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KitchenAid K400 review

The KitchenAid K400 is a powerful blender that crushes ice easily and looks beautiful in any kitchen.

Image shows the KitchenAid K400.
(Image: © Mina Frost.)

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

The KitchenAid K400 has the stunning design and the performance punch we've come to expect from the brand. It's really effective to crush ice and make smoothies, but doesn't quite deliver on other tasks like sauce making and rough chopping. Overall, it's a fantastic blender - but it's just that, not a food processor.

Pros

  • +

    Beautiful design

  • +

    Crushes ice well

  • +

    Self-cleaning mode

Cons

  • -

    Very heavy

  • -

    Not as effective for sauces and chopping

  • -

    Expensive accessories

The KitchenAid K400 is a beautiful appliance with the classic retro KitchenAid design, and it's available in a beautiful range of colors. But it's not all about the looks - we tested this blender to reach the conclusion that it does deserve a place on our list of the best blenders (opens in new tab) available out there. 

We conducted extensive testing to review all of this blender's specs, how it performed on a variety of tasks, and how easy it was to use and maintain. Read on to find out if the K400 is the right blender for you, or if you might be better off spending your money elsewhere. 

The KitchenAid K400 packs an impressive punch and can prepare a completely smooth drink in under a minute, including a smoothie with frozen fruits or a drink with crushed ice. Its blending jar can hold a massive 1.4L of liquids, which is great if you want to make something for a family. However, we found that the food processing abilities of the K400 were a tad underwhelming. 

KitchenAid K400: Design

There's no doubt about it, KitchenAid knows how to create beautiful kitchen appliances - and the K400 is no exception. It's got that signature bold color and simple design that we've come to know and love from KitchenAid. 

The blender is available in a variety of bright colors, from classic red, black, and silver to pistachio, lemon, and honey orange. We tested the K400 in KitchenAid's beautiful 2022 color of the year, Beetroot. It popped beautifully in our mostly-white kitchen, and just elevated the whole space. 

On the base, there is a large silver dial with the different blending modes you can set the appliance to. You can change between the modes by adjusting to where the dial is pointing, and pressing the little "on" button to the right-hand side of it. The images around the dial illustrating each setting are quite small and could be hard to read for some. Additionally, the "on" button lights up ever so sligthly when the blender is ready to go, but we found it hard to tell when that was the case.

Image shows the KitchenAid K400.

(Image credit: Mina Frost.)

Aside from the colorful block base of the blender, the design is really very simple. A 1.4L plastic jar (glass in the UK) slots neatly onto the base without having to turn and click it into place, and a plastic black plastic lid fits snugly onto the jar to avoid any spillage. You can remove a small part of the plastic lid by twisting it, which opens up a space to top up your preparation with more ingredients as you blend. 

The jar has a slight spout on one side for easy pouring of your preparations, which is handy if you want to avoid mess. It is also adorned with measurements on two of its sides: one side in liters, the other in fluid ounces. 

Attached to the bottom of the jar is KitchenAid's proprietary asymmetric stainless steel blade, which although helps with the blending, makes cleaning quite difficult. Good luck getting rid of a piece of food lodged below the blades, or some of the thicker food residues you might make in your blender.

The high-quality materials and powerful motor do mean that this is a heavy appliance, clocking in at 14.6 lbs. It's definitely not an appliance to take on the go or one you'll want to have to move on a regular basis, so unless you have a spot for it on your counter, you'll want to avoid this.

Image shows the KitchenAid K400.

(Image credit: Mina Frost.)

KitchenAid K400: Features

As well as the standard "pulse" button, the KitchenAid K400 has five blending speeds, and three preset blending modes: ice crush, icy drinks, and smoothie, plus a self-cleaning mode. All of the speed settings and the preset modes start very gradually, which is nicer on your ears but also produces a smoother result faster. 

The blender comes with the base and a jug, which is made of glass in the UK and plastic in the US and Australia. There are other accessories available that work with the K400 such as a small jug and tamper, but they all come at an extra price. If you're after an all-inclusive package or a blender with more accessories, this blender might not be the best option for you. 

We like that the jar's lid is completely airtight, which means there was no spillage at all during our various tests. Additionally, the measurements help if you're making something like pancake batter or dividing out a smoothie between several people.

KitchenAid K400: Setup

The KitchenAid K400 comes in a large cardboard box (recyclable), padded with some cardboard and some polystyrene (not recyclable). It's quite heavy to carry, so depending on your lifting abilities, you might need to enlist some help.

This blender gets full marks for setup: it takes no time at all to get the appliance going. It comes with an instruction manual and a card outlining the main features including the different blending modes, which is really all you need to get started. Apart from its weight, assembly only requires setting the blender body near a plug, slotting the jug on the base, and the lid onto the jug. 

Image shows the KitchenAid K400.

(Image credit: Mina Frost.)

KitchenAid K400: Performance

We put the KitchenAid K400 through its paces to review its performance. We tested the whole range of its functions and made some smoothies, crushed some ice, made some peanut butter and some pesto. 

