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Ninja NJ601 Professional Blender

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Review of the Ninja NJ601 Professional Blender, made by Ninja Kitchen

(You can print this review in landscape mode, if you want a hardcopy)


This was a certified refurbished unit sent to me through Amazon Vine. In my experience, and that includes being an online seller since 1997, refurbished goods are nearly always indistinguishable from new goods. That was the case here; I couldn't find any blemish anywhere.

What usually happens is somebody buys the product and, rather than read the manual or reach out for technical assistance when they can't get it to work, proceeds to damage it and then send it back for a refund. The manual for this is so dense with safety warnings, it's almost unreadable; that alone would explain the high return rate. Ninja Kitchen overdid it. The blender is safe to use. The only danger is that sharp-edged mixing blade. So they should have highlighted that danger instead of ensuring nobody would even attempt to read the manual (and thus not see that or the other safety warnings).

Being a quant, I of course waded through all that. Someone who does not do that might not understand that the lid "fits" when oriented 90 degrees from the correct position but won't fit when oriented correctly unless the handle release is released so you can then snap the location prong into the hole. Trying to ascertain this from the manual takes far more patience than most people have. In my own case, being an engineer, I got it "on sight". It also helped that there were  two alignment arrows that, at first, seemed oddly misaligned.

A simple 1-2-3 step procedure with a warning about the blade would make the manual useful. I suggest they hire a professional writer who is not an attorney.

OK, so much for the documentation deficiencies. I think for a person of average or better intelligence those are no big deal. I mention all that just to explain why there are refurbs of this product.

About the product itself, wow! It's a really great blender. The first thing I noticed is its appearance. I have another blender (a Sunbeam that I won in a volleyball game), and it's pretty nice. It looks nice, too. But I am clutter-averse and keep it in a cupboard rather than on the counter. The way this Ninja blender looks, I just could not bring myself to hide it away. It looks great sitting out, and I'm willing to sacrifice a little precious counter space just because of how it looks. The blender has a cord storage opening in back, but since I'm leaving it out I won't use this feature.

So how does it perform? It's got a lot of power, I'll say that. I thought it would be louder than it is, but that is not the case. It's actually quieter than my Sunbeam. And it makes quick work of mixing, chopping, and other tasks. This lower noise and faster work are due partly to the blade design and partly to the motor design. I tested the motor noise by operating the blender with nothing in it. Significantly quieter than my Sunbeam.

A huge benefit of this lower noise and shorter run time is you don't damage your hearing (OSHA has formulas for working out damage thresholds based on decibels and time of exposure). Another huge benefit is it will last longer. Consider that fact when comparing prices. A motor is made more quiet (and more energy-efficient) by building it to higher specifications meaning it is a better, longer-lasting motor (I used to be an engineer in the motor building industry).

My biggest issue with blenders, food processors, and similar gadgets is the time it takes to clean them. In many cases, they aren't possible to completely clean due to the bowl and/or blade design. This blender is really easy to clean.

First of all, it has square sides and a removable blade. The removable blade means I can actually take the blade assembly out and safely clean it separately instead of hoping that I will somehow be able to clean underneath a blade while nicking my fingers in the process. It also means I can use a square-shaped sponge to physically wipe every surface inside the pitcher. My Sunbeam pitcher does have a removable base, but I don't like the idea of removing it even to clean the blades because I'm afraid it will leak.

Let's talk about that pitcher. Many times, I've turned on my Sunbeam blender (or someone else's blender) only to hear grinding because I didn't quite have it in place. Most blenders force you to wiggle the pitcher onto the blender base. If your pitcher has a removable base bottom, this invariably means you accidentally unscrew the base a little and then you have a mess. The Ninja pitcher has no risk of leaking out the bottom. It twist locks into place, providing a secure mechanical connection.

Then there's the pitcher lid. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten a face full of something I was blending (plus blender spew all over the wall and counter) because I didn't have the lid snapped down tight. The Ninja has a bail mechanism and won't start unless this is securely in the closed position. I think this great feature is what has frustrated the manual non-readers into returning their Ninja and thus creating a refurb market for this product. If only they had contacted the manufacturer or just slowed down and really looked at the thing. This is not hard to figure out.

This blender has three speeds and a pulse button, plus a power button, on its front panel. And, yes, that panel is also easy to clean! There are no grooves or edges that force you to clean with a toothbrush. I just wiped with a cloth and it was clean.

These are some highlights to help you get a feel for why this blender is so outstanding. In summary:

  • It's beautiful.
  • It's quiet.
  • It's easy to operate.
  • It's easy to clean.

You can't go wrong with this as your choice of blender.



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