To start off with some background info that's worth noting. This Jamie Oliver food processor (by Tefal) was an upgrade over my £15 Cookworths model picked up from a high street retailer, and purchased for about £80 six months ago, so much of this review compares this mid price range food processor to a budget one. Furthermore, I don't use any of the attachments to slice or grate anything as I personally find it fiddly swapping the attachments around, and I'm comfortable using a grater/knife anyway for those tasks. So this review is only concerned with the main big blade chopper, with the main vegetables I tend to chop/blitz being onions (for curries for example), carrots, and celery (for a fine mirepoix). Depending on what I'm cooking, or how many different items, I might process only a few vegetables (e.g. 2-3 onions), or I might do a bigger batch (10+ onions). If it's a small number of vegetables, I tend to just drop them down the little chute/chimney whilst the processor is running. If it's a bigger batch, I prefer to put them all in the jug, fit the jug onto the base, and then blitz awap.
The budget food processor referred to earlier was a very simple one, very cheap, certainly not pleasing on the eye, but it did the job pretty well. I put vegetables and even meat in it, using the main big blade, and it chopped and mixed things into a pulp if left long enough. Everything was consistently chopped/pulverised as the blade was right up against the inside of the base jug, and that base jug had straight sides, which ensured food would rise up the sides and then fall back into the middle.
The first criticism I have to make of this Jamie Oliver Tefal food processor therefore is that it simply won't consistently chop/pulverise the vegetables all over, especially if I'm using a larger number of vegetables (so not dropping them in one by one down the chute). There are two design flaws prevalent which I didn't notice in the shop that cause this failure to produce consistent chopping using the main large blade.
Firstly, the blades don't actually reach the very edge of the inside walls of the jug. There's a considerable gap between the plastic walls of the jug and the edge of the blade - it might only be half a centimetre, but it's enough to leave a small wall of roughly chopped vegetables that just seem to remain there without ever being brought back into the action so to speak.
Secondly, the jug doesn't have straight sides. It's slightly curved, getting wider as you go up from the bottom. I think what this results in is that food being chopped at the bottom rises to the top on the sides, and because the jug gets wider as the food rises up, it results in a small top layer of larg chunks of vegetable just sitting on the sides, out of reach of the main body of pulp that is being continously. Which means having to get a spatula, spoon the excess chunks back in to the main mixture, and blitzing again (or just living with having different sized chunks in your mixture, which is what I do now).
Another minor criticism for the main chopper is that you can't take the jug out, fill it with vegetables, and then put it back in for blitzing. The reason for this is that the blade is forced upwards by the connection when you try to slot the jug back into the machine, and hence food then falls underneath the blade which then then prevents it from fitting back into the machine. So you basically have to always have the jug fitted to the machine first, and then add food to it. The annoyance here is that this wasn't the case with my earlier model, and so I could take the jug off, scoop my vegetables from the chopping board into the jug, and put it back in. I know this isn't a major deal, but it's one of those little things that can be annoying depending on how you like to cook.
Now, that's the main flaw with the big blade. Beyond that, the chopper is pretty decent. It's very compact, the jug is strong, the blades could sit slightly better in the jug than it does but it's not a real issue for me. Overall, for the price paid, it looks very nice, and in the store the only ones that looked better were the Magimix ones which were three times the price and out of my budget. This is why I give this food processor 3 stars. If the price was more reasonable (let's say £30), it'd be a 4 star processor.
Regarding the important safety issue. In all food processors (and as far as I'm aware, in blenders too), there is a saftey mechanism within the lid that prevents you, or a kid, from turning on unless the lid is attached and locked in place - obviously this ensures you can't stick your hand into the chopper whilst it's on. I have a seperate stand-alone cheapo blender, and it has this safety mechanism in that it wont turn on without the lid attached. This safety feature is of course present with the main chopper jug, as you'd expect, however the lid safety mechanism is NOT present for the blender that comes with this package (in the picture this is the rectangular jug on the right). This blender has a small integrated blade/whisk sitting at the bottom, which is pretty sharp (it has to be of course to blend fruits/vegetables into a smooth liquid pulp). The lid has no mechanism at all for detecting whether it's in place or not, it's just a simple lid that sits on top, and as such you can use the blender jug without any lid at all. Which might be very dangerous if you're going to leave it lying around for children to attach and play with. So just a word of caution regarding the blender, which I have tucked away in a draw as I'd rather use a stand alone blender with better safety features.