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Hamilton Beach 51101AV vs Magic Bullet 11 Piece Set Side-by-Side Comparison

Tina Pham
Reviewer
Nguyen Ntk
Visual Specialist
Updated
Tested Using Methodology v1.0
Updated Apr 6, 2023
Tested Using Methodology v1.0
Updated Apr 6, 2023
The Hamilton Beach Personal Blender standing on a table with its user’s manual and paper carton box by its sides.
The Magic Bullet 250W Personal Blender and its additional accessories by its side, including a to-go lid, two additional blending cups, a party mug, two lip rings, two resealable lids, a paper carton box, and a user & recipe book guide.
Blenders type
personal
personal

Our Verdict

2.9
Overall Score
  • Performance (60%)
    1.4/10
  • Design (25%)
    5.0/10
  • Usability (15%)
    5.7/10
4.6
Overall Score
  • Performance (60%)
    2.8/10
  • Design (25%)
    7.5/10
  • Usability (15%)
    6.9/10

In our test, we noticed the Magic Bullet 11-Piece Set was slightly better than the Hamilton Beach 51101AV, but neither  really lived up to our expectations. They were simply too weak to handle our recipes, which mostly consisted of hard ingredients like frozen fruits, raw nuts, and leafy veggies.

Both blenders have similar quality and design issues. The motor base is cheaply made; it looks somewhat flimsy and cannot stand steadily while in operation. Their blending cups are also far from satisfactory; they can have problems with leakage, and the glass around the spigot is prone to break if handled roughly.

Nonetheless, if you have to choose between the two, the Magic Bullet 11-Piece Set is absolutely a better value, especially given the fact that this blender comes with slightly higher quality features and more extra accessories.

Very Lackluster

Hamilton Beach 51101AV Personal Blender Performance

Magic Bullet 250W Personal Blender Performance: Below-Average
1.4
Performance Scores
  • Protein Shake (40%)3.4/10
  • Frozen Fruit Smoothie (30%)0/10
  • Fibrous Greens (20%)0/10
  • Crushed Ice Cubes (10%)0/10
2.8
Performance Scores
  • Protein Shake (40%)3.9/10
  • Frozen Fruit Smoothie (30%)0/10
  • Fibrous Greens (20%)6.0/10
  • Crushed Ice Cubes (10%)0/10
3.4

Protein Shake

3.9
Hamilton Beach 51101AV Protein Shake Video
A batch of protein shake prepared by the Hamilton Beach Single-Serve Blender is checked for smoothness by being drained through a stainless steel mesh strainer, with a smartphone displaying the total blending time (3 minutes and 45 seconds) next to it.
Using a spoon to scoop a small smattering of dried blueberry chunks from a mesh strainer containing protein shake produced the Hamilton Beach blender.
  • Blending Time: 3 mins 45 seconds
  • Result: Coarse

In this test, the Hamilton Beach took 3 mins 45 secs to yield a portion of protein shake, which is far longer than average. The mixture came out slightly coarse due to a smattering of unblended dried blueberries, but since all the oatmeal and almonds were entirely liquified, it wasn’t too lumpy or unpleasant to drink. For the most part, we agreed many fitness enthusiasts would consider this texture to be acceptable. 

Blending time was a little bit of a compromise, though. Personal blenders are designed to produce quick-blended results so the blending time of nearly four minutes was clearly too long in this regard. Even if you’re willing to blend a bit longer for an acceptable result, running this blender in excess of three minutes will cause its motor to overheat, thus impairing its longevity.

Moreover, to activate the blender, you’ll need to press the Power button continuously until the desired texture is achieved. This means the prolonged processing time will also make your hands tired or even numb.

