391 of 409 people found the following review helpful
Useful, Some Glitches,
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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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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 11, 2011 4:34:24 PM PDT
Thank you for this thorough review!
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2012 12:07:11 AM PDT
Yes thank you. With your help, I figured out that there is a one cup blender for about $16 that is the same thing.
Posted on May 9, 2013 1:50:09 AM PDT
I absolutely love making ice and fruit drinks in this little blender--I also have had great success with lattes made with leftover coffee and heated up in cup in microwave. However, I have never been able to figure out why they last such a short time. I have two that no longer function after a few months light use. I haven't thrown them away because i keep thinking it can't be true and that the next time, surely they will work.
Posted on Jun 19, 2013 7:34:42 PM PDT
Michael S. Clurman says:
Great review. Everything I need to know (if not a little bit more!).
Posted on Jul 28, 2013 8:50:13 PM PDT
Stefanie Carlson says:
your "dying gerbil" description made my night. Thanks for an amusing addition to a solid review.
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