Top critical review
August 26, 2009
I was not really looking for a margarita maker - I wanted something to make fruit smoothies. Since I already have a blender, I tried buying a budget ice shaver for $30. It broke in under a week. So I went ahead and bought this monster. I have had it for about 6 weeks, and have not had trouble with breaking parts.
On the "good" side, the ice shaver works very well (so far). The downside is that the blender portion is no better than the other blenders I have used in the past, meaning, if you put in pieces of fruit, even soft fruits like strawberries and peaches, the blade spins around a couple of times and leaves all the fruit stuck to the sides of the pitcher or else lying on top of the blade. The only way to avoid this is to add liquid.
The problem with adding ENOUGH liquid to get the blender to blend is that it then becomes a challenge to avoid a watery smoothie. Basically, you need to add a LOT of ice. In summary, the machine does work, if not quite as well as I had hoped.
There is one other frustrating aspect of this item: I cannot clean it. Not surprisingly, it collects food spatters, especially in the spout through which the ice shavings fall into the pitcher. I don't know whether this piece comes out (since I have not managed to get it out) but it should. Also, the blade and spinning mechanism for the ice are supposed to come out, but both I and my husband tried to take it apart following the instructions, and we ultimately gave up. This is a significant issue, since black mold will grow on the parts that are not cleaned.