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Hamilton Beach Power Elite Review

This is a simple, budget-friendly model that we cannot recommend for anything beyond making simple blended drinks
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Hamilton Beach Power Elite Review (If simple smoothies are your only goal, the inexpensive Hamilton Beach Power Elite is a fine choice for a small blender.)
If simple smoothies are your only goal, the inexpensive Hamilton Beach Power Elite is a fine choice for a small blender.
Credit: Natalie Kafader
Price:  $40 List
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Manufacturer:   Hamilton Beach
By Genaveve Bradshaw and Aaron Rice  ⋅  Jun 4, 2024
44
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#16 of 16
  • Smoothies - 30% 5.1
  • Convenience - 25% 4.7
  • Ice - 20% 5.0
  • Pureeing - 15% 3.0
  • Grinding - 10% 2.0

Our Verdict

As far as blenders go, the Hamilton Beach Power Elite is about as basic as it gets. This inexpensive, barebones blender does a fine job of blending simple recipes, easily blending berry mixes into delicious, albeit relatively thin, smoothies. It features four presets that constitute the most common techniques for melding ingredients — Mix, Puree, Dice, and Grind — but without a timer, you have to start and stop this blender manually. Unlike the more powerful options we tested, the petite Power Elite relies heavily on a substantial liquid content to generate the vortex responsible for blending beverages. If you plan to keep it simple, the affordable Power Elite is a serviceable option for making smoothies. But if you want a blender with any level of versatility, we suggest considering a different model from our review of the best blenders.
REASONS TO BUY
Budget-friendly
Makes a good berry smoothie
Small footprint
REASONS TO AVOID
Cheap design
Incapable of blending thick recipes
Poor puree performance

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Bottom Line A barebones, budget-friendly blender capable of making smoothies but not much elseCompared to other premium blenders we tested, this more affordable option is more than capable in the kitchenConvenient and affordable, this blender is the perfect balance of price and performanceA blender with a pitcher fit to make many drinks, great for smoothies and margaritas but not so great for flour grinding or making soupA solid option for blending frozen beverages, without the same versatility as more expensive blenders
Rating Categories Hamilton Beach Powe... Cuisinart Hurricane... Nutribullet Combo Ninja Professional... Ninja Professional...
Smoothies (30%)
5.1
9.3
7.5
6.5
6.2
Convenience (25%)
4.7
8.7
6.7
6.7
6.3
Ice (20%)
5.0
9.4
6.6
8.4
8.1
Pureeing (15%)
3.0
8.4
7.4
5.4
5.6
Grinding (10%)
2.0
7.5
7.9
6.5
4.9
Specs Hamilton Beach Powe... Cuisinart Hurricane... Nutribullet Combo Ninja Professional... Ninja Professional...
Model Number 58148A CBT-2000P1 NBC-12A BN701 BL610
Power Peak .94 HP Peak 3.5 HP Peak 1.6 HP Peak 1.9 HP Peak 1.3 HP
Pitcher Capacity 40 oz 64 oz 64 oz 72 oz 72 oz
Presets None Yes, 5: Clean, Soup, Smoothie, Ice Crush, Pulse Yes, 2: Extract, Pulse, 3 speed settings Yes, 3: Smoothie, Ice Crush, Ice Cream Yes, 1: Pulse, 3 speed settings
Measured Dimensions (base with pitcher) 14.7" x 8.7" x 6.5" 16.6" x 11.6" x 10.6" 17" x 7" x 9.5" 17.5" x 9" x 6.8" 18" x 10.5" x 7.5"
Dishwasher Safe Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Accessories No No Yes
-32oz Cup with blade attachment
-24oz Cup with blade attachment
-2 To-Go lids
-Tamper
-Recipe book
No No
Digital Timer No Yes No Yes No
Meant for Heating? No Yes No No No
Cord Length 2.2 ft 3.2 ft 2.5 ft 2.5 ft 2.8 ft
Wattage 700 watts 2000 watts 1200 watts 1200 watts 1000 watts
Measured Decibels for Standard Smoothie 83.6 86.4 83.7 *not measured 84.1
Measured Soup Temperature 105 150 145 74 73

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Hamilton Beach Power Elite is a fairly standard blender in a petite form. The 40-ounce glass jug is supported by a 700-watt motor housed in a small base, measuring just over 8.5 inches at its widest. Although it claims 12 blending functions, it only features four multi-functional buttons, which allow you to mix, puree, dice, and grind — the last two include a pulse function.

Performance Comparison


It certainly is capable of making a serviceable smoothie, but other key design flaws preclude the Power Elite from being a versatile blender.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Smoothies


This petite blender has no issues blending a basic berry smoothie. Using the minute-long Smoothie preset, the blended mix was enjoyable but relatively thin and contained more seeds than comparable models we tested. It took a bit of mixing to help blend the Oreo milkshake — an effort hampered by the laughably small tamper hole, which is too small to fit any utensil — but the result was thick and creamy. Like most blenders in general and small blenders in particular, these common tasks are really what the Power Elite is designed to handle. But, oh, what a journey we had trying to blend a thicker green shake and a fruit, nut, and oat breakfast blend.

