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Style Name: Hemisphere Control Blender|Change
Price:$189.00+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on October 10, 2012
I grew up in the 1950s and remember when we got the very first "Osterizer." It was all chrome, heavy, with a small glass jar (no handle), and had two speeds.

Since then, I've owned several blenders, including an Oster avocado-green plastic base model (ah, remember the 1970s?), a KitchenAid, and most recently a Cuisinart "Vari-Speed." All of these work, to one degree or another, but they all suffer from one or more of the following problems:

* Extremely noisy
* Hard to clean
* Ingredients don't get to the bottom, so you have to stop and push them down with a stick
* Insufficient blending, even after a long time on high speed
* Insecure lid that lets ingredients burst out when the jar if full

This Breville BBL605XL has none of these problems. It is a remarkably good product. I've owned it for over a month.

Let me tell you about it.

Noise

I have a Radio Shack sound meter. I filled my old blender (the Cuisinart) and the Breville with equal amounts of water and turned them on to their lowest speeds and, with the meter exactly one foot away, measured the sound. I then repeated the test at the highest speeds.

_____________Breville_____Cuisinart
Low___________71dB_________84dB
High___________83dB_________89dB

The dB scale is logarithmic. What this means is that something that is 3dB louder is actually twice as loud, and something that is 10dB louder is ten times as loud. The numbers don't entirely do justice to the amazing difference in sound level because the Breville has a much lower frequency sound (more bass) and therefore is less annoying, even if it were as loud. The fact that it is less than 10% as loud as my old blender is pretty amazing.

Cleaning

Every other blender I've had has a base on the jar that unscrews. You then need to clean the base, the blender blade assembly, and the rubber washer. You then must clean the jar, the lid, and the removable insert on the lid. By contrast, the Breville has the entire blending mechanism semi-permanently attached to the jar (it can be removed with screws, if needed). At first I thought this was a really bad idea because I thought I couldn't get under the blades to clean them. However, because of the wide, sloped design of the bottom of the jar, it is extremely easy to just push the wash cloth to the bottom of the jar, give it one turn, and everything comes clean. The lid is round and therefore wipes clean quickly. By contrast, my old Oster and Cuisinart blenders had square lids, and those four corners were always tough to clean, and there were all sorts of nooks an crannies. The Breville lid has no nooks. The only negative on the Breville lid is that the ridges on the edge of the lid, which provide an incredibly secure seal, do trap food. You need a brush if you really need to get stuff out of these grooves. However, they are quite wide apart, so any common brush easily reaches into the grooves.

It takes me less than half the time to clean this blender compared to how long it took me to clean my previous blenders.

Jar

This isn't listed above, but I should mention that the jar is plastic. Every other blender I have owned had a glass jar, and I always preferred this because plastic often discolors or picks up odors. However, this plastic is some form of polycarbonate, and has so far shown no signs of discoloration and has picked up no odor. I actually now prefer this to glass.

Blending Efficiency

This gets to the heart of what any blender is all about. Every blender I've owned will not pull large lumps of stuff down into the blades, or will pull some lumps, but then when the mixture starts to thicken (especially with smoothies), everything at the bottom just spins around, while all the other stuff just sits at the top of the jar going nowhere. (You know what I'm talking about, don't you?)

Not with this unit. I am truly amazed at how well this design pulls ingredients to the bottom. In addition, there is a "smoothie" button that cycles between a constant blending speed and a series of pulses. I've used this both with smoothies and with various ice mixtures, and have not had one single lump of un-blended ingredient remaining. Very nice.

Lid

The lid does not let ingredients leak out. I mentioned that I owned a KitcheAid (a long time ago). I returned that after one use because as soon as the ingredients hit the lid, they spilled out onto the counter. My old Oster blenders were a little better, but the lid on those were really designed merely to slow down the leakage, not to stop it. As everyone who has used a blender knows, when you hit the "high" speed button, the ingredients forcefully shoot up towards the lid and on some blenders can actually pop the lid off. Not with this unit. In fact, the lid fits so securely that Breville provides a "finger pull" loop to help you remove the lid. Don't get me wrong, it isn't that hard to get off, but it is definitely in there very securely.

