* Prices may differ from that shown
This is a review of the Kenwood Triblade Hand Blender HB711M. I purchased this a few months ago via Amazon for around £30, although I see now that you can get it elsewhere slightly cheaper.
I bought it as I was fed up of pulling out the big blender whenever I wanted to make some soup and thought this would be much easier in comparison (and less washing up as you can blend straight from the pan)! Along with it I got a 2 year guarantee which I guess is pretty standard.
*Who needs looks when you're a blender*
The appliance is quite neutral in appearance and it is mostly white with patches of grey. It is fairly modern, smart and clean looking and is made of a hard type of plastic. It is 39 cms tall with the attachments on (they appear to be the same length) and weighs less than a standard bag of sugar (ie less than 1kg) so it is very light.
In my personal opinion the whole design it is a bit bland. However a quick search of competing hand blenders however doesn't throw up anything more exciting in the looks department!
*How many attachments?*
For your money you get the base of the blender (which is the mostly grey part)- attached to this is the cord which of course is where all the power comes from. The cord itself is a good length - it is long enough if you don't have many plug sockets in your kitchen but not so long you get yourself wrapped around in it.
You then get two attachments. One is a blender, specifically for soup (soup XL blender) and one is basically a masher (blending attachment wand). The attachments are very easy to attach to the base and to get off. There are two grey and small (but noticeable) bumps on either side of the base which you simply press to release (to get the attachment off). To get the attachment on you just click into place. As it is so easy you need to make sure you definitely get that click though as when I first starting using I noticed that the attachment looked as it may come off as I hadn't quite got it screwed in properly.
*How does it work*
The blades on the attachments are stainless steel. The triblade technology means that the blades cut on 3 levels on each rotation thus supposedly making blending quicker and much easier to achieve. The way in which the blender is designed, with a protective cover around the blades also means that you don't get any splash back. Splash back = messy food face = food wastage. +This dooyer you can verify that there has been NO splashback experience thus far!+
*So how does it actually work?*
After choosing and installing your attachment, you grip onto the base, press the button and away you go! The Sure Grip handle (ie the grey bit) is great as it means you feel safe during use as there is little chance you will lose grip and thus control of the appliance. What is not so great however is the way that you have to keep holding down on the button, which can be very annoying (even if it is only for a short period of time).
There are in total five settings in which you can blend your food at. There is quite a difference between setting 1 and 5 (5 being the strongest) - however not much difference in 1-2 or 2-3 and so forth, thus I did query why they didn't just have 3 settings. The other frustrating thing with the blender is that there are no markings on the base to show what speed you are blending at.
It is a fairly powerful hand blender (700w), although at no point have I felt it is over powerful. Having not used a hand blender prior to this there is also a technique to get used to of pushing it down into the pan and releasing up again (this took me a while to realise)!
*How the attachments fair up*
Attachment one or the soup xl blender is the one I have used most. I have used it to purre vegetables in making baby food and also in making various soups including carrot and coriander, potato and leek and parsnip soup - all to great success may I add! All three soups took less than a minute to process - I did this on the highest setting and came up with a pulped consistency - if you wanted something a bit chunkier I would go for one of the lower settings.
Attachment two or the masher/blend attachment wand is one I use for mashing potatoes and making potato and carrot and swede mash. Again I was fairly impressed with the time (less than a minute to mash) and the consistency of the mash afterwards was thick yet lump free.
Thankfully both attachments are dishwasher safe. I have cleaned by hand on occasion however and whilst attachment one is a breeze, attachment two is very fiddly (it has lots of holes in it)! One big moan about this appliance has to be that due to it's design and the way in which you use it, it does tend to get covered in food and the white discolours very easily. You have to be mindful therefore to clean it straight away and perhaps not leave it til the next dishwasher cycle....and stay away from beetroot.....
I think definitely if you are a big fan of making soup or if you have a little one this would be an ideal purchase. I definitely wouldn't get it for the masher alone as at £30 this is a bit of a cost (when you can get a perfectly good manual masher for a pound or so). I have had this for a few months and it has stayed in good shape appearance wise however it has started to discolour a little at the bottom and for this reason I would probably not purchase again until they sort this issue out (noone wants a dirty blender).
I have given three stars for its use of ease however and as it does give good results; the fact that it is also fairly quite in sound is a bonus.
The HB711M features the Triblade concept which delivers power and efficiency at the touch of a button / The triple blade system and unique foot design increases user control and blends to perfection / The Stainless Steel blades and 700 watt motor make it a high performing blender / Additional features include 1 speed plus pulse function detachable blades and shaft soft touch ergonomic handle along with the Kenwood Triblade Masher attachment. / Short name: Kenwood HB711M