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Cuisinart Smart Stick Immersion Blender In-depth Review

Tina Pham
Tina Pham
Reviewer
Lap Vo
Lap Vo
Head of RTR
Tuyet Pham
Tuyet Pham
Professional Chef
Nguyen Ntk
Nguyen Ntk
Visual Specialist
Reviewed
Tested Using Methodology v1.0
Unboxing the Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender; from left to right: an owner's manual, paper carton box, blending wand with a motor body attached, and a plastic beaker.

Overall Verdict

In our tests, the Cuisinart CSB-175 Smart Stick pureéd all the ingredients to create an acceptably silky soup in just 30 seconds, which was not always possible with some of its mid-range counterparts. The smoothie wasn’t blended to perfection, but its texture was above average with just a small mattering of kales. 

The lack of a whisk attachment prevented it from passing the egg-beating test, but this didn’t impair our blender’s advantage in preparing mayonnaise. The excellent ability to grind almonds even boosted its appeal a bit further.

Given its awkward design, however, this blender cannot give us the best blending experience overall. When it comes to clean performance, it doesn’t live up to our expectations, either. 

Nevertheless, the Cuisinart CSB-175 Smart Stick is a good, well-built hand blender for this price point. Certain problematic issues will drive customers away, but we are all not.

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
  • Updated Mar 08, 2022:

    Review published.

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.

Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender Performance: Pretty Good

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.


7.0Hot Soup Purée

Scooping a spoon of pureéd soup made by the  Cuisinart Smart Stick hand blender from a plastic beaker.
Scooping a spoon of pureéd soup made by the  Cuisinart Smart Stick hand blender from a plastic beaker.
Cuisinart CSB-175BKQVC Hot Soup Test
A batch of soup pureéd by the Cuisinart Smart Stick hand blender is checked for smoothness by being drained through a stainless steel mesh strainer.
Pureeing Time
30 seconds
Result
Silky chunky
Suction
Slightly

Despite being among the least expensive mid-range blenders on our testing list, this Cuisinart is plenty quick, taking only 30 seconds to give us a pot of soup. Still, we were just moderately satisfied with its performance. The soup was not well pureed enough to look entirely smooth. After we drained it through a strainer, we noticed many foods still remained unprocessed. For the best pureés maker, we recommend the Vitamix 5-speed.

7.5Frozen Fruit Smoothie

A plastic beaker containing a batch of green smoothie whose parts are scooped with a stainless steel spoon is between the Cuisinart’s motor body and a smartphone displaying the total blending time (1 minute and 21 seconds).
A plastic beaker containing a batch of green smoothie whose parts are scooped with a stainless steel spoon is between the Cuisinart’s motor body and a smartphone displaying the total blending time (1 minute and 21 seconds).
Cuisinart CSB-175 Smart Stick Smoothie
After finishing blending, the green smoothie made by the Cuisinart Smart Stick was spread evenly throughout a white paper to check for solid chunks.
Blending Time
1 min 20 secs
Result
Slightly Coarse
Suction
Slightly

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.

9.3Mayonnaise

Scooping a spoon of mayonnaise from a full batch emulsified in a white bowl by the Cuisinart Smart Stick hand blender.
Scooping a spoon of mayonnaise from a full batch emulsified in a white bowl by the Cuisinart Smart Stick hand blender.
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.

9.0Almond 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, some models, such as the Hamilton Beach 2-speed 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.

FailedWhipped Egg-Whites

The blending wand of the Cuisinart CSB-175 Smart Stick  is immersed in a plastic beaker on a white table containing its failed beaten egg-white with a smartphone next to it.
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.

Cuisinart Smart Stick 2-Speed Design: Thoughtful-Crafted for the Price

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 of the Cuisinart Smart Stick 2-Speed

A close-up of two speed controlling buttons and a speed dial on top of the Cuisinart’s motor body.
Control Type
Press
Min Speed
11,670 RPM
Max Speed
12,660 RPM
Presets
No
Noise Level
80 dB
Digital Display
No
Pulse 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.

8.0Blending Shaft

A close-up of the Cuisinart CSB-175 Smart Stick Stainless Steel Blade
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 Smart Stick

Owner’s manuals, blending wand, motor body, plastic beaker, paper carton box being side by side.
  • 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.

Dimensions

The Cuisinart Smart Stick 2-speed hand blender standing on top of its blending shaft on a gray table, with the length of the blending shaft being noted to the side as 8.4 inches, and the total length of the unit as 15.6 inches.
Height
15.6" (39.6 cm)
Width
2.3" (5.8 cm)
Weight
1.6 oz (45 g)
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.

8.5Build Quality

The motor body and blending wand of the Cuisinart Smart Stick two-speed hand blender lying flat on a yellow table.

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.

10Beaker

A 24-oz plastic beaker of the Cuisinart Smart stick standing on a yellow table.
Material
Plastic
Capacity
NaN fl oz (NaN ml)
Measurements
Yes
Weight
0.2 oz (7 g)
Height
6.5" (16.5 cm)
Dishwasher Safe
Yes

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.

10Power Cord

The Cuisinart Smart Stick Immersion Blender on a gray table with its power cord rolled up next to it.
Cord Length
6.0 ft (1.8 m)
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

Material
N/A
Dishwasher Safe
N/A
Removable
N/A

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

Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender Usability: Fine and Not Really Impressive

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.


7.6Ease Of Use

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.

9.0Blade 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.

8.0Handling

Someone uses two hands to control the Cuisinart Smart Stick immersion blender: one for holding the handle and pressing the controlling buttons at the same time, the other for rotating the speed dial.

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.

7.5Cleanability

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.

The Cuisinart Smart Stick Compared to Other Immersion Blenders 

The KOIOS 4-in-1 performed similarly to the Cuisinart CSB-175 Smart Stick in most of our tests. Its results, including the soup, smoothie, and nut milk, came out silky, but there is still a smattering of tiny unprocessed bits remaining if you ran each of them through a strainer. The capability of emulsifying mayonnaise and whipping egg whites of this blender were also very impressive thanks to the included whisk attachment—an add-on that you won’t have with the Cuisinart CSB-175 Smart Stick. 

The UTALENT 5-in-1 is an average personal blender, if not quite mediocre in the segment. It costs the same as the Cuisinart CSB-175 Smart Stick, but the results it produced were unfortunately not as good. The only advantage of this blender over the Cuisinart CSB-175 Smart Stick is that it comes with a whisk attachment, which allows it to make a pass in the mayonnaise test with a velvety outcome. 

Mid-range immersion blenders often work inconsistently and aren’t great for heavy blending performance, but we were pleasantly surprised to discover that the Braun MultiQuick-5 isn’t anything like that. It even turned out to be the second-best blender we tested, providing us with results that were smoother than most. While not without flaws, it is quite simply one of the few hand-held blenders on the current market that offer a balanced combination of price, performance, and overall quality. 

Read more about other immersion blenders we’ve tested here, or in our full guide for the Best Blenders in 2022.