Home > Flash Drives, Hardware > Flash Review – Sandisk Cruzer Blade

Flash Review – Sandisk Cruzer Blade


Cruzer Blade upright rear-view

Sandisk Cruzer Blade 16GB

This review was written to compare the performance of a 4Gb Cruzer Micro with a 16Gb Cruzer Blade. This DOES NOT does not give a direct comparison of the speed but *only* the relative speed of each drive – how fast is my new drive, how fast was my old drive? Comparing the two is only to say this one is faster random read, or whatever; if I compared two 16Gb drives, then I could truly say one is BETTER in some test than another, this review is not for that, I don’t have a handful of 16Gb drives around for testing. The comparison is for me, to see what difference exists between my drives. The *1 year on review* of one off results for the Blade may be of interest to you, but not these comparisons.

Just How Good Is It?

I went and ordered a Sandisk Cruzer Blade 16gb as a replacement for my chunky Cruzer Micro 4gb.. There weren’t any reviews out there for me to determine write and read speed, which is not as important to me as price per gigabyte, but it’s nice to have a good balance.

Sandisk Cruzer Blade in profile

Sandisk Cruzer Blade

Other flash drives that caught my eye, but not my cash, were the Patriot Xporter XT and the Corsair Flash Voyager GT, soon to be replaced with the GTR. Apparently, they both offer extremely good read and write speeds, but at a price.

Sandisk have a habit of mislabeling; the micro wasn’t so small, maybe the blade isn’t so fast.. I mean, in all the articles out there, do any actually claim this is a fast drive, or did I just associate ‘blade’ with IBM’s server range? With the help of some tools, I am going to find out how the new Cruzer Blade compares to the Cruzer Micro.

Blade vs Micro

Blade vs Micro

Choose Yourย  Tools

The tools I am going to use to determine drive speeds are;

You can click the links to get copies of the software to test your own drives.

Check Flash

Check Flash has three main modes, Temporary File, Logical Drive or Physical Device. I started the testing with Temp file mode; the maximum size of temp file was 4gb. Screen shots ofย  results page for Micro and Blade:

Cruzer Micro ChkFlsh v1.11 Temp File Test

Cruzer Micro ChkFlsh v1.11 Temp File Test

Cruzer Blade ChkFlsh v1.11 Temp File Test

Cruzer Blade ChkFlsh v1.11 Temp File Test

So to summarise, the Check Flash results for Temporary File read/write are;
Cruzer Micro 29.373 mb/sec read and 9.091 mb/sec write.
Cruzer Blade 8.577 mb/sec read and 2.849 mb/sec write.


In CrystalMark, there are 3 tests run as read and write; Sequential, Random 512kb and random 4kb. This tests the drives access times, and is a better ‘real world’ test than sequential access alone.

Cruzer Micro Fat32 CrystalDiskMark

Cruzer Micro Fat32 CrystalDiskMark

Cruzer Blade Fat32 CrystalDiskMark

Cruzer Blade Fat32 CrystalDiskMark

You can see the Random Reads at 4kb for the Cruzer Micro are much lower than sequential speed.
In this test suite, the Cruzer Blade performs better than in the Check Flash test above.

Barts Stuff Test

Final testing is done with Bart’s Stuff Test – Quick File Read/Write was used to determine a max read and max write speed for the drives.

Cruzer Micro Bart's Stuff Test Result

Cruzer Micro Bart's Stuff Test Result

Cruzer Blade Bart's Stuff Test Result

Cruzer Blade Bart's Stuff Test Result

So, The average BST results for Sequential 256kb read/write are;
Cruzer Micro 28.8 mb/sec read and 8.7 mb/sec write.
Cruzer Blade 16.3 mb/sec read and 3.7 mb/sec write.


A better set of results can be found in the new review, Click here to read the new Blade review, SanDisk Cruzer Blade – One Year On..
Anyway, from the results gathered from our 3 test programs, we can average our results into an overall read / write speed for the Cruzer Blade in fat32.

Please be aware the Check Flash result is way off, something is not right and it is innacurate. The Average speeds are calculated with and again without this reading.


