Blender Buying Guide

How Much Do We Recommend Spending On A Blender?

When it comes to buying a home blender, the prices can vary from as low as $50 all the way in excess of $500. Whilst testing blenders we often see a correlation between the durability of the blender and the price, and also the power of the motor. Durability is greatly affected by cheaper price points, often you will experience that the cheaper blenders tend to break very often and very easily and also come with a lackluster warranty, so you cannot get the blender replaced or fixed. Mid range blenders priced around $200-$300 have some of the best durability and warranty, but often lack the supreme power. You can find various other models on Del.icio.us.com.

If you wish to get the best out of power and durability, the higher end blenders priced around $500 will give you the best of both. Featuring motors around 1700 watts, it gives you the most power and can blend almost anything, whilst also coming with the best materials giving you a durable build. If at any time you were to experience issues with the higher end blenders, then the majority of the brands offer you warranty for many years and will replace or repair any faulty machines.

wolf blender

What Should I Look For Before I Buy A Blender?

Blenders vary in power, accessories, motors, jug sizes, build sizes, durability and much more. So we have a list of features to look out for before buying a blender, to find the best blender to suit your desired needs.

Parts Safe For The Dishwasher

Our first feature is having parts of the blender that are safe for the dishwasher. Manually hand washing all the parts of a blender can be extremely tedious, as there are many difficult to reach places in and around the blender blades and jug. Using a dishwasher can save you time and make your life much easier, so it’s recommended you find a blender that is safe for use inside a dishwasher.

Speed Settings

Speed settings are not available on every blender. Cheaper blenders tend to have only one, or two speed settings available, whilst the higher end blenders have a whole variety of pulses, speed settings and other options to make sure that all your ingredients are blended together effectively. You should also check that the available speeds required to for example crush ice comes with your blender, otherwise you could be left with a smoothie full of lumps.

Blender Jug

When it comes to blending jugs you can receive a variety of sizes and materials they’re made from. Pricier blenders tend to come with BPA-free tritan jugs which are strong, lightweight and look very similar to glass, however will not break or come with the other issues that class jugs do. Lower priced blenders tend to have plastic jugs, however these will absorb odors and overtime can accumulate a very nasty smell. To avoid this we recommend washing plastic jugs right after use, however even when doing this for a long period of time, a smell will begin to accumulate and you will have to replace the jug or have smelly smoothies.

Ice Crushing Capabilities

Some blenders come with ice crushing settings, however they must have specifically designed blades to be able to do this without blunting the blades. If you attempt to crush ice with a blender that does not specify ice crushing, then often your blades will become blunt over time and you will have to replace the blades or the entire blender.

Blending Power

Blending power varies from blender to blender. Higher end blenders come with around 1500-1700 watts of blending power and a 3 horsepower motor, which can take care of almost any blending job. Lower end blenders have around 300-500 watts of power, which can only take care of soft fruits and vegetables and will most likely struggle when crushing ice or other harder ingredients.

Soup Maker

Some blenders will arrive with a soup maker feature. This feature will have a heating element at the bottom of the blending jug and will simultaneously heat your blended ingredients so you can create a soup quick and easily.

Overall we recommend you ask yourself 4 key questions. What’s my total budget? What power requirement does the blender need to have? How much space in my kitchen do I have for storing the blender? Is this blender for me, or for other members of my household too? With these questions you should be able to figure out the base type of which blender you require and then you can dwell on the smaller features after.

Blender Types

In the blender world we believe there are 3 different types of blenders.

The Fancy Blender

Fancy blenders are usually the ones made by well respected brands and come with a ton of features, most of which you have no clue what they do, only that it’s a cool feature. Brands such as Vitamix which are very well respected in the blending industry tend to make blenders like this. Very powerful, tons of features and a high quality build. Blenders that are in the “fancy” category are intended for those of us that want a high quality product from a respected brand and when our friends visit, you know they will be leaving wanting to buy one too after seeing it in action.

The majority of the “fancy blenders” fall in the $350 to $600 price range. Brand such as Blendtec and Vitamix focus on these high quality machines. Too save money on these high end brands, we recommend checking out some refurbished versions of these blenders, often times cutting the price in half or even a third of the MSRP.

