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1 Jan 2020

Battle of the budget blenders: can the Kenwood Smoothie2Go compete with newer rivals?

It's not all about the Nutribullet - we've tested cheap and compact blenders perfect for people tight on space (or cash), but which mini blender is the mightiest?

The mini blender craze may have really kicked off with the Nutribullet, but Kenwood's Smoothie2Go blender was one of the first to popularize the idea of a compact blender with portable drinking mugs.

Now of course it has plenty of rivals, so we thought it was about time we retested it to see if it can compete with similar cheap mini blenders from the likes of Argos, Lakeland and Tefal.

Some of these mini models aced our tests, earning themselves a Best Buy seal of approval for their smooth blends. Others were more mediocre.

Read on to find out more about the new breed of mini blenders, and why a bigger blender might be better for you.

Alternatively, head straight to our blender reviews to see the latest reviews fresh from the fruit stand.

Kenwood Smoothie2Go vs newer rivals

For just £32, the Kenwood Smoothie2Go comes with two blending cups and 'on-the-go' drinking lids to convert the blending cup into a travel mug.

This isn't bad when you consider an entry-level Nutribullet will usually cost £40-£60 and has similar accessories.

However, some newer rivals have extra features, even at this price:

  • Lakeland Personal Blender and Smoothie Maker (£40) One of the smallest blenders we've ever tested at just 12cm by 12cm. It comes with both a glass blending jug and a personal blending cup to take on-the-go. Plus it's got the Quiet Mark logo, so it should be less noisy than most.
  • Cookworks Vacuum Nutritional Blender (£30) Also teeny, but comes with three different blending cups and a manual vacuum pump. With this you can suck the air out of your smoothie creations before blending, which should make for a smoother, bubble-free blend that will separate less over time.

Are these extras a gimmick or genuinely useful? See our blender reviews to see how they compare in our independent tests, along with a number of other cheap mini blenders from brands such as Asda, Breville and Tefal.

Which mini blender is best for you?

While we test every blender against some of the toughest ingredients out there (ginger, spinach, frozen berries, nuts and ice), what's best for you won't be best for everyone.

Here are some of the key things to consider when choosing:

  • Is it dishwasher safe? A narrow bottle or tricky-to-reach blades can make for nightmare washing up. Look for a model with dishwasher-safe parts and removable blades to make life easier.
  • Blending settings The more speed settings a blender has, the more flexibility you'll get over what you can make. If you want to make a range of purees, look for one with a higher number of speed settings. Pre-set programs can help to take the guesswork out of common jobs such as whipping up a smoothie or dip.
  • What's the maximum run time?Sometimes cheaper blenders will have a shorter runtime - this can be 60 seconds or less - after which you'll need to rest the motor. Consider if you need longer than this - for homemade nut butters, mayo and dips, for example. We now record this in the 'tech specs' tab of every blender review.

Top five best mini blenders of 2020 - see our top picks for every budget

Would a bigger blender suit you better?

Mini blenders are convenient for quick morning smoothies, but a bigger blender might be more suited to you.

One of the pros of a big blender is just how much you can make in it, with some it's more than two litres in one go.

This is ideal for bigger batches of smoothies, as well as making lots of soup, dip or puree at once.

If you like a homemade cocktail or shake, bigger blenders can crush more ice in one go.

We've just retested the classic Magimix Le Blender alongside newer big blenders such as the AEG Gourmet 7 Compact Jug Blender.

Make sure you check how much space you have in kitchen cupboards, though. We've seen blenders that are 55cm tall, which could be a squeeze.

Still not sure what you're looking for? Read our guide on how to buy the best blender.