Should You Buy a Blender or a Stick Blender? We Can Help You Decide!

(Image credit: From Left to Right: j.chizhe/Shutterstock; Luna Vandoorne/Shutterstock)

In life, there are “stick people” and “jar people.” And people who are both! We’re talking about blenders here. See, a stick blender is very different from a traditional blender with a jar or pitcher. Some home cooks can get by with just one or the other, while super serious smoothie- and soup-makers will say they need both.

Of course, there are pros and cons to each type of blender — here they are!

(Image credit: Kristin Appenbrink)

Stick Blender


  • You can use it to purée veggies into a soup right in the pot, and you eliminate that messy business of ladling stuff into a blender in batches, then pouring each batch into a bowl before you return the puréed soup to the pot for heating.
  • You can operate it in a to-go mug to whip up a quick smoothie.
  • There’s just one part to clean up: the blending wand. And if it’s dishwasher-safe, it won’t take up a ton of space in the rack.
  • It won’t eat up countertop or cabinet real estate. It may even fit in a drawer.


  • You have to hold it while it operates so you can’t walk away to stir a pot or answer the phone.
  • It can’t churn out frozen margaritas.

2 Stick Blenders We Love

When shopping for a stick blender, we suggest looking for one that’s not too heavy and is comfortable to hold. And, ideally, a wand that’s dishwasher-safe.

(Image credit: Emily Han)

Jar Blender


  • Operation is hands-free. You can grab something from the fridge while it whirs away.
  • Soups come out with a very smooth texture.
  • They’re party animals that can churn out big batches of smoothies as well as piña coladas and frozen lattes.


  • You have to disassemble a jar blender and wash a lot of parts. Not all models are dishwasher-safe. If you get one that is, it will likely take up a good amount of space on the racks and it might not come out perfectly clean after a cycle.
  • Whether you keep it out on the counter or stash it away, you’ll need to find a place for it.
  • Some models can cost as much as a monthly car payment.

2 Jar Blenders We Love

Look for one with a heavy base that will keep the blender from “walking” around the counter while it’s blending. And smooth controls that are easy to wipe clean (versus buttons that can harbor crud).

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