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I’ve Already Killed Four…What’s One More?


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Four. I’ve killed four of them. It wasn’t malicious, it wasn’t on purpose; they couldn’t handle the work and they just died. Yes, some would say I killed them, and I guess they’d be right. In some ways, they did deserve it. They were weak, ineffective, lacking. So maybe I’m glad they died, glad I hastened their end–they deserved it.

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Wait, wait, hold on! Before you call the authorities, let me just say, I am not talking about people, or animals, or even robots. No, I’m talking about the four blenders that I’ve killed over the past several years. Even so, the “bodies” are piling up…

pile of barbie dolls

My most recent “kill” occurred the morning of February 1st. I had just finished blending my healthy and delicious morning smoothie and I decided to throw one more frozen strawberry into the mixture. I dropped the icy berry in, closed the lid and pressed the button. The blender whirled like normal, for about 5 seconds, and then it stopped. I tried again, pressed other buttons, even unplugged it, and plugged it back in, but to no avail; the blender had given up the ghost–it was done-done.

That was number four on my kill-list. While I was disappointed when each of the following blenders kicked the bucket, they were good (mostly) while they lasted:

Hamilton Beach Personal Blender

Pros:

  • Low cost
  • Quick to assemble, easy to use
  • Easy to clean
  • Portable enough to use when traveling

Cons:

  • Ingredients may bridge / bind up and not blend
  • Relatively short life-span if used most often to blend hard, frozen fruit, or ice

Confirmed Kills:

  • Two

Failure Modes:

The first blender died due to a crack near the bottom of the blending cup. The second one went out fighting. Its blending cup experienced catastrophic failure during blending–it sheared and broke apart; I lost the smoothie and the blender in that battle…


After killing the second Hamilton Beach Personal blender, I decided to upgrade to a heavier-duty blender:

Oster Duralast Classic Blender

Pros:

  • Robust glass blending container
  • Sturdy base
  • Good blending power (700 w, listed)
  • Moderate cost
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Assembly is easy but there are several parts to handle and clean
  • The blending blade has a sleeve that can be difficult to clean. Food residue can build up inside this sleeve if not frequently and carefully cleaned.
  • With consistent use, this model seems to give out at somewhere between 2 and 3 years after purchase

Confirmed Kills:

  • Two

Failure Modes:

As mentioned earlier, my second Oster Duralast Classic blender inexplicably, and simply, stopped working just as I completed blending my morning smoothie. The engineer in me decided to take it apart but since everything appeared to be intact (fuse, mechanical components, wiring, circuit board components, etc), I can olny guess that the issue is electrical / electronic and not mechanical.

Similarly, my first Duralast bought the farm at the start of a morning smoothie–I pushed the buttons but nothing happened. Dead. I ended up dumping all of the unmixed ingredients from the blender and into a food processor that was not designed for smoothie making. It was messy and took a while to complete, but it worked and the smoothie was tasty as usual.


My most recent purchase is a further upgrade from the previous blender:

Oster Pro 1200 Blender

Pros:

  • Robust glass blending container
  • Sturdy base
  • Excellent blending power (1200 w, listed)
  • Easy to use
  • Automated, preprogrammed blending options
  • Optional blending smoothie cup

Cons:

  • Can be loud when blending
  • Assembly is easy but there are several parts to handle and clean
  • Higher cost

Confirmed Kills:

  • Zero

Failure Modes:

So far, this is a good blender and since I’ve only been using it a short time, I don’t know of any failure modes. But, based on the previous model, when the Pro 1200 dies, it will probably go quietly too.

Conclusions

The saying is true, “You get what you pay for”, but I guess I am old school and expect things to last longer, like they did back in the day. So, would I recommend any of the blenders that I’ve killed? Yes and no… It depends on several factors, including what you are looking for / need, how much you are willing to spend, how often you will use it, etc, etc.

If you are seeking a new blender for your healthy smoothies, or other food prep needs, check out these quality models:

Here’s to happy blending and healthy eating!

Eric


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