If you are in the market for a new mini chopper, we would caution against getting the BLACK+DECKER. We weren't enamored with its performance, feeling that its limited capacity and inconsistent chopping performance put it at the back of the group. On top of that, the lid popped off this food chopper twice in the course of our testing, even further instilling a feeling of unease when using this chopper. While this is an inexpensive product, our first choice, the Ninja Express Chop is only about $20 more and performs far better.
BLACK+DECKER HC150B Review
Pros: Inexpensive, easy to wash the blade by hand
Cons: Poor chopping performance, hard-to-wash bowl, inconvenient to operate
This model ranked at the back of the pack, doing much worse than the Ninja Express Chop and slightly worse than the Cuisinart CTG-00-SCHP. On the whole, we also weren't fans of the Cuisinart, but it does have a few redeeming factors that give it the edge on the BLACK+DECKER, like a far superior performance when it came to chopping tomatoes.
To see which mini food chopper is really the best, we looked at dozens of different models, then picked the three most promising to purchase and test side-by-side. We compared their chopping chops in a handful of different tests, ranking their performance at chopping tomatoes, onions, almonds, cilantro, garlic, and carrots, as well as the ease of cleaning each one out after use.
To start off each, we tasked each chopper with chopping half of an onion. Depending on the onion, this can be a bit more than the BLACK+DECKER can handle, but we managed to fit a quartered, half-onion that was on the smaller side without too much difficulty.
The BLACK+DECKER required a few extra pulses to successfully break down some of the larger onion pieces, which unfortunately meant a non-trivial amount of the chopped onions were completely pulverized. The chopped onions produced by the BLACK+DECKER were also the most watery of the bunch, indicative that they were more crushed, rather than chopped. All in all, it was quite difficult to get a good consistent chop with this product — we only really achieved it when we pre-cut the onion and at that point, you might as well just cut it by hand.
The BLACK+DECKER food chopper did quite a bit better with carrots, delivering an overall average performance. We used a whole raw carrot snapped into thirds for this test and the BLACK+DECKER handled it reasonably well. It chopped the bulk of the carrots, but once the bottom began to fill in with chopped carrots, the blade struggled to catch some leftover larger pieces at the top of the bowl.
However, the top did pop open once while we were testing it right as we let go of the pulse button, which did give us a bit of a cause for concern.
Next, we tested out how well each mini chopper did at mincing up garlic. We used three medium cloves in our test, pulsing each chopper until we achieved a fine mince — or at least as close to that as possible. The BLACK+DECKER again delivered another mediocre performance. This chopper overall didn't mince them as consistently as the Cuisinart or the Ninja and there were more larger pieces leftover, even after six pulses.
However, the BLACK+DECKER left the garlic slightly discolored and a little rougher looking than the other products did.
For our next evaluation, we tested how well each mini chopper handled half of a tomato. None of these food choppers did terribly well, tending to puree or crush the tomatoes rather than truly chopping them, with the BLACK+DECKER doing the worst of the entire group. A large portion of the outer part of the tomato got stuck in the bowl while the insides got completely mutilated. We even kept running it to see if it could adequately puree the tomatoes and make something similar to salsa, but it didn't really do all that well at that either.
The performance of the BLACK+DECKER improved a bit when we tasked it with chopping a half cup of almonds, but it still ranked the lowest out of the entire group. This model basically just spins the almonds around a bunch, rather than actually chopping them up, and it left the most whole almonds behind out of all the mini choppers.
For the final chopping tests, we used a half cup of cilantro to see how well each food chopper handled some greenery. The BLACK+DECKER again delivered a mediocre performance. We ran it for 15 seconds and it didn't really do much, mainly swirling the cilantro around rather than chopping it. Running it even longer, it reduced the cilantro to more of a mush or a paste, rather than dry, finely chopped leaves.
Ease of Cleaning
Finally, we looked at the difficulty in cleaning out the BLACK+DECKER after you have used it. This food chopper's ranking dramatically improved, being the easiest of the group to clean. The blade is the easiest to clean of the group, lacking any nooks and crannies that are hard to get food out of or the plethora of blades that the Ninja has that make cleaning them by hand a rather harrowing experience. The bowl is about average to clean and it is dishwasher-safe, as well as the blades.
All in all, we weren't big fans of this food chopper, finding it to be a bit inferior to the other models we have tested. This model is inexpensive, but it is well worth it to pay a little bit more for a model that is quite a bit better, such as the Ninja Express Chop.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer