If you’re tired of chopping ingredients by hand, what you need is one of the best food processors. A food processor essentially takes a lot of the effort out of food preparation. These appliances can slice, dice and grate all kinds of ingredients, achieving even and consistent results in a matter of seconds. And while prepping vegetables is what they’re renowned for, food processors are more versatile than meets the eye. They can also be used to grind meat, or even combine dough, so they come in use for all kinds of recipes.
The trouble is, the performance does vary between models. The best food processors will remain stable as they work, without making too much noise, while also providing adequate functions and control. And of course, everything they produce should be even and regular — no lumps or chunks in sight. But, how can you tell which food processors will tick every box? We’ve tested a range of models to help you out. We sliced potatoes and carrots, chopped onions and grated entire blocks of cheese to see which machines stood out above the rest. These are the best food processors.
The best food processors you can buy today
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Magimix produced the first domestic food processor in 1971, and it brings that same innovation and quality to the Magimix Food Processor 14 Cup model, the best food processor we tested. This food processor’s appeal is in its versatility. Its 14-cup capacity is capable of larger food preparation jobs, but the inclusion of additional 6-cup and 12-cup bowls allow for smaller food preparation, too. This food processor comes with a generous assortment of accessories, including two metal blades, a dough blade, two grating discs, two slicing discs, an egg whisk, and spatula, which fit easily into the compact storage box.
This food processor’s performance was impressive across every test. The extra-large feed tube was large enough to handle a whole russet potato, and its stainless steel blades made short work of potatoes and carrots. It pureed hummus into a soft, fine mixture, and the dough blade easily and thoroughly combined cookie dough. While this food processor’s motor was powerful, it was also quiet, registering just 79.2 dBA. If you’re looking to get the best food processor and you’re happy to pay for it, then this is the one. This processor is so good that it also took home the Tom's Guide 2022 Award for Best food processor.
Read our full Magimix Food Processor 14 Cup review.
The Hamilton Beach Bowl Scraper 10 Cup Food Processor is designed with convenience and your wallet in mind. Its scraping disc saves you the time of having to open the lid and manually scrape the sides when chopping foods or making dishes like guacamole. This machine also features an extra-large feed chute that was large enough to accommodate a whole potato and a block of cheese.
It was plenty powerful and easily pureed hummus — it was so strong, in fact, that it splattered the mixture all over the lid. That power chopped an entire onion in three seconds, and sliced a carrot in just four seconds. The machine also easily handled cookie dough, mixing it well and consistently.
Priced at just $54.99, this food processor offers excellent value and is a great choice if you’re looking for a machine for quick food prep tasks. It did register 93.9 dBA, making it one of the loudest machines we tested, however. It also only comes with a chopping blade and slicing disc, so its versatility is limited.
Read our full Hamilton Beach Bowl Scraper 10 Cup Food Processor review.
The Breville Sous Chef 12 Cup Food Processor only placed second because of its slightly less versatile design. It lacks the generous assortment of accessories of the Magimix Food Processor 14 Cup, and its 14-cup capacity limits its practicality for small jobs, like mincing herbs.
This food processor was overall one of the easiest machines to use. Helpful guides make it easy to align the bowl and lid, and one power setting makes for a simple, yet effective, performance. A built-in safety feature prevents it from operating until the bowl and lid are appropriately connected, and the buttons glow to alert you when it’s ready for use.
This machine powered through every test with ease, a testament to its 1,000-watt motor. The blade is adjustable with 24 settings available, allowing you to choose the precise slicing thickness that you need without ever having to physically touch the blade. Slicing through potato and carrot was easy and consistent. The machine also grated cheese well and consistently, and thoroughly, blended cookie dough.
While this food processor was powerful, it was also quiet, reaching only 81.9 dBA. It was also the only unit to come with a plastic sleeve for the blade, making for safer storage.
Read our full Breville Sous Chef 12 Cup Food Processor review.
The Cuisinart 14 Cup Custom Food Processor is one of the best food processors for bigger jobs. Its generous 14-cup capacity easily handles even large batches of cookie dough, which the machine’s powerful motor quickly and efficiently mixed with no strain or difficulty on test. This food processor easily chopped onions, pureed hummus, grated cheese, and sliced both potatoes and carrots. What’s more, it’s one of the few machines that handled all of those tests with a consistently impressive performance.
While this food processor is powerful, it’s also the quietest of all of the models we tested, registering just 65.2 dBA while in use. At 20 pounds, it’s heavy, but that weight also gives it stability while in use. Two large buttons make for an easy operation, and the bowl locks in at the front of the machine, ideal for both left-handed and right-handed operators.
Read our full Cuisinart 14 Cup Custom Food Processor review.
The KitchenAid 13 Cup Food Processor features a unique design that makes it easy to assemble. Rather than having to attach the bowl and then the lid, this food processor’s lid fits onto the bowl with a hinge, and then secures down with a lock. This means you can access the inside effortlessly. When it’s time to clean it, you can fully remove the lid for thorough washing. The bowl locks onto the base by just placing it down onto it — no twisting required.
The machine’s large capacity made it difficult to thoroughly mix dough and to puree hummus. However, it performed well when grating cheese, chopping onions, and slicing potatoes and carrots. It reached 82.3 dBA in use, making it a quieter choice than some other models, and comes with low, high, and pulse settings, which gives you more control over this unit than others. It’s not the best food processor if you regularly make small dishes, but a good model overall.
Read our full KitchenAid 13 Cup Food Processor review.
The GE 12 Cup Food Processor’s design makes it easy to both assemble and clean. The bowl is large and spacious, and because it doesn’t have the middle support that’s common in food processors, it’s much easier to clean. The components are also dishwasher safe, which will save you hands-on time at the sink. All of the parts fit together easily, and the overall design makes it intuitive to use.
This food processor performed well in most of our tests. It easily and consistently sliced through potato and carrot, though we did have to slice the potato in half to fit it in the relatively small feed chute. It chopped an onion well in 12 seconds, and the cookie dough was well-mixed. This food processor lacks a specific dough blade though, and the bowl is so large that it couldn’t effectively puree hummus. However, it’s a good choice for larger preparation jobs, and it’s easy to clean up, which is why it's one of the best food processors.
Read our full GE 12 Cup Food Processor review.
The Cuisinart Elemental 8 Cup Food Processor may be one of the more economical options we tested, but it put in a quality performance. Its smaller capacity allowed it to easily puree hummus, and it thoroughly mixed cookie dough. The two slicing and grating blades allow you to choose the thickness or width that’s right for your recipe, offering more versatility than the machines that only come with one disc. This machine easily sliced through potato and carrot. It also efficiently grated cheese, though some did get pushed up into the lid.
There are many positives to this machine’s design. The bowl locks with the handle in front, making it convenient for both left-handed and right-handed users. The feed chute is generously sized, and the entire machine weighs just six pounds, making it one of the lightest options available. It reached just 83.4 dBA, so it’s also one of the quieter machines we tested. However, it has a less powerful motor than larger models, so it may have more trouble with tougher recipes.
Read our full Cuisinart Elemental 8 Cup Food Processor review.
The Ninja Professional Food Processor is one of the more versatile models we tested. Its nine-cup capacity makes it suitable for most food prep, and it easily accommodates a batch of cookie dough. It includes many accessories, including a crinkle cut disc, grating disc, reversible slicing and shredding disc, chopping blade, dough blade, disc storage case, and a recipe booklet.
This machine performed well in our tests, mixing dough evenly and thoroughly, and easily slicing potatoes and carrots. It struggled a bit to smoothly puree hummus, particularly because its automatic shutoff wouldn’t allow it to run longer than approximately two minutes at a time. The same issue arose when mixing dough, but was less problematic because less runtime was required.
None of the machines we tested leaked, but the Ninja Professional Food Processor seemed to be specifically designed to prevent leaks. Its rubber gasket and locking mechanism creates a secure lid lock that easily snaps into place. It did register 93.8 dBA in use, making it one of the loudest machines we tested. While this machine may have some disadvantages, its versatility and overall performance still make it great value for money at under $100.
Read our full Ninja Professional Food Processor review.
The Hamilton Beach 12 Cup Stack and Snap Food Processor features an assembly that’s designed to be easy to connect and use. It even has a function guide right on the front that visually shows you which attachments to use for which job. While the snap-on lid is designed to be easy to use, we found it inconvenient and more time-consuming than your traditional twist-on lids. The bowl, however, is easy to align and definitely a time-saver compared to most other models.
This machine includes a dough blade, chopping blade, adjustable slicing disc, and reversible slicing and shredding disc. While those discs add versatility, the machine lacked consistency when slicing potatoes and carrots, leaving behind multiple large chunks. Lots of cheese was stuck on top of the blade after grating too. However, the machine did chop an onion well and mixed cookie dough thoroughly and evenly. While it’s not the right step-up if you’re looking to upgrade an existing food processor, it can offer good value and a user-friendly experience if you’re looking for the best food processor for a first-timer.
Read our full Hamilton Beach 12 Cup Stack and Snap Food Processor review.
At just over $30, the Black + Decker 8 Cup Food Processor is the most economical machine we tested, and its performance was consistent and versatile. It handled chopping an onion, grating cheese, and slicing a potato and carrot with ease and consistency. While it struggled to puree hummus to the point where it became smooth, it mixed cookie dough well and thoroughly.
This machine reached 91.5 dBA, which is louder than most of the other food processors we tested. It comes with limited attachments, including a reversible slicing and grating blade and a stainless steel chopping blade. The blade locks into place by twisting it, but it’s very difficult to unlock it, especially after making cookie dough. We found we had to rinse and partially wash the bowl with the blade intact before we could get enough grip to remove the blade, which is dangerous. This machine does have its downsides, but it’s an economical option suitable for lighter use or small-scale food preparation.
Read our full Black + Decker 8 Cup Food Processor review.
The Oster Total Prep 10 Cup Food Processor features a compact design and a lower-power motor, but it handled most of our tests well. This food processor offers two speeds — a slice/shred and mix/knead, as well as a chop/pulse option. It comes with a stainless-steel S-blade, a dough blade, and a reversible disc for slicing and shredding, making it suitable for most basic food preparation. Its smaller size contributed to its ability to easily mix cookie dough, and it also blended hummus well.
While the food processor performed well in most tests, when grating cheese some managed to get jammed into the handle of the bowl. There doesn’t appear to be a way to remove that food either. This food processor reached 93.4 dBA, making it one of the loudest models on test too. However, at just over $40, it does offer good value and might be the right choice if you’re looking for basic food prep.
Read our full Oster Total Prep 10 Cup Food Processor review.
How we tested the best food processors
We put a range of food processors through a variety of demanding tests to evaluate their overall performance, design and quality. To start, we sliced whole potatoes and carrots to assess the performance on hard everyday vegetables, and then we grated a ⅓-pound block of cheese, to see how consistently each grated and how much waste was left behind. We also chopped onions and pureed hummus, to assess the power, and then we mixed a batch of cookie dough in each food processor, which was one of the hardest tests because of its thick, sticky texture.
During each test, we looked for consistency, both in terms of chopping and slicing, and we wanted a thorough blend on the hummus and cookie dough tests. We monitored how easily each machine handled the ingredients, as well as the speed with which they completed the tests. We also made note of any difficulties that we faced.
Next, we filled up each food processor with water and ran it to test for leakage. None of the models we tested had any leaks, which is good news. We also assessed the noise of each while in operation with a sound reader. Finally, we evaluated any additional elements, like how easily the machines can be cleaned and the effectiveness of any accessories that contribute to their performance or versatility.
Food processor results
|Model||Noise (dB)||Row 0 - Cell 2|
|KitchenAid 13 Cup Food Processor||82.3||Row 1 - Cell 2|
|Cuisinart Elemental 8 Cup Food Processor||83.4||Row 2 - Cell 2|
|Cuisinart 14 Cup Custom Food Processor||65.2||Row 3 - Cell 2|
|Hamilton Beach 12 Cup Stack and Snap Food Processor||90.1||Row 4 - Cell 2|
|Breville Sous Chef 12 Cup Food Processor||81.9||Row 5 - Cell 2|
|Magimix Food Processor 14 Cup||79.2||Row 6 - Cell 2|
|Ninja Professional Food Processor||93.8||Row 7 - Cell 2|
|Black + Decker 8 Cup Food Processor||91.5||Row 8 - Cell 2|
|Oster Total Prep 10 Cup Food Processor||93.4||Row 9 - Cell 2|
|GE 12 Cup Food Processor||85||Row 10 - Cell 2|
|Hamilton Beach Bowl Scraper 10 Cup Food Processor - Black 70730||93.9||Row 11 - Cell 2|
What to look for when buying a food processor
What's the difference between a good food processor and a great one? A quality processor should be able to take on whole fruits and vegetables with ease, without much time expenditure in between items. It should be safe to use and easy to store. Before you pull the trigger on a purchase, here are some features to keep top of mind.
Budget: This is always a good place to start, but remember, it's a wide range. Expect to spend anywhere from $20 to $50 on the low end for simple chopping machines and $200 to $400 — and up — for professional-grade devices. You get what you pay for, and that's not always a bad thing.
Size and type: Food processors come in a variety of styles but can generally be categorized as mini, compact or full size. Miniprocessors (i.e., "choppers") are adequate for dicing up one or two small items at a time and are easy to clean, but their usefulness is limited. The larger the food processor, the more versatile its capabilities. Premium processors come with larger storage containers, too, making them better for family-size meals.
Power: Again, it's a wide range. From 200 watts on the low end to 1,200 watts for premium models, larger machines draw the most juice. If you're shopping for a full-size machine, 500 watts or more should be enough to power through most food-processing jobs without a fuss. Weaker motors don't do a good job at uniform chopping/mixing, and they run the risk of burning out when overloaded.
Controls: While pricier machines may include LCD displays; countdown timers; and dedicated buttons for slicing/shredding, pureeing/mixing and pulsing, budget models offer less customization. If your food-processing needs are modest, though, one or two speeds is all you need.
