The Blendtec scored close to the top of the group here.
The Blendtec crushes it at crushing ice, obliterating most of the ice cubes without struggling. However, they bounced around a bit at the start, and there were a few larger chunks wedged under the blades that evaded being crushed.
The Blendtec Designer delivered another admirable performance in our margarita challenge. We used the recommended "Ice Crush" setting, which ran for about 35 seconds, and produced a decently well-blended margarita. The ice was evenly crushed, but the finished drink just wasn't quite as smooth as some of the other products, with the average size of the crushed ice being a bit larger.
For this group of tests, we rated and judged how easy it is to actually use each blender, scoring them on everything from their preset functions to how easy they are to clean. The Blendtec did quite well. Altogether, the tests in this metric account for 20% of the total score — identical to our Ice metric.
We started by looking at the different preset functions on each product and how clearly they are labeled. This blender has six presets: batters, ice crush, smoothie, ice cream, whole juice, and soups, which are each identified by a different icon. The icons are quite intuitive, showing a whisk for batters or a margarita glass for crushing ice, but the EKG symbol for pulse can throw you off at first.
It has a digital timer that will count down when using the presets and count up when using the manual mode. The Blendtec is also one of the easiest products to clean, with the pitcher being by far the easiest to clean thoroughly without getting cut.
However, the inner lid felt a bit flimsy. Conveniently, you can also place the pitcher back on the base to dry, as there is still a decent amount of ventilation. Unfortunately, the lid and blades are not listed as being dishwasher-safe. The pitcher is labeled as being fine for the top shelf only.
It also is very easy to remove the lid, though it can take a small amount of extra attention to get it properly aligned and seated when putting it on.
We also tested each product by making nut butter and tomato soup in each blender, as well as determining if it could actually heat up a soup. This trio of tests is responsible for 15% of the overall score, with the Blendtec performing admirably.
This blender did a good job at making extremely creamy almond and peanut butter, only taking about 5 minutes. It was somewhat grainy, but the Blendtec's motor didn't show any signs of a struggle at all.
The Blendtec continued its strong showing in our pureeing test, creating a decently thick tomato soup that was very well mixed.
It didn't do amazing at heating it, though. Even after we ran the "Soup" cycle multiple times, the soup's temperate only reached around 130°F, rather than the piping hot 150°F the best blenders could achieve.
For the final 15% of the total score, we tested out how well the Blendtec did at milling corn kernels, grating parmesan cheese, and making powdered sugar. The Blendtec Designer delivered another solid performance, earning a 7 out of 10.
This appliance made very soft powdered sugar, with no visible granules remaining, but about a tablespoon got caught up on the top of the lid. It struggled a little more with the parmesan cheese. It has plenty of power to grate it, but there were more larger chunks left over than other models had.
It redeemed itself a bit at milling corn flour, with over 95% of the finished product easily passing through a sieve, with only a few larger popcorn pieces.
Should You Buy the Blendtec Designer 650?
Overall, we didn't really find any major flaws with the Blendtec, but we think you should buy the best if you're going to spend this much money on a new blender.
What Other Blenders Should You Consider?
If you've got this kind of money to drop on a blender, we recommend the Vitamix models, specifically the top-performing Vitamix A2500 Ascent Series. The Cuisinart Hurricane Pro is another blender worthy of your hard-earned money and also landed at the top of the heap. If you need something a little bit easier on your bank account, check out the NutriBullet Blender, which still bested the Blendtec in overall score, but costs significantly less. It beat the Blendtec in all metrics except Convenience and Grinding, where it fell just slightly behind.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.Learn More