This blender is definitely the most efficient we've tested at making smoothies. It delivered a completely smooth mixture from frozen fruits and milk in about 45 seconds using the "smoothie" blending mode. We've been using it every day for about three weeks now, and it still performs just as well. The other impressive feature is ice crushing, which again takes a matter of seconds. It makes a racket, sure, but you get perfectly crushed ice to make slushies and cocktails with no effort at all. 

Image shows the KitchenAid K400.

(Image credit: Mina Frost.)

We have to confess the difference between the three preset modes felt quite minimal to us. They all start slow and gradually increase, pulsing in small bursts and then very fast continuously. The crushed ice mode did leave some small chips while the smoothie one delivered a smooth thick juice, however, so the modes do what it says on the tin.

Another thing to note is just how loud the preset modes get - once they're in full swing, it's almost overwhelming how loud and intense the blending is, especially with ice. Our decibel counter clocked in at 85 decibels at the most intense stage of the blending, which is just too loud to stay next to while you are blending.

Image shows the KitchenAid K400.

(Image credit: Mina Frost.)

Image shows the KitchenAid K400.

(Image credit: Mina Frost.)

While we established that the K400 is an amazing blender, we felt the performance in other food processing tasks was a bit underwhelming. KitchenAid says you can use this blender to make nut butters, soups and sauces, but we had some issues making pesto, for example. This may have been because we only had the large jar and no tamper accessory, but we found the blade struggled to efficiently break up solids. It kept throwing the food up to the side, which would then not slide back to the blade as there was not enough liquid. In a smaller blending container it might have worked, but we only had the large jar on hand. 

Our attempt at making a small amount to pesto yielded a chunkier sauce than we would've liked, even after a few minutes of blending, opening the blender, pushing the contents to the bottom so the blades could reach them, and repeating. The same happened with the nut butter - the blade didn't reach most of the peanuts so we had to keep pushing them down with a chopstick between pulsing. In the end though, we got a mostly smooth paste which we've been finding very tasty on some toast with our morning smoothies.

Image shows the KitchenAid K400.

(Image credit: Mina Frost.)

KitchenAid K400: Care

One cool feature of this blender is the self-cleaning mode, which in theory should be really practical. The manual says to fill the jar halfway with warm water and some dish soap before placing it on the stand and pressing to "on" button with the dial set to the cleaning mode. 

Again, we found that for smoothies, it worked a treat: as the mixture is quite liquid-y already, the warm soapy water and the high speed blending get rid of all the residue. However, for chunkier and stickier food stuffs like nut butter, we found that the self-cleaning mode wasn't that effective at all, and we had to thoroughly scrub the jar with dish soap and a cleaning sponge. The blade made it quite tricky to properly clean the bottom of the jar, as it's easy for bits of food to get stuck underneath it.

Image shows the KitchenAid K400.

(Image credit: Mina Frost)

Image shows the KitchenAid K400.

(Image credit: Mina Frost.)

KitchenAid K400: Price

The K400 is on the higher end of the price scale, clocking in at $299.99/£299 for the base and the large jar. Any accessories cost about $50 extra, so if you were hoping to get a smaller blending container and the tamper accessory, you'll have to shell out close to $400. 

KitchenAid K400: User reviews

The KitchenAid K400 scores an impressive 4.7 stars out of 5 on Amazon, out of 50 ratings. Users praised how easy the appliance is to use, as well as the power and the ease of cleaning it. However, some reviews criticized how loud it is when it blends, which we did note was true.

Should you buy the KitchenAid K400?

If you're after a large, powerful blender to make smoothies and drinks for your family, then this is a very safe bet. It's also a beautiful appliance that comes in a variety of colors, so it'll make a great statement in your kitchen. The KitchenAid K400 is a sturdy and reliable blender that creates smooth drinks from fruit and ice in no time. 

However, it's worth noting that this is quite a heavy and chunky product - if you have limited countertop space or just need a smaller blender, this will probably not suit you. Despite its claims and preset functions, it also doesn't quite hit the mark as a food processor, so if you were hoping to use your blender to make sauces and things like nut butters, the KitchenAid K400 might not be the best choice for you.

If this product isn't for you

If for whatever reason the KitchenAid K400 isn't for you, we've tested other blenders which might be more appropriate for your needs.

If you're on a budget, the Ninja Professional BL610 (opens in new tab) is a very powerful blender for about a third of the price of the K400. It only has three speed settings and no preset blending modes, but you get decent power and a large capacity for a very small price.

If you're short on space and want a smaller blender, the Nutri Ninja BL480D (opens in new tab) is much smaller countertop blender that comes with blending cups of different sizes. It's obviously not as powerful as the K400 and probably best for one or two people, but for it's very convenient and easy to clean.

Mina is the Reviews Editor at Top Ten Reviews. She works with section editors to create accurate, detailed and in-depth reviews to populate our buying guides. She has degrees in Linguistics and Investigative Reporting, and is also a freelance writer and editor. When she's not testing kit and agonizing over commas, Mina can be found reading, running, eating good food and drinking wine.