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Up until having a child, I never really had the need to own a hand blender, but as Lauren approached 5 months and the midwife recommended I started to wean her, I knew I needed one. I didn't want to spend much money because I wasn't sure how much use it would get so I looked in the Argos catalogue to see what they had available. ===Price and availability=== The blender is part of the Argos Value range so only available for sale at Argos and online and it retails now for just over £4 which I think is an excellent price, I think we paid just under a fiver 6 years ago. I really like the Argos click and collect service, which allow me to check and reserve stock online and then pick up by close of play the following working day and luckily, I have an Argos in my local town centre which saves me money on the delivery charge which is quite high at around £5.95. ===The blender=== The blender comes in a plain looking box, with the Value logo to the front. Upon opening the box, I remember it came in two parts which easily twist and click together. The blades are already in place so I didn't have to fiddle around with that element. The whole blender is which in colour which I find fits into any décor; the housing around the blades has four large vent holes in to allow the food to move around easily when blending. ===Cleaning=== Just like assembling the blender, you can split into two pieces again by simply twisting and pushing together at the same time. The bottom part which houses the blade can then be popped into the dishwasher or washed in warm soapy water. ===In use=== Having never used a blender before in my life, I wasn't sure what to expect, I do remember my other half commenting "for that money, it will be useless and break after one use" but on first use, we were both pleasantly surprised. Having cooked my vegetables and placed them all in a large bowl, I placed the stick blender in and pressed the large button to the front of the blender. Because this is a stick blender, I have quite a lot of control and where I am placing the stick in the pan/bowl. As well as working well on cooked vegetables, I have also used on fruit such as apples and pears and it performs equally as well too (although it does take a little longer to blend on raw fruit and veg than cooked). I think I actually prefer my hand blender over jug blender (not sure what the technical term is) for several reasons; it takes up less room in the cupboard, it is easier to see how smooth or lumpy your food is, its easier to clean, I am not restricted on how much food I can blend. In my opinion, the performance of the blender is excellent, depending upon how 'smooth' I want my food, I just lengthen the amount of time I spend blending. Although it only has one speed, the blender is 170 watt so it is quite powerful. ===More recent use=== For a few years after we finished weaning Lauren, the blender lay in my cupboard gathering dust, but over the last few months, I have been using this more and more. I am following Slimming World at the moment and have made lots or soups, curry sauces etc and had to use my blender to smooth them out. ===Any negatives?=== If I had one negative thing to say about the blender, it would be the noise levels, it is really load, even louder than my standard smoothie blender which we brought a few years later. My hubby also said it is one of the loudest utensils he has used and he works in a professional kitchen. Another criticism of the blender would be the length of the power cord; it is less than a meter long which means I do have to normally move my bowls and pans to the blender rather then the blender to the pan. Although this isn't too much of an issue, it is a bit of a pain. ===Overall=== Overall, my experience of the hand blender has been good and 6 years later, it is still going strong therefore, despite the two negatives above, I would recommend and give 5 out of 5 stars. Thanks for reading.
I wanted a basic simple hand blender just to mush up fruit to go into milk shakes and to make the mashed potatoes really smooth at meal times so opted for this very cheap, at the time priced at just £5 hand blender as I didnt want anything too complicated and this was very simple looking as it only has one speed and is small enough to go in the cutlery drawer with all my other bits and pieces so wouldnt take up lots of space in the kitchen. It was advertised as having detachable blades and being dishwasher safe so I assumed the bottom part of this would detach like others I have owned but sadly I was wrong so washing it wasnt as easy as it looked but to get the blades clean I used to just put the bottom of it in the washing up bowl switched on to get all the mess out of it whilst holding the electrical buts out of the water, not the best design ever but it was ridiculously cheap after all. It was powerful enough to do everything I wanted it to do which was great and is really comfortable to hold, pressing the button to make it go was easy so could even be operated by my mom with her arthritus so would be able to be used by all. The blades were nice and sharp and in the two years I used it a couple of times a week and the blades didnt loose there sharpness, it is such a shame Argos discontinued this but I suppose a lot of people were not happy with it being difficult to wash.
