The Smeg BLF01 is a full-size blender with an attractive '50s-style design. It performs well for most recipes but is not well-built, with cheap-feeling plastic gears and a loose-fitting gasket around the blade assembly. The jar and two-part lid are dishwasher-safe, which is nice, but the removable blade assembly needs to be cleaned by hand.
Note: Our blender's jar consistently leaks liquid onto and through the motor base. While this may not affect every unit, a few reports online from users say they had the same issue. If you have this blender, please let us know your experience in the discussions.
The Smeg BLF01 is mediocre for multi-purpose use. It's not well-built and doesn't offer a very versatile performance since it can't hot blend and struggles to process thick mixtures like nut butter. There are only a few speed presets, so you don't have many options for adjusting the speed for different recipes. It's good for crushing ice and blending fibrous fruits and vegetables, making it a solid choice for recipes like smoothies.
The Smeg BLF01 is alright for smoothies and protein shakes. You need to add more liquid to the jar than some other full-size blenders or the ingredients get stuck to the sides of the jar. However, with enough liquid in the recipe, it can incorporate kale into a well-blended smoothie. It can also make snow-like crushed ice. Unfortunately, it's not well-made and is a hard blender to clean.
The Smeg BLF01 is excellent for multiple servings of smoothies. The 48oz jar is suitable for blending several smoothies at once, and it makes an extremely smooth blend with fibrous ingredients like kale and blueberries. It easily crushes ice as well. However, it's loud, and some blenders can process big batches more quickly. While it performs well for making smoothies, it's not well-built and may not be very durable.
The Smeg BLF01 is good for crushing ice. With its pulse mode, it can break ice cubes down into snow-like crushed ice. Unfortunately, the 'Ice Crush' mode doesn't work very well. It takes longer to crush ice than some more powerful, better-built blenders, and some of its parts feel flimsy and cheap, so it's not a great option if you make a lot of crushed ice and want something durable.
You can't safely use the Smeg BLF01 for hot blending, so it's unsuitable for making soups. That said, if the ingredients cool first, it can make a smooth blend with fibrous ingredients, which is important for smooth, pureed soups with vegetables like kale or broccoli.
The Smeg BLF01 is inadequate for professional use. The 48-ounce jar is on the small side, and our unit leaks liquid, which is particularly annoying if you use your blender often. The plastic used for the gear and the base of the jar also feels very cheap. While it can make snow-like crushed ice and decent smoothies if you add enough liquid, it can't be used for hot blending and fails to make almond butter. You can put the jar and lid in your dishwasher, but the blade assembly needs to be unscrewed and washed by hand every time you use the blender.
The Smeg BLF01 comes in several different colors: 'Black' (BLF01BL), 'Cream' (BLF01CR), 'Pastel Blue' (BLF01PB), 'Pastel Green' (BLF01PG), 'Pink' (BLF01PK), 'Red' (BLF01RD), 'Silver' (BLF01SV), 'White' (BLF01WH). There's also a variant with a bright pattern design (BLF01DGUS), which is part of a collaboration between Smeg and Dolce and Gabbana and is a more high-end limited edition.
We tested it in Black; you can see the unit's label here. We expect our results to be valid for the other variants as well.
If you encounter another variant, let us know in the forums, and we'll update our review.
The Smeg BLF01 stands out for its stylish, '50s-inspired design. It comes in several different glossy colors that match other Smeg appliances and takes up less space on your counter than many full-size models we've tested. Unfortunately, it has a worse build quality than some much cheaper blenders, such as the Hamilton Beach Power Elite Multi-Function or the NutriBullet Blender Combo, and it's not powerful enough for more difficult blends like nut butter.
The Vitamix A3500 is better than the Smeg BLF01. The Vitamix has a much better build quality and a better overall blending performance, especially when it comes to tough tasks like making nut butter. It can be used for hot blending, has a bigger capacity, and it's quieter when it's running.
The Smeg Personal Blender PBF01 and the Smeg BLF01 have a similar appearance but perform quite differently. The Smeg BLF01 is a full-size blender. It doesn't feel as sturdy but does a much better job of processing fibrous ingredients like kale and crushing ice. The PBF01 looks like a smaller version of the BLF01 and comes with a pair of 20oz jars. However, It does a much worse job of pureeing fibrous ingredients. Its smaller jars are better for blending hard ingredients like nuts, but it's still not ideal for that purpose.
The Vitamix ONE and the Smeg BLF01 both perform well for recipes like smoothies, and aren't very versatile. The ONE is a little better because of its better build quality and better blending performance for smaller batches. However, the Smeg can crush ice without liquid in the jar, so you can use it to make a batch of ice to add to cocktails.