The Magic Bullet Protein Shake Video
A batch of protein shake packed with dried blueberries, oatmeal, and almonds prepared by the Magic Bullet Personal Blender is checked for smoothness by being drained through a stainless steel mesh strainer, with a smartphone displaying the total blending time (2 minutes and 11 seconds) next to it.
Scooping a spoon of solid chunks including dried blueberries and almonds that the Magic Bullet 11-Piece personal blender was unable to pulverize in the test of preparing protein shake from a stainless steel mesh strainer.
  • Blending Time: 2 mins 10 seconds
  • Result: Very Coarse

In this test, the two minutes and ten seconds we spent with the Magic Bullet produced an undrinkable result. While all the oatmeal was broken down pretty well, most of the blueberries and almonds came out completely intact. As a result, the drink was too chunky to sip on. It also lacked the fruity flavor that our recipe prides itself on. If you want to use this blender for a protein shake, we recommend just using soft ingredients.

0.0

Frozen Fruit Smoothie

0.0
Hamilton Beach 51101AV Frozen Fruit Smoothie Video
To check for solid chunks, after finishing blending, the fruity smoothie made by the Hamilton Beach portable blender is spread throughout a white paper.
A spoon of fruity smoothie packed with blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and mango made by the Hamilton Beach small blender.
  • Blending Time: 2 mins
  • Result: Chunky
  • Suction:

We began the test by tossing all ingredients into the blending cup, then blending them until they came out smooth or until we hit the time limit (2 minutes). As such, we found this Hamilton Beach to be just mediocrely capable of preparing frozen fruit smoothies. 

The final result appeared visually smooth, but when we used a spoon to stir it back and forth, we noticed a few fruit chunks still remained intact. Considering that such residual solids might be a good compromise for the cheap price, you might think this blender’s performance wasn’t half bad. 

The real problem here, however, was that throughout the whole 2-minute blending procedure, it struggled considerably to break down the ingredients while its counterparts, in contrast, got the job done quicker and more easily (for instance, the Oster and the Ninja Fit). Not to mention its longer-than-average blending time.

Speaking of the blending time, we can’t say for sure if longer processing would have resulted in a silkier smoothie but we can assert that this would have failed to achieve the

thick, ice-cream-like texture we were after. This is because frozen fruits thaw quickly at room temperature, causing the overall consistency to be diluted if a blender isn’t able to blend fast enough.

The Magic Bullet Frozen Fruits Smoothie Video
After finishing blending, the fruity smoothie made by the Magic Bullet MBR 1101 personal blender is spread throughout a white paper with a smartphone displaying the total blending time (2 minutes) next to it.
A spoon of fruity smoothie packed with blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and mango made by the Magic Bullet Personal Blender.
  • Blending Time: 2 minutes
  • Result: Chunky
  • Suction:

By our 2-minute cutoff point, the Magic Bullet hadn't fully processed all the ingredients so we considered it to have failed the test and awarded it no points. To be fair, though, the final result was not too bad. While this blender still left behind strawberry chunks, it blended through other ingredients pretty evenly. The smoothie came out smooth; our straw didn't get clogged with hard bits after we removed the two partially blended chunks. It was just quite thin since the blending process was so long that the frozen fruit had time to thaw thus diluting the overall consistency.

0.0

Fibrous Greens

6.0
Hamilton Beach 51101AV Fibrous Greens Video
A glass of water with fibrous greens pulp produced by the Hamilton Beach Single-Serve Blender.
  • Blending Time: 20 seconds
  • Result: Very Coarse

After blending all the leafy greens with water in 20 seconds — our time limit for this test, we drained the liquid through a mesh strainer and disappointedly ended up 

with a considerable amount of pulp. Not only that, but we also noticed the pulp was very coarse. This suggested that the extraction ability of this blender is too weak to help you get the most nutrients and flavor out of your veggies. 

Actually, the mixture would’ve had a finer consistency if we had blended it for longer, but this didn’t matter nor wasn’t worth the labor since we have already found several other models that can produce perfect high-fiber extractions, namely, the NutriBullet.

