675 of 707 people found the following review helpful
on 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???
396 of 414 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2011
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.
167 of 177 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2010
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.
116 of 122 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2005
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.
115 of 123 people found the following review helpful
[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).
80 of 87 people found the following review helpful
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" :)
-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.
-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.
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 :)
76 of 85 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2012
The good news:
After I ordered this blender[ASIN:B0017XHSC2 Hamilton Beach 51101R Single-Serve Blender with Travel Lid, Red], I made myself read all the reviews while I waited for it. I noticed the reviews on this specific model (the red one) were all great. The reviews for the black one and the white one were either "I loved it" or "I really hated it" with not much between. I worried for no reason.
As soon as it arrived, I made a protein shake with ice. Wow! This is one powerful blender. With just several pulses, my shake was thicker than a milkshake. (Note to self: use less ice. It's not necessary with this gem!) I love being able to mix the shake, take the container off and drink from it. After wrestling with a big blender, the use and clean up were easy. I was afraid hand washing it would be a pain, but it's not. I rinse it well, fill it halfway with soapy water and pulse a few times. I use my sink sprayer to clean the blades. As far as I can tell, this is not to go in the dishwasher. The instructions only show washing by hand.
There's one small negative. If you are purchasing through Amazon as I did, and having a red one isn't a must, order the white one with 2 containers. It costs a little less. (My kitchen is done in red appliances so red was important to me).
I'll weigh in with updates if I have any.
And the bad news:
After less than a month my little red blender is broken. I continued to make the exact same shakes twice a day. A week ago a piece of ice got stuck and bent the blade. The blender briefly made a funny noise, then continued like nothing happened. When I washed the cup, I noticed the blade was bent. Two days later, I found that I have a leaky cup. So, sadly, my once-perfect blender is going back. I'm replacing it with my second (and more expensive) choice. I didn't want to try this one again because I'm just not prone to do that. My originally five star review is now a two because a blender of this sort should be made to last. Depending on your personal usage, it may be great for you. For me, as it turns out, not so much.
81 of 91 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2010
We used to have the single personal blender, but when it finally blew, we had to find another. What a surprise to find Hamilton Beach made one with two jars, and we got it for not much more than we paid for the first one!
WHAT A DEAL!
Got it in great time, and as I said above...WORKS LIKE A CHARM...and believe me, we use this every day, if it didn't work well, I would definitely be letting you know!
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2012
- easy to clean as blades are in both cups just pop them in the dishwasher
- Makes great smoothies
- After six months one of the cups broke, but for a $20 blender this is not a big deal
- Does have a bad small when used, smells like the motor is burning, but this goes away. I know this sounds terrible but it works fine.
- Sounds like it's struggling but it does the job
CONCLUSION: If you want to make smoothies for breakfast, particularly 2+ a day, this is a great value and honestly I was willing to spend more but this one is more convenient than the 50+$ blenders. This is why I give it 5 stars despite the fact it is not a perfect item.
Bonus Smoothie recipe:
- 1 cup of milk / almond milk / soy milk
- 1 banana
- 1 scoop of protein powder
- half a cup of mixed berries (costco sells big bags of these)
- 1 tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter
This is a super delicious smoothie that also will give you what you need before a workout!
42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2007
I was looking for a very small blender to make smoothies in my very small kitchen. This seemed like a good size and it does work pretty well. I make smoothies from just yogurt and cut-up fruit and 2 small ice cubes. This blender has a tendency to get stuck on just spinning around and not chopping very well unless I shake it to get the fruit and ice to the bottom. Also, I must hold it in place or it will spin right off the base. In other words, it doesn't lock in place. For my purposes it works fine but I wouldn't recommend it for heavier jobs.