What We Like
Includes three blender cup sizes
Not too loud
What We Don't Like
Blender cups are small and narrow
Blender cups lack measurements
Plastic parts feel cheap and breakable
If you’re craving fresh, nutrient-packed smoothies, but can’t make space for a standard countertop blender, a personal blender like the Magic Bullet may hold a certain level of appeal. For years, the Magic Bullet has been marketed as an all-in-one, multifunctional kitchen appliance that can perform an array of cooking tasks like blending, chopping, mixing, and whipping—and in a small, space-saving package to boot. But how well does it really perform those tasks? Testing speed, capacity, texture, and consistency, we blended up several batches of smoothies and dips to see if the Magic Bullet is worth the purchase. Read on for our verdict.
Performance: Effective for the most part
The Magic Bullet is a breeze to set up. It comes with several different blender cups and lids for sealing and storing. To get started, select a cup, toss in your ingredients, and screw on the blade attachment. There are no buttons, switches, or speed settings involved in operation. The blender cups sit on top of the base and the motor is activated when you press down on top of the cup. We were pleased to learn it takes a light and touch and very little pressure to start the blender. Even better: the Magic Bullet features an easy-to-engage locking feature for hands-free blending.
The Magic Bullet does its best work with smoothies, protein powders, and other non-frozen drinks.
Our smoothies weren’t as plentiful or smooth as we normally prefer, but we were impressed with how fast the Magic Bullet worked. The manufacturer claims it can do any job in 10 seconds or less—but that’s a bit of an exaggeration.
The Magic Bullet does its best work with smoothies, protein powders, and other non-frozen ingredients. It offers enough power to quickly blend most soft fruits, like bananas and berries, and did a decent job blending leafy greens like spinach. The Magic Bullet thoroughly blended our smoothie ingredients, but the texture wasn’t as smooth as we would have liked. Our smoothies had visible specks and some small, chewable pieces of fruits and veggies. Berry seeds were not pulverized, either. This isn’t a big deal if you don’t mind a little grit, but there are other blenders that can better produce velvety smoothies.
The other issue we came across was the blender’s limited capacity. You just can’t fit that much in the cups—which is a con for anyone who enjoys produce-packed smoothies. The more liquid you use, the easier your drink will blend. Of course, this also means you’ll have less room for fruits and greens. We were only able to fit about five strawberries and a very small handful of spinach before we felt like we were overfilling the 18-ounce blender cup. It’s best to underfill—just slightly—so liquid doesn’t leak into the motor and cause damage.
Another issue: the Magic Bullet doesn’t handle ice well. In our test, a half-cup of ice cubes were partially crushed, but mostly left intact and spinning around the cup. Again, not ideal if you use a lot of ice in your beverages or are expecting to whip up frozen cocktails with even consistency. Frozen ingredients, like fruit, blended easier, but mostly when left to thaw a few minutes at room temperature beforehand.
The manufacturer claims it can do any job in 10 seconds or less—but that’s a bit of an exaggeration.
We also made a few batches of salsa, hummus, and chia pudding to see how the blender handled other recipes. These thicker, lower-liquid recipes took longer to process because we had to keep stopping the blender to remove the cup and give it a shake to help push ingredients toward the blade. The same thing happened when we attempted to chop and mince onions and garlic. Call us old fashioned, but we found it much easier to produce uniform cuts with a good cutting board and quality chef’s knife.
Design: Functional, but not the prettiest
The design of the Magic Bullet is pretty simple. The blender base is seriously small, making it easy to store in a cabinet or deep kitchen drawer. If you do choose to leave it on the counter, it takes up minimal space. As for aesthetics, it’s pretty basic. The blender base is made of black and silver plastic; a brand logo is printed on the front and a list of safety precautions is printed on the back.
Magic Bullet says the blender cups are made of “high-impact plastic.” We thought the cups felt thin and cheap, though, especially compared to other blender cups we’ve used. The construction of both the plastic storage lids and flip-top lids also left much to be desired. There’s no measurement markings on the cups, so you’ll have to eyeball quantities or use separate measuring cups which means more to clean.
We were only able to fit about five strawberries and a very small handful of spinach before we felt like we were overfilling the 18-ounce blender cup.
The screw on/off threads are located on the outer rim of the blender cups, which means you feel them against your mouth when drinking straight out of the cups. Magic Bullet counters this design flaw by including two “comfort lip rings” in the box, but they’re just another part to wash and store. If you’re trying to get out the door fast with a smoothie in hand, it’s an added step to remember to grab a ring in addition to a lid, since you can’t fit both onto a cup at the same time.
Cleaning: Easy when you work fast
The Magic Bullet is pretty simple to clean. Cups and lids are listed as top-rack dishwasher safe. We found rinsing the cups and blade attachment with warm, soapy water immediately after use was the best method, though. If you’re also a fan of washing plastic parts by hand, it’s worth noting the Magic Bullet’s blender cups are somewhat narrow and a little harder to reach into with a sponge. A sponge brush with handle should solve this, though. Alternatively, you can fill the cups with a drop of soap and water, reattach the blade, and return to the blender base for a quick spin.
If you’re taking the cups on the go, we’d recommend rinsing as soon as you’re finished drinking to prevent food residue from drying inside the cup.
Price: Affordable entry level option
Priced at $40, the Magic Bullet is one of the more affordable options in the personal blender category. A variety of accessories, including additional blender cups and a blade designed to better handle ice, are also available for separate purchase.
MagicBullet vs. NutriNinja
How does the Magic Bullet perform compared to the NutriNinja? Quite well, it turns out.
The Ninja brand is known for their line of expensive, high-speed blenders. Their version of a personal blender—the Nutri Ninja—is priced around $60, which is a bit more expensive than the Magic Bullet, but it has a larger, more-powerful 900-watt motor compared to Magic Bullet’s 250-watt motor. Despite the difference in power, we found both blenders processed most recipes in a similar amount of time. Recipes with less liquid, like hummus, do take a little longer in the Magic Bullet, but we’re talking about a matter of seconds, not minutes.
The Nutri Ninja comes with two plastic blender cups. The most notable differences in the blender cups are the size and durability. The Nutri Ninja’s cups are 18 ounces and 24 ounces versus Magic Bullet’s 12-ounce short cup, 18-ounce tall cup, and mug. The Ninja’s cups are made of a thicker plastic, which feels more solid and durable. The Ninja also includes two flip lids, whereas the Bullet only includes one.
It’s a maybe, depending on your blending needs.
The Magic Bullet isn’t going to replace your standard countertop blender or food processor any time soon, but it’s still pretty versatile. It does a fine job blending single-serve smoothies and offers enough capacity to make small batches of dips, dressings, and sauces. It’s quick and easy to use and very affordably priced at $40. The only catch? It doesn’t handle ice or frozen ingredients very well.
- Product Name Blender
- Product Brand Magic Bullet
- Price $39.99
- Weight 4.7 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 13.2 x 6.9 x 10.6 in.
- Material Plastic cups, stainless steel blade
- Wattage 250W
- What’s included Blender base, blade attachment, tall and short cups, mug, two comfort lip rings, two lids, one sip-and-seal lid, recipe book
- Warranty 1-year limited