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Hamilton Beach 51101AV Personal Blender In-depth Review
Hamilton Beach 51101AV Specifications
The Hamilton Beach impressed us with its simplicity, budget-friendly price, and space-saving slender figure. That being said, none of these features really matter when its blending efficiency leaves much to be desired. After a course of testing, we found the low-powered motor (175 watts) to be insufficient to entirely break down solid ingredients like grains, frozen foods, raw nuts, and dried fruits. If you just want a tool for simple combinations of soft ingredients, this blender is fine for the price. Just be aware that its overall build quality comes substandard in exchange for its low cost.
Things We Like
- Inexpensive and easy to use with one-touch blending.
- Blending cup features measuring lines.
- Compact design makes it perfect for use in small spaces.
- It is adequate for light blending performance.
Things We Don’t Like
- The low-powered motor limits its capabilities.
- Poorly-built quality impairs the machine’s overall performance and durability.
- It works inconsistently
- The blades are too short, which affects the blending time and final results.
- Updated Aug 17, 2022:
The Hamilton Beach is a low-range personal blender with a capacity of 14 ounces. On paper, it is designed to deliver the most nutrient-dense treats possible by turning plant foods into smooth liquid form. Unfortunately, there have been some arguments surrounding this capability in the real world and this is where our hands-on review, which analyzes data from real tests, comes into play.
Hamilton Beach 51101AV Personal Blender Performance: Very Lackluster
We tested the Hamilton Beach against several low-range personal blenders, but this machine was surprisingly the only one that didn’t pass even a single test. With its weak motor and small blending blade, it failed to blend the foods completely, resulting in grainy, rough mixtures.
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.
FailedFrozen Fruit Smoothie
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.
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.
FailedCrushed Ice Cubes
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.
Hamilton Beach 51101AV Smoothie Blender Design: Just Average
The overall design of the Hamilton Beach is simple, but the blending cup with a fixed blade assembly inside seems to be impractical if used as a to-go cup. The materials are only average, making the blender itself look fairly jerkwater and not catchy. This, however, is expected for the price.
In the Box
- Motor Base
- Blending Cup
Hamilton Beach Mini Personal Blender Dimensions
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 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 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.
Hamilton Beach Small Smoothie Blender Motor Base
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 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.
Speed and Controls of the Hamilton Beach 51101AV Personal Blender
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.
Hamilton Beach Mini Personal Blender Usability Review: Too Much Problems
Despite its intuitive design, the Hamilton Beach is somewhat uncomfortable to use. The blending jar attaches securely to the main body, but the assembly process is a bit of a hassle. Not only that, but it’s also more of a pain to clean than other blenders since the blade assembly isn’t removable.
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.
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.
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.
The Hamilton Beach Personal Compared to Other Personal Blenders
In our tests, the KOIOS Bullet made a serving of protein shake better than most similarly-priced blenders we’ve tried, including the Hamilton Beach. More impressively, there was no notable difference between its smoothies and those produced by other pricier machines, though the process took a bit more effort. For the price, this is a decent option if you want a nearly-no-fuss machine for simple blends and are willing to put in the physical effort for a thorough process.
Another low-powered personal blender we tested is the BLACK+DECKER FusionBlade. While this blender couldn’t make smoothies or pulverize leafy veggies as efficiently as the higher-end models, it was the second-best blender in the segment, getting the job done with acceptable results.
If you’re a post-workout shake fan, the Magic Bullet may be somewhat of a disappointment. In our test, it could break down the oatmeal pretty well but somehow fell short when processing blueberries and almonds. In the end, we were left behind with a coarse texture that was almost undrinkable. We also tested its capabilities for liquefying frozen fruits and leafy veggies, and unfortunately, it didn’t perform impressively in either.
Read more about other budget personal blenders in our full guide. For other types of blenders we’ve tested, check the list of the Best Blenders in 2022.
About your guide
Tina Pham is a staff writer and reviewer, with five years of experience in the industry. As a passionate amateur home cook, she loves to discover practical cooking solutions, and has made it her mission to bring her findings to every kitchen. Her ultimate goal is making cooking more of a pleasure for all.
Lap Vo is head of the Research, Testing, and Review Team (the RTR) at Healthy Kitchen 101. He is responsible for designing and overseeing the testing of kitchen tools and appliances.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.