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What You Need to Know About the Cuisinart Food Processor Blade Recall

When we noticed cracked blades in the test kitchen, we immediately took action.

Published Dec. 14, 2016.

Updated April 12, 2017: We've heard from some users that they're still waiting on Cuisinart to deliver their replacement blade. We've added more information at the end of this article about what to expect from Cuisinart. 


Cooks at America’s Test Kitchen rely on food processors for a wide range of recipes, from pie dough to salsa verde. We have strong opinions about the machines, and frequently test new models to make sure that we’re working with the best equipment on the market, and to offer the best, most current recommendations to our readers.

In late 2015, executive editor of America's Test Kitchen's tastings and testings team Lisa McManus began work on a comprehensive review of food processors. It was the kind of deep-dive equipment test that many America’s Test Kitchen readers and viewers rely on, particularly for big-ticket items.

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Against a lineup of models from several different manufacturers, McManus was not surprised to see a Cuisinart model perform well. After all, Cuisinart has been the kitchen’s favorite food processor since 2012, and the one test cooks use every day in the kitchen.

McManus (left) takes notes as Cook's Illustrated test cook Annie Petito processes vegetables with the Cuisinart.

"When we choose a winning piece of equipment after our extensive testing process, we buy many copies of it and stock it in the test kitchen for everyone here to use every day," McManus said. "That lets us continue to monitor equipment with an eye to longevity and wear-and-tear. If we run into problems over time, that signals us to revisit our reviews, do more testing, adjust our rankings if necessary, and alert our readers."

Concurrent to McManus’s testing of new food processors, including the former winner from Cuisinart, another test cook noticed a troubling flaw in the metal blades of the earlier Cuisinart models. Careful inspection revealed hairline cracks and missing bits of metal. (See images below.) 

McManus was, understandably, concerned. Did these cracks suggest an endemic design problem? Or had heavy test kitchen use put undue pressure on the processor blades, causing them to crack?

McManus, working with the test kitchen director, immediately pulled all the processor blades from the kitchen for inspection. Of 20 blades, 19 showed signs of weakness.

McManus contacted Cuisinart, sending photos of the problem blades and returning a few of the samples for inspection. Cuisinart responded quickly, assuring us that a new blade had already been designed and that all new models would ship with redesigned, non-riveted blades. They promised to dig deeper to determine whether the cracks indicated a broader design problem. McManus continued with her testing, using one of the new blades, and after all the blades in the test kitchen were replaced, cooks got back to work.

After her battery of tests, McManus still chose the Cuisinart Custom 14 model as the winner, this time with redesigned blades, giving it a “highly recommended” rating in the January 2016 edition of Cook’s Illustrated.

But her recommendation came with a stark note of caution to readers: Inspect any previously purchased processor blades, and replace those that showed any signs of wear. (This is good advice for any piece of kitchen equipment.)

Watch our video (published December 2015) below; the blade crack inspection comes in at 5:35.

Earlier this week, Conair Corporation (Cuisinart’s parent company), in concert with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, issued a voluntary recall of the same riveted blade McManus found problems with. As part of the recall, Cuisinart will replace the blade free of charge, and the new blades will fit old machines.

We strongly recommend home cooks with any Cuisinart food processor purchased between July 1996 and December 2015 (all models) follow this directive. For a free replacement blade visit, or call 1 (877) 339-2534.

Information provided by Cuisinart regarding replacement blades:

1. Readers have posted comments on our site saying that Cuisinart told them they will receive the replacement blade in June. Why does it take so long for consumers to receive the blade?

Cuisinart did not have control over the timing of the blade recall. Following its announcement, Cuisinart received an overwhelming response to the recall notice and has had to place several large orders for additional blades to be able to meet demand. Cuisinart uses only one manufacturer to fabricate its blades. The blades are fabricated using precise manufacturing processes, which of course means that they take some time to produce. The company is producing new blades as rapidly as possible without sacrificing quality, to meet the enormous demand resulting from this replacement program.

2. How long will it take for all customers to have their new blade? 

As previously stated, this is an ongoing process and Cuisinart is doing everything possible to increase production of replacement blades. Consumers are being staged in the order they either registered online or called in and will receive their blade based upon that order. All consumers that have registered online have received several notices indicating either the approximate date when the company anticipates their blade will be shipped or notifying them that Cuisinart will contact them as soon as it is able to provide a firm date.

3. Is Cuisinart considering offering customers a coupon that discounts the price of a new food processor, or some other perk to build customer confidence?

The company is keeping in contact with all affected consumers, and thus far has offered an exclusive interactive recipe book that can be downloaded online.

4. Anything else we should know about the recall?

Cuisinart strives to provide its customers with the best service possible. If any consumers have questions or concerns they may contact the company at

Chop, Slice, and Shred

Our Winning Food Processor

Our winning food processor was and remains the Cuisinart Custom 14 Food Processor, which now comes with a redesigned blade, encased in plastic with no rivets. It works beautifully, and test kitchen cooks love the powerful motor, responsive pulsing action, and simple design. Read our full review, and enduring endorsement, here.  
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