Monday, April 25, 2011

Mr Cuisinart, What is the Deal?!

Food Processor Pusher Sleeve Assembly:
The long narrow tab that hangs down
farthest is the part that broke off
Just griping.                                                                                                                
Several months ago...maybe well over a year...the pusher sleeve assembly to my Cuisinart food processor had a piece break off when being loaded in, or being taken from, the dishwasher.  The pusher sleeve assembly fits into the lid, and that now-non-existent piece pushes against another component that causes a chain reaction of moving parts down the handle of the bowl and onto the base, resulting in a triggered switch that enables the appliance to actually run when turned on.  It's one of the "safety features."                                                    
As there is a series of things that have to snap in place just right for the food processor to run, it seems to me that it has more safety features than necessary.  At least this one should have not been reliant on a narrow piece of plastic that can, apparently, all-too-easily break off.                                                                                                                                                     
A new pusher sleeve assembly is approximately $35, which seems a lot to replace a part that is still 95% complete, and does most of its job.  After lamenting this in a post on the Gardenweb Kitchen Forum, another member said she got around replacing the same part for the same reason by using a butter knife to reach down and engage the switch...So I've been using the handle from a broken spatula whose slightly angled end reaches in there just right for me.  But it's still a pain to have to do this whenever I run the machine.                                                                                                               

If that was all of my complaint, I wouldn't be bothering to tell you here.  We also have a Cuisinart mini-chopper.  Like the food processor, it is a valuable and well-performing tool that we use often in our kitchen.  But also like the food processor, it has a plastic lid with parts too vulnerable to breakage.  A couple weeks ago, I did something to the lid during normal and careful use (which I can't even remember) that resulted in breaking one of the side clips that locks it onto the bowl.  (I think I dropped it into the sink.) Since it still had one other side clip, and when in use, was otherwise locked into the main part of the appliance with a bigger locking piece, it didn't cause any problem.                                                              
But Prince CuddleBunny came to me this past week in tears, after having dropped the lid when clearing the dishwasher, breaking off the piece of the lid that locked into the appliance and allowed it to run when turned on.  So now I have a working appliance that won't come on because of breaking a tail-like piece off the lid.  It will cost $19 to replace the lid ($12 plus $7 shipping).  The whole appliance cost me $30 - $35 when it was new.                                                                                                                                                              
Funny that 2 parts broke on a 3 year-old appliance within a couple weeks.  Planned obsolescence?  Or are we just clumsier than most?  
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