A common staple that you’ll see in diners, cafes, restaurants, and even food trucks is a bar blender. These commercial-grade blenders serve as the best bar blenders as they are designed with more power, have a sturdier construction, and can handle larger workloads without overheating or damaging their motors.
As such, these models are expected to carry a higher price tag with them. Now, usually, a higher-priced blender doesn’t always mean a better blender, but it does typically mean a longer-lasting one. And that is something you need in a top-notch bar blender.
Being the heavy-duty models that bar blenders are, these machines do not have a small footprint. They are typically large and weighty units that don’t require any moving around and will occupy a permanent spot on the countertop.
And because bar blenders will be a substantial investment, you want to make sure that you get the right one for your business. So, here are my top three recommendations for blenders in this category.
Top Rated Bar Blenders Of 2020
|Best Overall||Vitamix 5200 C-Series Blender||view prices|
|Best Budget||Ninja BL642 Blender
Duo With Auto-iQ
|Blendtec Total Classic Blender||view prices|
Vitamix 5200 C-Series Blender: Best Overall
The Vitamix 5200 may have a hefty price tag, but it’s easy to see why. This seriously professional-looking blender with its multi-function capacity is all that you’ll need from a commercial-grade blender, and it ranks as the best bar blender.
Despite its commercial-grade quality, the Vitamix 5200 is simplicity personified. It comes with a basic control panel featuring an On/Off switch, a High/Variable switch, and a dial that gives you access to 10 incremental speeds. The RPM on this unit ranges between 500-37000 that covers everything from giving you full control over slower blends to high speeds that handle tougher tasks.
Concealing an immense 1,380 watts and 2HP of power within its base, this blender includes a 64-oz standard jar that is heat-resistant, BPA-free, and lightweight for easy handling yet tough to break. The heat-resistant features also make the container ideal for processing hot soup. You also get a tamper with the purchase that allows you to blend without hitting the blades.
The higher speeds on the Vitamix 5200 are used well for frozen drinks and hot soups alike, but it is the lower speeds that lend this machine a lot of its versatility. For instance, the lower variable speeds are great for everyday chopping and mixing needs. You can also equally well grind seeds, wheat, corn, and sugar to get your very own seed meal, fresh flour, cornmeal, and even powdered sugar.
The unit weighs a little over 10.5 pounds making it suitable for heavy-duty jobs as its size and weight keep it from moving around when in use.
Ninja BL642 Blender Duo With Auto-iQ: Budget Pick
Working as well as the more expensive models in the market, the Ninja BL642 is an impressively versatile machine that just about does everything that more expensive blenders do.
Commercial-Grade Power and Performance
This is a mega-machine with a commercial-grade 1500-watt motor able to crush ice, blitz frozen fruit, and prepare creamy cold drinks to perfection. Alongside its power, the BBL642 also comes with smart features that will select the best time, speed, and setting to tailor the blend to your needs.
The blender’s different operation modes offer timed pulses and intermittent pauses to take the guesswork out of blending. To keep things in check, there is a digital timer that displays the duration left in a cycle. But if you’d rather, you can also use the blender’s 3 manual speeds to blend at your own pace and preference.
Blending Jars and Blades
With this purchase, you get a mega blending jug measuring 72 oz and 3 personal pitcher cups. And just like the two types of containers for large and individual blending, you also get two blade types.
The first is the Total Crushing blade to be used with the XL 72-oz pitcher. Designed like a column with 3 pairs of protruding blades, this blade helps pulverize everything you put in the blending container. The personal pitcher cups are to be used with the Extractor blades where the blending action gets concentrated to the smaller volumes of the cups for a smoother consistency.
Overall, for its price, the BL642 is both powerful and robust which makes it a great value for the money.
Blendtec Total Classic Blender
The Blendtec Total Classic remains a well-loved blender with an impressively powerful motor and immense ease of use.
Ideal for Home and Professional Use
Easily usable in professional settings, this blender has the power to blend through everything from raw veggies to nuts and ice. It can even make hot soup from scratch in a matter of minutes to your favorite smoothie in 30 seconds. The countdown timer is an excellent feature to let you know how much time remains for your blend.
All this and much more is possible with the 1560-watt, 3HP motor that powers this piece. Ideal for making smoothies, even the green kind, the Total Classic yields drinks without grit or lumps. With its two-pronged stainless-steel blade spinning at 29000 RPM, frozen fruit and ice are not a problem for this blender.
Settings and Programs
You can choose from a range of settings and speeds including Batter, Ice Crush Smoothie, Whole Juice, and Hot Soup to get what you want. Or, go with its 10 manual speeds and Pulse button for some dedicated hands-on blending.
Simply push the Up or Down speed button to get the speed you want. Each speed works on a 50-second timer but pressing any other button will stop the cycle.
Just as using this unit is a cinch, so is its cleanup. Simply add in some water and liquid soap to the pitcher and pulse for a few seconds. Rinse with water and your pitcher is ready for its next use.
