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833 of 873 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome and Perfect for Smoothies!!!
I was looking for an inexpensive small personal blender that was powerful, easy to use, and could blend a perfect smoothie. I did a lot of research and looked into about a dozen other brands including the famed "Magic Bullet". What I found out was that not all personal blenders are made equal. The "Magic Bullet" didn't get very good reviews even though it is by far the...
Published on July 26, 2008 by D. Truong

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875 of 905 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great design, go easy on the motor, though
I got this for my 17 year old son to make smoothies. He made the most delicious peach smoothie from ice and the Big Train Fruit Tea Smoothie Blast syrup also bought on Amazon. The consistency was smooth and perfect, just like a professional frozen drink. I asked him to make me one. On the second smoothie the motor died. We thought maybe it needed a little "rest" but...
Published on December 26, 2008 by S.A.


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875 of 905 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great design, go easy on the motor, though, December 26, 2008
By 
S.A. "bham" (Southeastern MI USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Hamilton Beach 51101B Personal Blender with Travel Lid, Black (Kitchen)
I got this for my 17 year old son to make smoothies. He made the most delicious peach smoothie from ice and the Big Train Fruit Tea Smoothie Blast syrup also bought on Amazon. The consistency was smooth and perfect, just like a professional frozen drink. I asked him to make me one. On the second smoothie the motor died. We thought maybe it needed a little "rest" but sadly, it was the end of the road for that blender. When pressed for details, my son admitted that he noticed a burning smell before the motor stopped dead, and yet he kept pressing that button! Bottom line: great design, lightweight, nice personal cup size, easy storage and cleanup. The motor is just not very powerful, and can't take long blending times. Still, we are going to order a replacement and see if a bit more TLC while blending gives this blender better shelf life. Seems like it worked for some of the other reviewers.

Update: we got the new blender and it is working out great. You just have to be careful to pulse the blender as you go along, and stop for a few seconds (10?) if you start to smell the motor smell. Ice is blended into drinks very well, with no big chunks. The only downside is the no dishwasher requirement. I feel pretty tempted to try it, but as this is already the second blender I will resist.
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833 of 873 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome and Perfect for Smoothies!!!, July 26, 2008
This review is from: Hamilton Beach 51101B Personal Blender with Travel Lid, Black (Kitchen)
I was looking for an inexpensive small personal blender that was powerful, easy to use, and could blend a perfect smoothie. I did a lot of research and looked into about a dozen other brands including the famed "Magic Bullet". What I found out was that not all personal blenders are made equal. The "Magic Bullet" didn't get very good reviews even though it is by far the most popular. After all my intense research, I settled on this one... The Hamilton Beach Single Serve Blender. Here's the scoop on what makes this surprising blender the "cream of the crop" :)

Pros:

-Simple and easy to use
-Easy to Clean
-Powerful enough to chop frozen fruits (and probably ice too)
-Pulse button allows you more control because you can start or stop it.
-Seems very sturdy and only has 3 parts to it. (lid, glass, and base)
-This thing is freaking cheap... got mine for $15.
-Blends Smoothies perfectly with no unchopped pieces of fruit.
-Power cord can be tucked in and wrapped around bottom of base for storage.

Cons:
-Emits a slight 'burnt oil' odor while it is in operation... but it's not as bad as it sounds.
-The Lid seems kind of flimsy.

Conclusion:
At $15 this little blender is not only a bargain, it gets the job done and does it well! In fact, it works just as well as my friend's personal blender which costs more than twice the amount I spent on this one. The elegance and simplicity of the design is also to be admired. The plastic blending container also doubles as a travel mug and the Lid to it doubles as a sipping lid when used as a travel mug. It's a nice surprise to see a product in which you can see that they put a lot of thought into it's design. It's positive aspects greatly outshine the few negatives... especially when considering the price. So if you need an amazing blender but you're on a budget, pick this one up and never look back! By the way, this thing is also available elsewhere... like "Wally World" and "Target" ...and at the same low price :)
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191 of 205 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great little device for daily smoothies, but does not last even a year, May 12, 2010
This review is from: Hamilton Beach 51101B Personal Blender with Travel Lid, Black (Kitchen)
This is an amazing value for the price! I have a full-sized blender, but it was just too much for what I needed (1 serving smoothie), and was annoying to clean such a large thing afterwards... so I wanted something smaller. I LOVE the design of this blender - it's a very simple 1-button machine that allows me to throw everything in it, blend, and then just twist off and GO! The lid slides open to allow for drinking my smoothie directly out of it (so it serves a double purpose). The design of the lid is very good - it's very easy to sip the smoothie from this (it has a nicely designed drinking lip), and the size of the container is perfect for my car cup holder. After you are done with base, the cord twists and locks into a recessed area in the bottom of the blender, making cleanup even easier. The blender looks awesome just sitting on my countertop, ready to make smoothies at any time! The only thing I could possibly wish for is more power.

