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on February 4, 2010
I initially had a great experience with the Breville BBL600XL blender. It did everything that I wanted, and did it very well. Smoothies, frappes, fruits, veggies, all that I wanted it to do. I didn't have any problems with the frequently discussed leaking large seal.

But the problem with my unit, and after much internet research, I believe others are having the same problem as well, but just haven't disassembled and diagnosed the problem. I have done exactly that, and here is what I have found.

There is a small black seal under the blades, not the large seal which seals the cutter assembly to the glass jar. Here is what I believe is occurring: The liquid from the ingredients, which are blended, eventually leak under this black seal (which is underneath the 3 blades inside the jar), and into a bearing which is part of the blade assembly. This bearing should be a high quality food quality sealed bearing, but this particular bearing is not either, a)high quality, or b)not sealed as it should be.

The liquid leaks into the bearing, eventually causing internal failure of the bearing, and in which case the bearing seizes (no longer rotates, or does not rotate freely).

Two things then happen: 1)the black rubber seal underneath the blades will disintegrate, and you will only find this out when you notice a burnt smell (produced from the black rubber seal) and bits of black rubber seal in your drink. You will also discover that your drink doesn't taste quite right. You will then wonder what the small black bits are in your drink, as you don't remember putting anything like that in the blender. You will then know the the bearing, of which I speak, has failed.

2)If the blender is continued to be used, with the seized bearing, the motor in the blender base will stop working, and will no longer function. I did not experience this, as I quit using mine when the bearing seized.

You will now have to purchase a new Blade Assembly for ~$50. In which case, this problem will more than likely happen again, every year, or so, depending upon frequency of use.

I tried to contact Breville, to no avail. My blender was nearing the end of the warranty. I absolutely could not get in contact with anyone at Breville. The recording at Breville, after you have been on hold for more than 30 minutes (IIRC)will ask you to leave a callback number, and they will return your call, because they value you as a customer. I did leave my contact info, and I never received a return call from Breville.

I bought this blender to go with my Breville Ikon Espresso Machine, which has been going strong for more than 2 years (I love it BTW).

By Breville BBL600XL now occupies a space in my pantry, because I can't bring myself to throw away a $200 blender (price I paid).

After I came to terms with the fact that I wasn't going to get service from Breville, I purchased the Vita-Mix 1363 CIA blender. It has been going strong for about 3 or 4 months, and I am thrilled with its performance. Excellent product, and it has a 7 year warranty. Yes it is more money up front, but I don't have to worry if breaks in 6 months. Vita-Mix pays shipping both ways, if I have any problems. I have no affiliation with Vita-Mix, or Breville, other than purchaser of their products. As I stated, I am thrilled with my Breville Ikon Espresso Machine, so nothing personal against Breville, other than my bad experience with this blender.

My guess is, if you purchase this Breville blender, you will eventually (depending upon frequency of use) experience the same problems as I have. Apologies for the long post, but I want to be as clear as I can.

Good Luck with your blender purchase.
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on January 1, 2008
After owning two inferior blenders, I wanted one for our family that was powerful, sturdy, relatively quiet, easy to clean and good-looking. This blender is simply the best blender we have ever owned.

First, it is very powerful. You should have no problem using it for everything blenders are usually used for, including crushing ice, which it does amazingly well. It has a separate smoothie button that is fantastic: it varies the speed during the blending process and helps you create perfect smoothies, with no effort on your part. The blender shuts off automatically after using the smoothie or other preset functions, and has a digital display that counts down and tells you how long it will take to finish blending.

Perhaps most importantly, the curved blades and concave container are designed in such a way as to reduce or eliminate the amount of food that gets stuck in the bottom of the blender. In fact, after using it a few times, I was pleasantly surprised to find NO unblended pieces of food at the bottom of the blender. Everything was blended.

Regarding noise, this is by far the quietest blender I have ever encountered. With such a powerful motor, I'm not sure how they did it. I am a professional composer and have very sensitive ears, and the relative low volume of this blender is something I definitely appreciate. Don't get me wrong: it's a blender, so it still makes noise, but it is definitely NOT as loud as inferior blenders priced less than $100.

The base and container are quite heavy and will stay put when you are blending. It giggles a little when blending on a high setting (there are sturdy rubber feet that help to reduce noise), but it won't move on your counter. The container is made of thick glass, and you can wash the whole base in the dishwasher (the glass part in the bottom rack, the other parts in the top rack). The container lid has a sturdy ring that makes it very easy to pull off the tight-fitting lid. Don't let the pics fool you: that little ring is thicker than it looks.