I own the Argos Value Hand Blender and this is my review of the product. I paid only £4.89 for the hand blender a few months ago which I think is really great value but I was a bit worried as to wether the blender would work well enough for me due to being such a cheap price! I did not have any problem with setting up the blender ready to use for the first time. All I had to do was take it out of the box and remove the packaging and then I had to put the two pieces of the blender together. The two pieces are the top part which has the mechanism inside it and the wire that you plug into the wall and the bottom piece which is the neck of the blender with the blade at the bottom of it. The two pieces slot into each other very easily and you can feel when it is slotted into place. The blades on this blender are made of stainless steel so I knew it was going to be a blender that lasts quite a while as stainless steel is a good quality metal. It also means that the bottom part of the blender, or the part with the blade on it is able to be put into the dishwasher. The top part of the blender can not be put into the dishwasher obviously cos it has the plug on the end of the wire. The top part of the blender has a large blue button on it and this is the button to give power to the blender when you are wanting to blend your food. The last hand blender that I bought had two different speed settings but the Argos Value Hand Blender only has one setting and so the blue button is basically an on/off button. When it is pressed the blender goes on and when I press it again the blender goes off. The button is easy to use and I do not need to use to much pressure to press the button on or off. The blender feels quite heavy when I am using it but it is no heavier than the last model I had so I think the weight is cos of the motor in the top part of the blender. There is a good length of flex on the Argos blender so it stretches easily when I am in the kitchen using it. I usually use my blender to make soup and this does not cause to much mess for me but the Argos Value Blender has a splash guard design on the end next to where the blades are. I did not think it really made any difference to the mess made by using a hand blender and I think this is just a gimmick of this model. The splash guard might work better if using the blender to puree foods for babies but as I am usually using mine to make soup I do not really notice the difference. I think the Argos Value Hand Blender is made of good quality materials as it feels quite sturdy to me and I have actually dropped this blender before and there was no damage to it at all even though I dropped it onto a tiled floor. I think it is a good quality product and it feels and looks as if it is well made to me. It does its job well and it blends food and soup as easily as the last hand blender I owned which cost me £20 so I was pleased that the Argos Value Blender worked so well as it was a much cheaper price. I would suggest buying the Argos Value Hand Blender as it is a sturdy model and it works well for me. I think it is a really good value price and it is a good quality product made of good quality materials in my opinion. I do not really have any major issues with the blender and would buy it again if this one stopped working cos it works as well as the last blender I had!
=== The product === This is a 'stick' blender from the Argos value range. === Putting it together === The blender is two pieces that are very simple to slot together. You have the top part, the handle, which has the power cord attached to it complete with plug. The bottom part clicks in to place easily to the handle and this part has the one blade on it. This is very simple to put together and obviously you just need to plug it in and then you can use it, the flex is ample enough that I can plug this in on any of my kitchen plug sockets and use it wherever I need to, that's good enough for me! === How to use this === Once you have slotted the two parts together & plugged it in you can then press the blue button to use the blender. There is one speed on this blender, it's either on or off, that is is. The way that the base is designed means that the one blade will spin around and food will be drawn in to the blade and then chopped up. There are air holes near the blade so that the food is aided in to the blade easily. === Where can I buy this & for how much? === This can be purchased in store, reserved for in store collection online or ordered online for home delivery (charges may apply) from Argos stores or www.argos.co.uk for just £4.89. This is obviously a very low price for something that is quite useful in the kitchen. === Overall opinion === This blender is nothing special to look at, in fact it is quite possibly the ugliest kitchen item I own but who cares?! When I have used this it is very simple to wipe the handle over and rinse the actual blade by just detaching it. This means that I do not have to worry about getting the plug or the wire wet so I can ensure that I am safe. Also, because this comes apart I am able to store it in my utensil drawer with everything else I usually need when cooking up a storm in the kitchen. The parts are white so they are relatively inoffensive but I find that the blue button just looks a bit garish and horrible, generally speaking though I am the only person who tends to see this so it does not really matter much! This blender is simple to use, simple to put together and works quite well at blending. I normally use this for pureeing food for my nieces & nephews or for making deliciously creamy mashed potato when I am having a lazy day but want to make shepherds pie or something similar. I use this in a large plastic mixing bowl and so far it has not damaged the bowl or caused flood to be splattered all over the kitchen so that is good enough for me. Obviously the kind of texture that can be achieved with this is dependent on how long you use it for and I've found that under a minute is enough to smooth out vegetables for a nice soup and even just a few seconds if I want to make a nice chunky soup with a good consistency and thickness. On occasion, when blending really chunky food, I would find that this could get stuck around the blade but this was easily rectified by turning it off and then using the end of a wooden spoon, or any spoon for that matter, to clean it all out. Just to mention that the section with the blade on can be washed in the dishwasher if you choose to. It says dishwasher safe parts on the Argos website but I certainly would not recommend washing the handle, with the plug on it, in the dishwasher, well, not unless you never want this to work again. The wattage of this is 220 so it is quite powerful for a blender. I am pleased with the quality of this blender. I only purchased this because I could not find my previous, branded, blender which has since turned up. I will happily continue to use this if I can't use my other one and it is always nice to have a spare. I have lent this to my friend on several occasions when she has wanted to make a soup and now she has purchased the exact same one person so she must agree that it works well!