Pros:
1) This is a perfect smoothie maker! Has been able to handle almost anything (see Cons below for more about this) I've put in there, even frozen fruit.
2) The design is just genius to me. I'm able to make a smoothie and go in 5 minutes. After blending, just twist off and go, and lid slides open to allow you to drink/sip... it's totally portable. Device itself is very small, takes up little space on your counter, and does look nice (especially since the cord is pretty much concealed at base of blender). I actually like that it only has 1 button - makes it easier for me.
3) Cleanup is a breeze. Splash some water and a little soap in there and swish around, dump out and air dry, or just let water sit/soak for a few minutes if the food is harder to get off. I've read from other reviews that the lid can become a little flimsy, so I always handwash it. Dishwashers can warp some delicate plastics sometimes...

Cons:
1) As stated on some other people's reviews, there IS a burning smell if you push button for too long or if you throw something in there that it cannot handle. Always pulse this thing for maybe 20-30 seconds at a time, do NOT just keep your finger on the button for too long. This is basically just a baby blender, so it's a little more delicate than many of us are used to.
2) This little blender is not able to handle large & hard items very well - I wish it had more power. Examples of things the blender has had trouble with: big pieces of cubed ice, whole frozen strawberries. I used the crushed ice dispenser from my fridge when I need ice, and cut the whole frozen strawberries in half when I need those. If you stick something in there that it cannot handle, the blade is just going to freeze up on you (i.e. get stuck).
3) The blade is small, so it's not always as easy as "blend & go" - sometimes I have to pulse a couple of times and then "help" it by mixing the things at the top into it with a spoon so that everything is able to make it to the blade at the bottom and get blended properly. This isn't a big deal to me, although I know that the super expensive blenders that people use for smoothies, like VitaMix or BlendTec, don't require help from spoons as much as this one :)
4) This blender does not blend as well as more professional blenders. I've had a green smoothie (i.e. has spinach in it) from a pro blender and it's perfectly smooth and blended, you don't see any food particles at all, looks beautiful. With this blender, you do see the small pieces of chopped up spinach mixed in it (they ARE small, however). This doesn't bother me at all personally, although it grosses some of my co-workers out :)

TIPS!
1) Because this blender is not very powerful, I've found that it works better if you put the liquid and/or soft items in FIRST and then begin to blend in the frozen items and ice.
2) Remember to pulse, do not continuously blend for more than 20-30 seconds I'd say (or you will get the burning smell!). I actually pulse for about 10-15 seconds myself (I want this thing to last me a long time!)

Conclusion:
Despite the cons, this VERY inexpensive blender has still been an amazing purchase for me. You definitely get more than your money's worth, in my opinion. I have owned and have used it everyday for 2 months now and it works fine as long as I remember that it isn't super powerful and might need some "help" sometimes. The design of the blender is amazing though and is what makes this stand out from other blenders. It makes it so easy to create a smoothie and go. I am kind of lazy but wanted to change my diet. I have a full-sized blender but it was burdensome - too much - too big - a pain to clean. This blender has made it SO easy that I'm now drinking extremely healthy smoothies everyday, full of things like spinach, veggies, fruit, yogurt, flaxseed oil, and organic raw egg yolks. I've lost 7 pounds and am FULL of energy now also. I'm so happy!! This little blender has made a large positive impact on my health. I'm sure I'll eventually get a VitaMix one day since I'm eating the smoothies so much now, but only when this one dies on me (let's see how long it lasts).

UPDATE Aug 2010: Originally bought this blender May 2010. It's August 2010, and the lid finally cracked - well, I guess I got what I paid for. The crack is getting bigger and starts to leak liquid now as I blend. I've used it almost daily now for 3 months... since I know that smoothies are going to stay a part of my diet now, I am considering upgrading to a Vitamix blender.

