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Is there a Worthy Professional Blender That's Not the Vita-Mix?

I know, I know. The Vita-Mix is fantastic. But it's also expensive. Is there another professional blender that has a lot of the capacities without quite the price tag? Has anyone had any experience with the Healthmaster?

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  1. The only blender that would compare is the Blendtec, and it's expensive also, but some models are less. Both are ugly, which is what kept me from buying a Vita Prep for home.

    2 Replies
    1. re: almansa

      Breville Hemisphere...about 299.00 can do leafy vegetables ...kale, spinach.

      1. re: blueways

        If you're going to spend $299, you might as well spend $329 and get a real Vitamix. That's what a refurbished 5200 will run, including a 5-year warranty and unlimited phone support during business hours.

    2. BLendtec is the only way. Bite your lip drop the coin and be amazed. It will change the way you blend like unlimited long distance changed the way you call.

      2 Replies
      1. re: SeanT

        I've been looking at both the VitaMix and Blendtec. I'm leaning toward the new Blendtec with the larger wider jar. On the plus side the Blendtec will fit under the kitchen cabinets. The VitaMix will not.

        1. re: scubadoo97

          Quick update: The new Vitamixes are quite a bit shorter, by about 4 or so inches, and will fit under most cabinets. See esp the professional series 300 and 750. https://secure.vitamix.com/Profession...

      2. Cook's Illustrated Sep 1, 2009 review
        of Upscale Blenders recommended the following:

        Highly Recommended

        Vita-Mix 5200, Model Number VM1371

        Not Recommended

        Blendtec Total Blender, Model Number TB-621-01

        ***** Paraphrased review *****
        Has too many buttons, too much noise and not able to crush ice.
        Too powerful to make smoothies, turns them to juice, but can't crush ice.
        Only has 2 blades, jar has minimal tapering, this design created air pockets
        between blades and ice, causing the ice to remain out of reach from the
        blades not matter what the speed.

        13 Replies
        1. re: Antilope

          Absolutely ridiculous! I use mine to pulverize ice almost daily, can you say slush. I am thinking cooks illustrated had a moron at the helm of the blendtec. Some people can not blend without a masher, blendtec varies speed so a masher is not necessary. Ever had a frappacino, anything from jamba juice? NO mashers!

          1. re: SeanT

            I think you mean "tamper." And in all fairness (I'm no Blendtec fan), I know of someone who claims his Blendtec can make snow from ice--something the Vitamix doesn't do. And for the record, Jamba Juice uses Vita-Mix (i.e. "NO" Blendtecs) commercial drink machines which are built to do one thing--blend drinks with frozen ingredients--and are in sound enclosures and hence have no tampers. I've used a Vitamix since 1988 and would never use anything else--workmanship is superb, they're made HERE (the new household motors, though, are made in Sweden), and they treat their clientele like gold. A class act all the way.
            Commercial blenders are expensive for a reason--chefs need to be able to depend on them (even a warranty is cold comfort if the machine is always back at the factory being serviced) and you pretty much get what you pay for; bear in mind that anyone can slap a "professional" label on a machine--that doesn't mean you'll find it in commercial kitchens.

            @ almansa Should your aesthetics experience a shift, Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, and Charlie Trotter (the "Holy Trinity," for my money) all use and endorse the Vita-Prep 3 but it's NOT what you want for home use unless you're running a business out of your kitchen. The extra horsepower is to assist the fan so that the machine will run cooler given the (rather high) ambient temperatures of a commercial kitchen. The 5200's functions and the range of its blade speeds are identical (as is the blade itself) to the Vita-Prep's and you get a 7-year warranty with full toll-free phone support, which can be extended, for household use; the Vita-Prep 3 has a 3-year warranty FOR COMMERCIAL USE ONLY, including a 1-year service contract; for household use it carries a 1-YEAR warranty with NO service contract. Trust me, the 5200 is a tank and will run for years, even with extremely heavy home use, and the supplemental material is tailored to the home-user, unlike that included with the Vita-Prep 3. Don't fall into the foodie trap of thinking you always need commercial equipment; it's surely worthwhile in some cases but not this one. Vitamix isn't trying to snow home users--whom they coddle--by pushing household machines on them. Even Vitamix employees--who are eligible for discounts on all machines--all opt for the 5200.

            BTW, I've heard the HealthMaster is dreck. It's my understanding that Montel Williams used to endorse and give away the Vitamix until he got the brilliant idea to "do a show of his own." You might want to check the Amazon ratings.

            1. re: MacGuffin

              +1 for the Vita-Mix. I bought my 5200 by way of their 3-month payment plan on the Vita-Mix website. It definitely made it a little easier. I haven't regretted it for one second!

              1. re: MacGuffin

                Never said jamba juice uses blentec merely they use no tampers. Yes I make snow on a regular basis, it is great for slushes and is done effortlessly by the blendtec. Nothing against the vita mix I just think blendtec makes a better machine.

