Thread Number: 84811  /  Tag: Small Appliances
Osterizer Blenders
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Post# 1092709   10/10/2020 at 11:33 by Washer10 (trinidad)        

How did the vintage beehive mechanical blenders differ from the later cycle blend pulsematic and today electronic blenders also how were Osterizers so unique compared to other blenders?

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Post# 1092815 , Reply# 1   10/11/2020 at 06:50 by reactor (Tennessee)        
Beehive blenders

reactor's profile picture
The vintage Oster "Beehive" blenders, that I have seen, only had a toggle switch or a rotary switch with one or two spends. The power draw of the base units was much less.

The later Pulsematic units had greatly increased input wattage. I have seen them over a 1000 watts, and of course as the buttons imply, multiple speeds and pulsing ability (called "controlled cycle blending" by Oster).

I have never had a Beehive, but the pictures I have seen indicate the blade mechanism was similar if not identical to the later pushbutton units.

I think advertising set the Oster's apart from the others, along with the memorable name, "Osterizer."

Having grown up with an Oster, I was not impressed. Ours was over 800 watts so it rarely stalled, but it was a nuisance to get it to process viscous foods, they just didn't want to circulate in the blender jar. Air pockets formed and you had to continually stop and use a spoon or spatula to get the food back down to the blades. My mom gave up and didn't use it at all. It sat on the shelf in the kitchen literally for years without getting touched. Even I, the appliance nut, didn't use it.

Later I got a General Electric, which was light years ahead of the Oster. It didn't require near the assistance for it to process thick, viscous foods. The GE also had lower speeds on the bottom end which I found much quieter and useful for whipping cream, etc.

Osters had a nice look, were hefty and had lots of power, and the base unscrewed from the jar which aided in cleaning. But.....they were horribly noisy and you had to stand right there incessantly scraping down the sides and breaking up air pockets with anything but the thinnest of liquids.

Even when I see a mint Oster at the thrift store, I pass it by. I see a lot of near mint ones indicating that many, like me, found their best use was to just sit on the shelf and look pretty. I sold my parent's Oster at a garage sale, I had zero emotional attachment to it, ha which is almost unheard of for me and an appliance.

There are a lot of Oster fans out there who are going to argue with me, and that's OK. I am glad they like theirs. The Oster's might be alright for them, but were/are not for me.

Post# 1092816 , Reply# 2   10/11/2020 at 07:18 by mrboilwash (Munich,Germany)        

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So they`re kind of the Center Dial Maytags in the blender`s department?
They have a modern version of a beehive Osterizer in Spain, was tempted to buy one but now I`m glad I didn`t.

Post# 1092830 , Reply# 3   10/11/2020 at 10:32 by foraloysius (Leeuwarden, Friesland, the Netherlands)        

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I definitely have to disagree. I have had worse blenders, noisier blenders, slower blenders etc. etc. etc. If you want something better than an Osterizer you'll have to invest in a Vitamix or something like that. Here's a thread about one of mine.

BTW, I have used a lot of blenders in the past years, 4 Braun, 2 Philips, 2 Krups, 1 Kenwood, 1 Bosch and some other brands have been tested thoroughly in my kitchen besides the Osterizer. The Osterizer was by far the best.

Post# 1092834 , Reply# 4   10/11/2020 at 10:49 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

I'm still using the Osterschnauzer pulse matic 16 I bought in 1975. I only replaced jar gaskets and blades, but now I use the ice crusher blades which are much more durable and I never put the blades in the dishssmasher any more.

Post# 1092841 , Reply# 5   10/11/2020 at 13:26 by easy (Boston, Mass)        
Why so great?

I'm the owner of 2 Osterizers - my "cycla-blend" (over 30 years old) and my mother's "cyclamatic" (about 55 years old). Both units have extremely heavy all metal bases vs the all-plastic junk you see in the stores today. My blender gets used several times each week which speaks to their durability.

When I bought my blender (from the now vanished Lechmere store), they sold replacement jars, blades, and gaskets in the store next to the blender. What especially appeals to me is all the attachments they offered for the blender.

