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on September 3, 2013
There are plenty of solid reviews for this, so to put your mind at ease about the others, let me address the one-star reviews.

Says one: "Doesn't work on ANYTHING. Can't even make smoothies." Makes you wonder what use the fifty people who gave it five stars have for it. A paperweight perhaps?

Two people remark that it doesn't blend raw fruit or vegetables. If they're trying this without liquid, they either 1) are not very bright; or 2) have wildly unrealistic expectations of a $20 drink blender.

I can tell you that I have bought a lot of these (mostly in the plastic version), because I think they are fantastic and I give them as gifts. When I get a new one for myself, it's because the old one is kind of gross from a year's worth of smoothie residue stuck in the cracks.

The stainless steel looks nicer in the kitchen, but I kind of miss being able to see what's happening during blending. A tradeoff...but either way, I promise you can make a smoothie.

ADVICE/UPDATE: It's possible given the design that if you put ice/fruit at the bottom, it will get stuck there and not get drawn into the blades. Put in your liquid first, and then your ice at the top.
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on August 27, 2015
I was open to spending a LOT more, but for the purpose of making protein smoothies (a little ice, couple scoops of powder, some fruit, water) this kept coming up in searches as a really good solution. It seemed too cheap but I gave it a try and it's perfect for this use. It's extremely thoughtfully designed, and the build quality does seem better than I expected. I guess they save money by not paying for informercials.

My other criteria: I didn't want another hand-blender because they are messy and hard to clean. I didn't want to use my full size blender because it's a hassle to clean, I always seemed to make too much, and its too big to leave out on the counter.

This little machine rinses out easily and stores no bigger than a large water bottle. I like the stainless steel, true you can't tell by sight when it's done, but I can tell pretty well by the sound (when you pulse it and you don't hear any more grinding sounds.) I wouldn't mind the option for a bigger cup, but that's pretty easy to work around and the small cup helps discourage overeating.
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on September 30, 2014
Used for a week twice a day so far. This thing is stellar. I make smoothies with ice cubes and frozen berries, and they are generally smooth and pretty wonderful. After a lot of the reviews, I am kind of blown away by how good it works.

However. BE CAREFUL. Don't use it with the lid off while plugged in. It is really shallow and the blades are right there... Also I tried to remove the lid once while it was plugged in and accidentally hit the button. That day I tried to make bulletproof coffee with it... I got covered in pretty warm, greasy coffee... The button is really easy to hit when you are not paying attention.

Also try to manage the motor. If you small something, take a break. I try to run it in 15-30 second bursts with a short break.

Use plenty of liquid. It simply won't blend solids down without liquids. It isn't going to make crushed ice. Sometimes I can't seem to get those couple small ice chunks, but it can still make a really nice smoothie that is pretty smooth outside of those.

This thing is much more compact than I expected even. We don't have a lot of room, so it was a good choice.

I tried Bulletproof Coffee in it, and it was not a great choice. Hot liquids are not super smart in such a small pitcher. There is very little room for the pressure. And the lid has a drink spout that can easily leak with even a little pressure. So a good bit of coffee shoved up through that. Make sure you cover it with a towel. I might do it again, but if you wanted it regularly, get a bigger blender...
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on August 16, 2012
This personal blender does just what it says. It blends. I am on the HMR diet in which I blend and drink 3 or more shakes per day. These are mixed powder and ice cubes and this blender handles it all great. Add fruit, no problem. It is more quiet than my big blender I use at home for larger portions. Best of all it sits on a desk taking up no more space than the cup itself. Perfect!
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on January 19, 2014
I like using it to make simple fruit smoothies for breakfast -- typically a little almond milk, a banana, and a handful of frozen berries. For this it works fine. It doesn't blend greens or apple skins very finely -- you'll have some small flecks or pieces that escape the blade. The motor puts out a greasy/industrial sort of smell through the vents on the back of the base. This will hopefully lessen with time, but isn't very pleasant as I'm preparing something wholesome to drink. If I fill it up the pressure of the upward-blasting juice will sometimes seep through the lid -- this can at times get messy when I have to check what's inside to see if I've gotten it to the right consistency. Thankfully it's easy to just throw the whole cup in the dishwasher when I'm done. I give it 4 stars primarily based on value for the dollar and suitability to my particular purposes. In the greater context of blending devices it is quite weak. Don't kid yourself, a $20ish dollar blender won't be capable of pulling off any major feats. Still, it's recommendable if you imagine using it in a similar way and don't have or don't want to use a larger and more powerful device.
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on August 7, 2016
I am a smoothie lover and have one every morning for breakfast. I have recently been traveling for work, staying in hotels for 4 to 6 weeks at a time and needed my morning smoothie. Looked at this product and thought it would be perfect to keep on top of the mini-fridge, but was a bit skeptical because of the size of it. Wow, it is wonderful! Blends up a great smoothie, even using ice, as if I was making it in my full size machine at home, and I take the cup with me. If you are looking for a small sized inexpensive smoothie maker, do not pass this up! I highly recommend it.
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on October 2, 2013
I've had their single serve blender with the plastic jar, this stainless steel jar is a nice upgrade. The plastic jar got scratched up by strawberry seeds etc. Stainless steel is what was used in the old 1950's restaurant milk shake machines and will easily out last the machine. This isn't your Mom's Huge 600w blender, it's a single serving smoothie blender. As a smoothie maker it does a wonderful job. First put in around 8oz of milk, juice, etc before adding your fruits, veggies and 'small' ice cubes.

Update - My first blender lasted 24 months before the blades got dull, not bad for daily use - (900+ smoothies) I bought another and would still give it 5 stars. It's to bad they don't sell the container separate since it wsa still running fine.
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on January 18, 2015
I had the plastic version of this blender until it cracked, so I bought this one. Definitely worth the few extra bucks. Other people have reported a burning smell, but I think that's just what happens until you use it a few times. Also, it's intended to operate on pulses, not continuously. I add a handful of frozen berries to my morning protein shake, and it works great, but I haven't tried it with ice cubes.

Update: Works great on a few ice cubes, too!
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on December 13, 2013
I really wanted something that was 1. powerful enough to chop up all my veggies and fruits for my green smoothies, 2. not made of plastic, and 3. easy to clean. Well, it is easy to just take the cup and go and wash it out when you're done. However, I struggle to chop up all my ingredients (which includes frozen fruit and leafy greens like kale). I have gone back to using my standard size blender most the time.

Of course, this is not plastic, and it easy to clean up and convenient to have only one container instead of the bleander and a seperate cup. But the difficulty of making smoothies really ruins it for me. With a more powerful blender,it'd be great.
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on July 15, 2013
I have used ice with this and frozen fruit and grinds well. Although, have had to stop and use a utensil to stir the smoothie so the blender will not stall which it does, but using a lil more liquid between bottom of blender and in the middle of items used in recipe helps..But overall it has worked pretty well for me and am glad of my purchase....NADA!....Purchased end of May and Today is july 24 and my 'nifty' blender DIED!..This is my second personal blender from Hamilton Beach and both couldn't handle frozen fruit smoothies as I previously said..Cheap housing, I believe. It also had trouble with a full container of smoothie ran slow. Hope it is not just me. But will search for another and read other reviews and hopefully third time a charm.
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