5 Feb 2012, 9:31pm

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  • Vitamix vs. Blendtec

    The Blendtec and Vitamix 5200 are considered to be the best blenders on the market. Both blenders fall somewhere between a “regular” home blender and a professional, very expensive one. They’re stronger than standard blenders but remain accessible and easy to use.

    Despite their similarities, these two high-speed, high-quality blenders have many differences. Which one is better depends on what you’re looking for in a blender.

    Containers | Performance | Warranty | Smoothies | Juicing | Other

    Structure and Containers

    The Vitamix 5200 is a much bigger machine, with a height of 20.5 inches vs. the smaller 15.5 inches of the Blendtec. The height is mostly due to the base, though, as both blenders have container capacities of a similar height and size (64 oz.). This is not an issue if you keep your blender on the counter. If you store your blender away in between uses, you might need to separate the Vitamix’s container from the base to make it fit inside a cupboard.

    Container: Both blenders come with a 64-oz. BPA-Free copolyester plastic containers for mixing. The Vitamix blender gives you the option to buy an additional second container known as the “dry grains container.” This container is for grinding grains or other dry, coarse ingredients. The Blendtec mixer doesn’t come with a separate container, so everything is done using the same blade and container. Although this might seem like a disadvantage at first, a separate container is not a must-have. The Blendtec does offer the option to buy an extra-large 90-oz. container, which is ideal if you want to make your smoothies in advance and save them in the fridge. The Vitamix blender doesn’t have anything larger than the 64-oz. container.  However, Blendtec recommends not using more than half capacity, whereas the Vitamix can be filled completely, so the 90 oz container actually produces smaller servings than Vitamix’s 64 oz container.

    Vitamix Containers Blendtec Containers
    64 oz Container Fourside Jar
    48 oz Container Wildside Jar
    32 oz Container Twister Jar
    32 oz Dry Grains Container

     

    Performance

     

    Blendtec has a higher power at 1560 watts (Vitamix has 1380 watts) and 37,000 RPMs (Vitamix reaches 28,000 RPMs), but in reality both mixers perform at a similar standard.

    Blade: The Vitamix 5200 has a four-prong stainless steel blade, while the Blendtec’s blade only has two prongs. This helps the Vitamix to produce smoother mixes.

    Although both blenders come with a standard 64-oz. container, the Blendtec recommends only filling the container to half capacity, for a maximum of 32 oz. at a time. The Vitamix doesn’t come with any size limitations, so you can produce bigger smoothies in one go.  The Blendtec and Vitamix tie in this department.

    Controls

    One of the biggest differences between the two blenders is in the speed controls. The Blendtec has 10 different speed levels, plus pulse control and other options, for a total of 17 different settings. The Vitamix, on the other hand, has speeds that vary from light to fast (from 11 mph to 24 mph), as well as a number of additional controls, such as grain grinding, making juice, etc. These speeds and controls can come in handy if you’re planning on adding ground nuts or other extras to your smoothies.

    Probably the biggest disadvantage of the Vitamix is the lack of adjustable controls. The Blendtec uses a digital display and has a series of programs you can run, adjusting time, speed, and even providing a combination of mixing speeds for a set period of time. You can set a program and walk away to let the machine “do its thing.” The Vitamix blender is completely manual. It comes with heavy-duty manual dials that you must turn on and off as you start and finish the blending.  The Blendtec is a slight winner for controls.

    Warranty

    The Blendtec 7-year warranty is limited, meaning you might have to explain how the container cracked or why the motor stopped working before the warranty is honored. The Vitamix warranty, on the other hand, is 7-years of full use, which means it covers everything. Both machines are made in the US using all local parts for Vitamix, and primarily local parts for Blendtec, so repairs shouldn’t be a problem nor take too long, even if you have to wait for parts.  In the Blendtec, the mixing container and the blade come attached to each other. If you need to replace the blade, you’ll have to buy a new container. Containers generally cost around $100.  The Vitamix container and blade are two separate pieces, so you can replace one without having to replace the other. If your warranty is no longer valid and you have to pay for the replacement piece, the Vitamix repair will be cheaper.

