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in search of the perfect blender

i confess. i'm a blender freak. i make protein shakes/smoothies at least once a day in addition to soups, purees, etc, so i tend to beat the crap out of my blenders.

i've tried braun. i've tried oster. i've tried black & decker. i've tried villaware. i've tried waring. i've even tried that crazy l'equip with the tachometer.

hated them all.

thus far, kitchen aid & cuisinart are the only ones i've found that create the proper vortex during blending to achieve true emulsification, resulting in the feather-light whipped consistency i prefer in my shakes. however, i've exchanged/returned/burned out/replaced more of each of these two brands than i care to count, and my current kitchen aid stainless professional model is now exhibiting symptoms warning me of its impending demise.

i KNOW people love, love, love the vita-mix, but that thing is enormous [and from what i've heard, horrifically noisy], and i just don't have the counter space for something huge.

having said all that, the endless promos during 'top chef' have gotten me curious about breville blenders. does anyone have experience with this 'hemisphere' technology? i'm considering trying the breville ikon, but i'd love to hear opinions or experiences if any fellow hounds have tried it out.

i'm also open to suggestions for any other brands/models i might have missed.

thanks!

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  1. I have, and am happy with, a Waring blender. However, I can not imagine a more extensive discussion on this subject (204 posts) than this one:

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/417580 - entitled - Help Me Find the Perfect Blender

    1. One of the food mags - maybe Gourmet? - did a review of blenders in the oct issue (i think, it's the one focusing on latin american foods). If I remember correctly, Villaware came out on top

      1 Reply
      1. re: pslopian

        unfortunately it seems that all blenders have their share of problems and a lot of reviews you find don't put the blender to test for a long enough period to test for durability. many consumer reviews either love them (but the review is posted within a month) or hate them (the review is posted after 6 months of use when the motor burns out, etc). it's really difficult to find one that has everything for the average consumer while maintaining a relatively low to medium price point. a friend, who is a chef, told me to just get a good quality basic blender like this Oster: http://amzn.to/RwpSTz She said if you really know how to use it, along with being aware that the order of how you put ingredients into it (larger things first), will go a long way for many uses.

      2. I don't know about "horrifically noisy." Most every bar you go into has one. Have you noticed noisy?

        If you're a member, give your local Costco a call. I was in one today and they were all set up for a demonstration.

        6 Replies
        1. re: yayadave

          I appreciate reading the idea about calling Costco. We have a card with them but use it maybe once or twice a year.

          1. re: iL Divo

            Why? Didn't you post that you gave one away?

            1. re: MacGuffin

              What'd I give away > my Costco card?

              1. re: iL Divo

                Your Vitamix. I believe yayadave posted that goodhealthgourmet should give Costco a call specifically to see if a Vitamix demo was upcoming.

                1. re: MacGuffin

                  Right. And if you want to know locations for upcoming demonstrations, look at this site. http://www.vitamix.com/household/show...

                  I'm assuming that they have special offers at the shows/demonstrations. I have previously said that at a demo I got a pretty good price on the short work pitcher compared to what other CHers reported.

                  1. re: yayadave

                    I recently saw a demo at a Whole Foods in NYC; they were offering an 8-year warranty and an extra $50 off. The total came to $399 + tax for any color but stainless. An excellent deal, even better than a refurb. Only the second demo I've seen in the in the 23 years I've had a Vita-Mix.

        2. Have you tried the Blendtec blender? i've never tried it but it looks like it will blend the hell out of anything.

          http://www.willitblend.com/

          2 Replies
          1. re: JohnnyCab

            appreciate the feedback.

            i did read that other post, but there's nothing about the breville, and i had already heard about or experienced pretty much everything else.

            as i said, i've already tried the waring and the villaware...didn't like either one.

            i considered the blendtec, but could never bring myself to purchase it for several reasons - the noise factor, the size, and the exorbitant price tag.

            hopefully i'll be able to catch a breville demo at costco.

            thanks again!

            1. re: JohnnyCab

              I read up on the blendtec and still ended up with a vitamix. Just bought the smaller top and put the giant one in the closet. Blenders are a mess to decide on.

            2. The VitaMix has a smaller 32oz container container, which makes the whole unit short enough to fit under kitchen cabinets, so ours is permanently out on the counter. Talk about light smooth smoothies, and it's the first unit we've had that stands up to the use we give a blender. Yup, it does sound like a plane taking off, but oh well. Results are worth it.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Bramble

                I would second Blendtec. Amazing Blenders which can come with a sound enclosure which reduces the noise by 50%.

                These are the same blenders that Starbucks uses (so I assume they can take a beating).

                1. re: Chefdavis

                  That used to be true, but they've just recently switched over to "The Quiet One" by Vitamix...