Generally, it would seem that most users want it to be:
- · easy to clean
- · robust - metal rather than plastic
- · easy to handle - not too heavy or awkward
- · useful in a variety of situations, from mixing smoothies with great chunks of ice to whipping delicate egg-whites
What can you expect from your stick blender? Generally, it would seem they are:
- · mostly easy to clean
- · robust to a greater or lesser degree
- · most are easy to handle
- · most are useful in a variety of situations
So - what's the problem, then?
Manufacturing faults aside, consider this. It is truly not rational to buy a cheap, plastic blender and then expect it to crush ice ad infinitum. It is not logical to expect a $30 blender to perform at peak capacity, day after day for 10 or 12 years. No one should expect inexpensive plastic to stand up to hours of extremely hot water and the chemicals used in a dish-washer. It is wonderful if it happens, but it must be considered a bonus. Kitchen tools need to be treated with respect and a little bit of TLC will make all the difference to their life expectancy - after all, we do get cars serviced, don't we?
As I see it, we "pays our money and we takes our choice", as the old saying goes. If we spend the dollars up front, we may expect to be the owners of a robust and rugged machine which, with care and regular service, will provide us with years of use. (For example, replacing dull blades helps to reduce strain on the motor.)
If we cannot afford, or do not want to go for the best, we take a punt, buy a cheaper model and still treat it well. Give it respect, look after it and you are likely to enjoy many years of service, albeit without all the whistles and bells. Then, when it fails, you shrug, buy another one and move on. A word of warning here, often the price of a cheap blender may mean that it is more expensive to claim under-warranty repair or replacement than it is to just go out and buy a new one!
Resist the temptation to throw your stick blender at the cat, to leave it where the gas flame can gently lick it, or to let it languish in the soup of chemicals we call dish-wash powder and you may be surprised with the result.