The Magic Bullet Fibrous Greens Video
A glass of water combined with fibrous greens pulp produced by the Magic Bullet Single-Serve Blender.
A glass of water with fibrous green pulp produced by the Nutribullet Pro 900-watt Personal Blender sinking from its top to bottom.
  • Blending Time: 20 seconds
  • Result: Coarse

If you’re looking for a personal blender that can handle leafy vegetables along with other fiber-filled foods, the Magic Bullet is up to the challenge but will not wow you. 

In this test, its mission was to break down kale, spinach, and celery in 20 seconds. Perhaps, you will get a better result if you blend for longer than we did, but this time frame is adequate for us to evaluate this blender’s efficiency. To check the result, we drained the completed drink through a mesh strainer. As such, we noticed a vast number of leafy chunks remained unblended. The pulp also looked coarse and non-uniform. Still, this outcome is more impressive than those produced by its counterparts, namely the Hamilton Beach and the KOIOS Pro.

0.0

Crushed Ice Cubes

0.0
Hamilton Beach 51101AV Crushed Ice Video
A black tray of crushed ice produced by the Hamilton Beach Blender being on a table.
The amount of unblended ice cubes (4.48 oz) of the Hamilton Beach single-serve blender displayed on a scale’s screen.
  • Ice Fineness: Chunky
  • Unblended Ice: 75% of 6 oz

The Hamilton Beach wasn’t able to power through ice cubes, causing the final outcome to come out almost pristine, but this is typical for this type of personal blender. If you want fluffy, snow-like crushed ice or desire to incorporate ice into your smoothies, we recommend considering a higher-powered blender, such as the NutriBullet.

The Magic Bullet Crushed Ice Cubes Video
A black tray of crushed ice produced by the Magic Bullet Single-Serve Blender being on a table.
The amount of unblended ice cubes (4.98 oz) of the Magic Bullet single-serve blender displayed on a scale’s screen.
  • Ice Fineness: Chunky
  • Unblended Ice: 83% of 6 oz

Our Magic Bullet couldn’t blend through 6 oz ice cubes thoroughly not only because of its weak motor power but also because its blending cup is too small to handle such an amount of ice. For the most part, the ice got stuck in the blade and prevented it from turning. Even when we undocked the cup and shook it, this still couldn’t help much. If you want something that can be up to this sort of blend, consider the NutriBullet, Ninja Fit, and Ninja Nutri Pro.

Just Average

Hamilton Beach 51101AV Smoothie Blender Design

Magic Bullet 11-Piece Set Personal Blender Design: There’s Room for Improvements
5.0
design Scores
  • Blades (20%)5.0/10
  • Build Quality (60%)5.0/10
  • Blending Cup (20%)5.0/10
7.5
design Scores
  • Blades (20%)6.5/10
  • Build Quality (60%)7.0/10
  • Blending Cup (20%)10/10

In the Box

In the Box of the Magic Bullet 250W Personal Blender
The Hamilton Beach personal blender lying on a table with a paper carton box and user guide by its sides.
  • Motor Base 
  • Blending Cup
Our Magic Bullet Blender Small Silver 11-Piece Set includes a motor base, a to-go lid, three blending cups, a party mug, two lip rings, two resealable lids, a paper carton box, and a user & recipe book guide.
  • Motor base 
  • Extractor blade
  • Two blending cups 
  • One to-go lid
  • One party mug
  • Two lip rings 
  • Two resealable lids 
  • Recipe guide

Hamilton Beach Mini Personal Blender Dimensions

Dimensions
The Hamilton Beach 51101AV Personal Blender standing on a gray table, with the length of its motor base being noted to the side as 5.8 inches, and the total length and width of the unit as 12 inches and 3.8 inches, respectively.
  • Height:
    12.0" (30.5 cm)
  • Width:
    3.8" (9.7 cm)
  • Weight:
    1.7 oz (48 g)
  • Shaft Length:

The Hamilton Beach is a relatively low-capacity personal blender. It’s therefore small and compact enough to fit anywhere. At 1.72 pounds, it is lighter than average, allowing for easier transportation. The light weight, however, also means your blender lacks the necessary sturdiness to help it stand firm during intensive tasks.