UPDATE Aug 2011: I have officially trashed this little blender and am downgrading my rating to 3 stars because it's no good for long term use. I bought another one soon after the lid cracked on the previous one (hey, at under $20 a pop, I didn't think much of it to just buy another). WELL, a couple of months after purchasing that 2nd blender, the bottom of the plastic cup cracked! Grrr... The mechanism/motor of the units worked just fine each time, it was the VERY cheaply-made plastic container/cup that makes this product a bad idea for long term use. I have purchased a Ninja Prep Pro system and although it's not a Vitamix, it's a HUGE improvement over this little blender (and the Ninja is also Consumer Reports' #2 blender right now, right behind Vitamix!)
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63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little blender for the price., January 29, 2011
By 
Darin D. Smith (Cullman, AL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Hamilton Beach 51101B Personal Blender with Travel Lid, Black (Kitchen)
I'm about to buy my 3rd one. I've got one at home, and one I take on the road with me. I'm buying a new one because the one I've had for a little over a year has finally gotten a small crack at the bottom and leaks slightly; I don't know if it's because I had stored it for a short time in sub-freezing temperatures, or just because I've used it until it cracked. Who cares? It's $12, that comes out to a buck a month. I use it anywhere from 2-10 times a week, depending on how warm it is and what I'm in the mood for.

I was reading some of the other reviews complaining about several things, and I wanted to address my thoughts on those issues after having used one of these for about 2 years.

Leaking around the lid: I just now filled it 3/4 full of water to test it out, since I usually make smoothies or shakes with it, and they are much too thick to leak. Yes, it will leak a bit around the slide cover of the travel lid, if you are blending thin liquids. It wasn't very bad, and if you hold your hand over the lid it won't get everywhere. All I can think of is that some of the reviewers aren't snapping the lid on completely and it's leaking around it. I've never had a smoothie leak through or around the lid.

Not blending anything solid/only blending stuff on the bottom. People, if your mixture is too thick, it can't get down to the bottom to blend up correctly. A large kitchen blender will blend thicker stuff because (a) it's got a more powerful motor, and (b) a much larger blending container. When you are using this, it's better to put the liquids in first, and then the harder stuff up top; otherwise, you are going to have a very thick mixture on the bottom that can't rotate up and let the thinner stuff down. This isn't a design defect, it's just physics and the way things are. When I make smoothies, I put the ice in last, and it grinds up large chunks of ice very smoothly. If it's still a bit too thick to blend up, I add a bit more milk or juice or whatever so it will work properly. Once it gets going, it has a nice whirlpool effect and everything gets blended well.

As far as the smoking motors, I have had no problem with either of mine. You can smell the motor bushings when you use it, but it's the same smell you get from every electric motor, just ask anyone who owned a model train as a kid. I only blend for less than 20 secs at a time, so maybe that's why I have never burned the motor up. You can't leave it going continuously like you might a large kitchen blender.

People, this is a one serving blender, and for $12, you get more than what you pay for. I'm sure there are better ones out there, but not for even twice the price of this one; if I have to buy a new one every year, I can live with that. You can't compare it to a full sized kitchen blender and expect it to do everything the big one does. I thought about taking one star from it for a couple of things I would recommend changing about it (I think a blending lid would be a good idea, and it would make it easier to clean if you could separate the blades from the bottom), but in the end I decided that I couldn't expect those things from, once again, a $12 blender.

In conclusion, it does what it professes to do (makes smoothies and shakes), does it very well if used properly, and does it for what I consider to be a bargain price. That should be the gold standard for 5 stars, in my humble opinion.
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117 of 130 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars nice ...with one big flaw, November 7, 2008
By 
D. Diederichs (Waite Park, MN USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hamilton Beach 51101B Personal Blender with Travel Lid, Black (Kitchen)
Works nicely for mixing up those breakfast protein shakes but the lid started cracking after only 3 months of daily use so when mixing it leaks at that point, I have to try to plug it with my finger to stop it from leaking onto the counter, other then that i'm happy with how easy it is to use and clean.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good investment, May 15, 2009
By 
Silvergirl (Frederick, MD) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hamilton Beach 51101B Personal Blender with Travel Lid, Black (Kitchen)
I am so glad I bought this little blender. It is exactly what I need for making smoothies. I have a Back to Basics smoothie maker with a pouring spout and that is fine for making smoothies for the whole family, but I also make them daily for myself alone, thus the need for this personal blender.

When I make my smoothies in this little blender, I use 6 to 8 ounces of plain yogurt, 4 frozen strawberries (available at the dollar store), 1 TBS wheat grass powder, 1 TBS ground flax seed, agave nectar for sweetening, and top it off with some milk to make it more fluid. I also use bananas when I have them. The result is good, but a little gritty because of the flax seed. I don't mind, though, because I am feeling great. The flax seed not only lowers my cholesterol, but my joints feel better as well.