             Read MB/sec - Write MB/sec
Check Flash - 08.57      - 2.85 *Incorrect Reading?
Barts ST    - 16.30      - 3.70
Crystal DM  - 17.23      - 5.05

Average     - 14.03      - 3.87
Excluding CF- 16.77      - 4.38

So we can see, for the 16GB cruzer blade, average Read speed is 00.00MB/sec and average Write speed is 0MB/sec.
The Blade is really slow, write speed is awful. Spend your money elsewhere.

Cruzer Blade upright rear-view

Cruzer Blade upright rear-view

The *review* of one off results
  1. Lava
    April 3, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Hi thanks for the review.
    i wish i had read this review before buying cruzer blade. i bought 8gb variant and its Write transfer rate is max 5 MB/sec. Being tech savy guy i started troubleshooting and everything was perfect in my comp. waste of money. imagine trasnferring 4 gb file to this pendrive such a pain….

  2. Moses
    April 7, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Thanks for the review. I thought too that the problem was with my computer. But now i realise that the drive itself is too slow. even i don’t get a rate better than 4-5mb/sec with the cruzer blade when copying stuff onto it. I wish i hadn’t been enticed by its sleek looks and 5 year warranty. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  3. Bops
    April 8, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Waiting 5 mins extra on large files wouldnt hurt ๐Ÿ˜‰
    The style statement this USB drive makes is awsome.

    • SilentStorm
      May 13, 2010 at 10:33 am

      Actually, if you are tight on time, that 5 minutes can save your life. I labeled mine as Floppy Disk because of its size and speed.

      If you need a tiny but speedier disk, you should check Transcend T3

  4. browsons
    April 15, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Yo tambien realice una prueba usando el programa chkFlsh.
    Mi pendrive es un cruzer blade de 4GB y tengo escrutira de 5 a 6 mbps.

    Translated to English:
    I also ran a test using the chkFlsh program. My pendrive is a cruzer blade 4GB and I have recorded 5 to 6 mbps.

  5. basudeb7
    June 1, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Thanks for the review. I tested my Cruzer Blade 8GB using the Check Flash tool that you mentioned and the write speed turns out to be around 5.0 to 5.9 MB/sec and the read speed around 16 to 20 MB/sec. It is slow indeed but in terms of looks it’s a lot better than many other flash drives. Wonder why they don’t make flash drives that look good, are mini sized and fast…..

  6. June 10, 2010 at 5:08 pm


    I thought SanDisk was a better company. Kingston and Transcend have much faster drives in the same price range too. I’m kicking myself for having bought it and now I’m browsing the net to find if my pen drive is faulty or that’s just it.

    Looks like that’s just it.

    – Sreenath

  7. rats
    July 20, 2010 at 2:24 am

    My Sandisk cruzer 8gb model gives 3 to 3.5 mbps in win7.
    i bought it yesterday only, for 725. its too damn slow , most of the time i avoid copying than waiting for the copy to complete.

    it took 40 mins for complete format(not in quick mode). and 3 mins in quick mode.

    Try different usb drive , but not this one.

  8. Chandan
    July 21, 2010 at 6:30 am

    Great review. Unfortunately i too have this issue with my cruzer blade 16gb. All along i was thinking there is something wrong within my notebook. Pathetic offering from Sandisk the leaders of flash drives..
    Hope they come up to speed of Corsair models.

  9. Mike
    August 20, 2010 at 10:46 am

    8GB Cruzer Blade got very similar, nearly identically benchmarking results.
    Fully satisfied, got it for about 10 Bucks. (EUR)

  10. August 31, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Thanks for the review. I was gonna buy this one from theitdepot.com (they had a price decrease of 30 bucks). When i read your review and noticed the read and write speeds (i want good write speed), i changed my mind. Thanks for this test ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. SkiffytheAndroidKangaroo
    September 2, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    That’s awesome, thanks. Almost bought this drive since its list price was higher than the other one I was looking at but it was reduced to less. I guess there’s a good reason it was reduced.

