Which blender for the job?
For crushing ice or frozen berries, a benchtop is the best bet. But a hand-held may do the trick if you're mainly pureeing soft foods or chopping vegetables.
With a hand-held you can put the blender directly into your soup pot and puree the cooked ingredients. If you go for a model with a processing attachment you can also chop, grind and process hard foods – great for making curry pastes and chopping nuts.
The best benchtop blenders in our test could easily crush ice (but not all could do this satisfactorily). And all the benchtop blenders did an excellent job of pureeing soup – although they're not as convenient as a hand-held: you need to wait until the soup has cooled before transferring it to the blender jug and then you have to put the soup back into the pot to reheat it.
The super blenders were excellent at making nut butter and sorbet but didn’t do a good job making dough. We think you’re better off making bread or pizza dough by hand or with a benchtop mixer.