Best Bar Blender: A Complete Buying Guide
Your bar blender is likely to see a lot more use as compared to a home blender, so it becomes important to look at certain aspects of its blending performance. Common considerations you need to take into account include the type of blending you’ll be doing, the durability of the blender as well as its ability to handle 50+ uses without overheating or motor seize-up.
How to Choose a Bar Blender
With the number of choices that exist in the market, it can be difficult to choose a single bar blender. With new innovations and features coming out every day, it can be hard to find something that works for you. So, here are some features to look out for when choosing the best bar blender!
Power, Capacity, and Durability
Whether it’s personal use or commercial, the power and capacity of the bar blender is very important. You can’t have a blender that is too small and too weak, but at the same time, I wouldn’t recommend a commercial blender for a house bar. When picking out a bar blender, it is important to buy it from a trusted company that provides quality products.
Bar blenders, depending on the usage, may start to depreciate. For this reason, it is important to buy a bar blender that will endure heavy usage. Since these blenders are meant to be able to crush ice as well, it’s important to look into the quality of the blades and the material of the jars.
A bar blender, however durable, is not going to be of much use if it doesn’t have power. When looking for blenders, aim for something that is powerful. A powerful blender will reduce the time it takes to make drinks and is more efficient.
Like any other blender, a bar blender needs to be maintained properly as well! A blender that is too hard to clean or too difficult to store will be a hassle in the long term. Getting a blender that is big enough for your usage is an important step.
Warranty periods on the product are a great indicator of the quality of the product. A longer warranty period indicates not only a possible better quality but also the assurance of maintenance.
Bar blenders, like any other blender, is bound to make some noise. While some noise is inevitable, getting an extremely noisy blender is not worth it. A noisy blender does not equate to better performance but does result in a headache.
Reviews can tell you a lot about the noise that the best bar blender might create if you’re buying online. If you’re buying in-store, it’s worth asking about the noise before purchasing. This point especially holds true if you live in an apartment and don’t want to create a disturbance for neighbors.
Depending on the usage of the bar blender, you can decide what capacity and size you want your blender. Bar blenders are great for liquids of any kind and are used to make everything from margaritas to smoothies.
While this is advantageous, it’s important to understand how often you’re going to use your blender. Important factors when it comes to usage are related to how many people are going to be using the blender and how many times a day.
If the blender is going to be used very often, there’s no point in buying a large blender that will only take up space and collect dust.
Also, make sure to figure out what you’re going to be using it for. If you’re going to be using it more for smoothies rather than creamy soups, then you’re going to need different features.
The Right Jars
Whether it’s commercial or personal use, a bar blender needs high-quality jars. The jars are doing most of the work. The capacity can be customized thanks to them. This means that after excessive use, they do tend to fail, especially in a commercial setting.
When looking for the right jars, make sure you’re getting good quality. Look at the material, stainless steel is the easiest to clean, but polycarbonate is virtually unbreakable. If you’re just looking for a blender for personal use, you can even consider the glass jars, which work great when displayed.
The 3 Best Bar Blenders
- Vitamix 5200 Classic Blender – Best Overall. Check Latest Price
- Ninja BL642 Professional Countertop Blender – Budget Pick. Check Latest Price
- Blendtec TB-621-20 Total Classic Original Blender – Good Alternative. Check Latest Price
Advantages of a Quality Bar Blender
It’s a common misconception that bar blenders can only be used to make alcoholic drinks or mocktails. The best bar blenders are a lot more versatile. They can be used to make smoothies as well as creamy soups. They also help greatly with prep for cooking.
Bar blenders are a convenient quick way of getting quick prep done for a dinner party or your morning smoothie.
Unlike some ordinary blenders, bar blenders are completely hands-free. You can start them up and then leave them to do their work as you go about your other work. Whether its prep for a daiquiri or a smoothie, you don’t have to be worried about the appliance.
Depending on what you’re making, there are different controls and settings. There are different speed settings as well as controls. Depending on your usage, you can buy an electronic blender, a paddle blender, or a programmable blender. Most households would prefer a paddle blender, as they are easy-to-use, less expensive, and meant for low-volume work.
The pulse feature on bar blenders allows for crushed ice to be made and added to drinks. It is available in every bar blender and does not require any extra effort to work. Ice can be crushed plain or into a drink for convenience and efficiency.
Necessary Features in a Bar Blender
Here are some of the features that are essential when choosing the best bar blender.
Another consideration is capacity based on what your business demands. If your business requirements need you to prepare small servings at a time, then a blender with a powerful motor but a smaller blending jar between 32-48 oz will work well. However, if you need to prepare larger batches at one time then your choice of blending capacity can go up to between 80-90 oz.
Capacity is one of the most important features in a bar blender. Depending on the kind of usage, commercial, or home, you’ll need the right capacity. Commercial spaces will require larger blenders to keep up with the demand. For home use, a smaller blender will suffice and be easier to store.
