Top positive review
1,006 people found this helpful
Solid, serviceable blender for very little money
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.