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Vitamix models... How do you choose?

I have been shopping around for a vitamix, and am struggling with finding a good comparison chart of all the models. Costco sells the 5200 with two pitchers for $500 and the 6300 with one pitcher for approximately the same price. My brother bought the new 750- but I don't seem much difference between that and the cheaper 6300, except pitcher shape/size. There are so many models with minor differences Is there truly much difference in performance or ease of removing food, cleaning between a $400 model and a $650 model? How important/useful are the presets? What do you have and love? What do you use your vitamix for, besides the obvious smoothies? I appreciate any recommendations!

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  1. I have the 5200 and see no point to "upgrading" for the presets. I personally don't find the new pitcher to be aesthetically pleasing and I have no problems removing food items, even very thick ones from the "old" pitcher. I think the new changes are mostly gimmicks. Really a preset for cleaning it so you can "walk away", it takes about 10 seconds to clean anyway.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rasputina

      Rasputina, in an old post you mentioned getting the dry ingredients pitcher to grind sprouted grain flour. I also am deciding which Vitamix to buy and would like the one I choose to grind sprouted grain for bread. How has this worked out for you? Sprouted grain is sort of wet, so would it work just as well in the wet ingredients pitcher, saving the cost of getting a dry one? Or would it wreck the wet pitcher? The VM customer service folks are kind of one the fence with this one. Also, on the subject of grinding dry unsprouted grain, is the grind uniform, or do you end up with a whole range of particle sizes in the dry pitcher?

    2. The Vitamix website has a comparison chart. I have the 300 Pro model and love it. I didn't feel I needed the pre-sets. I got mine from Wm-Sonoma. I love the squat, wider container.

      I use it for smoothies, but also for soups, crushing ice, etc. It rocks.

      1. I have a 5200 and I love it. I bought a package that came with the 5200, the standard container, and two of the smaller containers, one of which was for grains. For me, the grain container was a huge selling point, since I need to eat gluten-free. I believe I bought it through the Vitamix website. It's not a standard deal but it's a promotion that I've seen run fairly regularly. You might want to call and see if they have any pakcage promotions coming up.

        I have never understood the need for presets. Because the Vitamix is such a powerful machine, I would never really want to walk away from it or even let my attention drift too far while I was using it. It does everything so quickly, I am not sure why that would be necessary. Some family members have the Pro version with the presets and they said they often have to do some manual adjustment or additional blending anyway. There are so many things you can do with the Vitamix, they could not possibly pre-program it with enough presets to make it worth it for me. I'd prefer to have a little more control over whatever I'm doing, and have never felt that it was especially complicated to make a smoothie or soup. I have also never felt like the 5200 was lacking in power. Last night, I made a frozen dessert in it (frozen bananas, a little bit of unsweetened cocoa, splash of heavy cream); served with PB cookies- yum. We recently received an ice cream maker for a gift but are considering returning it because we're quite pleased with the desserts the Vitamix turns out.

        I especially like having multiple containers. They are easy to clean, but there are some meals where we use both of the liquid containers in the course of making the meal and it's great not having to stop to clean one out. For example, mole sauce in the big container, small container for salsas or guac. Although we have a food processor as well, if I need to chop different ingrediants and keep the flavors separately, the Vitamix gets used for chopping, too. I also like it for pesto, fancier homemade salad dressing (made an avocado, olive oil, garlic cilantro, and lime dressing the other day), and for combining herbs and oil for freezing into ice cube trays for later use.

        1. Keep it simple, I do not see the need for a preset. I have been using my Vita mix for about 15 years, I too have the dry container which I bought later, and do not use as often as I though I would. It does do a great job with grinding nuts for raw cooking. But my original vitamix is used all the time. My favorite for hot soups, fruit smoothies, hummus, and just about any kind of sauce. I make soup out of leftovers with fresh veggies added. It is fantastic for making creamy soups and sauces with out any cream, ie. blending beans or potatoes for savory dishes. Cleaning is a breeze too.

          1. I look at the various models and prices, then check my bank account....and decide an Osterizer is about all I can afford.

            2 Replies
            1. re: MikeB3542

              Sorry for the snark...the premium blenders are just way too rich for me! Seriously, considering the high regard folks have for them and their reputation for durability, if I had to have one, I would scour ebay or buy a refurbished unit. Guessing the higher pricetags are for the "bells and whistles."

              1. re: MikeB3542

                I hear ya, Mike, and was there for years. I've been preparing gourmet meals without a vitamix for 25 years, and have never had a dish suffer from lack of the fancier toy. I wanted it for the green smoothies and whole food juices... but only 9 days after buying the 6300, I would be happy to never see another smoothe. I have used the vitamix from 1-4x/day every day since the purchase, in part because I want to try everything. There's no doubt it's a great machine, but I agree that it's not an essential kitchen tool. I haven't decided whether to keep or return.

            2. Watch QVC today. They have a special on the 2 speed model with an additional dry container for $399 for today only. I'm not saying you should get that model, but at least you can see all the various ways the machine can be used by watching the demos of it. You can also watch the videos of the demos on it's product page.

              http://www.qvc.com/Vitamix-Creations-...

              1. The new models have a stronger, more efficient motor, a wider container that's easier to clean and to get food out of, a pulse function, and a fan that's on at all the speeds. On the older models the fan only engages when the machine is on high.

                1 Reply
                1. re: blondelle

                  Blondelle, I've noticed you are well-informed in advance about QVC sales on Vitamix blenders. Do you have some sort of automatic notification set up or are you just vigilant? I'm looking to buy one soon, but don't receive QVC. How do you do it?