The Magic Bullet Smoothie Maker personal blender standing on a gray table, with the length of its motor base being noted to the side as 6.8 inches, and the total length and width of the unit as 12 inches and 4.5 inches, respectively.
  • Height:
    12.0" (30.5 cm)
  • Width:
    4.5" (11.4 cm)
  • Weight:
    2.0 oz (57 g)
  • Shaft Length:

The Magic Bullet is half the size of traditional countertop blenders so it should fit easily into your cabinet. This compact structure also avoids overwhelming your counter space. That being said, the plastic construction means the blender itself is so lightweight that it wobbles while blending.

5.0

Build Quality

7.0
The motor base and blending cup with blade assembly permanently attached of the Hamilton Beach blender.

The Hamilton Beach is of flimsy construction with a substantial amount of plastic components whose quality seems to be inadequate for high durability. We tested it over the course of a month, and after such a period of use, we shockingly found its quality doesn’t hold up well over time. 

The blending cup became cloudy with use, losing the shiny appearance we originally liked. Plus, we noticed multiple little scratches somehow appearing on its inner surface despite the fact that we never used a scouring pad or scrubbed it vigorously when cleaning. 

The motor’s build quality is a little bit better but doesn’t look as sturdy as other blenders we’ve tested and lacks the firmness to ensure optimal stability.

The motor base and blending cup of the Magic Bullet 11-piece personal blender lying flat on a gray table.

All the parts are mostly made of plastic, making the blender look flimsy both inside and outside. Apart from lacking the sturdiness we’re after, the Magic Bullet also has a low resistance to wear and tear. It feels like it could be easily scratched or even broken if accidentally dropped. The blade made of standard stainless steel may well grab your attention but unfortunately, it’s less solid than its competitors at the same price point—the KOIOS, to name but one. So again, the low cost shouldn’t be an excuse for this blender’s shortcomings.

5.0

Blades

6.5
A close-up of the blade assembly featuring 4 stainless steel prongs inside the blending cup of the Hamilton Beach personal blender.
  • Material:
    Stainless Steel
  • Type:
    Cross
  • Guard Material:
  • Blade Count:
    4 blades
  • Removable:
    No
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    Yes

The Hamilton Beach has a stainless steel blade assembly, which is too short and not particularly sharp, unlike other personal blenders. We wondered if this awkward design was able to ensure a good contact between blades and ingredients to produce quick, even blending and as it turned out, this blender is definitely not as life-changing as it would seem to be on paper.

A close-up of the blade assembly sporting 4 stainless steel prongs of the Magic Bullet blender.
  • Material:
    Stainless Steel
  • Type:
    Cross
  • Guard Material:
  • Blade Count:
    4 blades
  • Removable:
    No
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    Yes

The stainless steel blade has 4 prongs. It comes relatively sharp but looks a bit fragile so we would suggest that you shouldn’t use it for blending hard ingredients without liquid. Otherwise, it may dull or even get permanently damaged.

Hamilton Beach Small Smoothie Blender Motor Base

Magic Bullet Small Personal Blender Motor Base
The Hamilton Beach motor base standing on a white table.
The Hamilton Beach motor base standing on a white table.
A close-up of the front interface of the Hamilton Beach motor base.
A close-up of the power cord featuring a 2-plug in the underside of the Hamilton Beach motor base.
  • Rated Voltage:
    120
  • Rated Power:
    175
  • Working Time:
    N/A
  • Protection:
    No
  • Weight:
    1.2 lbs (0.5 kg)
  • Cord Length:
    2.1 ft (0.6 m)
  • Extra Feature:
    Ventilation holes

The motor peaks around 175 watts, which is relatively low so it’s best to avoid using this blender for dry ingredients like coffee beans. Typically, each personal blender has a maximum continuous runtime varying from 1 to 4 minutes. This is to prevent the motor from overloading, resulting in permanently damaged components. However, there is no clear information about this blender in that regard. Despite that, since our Hamilton got hot after the smoothie test of 4-minute blending, we recommend not running it longer than 1 minute per interval.

