* Prices may differ from that shown
I bought this blender primarily because the product description said it would crush ice. Being a hot day when it arrived, I thought I'd give a go right away (after having a look at the poor instruction booklet that it came with) and attempt to make a mojito. There is no mention of the ice-crushing facility in the booklet. The blender only has two speeds and a pulse function, so I put a tray of ice blocks into the jug and put it on full blast only to end up with a white frosty powder and blocks of ice that would not be broken up by the blade (which is very very blunt indeed) and were just bouncing around. The same happened with the pulse function. Not a good start.
I used the grinding mill this morning to grind my roasted coffee beans and it worked rather well - so no complaints there, apart from the housing being a little tight (but the cover stays on when you remove it so you shouldn't spill anything).
I've yet to use the blender for regular use - such as making soups - but I'm sure it'll function well with cooked vegetables... it's just a pity that it doesn't crush ice like it says it does in the product description.
*UPDATE* : It has come to my attention, the technical specifications have been edited to say "Can crush small ice (For large ice crushing, please see the Duronic BL1200 blender)". But, what on earth is "small ice"? Surely standard ice cubes are the smallest pieces of ice anybody is going to have in a standard home. A get-out clause, methinks.
*UPDATE*: Never being one to submit to defeat, I thought I'd have a go again at trying to make crushed ice using this blender. This time, I took the ice blocks out of the freezer and ran them under a cold tap for a few seconds (so that they crack) and let them rest for a few minutes. Then I chucked them into the blender, and then jabbed the pulse button very quickly (no loner then a second). Wait for the ice to fall. Then repeat until you get the consistency you want. Remember use only short, sharp jabs on the pulse button and you should get something that resembles crushed ice. Giving the blender a good shake in between pulses will help with consistency too. Make this the last thing you do when making a cocktail as it melts quickly.
Hope this helps. Perhaps the blenders isn't so bad after all!
I bought this blender towards the end of last year when I first went on a health kick and got into making fruit and vegetable smoothies. This blender was one of the cheapest on Amazon, which is pretty much the only reason that I chose it - it is not the most stylish or compact blender, but as it was priced at just £19.99 with Amazon stating that the RRP was £49.99 I thought at the time that I was getting a real bargain.
Duronic BL400 Blender
This is a basic multi blender from Duronic, which comes with two attatchments - a 1.5 litre goblet and a grinder. I used the goblet to make fruit smoothies, purees, pancake mix and so on, and I used the grinder a handful of times to grind seeds and nuts, although it is also ideal for grinding coffee.
The blender's motor is 400 watts, which is pretty average and quite powerful, although when compared to more expensive blenders the wattage isn't that impressive and it is certianly not strong enough to cope with hard food such as frozen fruit. There are two speeds which are marked clearly on the front of the base of the blender next to the switches - II (fast) and I (slow). There's also an auto clean button which should be used when the blender only contains water, and a pulse button.
Price & Availability
This blender is only available from online retailers as far as I know and as stated above, I purchased mine from Amazon. I paid £19.99 excluding the delivery charge. I am really dissapointed how Amazon tricked me into thinking that it retails for a much higher price and it is only now that I've sat down to write this review and checked prices from a range of companies that I realise that in reality this is priced between £19.99 and £25.00 - so where the reccommended retail price of nearly £50.00 came from I have no idea and I do feel very mislead and dissapointed.
This is very basic in design and it is not at all 'sleek' or particullary modern looking. The motor unit which contains the motor and has the controls on the front is reasonably compact and it is slightly rounded. It is white in colour with the Duronic branding on it. The unit has got three raised pieces of rectangular plastic (which Duronic describe as pillars).
These slot into the gaps on the bottom of the goblet and this keeps the goblet securely attacthed to the motor. The goblet is made of transparent, sturdy plastic with ml markings on one side and cup measurements on the other. It is very bulky and hard to store, mainly due to the large handle. I do not keep this on my kitchen worktop as it takes up quite a bit of space and it also looks quite cheap and basic - think Tesco Value!
Ease of Use
The blender is incredibly easy to use - simply attatch to goblet to the motor unit, add your fruit/veg/ingredients (making sure that you add liquid, too), put the lid on and plug it in to the wall. Then select the speed by turning the speed control to either I or II blend away! I always use speed II as I is not very strong or fast at all.
The speed control is supposed to lock onto the speed you select, meaning that you don't need to stand there holding the switch in place. Unfortunetly, this broke the first time that I used it - so I have to stand there holding it which is not too much of a problem but it is worth mentioning and it is kind of annoying that it broke so easily.
The lid doesn't stay on securely unfortunetly, especially when pulse blending so I have to hold it down - again, this is a little annoying! Noise wise, this is very loud. I couldn't use it in the evenings because on the ocassion that I did, it woke my baby up - despite the fact that the kitchen is on the other side of the house to my baby's room so it is obviously very loud. It almost always sounded like it was struggling, even with soft fruit and milk/liquid. I also noticed that after 40-60 seconds of continuous blending, the smell of plastic was slightly noticeable and the motor unit would be warm to the touch - not good.
This blender is awful quality. Not only did the speed control switch break the first time that I used it, but the blades which are attatched to the jug bent after around a month. They became so badly bent that the blender didn't blend the food properly so my smoothies would be lumpy. The blades also looked burnt with a light brown coating which would not go away no matter how many times I washed them. Also, the blades are not removable which I found awkward. The blender is not dishwasher safe either, although cleaning it wasn't too much of a problem as I would just fill it with water, auto clean and then dry it with a tea towel.
If you haven't guessed already, I don't think much to the Duronic blender and it is currently sat in my garage waiting to go to the tip. I do not reccommend it because of the awful quality. Overall, this was a total waste of money.
Duronic BL400 White 1.5 Litre Jug Blender and Multi-Mill / 2 Speed efficient 400W motor / Autoclean and pulse function / Short name: Duronic BL400