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Aug 6, 2014 04:39 PM

Do I really need a Vitamix or Blendtec?

Hi, I'm on the edge of buying a blender for personal use and I have been looking on the internet for one that will fulfil my needs. The blender I want will be used mostly once or twice a day for making smoothies and/or (milk)shakes with fruit, vegetables and ice(cream). It would also be great if I can use it once or twice a week for making things like peanut butter, soups or sauce (no need to heat it up in the blender, since I can cook it afterwards).

First I was looking at cheap blenders, then I came across the KitchenAid Artisan blender which I almost bought... Then I started looking further again and reading reviews etc that made me stumble upon the more professional blenders like the Vitamix Vita-Prep3, Vitamix Drink Machine Advance and the Blendtec Total (Home) Blender. One seller told me I cannot make peanutbutter, soup or sauce with the Drink Machine Advance or Blendtec Total Blender and I would be needing the (of course more expensive) Vita-Prep3.

So I went from almost buying a simple Kenwood Smoothie maker to almost buying a KitchenAid Artisan blender to wanting to buy a professional Vitamix or Blendtec blender :D

My Question is if I would really need a Vitamix or Blendtec at home to fulfil my needs? Of course I would like my smoothies more smooth but will the difference be that huge?

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  1. I am a big advocate for people investing in the Vitamix. We use it a LOT and it is as durable as anything you can imagine. It is a workhorse! It makes awesome peanut butter (and other nut butters), piping hot soup, sauces/dressings and the BEST smoothies and shakes. Not to mention amazing sorbets and other creamy desserts made from whole foods. It is incredible. Worth every penny. If you can find a Costco that is hosting a roadshow, you can watch the live demo and see. Also on YouTube you will find many people demo'ing their Vitamix. QVC sells them, too.

    If you get one, I would urge you to make sure you get the one with many speeds on the dial (I think it's 10 or 12). Don't get the one that is just hi/low. This way with the speed dial you have more accurate control of the power, which is nice.

    Once you get one, know that it will truly last a lifetime!!

    3 Replies
    1. re: RabbiBeth

      Exactly what RabbiBeth says. The Vitamix is a commercial blender and, as far as we can tell, indestructible. Getting a variable speed model will set you back a bit over $400. While you might cringe at that price when you make your purchase, you will thank yourself each and every time you use it. Definitely buy the model with 10 variable speeds on a center dial and a 'high' switch' on the left side. I've had mine about 5 years and my kids have each mentioned they would like to inherit it.

      1. Most ordinary blenders won't be able to produce the fine texture that power blenders can produce. The texture is the difference between what's edible and not edible. Based on many youtube reviews that I've seen, Vitamix still produces the finest texture. It's the combination of blade speed, horsepower, tamper, and container/blade design that puts them above their competitors.

        Making icecream (using frozen fruits), peanut butter, or anything very thick is what separates Vitamix from the competition. This is where all other blenders struggle. You can still make the same thing in other blenders but it won't be nearly as convenient or as fine texture.

        You should also consider the warranties that come with the blenders that protect your investment. Vitamix, Blentec, and a few competitors carry a 7 year warranty. But Vitamix carries a full bumper to bumper warranty and they'll pay for shipping both ways.

        What you don't want to have happen is buying a blender that doesn't meet all of your needs. Then ultimately buying a Vitamix in the end. Because it'll add to the total cost of the blender.

        "Henry PJ" has an excellent youtube channel, which I highly recommend. He has comparison videos where he points out the subtle differences that so many other reviewers leave out. He also uses different Vitamix models in his reviews. Maybe it'll help you decided which one to get if you decide to buy a Vitamix.

        1 Reply
        1. re: unprofessional_chef

          Ditto to everything you posted (including Henry PJ's very entertaining and informative vids) and speaking of ice cream, as I recently mentioned to Susangria on another board, I made whole fruit cherry almond sorbet a few hours ago. I've been an owner for many years and wouldn't bother with presets or with a model that lacked a variable speed dial. You don't actually need a pulse function either because you can just flip the power switch on and off. Also, I like having the full capacity of the largest containers, i.e. the 64 oz./2 l. If you don't mind a shorter warranty (which I think Vitamix will bump up to six years if you ask nice), you can always go with a refurbished unit.

