The Hamilton Beach 70820 sacrifices some bowl space in comparison to the 70730, but retains the handy side wipers and features a unique and innovative design which eliminates a frustration common in food processors: having to twist, jiggle and finally thump all the fittings into place.
Instead, this “Stack & Snap” machine uses a metal latch (which doubles as a carry handle) to lock the bowl and lid onto the motor. This will certainly appeal to those of us who’ve owned a food processor with a fiddly, slightly warped lid.
Still, we can’t help but wonder how long the two plastic lips over which the metal retaining part fits will last under all that vibration.
This Hamilton Beach product does at least come with a 1-year warranty, and the bowl is replaceable. In addition, the motor will be locked out when the arm is not in place, just like on any other good food processor you’d allow into a family kitchen.
Some Very Cool Features at a Bargain Price
As mentioned, this food processor includes a bowl scraper you can turn by twisting the black lever on top of the machine, so you don’t need to use a spatula when pureeing or finely chopping ingredients. This scraper can be operated while the machine is running (though you have to remove it when using anything other than the S-shaped chopping blade). This built-in spatula shares some of the same drawbacks as that of the 70730 and doesn’t always cause sticky foods to fall back into the bowl, but seems a little more robust.
Another feature, which more manufacturers should really consider offering, is the included plastic storage case for the various attachments, which are prone to wandering off on their own especially when you move house. Of course, it also prevents you from nicking a finger on a razor-sharp S-blade while rummaging around for something else.
The machine itself can actually sit on top of storage case when not in use, reducing the amount of space it occupies. When assembled, it measures 16 by 10½ by 14½ inches.
If presentation and texture are important to you, you’ll love the adjustable slicing blade which can produce cuts of between 1mm to 6mm (1/32 to ¼ inches) thick. You need only twist it to get slices of the perfect consistency. 6mm cucumber slices would work in some salads, but you can also go much thinner for potato gratin.
Unfortunately and unlike with the Cuisinart DFP-14, there is no insert to narrow the wide feed tube. This means that thinner ingredients lie at an angle as they become shorter, turning your zucchini circles into ovals.
The two-sided shredding blade, for its part, can produce both thicker and finer strips. If, for example, you want to make coleslaw with finely grated carrots and somewhat more substantial cabbage ribbons, you only have to reverse it. The bowl and attachments can all be placed in the dishwasher.
A Pleasure to Use
When it comes to assembling the machine before use, all the parts more or less fall into place on their own and you only need to snap the handle into place. The accessory box is not quite so simple and demands a little Tetris to store all the attachments in their proper places.
This food processor is equipped with large, paddle-style switches you can easily flip when your hands are dirty and wipe down afterwards. Useful pictures on the casing remind you to use the Low setting when using a disc and the High for the blade, though of course you’re free to deviate from this once you’ve figured things out for yourself.
Mess is generally not a problem, as the bowl seals at the top and has a pour spout. Another problem the Hamilton Beach 70730 has which this model overcomes is that you can process liquids without fear, as the central column is much more watertight.
Though we wouldn’t describe the motor as overpowered, it can mince (pre-cubed) meats or help you prepare bread or pizza using the dough kneading attachment. The machine will stall if you overload it, though, potentially damaging the motor.
The plastic bowl will crack when dropped, but manufacturing quality in general is better than that of many entry-level food processors. Still, this is definitely not a true premium product. Instead, it seems more like as if as many features as possible were crammed into the smallest, cheapest package possible.
The Hamilton Beach 70820 in a Nutshell
Although it’s similar in many ways to the aforementioned 70730 from the same manufacturer, this Hamilton Beach is somewhat easier to use and with more processing options. Due to this model’s sealed bowl, its lower total capacity is actually not all that significant.
The attachment storage case is a major plus in practice and goes some way towards explaining the higher price, as does the easier assembly procedure. We should, however, mention that settling the lever into place requires a fair amount of force.
In terms of noise, it’s not overwhelming but not enjoyable either. Suction pads on the bottom prevent unnecessary vibration.
- Easy to set up
- Variety of processing options
- Can scrape down sides without opening lid
- Accessory storage case
- Will not outlast more expensive food processors
- Adequate but not stellar motor
- Snap-on assembly requires some strength
- Limited capacity may become frustrating