Tuesday, December 17, 2013

How to Fix Your Hand Immersion Blender in 10 Minutes

We received a Kitchen Aid Immersion Blender for our wedding five years ago.  We (mostly Jami, my wife) used it regularly, and it made us great soups and smoothies for years.  About a year or two ago the coupling got all ground up melted.  We were disappointed, but it is a plastic part so what can you expect.  So Jami wants one of those fancy Vitamix or Blendtec blenders for Christmas, but it is just a LITTLE out of my price range (sorry Honey).  So I was thinking I would get her another hand immersion blender.  A little research online showed that for about $50 one can buy a nice Cuisinart Smart Stick CSB-77 and it had like 4.5/5 stars on Amazon with about 400 reviews.  Great gift, and in the budget.  I was about to go to ye old Target this very night, but I decided to look a little deeper in the Amazon reviews.  I found this.
I'll copy and paste it since it's small. "Plastic Gear Problem! I have had my Smart Stick for few weeks and am loving it! So easy to use, clean, and store. I am enjoying many more healthy smoothies in the morning, along with delicious soups for lunch. I learned NOT to lift it up too high when blending. (Opps!)
Easy applesauce....I peeled and cut apples, simmered them down, added some cinnamon, and nutmeg.....and gave them a whirl. Delicious! Also made a sweet potato and carrot mix, simmered, drained, added some ginger, and easily whipped it into a side dish my grandchildren loved!
So far...so very good!! Glad I bought it. Arrived promptly and no problems.

"Update: 4/23/13: Ignore the words above!!! After maybe 10 uses, none of them on challenging mixes, my Smart Stick has broken.The plastic gear inside looks rough and ragged. The blade barely turns. It happened as I attempted to blend cooked carrots into a soup. I never used it on anything that seemed too solid, so I am very disappointed as I really liked it. Some of the other reviewers mentioned the plastic gear as a weak spot and they were right. Why doesn't Cuisinart make that gear metal rather than plastic??? Buyer beware"

Other reviews said the same thing.  So I'm not going to spend $50 on something that works great just long enough to blend 10 smoothies so it looks good in a consumer report, and then breaks.  Thank goodness for Amazon reviews.  They have saved me multiple times.  So I was looking to see if I could buy an immersion blender with a metal coupling, or gear if you prefer.  Nope.  Some person on another site said, "Coupling design matters more than material. If you make your coupling short and thin, concentrating all the force in a small area, it will strip even [if] it's metal. Conversely, a well-designed coupling is longer, so the strain is spread over a large area."  I don't care what they say, I want a metal coupling.  Then I'll know it will last.  But none appear to be available.  Then I read another Amazon review, which I will refer to later, that gave me a great idea.

Anyway, so now how to fix said worthless plastic gears.

I don't know why Jami and I kept this piece of our immersion blender lying around for 1 or 2 years, but now I'm glad we did.
See how the old gears got ground up.
 
 Take a flat head screwdriver and dig molten plastic out.  Mine just popped out easily.
 Here are the remnants of what used to be gears.  Should have made them out of metal . . . tsk tsk.
 Now the inside is cleaned. (Okay you can tell from how rough the edges of the plastic are that I did this instructional blog as an after thought, but you understand what I'm talking about.)
 
 Hacksaw the plastic around the metal part off.

 Now the metal stem is exposed.
You'll need a drill.
 
 Use the teeth of the drill to hold the stem on the immersion blender like any other drill bit.
 
 Now you're ready to rock Binford 6100 style if you know what I mean.
 I tested out this contraption on an almost expired banana and some rock hard frozen strawberries.

 I like milk in my smoothies, don't you?  Preferably whole milk.
Awwww yeah. 
So there you go.  I owe this all to another Amazon review on the Breville immersion blender.
I'll copy and paste what my fellow Arizonan dbphoenix wrote: "How stupid do they think we are? And I don't mean just Breville, but KitchenAid, Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, and all the rest. Plastic gears. Plastic housings. In blenders. Even in mixers. And if it weren't for Amazon reviews, you'd never know. And for a hundred dollars. A HUNDRED DOLLARS! Amazon reviews have become the Consumer Reports of the new millennium. No wonder they're so popular. And manufacturers would be wise to pay attention.

"For those who are tired of being taken advantage of by companies that have zero respect for their customers, consider what I do. Buy a paint mixing attachment for your electric drill. You can get a good metal one for ten bucks. Attach it and go to town. Metal gears, tons of power, near-infinite speeds, and it will never bog down or break. Granted it sounds a little Tool Time, but it works (where do you suppose they got the idea for immersion blenders in the first place), and if you have a drill that's battery-operated, you don't have to futz around with a cord.

"With all this Chinese out-sourcing, companies have become incredibly lazy and profit-greedy. When will they go back to making quality products like they did fifty years ago (a KitchenAid mixer I bought in 1970 broke down just last year; a Sunbeam mixer that belonged to my mother in the fifties is still going strong)."

There you go.  $50 saved.  Plus his review made me want to see if I could find one of those old Tool Time episodes.  Enjoy. "Home Improvement" Tim Taylor Accident Clips







6 comments:

  1. So I was thinking I would get her another hand immersion blender. A little research online showed that for about $50 one can buy a nice ... 2handblender.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kitchen QueenJanuary 13, 2015

    Common sense pays off again !!!!!! My Husband uses a power drill with a larger but similar attachment to mix drywall mud. Same concept different room of the house...........

    ReplyDelete
  3. There actually IS one company that makes immersion blenders with metal, rather than plastic, gears — Bamix: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/bamix-professional-immersion-blender/?&&utm_campaign=bazaarvoice&utm_medium=SearchVoice&utm_source=RatingsAndReviews&utm_content=Default

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