        2. honestly, i can't speak to your need to make peanut butter, but i can speak to all your other needs.

          i have been more than happy with my Oster Fusion blender.

          i make at least one iced-blended mocha in it daily that includes chuncks of chocolate, chocolate covered espresso beans, milk, coffee, and ice cubes.

          i make smoothies all the time using chunks of frozen fruit and milk

          i make "cream sauce" out of tofu in it

          i make pureed soups all the time

          1) the motor is plenty powerful for these purposes
          2) i like using GLASS blender jars that go in my dishwasher
          3) because i use it so often, and because i hate doing dishes, i have three glass blender jars each with its own blade and top that i rotate between all the time (the other two, that didn't come with the fusion are the square shaped ones). replacement jars and replacement ice-crusher blades are easy to come by on the web. this means that i can rotate between my three jars without disassembling them--i just put the dirty one and the dirty lid in the dishwasher. (get the 6 pronged blades)
          4) also, for smoothies that you want to take with you, you can get this blend-n-go gizmo which allows you to do the blending in the cup from which you will eventually drink the beverage. the kit comes with an extra 6 prong blade
          and every part of the blend-n-go setup goes in the dishwasher.
          i have two of these too.

          17 Replies
          1. re: westsidegal

            Glass (or "GLASS," if you will) containers with a Vitamix could very possibly pose a safety hazard, which is why they're not available. Just sayin'.

            1. re: MacGuffin

              MacGuffin or anyone else: do you know if stainless steel containers are available with Vitamix; and if not, why not? I have a SS container with my Waring and it works well (but minimal insulation).

              1. re: iyc_nyc

                They're not and I don't. The older Vita-Mixes (including my first one, a 4000 I bought new in 1988) had SS containers and they had their pros and cons. In addition to being as strong as tanks, they had a really cool spigot that lots of folks hated because stuff would get caught in it (I seem to remember that Vitamix ended up manufacturing an interior rubber plug), and the same container served for wet and dry use. The cons were that you couldn't see into it (except from the top), the lids had a rubber gasket that had to be replaced periodically (and believe me, it leaked like hell if you didn't), and it had an ungodly wooden tamper. You can check them out on eBay if you're so inclined; there are always used ones listed. And since you mention insulation, you had to be careful about touching the container when cooking soup.

                Believe me when I tell you that the newer containers are a huge improvement over the old ones, just as the newer bases kick the older ones' collective posteriors. They're more powerful, more versatile, and quieter. If you think the current crop of Vitamixes is loud, you should have heard the old ones--they sounded like something manufactured in a Soviet aeronautics factory. The horror . . . :O

                1. re: MacGuffin

                  Very belated thanks for this! This is very helpful.

                  1. re: iyc_nyc

                    I'm glad to help. There are all sorts of deal to be found on Vitamixes (I SERIOUSLY scored on QVC a few weeks ago) but if you want my 2ยข, regardless of model, go for a full-capacity container (to hell with fitting under the counter) rather than a smaller one and try to get the full 7-year warranty (if you buy a refurb directly from Vitamix, last I heard, they'll bump you up from five to six if you ask, which is almost as good). Don't worry that the containers aren't glass or SS. If you feel the purchase of a power blender is justified, a Vitamix is a great investment and customer support is excellent. Just be sure to get really familiar with the demo DVD and manual before you start blending and before you know it, you'll wonder where it has been all your life. :)

                    BTW, my old Waring had a glass container. I broke and replaced two of them (at rather considerable expense, if memory serves) before switching to plastic. I can't even imagine the mess that would be created by dropping a 2 l glass container. :O

                    1. re: MacGuffin

                      The Newer G Series and the older C Series Vitamixes both have a 64 oz container. The newer ones fit under a standard counter, while the older ones don't.

                      1. re: calumin

                        A number of owners complain that the newer 2-l containers don't fit under the counter either, which is why I posted the aside.

                        1. re: MacGuffin

                          I have one and have standard height difference between countertop and upper cabinets (18"), and it fits for me. There is 1/2" to spare.

                          1. re: calumin

                            Damn, I meant "under their CUPBOARDS."

                            Regardless, I have no doubt it's fine for most people (and probably for me as well; time will tell). Citing complaints in product reviews was reporting (it would seem there are folks with <18" clearance). The aside was my editorial observation. :) You can always make smaller amounts in a large container but there's no way to increase the capacity of a smaller one.

                2. re: iyc_nyc

                  As an FYI, we bought our Vitamix at Williams-Sonoma when they had a 20% off sale. We decided on the one with the rotary dial but not the presets. It is noticeably quieter than the older model and is quieter than our Waring. The shorter container doesn't fit under our counter - measure if that's a potential issue - but we leave it anyway because it's used so often. One thing we see: cleaning is really easy.

                  1. re: lergnom

                    You got yours for 20% off at W/S. I also have the rotary dial version (bought it Jan 2013) BUT, mine was not on sale. (Insert wretched weeping sound.)

