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Trying to pick a blender for my disabled son.

I need a blender for one thing only, to blend food for my disabled son who does not chew his food properly. So, I need something that'll turn pretty much any meal into a pretty smooth consistency, maybe just slightly chunk but no more than you would swallow. I'd been borrowing a friend's Blendtec but had to return it. The Blendtec worked but I was hoping not to have to spend that kind of money and thought maybe one of the Cuisinarts on sale would do the job, but I see they've got some really bad reviews. Perhaps an immersion blender would be better? What would you recommend?

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  1. I do not recommend the Kitchen Aid KSB5 if you're pureeing small amounts. It stops blending when there's not enough food in it. I have to blend at least a quart or I'm constantly opening, scraping, closing, opening, scraping...

    1. We have an Osterizer 12-speed with a glass container which has done good job for many years, but we don't use it nearly as frequently as you will. I think durability might be an important characteristic if you will give it heavy use for a long time. The Oster seems well made, but the newer models may be different. Ours is "Made in US" but "Assembled in Mexico."

      1. Are you looking for a full blender or are you looking for something more like the magic bullets?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          We have a magic bullet that we're using in the interim, but that's not a long term solution. A smaller blender would be okay as long as it works well and is reliable, that's why I had a full blender in mind.

        2. Hi, dad2...

          Will your son be operating the blender? If so, I'd recommend a two-speed bar blender with ON/INTERMITTENT switch and a SS jar.

          You might also consider a food processor.


          4 Replies
          1. re: kaleokahu

            Amen! Our autistic son likes to be able to make toast and a toaster oven with a single button to press is a must. If he blended things the approach you suggest would be ideal.

            1. re: kaleokahu

              He's too young now, but I'll keep that in mind.

              1. re: dad2disabled

                Hi, dad2...:

                Frankly, after going through a succession of multi-button/speed blenders, the 2-speed bar blender is all I've used lately. I view the former to be needlessly complicated and a PITA to clean the "dashboard".


                1. re: kaleokahu

                  Agree. I know it doesn't get great reviews but my 10 year old two speed Waring does everything I ask of it. On the other hand I have never made a raw vegetable purée.

            2. I would lean toward the Vita Mix, which we use regularly for all sorts of blending and pureeing. But since budget must be considered, here is a link to another chow hound post regarding the Cuisinart blender. It has a built in heating element for cooking. I have no experience with this but it might be something to consider.


              We have an old Osterizer that works well for what it was designed to do, but it rarely sees daylight since we got the Vita Mix.

              I wish you luck in your quest and best wishes to your son.

              2 Replies
              1. re: dcrb


                We had an old osterizer as a hand-me-down from my in-laws (chrome and avocado with a glass pitcher) that would blend anything! When it started making electrical smells (but still running flawlessly) and a friend handed down her (perfect shape) old VitaMix, we ditched the osterizer in a White Elephant gift exchange to clear up cabinet space, but that thing was AWESOME. And, you could probably find something on CL, Ebay, or GoodWill that is remarkably similar.

                My two suggestions would be a VitaMix (you may be able to find something used) or an old Osterizer (the avocado/chrome one from my inlaws is a direct match to one that was cream/chrome that we had growing up and my dad nearly cried when he broke the glass pitcher and had to toss the blender!).

                1. re: LaureltQ

                  Was the Osterizer you had one of the 60s - 70s vintage with a flat front and a lot of push buttons all in a row? There's a lot of vintage Osterizers for sale online, but I want to make sure I pick a good model.

              2. I see you have a Magic Bullet. Have you considered a Ninja Master Prep (from what I've heard, similar but much more powerful)? http://www.samsclub.com/sams/shop/pro...

                I can't compare it to a Vita Mix or a Blendtec as I have not experience with those models, but I have become a huge Ninja fan since getting one several months back.. It's a great blender and fairly inexpensive. Reminds me of the old Osters from the 60's/70's, in that it will turn ice into snow, blends expertly and chops pieces consistently.

                It's a simply operation; just press the big power button on the motor, which sits on top and disengages from the container, release quickly for pulse or hold for pureeing, pulverizing, blending, etc. Just one caveat with chopping - you have to pulse in quick short bursts or you run the risk of liquifying.

                If you think this might be something that could potentially meet your needs, check at the reviews on Sam's Club, Amazon, or BBB.

                The Ninja Warrior is their immersion blender. I have that too, but haven't used it yet. Although not as widely available as the Master Prep, it's gotten great reviews as well.

                1. dad2disabled,

                  I don't know if your budget can handle it or not but QVC has the Vita Mix on sale for $399.00, with free shipping and monthly payments. Here is the link:


                  1. If this is going to be a long term situation then I would definitely go with a Vitamix or a commercial bar blender. Everyday use will show the shortcomings of the cheaper blenders and you have to remember that most reviews are going to represent occasional use even when they say "I use mine all the time".

                    While the cost seems high initially it will be cheaper in the long run. Vitamix has a 7 year warranty on their home blenders. Divide that price by 1 year or 90 day warranties and it wins hands down.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: SanityRemoved

                      I got a refurbished VitaMix, because it comes with the same 7 yr warranty, and it was $150 less than a new one. It came good as new, and has gotten heavy use over the last 18 months. I can't speak highly enough about it.

                      1. re: jeanmarieok

                        Hi jeanmarleok,

                        Buying refurb is always a good idea when the source is a reputable company and it is backed up with a serious warranty that includes warranty shipping to and from the factory/company. Vitamix is tops in this category.

                      2. re: SanityRemoved


                        This item comes with a 5 year warranty per the link. However, the warranty can be extended thru Vitamix. We purchased ours thru Vitamix and found that we could extend the 7 year warranty to 10 years for additional money. I cannot remember the cost though. The 5 year warranty may be one reason this machine is being sold at a reduced price on QVC.