Do I have any negatives about this blender? Actually, no. This is one of those rare purchases where everything is great, and nothing is bad.
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Style Name: Hemisphere Control Blender|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The things I like best about this blender are its wide bottom hugging blade design and the wide based BPA-free jar that makes easier to get blended concoctions out of the container. The unique blade system means that you won't have to stop the blender and resituate the ingredients often if at all like with a lot of other blenders. I make green smoothies with about a half pound of fresh spinach, a cup of water, a few ice cubes, frozen berries, a few leaves of kale, a couple cups of cabbage, a peeled banana and lemon and flax seed. Before getting this blender, the only one that could handle this type of smoothie is the Vitamix 4500. But with the Vitamix I had to use the tamper several times or turn it off and rearrange the ingredients that were stuck down at the bottom to get it to start blending again. With the Breville, I don't have to use a tamper and don't have to resituate the ingredients because they don't have a tendency to get stuck.

This blender has a smart, sturdy looking design that looks good on my kitchen counter. It feels substantial and you can tell that a lot of thought went into the design. It is a 750-Watt blender with LCD timer. It has a 48 oz. BPA-free jug. There are 5 speed buttons: Snow, Mix, Blend, Liquefy, and Puree, plus Pulse, Ice Crush and Smoothie buttons. The Ice Crush and Smoothie buttons are minute long pre-programmed blender settings which include a variety of speeds to optimize the process of crushing ice or making smoothies. The first time I used this blender I just used the #5 or Purify button and it did a good job of making all the fruits and veggies into a smooth icy drink. In subsequent trials, I used the Smoothie button and found it to work well, but I used the Purify button afterwards to make my drinks really smooth being that I use so much spinach and other leafy greens.

The instructions advise that when blending a heavy load, to run the blender in 10 second increments to keep it from overheating. I thought that "heavy" meant ingredients like those in my smoothie, but a call to customer service indicated that those ingredients weren't "heavy" and by heavy they meant something like cake mixes or peanuts that you're making into peanut butter. They also told me that the machine would show a warning and turn off if it was really overheated. I have not been able to produce that warning with anything I've tried so far.

This blender is relatively quiet when making blended drinks or blending soft foods. It can be really noise when using ice or harder foods. I would say it comes pretty close to the noise level of my Vitamix on ice or hard foods but much quieter on soft ingredients. This is expected. It will crush a cup or two of ice into snow and make great slushies or snow cones. When I tried to put several cups of ice into the machine at a time it left some chunks of ice in the bowl. The instructions say not to put hot foods into the blender but warm foods are OK. The blender will run in 60 second increments and then stop as a safety feature and to restrict wear on the motor. I didn't find this to be a problem; I just started it again a minute or so after it stopped. I rather like this feature because I'm usually multitasking when it comes to meal preparation and there have been times when I forgot about the Vitamix and left it going much longer than necessary when I left the room to get something.

I'm impressed with this blender and am giving it 5 stars because I think at this price point it is a good deal. It is much better than your average inexpensive blender and can do many of the jobs of the super-premium high priced ones. It does some things, like keeping the ingredients moving without getting stuck in the bottom of the container better. It comes with a 1 year warranty.
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on April 2, 2012
Style Name: Hemisphere Control Blender|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Ok, Im not a blender snob, but I use my blender daily. Dont know what Id do without it. I have had some good ones, couple great ones, and a lot of junk ones. This one fits in with the greats (so far).

I have been using a Waring blender until this arrived. Now that is awaiting a new home with the first friend who wants to take it. This blender is great. The pitcher is large, a nice change as most 'good' blenders have figured out it is easier to make it work well with a smaller pitcher, so they all come with smaller pitchers now. This one is BIG. The blade design allows for a big pitcher with a wide base, and still blends properly and keeps ingredients from clumping around the bottom. The blade has an extra set that "sweep" around the bottom of the pitcher and keep ingredients from hiding there, forcing them back up into the other blades to be crushed with the rest.

I usually start my day with a fruit smoothie. We put fruit and basic ingredients into freezer bags and store them in the freezer. That way you just dump the bag in the blender, add some juice, and blend. A minute later Im out the door with my breakfast in hand. Many blenders have a hard time with frozen fruits, basically making a frosty mess that sticks inside the blender. This one powers right on through.