                    I have an older kitchen with built in cabinetry from ages ago and mine doesn't fit under. It sits on a small open section of counter. Cleaning IS so easy, I agree.

                    Soup season is upon us and I'm clearing out freezer space!

                    1. re: breadchick

                      what? you can't take the container off the base with a vitamix??

                      1. re: trolley

                        Yes you can. The discussion is about having the unit fit under the upper cabinets while the container and lid are on the base.

                        1. re: calumin

                          And as a note, the height difference between the new version 64 oz container and the 32 oz is 1/2 inch: total height of 16.9" versus 17.4". The older, taller height is a little over 20". I think they decided to market it fits under cabinets ... if they have 18" of clearance.

                          1. re: lergnom

                            I just checked. My clearance is <18" so I'll likely be a member of the unlucky minority whose G Series Vitamix doesn't fit under the counter when assembled.

                          2. re: trolley

                            Yes, it comes off, as mentioned earlier. I happen to have very old cabinetry and even my KitchenAid stand mixer won't fit under the upper cabs.

                            Our future remodel will solve the problem, and I can't wait.

                3. Better than both and at a far better price:

                  I actually paid like $50 more for mine, must be on sale currently. I think Waring has a better container design and is simpler and more durable than the vitamix or blendtec. It's completely bombproof. Blentec has more bells and whistles but it's also potentially more things that can break. I've been very impressed by my Waring so far. Don't have as much experience with Vitamix or Blentec but I did a lot of research before I bought mine. The Waring will do all the things you require with ease. Spend the couple hundred you save on a nice meal out.

                  It's also super easy to clean, just put in some soap and hot water and blend it a bit, that will clean most things adequately.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                    You don't have much experience with Vitamix or Blentec and yet have the ability to claim that the Waring is better than both?

                    Having experience with all three, I can credibly claim that the Waring isn't even in the same stratosphere as the Vitamix or the Blentec.

                    1. re: redips

                      no, agreed. totally a different league. it's like the difference between the college football.

                      1. re: trolley

                        Not exactly sure what you mean. Are you sure you understand the model I'm referring to? It's a commercial blender, not some consumer grade Waring trash.

                      2. re: redips

                        You've used the model Waring I'm talking about? The MX1200XTX?
                        What didn't you like about it?
                        I'm not saying Vitamixes are bad blenders. They aren't, but at the end of the day I think the Waring is superior in nearly every regard, and once you factor in price it really makes the Waring the clear winner in my eyes. I've used Vitamixes more than Blentecs for what it's worth, but I have not owned either one.
                        I know people of CH love their Vitamixes, but I think the Waring model I'm talking about should at least be a contender in these discussions. I know a lot of people are very happy with their Warings, and many have owned both Blentecs and Vitamixes, and many have lots of commercial kitchen experience.

                        Also, the consumer grade Warings are for the most part utter garbage.

                        If I ever have any problems with my Waring, or hear about other people having problems, I will definitely mention it, but I've really heard nothing but good stuff (which my experiences mirror) about the MX1200XTX.

                        1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                          It has a ONE-YEAR WARRANTY. Vitamix offers a 3-year warranty on their commercial line. Regardless of how well your MX1200XTX performs in that one year, should you or it screw up after that, you're outta luck. I don't know about Blendtec but within their warranty periods (five - six years for refurbs, seven for new) and short of actual abuse, Vitamix is quite forgiving of user error for its home-use blenders. Sorry, but Vitamix/Champion Juicer/Norwalk Juicer ownership has spoiled me. If I'm going to spend for a product, even if it costs less than a Vitamix, I want to rest easy for more than a year.

                          1. re: MacGuffin

                            Remember a few years back when American cars were coming with like 5 year/50,000 mile warranties and those awful Hyundai's were coming with 10 years/100k. The warranty said nothing about the inherent quality of the automobile. I believe this to be a similar case (albiet Vitamixes are obviously pretty built well, not like those crap Hyuandias haha).

                            Would you change your opinion on this blender if you heard many glowing reviews from people who owned it more than a few years and put it through the paces? All I've heard is great things by qualified people, many cook professionally.

                            Seems like you're almost assuming the Waring will break in a year. Guess it's not bad to expect the worst and hope for the best when you make a big purchase. Better to be prepared for the worst, the warranty does give some piece of mind (obviously more for other people than myself). I understand why people are put off by the 1 year warranty, it's not great, but it is not indicitive of the build quality. Perhaps Waring will address this, maybe they will eventually create a model based on the MX1200XTX that they can slap a nice warranty on and bring it to retail outlets instead of only selling it on the commercial side. I'm convinced I'll still have this blender in 15-20 years (though by then I'm hoping we develop something even better), and if I don't, this will be the first place I say why/how I broke it.

