Way back when I first learned about stick blenders--probably watching Alton Brown--I bought an inexpensive KitchenAid one. The first time I tried to puree carrot soup in my mother's old soup pot, it etched circles into the bottom of it--broke my heart. Returned it and bought a Braun multiquick 200watt blender that had a plastic base that keeps the metal blades from touching the bottom of the pot.
I've been relatively happy with it--except for the awkwardness of the cord that gets in everything. Oh, and the occasional splatter all over the place when I didn't have the blades covered sufficiently by whatever I was trying to blend.
Today it up and died on me in the middle of making a dessert. Motor got all hot and just stopped dead.
So now I have to get a new one and I"m back to wondering--how do people use those that don't have any kind of guard keeping them from doing what the KitchenAid did to my pot? Do you not let them touch the bottom of the pot? I have arthritis and not enough arm strength to keep the blender above the pot while pureeing a soup--and then there's the problem of splattering all over if the blade isn't low enough.
I had thought long ago about getting the Bamix one I saw Alton Brown using, but again, I just couldn't figure out how you use it without scratching. I'm now looking at the Breville BSB510XL because of the non-scratch guard at the bottom.
Any enlightenment would be greatly appreciated!