Salton Harley Pasternak Power Blender review: This blender brings the noise, and the power

You can buy the $250 Salton Harley Pasternak Power Blender from Best Buy, Amazon, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond and Ace Hardware. It's also available in Canada at a number of small appliance retailers. It's not available overseas.

Slow and steady

With a 1,500-watt motor at its disposal, an all-metal drive and eight stainless blades, four of which have a sawtooth edge, the Salton Blender has the power to keep up with high-caliber competition. By comparison the $450 Blendtec Designer Series Wildside Blender has 1,560 watts, and the $529 Vitamix 7500 comes in with a 1,440-watt motor.

The 67.6-ounce jar (2 liters) has helpful measuring lines in liters and ounces, and the filler cap twists off so you can add ingredients mid blend or use the tamper to keep things moving.

Once I started using the Power Blender, the responsiveness of the speed dial impressed me and the clover-shaped jar with the curved bottom does keep things flowing most of the time.

Here's a look at how it performed on our tests. We ran it through the gauntlet with basic tasks like chopping ice and mixing a smoothie to stress tests like pulverizing a block of cheese and breaking down whole almonds into almond butter. On each test, it reached the finish line, eventually.

It worked through 2 cups of ice eventually. The Salton blender pulverized the ice near the blades immediately, but took awhile to work through to the cubes on top of the pile.

Chris Monroe/CNET

The pancake batter test showed the problem -- food can get stuck along the edges of the clovers and under the blades. For the most part, though, the Salton blender keeps things moving well.

Chris Monroe/CNET

The Salton blender impressed me on the pesto test. It still took awhile. Ninja and Vitamix models can finish the same test in 15 to 20 pulses. The Salton blender took a couple of minutes and I needed to vary the speeds to help it snag the spinach leaves.

Chris Monroe/CNET

The final result, though, was uniform and creamy.

Chris Monroe/CNET

When we first tried the almond butter test, the blender started smoking and shed some plastic. Fortunately, we found no plastic in the jar itself, just on the outside. And we tried to replicate the problem on a new unit and couldn't.

Chris Monroe/CNET

The second time we tried the test, the Salton blender successfully turned almonds into almond butter. It needed around 18 minutes for the task, though, and I had to help it by stirring frequently. High-end Vitamix, Blendtec and Ninja models do the same task in less than 10 with less interference.

Andrew Gebhart/CNET

The verdict

The Salton Harley Pasternak Power Blender is loud, slow, attractive, and competent. Most importantly, for $250 it'll blend anything you throw into its sizable 67.6-ounce jar with its 1,500-watt motor. So it can do the same stressful processing and grinding tasks of the $529 Vitamix 7500 and the $450 Blendtec Designer Series Wildside Blender for much less.

The only reason I don't recommend it more universally is the $260 Ninja Ultima, which offers faster blending at a similar value. Still, the Salton blender is worth a look if you're a Harley Pasternak fan or like the variety of color options. It's a fine machine at a reasonable price. So if you're willing to add a dash of patience to any recipe you'd like to blend, the Salton Harley Pasternak Power Blender makes for a fine buy.

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