    Transfer speed is very important to me so I’ll be going for a more expensive drive. Thanks again.

  12. lfom
    September 3, 2010 at 5:34 am

    Good info, thanks.

  13. aravind
    September 22, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    thanx 4 the review….you stopped me from wasting my money buyin this slow thing..

  14. pk
    October 23, 2010 at 12:24 am

    I was given a new SanDisk Cruzer Blade 8GB. I loaded it with all the files I had put on a friends computer. When I got back to states, I tried to open it with my Dell, Inspiron 1501, Microsoft Windows XP, Version 2002. I have used Micro Center 2 GB and other flashdrives with no problem. On this laptop I cannot open the Cruzer Blade to access all the information? Can anyone out there tell me why? I have it loaded with all my information I need to access?

  15. October 30, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    I just got one 16GB Sandisk Cruzer Blade as a gift and I love it. It could have been a little bit faster but that is allright too. It’s strange how fast formats itself without the use of Quick format.

  16. Squid
    November 17, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Thanks for the review and the details.
    I got a 4Gb as a gift, so can’t really complain. But the fact remains, that it is much slower than a 2Gb Lexus Firefly that I have. It’s tiny too, but much strongly built.
    The Blade on the other hand looks flimsy and looks like made from cheap plastic. I wonder how long it is going to last.
    PS: I’ve been using pendrives since 2003, and none of them has ever failed or has been broken. But this one really scares me.

    • February 3, 2011 at 1:12 pm

      today I bought a 4GB SanDisk Cruzer blade, the price is cheap enough, the model is good, because small and attractive color. Having arrived home really feels disappointed because the speed is very slow, I did a test with some software and was very slow. some times I do the format, but this thing is still slow. Finally, I take it to the shop to check, it turns out when exchanged, indeed SanDisk Cruzer blade can not be fast. Of course, disappointing, and just like you, I also have a 4GB pendrive which is much faster and no problem, though larger in size

  17. mOZ
    December 8, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    Thanks for the nice review as I got the Titanium 4G which is relatively fast, thought would upgrade to this Blade version due to its look & size but now will wait for a faster one!

  18. La Veina
    January 4, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Hey ..thanks to all for ur tests and reviews.. i planned to buy 16 GB Cruzer Blade for my boyfriend as I lost his drive some days back but now I am sure I am not gonna buy this slow device for him.. Boys like speed . SanDisk needs to see into it.. Its not always about looks.. Quality matters..

  19. Stilettor
    January 4, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Got this for 5 euros, pretty cheap ๐Ÿ˜‰

  20. FDIM
    January 8, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Damn, I should have read this review, Bought 8gb blade for ~$18. Its damn slow, 3MB/s write speed, 27MB/s read speed. It will take half an hour to fill it :/ Decent internet connection good outperform this damn flash ๐Ÿ˜€ without wasting time copying to it, from it and just to download…

  21. Guest
    January 9, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    I want to run Windows XP and Chrome OS from my USB-stick, so I want a high speed. I can order a USB-stick for free.

    I have to choose between a 8GB SanDisk Cruzer Blade or a 4GB SanDisk Cruzer. After this revieuw, I think I’ll choose de 4GB SanDisk Cruzer.

  22. January 12, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Thanks for the review. Was going to buy one just because they’re so cheap but after reading this I think I’ll pass…

  23. Paul
    January 18, 2011 at 12:40 am

    I wish I had read your review before purchasing – I ordered 3 of these and they are so slow! I only found your review when I was trying to troubleshoot their poor performance – stay away from these drives if speed is an issue for you.

