Product Type: Argos blenders
Newest Review: ... of times a week and the blades didnt loose there sharpness, it is such a shame Argos discontinued this but I suppose a lot of people were n... more
NASA probably weren't involved in designing it (but could still use it to hand-blend stuff)
Argos Hand Blender
Member Name: worst_trip
Argos Hand Blender
Advantages: In some ways, it's streamlined in its pared-down lack of extra functions
Disadvantages: Doesn't come with its own goblet and tends to splash
The Argos Value Hand Blender, which at £4.59 costs less than a fiver, is a startlingly inexpensive electrical gadget for the kitchen. Usually when faced with a choice of electrical items to buy at Argos catalogue shop, I automatically opt for the second least expensive item; but I was buying this for a 'second kitchen' when we were living in a flat away from home for the purposes of work, so I just went for the most basic model available. I like these mini-blenders because while they do the job of blending food effectively, they're small enough to 'live' out on the kitchen counter-top permanently; one of the reasons I find using a proper food-processor-type blender such a pain being that you have to get it in and out of the kitchen cupboard (and of course wash and dry the electrical behemoth carefully) whenever you want to use it.
The blender is a strictly no-frills piece of kit: it has basic white plastic 'bodywork', a blue button to switch it on (there's only one speed to it), an attached cable at the top end with which to plug it in and that's it. The one I've got has 'Cookworks' written on the side, but when you're shopping at Argos, sometimes when you get to the counter they pull a 'substitution for goods of like value' over what you've seen advertised in the catalogue, so although the 'Cookworks' model was what they were selling as their Value Blender when I bought mine, there's no absolute guarantee that this is the exact model you'll get if you buy one tomorrow. It'll look pretty much identical, and I would guess work in a similar manner too.
The 'electrical component containing' part (at the handle end) is not waterproof, so this screws away from the part with the knives in so that the blender head can be washed separately, the working part of it being a simple two-spiked knife head. I was slightly surprised when I bought it that unlike similar hand-blenders I've had in the past, it doesn't even come with its own 'goblet': usually with hand blenders they give you a big tall cup that the blender-head fits into, so that you can liquidize things with it. But this being an absolutely cut-to-the-bone product, it doesn't even have that! Nor does it have adjustable speed controls: if you want to 'pulse' blend whatever you're blending, you have to do that by adjusting the pressure on the button, whizzing it on and off manually. It doesn't have a lot in the way of safety features either: you just have to keep pressing down the 'on' button to keep the head rotating.
It does do the job of hand-blending reasonably well however, though if anything I find it's too powerful rather than the reverse. (Apparently the thing works at 220 watts, but I'm afraid that doesn't mean anything at all to me in terms of its liquidizing or blending potential.)
I mainly use it to blend home-made soup smooth, to make fruit smoothie drinks and sometimes to make a 'spice paste' with ginger, onions and chillies etc. for curries. I've found that it tends to splash liquids about quite drastically unless the head is immersed at least four inches deep, so this means that if you want to use it to, say, liquidize home-made soup in a pot, you need to pour the soup into a jug to get the adequate amount of liquid depth for it to work without making a mess. Fortunately I have a straight-sided mug big enough that the head of the blender just fits into it, otherwise I think it would be tricky to blend smaller amounts of ingredients, eg. for a spice paste. All this gets round the problem of the blender not coming with its own 'goblet'.
One drawback with this particular blender I find is that the top-part that contains the electrical components is relatively heavy, which means that the blender is too top-heavy to be stored standing up on the blender head. Keeping a tall and narrow gadget like this in the upright position would of course be ideal as it would occupy less space. So I keep mine in two parts, unscrewed, just lying on the side of the kitchen worktop so it's always to hand when I want to use it.
This blender is perfectly fine for the money, but if you want a ground-control-to-Major-Tom type of blender, that can do lots of sophisticated stuff like chop things at different speeds and such, this entry-range model probably won't be the ideal one for you.
Summary: As an electric gadget that costs about the same as a cheap bottle of wine, it's excellent!