With the help of plenty of apple juice, this blender turned out a surprisingly tasty, albeit chunky green smoothie.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

While the first few moments of blending a green smoothie seemed hopeless, gradually, a vortex formed to blend all of our fresh greens and frozen fruit. It ultimately produced a passable green shake with a surprisingly smooth texture despite its obvious chunkiness. Unfortunately, the Power Elite could not overcome the inertia of our notoriously thick fruit, nut, and oat recipe. The lack of liquid seriously hampered the blending of this mixture on any setting. We eventually added a cup of milk, which allowed it to blend into a thick but still rather enjoyable smoothie. This cemented that the Power Elite can handle hefty recipes, but unlike other more powerful blenders we tested, this one relies on liquids to pull the ingredients into a vortex that actually kickstarts the blending process.

hamilton beach power elite - this petite blender does a much better job of blending simple...
This petite blender does a much better job of blending simple, fruit- and berry-based recipes.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Convenience


Even though the Power Elite is a simple, straightforward blender, it's not particularly convenient to use, especially compared to other models in our lineup. This blender features four presets — Mix, Puree, Dice, and Grind — which are also listed with their most common associated uses, like Mix for making a Milkshake or Puree for making a Smoothie. Despite the preset speeds, they don't have a timed cycle, so you have to babysit this blender while it's in use.

hamilton beach power elite - the interface on the power elite is about as barebones as they come.
The interface on the Power Elite is about as barebones as they come.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Fortunately, this blender is fairly straightforward to clean — a blessing, given that there are a number of small nooks and crannies, especially in the lid, that accumulate gunk rather quickly. There is an easy-to-use Clean button, but again, without a timer, you have to monitor its progress. Otherwise, the bottom of the pitcher and blades are removable for safe handwashing, and all parts are dishwasher safe. As a small blender, we were surprised by the sound the Power Elite created — an average reading of 84 decibels is on par with motors much larger and much more powerful than this one.

hamilton beach power elite - fortunately, the base of this blender is easily disassembled for...
Fortunately, the base of this blender is easily disassembled for easy cleaning.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Ice


As far as crushing ice is concerned, the Power Elite did succeed in breaking a cup of ice cubes down into smaller ice chunks. However, the friction heat generated by the blades caused the ice to soften and melt, unlike other, more powerful blenders that are capable of pulverizing ice into chips. This may have been to the benefit of the Power Elite, which surprised us with its ability to mix a blended margarita using the Icy Drink preset. Our recipe was, admittedly, a bit too large for the small-capacity pitcher. However, we were very impressed with this petite blender's ability to hang in there and get the job done, turning out a batch of margaritas that was pleasant but not without room for improvement.

hamilton beach power elite - it broke down ice cubes into smaller bits, but the heat generated by...
It broke down ice cubes into smaller bits, but the heat generated by the blades led the ice to melt and refreeze into chunks.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Pureeing


Like many of the budget blenders we tested, 'non-traditional' uses tend to be the downfall of these blenders, which just don't have the output power of the larger, more premium models. The Power Elite passed our nut butter test, but just barely, and the result will disappoint anyone who doesn't enjoy crunchy nut butter. Unfortunately, an attempt to puree homemade tomato soup was a complete disaster. We didn't expect a servable soup from a blender that was not designed for heating, but the ingredients were unblended, and the soup was unpalatable.

hamilton beach power elite - the nut butter we made was spreadable, but nowhere near as smooth as...
The nut butter we made was spreadable, but nowhere near as smooth as the product of other blenders.
Credit: Genaveve Bradshaw

Grinding


The Power Elite fell even further behind the pack due to its inability to grind. While it could break up parmesan cheese into smaller blocks, none of the cheese was ground, nor was it anywhere near the powdered consistency we were aiming for. It was unsuccessful in turning granulated sugar into powder sugar, and we estimated it only milled five percent of the corn kernels into actual corn flour. Although this blender features a Grind preset, beware of its extremely limited capability.

hamilton beach power elite - loud, and altogether not very effective, the power elite simply...
Loud, and altogether not very effective, the Power Elite simply isn't designed to grind or mill.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Should You Buy the Hamilton Beach Power Elite?


In our assessments, we always look at the balance of price versus performance and award products for their durability and versatility. In the case of the Power Elite blender, you get what you pay for, which is not very much relative to the other blenders we tested, even the comparably priced ones. If you only want to make smoothies, then this blender is serviceable. Otherwise, it is well worth considering a small investment in a blender whose performance and capability are worth the expense.

What Other Blenders Should You Consider?


We recognize that many of the blenders we tested are very expensive, especially compared directly to the Hamilton Beach Power Elite. However, considering the lack of performance of this blender, it's worth considering spending at least as much as the Ninja Professional BL610, a simple and strong blender with a budget-friendly price tag. But if you are looking for a versatile blender, we highly suggest comparing these two models against the Ninja Professional Plus BN701, our top choice for folks shopping on a particularly tight budget.

Genaveve Bradshaw and Aaron Rice