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on March 1, 2011
I was ready to write a great review for this blender the moment I got it, but I thought, no, I should test it out, see if it fails to perform over time. It's been months and it's just been a wonderful blender, no problems. The pulse button is a very handy addition, because it modifies both HIGH and LOW buttons with one push, so it's very one-hand-friendly. It's got a strong motor, which is not too noisy ... you can smoothly lift the cups to stop it automatically, which is super smart. Altogether a very neatly designed product.

I use it every day, so it gets a serious work out on a weekly basis. Grinding coffee, making soups, smoothies, chopping vegetables into purees (of course you have to add liquid, it's not a food processor!). Whipping cream, chopping nuts, blending hot soups (careful, only fill it half way and start on LOW), etc...

If you want a compact, super easy to clean blender, that can go in the dishwasher (plastic does get a bit cloudy, but I don't care if it means I don't have to hand wash it!), it's just the best little blender I've ever come across. And I've gone through many 'small' blenders - I had several MAGIC BULLETS, the pro and ordinary, they were good, but they are a poor design next to this blender.

I TOTALLY recommend it :) no hesitations.
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on May 9, 2013
I love this system! But I can understand why others have had trouble with it. I like it because it is fast, cuts ice like butter, and cleans up as fast as anything you will find. I too wish the cups were a little wider for easier cleaning, but found that a bottle brush made to clean sigg water bottles works perfectly as does a baby bottle brush. Also, it is very important to put the liquid first and the ice last, so that the ice rests on the blades with the liquid all around before you start grinding. Also, it is very important to pulse first to make sure that no ice cubes are wedged between your blades in the beginning. If they are it jams and hums and you need to stop it and shake it or even unscrew the lid to get the ice out before continuing. But when it starts with liquid and ice, it cuts the ice like butter, no kidding. You turn it upside down, screw off the blade top, rinse it off and go. It's that quick. There is no better, faster smoothie system out there. And although it's not included in this kit, you can get a lid from the cuisinart website that will fit the chopper cup that does not have a hole in it, so it seals it completely. Also, when you first use it please note that the cup should slide into the blender slot. I smashed it down, it jammed and I had a terrible mess. I learned to twist it gently back and forth a little till it dropped down on it's own. Don't force it. I have had this system for about 2 years, and nothing compares to its quickness and ease of use and cleaning. But you have to baby it a little with the tips mentioned below.
1. Make sure there is liquid in the cup around the ice and that the ice is put into the cup last so that when you put the blade on and turn it upside down the ice is closest to the blades.
2. Don't force the cup down into the blender. Twist back and forth until it falls down naturally with gravity.
3. When crushing ice, pulse first and make sure there is liquid around the ice cubes. If the blade doesn't start right away, stop, shake or clear ice out of top before pulsing again.
4. It helps to steady the machine when blending with your hand on top of the cup. It is so powerful, the vibrations are crazy.
5. Use a sigg water bottle or baby bottle brush to clean the cups if necessary.
6. Remember you can order a chopper cup lid with no holes in it from the cuisinart website for about $6.

Good luck with your decision. I love mine.
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on April 9, 2012
We make a lot of smoothies in our house, 2-6 a day. We have burned through several blenders in all price ranges and brands. We purchased a Bullet last year because everyone was wanting different smoothies at the same time and washing the big blender was getting cumbersome. The Bullet lasted less than 6 months and it NEVER blended as great as the Cuisinart Smartpower Compact has. With the Bullet, I would have to reblend items because big chunks would still remain. The Cuisinart is a POWERHOUSE! We LOVE IT! It blends everything so quickly and completely. Yes, it did stink of burning motor the first few times we used it, but it doesn't now that we have used it many times. We also did have the motor shut down, but that was a function of the machine working like it should. It shut down before the motor was fried. We start all our blends on the low setting now, and after the big frozen pieces are chopped up, we switch to the high speed to completely pulverize our ingredients. I have no more complaining of chunky pieces in smoothies. I am getting more spinach, peas and flaxseed into my kids than ever before. They can longer tell because everything is blended so smoothly! The Cuisinart Smartpower is worth every penny. Another feature we all love is the blend and go lids. Now I just make different smoothies directly into the travel cup. It's Awesome!
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on December 26, 2017
I always like these for the first month or two that I have them, but then the motor burns out for some reason... It's not like I use it to chop up gravel, but I guess the motor is too weak to continually process/blend frozen fruit for an extended period of time. And of course they last until JUST past the expiration date on the return-window. I love it until I hate it, and unfortunately I don't (always) write reviews when I am filled to the brim with happiness and protein shakes from a great blender.

Oh well.
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on May 20, 2016
Update: I've had it five months now and still love it - I use the larger blender jar for making pancakes and waffles and I use the single cups for my daily smoothies. I notice some black plastic flaking from the OUTER rim of the blade unit (where it screws onto the cups, not inside where it would get into my drink). Daily washing of the blade unit removed the flakes and it wore off after a few weeks. The gears don't show any wear at all but I make sure not to force it in, if they don't mesh properly at first when inserting the cups or blender jar in the motor unit, I remove the cup and turn them just a bit, then put the cup back in. Still love the power of the unit, my smoothies come out very smooth, no bits to get stuck in the straw.

