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"OldSter" or Infomercial Choper/mixer for newlyweds in college?

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My daughter has always loved cooking-product "shows." When she was 3, the VitaMix tape kept her hooked for hours. It comes as no surprise, then, that she wants a magic-rocket-capsule Super Choppery thing now.

Here in Beijing I used to whirrrrr through a blender/chopper about once a year. The local brands cost about ¥200 (2010 math = $30) and include a blender, 1cup chopping bowl with blade, 2.5 cup chopping bowl with blade, and a juice-separator sieve blender insert. The 4 or 5 "nubs" on the bottom of each piece that interlock with the main base are always plastic-- and they wear down, which is the typical reason I had to replace mine. Of course, I also blew a motor or two. However, I wouldn't mind finding something similar in the US.
About 3 years ago, I bought a Braun stick blender that came with a 3 cup bowl/removable blade. The connector mechanism for the stick attachments broke after about a year (so, no more immersion blending or whipping) but I've continued to whirrrrr cheese and Panko and everything else. I wouldn't mind finding something similar to this, either.

In The States, my mom bought a heavy BaMix in the late 70's (probably still in the basement) and I inherited a super-sturdy Oster Lil Oskar from my grandmother in the late 80's which I used until moving to Asia in 2000. Predictably, finding something similar would also be okay.

Now that my daughter’s a newlywed college student in Seattle (with a wonderful hubby who’d like grind-it-fresh coffee), I can't just send one from here and let them grind Seattle's Favourite until those “nubs” no longer meet, as these products are made for voltages incompatible with the US.

SO – as I’ve been investigating “from afar” all the possible blend and whirr choices, this is what I keep seeing –> everything new is so LightWeight and cheaply made, yet still expensive! The Infomercial choppers are well over $100 once shipping and accessories are purchased. The sturdy versions of reputable brands seem to be the same or more.

Long question short—if I want to give them something that will last, with a budget of only about $100US, do I go back to basics and buy an Oskar on eBay or, if I want something new, what should it be?

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  1. Kris: If you haven't read this already, try http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7474...

    3 Replies
    1. re: kaleokahu

      Thanks. I was wondering why I didn't get any "bites;" seem C'Hounds have already worn out my topic.

      1. re: Kris in Beijing

        The other reason no one responded is because no one really understands what you are asking. Are you asking for gift recommendations for kids who like infomercials? Recommendations for good mini choppers? Coffee equipment under $100? Also, can't you just order things from the amazon U.S. site so that the voltage is correct?

        1. re: E_M

          Thanks for the clarification.

          >>as I’ve been investigating “from afar” all the possible blend and whirr choices...
          >>Long question short—if I want to give them something that will last, with a budget of only about $100US, do I go back to basics and buy an Oskar on eBay or, if I want something new, what should it be?