  24. Dicky
    February 18, 2011 at 2:06 am

    I bought one of these yesterday (16gb)

    here are my results (i’m a noob so not sure how to bechmark)

    CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1 (C) 2007-2010 hiyohiyo
    Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/
    * MB/s = 1,000,000 byte/s [SATA/300 = 300,000,000 byte/s]

    Sequential Read : 20.088 MB/s
    Sequential Write : 4.370 MB/s
    Random Read 512KB : 21.447 MB/s
    Random Write 512KB : 1.312 MB/s
    Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 4.476 MB/s [ 1092.8 IOPS]
    Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 1.385 MB/s [ 338.0 IOPS]
    Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 4.367 MB/s [ 1066.1 IOPS]
    Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 1.180 MB/s [ 288.2 IOPS]

    Test : 50 MB [F: 0.0% (0.0/14.9 GB)] (x5)
    Date : 2011/02/18 12:30:42
    OS : Windows 7 [6.1 Build 7600] (x86)

  25. ken
    February 19, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Thanks for the review and testing. Unfortunately I bought this model without researching first. It is very slow. I’ll give this to my nephew and buy another brand or model.

    • February 19, 2011 at 12:25 pm

      Keep an eye out for my review of ultra fast 32gb flash drives, the Patriot XT Rage, 25Mb/sec for write, compared to the 3 or 4Mb for the Cruzer Blade. Not cheap mind you, in the UK for about ยฃ65 or the Corsair Flash Voyager GT or latest GTR 32Gb for about the same value.
      These Drives however are approaching the cost of a portable usb harddrive, and the 1.8 inch drives are becoming very small and at a much lower cost per gigabyte.

  26. Tanner pid
    February 22, 2011 at 2:41 am

    I got my blade up 23.6 mb/s when I tested it

    • February 23, 2011 at 11:11 am

      Is that Read or Write speed? And what program did you use to test it with? What size is your Blade?
      Did you write the whole drive? Run the test 5 times and average your speeds. There are fragmentation issues and erase penalties common to all flash drives that are not obvious until you have filled the drive a few times.
      What computer and operating system do you run?
      How does the speed of the blade compare to other flash drives you have?
      All these factors must be taken into consideration when determining the raw speed of a drive.

  27. Krishna Kumar
    March 13, 2011 at 3:01 am

    Mate, I wish I had read this review before spending the money, although it only cost me like 23$ to buy this thing, I am really disappointed with the performance, it like a permanent storage, which you wouldn’t like to re-write often.

  28. Hari shankar
    May 18, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Thanks for review..I am planning to buy one pendrive.
    Thank god….You have given the right information, if not I might have purchased.
    I am happy, If anybody can give me the best option..in 8gb pendrive.

  29. syl
    May 28, 2011 at 8:44 am

    it’s too dam slow!!!

  30. mork
    June 2, 2011 at 9:45 am


    I just bought this for $13 not worth my cheap Soniq 4years old has a faster transfer rate,again dont waste your money.

  31. mant
    July 6, 2011 at 3:29 am

    One of the crapest thumb drive I have ever seen. It’s plastic and damn slow.

  32. Nagendra Pratap Singh
    July 14, 2011 at 6:24 am

    Awful drive. This 16 GB and even 8 GB ones. I never realized that drives could be so slow.

  33. Barry Cock
    October 3, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    Biggest load of crap and waste of money I have ever had. Avoid like the plague.

  34. adriano
    November 10, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    I’ve just bought Cruzer Blade 16GB in Italy at โ‚ฌ 15,00 without first seeing this forum. The pendrive is under formatting NTFS since an hour and is not yet finished. The worst drive I’ve met.

  35. Martin
    November 15, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    all the reviews in the world would not save me – i am simply stupid. i bought a 16gb blade and believe it or not have no idea how to install the damm thing i have bought a collection of usb special connections and none of them fit so at the moment i have a lovely little 16gb blade and no idea how to get it to work

  36. Miguel
    December 9, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    I will never buy anything from Sandisk. Is the slowest pen drive I ever had. It seems like I’m backing to disketes years. Very bad.
    I’ fully tired of waiting 40 minutes to copy 5 Gb from PC to the pen.

  37. Raphael
    March 25, 2012 at 5:46 am

    Yep..they are slow, but their price tag was cheap.. But they can go through the washing machine and drier..the performance was still the same after the clean..

  38. CK
    June 8, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    DEAD SLOW : 4Mb/sec is way toooo slow when copying data. I wasted money without researching earlier. My idea of buying 32 gb was to store more data, but i quit after copying about 6 gb of data.

  1. February 24, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: