Hamilton Beach 51101 Single-Serve Blender Review

Single-serve blenders are all the rage these days among harried commuters, busy parents, and fitness-minded consumers. The Hamilton Beach 51101 Single-Serve Blender (starting at $15, Amazon) handily churns out smoothies, frozen drinks, veggie drinks, and breakfast mixes, according to scores of reviews on the Walmart website and on Amazon. Lest anyone think this is a one-trick pony, reviews also say the Hamilton Beach 51101 does a masterful job blending coffee, smushing baby food, and crushing small amounts of ice. Moreover, reviewers continue, the compact size makes it the perfect tool for a small kitchen and the portable, lightweight design renders it a favorite accessory for travelers.

Not surprisingly for a personal blender in the cheap price range, some consumers are less enamored of this model. Hamilton Beach Single-Serve Blender reviews gripe about leakage from around the lid, ice that proves impervious to the blade, generally inadequate power, a tendency to overheat even when not overtaxed, and battles lost to greens.

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When the similar Hamilton Beach 51101R was evaluated by the Good Housekeeping Institute, it churned out an impressive milkshake but underwhelming margaritas. Tomato sauce didn't stain the plastic container, the volume measurements were deemed easy to read, and the lid snapped on and came off easily. The Hamilton Beach 51101R was one of the quietest models in this test of more than two dozen blenders.

The Hamilton Beach 51101 Single-Serve Blender is powered by a 175-watt motor that's manually controlled by an on/pulse button. The four-tip blade is stainless steel and the portable 14-ounce plastic blending container is BPA-free. The jar fits into the cup holders in most vehicles and comes with a travel lid. Both the jar and lid are dishwasher-safe and the cord can be tucked away around the base. The base and matching lid are available in white (51101), black (51101B), red (51101R), and green (51126). The Hamilton Beach 51102 is equivalent except that it comes with two jars and two lids (available in white, red, and green) -- and it costs about the same.

For blended drinks on the go or one-offs at home, this personal blender from Hamilton Beach is hard to beat in terms of price and performance.

Maralyn Edid

Maralyn is a veteran reporter, writer, researcher, and editor. From her early years at Crain's Chicago Business and the Detroit bureau of Business Week, then on to a long-term stint at Cornell University's ILR School and now at Cheapism.com, Maralyn has been -- and remains -- committed to getting ...

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