Customer Reviews: Oster 4096-009 Designer Series Beehive Blender, Chrome
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Color: Chrome|Change
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on April 21, 2009
I recently purchased the Oster 4096-009 because my old blender couldn't handle making the frozen fruit smoothies I really enjoy. I chose this product because the brand and style has been around since my mother was young. I was a little turned off by the idea of the glass beaker so I ordered the stainless replacement and put away the glass one. I also ordered the blend-n-go cup because of the smoothie thing. The blender is awesome. It looks great on my countertop and works better than any I have ever owned. Don't be put off by the concept that this blender only has two speeds - that's all you need. Be honest - how many times have you used anything more than pulse or full bore on your blender? I thought about it and realized that was all I ever used. This is one heavy duty unit, capable of reducting ice to snow and frozen fruit and alcohol into some incredible frozen drinks. A must have for anyone who's into shakes, smoothies or other blended products.
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on September 2, 2012
I was ready to ditch this handsome but mediocre blender until I read another viewer's advice and ordered the 6-prong Oster Fusion replacement blade made for the Fusion model. It costs $7, fits any Oster model and is 6-pronged instead of 4 like the standard blade that comes with the Beehive. Made ALL the difference! I use my blender 3-7 days/week for green smoothies. Before they were chewy and runny with bits of unblended greens and ice. Now with the Fusion blade they are smooth and frothy. When it's time for a new blender I'll treat myself to a $400 Vitamix but until then, I'm going to keep using this one daily until it quits.
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on December 7, 2011
There are cheap blenders that don't work, and there are ugly $300+ blenders. And in the vast wasteland in between, you will find this Oster and a few others.

It's not perfect, but it's solid and dependable. Ours is going on 7 years old now and it still works great. It might be time for a new gasket and blade, but since this is a basic Oster, those things are cheap and plentiful.

Best of all, it's not ugly. You can leave it out on the counter without making your kitchen look like a RadioShack window display circa 1990. (I thought about getting a Vita-Mix or BlendTec, but couldn't bear the thought of looking at either of them every day.)

My biggest gripe is that this thing is LOUD. If you just set it on the counter and fire it up, it's quite deafening. BUT you can cut the volume considerably by placing the blender base on top of a potholder. (Most of the noise is coming out of the bottom of the unit and reflecting off the countertop, which is invariably a smooth, hard surface that does nothing to take the edge off the racket.) Using a potholder, particularly one with a textured surface, won't make this blender *quiet*, but it makes it quite a bit more bearable, not unlike the droning of a vacuum cleaner. In other words, your dog and/or cat will still head for the hills, but you won't feel like you need ear plugs. (A dish towel or rag will also work, but those things have a tendency to get sucked up against the air intake which could reduce the life of the motor.)

I mostly use this Oster for green smoothies and the occasional margarita or pina colada. It works fine for those things, although it does cavitate and stop blending if you try to make something really thick (milkshake consistency.) So if you are looking for something that will make thick purees or milkshakes, you may want to consider a different model or at least try one of the optional blades, because the stock blade won't cut it.
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on July 19, 2009
My new $37 "beehive" sits next to my soon-to-be-repaired $100+ KitchenAid, and it works great. I make smoothies every morning for breakfast and this baby kicks it. My son is brutal: ignores all procedural instructions, fills it with p.b., bananas, ice, and yogurt and then turns it on! It pauses a second then gets right to work. I'm like, "you have to put the ice in while it's running," and he's, "No you don't." We rarely take it apart to clean it, just rinse right away, sometimes a little suds, eh voila, it's done. I can tell you though the blades they are sharp!
Regarding other reviews, it is loud, but hey, it's a blender! And do not need any other speeds, just the one and pulse. Can't say about frozen drinks/ice slushees, however does fine with ice for smoothies. Great deal!
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on July 24, 2011
Bought this Oster to replace my 2 year old Oster(same model)that broke - the drive pin that spins the blade broke off. We make fruit smoothies every morning and this model seems to be the only sub-$100 blender that can handle the job (we tried many others).I supposed we could have fixed the old one, however, we must grudging accept that new appliances don't last long and that replacement parts are as expensive as buying a new one and a hassle to find.

Problem is that Sunbeam continually finds ways to cheap out on the construction.
This new unit is substantially lighter and contains alot more plastic than the 3 year old model. The chrome housing is thinner. And because of all this I think its alot louder.

