After moving into my new home, the very first household appliances I wanted to get is a blender. That is because I wanted to start making smoothies and soup again to kick start my health regime.
My Ideal Blender
Back in those days, when I was a vegetarian and vegan-wannabe, I owned a slow juicer as well as a blender. However, once I decided to switch up my diet, I stop making juices and smoothies for myself. Hence, I sold my Hurom juicer and blender. Looking back, the reason why I wasn’t that motivated to make healthy drinks was partly due to the hassle of having to wash up all the equipment parts thoroughly. So this time, I made it a point to for that one blender which is powerful and yet easy to clean.
After doing some research, I was also convinced that I do not require a juicer to make juice when I can use the blender to create juices containing the natural pulp and fibre in it. So why not? However, the blender itself must be powerful enough to crush the pulps and break down the fibres. Currently, the more powerful blenders in the market are Vitamix and Blendtec. But they cost over a thousand bucks! A cheaper and more compact alternative was the Nutribullet but it is going to be a problem if I wanted to juices or soups for two or more people. In addition, I was looking for a glass blender as it is easier to clean the smooth glass surfaces and scratch-resistant.
Yes, I was dead serious about the kind of blender I wanted. I took about almost a month to weigh out all the pros and cons of each blender. To help me with my blender purchase, I wrote down a list of features I wanted in my ideal blender.
- It must cost below $100. (I’m tight on budget!)
- The blender jug must be made out of glass.
- It must be powerful (preferably 1000 Watts and above).
- It should have a powerful blade (preferably 6 blades).
Guess what? After going through all the blenders sold on e-commerce websites, I finally found a blender that fulfils at the conditions stated above. Furthermore, it was on sale and I had a discount voucher code from Lazada. If I am not wrong, I only have to fork out about $40 for the blender. But I contemplated. There were no online reviews of the blender when I could count on. Nevermind, I shall be the guinea pig.
Aztech Silverton Table Blender (ATB6600)
I am a rather critical guinea pig because I value honesty.
The delivery came within a couple of days and boy, it was heavy! (Okay, it is made out of glass so what was I expecting?) It was nicely packed into the box so there were no defects. Minimal packaging – which I am totally supportive of when it comes to saving Gaia.
The Glass Jug
Let’s start with the 1.5-litre heavy glass jug. Because it was heavy and bulky, I wasn’t sure if the cleaning up was easy. But thank goodness, it is not too bad. I didn’t use that much water to wash it clean.
There are litre and cup markings on the side of the jug so that would be rather useful if you need to measure the quantity of the ingredients used.
The Plastic Air-tight Lid
The lid, however, is made out of plastic. It’s an air-tight lid which kept the jug super airtight to prevent spillage during blending. But on hindsight, I often find it difficult to remove the lid. You will need some strength to lift it up.
Here’s a little tip. Sometimes, I just cover the jug with the lid loosely so that I don’t have to use so much effort to pull off the lid. But make sure, you press the lid down with some pressure during blending as you will never know when disaster happens.
This safety cover lid comes with a small plastic measuring cup too. It’s great for measuring how much chia seeds or spirulina powder you want to put into your smoothies.
The 6 Stainless Steel Blade
The blades look super sharp and I was extra careful not to brush my fingers against it while washing. I actually wish that they had provided a cleaning brush to that I don’t have to stick my fingers or cleaning sponge into the jug.
Nonetheless, these sharp blades were powerful enough to crush ice cubes and even frozen fruit chunks. It’s also probably the combination of its powerful 1000 W motor and sharp blades which allows the blender to crush ice in seconds. It even has a pre-set button mode for crushing ice by the way.
Pre-set buttons and Variable Speed Control
There are 3 pre-set mode buttons – pulse mode, ice crush mode and smoothie/blend mode. It’s useful when you are in a rush for time and just want to make a quick smoothie or drink. But for me, I like to use the variable speed control dial, starting with low speed then progressively increase the speed.
Before you happily blend your smoothie away, make sure you lock your jug properly to the base unit. To fit the jug to the base unit securely, you will need to place the jug on it with the arrow aligned to the ‘unlock’ symbol. Then, twist the jug to your left to ‘lock’ the jug down. If it is not locked properly, the machine just won’t work. It’s a good safety mechanism but it can be a bane.
There was once I tried to lock it and when I turn on the switch, the blender just did not work at all. It also started to power up when I twist the jug to the left with great force. When I turn on the main switch, I saw a flicker of blue light on the buttons. That’s when I know that the jug is locked down securely to the base unit.
However, on instances, when I locked it down too tightly, I found it exceptionally difficult to twist the jug to detach it. Once, I was struggling to detach the jug from the base unit for almost 10 minutes. It was indeed very frustrating. Ever since then, I just make it a point not to twist the jug too hard.
So, how about the smoothie itself?
Even though it is a powerful blender, I find that it doesn’t really blend the substance evenly. For instance, when I blend unfrozen bananas with coconut water and my supplement powder, I still do see some banana chunks at the bottom of the jug. As such, I try to make it a point to blend the smoothie a little longer. But still, I would occasionally find the fruit chunks not blended properly.
When I blend blueberries, you will still see large bits of the blueberry skin floating in the jug. It is unlike the previous Tefal’s 300-W blender which I’ve used years ago. The previous blenders I’ve used were able to blend the fruits and vegetables more evenly and you wouldn’t really see a lot of the fruit skin bits floating. It’s queer. Perhaps the motor and blades aren’t generating sufficient vortex energy to enable the liquids to circulate.
It’s not the best blender on earth but it is able to do its job of making smoothies. For less than $100, I am not expecting much. Some features of the blender could be further improved to make it more user-friendly. But overall, it is an average-performing mid-range blender. I don’t think I can find another 1000 watt blender for less than $100. So I’m not complaining. But given a choice, I would have probably bought the Nutribullet blender or save up for a Vitamix blender.
Updates (19 Jan 2020): Unfortunately, I am starting to encounter problems with this blender. I hate to say this but this is the worse blender I’ve used in my life. Whenever I use it to blend my green smoothie, I always have difficulty in removing the blender jar from the base unit. So I emailed Aztech about the problem (as the blender is still under guarantee) and they mentioned that I have to personally bring the blender to their service centre in Ubi to have it checked. What a bummer! I didn’t make a trip there as I lived way too far from their service centre.
Do you use a blender? Let me know in the comment box below if you enjoy using your own blender!