The Magic Bullet motor base standing on a gray table.
The Magic Bullet motor base standing on a gray table.
A close-up of the underside of the Magic Bullet motor base.
A close-up of the Magic Bullet motor base.
  • Rated Voltage:
    120
  • Rated Power:
    250
  • Working Time:
    ≤ 1 minute
  • Protection:
    Yes
  • Weight:
    1.6 oz (45 g)
  • Cord Length:
    2.2" (5.6 cm)
  • Extra Feature:
    Silicon feet

The motor peaks around 250 watts. It is too weak to be used for ice crushing or dry blending. To make icy drinks, we recommend only using chilled ingredients. Like other personal blenders, it cannot run for longer than 1 minute to avoid damage caused by overheating, though there is an internal thermal breaker that shuts off the unit when it overheats. 

The base has four silicone feet to help keep the whole blender in place while operating. However, we don’t think such add-ons are really helpful; our machine walked around on the counter in every test anyway.

5.0

Blending Cup

10
The Hamilton Beach blender cup standing on a table with dimension measurements written to the side (4x8.2x2.4 inches).The Hamilton Beach blender cup standing on a table with dimension measurements written to the side (4x8.2x2.4 inches).
  • Material:
    Plastic
  • Capacity:
    14 Oz
  • Weight:
    0.4 oz (11 g)
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    Yes
  • Measurement:
    Yes
  • Suitable For:
    Small batches
  • Accessories:
    No

The set only includes a 14-oz blending cup with lid. More often than not, the lid is easy to screw on but demands a great force for unscrewing. In our tests, it didn’t seal tightly to the cup, causing the ingredients to leak out and spill onto the countertop.   

The lid also has a slide-top spout, allowing you to sip straight from the cup easily and mess-free. However, we don’t think this add-on is necessary, given the awkwardly-designed blending cup. As mentioned above, unlike most other personal blenders, the Hamilton comes with a

fixed blade assembly rather than a removal one. This makes us feel unsafe; we tremble thinking these parts could come apart when we are drinking.

Three blending cups on a table, with dimension measurements written to the side. The first cup is measured 3.5x4x2.8 inches, second cup is 3.5x6.5x2.8 inches, third cup is 3.5x5.6x2.5 inches.
Three blending cups on a table, with dimension measurements written to the side. The first cup is measured 3.5x4x2.8 inches, second cup is 3.5x6.5x2.8 inches, third cup is 3.5x5.6x2.5 inches.
The blending cup of the Magic Bullet personal blender standing on a table with dimension measurements written to the side (3.5x6.5x2.8 inches).
The blending cup of the Magic Bullet personal blender standing on a table with dimension measurements written to the side (3.5x5.6x2.5 inches).
The blending cup of the Magic Bullet personal blender standing on a table with dimension measurements written to the side (3.5x4x2.8 inches).
  • Material:
    Plastic
  • Capacity:
    12-,16-, and 22-oz
  • Weight:
    0.18-, 0.33-, and 0.25-pound
  • Dishwasher Safe:
    Yes
  • Measurement:
    No
  • Suitable For:
    Small and medium batches
  • Accessories:
    2 lid rings, 3 lids

The set consists of three blending cups. They work interchangeably with the extractor blade and two different types of lids. There are also two removable lip rings included so you may find it easier to sip your drink straight from the cup.

The drawback is that the lids do not seal tightly to the cup. In the smoothie test, we paused several times to give the cup a shake and eventually ended up with a mess.