This Oster still has the power to do the job so that is good, however I wonder if it will last even the 2 years the previous one did, given the cheap construction.
Apparently the only way to get the same power and better quality is to spend $350+ on the next level (vitamix, etc..) But, like the Dyson vacuum, I refuse to play that game. Is it too much to ask that they just make these things as tough as they did 20-30 years ago?
Good Luck!
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on April 9, 2014
I've gone through my share of blenders. None were subjected to particularly heavy use but after a year or two, they all seemed to go from "handy kitchen appliance" status to "a box of miscellaneous parts". I had an Oster once before....with 12 speeds, no less. (Seriously, who needs more than on, off, and pulse?) It lasted the longest of all and other Oster appliances have proven to be exceptional so I decided to try this Beehive model and the price certainly seemed reasonable. The negative reviews (re: chopping ability) gave me pause but I noticed a positive one that recommended swapping out the standard 4-blade cutter with a 6-blade (Oster 118530-001 Fusion blender blade cutter 4980) so I ordered that as well. I still had the glass container and lid from my original Oster just because I could never bring myself to toss it. Now I'm glad I kept it as it too is interchangeable if I ever need it. So far, this Beehive model works great! It pulverizes everything (including ice) in seconds. I'm guessing Oster gets frequent complaints about crushing ice and chopping solids as they included a list of instructions on the subject. I followed their suggestions and had no problems. As to noise level, the Beehive doesn't seem any louder than any other blender. To be fair, I don't run it long enough to create death-by-decibels. If that were an issue, I'd set it on a dishtowel or cork pad to muffle the impact. The top ring of the base assembly is plastic and that will disappoint those who expect a completely chrome base or interpret anything plastic as "cheaply made". But given the price, I think it a small trade-off.

Time will tell if this blender will outlive its predecessors. I certainly hope so! But for now, it gets a 5-star rating from me.
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on August 21, 2015
PSA: do not buy this blender. Ever. It is a giant pile of monkey excrement which purports to be a blender. It has two speeds: "off" and "vortex so unnecessarily powerful that it sucks its own weaknesses (i.e. THE FLIMSIEST LID IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE haha why should THAT stay on at all even with handholding) into itself and creates a spewing volcano of frothy burning horror that covers things you didn't even know were in the room, such as your soul, which is now sucking its PTSD thumb in the corner, and there aren't enough paper towels in the universe." Avoid.
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on February 6, 2013
I bought this blender in March of 2012 and the rubber drive coupler which attaches the square drive pin with the base/motor sheered apart in September 2012. They sent me a new blender and it broke the same way by January 2013. I don't do anything too heavy or crazy, just a smoothie most mornings and it can't even handle that I guess. I had a beehive blender just like this that was purchased at Target in 2004, I had that blender for 5 years before this and never had a problem so I decided I would get another thinking it was a high quality blender. SO WRONG! I don't know if it is just the specific manufacturer that happened to make both of my blenders or if all of them are terrible. I think the reality is that this product IS NOT as advertised. It DOES NOT have an "all metal drive system." It has a rubber coupler that will sheer apart relatively easy and cannot handle crushing ice and making smoothies.

The customer service department tells me to just try another new blender since I am still under warranty. But then I ask what about when it happens again and I am no longer covered. Well, then I have to find a service center and they will charge me. Great! I will definitely be investing in a Vitamix or Blend-Tec blender, the Oster beehive blender is just not as good as it used to be and their advertised feature of an "all metal drive system" is NOT accurate.

This is a VERY common problem that many have experienced. For example, read this thorough review here:

The rubber coupler is designed to prevent motor failure by shearing instead of allowing a heavy load on the motor. While it is a good idea, it renders the blender useless until you are able to replace the rubber coupling. It is NOT an easy part to replace for a novice user. Most folks will likely throw the blender away. All the specs for this line of blender are also misleading. They claim an "all metal drive system" but in fact have discontinued all metal drive systems in favor of this rubber coupler. While the rubber coupler is cheap and is technically replace-able, there are no instructions on replacing it, no warning or notice that it may need to be replaced at some point in the future, and no instructions or notice on where or how to order the replacement (the replacements are easily ordered online and from Amazon though).

If Oster intended this rubber coupler as a way to extend the life of the motor, then why don't they explain that so as to warn consumers so they don't throw away presumably broken blenders that still have good motors? Planned obsolescence, that's why! They want you to buy a new blender. I think they should go back to ACTUAL "ALL metal" drive systems and they should cease the deceptive trade practice of advertising "all metal" drive systems when in fact they are using an easily broken rubber part as a critical component of the drive system.
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on October 8, 2009
When considering buying a new blender, all I wanted was a blender--a good, solid, old-school blender without all the bells, whistles, assorted jars and other useless items, and that's exactly what I got with the Oster Designer Beehive. Yes, it's loud, but so what! It's built like a tank, and the shiny chrome finish looks amazing on the counter. The best part is that the center piece is metal and not plastic like the Magic Bullet Platinum Pro Blending System it's replacing, and the main parts are replaceable. After about two weeks of almost daily use, it's done its thing with the ice cubes and frozen fruit I use for smoothies without so much as a hiccup. I look forward to taking it through its paces with lots of other things.
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on September 15, 2010
Not a bad blender, speed and power are about average. Looks nice with other stainless and metal finish appliances in our kitchen. On a polished granite countertop, it tends to rotate around on its own when in use, the rubber feet do not keep it in place. This means you need to stand there and hold it while it is running, kind of a nuisance. Overall it seems to be of the same quality of build and materials as other comparable products on the market. Has now worked fine for about 2 years, nothing wrong at all, can't say that about my 2 previous KitchenAid $120 blenders!
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