This KitchenAid blender makes me wonder why I spent so much on a Vitamix — it works just as well and is half the price

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  • A high-quality blender has a powerful motor, features a durable jar, and is easy to clean.
  • I like the KitchenAid K400 5-Speed Blender for its 1.5-horsepower motor and helpful presets.
  • The blender makes smoothies and crushes ice as well as models that cost three times as much.

That said, I found the KitchenAid K400 Blender provides an impressive balance of performance and value. At $200, it’s not a trivial purchase for most consumers, but it does as good of a job at common blending tasks as some of the bigger names, like Vitamix (a blender I also own and used as a point of comparison). Here are my experiences with the KitchenAid K400 Blender.

Design and specs

What sets the KitchenAid K400 Blender (Model Number KSB4027BM) apart and warrants the $200 price tag is its heavy-duty 1.5-horsepower (1200-watt) motor. The blender has five speed settings plus four presets for blending icy drinks, smoothies, crushing ice, and cleaning. There’s also a pulse function and a start/stop button.

The 56-ounce plastic jar is square-shaped with a curved bottom. Four asymmetric blades at the bottom of the jar help produce an even blend by pulling the contents down into a vortex.

The lid is also made of hard plastic with softer rubber around edges to form a tight seal. An center hole in the lid allows you to add ingredients while the blender is running without making a mess.

The KitchenAid K400 Blender is backed by a five-year warranty that covers full replacement of the unit, replacement parts, and repair labor costs. The warranty does not cover shipping and handling associated with fixing or replacing your blender.

Setup process

Setup is a snap: take the blender out of the box, clean the jar and lid before using, plop the jar on the base, plug it in, and you’re good to go.

Operation is just as straightforward with the blender’s simple dial and start/stop button. To make my first concoction, I added the ingredients to the jar, closed the lid, turned the control dial, and pressed the start/stop button. Within 10 minutes of opening the box, I had a fresh smoothie in my hand.

What makes the blender stand out

I most appreciate the KitchenAid blender’s presets. You just turn the dial to the preset you want and the blender does its thing. This is particularly useful when crushing ice for drinks or snow cones. The appliance automatically pulses the ice — a must for a more uniform consistency. After putting a tray of ice cubes through the ice crushing preset, there were only a few chunks. The rest was more of a slush ideal for summer treats.

Any blender needs to be able to make top-notch smoothies. Most blenders won’t pulverize berry seeds or tough, leafy greens, and you end up with them stuck in your teeth or throat. So, I made a kale, strawberry, frozen banana, and almond milk smoothie in the KitchenAid blender. The resulting beverage was as smooth as can be. There were no unpleasant bits of strawberry seeds or kale pieces to deal with. 

I also like to see how well blenders can make nut butters. I tossed raw peanuts into the jar and ran the blender on high. The K400 did a pretty good job of making a slightly-chunky peanut butter. The chunks were much finer than store-bought chunky peanut butter, but not quite as smooth as peanut butter made in my Vitamix.

Fortunately, cleaning the jar of the KitchenAid K400 blender is easy. I just rinsed it out, added a drop of dish soap, filled the jar about a quarter of the way with warm water, and ran it on the cleaning preset. 

Cons to consider

While testing this blender, nothing negative jumped out at me. I found it mildly annoying that the K400 automatically shuts off after running for three minutes. While making mayonnaise — a process that requires adding olive oil slowly while the unit runs at high speed — I grew concerned when the blending stopped. But, the blender just timed out. I pressed the start button, and it was back at it.

The bottom line

Overall, the KitchenAid K400 Blender is a workhorse. I tested it for 100 days, and there were no hiccups in its performance. It tackled all of the blending tasks I gave it and was easy to clean afterward. It’s a great mid-priced blender that offers a balance of affordability and performance.

What are your alternatives?

When I’m not testing blenders, I mainly use the Vitamix A3500, which is the best blender I’ve ever used and costs about three times as much as the KitchenAid K400. The A3500 has smart connectivity, a 2.2-horsepower motor, and is backed by a 10-year full warranty. That said, the K400 does a comparable job at basic tasks like crushing ice and making smoothies. 

For other blender options, check out our guide to the best blenders.

Should you buy it?

The KitchenAid is a very powerful blender for the price. That said, many users may not necessarily need a blender this powerful. If you mainly need a unit for combining simple ingredients, such as milk, bananas, and protein powders, save your money and choose a more affordable option.

However, if you want more out of your blender and can’t afford or don’t need a big-name Vitamix, the Kitchen K400 is for you. For most tasks, such as making truly-smooth smoothies, nut butters, crushed ice, icy drinks, and mixing thicker items, this blender will get the job done. Yet, if you plan on putting your blender through tougher tasks, such as kneading doughs, or if you want to heat soups as you blend them, you’ll need to spend more money on a fancier model.

Pros: Pulverizes berry seeds and leafy greens, crushes ice, four presets, 1.5-horsepower motor, five-year full warranty, great for nut butters, easy to clean

Cons: Only five motor speeds, automatically turns off after three minutes of operation

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