What We Like
Easy to set up and clean
Blender cups are durable and generously sized
Includes sip-and-seal lids for portability
What We Don't Like
Short 1-year warranty
Personal blenders, also known as bullet blenders, offer the same functionality as standard countertop blenders—just with space-saving convenience and portability in mind. Instead of a large pitcher, personal blenders get the job done with individual-sized blender cups so you can whip up a nutrient-packed smoothie and dash out of the house. Of course, their functionality doesn’t stop with drinks. Personal blenders are still powerful enough to chop, grind, and pulse a variety of recipes for dips, sauces, cocktails, and dressings.
The Nutri Ninja Pro Blender, a personal blender from SharkNinja, offers powerful performance and capacity in a compact size, ideal for tiny kitchens and dorm life. Priced around $60, it’s more affordable than its full-size Ninja cousins, but how does it perform? We tested a handful of blender-friendly recipes to find out.
Performance: Powerful and easy to use
This was our first time using a personal blender. As devoted everyday users of a high-speed standard blender, we were skeptical as to how the Nutri Ninja could possibly compare. We’ve heard stories of personal blenders leaking and lacking the necessary power to properly blend through frozen fruits and ice cubes, but the Nutri Ninja put those rumors to rest with the first smoothie we made.
First of all, it couldn’t be easier to use. The blade attachment screws on and off the blender cups just like a lid and there’s no switches or buttons involved in operation. We were surprised by how easy it is to attach the blender cups to the base and activate the motor when pressure is applied to the top of the cups.
We focused on testing recipes with differing amounts of liquid to see if there was any difference in how well the Nutri Ninja could liquify, blend, chop, and process. We used the blender to make fruit and vegetable smoothies, protein powder drinks, hummus, salsa, pudding, and even tried chopping veggies in it.
We found the Nutri Ninja performs at its best when liquids are involved. We wouldn’t recommend using it for chopping veggies as it tended to create uneven pieces. The manufacturer instructs to press down and blend in short intervals. We found most things were pretty thoroughly processed in 10 seconds or less. Since the Nutri Ninja has only one speed to work with, different jobs will take different amounts of time to process. That said, thicker recipes with minimal liquid, like hummus, took a little longer, but not by much. A cup of ice was crushed to fluffy snow-like consistency in under 10 seconds without any added liquid. That should give you an idea of how well the Nutri Ninja can handle frozen fruit for smoothies and desserts.
We found most things were pretty thoroughly processed in 10 seconds or less.
Although it’s fast, the Nutri Ninja doesn’t produce the smoothest blends in the world. Blending past the 30-second mark seemed to result in just stirring the ingredients rather than further chopping them, which may explain why the recipes we made with the Ninja seemed more textured compared to other personal blenders. This is great for, say, salsa, but less desirable for smoothies containing fibrous fruits or vegetables.
Don’t get us wrong, though—we’ve seen chunkier textured smoothies out of standard countertop blenders. As regular smoothie drinkers, we’re used to the super smooth consistency created by our high-end, high-speed blender, but the little extra grittiness in texture was drinkable and didn’t bother us too much. The ease of use, speed, and grab-and-go factor made up for it.
Don’t be fooled by marketing images that show the blender cups packed full to the brim with fruits, greens, and ice. Overfilling the cups will make blending more time-consuming. And, like with all blenders, if you don’t have the right ratio of liquid to frozen/solids, you’re going to end up with a thick puree that clogs the blade. When we packed the 24-ounce blender cup full of fruit and spinach for a smoothie, we had to remove the cup between pulses to give the ingredients a shake since they wanted to stay stuck at the top of the blender cup. The same went for thicker recipes like hummus.
Overall, the Nutri Ninja does an excellent job processing frozen berries, soft fruits, and leafy greens like spinach. We will note it didn’t handle berry seeds very well; not a dealbreaker, but strawberries and raspberries left behind crunchy seed bits in our smoothie. Luckily, powders—like ground flax seed and whey protein—were easily incorporated into liquids without residue left behind.
Design: Simple and sturdy
Right out of the box, we were impressed with the size of the Nutri Ninja. It fit easily under our standard kitchen cabinets with plenty of room to spare. Its black and silver color scheme blended right in (no pun intended) with the other black and stainless steel appliances in our kitchen.