The unit itself is heavy and sturdy. No wobble. Doesnt feel like it may tip over if you dont hold your hand on the top while blending. The lid is VERY secure, even the cap in the lid to add ingredients is a snug fit.

BEST OF ALL... the base even has a keeper to wrap the cord and keeps it secure and out of the way. No more blender cords everywhere, tangling under the cabinets, or excess coiled on the counter. Just uncoil what you want, the rest stays hidden. Entier cord coils nices when stored too! Its the little things that make a good product great.
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on February 15, 2013
Great blender. I had a Vitamix 5200 blender for about a year (roommate's), so I can compare this to one of the best blenders, as well as review it on its own merits. I think this is an excellent alternative for a better price.

First, the shape of the pitcher and blade seem pretty effective at thoroughly mixing/blending the contents of the pitcher. I don't have air pockets forming nearly as much as I've seen with other blenders. The blender does a good job at making frozen drinks, smoothies, and hummus. There are ridges in the sides of the jar that seem to really promote a big vortex when mixing up a frozen drink. The jar is made from desirable Eastman Tritan copolymer, this is much stronger and resistant to scratching than the ABS or polycarbonate plastics used in almost every other non-glass blender jar. The lid seals tight, and has a grip ring to help remove it, a nice touch. There is a small cover you can remove from the lid to add ingredients mid-cycle, however it doesn't stay in well at all. Just the vibration of using the blender twists it to the unlock position, which makes it constantly fall on the floor when I take the full lid off.

The controls are pretty straightforward: a few buttons for various speeds, and dedicated buttons for smoothies and ice crushing. A backlight illuminates the button indicating which speed is active, a very nice touch. Overall, the control panel looks really cool when it's all lit up. The buttons are all on a single membrane pad, meaning they can be easily cleaned with a quick wipe of a sponge, and no crevices for junk to hide. There is a little digital count-up timer, which I guess could be useful once you get used to it and know that the smoothie you like best takes exactly 32 seconds to blend; I couldn't see any use for it, though.

The motor is comparatively quiet for a blender. Compared to others, it's a lower-pitched hum, there's much less of the high-pitch whine that is so common to cheap motors. This one's digitally regulated too, so the speed of the blade seems to be consistent, no matter how thick or chunky the ingredients it's blending up. Rated at 750 watts (about 1HP), but who cares, it has plenty of torque/HP to blend whatever. I think the blade/jar design is far more important than how much electricity it chews up. One negative - the motor cuts off automatically after 60 seconds, a safety feature to prevent overheating, buts also means you can't do things like heat up soup in the jar, a feature that Vitamix touts.

I just hope it holds up, Breville cheaped out on the warranty, it's just 1 year... so I'm afraid there's some dopey consumer-grade seal or other plastic part that will break a few months after the warranty ends. But I'm hoping not, because I really like this blender.

Things that standout for me vs. Vitamix blenders:
+ Much quieter
+ Nicer design (appearance, finish and quality of the electronic controls)
+ Overall height & footprint is smaller, making it fit on the countertop better
+ Better ergonomics - nice little touches like pour spout, grab ring for the lid
+ Cord storage in base
o Uses same Eastman Tritan copolymer material for the jar - it's the best plastic available, but still eventually gets cloudy
- Can't run continuously (like for making soups) - timer stops operation after 60 seconds
- Much shorter warranty (just 1 year)
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on April 3, 2013
My husband and I make two fruit smoothies for breakfast every morning. This blender was fantastic until after two months of use, the motor died. UPDATE: The Breville company sent us a new blender! If you have problems with this blender, DO NOT SEND IT BACK TO AMAZON - instead contact the company directly.
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on June 14, 2013
I read the reviews before purchasing this blender because I was trying to decide whether I should spend $400+ for a Vitamix or BlendTec or half that for the Breville... boy am I kicking myself for not spending the extra money!