When buying the right sized blender, it’s also important to understand how many people use it and how many times a day. Depending on this information, you can buy different sized jars and blenders of different capacities.
The power of your blender should complement the needs of your business. If you’re into preparing smoothies and shakes alone then you’ll need something that can work with frozen ingredients and ice better, than say, preparing thicker mixes or hot soups.
Typically, blenders that have up to 2HP are suitable for working with light foods while those above 2 HP are better suited to work through medium to thick food prep. But if you have to prepare heavy foods and frozen beverages all day long, then look for the top of the line 3HP and above blenders.
A more powerful blender is more efficient and does a better job. If you want to know how to read the power of your blender, just look for the horsepower. Standard blenders are enough to make things like smoothies and soup, but you’ll require a higher horsepower for ice-based drinks.
If you’re buying a blender to be used for ice-based or frozen ingredient-based drinks, then a blender with horsepower greater than two will be optimal.
If you’re buying a device, one of the first features to look for is a warranty. It’s the same when you’re looking for the best bar blender. If you’re going to be heavily using your bar blender, then it’s going to require maintenance that’s outside your skillset.
Look for a warranty that is for an extended period of time. Many companies offer a three-year warranty period but read the fine print. Many companies only offer one-year labor and parts and two years of covering parts only.
An NSF certification is a monogram that’ll you’ll see on commercial blenders. The sign means that the blender is up to standard quality. The standards these blenders have to meet are rigorous.
They are requirements for material safety, to make sure that there are no harmful chemicals leeching into the food. The design also needs to cleanable and unlikely to harbor bacteria and germs. Product performance is also held to a high standard.
A product like a bar blender that has such a powerful motor is bound to heat up. Excessive heat can damage the product, so internal cooling fans are a must. Especially for commercial use blender.
A lot of the noise produced by the blender can be linked back to the fan. They’re constantly spinning when the machine is in use to prevent the motor from overheating. So, having a fan that is just as powerful as the motor is a necessity.
Blenders are noisy, this is a fact. While some sound is unavoidable, having a constant loud noise can be uncomfortable and irritating to customers or guests. If you’re using the blender at home, then a really loud blender can even disturb neighbors.
Sound enclosures are meant to help keep the noise down. They are polycarbonate shields that surround the blenders. This shield reduces the noise produced but also might reduce the accessibility of the controls. I’d say a little inconvenience is okay if you’re preventing permanent ear damage.
Power is a good thing to have but it doesn’t necessarily make it better for your needs. Power needs to be paired with the right parts so that your machine can do its job right. The best bar blenders will feature durable parts such as all-metal drives, sturdy stainless-steel blades, and strong, impact-resistant blending containers.
Settings and Functions
Once again, this will depend on the type of business you run. Depending on what you need, you can opt for simple blenders with toggle switches that are easy to use but have limited functions. Or, you may look into models that have a wider array of dials, knobs, preset programs, and touchpads for more blending functions to choose from. In a commercial setting, blenders with automated settings are highly preferred as they let the blender do its job while you tend to other tasks.
Easy cleanup is a must for blenders that work long and hard all day. Look for a model that disassembles and reassembles easily for a thorough cleaning as per safety standards. Many models, like the Blendtec, come with a self-clean feature that ensures quick clean up so you can have your blender up and running again in no time.
Types of Bar Blenders
Just like other devices, there are different types of blenders you can buy and use. Depending on what you require and personal preferences, one might be more suited to your needs. To better explain, here are some types of bar blenders you might come across.
Depending on Usage
A commercial use blender isn’t the same as a personal use blender. Bar blenders that are meant for commercial use are usually bulkier, bigger, and more powerful. They’ve got a larger capacity and are more expensive.
Commercial bar blenders can be seen in restaurants that have a cocktail menu and a separate bar. They’ve got to be quieter but still work efficiently and quickly. You’ll also see lots of options on the control boards, and they’re easier to clean.
You can buy different bar blenders depending on the material they’re made off. Whether it’s stainless steel, glass or polycarbonate, they all have their own advantages and disadvantages. So, depending on whether you’re looking at aesthetics or maintenance, you can pick a certain material.
Best Bar Blender: Final Thoughts
There’s no denying that the Vitamix 5200 is a hefty investment but with all that it offers, it ranks as the best bar blender. It can easily help you whip up the smoothest of smoothies, perfectly blended ice-cold drinks, and even hot soup if that is something that your business demands.
The Ninja BL642 offers handy convenience as you’d need in a professional setting with its preprogrammed settings and hands-free blending options. The blender does all the work for you at a conveniently affordable price and offers the versatility of high-end blenders.
The Blendtec Total Classic is an excellent high-performance blender that stands out because of its extremely powerful motor that would be ideal for businesses. Equipped with both manual and pre-programmed options, the Total Classic offers a bit of everything to make life in the bar a bit easier.