I love this blender! I make a smoothie every morning and the cups are the perfect size for it. And for blending other things, the larger blender jar is just right - I'm single so I'm usually making smaller portions. Regular blenders were too big and too much hassle for cleaning, took up too much counter space. This one is just right and it's very powerful too, very sharp blades and it blends up my smoothie in about half the time that my old smoothie blender did and does a better job, no bits of fruit like before, all blended smoothly. It's a bit disconcerting at first that the cups/jar don't actually lock into the blender (they just sit in without any turning) but that hasn't caused any problems. Possibly the problems other people had with the gears getting ground down is that the gears didn't mesh properly when they set the cup or blender jar in the bottom unit. I've been taking care not to force it in.

The top of the blender jar fits a bit tight but the tip in the manual to run cold water over it works great, then it slides in and out easily. I haven't had any issues with the gasket being torn up - I suspect that those problems came from overfilling the cups, I did that one time and it suction locked and the gasket came loose when I got it open so I'm careful to never overfill the cups. I also remove the gasket if I'm putting the blade part in the dishwasher (I also make sure the blades aren't touching the dishwasher rack so it doesn't dull them).

All this may sound like a lot of work, but it's not, I just don't force anything when setting it in the bottom unit and I don't overfill - no problems!
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on January 28, 2018
Have had ours for over four years now purchased November 2013...the best blender we’ve ever had ....actually sold our ninja IQ to a friend recently as our Cuisinart works better at chopping/blending everything ....ice...frozen vegetables or fruit for a smoothie plus it’s quiet especially compared to the Vitamix we bought which we returned because they are way overpriced and sound like a 747 is landing in your kitchen! This one is a trooper and should last you for years!
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on April 19, 2017
Was amazing while it lasted. Crushed ice exceptionally well (as long as you didn't overfill), and was easy, powerful, and convenient. Unfortunately, it died after a little more than a year. Called customer support a few times but they were always closed. Their hours were inconvenient (especially because I am in a different time zone), and then it fell off the list of things to do and I gave up. It's frustrating because I liked it so much.
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on June 6, 2014
After many many hours researching the best and most convenient blender for fruit smoothies, I decided on this device. It works awesome, and not just for smoothies!

It gets the fruit very very smooth, and basically has three settings: pulse, fast, and slow.

A lot of people have said that these blenders break easily. I can see that they would if you are blending frozen fruit (although it does say on the box that this device crushes ice, I have not tried it yet) I always thaw my fruit in the fridge or use fresh fruit. I put the frozen fruit/ refrigerated liquid in the tumbler the night before, put a lid on it, let it thaw. Next morning, take it out, pop on the blender blade attachment, set in in the base, and press slow for a thicker smoothie (drank without a straw or eaten with a spoon), or fast for a thinner smoothie (one that can be easily sucked through a straw) Thats it! Just go easy on the thing and it will stay in good shape and not break.

Now, if you are an on-the-go 'not very good at planning' type of person, spend $400 on a vitamix or nutribullet and annihilate your frozen fruits/veggies/ice etc. At that price tag a machine should be able to liquefy granite or frozen fruit with no problem.

I have also used the smaller 'chop' blade and cup for quickly chopping up fresh rosemary for recipes...That worked wonderfully!
I have also used the tumbler size to make milkshakes and those came out perfect as well. Great consistency.

The only issue I've had with it is sometimes if you use the 'slow' setting you end up with a fully intact and unblended piece of fruit. To remedy this I've found you need to blend the smoothie ingredients a little while, and then take the tumbler off the base, give it a little shake, and replace it on the base to keep blending in order to get all the ingredients to the blade.

Cleanup is very easy. Just soap up and rinse the blades and tumbler after use and air dry. Some people have said that the blades are very sharp and you need to be careful not to cut yourself on them when cleaning...obviously. I have not cut myself yet, and I don't plan on it.

All in all perfect little blender for morning smoothies, midnight milkshakes, grinding herbs, etc. I have not tried to make soup or anything in it but will attempt that in the future.
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on December 8, 2017
I read the instruction booklet of this Cuisinart blender thoroughly. I made one smoothie using spring mix salad greens, blueberries, and water, and it worked fine. A couple of days later I attempted to make the same smoothie. The machine would not even turn on! I had followed the same procedure that I had the first time. I returned it for a refund.
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on October 21, 2014
It started out great, but the motor only lasted 5 months. Used daily to mix a slimfast shake, plus about a dozen smoothies in 5 months. After 4 months the motor began alternating between speeding up and slowing down. Now it does it even if there's nothing in the cup. With milk and shake powder it runs briefly (~10 seconds) and then all of the lights start blinking. It's not really worth the hassle and expense of shipping it to Cuisinart for warranty work.

Update: It appears that the problem is with the 4-bladed base, not the motor. The motor runs full speed if I depress the safety switch manually with no cup in it. I ran it with an empty cup and it sped up and slowed down. When I removed the base the nut in the center was too hot to touch. I dug out the 2-bladed chopping base and it runs with no problem. So I disassembled the 4-bladed base, cleaned and reseated the parts, and it's running fine again. We'll see how long that lasts.
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