Speed and Controls of the Hamilton Beach 51101AV Personal Blender

Speed and Controls of the Magic Bullet Mini Personal Blender
Someone is measuring the noise level of the Hamilton Beach personal blender with the noise meter (98.8 dB).
  • Control Type:
    Button
  • Min Speed:
    N/A
  • Max Speed:
    N/A
  • Presets:
    No
  • Noise Level:
    98 dB
  • Digital Display:
    No
  • Pulse Mode:
    No

The Hamilton Beach allows you to get its single-speed through a simple button, which demands just a slight pressing pressure to activate. It doesn’t have a particular setting for the pulse function, but you can simulate pulse mode by pressing and releasing its button in short intervals.

Someone is measuring the noise level of the Magic Bullet personal blender with the noise meter (97.8 dB).
  • Control Type:
    Push
  • Min Speed:
  • Max Speed:
  • Presets:
    No
  • Noise Level:
    97 dB
  • Digital Display:
    No
  • Pulse Mode:
    No

The Magic Bullet is a single-speed blender working without any physical buttons. To use, you simply place the blending cup and press it down onto the motor base. You can also simulate pulse mode by pressing and releasing the cup in short intervals.

Too Much Problems

Hamilton Beach Mini Personal Blender Usability Review

Magic Bullet 250W Personal Blender Usability Review: A Little Disappointing
5.7
usability Scores
  • Hands-Free Operation (60%)4.6/10
  • Assembly (20%)6.0/10
  • Cleanability (20%)8.5/10
6.9
usability Scores
  • Hands-Free Operation (60%)5.8/10
  • Assembly (20%)10/10
  • Cleanability (20%)7.2/10
4.6

Hands-Free Operation

5.8

Disappointingly enough, this Hamilton doesn’t provide the ease and convenience of hands-free blending. It, instead, delivers a frustrating way to puree and pulverize food. Beyond the need to continuously hold its button during the operation, this blender also demands you to pay attention to the blending process at all times so you can detect and intervene timely if food gets clogged in the blade and stops it from turning.

The Magic Bullet will blend for as long as you press the cup down onto the power base. To stop blending, simply release pressure on the cup, but with the Lock On Mode, your machine can also offer hands-free blending. However, we recommend not letting it out of your sight: Sometimes, solid ingredients like hard nuts and root veggies can stop the blade from turning so you will need to detect this obstruction and intervene as soon as possible. In the smoothie test, we had to shake to unblock the cross blade up to 6 times.

6.0

Assembly

10

To set up this blender, you’ll need to place the jar on the base, aligning the unlock icon with the line on the base, then turn it counterclockwise. Removing the jar is a lot easier; just turn it clockwise and lift it up. The trade-off is that it takes time to get the hang of it.

There's a very shallow learning curve to getting accustomed to the assembly process. To blend, you simply line up the tabs on the sealed cup with the tabs on the power base, then press it down until the desired consistency is achieved. 

You can also press down and turn the cup clockwise until the tabs lock under the lip of the power base for hands-free operation. To turn it off, just twist the cup back counter-clockwise and release the cup.

8.5

Cleanability

7.2

You can put the jar in a dishwasher, but we recommend hand washing so as to reduce the risk of discoloration. That being said, hand cleaning is a relatively frustrating process. Since the blending cup is quite narrow, we had a hard time getting our hands inside, especially under the blade’s backside. Letting the blender clean itself, on the other hand, is less stressful. We simply added soapy water into the jar, then let the blender run for 30 to 60 seconds. After dumping out the solution and rinsing the jar thoroughly, we found there wasn’t any remaining gunk.

Cleaning all the pieces is a snap, especially when the cups and lids are top-rack dishwasher safe, but that didn’t save us much cleanup time. Because of leakage, the motor base got dirty after nearly every blend, though we could easily wipe away the gunk with a damp cloth. Not only that, but the blade’s backsides also gave us a hard time for a thorough hand cleaning so we recommend using a straw-cleaning brush.