BLADE Vs PERFECT DRAFT – WHAT SHOULD I GET?
With so many draught beer machines on the market these days, choosing one for your home bar can be a bit of a headache! In this article, we pitch two of the big heavyweights namely Heineken’s Blade against Philips Perfect Draft.
Before we continue, we have to say that both of these machines really are great bits of kit and will deliver you quality pints at home. You can’t really go wrong with either machine but hopefully presenting you with all the facts will help you decide for yourself!
WHAT IS THE BLADE?
The Blade is a fantastic bit of kit made by Heineken. It’s a top-quality draught beer machine where you plug in, load a keg and then pour away.
It will also only take up a surface area of an A4 sheet of paper for delivering quality pints.
The machine comes with a bit of a hefty price tag but you won’t have to pay for any CO2 canisters like some other machines.
Check out our full review here
WHAT IS THE PERECT DRAFT?
Philip’s Perfect Draft machine really is not too far from perfect at all.
Like the Blade, it’s a quality beer dispenser and also doesn’t require any gas canisters.
You simply insert your keg into the loading bay and you are off.
Unlike the Blade it comes with a more attractive price tag attached but are you compromising for the saving? Read on…
Check out our full review here
ROUND 1 – EASE OF USE
As you can see from the video the Blade is pretty easy to set up. The Blade Kegs are 8 litres which mean they are bit on the heavy side. You have to lug them up, position them and feed the tube which can be a bit of a fiddle.
Now, you may have noticed the Perfect Draft video play’s quite quickly! There are a couple of stages, such as inserting the new line into the tap which are a bit fiddly. The kegs are also loaded into a bay in the machine rather than on top like the Blade.
ROUND 1 WINNER – DRAW
Both pieces of kit are really easy to set up so difficult to pick a clear winner here!
ROUND 2 – WHICH TAKES UP THE MOST SPACE?
The good news is both of these machines will not take up a great deal of room! However, if space is tight you will want to know which one is going to be the space saver…
The Blade’s dimensions come in at H 59 x D47 x W29 cm
The PD’s dimensions come in at H45 x D49 x W29 cm
ROUND 2 WINNER – PERFECT DRAFT
In terms of cubic metres taken up the PD is the clear winner. The Blade has a lot more height to it which can make it tricky to fit comfortably on some work surfaces.
ROUND 3 – UNIQUE FEATURES
- Analogue Temperature Guage
- Analogue Beer Level Guage
- Beer Keg Dome Light
- Digital Temperature Guage
- Digital Beer Level Guage
- Days of Beer Life Left Indicator
ROUND 3 WINNER – PERFECT DRAFT
Whilst the Blade does have a nice dome Light, the PD has a very useful beer life indicator which gives you a handy reminder on when you need to drink it. Because of this and the digital dials the PD tips the balance for us!
ROUND 4 – COOLING SPEED
Both machines require you to pre-chill your kegs in your fridge in order to avoid excessive cooling time in the fridge. Once the kegs are in the machines they still need a bit of time to reach an optimum pour temperature of 3 degrees.
On our road test, we found the Blade Keg was ready to pour in about 20 minutes whereas it took our PD machine around 90 minutes to reach the optimum 3 degrees.
ROUND 4 WINNER – BLADE
When it comes to cooling, the Blade is the hands-down winner. You really are getting a far superior cooling system because of the faster chilling speed, which means your beer is ready to drink a lot sooner!
ROUND 5 – STYLING
Both machines are smart bits of kit and styling may be based on your own personal preference.
In our opinion, the build of the Perfect draft feels a bit plastic and rattly.
In comparison, the Blade is a solid, industrial-looking bit of kit. It features a sturdy handle and a professional-looking drip tray.
ROUND 5 WINNER – BLADE
The Blade’s superior build and illuminated dome design means it wins the round for style.
ROUND 6 – RANGE OF BEERS AVAILABLE
At the time of writing, there are 22 individual beers available from Beerwulf.
There is a good mix of Heineken owned brands such as Birra Moretti, Tiger and Lagunitas.
Cider and alcohol-free options too are also available too.
Available PD keg beers at the time of writing number 49 from Beerhawk.
A large number of InBev brands are available such as Stella Artois, Budweiser and Corona.
There is also a great selection of German, Belgium, Stouts, IPA’s and craft beers such as Tiny Rebel.
ROUND 6 WINNER – PERFECT DRAFT
With over twice as many beers available in several different types, the Perfect Draft easily takes this round.
ROUND 7 – PRICE PER PINT AND PINTS PER KEG
In terms of price per pint, we compared the cheapest available kegs from leading stockists Beerwulf and Beerhawk. This was based on a £27.99 Heineken 8L Blade Keg and a £30.50 Stella Artois 6L PD Keg.
Blade kegs hold a whopping 8 litres of beer which is approximately 14 pints
Perfect draft KEGS
Perfect Draft kegs hold 6 litres of beer which gives you roughly 10.5 pints
ROUND 7 WINNER – BLADE
Now it’s worth mentioning that Beerhawk does have a keg return and beer token scheme so you can reduce your price per pint to around £2.40 per pint. More info on the scheme is here.
However, even with the discount the Blade wins hands down based on volume and price per pint.
ROUND 8 – QUALITY OF PINT
With both machines it’s a good idea on the first pull to pull a little drop of beer through the lines to clear out any initial froth and residue. Discard the drop and then grab a nice fresh glass for pouring.
In terms of the quality of pint there’s nothing much in it, both machines pour an exceptionally good draught pub style pint.
ROUND 8 WINNER – DRAW
ROUND 9 – HOW LONG DOES THE BEER STAY FRESH?
Again not really much to separate the machines in this round because both machines will keep your beer fresh for 30 days.
Another draw here.
ROUND 9 WINNER – DRAW
ROUND 10 – WHATS THE COST OF THE MACHINES?
We are at the final round and probably one of the most pivotal…the cost!
At the time of writing, you can pick up a Blade Starter pack which includes 2 x 8L kegs from Beerwulf for £425.00.
Beerhawk have starter bundles which include 1 x 6L Keg and 2 x Branded Glasses for £269.50
ROUND 10 WINNER – PERFECT DRAFT
In terms of pricing, the Perfect Draft comes in at around £150-£200 cheaper depending on how and where you buy.
SO OUR WINNER IS…
Philips Perfect Draft takes the victory with 5.5 rounds to 4.5 rounds for the Blade.
As we can see it was a very close match up and that is because these are both two very decent bits of kit!
Now although the PD is our marginal winner, we need to stress that personal preference could mean that the Blade could also be the one for you.
If you are still torn between which machine, here’s our summary for which machine is better for you:
BLADE IS BEST FOR YOU IF:
- Money is no object
- You aren’t fussed about a limited range of beers
- Mainstream beers are your thing
- You want better value for money pints
PERFECT DRAFT IS BEST FOR YOU IF:
- You don’t want to spend a fortune
- Drinking a wide range of beer styles is important
- Waiting a little longer for the beer to be the right temperature is fine