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on January 18, 2013
I bought this blender primarily for protein and fruit smoothies, crushing ice, and grinding coffee.

Out of box experience was good, well packaged, simple. Tested it by using the Easyclean feature, and it worked like a champ. While it is noisy, it is quieter than I expected. Just don't expect to be listening to something on TV in another room if you are blending in the kitchen.

The Pros:
My first smoothie was done in seconds, no fuss, no muss. A cup of ice, two big scoops of protein powder, fresh strawberries not cut up, and 12 ounces water.

I put in the ice and strawberries first, and pulsed about 3 times on ice to get a very nice puree of ice slush and strawberry, only a few seconds each. It's got power to spare. Added the powder and water, hit smoothie, and about 15 seconds later I had very happy happy milk-shaky-like goodness to enjoy.

Cleanup and storage could not have been easier.

So it's a keeper.

The cons:
I can see how with so much plastic used, SOMETHING will give out over time and use. HB does not warrant glass breakage, but they say NOTHING about plastics, so if a lid or vent or base go, the 3 year warranty will be worth keeping track of.

Summary and impressions:
It suits my needs, it meets or exceeds expectations, and it was cheap. So cheap that if it dies after warranty, I won't blink and won't miss it.

So after browsing through HUNDREDS of reviews, personal blenders, and Ninja's and such, and nearly going for a Cuisinart personal blender, I figure this one takes up roughly the same amount of space, 700 watts beats 300 any old day, and certainly 185, and why mess around when I don't want to have to worry, I want to blend.

Very Worth While. If it had more sturdy and durable looking plastics, or they were some other non-bound-to-fail material, it would get 5 stars. For under $25.00 you can't beat it with a stick.

I hope this helps if you're reading this!
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on January 29, 2013
My older Hamilton Beach blender was dying. I did not like a previous Kitchen Aid blender I owned. The bottom of the line Oster I tried made a viciously ear piercing racket. In my dreams I own a Vitamix. Well..in the meantime I need something NOW. I looked at all the reviews of various strata and then said "just try this one" ..if it sucks well then it's a backup. Because if you are a morning smoothie addict like me you need a backup.

So it shows up. The base is taller than my old Hamilton Beach but the motor is more powerful (700 watts). I like that the buttons face forward and require a bit more of a positive force to engage. I think this is a good thing. You are less likely to accidentally hit them and spray chocolate soymilk or whatever your beverage thing is all over the kitchen by mistake.

This blender has "oomph" as they say. It fearlessly grinds large frozen blueberries to make a puffy aireated (bubbly) chocolate blueberry banana smoothy which is how I get through swallowing all my various vitamins including the "horse pills".

It has a real, high quality glass top. Some of the blenders in this price range don't - they instead use that crappy plastic that discolors and cracks.

They are honest about the buttons. No fancy schmancy: You get LOW, HIGH. PULSE LOW & PULSE HIGH. 4 buttons. I've never needed anything else. The springs on the pulse buttons and the size of the buttons provide a substantial tactile feedback. All those extra buttons - it's just frippery, added cost and more to go wrong. I want either to get started (low) or go all out (high). Why kid myself?

The motor base of the blender is mostly plastic but at this price who's complaining? The styling of the blender is not bad. It doesn't pretend to be something it's not but it's not hard to look at either.

It doesn't "walk" or jump about the counter - it stays put.

I have yet to make Hummous (or hummus) in this blender. Will report back if I have problems with that.

Complaints: I tried making Orange Juice and it got a bit messy. I strongly recommend just using 1 can of water and using Low. Then add the remaining 2 cans into your juice pitcher later. When you pour the blended OJ into the juice pitcher do it over a sink. This may have been user error. : ) I've only had this blender for 2 weeks now.

The blender will not accept my older Hamilton Beach glass blender top from the mid 1990's.

One design decision about the glass blender top on this unit that you may or may not like is ..the inner bottom area (near the blade) has a wider area around the blade..so it needs a bit more liquid (not a ton more) than I was used to with the old blender. Also, I don't know how this wider area around the blade will figure into making hummous. Again I will report back on that later. I have to wait until the hummous making mood strikes.

I do not make vegetable smoothies except for my cucumber tzatziki yogurt sauce on rare occasion. So I can't tell you whether this will blenderize celery or Kale.

All in all, for my specific purpose (soy & fruit smoothies) I am quite satisfied with this blender and feel I paid a fair price for it ($25.71) You could buy 12 of these for the price of a Vitamix and you can be using it NOW! You can always keep it as a backup or make it the vacation place blender.