The Mid Range Blender

Somewhere in the middle lies the mid range blenders. Not too fancy, yet not a cheap piece of plastic, the mid range are very effective for getting the job done, whilst saving you your bank balance. Brand such as Breville, Cuisinart, Omega and more will provide these blenders. Often times built too a similar quality as the fancy blenders, but lacking in extra features and aesthetics the mid range blenders are perfect for the modern day family, whilst on a budget.

The Budget Blenders 

Although we try to avoid featuring any budget blenders, many do exist. Budget blenders tend to break easily, be made from cheap plastic and have many design and manufacturing faults, hence the lack of reviews on our site for them. Budget blenders are excellent though for short term use and those of us travelling around and need a way to blend up our fruits and vegetables without breaking the bank. We highly recommend you do not go for budget blenders unless you are really stuck for cash or understand that you will be buying a new blender every so often due to a very low quality build.

An Expat Guide to Rental Housing in Austria

If you will be moving abroad to Europe to live and possibly work in Austria you will need to find your self some appropriate housing. It is a good idea to familiarize your self with the process of getting housing in Austria before you actually arrive in the country.


When you begin your search for a rental in Austria you will notice that there is a lot of variety in available properties. There are brand new apartments and very old buildings and a little of everything in between. Note that the places closer to city centers will be some of the most expensive places to rent while the more remote places are cheaper to rent.

Note that Austria does have a somewhat expensive cost of living, but it is cheaper than Switzerland or the surrounding Nordic countries. Spain and Italy both offer a less expensive cost of living. If you want to live in a city, such as Vienna, you will see that apartment prices start around €400 per month for rent, not including utilities.

Travel Playlist

One of the best ways to find an apartments is in the newspaper classified ads. The Friday editions of the local newspapers offer the most selection of ads. You can also search for apartments with the help of housing agencies, university notice boards and on the internet.

Student housing offers some of the cheapest rental options if you qualify. Other than student dorms there are also communal apartments and student apartments that students can rent for a modest price.

If you are not interested in getting an apartment by your self you will want to look into getting a shared apartment or other type of temporary housing. Shared apartments come unfurnished and you will be sharing a bathroom and kitchen with others. You may also want to sublet an apartment from another tenant. Craigslist is a popular place to find sublets. There is also an agency, called Mietwohnzentrale, that specializes in locating furnished shared apartment rentals for short term periods. Note that there is a fee for their service.

When you find an apartment for your self you will need to be ready to sign a rental contract and pay a deposit. Rental contracts are typically signed for a period of three years with a deposit of one to three months worth of rent being the standard. You should take photos of the apartment before you move in so that you will not be charged for anything you did not do when you move out. You should also beware of landlords that try to charge you a one-time nonrefundable fee as this is illegal. If you do end up paying it make sure that it is documented so that you will be able to get it back. Sometimes people pay the fee just to get the apartment that they want badly.

What Type Of Coffee Does Ed Drink?

Ed Forman is a relentless coffee drinker. I’ve seen him drinking it at all times of the day. If I go to his office in the morning I see him drinking a large cup of coffee, for lunch, he’ll have a side of espresso with his meal. When he’s about to head home on his train journey I see him head into the local Starbucks and grab himself a coffee.

Honestly, it confuses me how Ed doesn’t encounter a heart attack at a young age when he’s literally drinking coffee at all times of the day. The caffeine intake must be quite high, and I assume that’s why he always has so much energy when I’m around him.

coffee machineTo be fair though we’ve recently got this amazing coffee machine for our office and I can see why he likes to brew up his own beverages before he heads home. The machine we got was made by Breville who are a fantastic brand in the coffee industry. You purchase bags of coffee beans (we go for fair trade beans) and then you simply grind them up before placing them in the machine. It can make a cappuccino, espresso, macchiato and much more. Whichever type of coffee you enjoy, if you come by our office, we can make for you.

So back to Ed who is seriously the biggest coffee drinker of the year, I’m honestly quite worried and hope that he doesn’t get taken into hospital any time soon from his excessive coffee drinking.