                1. re: SeanT

                  You're absolutely entitiled to your opinion; a lot of people buy and like Blendtecs. But you cited the Blendtec's non-tamper superiority over the Vitamix by using ("any," no less) drinks processed in a Vitamix machine as an illustrative example of the technology. I don't think I can be blamed for jumping on that somewhat ironic detail. :)

                  1. re: MacGuffin

                    Thanks for my entitlement! Point being, to get blendtec power you will have to get a commercial vita mix.

                    Blendtec totalblender costco special.

                    1. re: SeanT

                      a) I think you need to read my previous post about the Vita-Prep, which is Vitamix's commercial all-purpose blender, and why its 3+ HP motor doesn't perform any differently than the 2+ HP household Vitamix. It runs COOLER, not "stronger." Blade rotation speeds are identical and besides, the Blendtec doesn't use a tamper because its speeds are electronic presets that raise and lower the RPMs to shift whatever's being blended downwards. That function has virtually nothing to do with HP and in fact, you can do it manually with any blender. It did the same thing when it was a 2 HP machine.

                      b) Jamba Juice uses Vitamix commercial drink machines, not Vita-Preps. They're made specifically to blend drinks with or without frozen ingredients, IOW, they're one-trick ponies that'll do a substandard job of chopping, cooking soup, puréeing, or anything other than blending drinks. You're touting the glories of tamper-free household Blendtec blending by extolling the virtues of drinks prepared by Vitamix commercial machines that bear no resemblance whatsoever to your machine beyond the fact that they all blend. It's not a valid comparison.

                      c) It's not all about the HP; it's also about the engineering. What follows are "bare," i.e., empty container, speeds for both the Blendtec and the Vitamix:

                      Vitamix RPMs:
                      1,100 = Variable #1
                      24,000 = Variable #10
                      37,000 = High

                      Blendtec:
                      4,080 = Lowest RPMs
                      29,400 = Highest RPMs

                      In addition, I personally try to avoid Chinese-made appliances and would not buy an expensive one under any circumstances. Bear in mind also that the price for an American-made Vitamix is pretty much the same.

                      Your "entitlement" is your right and isn't anyone else's to give you; perhaps you meant to thank me for acknowledging it. Regardless of your preference, your assertion that one needs to use a commercial Vitamix in order to achieve similar results to a Blendtec is totally off-base. Sorry, but It just isn't so.

                      1. re: MacGuffin

                        I have a number of Vitamix blenders, and I've never used Blendtec. I just mean that for my house - where I leave my appliances on the counter for lack of cabinet space - neither will win any beauty contest. BTW, I heart Vitamix and endorse them as well.

                        1. re: almansa

                          Have you seen the new brushed stainless (which really isn't stainless, BTW) 5200? I think it's out of stock now but it's very nice (for a machine that, I agree, isn't going to win a beauty contest).

                          1. re: MacGuffin

                            Hey, that's not so bad. I see there's one on eBay.

              2. re: SeanT

                Sean, what Blendtec do you have? I'm looking at the new HP3A with the 3 qt jar. Very similar price to the Vitamix 5200. I have seen the videos that compare the Blendtec to the Vitamix at therawfoodworld and the Blendtec was impressive

                1. re: scubadoo97

                  I know someone who says his family bought a Vitamix over 20 years ago and it still works.

                  We've had ours for over 10 years and some days I use it over 4x a day. It was a sound investment, I think.

                  1. re: achefsbest

                    my Vitamix is around 20 years old too.

            2. Back to the budget-minded.... Don't know how many bells and whistles you want, but we have a vintage Waring "Commercial Blendor" (yes, it is spelled with an "o" on the front plate ). It only has a flip switch for on & off, but it has been fantastic. Not sure how old it is, but it works great! From making sorbet-type dessert, mousse, smoothies (including green smoothies with kale) blending soup..... the list goes on. It has a great cloverleaf glass carafe. I've thought about the Vita-Mix, but I know would not get rid of my Waring, so it's kind of pointless to spend so much $$.

              1. The question should be...

                Is there a Worthy Professional Blender well below $200 That's as good as the Vita-Mix?

                Once you get into the $300 range you might as well get a Blendtec or Vitamix. The Vitamix 5200S is $375 in store @Costco everyday low price. And the Blendtec Classic WildSide is $330 online @Costco.

                1. the reason the vitamix is so expensive is because it's a quality product. i've met people who have used theirs for upwards of 15 years. over the course of the life of the machine, it's inexpensive.

                  i own a blendtec, use it several times daily, and i love it. got it because it was a bit smaller than the vitamix, i liked the preprogrammed buttons, and it was cheaper as well. the jar on mine just began to fail recently - got customer service on the phone and had a new one on the way from utah in less than 10 minutes.

                  they are both excellent machines, built to last for a very long time. if you look at the companies' websites, you should be able to get a refurbished one at a great price.

                  never heard of the healthmaster... consider that might be telling you something...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: rmarisco

                    You don't want to hear of the HealthMaster, believe me. Have a look at the Amazon reviews. And BTW, my understanding is that getting a replacement Blendtec jar under the same warranty as the base is a pretty recent policy change. I don't know if this is still true but it used to be the case that the jars crapped out quite a bit sooner than the bases AND had separate, shorter warranties.