Cuisinart CSB-175 - Blender Review

Updated
Tested Methodology v1.0
Cuisinart CSB-175BKQVC Blender Review
Blender type: immersion
Power: 300W

Overall Verdict

7.7
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%)
    7.4/10
  • Usability (30%)
    7.8/10
  • Design (20%)
    8.5/10

The Cuisinart CSB-175KQVC Smart Stick is a good hand blender for this price point. Peaking around 300 watts, it is powerful enough to consistently provide silky blends for your fresh fruit smoothies, emulsified sauces, baby food, and more. Given its awkward design, however, this blender cannot give us the best blending experience overall. When it comes to versatile performance, it doesn’t live up to our expectation, either.

Things We Like

  • Powerful enough for a wide range of tasks
  • The ergonomically-designed handle makes the blender easier to maneuver  
  • The included 24-oz beaker allows for easy gripping and drip-free pouring
  • The release button is really helpful during assembly and disassembly  
  • The specially designed blade can be used to emulsify sauces

Things We Don’t Like

  • The stainless steel blending shaft will damage non-stick coatings
  • Fairly complicated to use
  • The blade guard doesn’t prevent splashing very well

We’ve been reviewing blenders for years and the increasing demand for quick, green meals left us wondering when we might see a good immersion blender capable of making silky blends out of solid nuts, leafy vegetables, and frozen fruits.

On paper, the Cuisinart CSB-175 Smart Stick looked like it might answer that call. To find out for sure, we bought this handheld appliance of our own accord and put it through a series of tests. Spoiler alert: we got some unexpected results.

Performance

How We Tested
7.4
Performance Scores
  • Hot Soup Purée (35%)
    7.0/10
  • Smoothie (30%)
    7.5/10
  • Mayonnaise (15%)
    9.3/10
  • Almond Milk (15%)
    9.0/10
  • Whipped Egg-Whites (5%)
    0/10

As a mid-powered blender, the Cuisinart Smart Stick is designed for certain kinds of blended drinks, including cocktails, milkshakes, and fresh fruit smoothies. It can even handle thicker blends such as hummus or sorbet without too much trouble.

7.0

Hot Soup Purée

A slightly chunky soup
Cuisinart CSB-175BKQVC Hot Soup
Play video
Cuisinart CSB-175BKQVC Hot Soup Test
  • Pureeing Time: 30 seconds
  • Result: Silky chunky
  • Suction: Slightly
  • Unprocessed Chunks: No

Despite being the least expensive mid-range blender on our testing list, the Cuisinart is plenty quick, taking only 30 seconds to give us a creamy pot of soup. Still, we were only moderately satisfied with its performance.

The soup was not really well pureed so it looked slightly chunky. After we drained it through a strainer, we noticed many food chunks still remained unprocessed.

Even worse, we got lots of splatter throughout the blending procedure due to the absurdly-designed blade guard. Indeed, no other blenders we tested created as much mess as the Cuisinart.

7.5

Smoothie

Play video
Cuisinart CSB-175BKQVC Smoothie Test
Play video
Cuisinart CSB-175 Smart Stick Smoothie
  • Blending Time: 1 min 20 secs
  • Result: Slightly Coarse
  • Suction: Slightly
  • Unprocessed Chunks: Yes

Although the Cuisinart CSB-175 Smart Stick could pass this test in 1 minute and 20 seconds, it had a very hard time grinding frozen fruits. By comparison, its counterparts — the Vitamix 5-speed and the Braun MultiQuick-5 — could turn all the ingredients into a green silky smoothie without a struggle.

The Cuisinart’s smoothie was acceptable but didn’t have the smoothest texture. It came out rather lumpy due to kale chunks. Our straw got clogged now and then with bits that were still too big.

9.3

Mayonnaise

Cuisinart CSB-175BKQVC Mayonnaise
Play video
Cuisinart CSB-175BKQVC Smart Stick Mayonnaise
  • Emulsifying Time: 1 min 10 secs
  • Result: Smooth
  • Suction: Yes

Coming off the other tests, we didn’t expect much out of our Cuisinart when it came to making mayonnaise. For the most part, we agreed that a whisk attachment would emulsify sauce far better than any ordinary blending shaft. But as it turned out, of all the blenders we tested, the Cuisinart was the fastest to yield a creamy, mouthwatering sauce. It even beat the Braun’s whisk attachment by about 30 seconds, though in both cases, the mayonnaise’s texture was essentially the same.

Still, there was a minor drawback. When the mayonnaise began to thicken, our blender suctioned itself tightly to the beaker’s bottom, making it a bit trickier for us to move the blending wand around. Nevertheless, given this blender’s outstanding performance, this issue wasn’t a true dealbreaker and should be tolerated.

9.0

Almond Milk

Play video
Cuisinart CSB-175BKQVC Almond Milk
  • Grinding Time: 40 secs
  • Result: Fine
  • Suction: Tightly

This Cuisinart performed fairly well in this test. Besides being the fastest contender, it also blended quite uniformly. While it did create suction and cause a humble mess when we lifted the blending wand upward, it sustained a nice vortex, so our liquid didn’t overflow. In contrast, the Braun MultiQuick-5 and the Mueller Ultra-Stick couldn’t produce the consistent vortex. This caused the liquid to overflow excessively when we turned them up to higher speeds.

Failed

Whipped Egg-Whites

Cuisinart CSB-175BKQVC Whipped Egg-Whites
  • Beating Time: N/A
  • Result: N/A
  • Suction: N/A

Of all the blenders we tested, only machines with whisk attachments could draw enough air into the egg-whites to create a stiff peak. The Cuisinart's ordinary blending shaft, on the other hand, just gave us a cloudy liquid made of two layers: bubbly film and eggy water. We awarded this blender no points for this test.

8.5
Design Scores
  • Blending Shaft (30%)
    8.0/10
  • Build Quality (60%)
    8.5/10
  • Beaker (5%)
    10/10
  • Power Cord (5%)
    10/10

This Cuisinart is a well-priced device to suit the needs of many users, though there are some limitations in its overall design that entirely dissatisfied us. Like most immersion blenders, it can only run for a limited amount of time (60 seconds) before needing a break to prevent its motor overheating.

Speed and Controls

Cuisinart CSB-175BKQVC Smart Stick Speed and Controls
Cuisinart CSB-175BKQVC Speed and Controls
  • Control Type: Press
  • Min Speed: 11,670 RPM
  • Max Speed: 12,660 RPM
  • Presets: No
  • Max Noise Level: 80 dB
  • L E D Display: No
  • Pulse Turbo Mode: No

At first sight, we thought this blender would be very easy to use since its two-button interface looks really intuitive.

Unexpectedly enough, we couldn’t figure out how to activate the device until we consulted the user manual. Not only that, but we also needed quite a lot of practice to operate it smoothly. Unlike others, this blender has an additional locking button which acts as a safety mechanism. 

The locking button must be held down along with the operational button. That paired-button operation forced us to use two hands in some cases — certainly not what we’d call user-friendly.

The Cuisinart Smart Stick also allows us to switch between the two speed options (Low and High) with the slide control. We’d prefer more than two settings since multiple speeds give us more control over the food’s texture. 

That being said, the slider also makes this blender more complicated to use, especially when the dial’s location is entirely separated from the On/Off button. It’s tough for one person to use the blender, adjust its speed, and hold the beaker at the same time, so we had to stop blending to speed up or slow down.

8.0

Blending Shaft

Cuisinart CSB-175BKQVC Smart Stick Blades
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Type: Sharp Blade
  • Guard Material: Metal
  • Blade Count: 2
  • Removable: No
  • Dishwasher Safe: No

The Cuisinart’s blade has two prongs: one sharp and the other blunt. Although it isn’t as high quality as the Vitamix, it can withstand consistent use. It even defeated its higher-priced counterpart in our mayonnaise test despite being the underdog. 

A metal housing partially covers the fixed stainless steel blade to keep splashing to a minimum. This blade guard, however, left much to be desired in our test due to its awkward design. Rather than being a solid piece like others, it has several small holes which significantly degrade the shielding’s effectiveness. 

Not only that, but the metal blade guard also caused scratches on the blender’s original beaker in its smoothie task. This is too awful even to be imagined.

In the Box

Cuisinart CSB-175BKQVC Smart Stick In The Box
  • Motor body 
  • Blending shaft 
  • 24-oz beaker 
  • User manual

The Cuisinart CSB-175 Smart Stick set includes 4 items: a blender motor body, a blending shaft, a 20-ounce beaker, and a user manual. Before using your blender for the first time, make sure to clean it thoroughly following the user manual’s instructions. For safe operations, you should also comply with all the basic safety precautions issued by the Cuisinart manufacturers.

Dimension

Cuisinart CSB-175BKQVC Dimension
  • Height
    : 15.6" (39.6 cm)
  • Width: 2.3" (5.8 cm)
  • Weight: 1.6 lbs (0.7 kg)
  • Shaft Length: 8.4" (21.3 cm)

Stylish and portable, the Cuisinart CSB-175 Smart Stick offers a delicate balance of weight, size, and aesthetics. With a reasonably sized blending shaft, it doesn’t have any difficulty operating even in deep pots. Plus, it is compact enough that it fits easily into a drawer for storage.

8.5

Build Quality

Cuisinart CSB-175BKQVC Smart Stick Build Quality

Although this blender is mostly made of plastic, its motor body looks and feels as solid as the stainless steel wand component. Even so, it may become discolored with use.

The stainless steel blending wand is built well enough to endure regular use. So far, our blades have shown no signs of rusting or dulling, but we have found a user’s complaint about her blade that snapped in half after just two months of use. 

The controls are of decent quality. They are easier to press than those of the Braun MultiQuick-5 and seem to be much more durable than the Mueller Ultra-Stick. Other than an awkward power button (to be discussed later) we were quite pleased with this unique design.

10

Beaker

Cuisinart CSB-175BKQVC Smart Stick Beaker
  • Material
    : Plastic
  • Capacity
    : 24-oz
  • Measurements
    : Yes
  • Weight: NaN lbs (NaN kg)
  • Height: NaN" (NaN cm)
  • Suitable For
    : Small batches
  • Dishwasher Safe
    : Yes
  • Tamper Included
    : No

Made of eco-friendly food-grade plastic, the beaker is entirely safe for use with any ingredients. It’s top-rack dishwasher-safe but doesn’t resist shattering, so we still recommend washing it manually to avoid any possible damage. Since it isn’t designed to withstand high temperatures, you also shouldn’t use it to blend hot liquid.

Besides the measurement marks, a wide pour spout is also a nice feature of Cuisinart’s beaker. When we used it to pour out the smoothie, we experienced less spillage than with other blender jars.

10

Power Cord

Cuisinart CSB-175BKQVC Power Cord
  • Cord Length
    : 6.0 ft
  • Type
    : 2-prong plug
  • Detachable
    : No

The power cord has a reasonable length. Its plug is polarized so it will only be inserted one way into your outlet. For ultimate cable management, Cuisinart also included a nylon zip tie.

Extra Accessories: Not Included

not image
  • Material: N/A
  • Dishwasher Safe: N/A
  • Removable: N/A

The Cuisinart doesn’t come with any accessories other than the 24-oz pitcher.

Usability

How We Rated
7.8
Usability Scores
  • Ease Of Use (60%)
    7.6/10
  • Blade Assembly (10%)
    9.0/10
  • Handling (20%)
    8.0/10
  • Cleanability (10%)
    7.5/10

Cuisinart packs its blender with many unique features to create the most enjoyable blending experience for the users, and we appreciate this effort. However, none of its things really impress us, with the exception of the blender’s cleanability.

7.6

Ease Of Use

not image

At first sight, we thought this blender would be very easy to use due to its simple-designed interface.Unexpectedly enough, however, we couldn’t figure out how to activate the device until we consulted the user manual. Not only that, but we also needed quite a lot of practice to operate it smoothly.

Unlike others, this blender has an additional locking button which acts as a safety mechanism. The locking button must be held down along with the operational button. That paired-button operation forced us to use two hands in some cases — certainly not what we’d call user-friendly.

Given that the dial’s location is entirely separated from the On/Off button, it’s also quite tough for use to use the blender, adjust its speed, and hold the beaker at the same time. More often than not, we felt very annoyed when having to stop blending if we wanted to speed up or slow down.  

Another drawback was that all sorts of our blending motions, from stirring to drawing up, weren’t performed with ease. In particular, when the mayonnaise began to thicken, the blender suctioned itself tightly to the beaker’s bottom, making it a bit trickier for us to move its blending wand around. 

Likewise, in the hot soup test, the suction force created by the blender was so excessive that it entirely threw off our momentum when we were struggling to pull it out. Together with the absurdly-designed blade guard, this caused us lots of splatter every single time we moved our hand. Indeed, no other blenders we tested created as much mess as the Cuisinart.

There was also a problem in the smoothie test. At some points, this blender demanded we temporarily stop to dislodge the food trapped in its blade guard’s holes. And since blending frozen fruit was a prolonged procedure, it took a toll on the motor. Therefore, we had to let it rest every 60 seconds, and this was so inconvenient.

9.0

Blade Assembly

Play video
Cuisinart CSB-175BKQVC Immersion Blender Blade Assembly

To set up our blender, we attached the blending wand to the motor body until they clicked. When blending was complete, we removed the wand by pressing the release button and pulling it out. The pulling force is relatively large compared to other blenders we’ve had our hands on, so this one was tough to disassemble when our hands were oily.

8.0

Handling

Cuisinart CSB-175BKQVC Immersion Blender Handling

The Cuisinart’s handle has nothing particularly special. It doesn’t have a rubber layer (like the Vitamix or the Braun MultiQuick-5) to help you maintain a grip. On the bright side, it is ergonomically designed to protect your hand from fatigue.

7.5

Cleanability

Play video
Cuisinart CSB-175BKQVC Smart Stick Cleanability

Since the blending wand isn’t dishwasher-safe, it demands manual scrubbing after use.

Following each test, most of the food residue rinsed off effortlessly under our running tap. We removed more stubborn remnants using a soapy sponge. Along the way, we didn’t have as much difficulty scrubbing the backs of the blades as we experienced with the Vitamix.