This blender has received a LOT of really good reviews, so when reading the negative reviews, I thought that maybe the people writing them were people who are hard to satisfy... but exactly what these reviewers stated, happened to me! I received this blender on Feb. 26, 2013 and yesterday, June 13, 2013 the motor is stopping after 3 to 5 seconds of blending. If I take the "pitcher" off the base and replace it, I can get 3 to 5 seconds more of blending.... but this only works about 5 times, and then the machine wont turn over at all, no matter what I do ~ AAAAARRRRGGGG!!!!

For the past 3 months and 2 weeks, I've used the Breville blender for morning smoothies which consist of frozen berries, kale, spinach, protein powder and water... and this machine has quit working. Shoot, my cheap blender which was replaced with this one, worked as well as the Breville, for 5+ years ... and here I thought I was upgrading!

I also wanted to mention that I wasn't happy with this blender right when it arrived, because when you push the button to select your preferred speed, the blender automatically starts a 60 second timer, then shuts off. I use the entire kale leaf, spine and all, and I like them to be completely blended, so I had to push the button three times to get a thorough blend. I didn't like this feature because I had to hang out next to the blender to restart it every 60 seconds, but I convinced myself that it wasn't that big of an inconvenience. Also, two of the little rubber feet came off within the first few months of owning this machine. My blender lives on my counter, so I only move it forward, then back against the wall each morning, so it's really odd to me that with such gentle use, not one, but two rubber feet popped off. I was able to unscrew the little itsy-bitsy screw and washer that (sort of) hold the rubber feet in place, and pop them back on, but it's a hassle. I don't think after a month and a half that a $200 blender should start falling apart, this was my first real doubt in the quality of this machine.... and within another month and a half, it's completely quit working!

I'm probably going to return this blender to Amazon, and take a $40 hit like another reviewer said he did... but I don't want a replacement blender from Breville, so.. I'm going to suck it up and spend the extra money for a Vitamix blender ~ or perhaps go back to the cheap blender I previously owned! (which was a cuisinart - about $50)

Please feel free to read my other reviews, I don't have many, BUT... they will show you that I don't usually leave negative reviews... but this blender, in my opinion, is a HUNK OF JUNK!
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on March 21, 2012
Style Name: Hemisphere Control Blender|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
First, a disclaimer: my other blender is the much more expensive Vitamix 5200c - 7 YR WARRANTY Variable Speed Countertop Blender with 2+ HP Motor and 48-Ounce Jar, so I'm used to near perfection in a blender and incredible performance. This Breville is simply not as good as that one, but it is a third of the price, so I still think it's pretty impressive.

Reading the ad copy, I was amused to see that first of all, I was supposed to notice how quiet it is. Actually, I didn't notice that at all. It sounded like a regular blender to me. The first thing I noticed was the horrible off-gassing, plasticky smell when I opened it. Horrible! Worse than new carpeting. Washing it still did not entirely get rid of the odor, and if it weren't labelled BPA-free I almost would have been afraid to use it. Now, a few days and uses later, the smell is almost gone.

As far as performance, I think it's pretty good. I tested out its capabilities by making 2 different smoothies with frozen fruit, celery soup, and chopping onions.

Smoothies. The creation of a frozen-strawberry "snow" was pretty neat, and it hacked up those frozen, whole berries in pulse mode very effectively. This can definitely handle ice. When I dumped a bunch of yogurt on top of them, in smoothie mode it was able to automatically alternate puse and blend mode to make a decent smoothie in one minute. I did scrape the sides after the minute was up and puree for about 15 seconds afterwards, and my smoothie was mostly lump-free. I did encounter a few chunks, but nothing too bad. With frozen mango, I ended up with a lot more chunks, but on the other hand the instructions for the machine say to chop all fruit into 1-inch cubes before blending. I just dumped a frozen mass of mango spears in with a bunch of yogurt. I think if I had blended a little longer all the lumps would have been gone.

Celery soup. This was a tough test. I sauteed a bunch of celery, including the leaves, and made a white sauce on the side. Then I threw it all in the blender and hit puree. One of the drawbacks to this blender was that the instructions say to let any ingredients cool before blending. For soup-making, that's a major hassle. Anyway, the blender was on puree for quite a while, and it did pretty well with the celery leaves and strings. The soup was delicious, but there were a few strings left and I also kept encountering chunks. The leaves were fairly well demolished. Probably if I had kept blending it might have handled it, but the instructions say not to blend for more than a minute at a time. I do know my Vitamix would have had it completely pulverized in the amount of time I let the Breville go. Still, it mostly passed this test, too.