UPDATE #2 3-30-2013: Still going strong. No hassles. I * did * make hummus (or hummous) recently and found that I had to make a double batch to get it started and get it all blended right - but that's not a big deal in my book. For smoothies the requirements for a good blend are much less demanding. I see some reviews complaining about the motor overheating, or a burning smell. I haven't experienced that. Maybe mine was made on a Wednesday? I just know it works great and continues to do so. Over and out! : )

P.P.S. If you look very carefully at the bottom of the glass blender top right where it tapers to meet the base, you'll see a sort of line in the glass that might "LOOK" like a scratch or break. It's not. It's some kind of little ridge left over from the forming or casting of the glass. I figured this out after much visual inspection as I was initially concerned about it.

Update: August 17th, 2013 Still going strong...

Update #3: Jan 29th, 2014 ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY! Still going strong...

Update #4 Jan 25th, 2015 TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY! Still going strong...no issues

Update #5 March 17th, 2016 THREE YEAR ANNIVERSARY! Still going strong...no issues.

Update #6 July 3rd, 2017 FOUR YEARS PLUS ANNIVERSARY! Still going strong...no issues.
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on March 3, 2017
This blender was purchased to replace a Cuisinart that I bought at Costco that had all the bells and whistles and cost more than double. When it broke down after a few years worth of work (and that was my second), I decided that I would just get a good blender with nothing fancy. I got this and I love it. I use it to make pudding, puree split pea soup, and some drinks and it's really a good blender. It surprised me how much better it does the job than my Cuisinart! I love the pouring spout on top as sometimes it was messy pouring from the corner of my old one. I've owned this for a while now. I don't like reviews from folks that do it right out of the box. I like to use the product for a while to test it out. This one definitely passed.
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on January 1, 2014
Yes, you can make a green smoothie with this. Put water in first. Then Kale, spinach, collards, 1 green apple bite sized chunks , 1 orange, 1 banana, oat meal, whole baby carrots and apple cider vinegar. People act like this thing won't blend but it will. If you put water in first and actually let it blend for 1 minute, that's it! Done! This is why you need to decide things for yourself. I'm glad I didn't buy a $500 blender. What is wrong with people? That is rent money and I just want to blend leaves and soft ass fruit.
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on September 14, 2014
I picked this up after being unable to find a blender under $30 in any local stores that had decent reviews (I always check Amazon.com for pricing and reviews before purchasing anything). I had purchased a VERY similar model (same brand, and similar features) on impulse at a local store for right at $30, but decided not to even take it out of the box after reading the reviews on Amazon (my phone was dead when I purchased it, or I would have checked the reviews before pulling the trigger). After a bit of research I came across this unit which was a few dollars less, and is the same brand with almost identical features - so I was surprised that it had so much better reviews, but I figured it was worth the gamble and I needed a new blender for my morning smoothies ASAP (my old one was not working at-all). I never took the other one out of the box, so I can't compare this one to that one - but I can say that I'm very happy with this blender - it works perfectly for what I need it for, and although I have only had it for a few weeks, I haven't had any problems yet and it seems sturdy enough to last for a while. The problem with my last blender was that the gears the connected the motor in the base to the blades in the pitcher were made of rubber or soft plastic, so over the years they eventually got stripped until they were unable to catch each other enough to make the blades spin. During my search, I came across several models that had metal pieces connecting the blades to the motor which seems like it would be ideal. This model uses plastic, however it seems thick and sturdy enough to last a while. The pitcher is also very wide all the way to the bottom. Many blenders have a 'funnel' shaped pitcher that is smaller at the bottom (by the blades), sometimes causing ice or frozen chunks to get caught in the blades which can cause problems with the motor and/or the gears that connect the blades to the motor. Because the bottom of this is so wide, it seems like this happens less frequently because the blades will simply push the frozen chunks aside rather than getting them stuck between the blades and the glass. I rarely used the lid on my old blender, as I don't usually have issues with the ingredients splashing out - however, the lid of this blender has a couple of features that I really like. One is the spout that allows you to more easily pour your smoothies into your cups with less mess/dripping, and the other is a little 'flap' that allows you to easily pour in ingredients while blending without worrying about splashing.

I've only had this for a few weeks, but so-far it is working very well and I feel confident that it will hold up for a good while. I definitely recommended this for anyone looking for a sturdy, powerful blender in this price range. I'm only withholding the 5th star because I would really like to see metal pieces connecting the blades to the motor instead of plastic - but hopefully this won't be an issue.

BONUS: DELICIOUS SMOOTHIE RECIPE!

