Hamilton Beach 58148 Power Elite Review

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This inexpensive countertop blender boasts all the right features, including a 700-watt motor, large glass pitcher, and four-tip blade. Noteworthy accomplishments include silky smoothies and shakes.

The Hamilton Beach 58148 Power Elite (starting at $28, Amazon) is a wonder for smoothies, shakes, and juice drinks, according to hundreds of online reviews. On sites such as Best Buy, the blender's powerful motor and sharp blades are credited with making quick work of frozen berries and yogurt for smoothies, tomatoes and jalapeños for salsa, nuts for batter, and ice for whatever. Many users say the blender stands up to the punishment of daily use for shakes and breakfast drinks. They praise the simplicity and value for the money.

But all is not perfect. Some reviewers grouse about lumps that remain in smoothies, ingredients that lodge under the blades, contents that aren't fully processed, and ice that doesn't get crushed. Pulsing apparently helps with harder items and sometimes taking a timeout to stir things around is necessary. Comments about loud noise are common, but that doesn't seem to deter reviewers from using the blender. A small minority of units seem plagued with build-quality problems, such as leakage around the blade housing, a slight burning smell, or a motor that gives out prematurely or just lacks oomph.

Features on the Hamilton Beach 58148 Power Elite are standard in this price range and much appreciated by users. They like the hinged opening in the lid for easy pouring and adding ingredients in the midst of blending; the cord that retracts into the bottom of the blender for storage; and the four-button display, plus one for on/off. There are four tips on the blade and 12 blender functions, including grating, crush ice, and easy clean; pulse is an extra. (Reserve the easy-clean cycle for quick washouts between multiple batches of the same food, says the manufacturer.) The motor hits a peak of 700 watts of power and the 40-ounce glass container can withstand thermal shock. All removable parts, including the stainless steel blade and housing, are dishwasher-safe. The Hamilton Beach Power Elite is backed by a three-year warranty.

This is a no-nonsense conventional blender that is sating the appetites of many a smoothie fan. Although capable of other tasks, its primary purpose seems to be churning out shakes and drinks. A starting price under $30 is easy to swallow.

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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