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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 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 February 13, 2015
you get what you pay for, i purchased this to blend my morning juice it bubbles and doesn't even blend until you mess with it for about 5min. picture says it all
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on September 8, 2017
The collar of this blender (the piece that holds the blade and screws the pitcher to the base) broke within two months. I probably used the blender 10 times. I called the customer service department which took a while to get a hold of, and they were not very helpful. The representative asked me what did I put in the blender. I told her ice, almond milk, flax seed oil, and 6 frozen strawberries. She asked did I thaw out the strawberries first, and I said no. She then informed me that I should let the strawberries thaw first. Hmmmm. It did a fairly good job of blending my morning smoothie before the collar broke, now I do not have a working blender.
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on September 21, 2017
This is a very LOUD blender. I bought this in April and it is now usable due to the black plastic ring base being cracked. I have tried to find a replacement part and it is impossible. I went to the Hamilton web site and they won't even allow me to contact them. They take you in a circle with poor customer service help. Save your change - you get what you pay for. I gave it 1 star because we did use it daily for 5 months - but I expected at least a year!
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on January 8, 2013
I bought this blender 2 weeks ago on sale for $19. I do believe it's worth that much. However, I probably wouldn't have spent any more than that on this particular model. I bought it to replace my Oster that recently burned out while I save for a Ninja or NutriBullet.

If all you are looking for is a means to blend a basic smoothie or a bisque (which is what I was looking for), this blender will get the job done. By 'basic smoothie' I mean: liquid with some frozen/fresh fruit, protein powder, etc. Raw/hard veggies will not blend well. I was a little disappointed that I could not get Kale to blend into my smoothies to a pleasant consistency. Be sure to put the stuff in and let it run for a bit. Don't be too quick to decide that you need to get in there and move stuff around with a spoon. Be patient.

A few people mentioned that its loud. It's actually quieter than my now dead Oster. It is no louder than any other blender I've used or seen used, even a Ninja.

All in all, for $19 I couldn't go wrong. But in my opinion, the wattage and the heavy glass jar are wasted on very cheap plastic parts and a blade that leaves much to be desired.
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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 May 16, 2017
Very unsatisfied with the product. I received it last week and today, at second use while I was making a smoothie, it broke! I put some strawberries, bananas, honey, yoghurt and protein powder on it, regular ingredients of smoothie for one person!!! The bottom part with blade got separated and all the smoothie poured into the motor part. I threw away the box and I do not know how I can return it. And I had used an one time special offer provided by my credit card company to be used in Amazon and I wasted that for this useless device. I thought it can be connected again to the container, but it did not work anymore!
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on October 5, 2017
This is how delivered .
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on January 23, 2018
POSITIVES: attractive, sturdy, well-made, does the job but protein powders ‘almost’ blend easily with some scraping-off the sides required. Good pouring spot in the corner of the square-ish shaped carafe. Priced appropriately.

NEGATIVES: intricately designed lid with plenty of seams and small spaces is hard to wash quickly and powders get stuck in the very small grooves and pour spout. The lid is also hard to remove but probably because it offers a very secure closure: no worries it’ll fall off with pouring. But it is a struggle to pull off.
The underside of the bottom piece, (which holds the blade), is scalloped and VERY annoying to dry thoroughly. These two factors I really hate.
It’s also LOUD! All reviews for the option of buying it with the sound shield (more money and takes more space) were not great and to me didn’t block too much noice on the videos posted with sound comparison. This doesn’t bother me as much as cleaning the nooks and seams of the bottom and the lid. But I suppose if you use it daily (it’s as loud as a weed whacker, but with a whining noise), is likely not good for your hearing.

NEUTRAL: the Glass carafe is HEAVY! I don’t mind as I’m strong but it was a surprise compared to my 15 year old model that bit the dust. However when my arthritis bothers my fingers, its weight is more challenging. BUT the weight is indicative of its quality.

I considered returning it but the quality is so good I feel it will last a very long time. If you don’t mind noise and spending a little extra time to have to immerse wash and do detailed drying, I recommend it!
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