Some blenders have plastic containers and some have glass, like this one. The advantage of plastic is really just the (usually) cheaper cost and lighter weight. The disadvantage is that plastic containers may crack (as ours did) and leak plastic molecules into your food over time as the container ages. Most plastics are carcinogenic, so I like to avoid plastic containers if at all possible, since this one is glass, and very thick, it is relatively safe. The markings on the side of the container are easy to read, so it's not difficult to use it as a measuring container when adding food, particularly liquids.

The blade housing is also very sturdy and much larger than on a typical cheap blender. It fits on so tightly that you need a turning handle (supplied) to unscrew the base. If I had only ONE complaint, this would be it. I don't like the idea of having to use anything other than my hands to disassemble the blender. But since I'll take a tight-fitting assembly over one that might leak any day, this really isn't a complaint at all.

BTW: for the technically inclined, this blender is assembled with screws, so if you wanted to disassemble the base, you could do it very easily. This thing is solid as a rock.

Regarding cleaning, the buttons are slightly raised under a one-piece pad that is extremely easy to clean. If any food does spill, which is unlikely, all you need to do is wipe it up with a soft rag or paper towel. One side note: you will need to thoroughly wash the blender once you get it out of the box. It still has the factory manufacturing smell, but that clears up with a good wash or two in the dishwasher.

Lastly, this is a fine-looking appliance. It's much sleeker than others made my KitchenAid and so on, and is industrial-quality, without looking like it belongs in a restaurant kitchen.

All in all, I am extremely happy with this blender and enthusiastically give it five stars.

We had this blender for 2 1/ 2 years, using it maybe 3-4 times a week on average, and the motor finally gave out. To be more accurate, the power light blinked on, but the blade assembly would not run. We didn't do anything abnormal with it, and mostly used it for smoothies. Then one day, it just would not work.

Like others mention here, it will leak if you do not screw the bottom part on very tight. In fact, you have to be quite strong to screw it on tight enough so that it will not leak. Ironically, leaks rarely happened over the button area, but definitely happened above the blade if the bottom was even a tiny bit loose. I also found it annoying that the only way to remove the base if it was screw on as tightly as it needed to be was to use the lever that comes with the blender. Shouldn't blenders come apart without having a separate gadget to worry about?

As for my comments that it can be taken apart, I'll have to retract that. I attempted to take it apart to replace a fuse, the part of the blender that apparently gave out, but it's basically impossible--not very easy to take apart at all.

All in all, we really enjoyed our Breville blender while it worked, but we think that for this price, it should last five years or longer under normal use. We will not purchase this model again and will look at other brands like Vitamix.
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VINE VOICEon October 12, 2007
Key things to notice:

1. You just press one button, then you can leave the room.
2. Results are very smooth.
3. Much less noice, no squealing particularly.

There has been a lot of press recently about how commercial smoothies are rarely nutritious because they use juice and have no fat and protein. Add your own nuts and seeds, and us things like guava pulp (high in fiber and lycopene), and you can turn that all around. With this blender, even with things added, the results are smooth.

Not sure what is up w/the price here. I found this thing @ Macy's no sale for $149. Maybe it's an older model. This thing is also great for making sauces and dressings, which regular blenders are generally awful at.
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on November 22, 2007
After you use one of these, you'll never go back to a whimpy blender. It's relatively QUIET, but most importantly, its POWERFUL. I bought this becasue Porular Mechanics rated it the best, and I'm convinced they were correct. It will start right up under a heavy load of solid friut or vegetables. Try that with the standard blenders most folks use. This feature is important if you're making healthy shakes or smooties. Lesser blenders will wear out out soon with steady use of these heavy loads. When it's done the smoothies are truly smooth. That's also a great feature this unit offers over most of the competition. The ability of the Ikon 750 to crush ice is almost beyond belief. You get what you pay for with this high priced blender. Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds on the Popular Mechanics review.
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on March 24, 2008
I bought this blender to replace my older Waring that still works fine, I just wanted to buy something new. I kind of agonized over what to get, bouncing back and forth between this (I liked Breville because I have their citrus juicer which I enjoy) and a Vitamix. Obviously I cheaped out and bought this because I figured the vitamix would be overkill and this would be great.

So, it looks nice on the counter and I like the dimensions of the glass carafe- a bit squattier and not as tall and reedy. It is not quite as powerful as I imagined that it would be, but it blends everything very nicely- you may just need to let it run a few seconds more. It's a more subtle and effective kind of power than the Waring, even the lowest setting will do the job if you let it run, without that initial "explosion" that you see in cheaper appliances.

The LCD seems a tad gimmicky- what is the point of having a timer if you cannot preset it? Just to see the numbers count down or up and know "I blended that for 50 seconds"? It is somewhat useful in that if you have a usual shake and you know how long it takes to incorporate it, you can always stop it at that time and know it's blended.

More positives are that it is quite solid and whisper quiet (perhaps because of the low power!), and the dimensions are very satisfying. You just want to put stuff in it and blend. I don't know what that guy is talking about who said the lid finger plug is not helpful because it totally is.