When I looked for a maker for my own home, I looked far and wide. I found that the best coffee machine has to go to the one made by Hamilton Beach. They have some of the most top of the line kitchen appliances, and I think they offer the best value for money when it comes to getting a good cup of coffee at home.

Razer Naga Hex V2 – Ergonomic MOBA Gaming Mouse Review

Features

The Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, popularly known as MOBA now, keeps getting bigger and bigger for gamers out there. League of Legends and Dota fanatics are now battling it out with hundreds of thousands of fellow gamers on the virtual battleground. Of course, to keep pace with the evolving nature of these games – the sequel to the original Dota was only just released – you not only need a great graphics card but also an equally capable joystick/mouse. The Razer Naga Hex V2 is a great way to access the hundreds of eSports spells and tricks in a smooth and fast way with minimum fuss. With extremely fast responses, the thumb wheel lets you upgrade to God status in your own little world. It has a total of seven buttons positioned in ways that will prevent most clicking errors. Also, it has profiles for different MOBA games downloaded on to it so you do not have to spend time making the right profile on your own. There are also a total of 14 MOBA programmable buttons on this pocket dynamo.

Razer Naga Hex V2

 

The star feature of the thumb wheel is the True 16000 DPI 5G laser sensor that will also ensure that it is compatible with the most advanced screens and the most demanding of MOBAs. Most MOBAs rely on their users reacting in real time to evolving threats and as a gamer, you have to have quick twitch reflexes to stay alive in the game. With the advanced laser sensor on the thumbwheel, all user motion is translated onto the screen lightning fast and you don’t have to worry about whether you will land the hits in a fight on a difficult map.

 

Amongst other features, the vulcanized grip for the thumb and the ergonomic design make it possible for you to keep on those gaming marathons with minimal stress to your thumbs and palms. Also, there is a choice from a stunning array of 16.8 million colors as well as effects that you can choose from to personalize the Hex Chroma lighting.

 

What are gamers saying about it?

User reviews of the thumb track are mostly glowing, but there is some concern as to how much of an upgrade this is from Razer Naga 2014. There are some things that only the Hex V2 offers, including side plates that are interchangeable, a higher DPI optical sensor, three synapse support and RGB lighting. For users that would want these features, the Hex V2 is a great option but if you do not mind these features, the Naga 2014 is also something you should be looking at. Users have reported that the mouse seems to work fine on any surface and a mouse pad is not necessary, although performance is better on a pad. Thetechinsider.org has reported this mouse to be top of the line.

 

Who should buy it?

The thumb track is not a steal at the current prices but the higher DPI sensor is great for the heavier games, and if you are a serious gamer, this is a great thing to have in your arsenal. The 14 programmable buttons and the gaming profiles are definitely an added plus.

Ed’s Coachella 2018 Wrap-Up

The Coachella Music Festival…just like Woodstock, except the love, isn’t free, everyone is dressed by Urban Outfitters, and it’s set on the site of the largest used-car lot ever, inside an oven.

Aside from EDmazing music from the likes of Radiohead, The Black Keys, Snoop Dogg/Dr. Dre and more, the biggest story on Weekend 2 was the heat. Topping 105 degrees each of the three days, the first thing on everyone’s mind was surviving the brutal temperatures, and it was my mission to teach the people of Coachella how to look hot and sexy while staying coooooool!

And of course who could forget the biggest resurrection since that Jewish hippie from the Middle East 2000 years…Hologram 2pac(!); a digital Tupac Shakur that was projected to the stage and collaborated live with Snoop Dogg & Dr. Dre. We wanted to bring our favorite rapper back from the dead and surprise festival goers, but didn’t have the money for a hologram, so we sent 2D-ODB (a 2-dimensional Ol Dirty Bastard from the Wu-Tang Clan) through the crowd to ask Coachella who they would bring back from the dead to perform. Let’s just say he’s Black…and WHITE!

But most of all, Coachella was a PARTY! Complete with mobile beer pong tables, impromptu dance parties, and sexy celebrities!