Most helpful positive review
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
This one has it all, but is it durable?
on February 24, 2012
I used to cook popcorn with a kettle on a gas stove, but it was hard to keep shaking the whole time, it used a lot of oil, cleanup was a pain, and most importantly, a dozen or so kernels always burned resulting in yucky popcorn. After doing some research, I decided the CPM-950 has the most features and is very easy to use and clean compared to the others. It costs a little more than a hot-air popper, but as they say, you get what you pay for.
I specifically wanted a popper that could make my favorite flavor, chocolate, which I can rarely find on the store shelves. After doing some recon on Amazon, it became clear that many people were experiencing durability issues with this particular model. However, I decided to dive in anyway because I couldn't find another popper with the same set of features out there.
After receiving it, I was relieved that the flavor mixer is no gimmick! This thing made the chocolate popcorn on par with store bought, only better because the ingredients are fresh. The overall design of this machine is brilliant! The wire that stirs the kernels ensures that nothing ever burns, and the oil-roasted taste is there. I use 2 tsp of olive oil for the cooking, then top it with sea salt and a tablespoon of olive oil to replace the butter, which makes the popcorn quite healthy. You can eat right out of the bucket, and everything cleans up nicely in the dishwasher.
As for durability, I've made over a dozen batches. Judging from the reviews here, the weak point seems to be the plastic clip that secures the heating element to the base. My solution is to baby this part when connecting the heating element to the base, although it is thrown into the dishwasher every time. If this breaks, I will be updating this review appropriately, but so far I am beyond happy with this popper.
UPDATE April 14, 2012:
I'm still using this popper almost daily and it's holding up well. After probably 50 batches nothing has broken yet, so it looks like the durability problem has either been addressed with updates to manufacturing, or it is not happening with everyone. It was definitely worth taking a chance with this product!
UPDATE December 19, 2013:
Something finally broke! My daughter was playing with the on/off switch, being her usual destructive self, and it seemed to come loose inside. I opened it up and there was a pretty thin and flimsy piece of plastic that snapped, causing the switch to wiggle when I turned it on or off. I did a quick fix by drilling a new hole in a thicker section of plastic, then reinserting the screw and it holds nicely now. Still glad I bought this popper despite the setback.