All said, this is a great blender. If you want crazy amounts of power- perhaps look elsewhere to Vitamix and Blendtec. But if you want something solid, functional, beautiful and well designed for the average household, look no further. I recommend searching for a 20% off coupon at for linens and things or bed bath and beyond and buying it there for [ ... ] which is an absolute steal for this!

UPDATE: After having and using this blender for a week now, I really have started to appreciate it more and more. it is truly a quality product, and even the lack of power I initially complained about has become a non-issue. It blends everything great, even on the low setting. An added bonus is the ability (due to the width of the base and blade) to make a shake so thick you cannot pour it out of the glass! When blender jars are thinner you are limited as to how thick you can go-at a certain point it just stops mixing. Not so here, it is almost like a food processor. I highly recommend this blender now that I have had a chance to experience it.

2nd update: right after the warranty expired the blade assembly began leaking black sludge just like other reviewers have noted. Perhaps Breville is good about selling replacement parts cheaply, but it still is a big flaw and I no longer use or recommend this blender.

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on August 18, 2007
I've been searching for a blender to replace my old Osterizer for a while now. Although the BlendTec Total Blender sounded the most promising, I didn't really want to spend $400 on a blender. My main requirement was that the blender be able to blend a pint of frozen fruit/berries with minimal OJ for my morning smoothie. Up till the Breville, every blender I tried was noisy, a pain to use, and got clogged way too easily.

I just brought the Breville home this afternoon, and gave it a try. Dump the fruit and OJ in, press smoothie, and the automatic cycle takes over. 60 seconds later, I had a nice thick smoothie waiting, with no need to stop the blender, stir things around, shake it, etc. The automated smoothie setting works great! The only thing I didn't like- it didn't blend on high speed long enough at the end. This is a minor thing to fix, simply push the "puree" setting and let it run for 15 seconds or so, and it's nice and smooth.

Here's a few things I found on my first attempt to make a smoothie:

1) I believe the blade and jar design, combined with the automatic smoothie cycle, is what makes this blender perform so well. The blades are different from any other blender I've tried or owned, and the jar has a nice wide bottom.

2) The automatic smoothie cycle gets the pulse timings down just right, and at just the right speed so no human intervention is necessary. This is a huge benefit for me. I hate having to stop blending several times to push ingredients back into the blades.

3) This is the quietest blender I've tried or owned. Hands down, a very noticeable difference in noise levels.

4) The top fits on very snugly. Some might find it too tight, but no food comes out, which is great (although you do have to be careful yanking it off- I splattered some smoothie doing this the first time. Breville provides a finger loop to make it easier).

5) Even on the highest setting, the blades don't seem to spin as fast as some other blenders, although the 750w motor seems to have plenty of power. I think after "puree" for 15-20 seconds, the smoothie could have been a tad smoother, but this is a mild complaint compared to the problems I've had with every other blender I've tried.

6) The blender is rather tall, but otherwise fairly compact compared to some other units. I personally think it's quite attractive next to my other stainless/nickel kitchen tools, and all the parts appear to be solidly built, without being excessively heavy or bulky.

I've only blended a pint or so of ingredients so far, just single servings which is perfect for me. The Breville manual recommends only filling the jar 1/4 - 1/2 way full for thick ingredients, which frozen berries/fruit tends to be.

I ended up purchasing this at Bed, Bath and Beyond with a 20% off coupon, so it ended up only being $160. My main reason was for easy return purposes, as I've been dissatisfied with the other two blenders I've tried (Cuisinart, Osterizer) and wanted to make sure I could return it quickly without paying for extra shipping.

I'll try to update this review after a few weeks to let everyone know how it's working out, but so far I'm very happy with my purchase. The only reason this blender didn't get 5 stars was because the automatic smoothie setting could have produced a smoother drink without me having to puree at the end, so this is probably debatable.
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on January 5, 2009
If you take the time to wade through all of them, you will find dozens of reviews that complain about leaks, along with many more that say they have experienced no leaks. This disparity results from the amount of strength it takes to tighten the blade assembly to the jar. The amount of torque required to get a water tight seal is beyond that of anyone with less than average strength. The latest revision (the 600XL/A model) comes with a special wrench to assist in removing blade assembly. You might also use it to tighten the assembly, but Breville recommends against it because it migh result in overtightening. I'm amazed that the Breville engineers have not been able to solve this problem. They obviously recognize it as they changed the design in the latest revision (600XL/A) but it still takes a gorilla grip. The worst of it is that any leaks will drain into the base which houses the motor and electronics. No wonder they only offer a one year guarantee.

