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Consumer Reports: The best small appliances for your home

Posted October 6, 2015
Updated October 7, 2015

— Every now and then it happens - an appliance breaks. Whether it is a coffee pot or a vacuum, a replacement is needed. Consumer Reports recently tested all sorts of small appliances and can help with some recommendations.

The first essential is a decent coffee maker. Pods are convenient, but have a few drawbacks, according to Consumer Reports.

"Pods can be pricey, and in our tests of popular pod brands, none were as good as some ground coffees from specialty roasters you can use in a drip coffee maker," said Dan DiClerico with Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports recommends a Kalorik CM 38933 for roughly $60. It is easy to use and brews a good cup of coffee.

Testers also assessed toaster ovens. The compact Panasonic FlashXpress NB-G110P was rated as a good option for everything from toast to frozen pizza, and at $110 it's half as much as other recommended models.

Another kitchen essential is a blender. A good one can chop, puree and make a smoothie, but they can be expensive.

"You might have to shell out more than you would expect for a really great blender. Our top-rated models can cost a few hundred dollars," DiClerico said.

According to Consumer Reports, a less expensive option is the $90 Nutri Ninja Personal Blender. The mixing container doubles as a travel mug, so it is easy for someone on the go.

And for a quick clean-up, Consumer Reports recommends a lightweight stick vacuum. A Dyson V6 can run up to about $300, but at half the price, the corded Shark Rocket HV302 gets the job done. It is excellent on carpets and works very well on bare floors.

Testers also took a closer look at the microwave, but said a small one can be hard to come by. They recommended the Panasonic Inverter model NN H965BF for about $160.


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