The Smeg BLF01 is compact for a full-size blender. Its motor base is only slightly larger than the NutriBullet Rx's, so it doesn't take up too much room on your kitchen counter or in a cupboard. You can also remove the jar for easier storage.
The Smeg BLF01 has poor build quality. At first glance, the aluminum motor base looks premium and sturdy, the power cable is thick, and the controls feel clicky and well-made. However, the grey plastic on the motor base and the bottom of the jar feels thin and cheaper than the rest of the build. A safety feature ensures the blender can't start unless the jar is mounted on the motor base, but it doesn't stop you from blending with the lid off. You can remove the blade assembly from the jar by using the removable center piece of the lid as a key, but unlike the tool that comes with the NutriBullet Rx, it doesn't give you much extra leverage and is tricky to do when your hands are wet. It also likely causes damage to the plastic center piece over time.
Our unit often leaks when used to blend liquids. This may be because the rubber gasket on the blade assembly fits loosely. As you can see here, water drips through the blade assembly onto the top of the motor base into the small hole for the safety feature. It goes down through the motor itself and can end up on the counter.This can also happen during cleaning cleaning. Also, the metal nut under the blade assembly can heat up so much that it fuses slightly to the plastic base of the blade assembly and begins to burn it.
It has a 48oz capacity, which is suitable for blending multiple batches at once. If you generally blend for one, the Smeg Personal Blender PBF01 has a similar design, but it's smaller and comes with 20oz jars.
The jar is made of plastic and is dishwasher-safe, as long as you remove the blade assembly first.
The blade assembly has four sharp blades with two angled down to help keep ingredients moving below the blades. You can remove it by turning the jar upside down and using the plastic centerpiece of the lid as a key to unscrew it. Unlike the jar and lid, it needs to be cleaned by hand.
There's a two-part lid for the jar. You can remove the plastic center piece to add ingredients mid-blend, and it doubles as a small measuring cup. The center piece also doubles as a key that unlocks the blade assembly from the jar when you want to remove it for cleaning. Both parts of the lid are dishwasher-safe.
The power cord is thick and long enough to reach an outlet near your counter. When it's not in use, you can wrap it around four plastic fins on the underside of the motor base to keep it out of the way.
It makes a very smooth blend with small batches of fibrous ingredients. Aside from a few tiny unprocessed grains, something like a single-serve kale smoothie will turn out very smooth. However, it's a longer process than many full-size blenders, like the Vitamix Explorian E310. The ingredients splash up the sides of the jar for the whole process, forcing you to stop and scrape the sides of the jar to avoid more unprocessed bits.
It's outstanding for processing fibrous ingredients at full capacity. Unlike with smaller batches, splashing isn't an issue when the jar is filled to full capacity, and the ingredients are pulled into a vortex more efficiently. This blender still processes ingredients more slowly than some, like the Vitamix 5200, but it produces an extremely smooth puree with no leftover bits.
The Smeg BLF01 is excellent for crushing ice. If you use 'Pulse' mode, it takes about two minutes to process 12 ice cubes into fluffy, snow-like crushed ice. A few small unprocessed chunks are left over, but the ice is mostly uniform. Unfortunately, when using the dedicated 'Ice Crush' mode, it does a much worse job and leaves behind big chunks of ice.
It's bad at making nut butter. It quickly crushes the ingredients into dry powder but struggles to do much beyond that. The mixture gets pushed to the sides of the jar, which is quite wide at the base, and the blender can't reincorporate them into a vortex. Several times during the process, you need to stop the machine and use a spatula or shake the jar to dislodge ingredients stuck away from the blades. Even with that effort and a very long blending time, it makes a crumbly, crunchy paste that doesn't qualify as nut butter.
It has a small range of speeds. The top blending speed is fast, which helps blend fibrous ingredients smoothly, but the slowest blending speed isn't very slow. This limits how much you can adapt its speed for different recipes. For example, slow speeds are useful for recipes like nut butter, so the small range of speeds hurts the blender's versatility.
There are four speed presets and two blending programs on the dial, 'Smoothie' and 'Ice Crush'. The programs run the blender for a set time before switching it off automatically. A button for pulse (above the dial) runs the blender for as long as you hold it down. The red light above the dial always flashes when the blender is plugged in, which some may find annoying. When it's running, the white ring around the dial lights up.
It's easy to clean. Running the blender with soap and water in the jar helps a lot, even if you're working with sticky ingredients. You need to take the time to manually clean the lid and the blades with a brush or sponge, but it's not a very long or difficult process. You can also remove the blades from the jar to make it easier to clean, but it's unnecessary if you're cleaning it by hand.