This product is easy to clean, and that includes getting ground flax seed out of it. You have to pulse it, instead of keeping it on full blast, but it doesn't take long at all before the frozen strawberries are all blended, and I can enjoy my smoothie. It makes great milkshakes, too.

I have had mine for about 6 months now, and I love it. If it broke tomorrow, I would go right out and buy another one, because it is so handy. You can take your smoothie drink with you, because of the handy container, but I drink mine at home, so I can't really say how it fits into the cup holder in the car.

There is a burning motor smell almost every time you use it, but it doesn't seem to be a problem for this little machine. You will have to make sure it is properly seated in it's motor base before you turn it on.

I also like that it doesn't take up much counter space. I can leave it out, and it's not in the way.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works great but use common sense, July 23, 2011
By 
Kerry Kobashi (Silicon Valley, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hamilton Beach 51101B Personal Blender with Travel Lid, Black (Kitchen)
Most of the reviews I've read here below 2 stars are failing to treat this blender with care. If you are making smoothies, make sure you do the following:

1) Always put liquid like nectar into the cup FIRST - very important. It should be at least 1/3 of the contents.
2) Don't stick large pieces of fruit into the container. Cut them up into 1" or less cubes. This will make it easier to blend.
3) Do not put large ice cubes in the container. It will get stuck between the container and the blades. The blades are not big. If you push your luck too far and hit the blender button, the ice cubes will get stuck. You can burn out the motor that way, let alone break the container.
4) Do not fill the container more than 75% of the contents. That will prevent any explosion and leaking.
5) Do not press the button for long durations. Do quick presses to let the contents move around and displace itself. If you get ice cubes stuck and continue to press, you will burn out the motor.
6) Always lock the cup into the base. It is really easy to just shove it in the base and hit the button. Don't. There are icons on the cup that align with the base. Use them to avoid problems.
7) Watch the contents in the cup. If they are stuck and not moving, stop pressing the button. Take those items out and cut them into smaller sizes.
8) You will know you are pushing your luck too far when you start to smell an odor coming from the unit. Stop blending and let the motor cool down.

I've made many smoothies this way and they turn out pretty good. But just don't expect professional quality because the blades and motor are nowhere near a professional/commercial quality blender.
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99 of 116 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible!, March 30, 2009
This review is from: Hamilton Beach 51101B Personal Blender with Travel Lid, Black (Kitchen)
I had a lovely little Signature Gourmet personal blender for $20 that I was using practically every day for the past year. When it stopped working I was unable to replace it because it's been recalled.. so I went to WalMart and started shopping around.
There I found this Hamilton Beach single serving blender. It was classy and elegant and looked like it held even more than my previous blender, so I was very happy to try it out.
But when I got home I dscovered that the "travel lid" it comes with is in fact the ONLY lid it has. You can slide a cover over the drinking hole, but do you think that actually holds the liquid in? Nope. Even when the blender is only half full, running it causes fluid to well up from beneath the drinking cover, and flood the top of the lid. I had to keep mopping it up to continue blending.
On top of that, the blender actually got stuck on. I was pulsing the button (exactly like I had to do for my Signature Gourmet) and when I took my finger off, the blender did NOT stop. Pressing the button again didn't turn it off either. I had to unplug it from the wall, and when I tried to plug it in again it started up immediately.
Needless to say, I am taking it back!
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57 of 66 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 60-days later, the blender went up in smoke, February 5, 2009
By 
Steve G. Bjorg (San Diego, CA USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Hamilton Beach 51101B Personal Blender with Travel Lid, Black (Kitchen)
I bought this blender early December. Now, in early February, it went up in smoke... literally. I used it about 4-5 times per week during that period. Which means it blended about 40 drinks before the engine gave out and the unit almost caught fire.

The blender is ultra cheap and so is its quality. In the end, you get what you pay for.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Listen to the Reveiws, March 9, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Hamilton Beach 51101B Personal Blender with Travel Lid, Black (Kitchen)
I bought this despite all of the people complaining about the motor burning out simply because it had so many perfect reviews. The motor DOES BURN OUT. I was mixing fruit juice, yogurt, a cut up banana and cut up strawberries. I was being careful not to burn out the motor because of prior reviewers. The motor started smoking after making 4 of these smoothies! It lasted 2 DAYS. Do not buy this product to blend ANYTHING solid. If you want it to stir up liquids then maybe its for you. worthless product.
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Hamilton Beach 51101B Personal Blender with Travel Lid, Black
$21.99 $14.85
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