The Hauswirt HB12 is a fairly powerful blender that wants to charm you with its retro look and to convince you that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get that perfectly creamy smoothie, to crush ice for those summertime-mandatory frozen drinks and to even grind coffee beans.
|Hauswirt Blender (HB12)|
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And it does so with the help of the 1,200W motor that spins the eight blades (positioned in three layers) at up to 30,000 rotations per minute which should be enough to crush ice and even the fiber-rich vegetables, such as celery. Also, besides ‘the default’ 51oz container (that’s made of BPA-free plastic), the manufacturer has also added a couple of smaller recipients (it calls them To-Go cups) that make carrying smoothies or ice drinks with you so much easier (the cups have sealed lids so yes, you can take them with you when you travel).
I have seen some of these elements on other, usually more expensive brands, so the Hauswirt blender (HB12) may actually be competitive enough to convince the people to not go with the other popular brands. I know that a lot of you are very fond of Vitamix blenders due to their long-term reliability, but newer devices such as the Ninja professional models have disrupted the market and, considering that the Hauswirt HB12 does have the potential to do the same, let’s put it to the test and see if it’s a worthy purchase or if it’s not really up to the task.
Design and Build Quality
Most kitchen appliances usually fall in two categories, they’re either very modern looking, focusing towards a very minimalist design with lots of LEDs and sometimes a display or they’ve adopted a vintage style, where the focus is towards giving that nostalgic feel (old style dials, less or no LEDs). The Hauswirt HB12 falls somewhere in between, featuring a plastic base that does remind me of those retro blenders (from the early 70s), but the LED on the dial and the backlit buttons do immediately give away that we’re actually dealing with a modern device. The plastic base is fairly large, measuring 8.3 x 6.0 x 6.0 inches (21.0 x 15.2 x 15.0 cm), but it should still take far less from the countertop than a coffee maker. I also noticed that the device has four rubber feet that can create a suction effect (depending on the material of the surface), so it will not slide on the table even when blending fruits or vegetables at a higher speed. On the front, there’s the control knob which, by default, is set to Off and it can be moved clockwise to the On position and between the Min and Max motor speed.
When the knob is set to On, you can also click on any of the three buttons to start a preset mode. First, there’s the Pulse mode which is useful to quickly crush some vegetables or to stir a blend in order to get some top parts to reach the blades and, unfortunately, Hauswirt did not add a tamper which would have made things easier. Of course, you can purchase a separate one (not that expensive) or use a spoon – don’t insert your fingers near the blades since they’re fairly sharp and you can easily cut yourself. The second button is for making Smoothies and, when activated, it will start and stop the motor several times over about a couple of minutes (the process is not continuous) and lastly, there’s the Ice Crush button which, as the name suggests, it will quickly crush any added ice almost into a paste. The 51-ounces container does not lock into place, you simply place it at the top of the base of the blender and I noticed that the manufacturer has added some rubber pads to ensure that the vibrations won’t harm either parts over the years of use.
The container is made of BPA-plastic and I know that some blenders do use glass which doesn’t stain, so it looks better over a longer period of time, while plastic usually gets scratched, especially if you use ice a lot of times. But glass does break easier and it makes the entire blender far heavier than necessary – also, using a plastic container will not make a difference in terms of the performance of the blender. But, it needs to be BPA-free in order to not contaminate the food, although from the recycling point of view, the plastic doesn’t stand that great.
At the top of the jar, Hauswirt has decided to put a rubber (or silicone) cover that anchors to the sides with the help of two softer ears and, in the middle, there’s a hole where you need to insert a cap and rotate it to lock it into place. It’s clear that the manufacturer has taken some inspiration from Vitamix and it’s a proven design, so it’s a good approach to help you reach some stubborn food without having to remove the cover. I need to mention that you can remove the blades section from the blender jar by rotating it counter-clockwise, so you can switch between the containers.
And that’s where the two, smaller cups come into play since you can remove the top cover and rotate the blades assembly in its place. This way, you can blend a smoothie, take off the blades section, put back the original cap and then either leave it in the fridge or take it with you in your backpack. Of course, the To-Go cups are also made of BPA-free plastic (not sure about phthalates) and the top cover has a red seal which ensures that no liquid or paste can leak through. You don’t have to take the cover off to access its content since there’s a plastic section that you can open and reveal a dedicated mouthpiece. Once again, there is a small seal to make the containers spill-proof: the first cup is 25 ounces and the smallest one is 16 ounces.