    Smoothies

    If you like your smoothies very smooth, the Vitamix 5200 wins over Blendtec. The Blendtec produces smoothies that are slightly grainier than the Vitamix, but still smooth and soft. Because of its blade, the Vitamix is a better choice if you want to make thicker, pudding-like smoothies.  On the other hand, if you want to retain some of the original texture of the fruit, choose the Blendtec.  To see the different Vitamix 5200 models and make these smoothies, click here.

    Blendtec Cons:

    – Very loud when compared to other blenders, including the Vitamix 5200.

    -Compared to the Vitamix 5200, the Blendtec looks and feels more like a household blender (rather than an industrial, heavy-duty blender) because of its size and construction. That doesn’t make it any less powerful, but it does take away from its look.

    Vitamix 5200 Cons:

    – The Vitamix blender is slightly harder to clean, as the container is narrower and the blades sometimes get in the way. That doesn’t mean the Blendtec is easy to clean, but the container being bigger helps slightly. The Vitamix container cannot be put into a dishwasher, while the Blendtec is dishwasher-safe.

    – The Vitamix blender is slightly more expensive. In fact, both blenders cost close to $400, but the Blendtec comes with everything you need to start blending and making smoothies right away. The dry grains container of the Vitamix, however, must be purchased separately, so you’re looking at an additional investment just to get the Vitamix to the same level.

    In the end, it comes down to personal preference. Both blenders are excellent choices and should last for years.

    Juicing

    Neither the Vitamix nor the Blendtec are a juicer.  Juicers remove the thicker elements of the fruits or vegetables, including much of the fiber, while blenders do not.  However, one can make juice effectively by straining the blended fruits.  Another alternative is to use water-rich fruits and vegetables to make “whole juices,” i.e. juice made from the whole fruit.  In terms of thickness, these are in between traditional green smoothies and fruit or vegetables juices made using a juicer.  Because Vitamix gives a finer smoothie, it is also a bit better for whole juicing.

    Other Recipes

    The Vitamix and Blendtec are good for a wide range of foods besides smoothies and juices, including soups, sauces, and making flour.  For soups and sauces, the results are very similar, with the Vitamix producing a slightly smoother result than the Blendtec, but with both being overall excellent.

    Both the Blendtec and the Vitamix produce similar results when grinding seeds, grains, and other hard ingredients. The Vitamix 5200 mixer is faster and produces a finer powder, but this is only important if you plan on using the blender for this often. If you only want to grind flax seeds or nuts once in a while to add to your smoothies, either blender is fine. You can even use a coffee grinder.  If you want the finest mix for dry grinding, you should get the Vitamix “dry grains container.”

    Making the Final Decision:

    A Vitamix is Better if:

    • You have a lot of space
    • You want a quieter experience
    • You want the smoothest possible smoothie
    • You make larger servings (up to 64 oz)
    • You want all possible features for controlling the blending
    • You prefer a traditional mechanical blender
    • You want to do some juicing also
    • A 7-year full use warranty makes you feel a lot more comfortable when buying an expensive blender
    Click here to buy a Vitamix

    A Blendtec is Better if:

    • You want the simplest experience, where you don’t have to make lots of decisions on speed and time
    • You like to retain more of the texture of whole fruit
    • You want a digital blender
    • You make smaller servings
    • You don’t have a ton of space
    • You want to travel with your blender

    Click here to buy a Blendtec.

    Hi Hilary! I actually fretted over which blender to get a year ago. I ended up getting the vitamix and I couldn’t be happier with it. I use it everyday so it was worth the $500 investment.

    I love my Vitamix! I make green smoothies & soups with it and have lost 5 lbs in a couple of weeks.

     

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