I have been using a blender for the past 15 years or so that I bought for mixing drinks in college. It was a low-end model, but performed adequately for the occasional tasks for which I used it.
Recommend this product?
Recently, however, I have begun drinking fruit smoothies for breakfast several times each week. I use frozen berries instead of ice, which rapidly dulled the blades on my poor old blender. Likewise, the thick consistency of the semi-frozen drinks proved too much for the little blades and little motor to swirl, yielding drinks with many chunks of fruit.
After much research, I opted to purchase the Waring PBB 201 blender. (FYI, the 3-digit code indicates the color; each of the four models listed in Epinions title above are otherwise identical.) I've had the new Waring for about 2 months, and couldn't be happier with the purchase. Specifically, I like the following features:
The design is simple. You sit the carafe on the motor and flip one switch. There are no fancy interlocking parts, no 21 speeds, etc. - just a simple cradle on the top and a two-speed switch. I found that I end up using both speeds for just about everything I blend, but I never feel that I need more.
The motor is strong. It powers through large frozen strawberries and produces a smooth finished product. The strawberries definitely give the unit a workout, but the Waring handles the strain capably.
The blades are strong. Like the motor, the thick metal blades stand up to tough frozen fruit. Surprisingly, however, they also puree the mixture to a very smooth consistency.
Parts are easily available. After reading a lot of reviews here, I was leaning towards the JuiceLady. I couldn't however, find anywhere online that sold replacement parts. There are many vendors, however, who sell every nut and bolt for the unit, in the even that I need to fix it.
It is easy to clean. At first, I was only looking at blenders where the bottom unscrewed and the blades came out for cleaning. Others, however, commented on how easy it was to clean the sealed units by blending a water-soap mixture. This is definitely the case with the Waring. A light hand scrubbing, followed by blending a little water (don't over-fill or you'll have a mess) and a tiny bit of soap, followed by blending some clean water as a rinse produce a very clean carafe.
No leaks. The sealed unit performs exceedingly well with respect to keeping the contents inside the carafe.
Generally sturdy parts. The carafe has thick glass. The lid is thick rubber, the cord is sturdy (and long). In general, this is a sturdy unit. I expect it to last for many years; time will tell.
The only thing I don't like is:
- Safety. There is no safety switch to detect whether the carafe is installed or not. Several times I have found myself cleaning the rubber coupling (the spinning part attached to the motor) while the base was plugged in. I try to be careful, but I would be surprised if I was distracted someday and ended up winding the dish towel (or my sleeve, or my finger, ...) around the motor by accident.
Based on my experience so far, if I had to do this again, I would make the same choice. Thanks to the others here who offered their input to help me decide on this model for myself.
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Amount Paid (US$): 121.95