One Month Update: Thirty smoothies later I really like this blender. The unique blade design and higher power make it far superior to my old Kitchenaid blender in handling ice and producing lump-free smoothies. I've learned to prevent leaks by using the plastic wrench to tighten the base about an inch beyond what I can comfortably do with my wrist alone. You definitely need to remove the base after every use for cleaning as you will always find a bit of residue around and under the seal. Simply running the blender with water and soap in the bowl will not remove the residue.

Eighteen Month Update: I retired my Ikon today after more than 500 perfect smoothies. It probably had a few more left in it, but was starting to spill grease from the bottom of the blade assembly and stopping on its own after ten to 30 seconds when running at high speed. Had it not been for the stoppage, I would have probably sprung for the eighty dollars that they charge for a new blade assembly, but with motor problems as well, it was not worth it. I replaced it with a Vitamix 5200 which costs more than twice as much, but comes with a seven year warranty. In conclusion, I would liken the Ikon 600XL to a high performance Italian sports car: Excellent performance, but with limited life expectancy and requiring more care than most would put up with.
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on October 13, 2007
The Breville blender is elegantly designed and very well made with a cast metal base and heavy glass container. Compared with my old Osterizer, it is delightfully quiet and features a special setting for smoothies that works fine. There is one caveat, however. After the blade assembly is inserted into the base it must be rotated until the two arrow points are EXACTLY opposite each other. To turn the blade assembly until it stops is easy enough but it takes a real gorilla grip to turn it the last 1/4" or so. If your hands are weak or arthritic this blender is probably not for you. The friendly customer support representative sent me a tool that was supposed to help but it says right on it that it should only be used for taking the blade assembly off. What is needed is a rubbery pad, contoured to fit the indentations on the machine, to give less muscular users more traction. For people with strong hands, a great product.
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on May 19, 2010
Ok, how can that be? There are lots of five star reviews and lots of one star reviews.

The five star reviewers all think it's the best blender in the world! They're right. This thing is a marvel! Makes brilliant waffle batter, smoothies, blended margaritas, crushes ice just enough, easy to measure stuff, great controls, cleans really well. It's awesome (if a tad expensive)!

Until it isn't.

The one star reviewers all used to be five star reviewers, because you can't not like this thing. But, just wait awhile. This blender is just not made well enough. And the seal is a problem. Mine didn't smoke or smell bad, but others' have. Mine didn't blow out, but others' did. My seal didn't leak, exactly, but others' did. There are just too many people having too many problems to recommend this.

This is what happened to mine. Makin' waffles like I do every Sunday morning. The blender is perfect for that ultra-smooth thick batter just like everyone likes. But as I was blending, the whole thing seized up. (I believe in the industry they call it a 'catastrophic failure.') Then batter started leaking down into the machine itself - no, the machinery and electronics are not protected from such an incident. When I took it apart, I found the gasket, which seals the blade assembly to the glass carafe, totally mangled and wrapped around the motor. And you just try getting waffle batter out from delicate electronic equipment, and copper coils, and such. Ain't gonna happen.

We have help from time to time, as you do, and after cleaning it one day, when she was putting it back together, she must have not put the gasket in correctly or not twisted the base all the way on, or something. ('Cause it couldn't have been me. At least, I'm pretty sure it wasn't me. I'm kind of obsessive about this kind of stuff. At $200 for a freakin' blender, you kind of have to be.)

Anyway, the thing is, the gasket has to be just right, and totally clean, and perfectly placed, and the base has to be screwed on just right, or you're screwed. Really, it should be simpler and more idiot proof to put the thing back together. (You know, KISS - keep it simple, 'cause I'm stupid.)

So, check out the other reviews. Look at how many people are having problems. That's just too many people. What this means is that if you buy this, you'll be thinking this is the coolest thing you've ever bought, and you'll be a five star reviewer. But then, you'll be so mad that it broke that you'll want to . . . well, you'll want to do something. And that something is probably not something you'll want to have done. And then you'll be a one star reviewer.

Myself, I can't quite bring myself to give it one star because, while it was working, it was the best appliance I've ever owned hands down - until it wasn't.
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on December 20, 2008
My experience with this blender is on the whole good. The unit is quiet, very powerful, and will easily handle ice cubes, Chinese herbs (often tough fibrous bark), or anything else I've tried. A glass jar is also appreciated. Proper cleaning requires unscrewing the base from the jar, which usually works OK. I find that I have to use the tightening tool that comes with it to both tighten and remove the base, otherwise it may leak. A few useful tips: I apply a little coconut or other vegetable oil to the threads before screwing the base back on - this makes it easier to subsequently remove it too, and provides a better seal during use. Secondly, I make sure not to cross-thread the base as this can be a disaster for leaks. To do this, I run my fingers around the black plastic screw seal to make sure that it feels uniformly flat, and not tilted to one side. Finally, I fill the jar with some water prior to use, just to verify it is properly sealed.
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