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818 of 858 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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860 of 889 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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860 of 889 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)   
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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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818 of 858 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome and Perfect for Smoothies!!!, July 26, 2008
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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616 of 648 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Addicted to a blender, April 20, 2005
The other day I impulsivley went and bought a Hamilton Beach Juicer. When I got it home I hemmed and hawed, wondering if I should use it or not. Did I really want it? I started looking around the internet and realized what I really wanted was something to make smoothies or other fruit concoctions. I researched a few things like the Magic Bullet and Ultimate Chopper but both had mixed reviews. I was tempted to buy the Tribest blender because it had some good reviews here at Amazon but I could only find it online and it's listed at $60 - much more than what I really wanted to spend.

Instead, I went to my local Walmart and to see what they had. I saw the Hamilton Beach Personal Blender and it was priced for only $13.67 so I was interested. It's just me, so I don't need a huge and heavy unit taking up what little counter space I have. I also figured since that if I bought it at Walmart and that if I didn't like it I could easily return it.

I brought it home, looked over the manual and attempted my first smoothie. I threw in milk, strawberries, frozen raspberries and hit the button. I needed to blend it some more because of the raspberries being frozen. Live and learn, I should have done those first. I put in some ice and blended it some more. It came out wonderful!

The jar itself can be used as a serving glass. I probably will only use it in that manner at home. It has no handle so I'd be afraid I'd drop it when I was out. Then the blender would be worthless because the blade is in the jar.

* Jar twists and locks into place on the base
* Comes with a travel lid to take your drink on the go
* Cord wraps around the base
* Not intended for all food - manual says not to process hard foods such as cheese, crackers or meat. A maximum of 12 tablespoons can be ground at a time. Do not try to mash potatoes, mix stiff dough, whip egg whites, grind raw meat or extract juice from fruit or veggies.
* Container cover has filler cap that can be removed to insert small objects when blending
* Can not use big chunks of ice. You need to break them down. I have an ice tray where the shape is a small circle (half ball) and it was fine. Perhaps this is what you can use those holiday themed ice trays for. Some of those sizes which I have seem I think would work in this.
* NOT dishwasher safe - but easy clean up - rinse, put water and soap in jar, blend for a minute, empty, rinse again and you're done.
* No complicated speeds or choices - one push button
* I can't find it on the box or in the manual but according to Amazon, the motor has 175 watts of power

I just went and made another smoothie! Banana, Vanilla soy milk, little bit of chocolate syrup and instant coffee. Yummy!

This one site has TONS of recipes that you can use with this blender. You just have to play with the recipes because a lot of them are meant to be multiple servings.

[...] * this link no longer works. Try allrecipes.com - a search of "smoothies" brings up 200 results. There are books totally dedicated to smoothies. Google "smoothie" or just use your imagination.

While this might not do what a full size blender can, this is a great blender for smoothies, drinks, shakes and to grind coffee. I love that it's small, the cord wraps around the base and I can use this thing at night and not wake up the neighbors!

I just came back from the grocery store and picked up some more fruit... what else can I make???
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355 of 372 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful, Some Glitches, August 24, 2011
By 
Kevin T. Keith "KTK" (Brooklyn, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Hamilton Beach 51102 Single-Serve Blender with 2 Jars and 2 Lids, White (Kitchen)
This product is an effective and useful single-serving drink mixer that comes with a few drawbacks.

It is basically a tiny kitchen blender with a pulse-blend button and no other speed settings. The mixer jar works just like a blender: it is a plastic jar with ounce/ml graduations on the side that contains a built-in mixer blade with a lug on the bottom to spin it when it is on the motor; you put the jar on top of the motor unit, twist to lock it into place (be sure the lid is on tight!), and hit the pulse button on the motor. The motor screams like a dying gerbil and the blade in the jar spins to mix your stuff. When that's done, you just pull the jar off the mixer and take it with you - blade and all. The mixer jar doubles as your drink container. The lid has a slideable spout cover for drinking from, and there is a plastic rim on the bottom so you can stand it upright. The jar is about 7 inches tall by 3.5 inches wide - so about the size of a large coffee carry-container; it holds up to 16 ounces. It is not insulated.

You cannot disassemble it for cleaning; you just wash with soap and water. (I've found that pulsing the jar with some soap and warm water inside works pretty well, but it takes some effort to get down around the very bottom of the mixing blades with a brush.) The lid has a lot of grooves and crannies but it cleans up pretty well; if you're some kind of sterility fanatic, it's hard to get under the sliding spout cover, but you can rinse it with soap and water to get it clean.

As to functionality, as far as this unit goes, it's fine. The mixing action is quite good, and the lid stays tightly on the jar. I've mostly used it for light powder mixes, nothing heavy; it does well with that, and takes very little pulsing to get a good mix. The directions state that it is not to be used for hot drinks, or heavy solid foods. It can probably handle fruit chunks, but it is far from a powerhouse.