They offered the "mini-blend" jar pictured at the top of this thread. They are ideal for grinding nuts and coffee beans and come with a lid for storing the contents. I also have a jar especially sized for when frozen orange juice came in the little 6 oz. cans. There is an ice crusher attachment that you feed cubes into and it shoots the ground ice into a bowl. By far the best thing they sold was the mini food processor. It's great for small jobs like making fresh bread crumbs when you don't need a full size unit. I vaguely remember an ice cream maker but I never purchased it.

Post# 1092846 , Reply# 6   10/11/2020 at 14:17 by reactor (Tennessee)        
and more

reactor's profile picture
I knew Oster fans would disagree, ha. Yes, they were built of heavy quality materials. We are comparing competitively priced residential blenders--not Vitamixes, etc. or at least I am.

I have used the Oster, several Hamilton Beaches (as HB and as Kenmore) and the more modern KitchenAid and one Cuisinart. Of all of these the Oster was the noisiest and required the most user assistance to process. It's best point was the ability to remove the blades, so one can place the blender container in the dishwasher.

The vintage General Electric was/is much quieter and requires very little, if any, operator assistance to process. Downside is the blades are not easily removable, and like Tom, I don't like to put the blade mechanism in the dishwasher. But in reality it's not all that much more work to clean than the Osterizers, because with the Oster you have to wash the blade unit by hand, anyway, even if the jar/container goes in the dishwasher.

I am not denigrating the Oster, it and the Sunbeams that Oster made, are quality units. Every brand has its plus and minuses. I just get better results with less effort in the GE and without my ears ringing in the process.

I don't consider the Vitamix a direct competitor to the GE's, Hamilton Beaches and even the higher priced KitchenAids and Cusinarts. It's in a premium class due to its price and I would say it would probably out blend all the regular consumer grade blenders with it killer motor and instant reversing ability. Would love to try one one day!!

Post# 1092866 , Reply# 7   10/11/2020 at 16:38 by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        

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we have a 45 yr old Oster Kitchen Center that's been great, no complaints, and we have always washed the blades and everything else in the d/w, what's the issue with blades being washed in that way?

Post# 1092881 , Reply# 8   10/11/2020 at 19:58 by kevin313 (Detroit, Michigan)        

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I'm not sure if this is the case with other blenders, but vintage Oster blenders have a blade mechanism and a screw collar that will also work on any standard Mason jar. I have found this very handy for a number of tasks (I always have extra canning jars around) where I can blend, chop, etc. (bread crumbs, salad dressing, coffee) right in a jar and not dirty up the large glass jar that comes with the blender.

Post# 1092882 , Reply# 9   10/11/2020 at 20:16 by qsd-dan (West)        

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I have the fancier version of that Oster blender in the original posters pic. I'm gussing it's from the 1970's. It's all my mother and grandmothers used so I wouldn't know any different. Yeah, they're nosier than standing next to a jet airplane at full throttle so I wear my earbuds and listen to some MP3's while using it. They also have a tendency to need help circulating thicker substances but I just pop the top off and use a silicone spatula while it's running and help it along until it takes care of itself.

Post# 1092885 , Reply# 10   10/11/2020 at 21:52 by reactor (Tennessee)        
DW and blades

reactor's profile picture
Most manufacturer's literature that I have read indicates that you should not wash the blade assembly in the dishwasher due to possible damage of the bearing/seal.

Remember we are talkng about vintage blenders 50+ years old. DW detergents back then were more alkali and many used TSP. Today's detergents are still alkali, but most rely more on enzymes to break down soils. Nevertheless, I don't run them through the dishwasher.

Yes, as Dan said Oster require operator assist with a spoon or spatula when blending viscous substances. Most do, to a degree, but its a must with an Oster. But they are quality built and good looking units, no doubt in another fifty years they will still be around and running well.

One brand I have never had, and would love to are the original Westinghouse's, anyone have one of these? They made a pink upright plastic one and a beautiful chrome button and knob lowboy version later.

I remember even Hoover had a blender in the late sixties.