1. Optionally put 1/2 or 1 full avocado (removed from the skin and separated from the seed/pit) in the blender (depending on how much you are making and/or how creamy and how much avocado flavor you want.
2. Optionally add a banana to help thicken it up a bit and add some more nutrients
3. Add 2-3 cups (or your desired amount) of any type of fresh or frozen fruit you like. I especially like peaches, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, pineapple, mango, and cherries.
4. Optionally add a scoop of protein powder to add some more nutrients. I use vanilla flavored powder to add a bit of flavor as well. You can also add powdered vitamins such as Airborne, vitamin C, or fiber.
5. Mix in about a cup or so (depending on how thick you want your smoothie) of juice. I personally prefer fresh squeezed orange or apple juice, but use whatever you like or have available.
6. Optionally add a half cup or so of GoodBelly, or any other type of probiotic or nutrient rich juice. You can also use wheat grass, or something similar to get some extra nutrients.
7. Optionally add a half cup or so of kefir or a few spoonfuls of yogurt. I prefer either vanilla or berry flavored kefir which adds some probiotics to your drink, and a bit of sweetness and flavor. Obviously you can leave this out if you prefer a dairy-free smoothie.
8 Start blending the ingredients on low, then turn it up to medium once the big chunks start to break down.
9. Optionally add a couple tablespoons of agave nectar, or honey as a natural sweetener. You shouldn't need much, especially if you used sweet juice or flavored yogurt. I prefer raw light agave nectar, and just a couple of squirts is enough.
10. Optionally, add a few drops of grapefruit seed extract, or other natural oil or extract for additional nutrients.
11. Blend on medium until it begins to 'fold' (you should basically have a smoothie funnel/tornado) - if this doesn't happen within a minute or so, it may be too thick and you may need to add some more juice (or use a thicker straw). Then you are ready to drink. Taste a bit with a spoon or straw first, and add more ingredients as desired to get the perfect texture and taste before pouring.
12. Rinse the pitcher and lid with hot water right away to ensure you have a clean blender to use the next morning.

This may seem like a lot of steps, but once you do it a few times it takes less than 5 minutes to have a healthy and delicious breakfast that you can drink on your way to work. I always make enough to share with my kids, so I know everyone gets a nice dose of fruit, protein and vitamins each morning. Give it a try, and you will probably be hooked! Enjoy...
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on October 7, 2017
This is a very good blender at a rock-bottom price. This is what you want: A 700W motor. A glass bowl. The bowl has the same "wave" shape as the slightly more expensive model. The gasket is integrated with the blade assembly, so taking the bowl apart for cleaning is one part simpler than on most blenders. No gimmicky accessories.

It loses one star because the lid is weirdly and not too usefully complicated, and lightweight. The economies have to come from somewhere: Where higher-priced blenders have a chunky solid base that holds the blade assembly onto the bottom of the bowl, this blender has a lightweight base. It seems solid enough. The fake stainless steel front panel fools nobody. This isn't a $200 blender for $30. But after the second daiquiri you'll be thinking "The price difference buys a lot of daiquiris."
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VINE VOICEon March 19, 2015
I bought this blender for a specific use, crushing ice for beverages and thereby sparing the motor in our overpriced "you can't use that, it's for special occasions" blender. Exactly what those occasions would be I have yet to determine. Anyway, for my purposes, it is powerful if a tad noisy and even stuffed to capacity with ice cubes, it hasn't failed to get the job done and the lid seals on the glass jar securely as well. It's stable in operation and easy to clean.

Now, it's been reported to me it functions efficiently for preparation of smoothies which I suppose is some sort of non-alcoholic coco loco?
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on April 11, 2017
You know, I like the heavy glass of this blender and it does a bang-up job. On the other hand, the included chopper thing is anemic and barely chops things at all. I found you have to chop veggies or fruit before you place them into the aforementioned chopper. For that reason I give it three stars.
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on July 10, 2015
I bought this for making smoothies out of frozen fruit. I tend to drink smoothies on a rather erratic basis, so fresh fruit tends to spoil on me before I can use it. The blender is an interesting design, as it is very wide as blenders go, apparently to allow room for the optional food processor attachment blade (never used said attachment, so no idea how well it works). The unit is also sturdily build, looks very nice, has a pour spout which is quite handy for pouring without dribbling, and has plenty of power.

I would give it five stars, but for two issues.

One, it doesn't blend large frozen strawberries or frozen bananas very well compared with other blenders I've used, I wonder if the wide design has something to do with that. The bananas (broken in half before freezing) were especially difficult to process in this thing. They would tend to get stuck on the side and just sit there. If you leave it running for a minute or two (literally, 60-120 seconds) it will eventually pull it in, if you can wait that long. I found myself turning it off two or three times and repositioning the fruit until it took. On the plus side, once it does take, it does a very thorough job of blending in a short time.

Two, the lid really needs a redesign. The pour spout, while nice for pouring, is so narrow that it completely fails as a means of adding ingredients during blending. Seriously, when you can't fit a banana through the opening, something is very wrong.

On the whole, it's an ok blender. It had potential to be a great one, but just ended up ok.
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on March 12, 2017
Every now and again you place an order that meets or beats your expectations this item arrived three days ago and I am on my 7th smoothie it is fast efficient not very noisy which I like and I have to say I am in love it's worth every penny thank you Amazon
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