A few drawbacks: as noted, the motor is not strong. Others have complained that it burns out with long use; I have only used it in quick-pulse mode, and that is what I would recommend. It runs at very high speed and vibrates if you don't hold it while pulsing; I don't know how long you can expect it to last - it really does seem to be laboring with even light duty. My real complaint is the lid: the only lids provided are the "drink-through" type with a hole in the lid near the drinking spout, and a flat sliding cover that opens and closes the hole (it is not a positive-cover system, like some spring-loaded types - it is just a flat cover that slides in a groove back and forth over the hole). The cover is nowhere near watertight, and there is also a small airhole on the other side of the lid that has no cover at all. This means that the drink will seep out easily if you tip the jar, even with the lid on and the cover closed. Liquid also oozes up around the hole cover while you are pulsing the mixer, so the lid gets wet and dirty before you even finish making your drink. If you are carrying it in a bag or purse, you have got to be very careful never to tip the bag, and probably should enclose the drink cup in a plastic bag. This is a pain, and really detracts from the usefulness of the system, which is, obviously, intended to be portable. I don't understand why they built a product expressly for the purpose of creating liquid drinks to take out of the home with you, and made the container leaky. I would prefer a simple completely closed cover that you could remove to drink; I understand that many people prefer the sip covers, especially in their cars, but, compared to other to-go containers on the market, this one is unusually cheesy. If you are using this system to make drinks to take with you for lunch or a workout later in the day, you essentially have to spend your entire day worrying about leaks and remembering to hold your container carefully upright - which is the opposite of making things easier for you.

In short, the system works well enough and is very convenient in terms of speed and ease of use. It takes only minutes to mix up a drink, and then you don't have to find a container to put it in (or have two separate containers to clean). Having two mixer jars is great for couples or for making two drinks to have with you at different times of the day. However, there are questions about the durability of the motor, and the leaky lid creates a serious hassle. The latter is particularly regrettable, because otherwise it's a great system.
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98 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dumped my big blender, buying a second one of these., June 25, 2005
By 
T. Boland (Central Florida) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is probably the best $15 I ever spent for the kitchen.

I had a bigger standard blender, but never used it. Now, with this little blender, the little jar is always filled with something or in the dish drainer. It never gets a chance to be put away in the cabinet. The blender base is always on the counter - the only appliance of any sort that has that status.

It's simple and it works. It makes no more than two servings, and it does a real good job with single servings. I can make one kind of smoothie or shake and my son can make his own.

All of a sudden, we go to the store looking for "smoothie fodder" and we don't have to agree on what that is.

I am buying my second mostly for the second jar and lids. It is so inexpensive that they do not sell the replacement parts.
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181 of 194 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 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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148 of 158 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hamilton Beach Personal Blender, November 25, 2010
This review is from: Hamilton Beach 51102 Single-Serve Blender with 2 Jars and 2 Lids, White (Kitchen)
This blender is good for the price. You get what you pay for. I paid $15.00 for it to travel with to make smoothies. If you hold down the button too long, there is a little burning smell coming from the motor, so it would be easy to burn it out. I have just blended protein powder, milk, and bananas with this and it has worked well for me. It's better to pulse the start button than to keep it running.
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57 of 59 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)   
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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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92 of 100 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The hard life and times of a smoothie addict, December 22, 2006
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
[Update: Motor burned out in 5th month, but I may have become unrealistic in my expectations of the little machine, bullying it more than necessary. It easily outlasted a Blender Express, and unlike the bad design of the Blender Express, the elegant simplicity of this Hamilton Beach insures not only much quicker but spill-free, dripless smoothies. I've ordered another. Lessons learned: Make sure liquid gets to the bottom along with the ice; turn it off at first sign of heat or electric odor; keep a close watch on the 25c-piece-sized lid.]

If you're an experienced and regular smoothie maker, you know already that anything over a year's use from a non-professional machine is a bonus. I recently returned a lightweight Blender Express (by Back to the Basics) that failed after a single use! (The banana was too much for it.) This Hamilton Beach is the smallest, lightest blender I've seen yet, but it promises to perform for a while at least.

Ingeniously, the makers have avoided any reference to ice cubes in either the instruction manual or recipes (I get the point, though I still insist on using them). Also, there is no "on" switch; instead, the unit has only a "pulse" switch, thereby insuring that your hands must remain on the unit, preventing it from dancing off the counter and insuring that the motor gets stopped the instant excessive resistance is met.

For under twenty bucks and six months' use, you can count this one a decent value--though keep those smoothies small and simple. And if you plan to take the container "on the road," be extra careful about misplacing the quarter-sized center lid (mine disappeared faster than a quarter).
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77 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect and Awesome for Smoothies!!!, July 26, 2008
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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