Post# 1092900 , Reply# 11   10/12/2020 at 00:22 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

I primarily used Oster blenders before I discovered Vitamix and Blendtec.The Oster machines WERE well made unlike the ones made today.Like Blendtec the drive shaft to the blades was part of the motor shaft-now Oster cheats you with a PLASTIC shaft that will break!And the Oster machines were quieter than others.Other blender brand that was good was Waring.Their "Behive" and "rocket" blenders were very good-Sometimes you see a glass behive Waring still used in bars today-still sold for that.The ONLY glass jar blender with a NSF certification.I have a commercial Osterizer with a SS jar I bought at----Sears some time ago!Good little machine.Also have a newer Waring behive commercial bar blender with a SS jar I bought from a restaurant supply place.Have a commercial Oster half gallon blender with a plastic base-NOISEY-but works!Have it packed somewhere right now.Oster used to make a commercial haf gallon machine with a metal base and SS jar-the machine was quite beautiful!Of course the blenders I use most today are Vitamix and Blendtec.The sad fact is older Oster and Waring are not powerful enough to make large smoothies using frozen ingredients and ice.

Post# 1092987 , Reply# 12   10/12/2020 at 19:15 by MixGuy (St. Martinville, Louisiana)        
Oster Blender Attachments

Does anyone have any of the attachments that Oster in the Late 1960s or 1970s? There were optional accessories you could order from the factory. There was a power unit the geared down the motor and there were attachments the fit onto the speed reduction unit. I found the meat grinder with the power unit. It is very sturdy and works well and all made of metal except for the feeder funnel and the pestle to push food down the feeder tube of the grinder/chopper. The box says it was made in Germany too. There was mixer attachment too that was very similar to the Waring Power Bowl mixer or simila to a Bosch bowl mixer with the whisks or cookie paddles. The old "Vintage" Oster blenders are quieter than other brands too. I have a Blend & Cycle model and a Cyclamatic model too with the metal dial in the center, both blenders have 10 speeds and 1,000 watt motors.

Post# 1092990 , Reply# 13   10/12/2020 at 19:36 by reactor (Tennessee)        

reactor's profile picture
Consumer Reports, January 1970:

General Electric was the "quietest blender tested."

Post# 1093067 , Reply# 14   10/13/2020 at 13:50 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

General Electric blenders were belt drive which enabled them to have a very low profile because the motor was behind the jar. They used to show one of them sitting on the little counterette between the freezer and the fresh food section of their Americana refrigerator freezer.

Post# 1093113 , Reply# 15   10/13/2020 at 21:38 by reactor (Tennessee)        

reactor's profile picture
BTW, I don't care too much for the traditional smoothie as it is made with ice. As an alternative I freeze the fruit and blend it with milk or almond milk.

The banana is the most versatile base to start with. Put two in your freezer and allow to freeze solid. Blend with milk or almond milk. Don't overdo on the milk, just enough to make it process. If you just blend until smooth its like banana soft serve ice cream. Blend longer and add a little more milk and its just like a banana milk shake.

With unsweetened almond milk, there is virtually no fat, no lactose and no added sugar.

Add Nestle Quick and you have a chocolate soft serve/milkshake

Add Nestle Quick and a couple of heaping tablespoons of peanut butter and you have something akin to a Reese's cup flavored ice cream. (My favorite!)

As you go up the fat ladder, from almond milk, to skim milk to 2%, to whole milk it gets harder to distinguish from real ice cream. Use half and half and it's almost like ice cream.

With my GE blender I just break each frozen banana into halves. For the other blenders I have to break the banana into small pieces to get it to process. If the banana is too hard for the blender to handle, just let it and the milk set in the blender container for a few minutes to soften up before you try to blend it.

If you are feeling run down, use a couple of packets of Carnation Instant Breakfast when you blend the bananas and milk (These have something like 28 vitamins and minerals) You can buy Carnation instant Breakfast in Vanilla, Chocolate or Strawberry. The strawberry is phenomenal as it gives you a very realistic strawberry Banana ice cream taste.

I also love putting a half container of fresh blueberries in with the frozen bananas, or fresh strawberries. You can do a lot with this frozen banana base. (You can also freeze strawberries, blueberries, etc, and mix with milk--and it works fine, but bananas seem to give the smoothest soft serve, free of that ice crystal texture.)

Post# 1093121 , Reply# 16   10/14/2020 at 00:58 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

I use frozen fruit in my smoothies-I don't use ice.Don't like watered down drinks.Esp with milk-watered down milk drinks are awful to me.

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