                            I still think the Waring should be a part of these discussions, if somebody is put off by the warranty, choose a different blender but it should at least be brought up as an option. When it comes down to performance I think the Waring is no less capable than any Vitamix or Blendtec, if not more capable.

                            In other news, how does the Champion compare to the Norwalk. I don't see a Norwalk in my future anytime soon (for that kinda $ I'd rather have a centrifuge), but I have my eye on a champion. I know the Norwalk is going to be superior but in what activities do you really get the benefits of the Norwalk?

                            1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                              I'm not assuming anything except that we're dealing with an inferior warranty and the possibility of human error. That's fact. Sorry, I want that comfort zone, including the phone support. As to "in what 'activities' do you really get the benefits of the Norwalk?," I have no idea of what that means. It's a higher order of juice, period. It tastes better. It's richer. It stores better. It's undoubtedly too much juicer for those who juice occasionally. I'd wanted one when I decided to start juicing in 1988 but bought the much more affordable Champion instead (still, in my opinion, the penultimate all-around juicer). "Activities?" And as far as your thinking "the Waring should be a part of these discussions," all of the discussions in which you've plugged your Waring model have been Vitamix-related. When I wanted to discuss the merits of my new Norwalk, I started my own thread back when I bought the machine (it took years for a response). You might want to do the same; you might find a more receptive audience.

                              1. re: MacGuffin

                                Fair enough, but like you said "I want that comfort zone," not everyone is that way. Hence why I like to bring this blender into discussions where somebody is obviously looking for a high powered blender. Vitamix and Blentdtec are the big players right now, that's why I post in Vitamix threads (seems to be fewer Blendtec threads). Maybe you are right, I should start a thread on the Waring I have, or do a review. Though I'll just get attacked for suggesting it, just like every time I do already. Maybe I just shouldn't bother. I'm really suggesting it to help people make a full informed decision. If they go with a Vitamix or Blendtec, fine, I don't really care in the end. It doesn't effect me, and I bet they will probably really enjoy a blender from any of the companies we're talking about. They all make a good product in the end, none of them are low quality. Just figured I'd drop by and suggest something since it seems like chowhounders are prone to groupthink, and only accepting Vitamixes (which are indeed a fine product with a great track record and warranty). Also, it is not as you say "your Waring," I am not at all affiliated with Waring, I get no money from them, I have never even talked to somebody who is or was a Waring employee. If you are suggesting I am a shill you couldn't be farther from the truth. I'm a regular contributor on this site, and mostly I think Waring makes mediocre products that should generally be avoided.

                                What do you mean when you say "the possibility of human error"? How exactly can you destroy a blender like that? Not sure what you're suggesting, but you'd have to do something really stupid to damage a Vitamix, Waring Xtreme series or a Blendtec.

                                1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                  I have never suggested that you're a shill. Beyond that, I'm courteously informing you that this is the last time I'm responding to you.

                    2. We've had a blendtec since 2009. we don't use it every day but we almost used it every day the first 2 yrs. we now use it at least once a week and still works like the first day. The reason why we chose Blendtec is at the time the BPA- free canister was only available by Blendtec. Now Both I believe are BPA- free.

                      I make kale smoothies. when we first bought it we made a ton of soaked cashew creams. The nut butters were difficult. Tried to make almond butter. I gave up on that then the child was diagnosed with a nut allergy so we put a kibosh on all that. The smoothies are good. They have the same texture as the ones from Jamba juice. and the margaritas are great! the ice gets that slushy texture that I've never been able to achieve with a regular blender. I also like to blend tomatoes, soups etc. so much easier than getting to food processor out. It's easy to clean. no parts to really take apart each time. Now as for ice cream, i've never gotten "ice cream" more like a thick milkshake. I leave the ice cream making for my ice cream maker. I felt at the time of purchase both Blendtec and Vitamix were equally good. I know some people don't like the Vitamix knobs. we got ours at Costco. While nobody really "needs" a blender, they will definitely enhance your life!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: trolley

                        "Now Both I believe are BPA- free."

                        That's true. The competition from Blendtec forced Vitamix to also manufacture BPA-free containers. The commercial containers aren't, though. They apparently don't take punishment as well as the older containers. My 5000 and my Prep 3 are both made of the older material.

                        1. re: MacGuffin

                          is mine "older" or are just referring to vitamixes?