Included with the 900-watt blender base is a “Pro Extractor” blade attachment, two BPA-free blender cups in 18- and 24-ounce sizes, two sip-and-seal lids, and a full-color cookbook with 75 Nutri Ninja compatible recipes. We enjoyed flipping through the recipe book. It’s sure to give you ideas and inspiration for blendable recipes besides drinks and smoothies.
The Nutri Ninja does an excellent job processing frozen berries, soft fruits, and leafy greens like spinach.
The blender base is somewhat heavy and bulky, so that’s something to consider if you’re planning to have your personal blender accompany you on travel. It also has rubber grips on the bottom that keep things sturdy while in use.
The blender cups and sip-and-seal lids feel durable and are comfortable to hold and drink from. The grooves on the lid are located on the inner rim, so they don’t get in the way when drinking straight from the blender cup. The wide mouth of the cups also make pouring liquids and tossing solid ingredients in easier and mess-free. Additional blender cups and lids are available for separate purchase if you want extras.
Cleaning: Pretty effortless
We found the wide mouth of the Nutri Ninja blender cups made them easy to wash by hand with a sponge and dish soap. The blade attachment also rinsed quickly, as long as you wash immediately after use and don’t allow food residue to dry on it. You might want to use a brush (not included) to reach crevices and keep fingers away from the blade while cleaning.
After working with pungent foods like onion and garlic cloves, we noticed an obvious odor was left behind in the plastic blender cups. For these smellier jobs, we filled the blender cups with warm water and a drop of dish soap and returned them to the blender for a quick pulse before hand washing them like usual. That seemed to take care of the odor, but if it doesn’t, adding a bit of baking soda or lemon juice may also do the trick.
The manufacturer lists the blender cups, lids, and blade attachments as top-rack dishwasher safe. But—we’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again—when plastic parts are involved, we prefer to wash by hand to help prolong the life and integrity of the plastic.
Price: Seems about average
The SharkNinja line of products tend to be on the pricey end, but the Nutri Ninja Pro Blender is one of their most affordable kitchen appliances. Priced around $60, the cost is comparable to other best-selling bullet blenders. You can find personal blenders ranging anywhere from $30 to $80, so the Nutri Ninja falls in the middle of the pack. Not too bad considering the set comes with two sturdy to-go cups and two lids.
Nutri Ninja Pro Blender vs. MagicBullet
Priced around $40, the MagicBullet is one of the most affordable personal blenders on the market. It’s also one of the most well-recognized thanks to infomercial marketing and widespread availability in many retail locations.
The operation of both blenders is similar, with one exception: the MagicBullet has a turn and lock feature that allows the blending cup to be locked into the motor base for hands-free blending. It’s a good feature for making recipes that need to be well processed, like blended drinks and ground coffee beans, but not so desirable for chopping veggies or making chunky dips. The Nutri Ninja requires more pressure to operate, whereas the MagicBullet responds to gentle pressure to activate the motor.
At 250 watts, the motor on the MagicBullet seems considerably less powerful than the 900-watt Nutri Ninja. We found both blenders were capable of getting most jobs done, though. And in this case, the smaller motor resulted in less noise.
The MagicBullet is significantly smaller than the Nutri Ninja, making it an even better choice for tiny kitchens and anyone who wants to travel with their blender. However, the smaller footprint means the blender cups for the MagicBullet are smaller, too. We’re big smoothie drinkers, so we preferred the larger 18- and 24-ounce capacity cups of the Nutri Ninja. The MagicBullet blender cups have a narrower mouth, making them a bit more difficult to fill and clean.
If you’re after an appliance that blends smoothies quickly in individual portable cups, either blender is a good option. The choice really comes down to the capacity that best meets your needs and design preferences.
Definitely buy it.
Whether you’re a smoothie veteran or new to the game, the Nutri Ninja Pro Blender offers plenty of power to quickly and easily blend whatever drinks, dips, or dressings you can dream up. It’s affordable, easy to clean, and the blender cups offer plenty of capacity while still being comfortable to sip from.
- Product Name Nutri Ninja Pro Blender
- Product Brand SharkNinja
- MPN BL456
- Price $59.99
- Weight 7.65 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 6 x 6 x 14 in.
- Material BPA-free plastic blender cups and lids, stainless steel blade
- Capacity 18- and 24-oz blender cups
- Wattage 900W
- What’s Included Motor base, blade attachment, two blender cups, two sip-and-seal lids
- Warranty 1-year limited