There are not too many differences between a smoothie blender (or maker) and a traditional blender, however, there are some. This article will help you discern the differences between a smoothie maker and a blender.
This may be one of the main differences between a blender and a smoothie maker. Depending on the style of blender you purchase (as well as attachments) you are looking at paying anywhere between $10.00 and over $100.00. A smoothie maker, thanks to its specialized use, typically begins at $29.99 retail value at your large department stores. Certain smoothie makers can top out at well over $1,000.00 depending on the brand and use.
The main feature that a smoothie maker has over a standard blender is its ability to crush ice. Even though you can put ice in a blender and hit the "crush" function key you will not get ice crushed enough to make a smooth smoothie. A smoothie maker can also liquefy fruit instead of just breaking it down to smaller chunks as a blender does. You can add liquid to a blender to aid the process but it still does not fully liquefy all the fruit. There are blenders you can buy with an ice crushing attachment that will help liquefy more but not typically to the consistency of the smoothie maker.
Everyone knows that a blender and smoothie maker look like. They're slightly different in appearance but the exterior of the smoothie maker has a function. A blender has a glass or plastic jar that sits atop a base. The blade is inside the jar attached by a plastic cap. Turning the blender on causes the blade to whirl at different speeds depending on your selection. A smoothie maker is very similar in design but it has more components that help it do its job better. All the normal parts of a blender are there from the cup to the blade. Some smoothie makers might, however, have a spigot. This spigot is used to dispense the smoothie you just made. There is also a stirring stick in the lid to stir the jar contents around so that they can blend properly.
One thing that the smoothie maker has over the blender is the ability to make and keep frozen drinks. You can use ice in your blender but it will eventually melt and possibly separate. The smoothie maker, depending on which one you buy, has a freezing capacity in the base.
A Final Word
A blender can make a smoothie but just not as effectively as a smoothie maker. You can turn the blender off and use a wooden spoon to stir the ingredients. This way you get the same end result as you would with the stirrer from the smoothie maker. Instead of having a spigot you have to pour it out of the glass cup. If you do not mind small chunks of fruit in your drink then a blender would work just as well.