Chopping onions. Something about the ad copy had made me think this might do for a food-processor. I admit, it was able to chop the onions fairly well without pureeing them (on pulse). I found it very hard to scrape all the onions out from under the blades. I would not want to use this regularly to chop onions.

Here are a few other things I noticed about the blender. Although the blender pitcher can go in the dishwasher, the lid must be hand-washed. I know that's the sort of thing I would forget and end up ruining as a result. The capacity of the blender is 6 cups. I'm used to 8, so that would be a negative for me. The cord storage is very nice, and the whole unit looks sleek and modern, matching my appliances. The blades look as though they can only come off with a screwdriver, so a thorough cleaning of the blender pitcher/blades would not happen very often in my house. I really like timer; it's less likely to allow me to overwork the motor by just leaving it on because I got distracted with something. Also, a last negative is that the blender must not only be stopped but also then turned off. I can see myself forgetting to hit the off-button, because it can be not running but still turned on.

Overall, yes, I think this is a good blender. It did pretty well on the tests I gave it, although not as well as my ordinary, pricier blender. This is still not by any means a cheap blender, though, so the standards for performance need to be high. Even given high standards, this blender performed well and I would recommend it.
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on November 2, 2013
I read nearly all the reviews on Amazon about this blender before purchase. It seems many of the reviews are not actually for this model, but other models that Breville makes. There are a few versions of the "hemisphere" blender and they are easily confused. It seems some reviewers put their reviews on the wrong product. This review is for the BBL605XL. This blender is 750 watts versus other similar "hemisphere" models that are 610 watts. People who have mentioned leaks from the blade plate or gasket in the bottom of the jar are not talking about this model. The BBL605XL has a one-piece copolyester (not glass) jar with a normally non-removable blade assembly. The bottom of the jar is clear, not black or chrome. The only way for this jar to leak is through the blade shaft seal. The spline drive on the bottom of the jar is metal, but the female spline drive fitting on the motor is nylon (not metal as someone else stated). This does not appear to be a weakness. Although the blender was designed in Australia, it was manufactured in China.

I looked at lots of blenders including Waring, Oster, KitchenAid and others and decided this machine had the best combination of features, performance and good reviews. I needed a 48 oz jar and even many so-called commercial blenders don't have a jar that large.

I believe that this blender is the best for under $200. Sure, there are more powerful and heavy-duty machines out there, but they are two or three times the price. I chose this model because of the review by Cooks Illustrated and so far I'm not disappointed.
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on April 15, 2013
I bought this blender with very high hopes as a result of the numerous glowing reviews but after only 3 1/2 months of making breakfast smoothies, the motor decided to die this morning. I was on hold with Breville's Customer Service for almost 30 minutes without speaking to a human being before hanging up. I will not be purchasing another Breville product in the future from a company that does not build a high-quality, reliable product and then appears to consider customer service unimportant after the sale has been made.
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VINE VOICEon March 24, 2012
Style Name: Hemisphere Control Blender|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
First thing: The loop on the top! Ah, someone understands about losing your grip.
And second: The loop in the middle of the plug so it is easy to grab it and pull it free of the outlet.
Third: The 21st century plastic "jug" of the blender is very light, glossy and BPA-free. And very easy to clean.

99% of the time I use the blender for smoothies. So I tested the "Smoothie" button. Chunks of banana, some juice, some yogurt, and a handful of blueberries. I press "Smoothie." It starts whirring, as normal. Then after maybe 15 seconds, it does two high-speed spurts. It does this interval a couple more times. And stops after 60 seconds. It has a digital timer so I could see the countdown to the finish. Normally I have to run the blender more than a minute or two, and I manually "spurt" it, too. This was much smoother. No banana lumps in the drink.

The blender has an extra set of blades that creates a better vortex to really stir up the ingredients. That's the non-scientific explanation.

I am very pleased with this blender. The Cuisinart is going to the back of the cabinet.
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