Features and Functionality
Like I said in the previous section, the Hauswirt HB12 focuses mainly on three applications: to make a smoothie, to crush ice and to use bursts of speed to force any vegetable or fruit to reach the blades. But before testing it out with food, I decided to check out the amount of noise that it can generate and it’s noisy. At the lowest speed, it’s revolves at around 60-65dB which is acceptable for a blender, but going to the maximum speed, the motor gets very loud, above 95dB, so you will have to pause any conversation in the kitchen while the blender is active. Next, I checked out the vibrations and whether it compromises the position of any piece of the blender. The good news is that everything stood in its place and, even at max speed, the container remained firmly anchored – the top cover will remain attached as long as you properly close it (and it’s very intuitive, so it’s hard to do it in a wrong manner). That being said, I decided to put the blender to the test and the first ingredients that I used were some walnuts (about 4 and a half) that I needed to be crushed for a cake recipe.
I added nothing else to see how it handles difficult to reach kernels – I started out slowly at about 10 percent of power and gradually going up to 50 percent and back to 10. The result was satisfactory with only a couple of kernels slipping away but, overall, the walnuts got crushed to the level that I wanted for the cake! Afterwards, I decided ‘to torture’ the blender with another difficult task and that’s to create a thick cream for a cheesecake. The ingredients that I used were 3.5 sticks of butter, two eggs, one cup of sugar, a small amount of yeast powder, 3 spoons of yogurt, the previously crushed walnuts, 1 spoon of cocoa and one cup and two tablespoons of flour.
I had to insert a spoon and push some of the top ingredients further down into the mixture, but, at the end, after about 4-5 minutes of blending at about 40%, I was ready to put the cream into a bowl. This is the point where I advise doing these types of mixtures and not because the blender can’t handle them (it does so very well), but because the cleaning process is a pain afterwards.
One of the main reasons that people usually buy a blender is to make smoothies, so I took a couple of bananas, about two cups of yogurt and one cup of mixed berries. I know that blenders such as Ninja or Vitamix do manage to crush even the seeds, but the Hauswirt still left a few in the smoothie – other than that, the texture was very creamy and soft, and there was no fruit skin or chunks left, so it gets an 8 out of 10.
Lastly, I had to crush some ice. I did not have that much available, but it should still be enough to be able to make an idea about whether it’s capable of turning it into ‘snow’. So, after putting the ice cubes into the container, I pressed the Ice crush button and let it do its thing. As you can see, after a couple of rotations, there was no cube left intact and we indeed had snow in the blender at this point.
How easy it is to clean?
Lots of budget-friendly blenders usually cut corners in this department, but Hauswirt seems to have done a good job at making it easy to clean the HB12 and that’s mainly because of the removable blades section. That being said, after you’ve finished making that creamy smoothie, simply lift the container from the base, pour the mix in a coup and then proceed to remove the center cap, the silicone cover and the bottom-placed blades part. Besides the base section, every aforementioned part can be washed by hand or you can put them in a dishwasher (and nothing will be damaged).
The base of the blender (that contains the motor) should only be cleaned with a piece of cloth and should not be submerged into water. I saw that a few people like to clean the blades by pouring warm (or hot) water with some soap (or baking soda) into the container and then stir it up for a few seconds and it should work for the Hauswirt HB12 as well.
The Hauswirt HB12 is a fine blender with some interesting features to make it an attractive option and, while it’s not fair to compare it with far pricier devices, it’s still worth mentioning that construction-wise, it can compete with the likes of Vitamix. Other than that, I did like the extra two containers, the removable blades section and, of course, it’s a powerful blender that can make a good smoothie, can crush ice and can even grind walnuts. I would have liked a recipe book (even with just a couple of proven recipes) and a tamper but even so, the Hauswirt HB12 is a good option if you don’t want (or need) to go for the pricier blenders.
DESIGN & MATERIAL QUALITY9.3/10
EASE OF USE8.5/10
- Multiple containers available
- The motor is powerful
- You can easily clean it due to removable parts
- The smoothies texture is good and it can crush ice (into 'snow')
- BPA-free plastic
- No tamper
- Doesn't crush seeds
Mark is a graduate in Computer Science, having gathered valuable experience over the years working in IT as a programmer. Mark is also the main tech writer for MBReviews.com, covering not only his passion, the networking devices, but also other cool electronic gadgets that you may find useful for your every day life.