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BLACK+DECKER 8-Cup ReviewPrice: $40 List | $34.99 at Amazon
Pros: Inexpensive, better than average at mixing
Cons: Shreds and slices poorly, loud
Bottom line: The least expensive and lowest scoring model of the group
The BLACK+DECKER 8-Cup was one of the smaller, least expensive models that we tested. Unfortunately, this model did not stack up very well against the competition and scored the lowest of the group. This model did do about average in chopping and slightly above in mixing, but there are other models that scored substantially better for a small increase in cost.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
This is probably one of the least expensive models that you can get that will still manage to perform the majority of the tests, only really falling short in a few places. This model probably wouldn't hold up to constant use, and would end up disappointing, but would suffice for intermittent use of the easier tasks.
We conducted a veritable barrage of tests to push the BLACK+DECKER to its limits and see what it can do. Unfortunately, this model scored the lowest of the group, as you can see in the chart below.
Keep reading to see which tests the BLACK+DECKER did an acceptable job in, which ones were mediocre, and which ones were a complete disaster. We've broken up our testing plan into six metrics, and details this model's performance and score for each one.
We chopped onions, carrots, and almonds with this model and evaluated the finished product on quality and consistency, as well as comparing the stopping time of the "Pulse" button between different models. The BLACK+DECKER merited a 5 out of 10, which put it close to the back of the pack, only beating out the chopping performance of the Hamilton Beach Professional
This model had a slight pause between the release of the Pulse button and when the blade would stop spinning, shorter than the Cuisinart Elemental but longer than the top performing machine, the Breville.
The BLACK+DECKER produced some of the worse onions of the group, with a huge range of sizes, varying from practically minced to huge chunks. Its performance did substantially improve in our carrot test, doing just slightly worse than the top scoring model, the Breville The chop was a little on the larger side, but it was relatively even. It just took a few more pulses than some of the other models to reach a quality end result.
Quality dropped down again in our almond test, with the BLACK+DECKER tying with a handful of other models for the dubious honor of having the second-worst chopped nuts. It left a non-trivial amount of whole almonds and larger chunks, while simultaneously producing a decent amount of pulverized almond dust. This is a direct contrast to the desired result of small, even pieces.
Our mixing test was the only metric where the BLACK+DECKER scored above average, earning a 6 out of 10. We made pie crust, pizza dough, and mayonnaise from scratch. This model doesn't have a dough blade but still managed to make fine pizza dough, ranking just behind the Breville but surpassing both Hamilton Beach models. The motor sounded like it struggled a little bit, and when the ball of dough actually formed it pressed on the lid very hard, actually bending it while it was rotating around. However, there appeared to be no negative repercussions.
The performance was similar when making pie crust, though it did take a little longer with this machine. The pie crust dough had a few dry spots when rolled out, lacking slightly behind models like the Braun or Breville in terms of consistency. However, this model did fail at making mayonnaise in our test. The blade spins too high in the bowl to make the amount prescribed in our test recipe, so while this model could effectively make mayonnaise, you would need to make a very large batch at a time.
The BLACK+DECKER's score dropped back down for this series of tests, earning a 4 out of 10. This was based on the quality of hummus, applesauce, nut butter, and tomato sauce, as judged by our panel of tasters. We also did a leak test with the bowl filled to the maximum line with water.
This model produced the worst hummus of the group, creating hummus that was by far the coarsest in texture after two and a half minutes of pureeing. It took close to an additional five minutes of pureeing time before the hummus was even close to being as smooth of some of the other models. This model also did a subpar job at grinding nut butter, requiring periodic scrapes of a spatula to help it on its way. We did note that this model is exceptionally loud, measuring in at 92.5 dBA about 3' away. In addition, it took about 25 minutes to complete, so making nut butter is not a task to be undertaken lightly with the BLACK+DECKER.
Both applesauce and tomato sauce were slightly below average, leaving a decent number of chunky bits of tomato and an entire apple slice un-pureed. This model did leak, with water slowly dripping out and water splashing out through the lid seam occasionally.
Continuing its downward trend, the BLACK+DECKER performed worse at shredding than pureeing, deserving a meager 3 out of 10. We evaluated its shredding capabilities with cheese, potatoes, and carrots, as well as compared the adjustability of shredding settings to the other models.
This model only offers a medium shred setting, and the feed tube was too small to fit a 2lb block of cheese, requiring us to slice it in half lengthwise. A large portion of the cheese crumbled, rather than shredded and there were copious amounts stuck in the space between the lid and the shredding disc. However, the 50% of the cheese that shredded properly was of acceptable quality, though the machine sounded like it might break throughout this.
The quality of shredded potatoes and carrots dropped significantly, with extremely inconsistently sized, flimsy shreds being produced. There were also large chunks of both foodstuffs remaining in the gap between lid and shredding disc.
The BLACK+DECKER did marginally better at slicing than shredding, but only enough to boost its score a single point to a 4 out of 10 for this metric. The tests were practically identical to shredding, with the substitution of tomatoes and zucchini for cheese and carrots.
This model once again has no adjustability for size, and the feed tube did fit most of our tomatoes, though it was too small for the largest one. The sliced tomatoes weren't bad, ranking about average, and weren't completely mutilated or mangled.
Performance fell when it came to slicing potatoes or zucchini, creating slices that had a wide range in thickness with tapered cuts.
This model improved again, earning a 5 out of 10 for its ease of cleaning. The bowl, lid, blades, and discs are all dishwasher safe, though for the top shelf only. The blade was relatively easy to clean by hand, though the smooth texture made it a little hard to hold onto when it was all soaped up. The bowl didn't have any particularly troublesome spots to clean, but its smaller size added a little difficulty to the process. The lid wasn't bad, though there is a small gap between the edge of the lid and where the feed tube intersects that can be quite difficult to get a sponge or brush, allowing some food scraps to be overlooked.
There are better value option out there, but this is the least expensive model that made the cut for our review, making it something to look at if you are on the tightest of budgets for your kitchen appliances.
All in all, the BLACK+DECKER is an inexpensive model that doesn't really impress. It faltered at many tests, but it did shred, slice, and chop food — even if the quality was lacking. It might be an acceptable option for infrequent use, or if you know you are only going to be doing one of the tasks that the BLACK+DECKER didn't struggle with.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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