One major testing organization names the Miallegro MiTutto 9090 a best buy: It boasts a powerful motor and a smorgasbord of blades and attachments for a reasonable price. Several owners report durability issues, and the sharp blades can be frustrating or downright dangerous to work with.
Purees, whips, froths and chops nicely. The Miallegro MiTutto 9090 includes four blades (for blending, chopping, pureeing and aerating), a whisk attachment, a 26-ounce mini-chopper bowl with separate blade and a 16-ounce mixing cup. Each part does its job quite well, experts and owners say.
In one expert test, the Miallegro does an excellent job of puréeing vegetable soup and an impressive job of crushing frozen fruit with yogurt -- although the resulting smoothie isn't quite as creamy as that produced by the top-rated Breville Control Grip BSB510XL (*Est. $70 to $100). Owners at Amazon.com agree that frozen fruit poses no problem for the powerful Miallegro.
Other owners report good results with the various blades and the whisk (for making pudding and whipping cream). A couple of owners particularly like the aerator blade for frothing milk and cappuccino. The chopper earns high marks, too: One Amazon.com customer says it chops through carrots "like butter," and others find it useful for chopping onions and garlic, and making salsa, pesto and hummus. One reviewer at Costco.com complains that the Miallegro doesn't chop nuts well, but owners at Amazon.com report no problems with this task. In fact, one praises the Miallegro for reducing almonds to almond meal in a flash.
Mandatory blade removal can be frustrating. Many owners say they enjoy using the Miallegro MiTutto 9090 -- but others find this hand blender difficult, if not impossible, to clean.
With many hand blenders, cleanup is a snap: Just pop off the blender shaft, blades and all, and stick it in the dishwasher. But unlike the best hand blenders, the Miallegro's shaft isn't dishwasher-safe; the owner's manual says you should rinse it under the tap and never immerse it in water. Owners are required to remove the sharp blades to clean them. For some owners, that's where the problems start.
"I cannot for the life of me get the blade off," says one Amazon.com user, despite reading the directions and using the provided tool. Another Amazon.com customer had a similar experience: "I tried for 10 minutes to get the blade off. ... I had to use a pair of pliers in order to get it off while using the tool included."
It's a common complaint. A Costco.com user writes: "The machine works well, but cleaning/removing the little blades is a chore, requiring a special tool, and even that doesn't always get the job done." Another Costco.com customer wishes the Miallegro came with different heads to house the switchable blades.
A couple of owners say the Miallegro's stiff buttons (one for power, one for turbo boost) are hard to press down while blending and become burdensome. However, others don't mention this problem.
Style suits owners fine, but blades fall off and the blender broke for some. The Wall Street Journal calls the Miallegro MiTutto 9090 "a solid choice for the sometime cook," but the tester concludes: "The small price tag reflects a less durable machine."
We did find quite a few durability complaints from owners -- usually saying the blades fell off the shaft.
"The blade just snapped off the attachment" 10 seconds into the first use, an Amazon.com customer reports.
Another Amazon.com user says the blender blade fell into the cup while making a smoothie, and another says the aerator disk fell off while trying to froth milk: "I would put it on again and it would come off. Just tried it with some of the other attachments and they fell off as well." A Costco.com customer contacted Miallegro after having a similar problem, and they sent a new blade within a few days.
Miallegro also replaced a cracked chopper bowl for an Amazon.com customer. Others report different problems: For one owner, the motor burned out after a year. Another says, "the motor locked up within 30 days and the entire plastic insides of the unit broke into many pieces." A third reviewer says that after making two smoothies, "the drive coupling attachment shattered. It is made of plastic!"
The MiTutto 9090 has a white plastic handle with a choice of trim colors (blue, orange, kiwi or raspberry) and a stainless-steel shaft. At 16.5 inches long and 2.6 pounds, the Miallegro is comparable in size to the top-rated Breville Control Grip. Owners don't complain about the size and look of the Miallegro, but The Wall Street Journal says its "overall design lacks the high-tech elegance of its pricier relatives."
Although it blends, chops and whips well, many owners say the Miallegro MiTutto 9090 breaks too quickly and removing the blades is frustrating. The sturdier, easier-to-use Breville Control Grip BSB510XL is a better bet.
ConsumerReports.org tests six hand blenders -- including the Miallegro MiTutto 9090 -- by puréeing soup and making smoothies. Editors rate each blender's performance before picking the best buys.
Review: Miallegro Professional MiTutto 9090, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, As of Sept. 2012
2. The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal tests hand blenders (it doesn't say how, or how many) and recommends the best performers. Aleksandra Crapanzano calls the Miallegro MiTutto "the steal" of the bunch, but she says it's not as elegant or durable as pricier models.
Review: The Best Immersion Blenders, Aleksandra Crapanzano, Oct. 30, 2010
More than half of the 120 owners who post reviews award the Miallegro MiTutto 9090 a perfect 5 stars -- but one in 10 give it the lowest 1-star rating. Some owners complain that they can't remove the blade, while others say it falls off easily or comes off while blending.
Review: Miallegro 9090 MiTutto 550-watt Immersion Blender, Professional-style, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of Sept. 2012
Costco.com attracts fewer reviews than Amazon.com -- 15 for the Miallegro MiTutto 9090. It earns 4.5 out of 5 stars overall, but we still found a few complaints that the blades either fall off or are difficult (and sharp) to remove.
Review: Miallegro 9090B MiTutto 550-watt Secure System with Anti-sliding Finish Immersion Hand Blender, Contributors to Costco.com, As of Sept. 2012