The food processor still going strong after 38 years

Would a new whizz last as long today?

Making pesto in food processor.

I’ve got a Hitachi food processor that qualifies for a mid-life crisis.

The 38-year-old Hitachi food processor.

It doesn’t whizz kale as finely as it should, and I’ve misplaced most of the attachments, but my Hitachi food processor is still going strong after 38 years.

I inherited the food processor from my Great Aunt Helen, who used it to grate cabbage, carrot, and (controversially) cheese to make coleslaw.

When Consumer NZ reviewed the Hitachi HF60P in July 1982, it warned the shredder shouldn’t be used for cheese because it clogged the grater. Aunty Helen did not heed this warning. There were always copious amounts of cheesy coleslaw when we visited, along with stacks of the British Women’s Weekly on the Formica table featuring royalty and knitting patterns.

These days, I use the whizz for pesto, bliss balls and cheesecake bases. (However, it’s starting to give off a burning smell if I push it too hard).

Food processors were the “do-it-all kitchen gadgets of the 80s” that used to be a “New Zealand cook’s distant dream seen only in overseas magazines”, the Consumer NZ reviewer said.


While Hudson and Halls and the like helped popularise food processors, they were expensive. My Hitachi cost $266 in 1982 ($1100 at today’s prices).

If I decide to drop a grand on a new food processor today, could I guarantee it would last nearly four decades? Would it be #BuiltToLast? Our research suggests not.

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