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Vita-Mix vs. BlendTec

Trusty old (mid-60s old) Oster blender is finally giving up the ghost and I'll need to replace it soon. I have extenvise experience with Vita-Mix blenders at work but have recently heard a good deal about BlendTec blenders being just as good (or better) than a Vita-Mix. Plus the BlendTecs that I've seen are less expensive than the Vita-Mix.

Are the BlendTecs really that good. I would prefer not to have to spend $400 +/- on a blender if I don't have to.

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  1. I am an owner of both. I purchased a Vitamix 5200 at the regular price and then a few months later found BlendTec was offering their Total Blender as a refurb with two jars, basic and wide, and a 10 yr warranty for $250. A deal I couldn't pass up! So I've been using them both and have my likes and dislikes of each.

    What I like about the BlendTec.

    The jar design with the straight sides is by far a winner over the Vitamix. It is so easy to get all of the contents out of the BlendTec jars. I made a small amount of a cooked salsa and blended it in the BlendTec. In the Vitamix I would have lost a significant portion to the jar.

    The programed buttons allow you to set it and walk away. Great unless you need to push/tamp some of the contents down.

    The size of the base is not overly large so it looks like a somewhat regular blender on the counter and the jars allow the unit to be stored under your cabinets.

    What I don't like about the BlendTec.

    Programmed buttons and having to push through the different speeds to get to the highest setting. I find I use the pulse button for a lot of tasks.

    Lack of a tamper. I didn't even see one on their website. I've had to use the Vitamix tamper but it's too long so you have to tamp with the motor off. With the Vitamix the tamper is made to be used while the blender is running.

    What I like about the Vitamix

    Power. Even though the Vitamix is 2 hp and the BlendTec is 3 there is a definite difference in the high power of the Vitamix.

    The tamper of the Vitamix is excellent and made to fit the lid securely and although BlendTec will say you don't need one with their blender, try blending a bunch of frozen strawberries, blueberries with a frozen banana and a cup of juice. The BlendTec will stall and over heat then shut down for 15-20 minutes. The Vitamix will blend it to the consistency of a sorbet but you will have to do some aggressive tamping to get it all pulled down and blended.

    What I don't like about the Vitamix

    is the convoluted jar which is a pain to scrape down if the ingredients are thick.

    The mammoth base and tall jar that will not store under the cabinets. This is a heavy piece of equipment.

    The Vitamix at the high setting is louder than the BlendTec

    If I could have only one I think I will stay with the Vitamix. One of the kids will inherit the BlendTec.

    I'm not sure which one could break down a cell phone, avocado seeds or a bunch of golf balls better but I'm not doing any of those things. For basic kitchen tasks, for me at this moment the Vitamix has the edge. I really like making sorbet like smoothies and eating with a spoon instead of drinking. It's a recent low cal night time treat now that it's getting pretty warm here. For a lot of things both are pretty good and there is no clear winner.

    To save on some $ I would tell you to consider a refurb of either machine. My BlendTec looked brand new and they gave a longer warranty than if it was brand new. It would have been about $600 for the Blendtec with both jars and an extended warranty that didn't take it to 10 yrs. The Vitamix was about $480 with tax and free shipping new.

    1. I used a BlendTec for a year and sold it last year to get a Vitamix 5200, which I love, love, love. I use it 3-4 times a day (as I did the BlendTec). IMO, one is not better than the other- they are both great machines... like asking which is better --a mercedes or a BMW. Both very well made machines, accomplish the same thing, but each feels different. Ultimately it comes down to your personal preference more than anything. Here is how I weighed:

      * The cost ended up being about the same for both--I purchased the BlendTec at Bed Bath & Beyond w/ 20% coupon, ended up buying the larger pitcher at a BlendTec Costco show, then got the VitaMix 5200 at Costco for about $375. Each came in at about $400.

      * The biggest pro of BlendTec for me was the size. Fits beautifully under any counter top and the base is more compact and lighter than the Vitamix. It was easy for me to pack up when I traveled. The Vita-Mix is larger and heavier (although they do make a smaller container now so unit will fit on your countertop under your cabinets.)

      * The biggest pro of the Vita-Mix is the manual speed dial and the "high speed" switch. Gives you the ultimate control.....vs the BlendTec that is all digital settings. Sometimes I just want to flash blend something...its alot easier on the Vitamix. Ultimately, this was more important to me than the size/weight factor. It is worth not being able to put the lid on the container under the counter. (For me).

      The VitaMix (to me) feels more solid. The BlenTec, while it may have lasted as long as a VitaMix would, didnt feel like it would with as much as I used it. The warranty on the VitaMix is longer than the BlendTec .

      Good luck on your decision and let us know what you decide! Cheers!

      1. Thank you both for your replies, I do appreciate that you took the time to relate your experiences. I think you each confirmed what I already knew. Vita-Mix, in spite of the bulk and the price, is the way to go.

        I do a lot of Mexican cooking and the Vita Mix is one of the few machines that is really effective on dried chiles and blending sauces.

        Unless something happens to change my mind, I'll getting the Vita-Mix

        1. Bottom line for me is that I find the tamper on the vitamix to be indespensible, I don't have any problem getting the contents out of the jar even when I make frozen desserts so thick they don't pour if I hold the jar upside down. I just use a skinny spatula to go around the blades.

          1 Reply
          1. re: rasputina

            "Bottom line for me is that I find the tamper on the vitamix to be indespensible,"

            Totally agree

          2. I'd have to go with the BlendTec, if for no other reason than the whole "Will It BLEND?" series of videos.

            http://www.willitblend.com/

            6 Replies
            1. re: NE_Wombat

              Unless you will be blending cell phones the VM is a stronger blender but the blades on the VM are thinner and sharper. The Blendtec has only two blades but the are longer and thicker so better for processing golf balls

              1. re: NE_Wombat

                Those videos are cool, but the blender he's using in them is over $1,000 and is known as the Tom Dickson Extreme: http://www.blendtec.com/products/tom_...

                So as powerful as the one in the video is, I'm not sure you would get the same power out of a standard Blendtec. However, not too many of us are going to be blending cellphones, iPads, and whatever else anyways, so we don't need all that extra juice.

                1. re: SteveM923

                  Fine - buy an underpowered blender. Just don't come whining to the forum when you can't properly puree golfballs.

                  1. re: NE_Wombat

                    Ah crap I didn't think of that. I actually just found a recipe that called for a sleeve of Titleist Pro V1s too. Guess I'll have to adjust it somehow :P

                    1. re: SteveM923

                      Trust me, those are going to be a b*tch to hand chop. Mind you, I have no problem slicing them,...it's the fine chop that's tough.

                      1. re: NE_Wombat

                        I think the Slap Chop I bought from that crazy Vince guy should do the trick.

              2. Both are good, but I prefer and own a V-M because they've earned it. Had a friend with an out-warranty V-M. The warranty expired while they were long-term away from home but after the issue was first raised. 6 months out of warranty when following up, V-M had them send the blender in. V-M sent a new one in return free of charge. It was a 7-yr old daily used blender. V-M could have just refurbed it, but they just went knew.

                When someone else starts doing that, then I'll put them on the same level. Haven't heard of that from anyone else yet though.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Rigmaster

                  Yeah Vitamix customer service is awesome, I agree with you there. Recently the bearings in my jar started to come loose so some of my smoothies would leak out every time I made them. I called them up and they sent me a brand new jar free of charge - no questions asked.

                  I got the new jar like 3-4 days later.