My girlfriend and I purchased this hand blender a few months back after our previous blender bit the dust after I tried to blend frozen strawberries in it - won't be trying that again with a value range blender!! As we mainly use the blender for blending soup, we decided to go for a cheap, handheld blender as we would not be blending anything of any great substance. ~The Blender~ The blender is handheld and retails currently (21/06/11) at £4.59. It has stainless steel blades and operates at a single speed. The blender is operated by a big blue button which is on the handle of the blender. The button is nice and big and makes operating the blender extremely easy. ~Blending~ I have mainly used the blender to blend soups and have always found that it make fairly light work of blender vegetables and stock into a nice creamy, smooth soup. I have also used it blend fruit to make smoothies and again the blender has always made light work of this task. The one thing I don't believe the blender would be able to deal with is frozen fruit. I don't believe the blades would be sharp enough. Saying that, I do not expect it too, given the price. I believe a reasonably expensive food processor would be required for this. ~Cleaning~ The blender couldn't be easier to clean. The bottom half of the blender comes away from the handle and I found that the blades and the bottom piece of the blender cleaned up nice and quickly. The ease of cleaning the product was one of the big advantages for me. Not that we have a dishwasher, but the blender is also dishwasher safe, according to the manufacturer. ~Summary~ For the price, I believe that this product is unrivalled and would recommend it to anyone and everyone. It would be maybe a nice touch to have more than one speed, but again for under a fiver you can't really complain.
My boyfriend proudly presented me with this blender as an off the cuff present last summer- and they say romance is dead! I have looked on the Argos website, and it is currently available for a tiny £4.59, which really surprised me as having used it many times now, I would have priced it at around £10-£15, so I think the boy did good on this occasion! First of all, the blender comes in just two parts, and it is very easy to assemble (which I was delighted to find as I am not the most technical of people!). The first part is the handle, this has a cord leading to a plug, which is how it connects to the mains. The handle itself is quite chunky and easy to hold still, and it has a large blue button, which turns the blender on- there are no variable speeds for this model, it is simply on or off. The second part is the blending shaft, and this attaches easily to the handle- simply hold the handle still and twist the blending shaft anti-clockwise, and (once you're twisting the right way!) the two parts quickly and easily fit together. There is a single blade at the bottom of the blending shaft, and as you can see from the photograph, the bottom of the shaft is shaped like teeth to allow the food to be drawn into the blade, be blended, and then disperse to allow lumpier food to be drawn into the blade for blending. In addition there are four curved rectangular air holes around the top of the base, which allows both air and food to circulate and helps to prevent blockages. Both sections are white, which is fine with me as I keep it out of sight in a cupboard as we have a small kitchen with very little worktop space to keep utensils on display. However, it isn't an object of great beauty, so if you are looking for a blender that is aesthetically pleasing and will act as a beautiful ornament in your kitchen when not in use, this is not for you. To use the blender, you simply place the assembled blending stick into your food and press the blue button. I would advise you to transfer the food into a deep jug or dish, as if you try to blend food in a shallow pan, I found the food splattered absolutely everywhere, including all over my face, hair, clothes and glasses much to my partners amusement! Admittedly it must have look very funny but I was not best pleased as I had to clean myself up and then clean the kitchen (there was sauce spattered all over the floor, walls, worktop, sink, fridge, tiles, cupboard doors and even a couple of spots on the ceiling!) before I could return to trying to make dinner. Once you have transferred your food into a jug, then you simply press the blue button and move the blending stick slowly around the jug to make sure you get rid of all of the lumps. It is possible to achieve a completely smooth sauce if you wish by blending for longer and moving the blender throughly around the food, or alternatively if you like a few chunks then simply don't blend for as long. The blender is 220 watts, which I found to be powerful enough. I would be scared of food going flying again if there was a faster setting! I found the food chunks clogged up the blender just a couple of times, which was easily remedied by removing the blending stick from the food, and either the chunks would drop out by themselves, or if not then I gently persuaded them out with a spoon. My main criticism of this blender is that you have to press the blue button quite firmly in order for the blender to turn on. The button itself is about 6cm high by 2cm wide, but you need to press hardest at the bottom of the button as it is only the bottom portion of the button that moves inwards. I found this wasn't very user friendly for anyone who has long nails and doesn't want them snapped off. I also found my thumb started to ache after around 30 seconds of use. However I should say that my boyfriend found it a breeze to use and didn't experience any thumb ache or find the button hard to continually press. Perhaps having larger thumbs with short nails is an advantage! I have used the blender to create delicious vegetable soup and gorgeous pasta sauce on numerous occasions. Even when I have used exactly the same ingredients to make a pasta sauce as I usually would, giving it a blend makes the sauce taste so much better! I think the tinned tomatoes taste a bit better blended rather than having big chunks of them, but that is just our own personal preference. I can imagine it is a fabulous tool to have if you have picky children who don't want to eat their veggies, as by blending them up into a pulp the children will never know they are there! The blender is ever so easy to clean, which is music to my ears! The blending shaft can go in the dishwasher if you have one, but I found if you give it a wash under the tap before the food dries then it will be clean in seconds. In summary I would definitely recommend this blender. At under a fiver I think it represents fantastic value for money. It is easy to assemble and easy to clean, which for me personally is very important, and it blends the food really well and helps to create a really tasty meal. My only criticism is the button is not so easy to firmly press for the length of time it takes to blend the food, so I have deducted one star for that. However this may be just me for having skinny thumbs and long nails! If you are considering purchasing a blender and want an all-singing, all-dancing one with oodles of features that will look beautiful in the kitchen then this is not for you. However if you want something cheap and cheerful that gets the job done then I would definitely recommend you give this a try.
The Argos Value Hand Blender, which at £4.59 costs less than a fiver, is a startlingly inexpensive electrical gadget for the kitchen. Usually when faced with a choice of electrical items to buy at Argos catalogue shop, I automatically opt for the second least expensive item; but I was buying this for a 'second kitchen' when we were living in a flat away from home for the purposes of work, so I just went for the most basic model available. I like these mini-blenders because while they do the job of blending food effectively, they're small enough to 'live' out on the kitchen counter-top permanently; one of the reasons I find using a proper food-processor-type blender such a pain being that you have to get it in and out of the kitchen cupboard (and of course wash and dry the electrical behemoth carefully) whenever you want to use it. The blender is a strictly no-frills piece of kit: it has basic white plastic 'bodywork', a blue button to switch it on (there's only one speed to it), an attached cable at the top end with which to plug it in and that's it. The one I've got has 'Cookworks' written on the side, but when you're shopping at Argos, sometimes when you get to the counter they pull a 'substitution for goods of like value' over what you've seen advertised in the catalogue, so although the 'Cookworks' model was what they were selling as their Value Blender when I bought mine, there's no absolute guarantee that this is the exact model you'll get if you buy one tomorrow. It'll look pretty much identical, and I would guess work in a similar manner too. The 'electrical component containing' part (at the handle end) is not waterproof, so this screws away from the part with the knives in so that the blender head can be washed separately, the working part of it being a simple two-spiked knife head. I was slightly surprised when I bought it that unlike similar hand-blenders I've had in the past, it doesn't even come with its own 'goblet': usually with hand blenders they give you a big tall cup that the blender-head fits into, so that you can liquidize things with it. But this being an absolutely cut-to-the-bone product, it doesn't even have that! Nor does it have adjustable speed controls: if you want to 'pulse' blend whatever you're blending, you have to do that by adjusting the pressure on the button, whizzing it on and off manually. It doesn't have a lot in the way of safety features either: you just have to keep pressing down the 'on' button to keep the head rotating. It does do the job of hand-blending reasonably well however, though if anything I find it's too powerful rather than the reverse. (Apparently the thing works at 220 watts, but I'm afraid that doesn't mean anything at all to me in terms of its liquidizing or blending potential.) I mainly use it to blend home-made soup smooth, to make fruit smoothie drinks and sometimes to make a 'spice paste' with ginger, onions and chillies etc. for curries. I've found that it tends to splash liquids about quite drastically unless the head is immersed at least four inches deep, so this means that if you want to use it to, say, liquidize home-made soup in a pot, you need to pour the soup into a jug to get the adequate amount of liquid depth for it to work without making a mess. Fortunately I have a straight-sided mug big enough that the head of the blender just fits into it, otherwise I think it would be tricky to blend smaller amounts of ingredients, eg. for a spice paste. All this gets round the problem of the blender not coming with its own 'goblet'. One drawback with this particular blender I find is that the top-part that contains the electrical components is relatively heavy, which means that the blender is too top-heavy to be stored standing up on the blender head. Keeping a tall and narrow gadget like this in the upright position would of course be ideal as it would occupy less space. So I keep mine in two parts, unscrewed, just lying on the side of the kitchen worktop so it's always to hand when I want to use it. This blender is perfectly fine for the money, but if you want a ground-control-to-Major-Tom type of blender, that can do lots of sophisticated stuff like chop things at different speeds and such, this entry-range model probably won't be the ideal one for you.