Blade performance: Sharp blades are important, because they affect how evenly food is chopped, and some of them are reversible, increasing their functionality. Quality blades and grating disks should be super-sharp right out of the box and remain sharp for years to come.
Attachments: This is where you really need to pay attention. Different brands and models come with myriad attachments and accessories, but you're unlikely to use all of them all the time. Pick a food processor with a set of accessories that fits your lifestyle. That being said, here are a few useful add-ons we like:
Warranty: The more you spend, the longer the warranty should be. Expect one year for less expensive models and upward of three years for premium machines.
When to replace your food processor
Most food processors will come with one to three year warranties. Some brands offer extended warranties, but we don’t recommend investing in one as it tends to cost more than any potential repairs. A well-built food processor should last from seven to 10 years with regular use, if it’s kept well-maintained.
If your food processor suddenly stops operating, it may need a service. Before you call for help or start shopping for a replacement, there are a few things you could try to see if it’s a quick-fix. While it sounds like common sense, it’s worth checking if all of the parts are fitted together and locked into place securely. Food processors have a safety cut-out that means it won’t run unless this is the case. If your processor stops while in use, i.e with food still inside, it may just have overheated. Simply unplug the appliance and wait for 15 minutes before restarting it. If there’s no luck, unfortunately it will need repairing or replacing. If your repairs cost more than half the value of a new food processor, we recommend replacing it. There are some quick-fixes however, such as a faulty locking mechanism, so it’s worth checking this out first.
Should I buy a food chopper or a food processor?
If you’re new to food processors, this is an important question to consider. To answer it, you first need to think about what you want to use the appliance for. Food processors are good for the harder jobs, such as slicing and grating. They’re brilliant if you’re making bread or pastry and can handle the larger capacities often required by recipes.
Choppers, on the other hand, are ideal for quickly chopping up a few ingredients, such as vegetables for a salad. These are much smaller in design, making them easier to store, and can come in both electric and manual designs. The convenience of choppers is an added bonus too. They’re smaller to clean and quicker to set up. However, they’re not as powerful as food processors and have been known to struggle with tougher ingredients, such as nuts.
Essentially if you want more versatility, power and capacity, the food processor is the way to go. But, if you’re tight on space and only want something for small, routine chopping jobs, opt for a food chopper. Some people buy both as each comes with its own merits.
Features to look out for
On the other hand you may want to invest in a new food processor to take advantage of some of the latest features. Above all, the aim of modern designs is to make them more convenient and accessible. For instance, the food chute tends to be at the front of the unit, so it’s easy to reach and any bowls now usually feature a handle and spout. Some even feature a separate mini chopper for smaller jobs. These are really useful if you want to break down a handful of ingredients. Rather than dials or switches, many now come with touchscreen controls as well, which offer more settings and are much easier to keep clean. Storage can be tricky with food processors, especially when they come with lots of sharp parts, but some can store accessories within the bowl and more premium models even offer a separate storage case.
How much should you spend on a food processor?
The price of a full-sized food processor can range from $50 to over $500, so it’s imperative that you have a budget in mind before you start shopping. The more you spend, the more accessories and functions you will likely get, such as additional slicing discs and a container to hold the blades when not in use. The product may feel more premium on the whole as well. However, spending more doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting the best food processor, as our results show.
You’re best off considering your budget as well as what you intend to use your food processor for before you start shopping. That way, you can find the best design for your needs without overspending. If you only intend to process small, easy ingredients, you might be better off with a value-for-money food chopper, while if you plan to blend large quantities of dough, you’re going to need something stronger. Take a look at our results for guidance on the best models to get depending on your ingredients.
What are the disadvantages of a food processor?
Just as it is with every appliance, there are some drawbacks to buying and using food processors. First, these can be quite sizable machines, taking up a considerable amount of space on the countertop. There’s even more storage space to consider if it comes with multiple blades/attachments as well. Food processors can be noisy in operation too — the loudest machine we tested clocked just under 94 dB. So, bear in mind you will have to endure this with each use.
Once you’re finished, washing up a food processor and its parts can be fiddly, particularly if the components are not dishwasher-safe. Residual ingredients can often find themselves jammed in awkward-to-reach spaces of the container. Before you buy a food processor, make sure you’re going to make use of it. Smaller portions of vegetables are more easily chopped by hand, so food processors can end up gathering dust. Keep in mind that a food processor may be unsuitable for your needs — a mini chopper may be a better option in such circumstances.
Of course, many of the above drawbacks can be prevented by picking out one of the best food processors, so you shouldn’t be discouraged. We’ve found food processors which are quiet in use and easy to clean as well as effective at chopping, slicing and dicing.
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