Product Type: Sainsbury's blenders
Newest Review: ... them into a purree straight away as I like to leave my daughter's food quite chunky so that she can experience the different textures ... more
My new tool for super soups!
Sainsbury's Basics Hand Blender
Member Name: zombieflesh
Sainsbury's Basics Hand Blender
Advantages: blends well, blade tackles veg chunks easily, cheap price, easy to clean, simple desgin
Disadvantages: difficult to use power button, a bit chunky and heavy, short power cable
I saw this hand blender reviewed by another member here on dooyoo and thought it sounded like a useful item to have. I went along to my local Sainsbury's and managed to find it at the bargain price of £4.18. You are covered by a 12 month manufacturing warranty which is honoured by the retailer, so you should keep the receipt somewhere safe in case of any problems.
The blender itself is quite large and bulky. Mine is slightly different to the one in the picture, being completely white with a pale grey control button to allow you to select a blending speed. The top section contains the workings of the machine and is quite heavy especially as this is designed to be held in one hand while you use it. The bottom section contains the blade and simply twists off so you can remove it easily for cleaning. Something I spotted that is a little irritating is that the printed directions on the blender give directions and arrows to 'lock' and 'un-lock' the lower section, however these are actually printed the wrong way round! It's easily figured out but it bugs me every time I see it as I was fiddling around for a while the first time I tried to use it and it was a silly waste of time and a very basic mistake from Sainsbury's.
The blender is powered by a mains connection and the cord is attached to the top section of the unit. It is very short, and although I understand the importance of not having trailing cables around a kitchen environment, I felt that I could have benefited from being somewhat longer. There are two different power settings you can use, and these are marked with a single or double dot on the large button on the top section of the blender. It doesn't seem to have made much difference to me which speed setting I use, so I just go for whichever one I can reach the most comfortably.
I have been using this blender as part of my recent soup-making spree. I love making soups as they're an easy and healthy meal to prepare, and they can just bubble away in a pan for a short while and then they're practically ready. The blender can be used on hot or cold substances and once you have plugged it in you must ensure that the head of the blender is fully submerged in the mixture before you attempt to blend it. If you don't do this then the mixture will spray all over the place making a big mess, and this can also be dangerous if you are blending something hot.
This is a simple enough tool to use, once you've positioned it correctly you just hold down the button to make the blade rotate and then keep blending until the mixture has the desired texture and consistency that you require. I have tried holding the blender in a couple of different ways, the first way was with the on button positioned towards me so I could hold it in with my thumb. I found that this was quite uncomfortable and made my thumb ache, although I was able to apply enough pressure for the blender to stay on constantly. The other way, that it is designed to suit your hand, is to have the on button facing away with you and then press it in with your finger. It was easier to hold this way as the back of the handle fits the curve of my hand, but my finger kept slipping off the button and I could not hold it down properly to maintain a constant rotation. It was also difficult to press in as the button is sort of cushioned, and my fingernails were getting in the way a lot of the time. It's a shame it doesn't have a simple on/off switch, this press-in button is a bit of a nuisance to be constantly holding it down.
Once I had started blending things went ok, the head of the blender has little slots in it that allow the chunks and liquid to pass through, and it made short work of blending my many vegetable soups, slicing through carrots, peppers, potatoes, courgettes, and all sorts without any trouble. It took only a few minutes to blend an entire batch, and I found it created a very smooth liquid. It helped to stir the mixture a couple of times to spot any chunks that may have escaped blending. Once I got the hang of it I had no problems creating a smooth and creamy soup, and I will possibly give it a try for making smoothies and other dessert items as well. This is practical in the sense that it doesn't take up too much room, it functions well, and it does the job with no fuss.
I would say this product works very well, and is a good bargain for a kitchen appliance. It blends well, which is the main (only) purpose of this gadget, so top marks on that. I was a bit let down by the incorrect instructions, difficult power buttons and the short cord. However the speed of blending and ease of removing the lower section for cleaning was very practical, and I think it's a reasonable product for the price.
Summary: A good tool to have in the kitchen, and I can overlook the flaws as long as it does it's job!