Vitamix vs BlendTec - 2014 Updated Review Which is Best?
Why Buy a $400 Blender?
If you are a Costco member like myself you've probably seen the Vitamix and Blendtec Blender Reps pitching their products... well more likely you've stood around and watched the demonstration to get your free sample! If you are not a Costco Member you may have seen one of these blenders at a friends home or a high end retailer. The first time I saw one I thought "Wow that's a lot of money for a Blender" and "Why would I spend that much money on a blender".
If you haven't thought about the Cost of these high end blenders then you probably are in an income bracket that is a bit above the rest of us!
When making a purchase in this price range for a product that you would expect to sell for closer to $75 puts a lot of questions in your mind - questions about WHY are these things so expensive compared to every other brand of blender on the Market. And there are a lot of reasons for the price, but before we go there lets discuss each Blender Brand and what makes them "worth" the money.
Blendtec Blender Guts
You do want to be Healthy Right?
Sure you do! We all want to be healthy and feel good. Blending fruits and vegetables into DELICIOUS smoothies is the EASY way to get the 5 to 7 servings of fruits and vegetables into our daily diets that most health professionals seem to think is a good idea.
When you lose your health you lose your ability to enjoy life and if you can't enjoy life then what is the point? Exactly! There is no point in existing... we want to be LIVING, and not just LIVING but living rich full enjoyable lives.
Our bodies are electrochemical machines! We have to feed these machines what they want to operate at peak efficiency. Operate at peak efficiency and we are healthy enough to really enjoy living.
But how do we become "Healthy"? Browse the Amazon website and you'll find literally 1,000's of books on Nutrition, Wellness, and Health. Not to mention the 1,000's of vitamin and mineral supplements for sell, exercise equipment, etc. Do we really need all this stuff? Will it really make us "Healthy"? Will we be able to be healthy without it? And who is "Right"? What is a balanced diet?
The scope of this article is not to promote a diet or a piece of exercise equipment or (gasp) even a blender, but to get you thinking a bit more about what you put into your body that keeps you feeling good.
Okay Enough Already - Lets Talk Blenders
Vitamix vs Blendtec
Which Blender are you more likely to Purchase
The Blendtec Blender
You can go to the Blendtec Website and Read all about their Specifications - boring. I've owned both a Vitamix Blender so I have experience with both, and I've talked to the Representatives at length (And yes they are on omission) so I like to think I know a little bit about what I'm saying here.
The Blendtec Container is Awesome! How Awesome? So awesome that Vitamix copied it's design on their commercial line and had to cough up a few bucks as a result.
OREM, UTAH – September 10, 2012. The Federal Circuit of Appeals on Thursday upheld Blendtec’s $24 million willful patent infringement award, rejecting Vita-Mix Corp.’s appeal of the damages that a Utah federal court ordered Vita-Mix to pay its rival for selling blenders that infringed two of Blendtec’s patents.
You can read more about it on their site if interested... lets get back on track. Blendtec's WildSide™ jar is the top of the line... Vitamix is simply not as good! The WildSide™ jar has a "5th" side... well actually an edge inside the jar that helps create a stronger vortex (For thos who don't know what this means... it's the area in the center of the blender that opens up when blending and pulls the food down into the blades). Still don't get it? Let me us a disgusting example (Well for a food article anyways)... flush the toilet and watch the water spin around in a circle the "vortex" is the area in the middle.
Is there a downside to the Blendtec design jar? Yes if you are blending completely FROZEN foods (Strawberries) are a perfect example in large quantity. Strawberries like to stick together when frozen and "float" above the blades as you are blending. You need to stop the Blender and push them down. But with Blendtec's programmed blend cycles that's a bit annoying.
The Vitamix Blender includes a "Tamper" to knock the food down into the blades, Blendtec does not. However Blendtec does have a new jar called a "Twiser Jar" which fits where the lid does to stir the food in the blender as it blends. This is Blendtec's solution to the Vitamix Tamper. And it works. Bottom line is this - if you don't plan on blending completely frozen foods get the Blendtec.
Let me talk about a few more awesome features of the Blendtec jars:
- Easy to clean. Square sided jars are wide and easy to clean. The blades are easy to clean. And while you probably won't ever need to put them through the dishwasher you can as long as it's on the top shelf and the drying heat is turned OFF (That's exactly what they tell you on the Blendtec website).
- Short enough to fit under the counter top while still on the base. You really don't want to have to put it in the cupboard after each use, because it's extra work, plus you'll be using it alot once you own it!
- Easy to clean blades (In comparison to Vitamix) should something like flax seeds or bio film build up (Yeah sometimes the kids might not clean the jar so good) over time occur. The double blade doesn't have the same sharp edges as the Vitamix and you can get your hands down inside the jar.
- Safer for kids - this is my opinion not fact or science, but here is why I believe so. The jars are wider and shorter so a kid could get their hand down in the blades easier, but why would they need to? With push button operation there is less tendency for a kid to stick a finger in the blender (You didn't really think they were going to use the tamper did you?) because the vortex action of the Blendtec pulls the food down quicker and easier. Take that with a grain of salt and teach your kids to never put their hands in the blender when the base unit is connected.
The Blendtec Base Unit
While the jar is extremely important, and in many cases the deciding factor between the Blendtec and Vitamix the Base is the selling point that pushes people one way or the other more often than not.
Blendtec base unit is programmed for many different blend cycles. The advantage is you have a single button you push to get a near perfect blend based on what you are blending. This is a real convenience for many people as the blender slows down and speeds up to create a very consistent blending cycle. Very important to commercial juicing operations that sell smoothies as well. It's also a nice feature for kids who want to use the blender when their parents are not around. They just fill it up and push the one button they don't have to guess at how long to blend their smoothies so there are no chunks.
Personally I actually prefer the twist dials on the Vitamix as I like things to be as simple as possible and their is less likelyhood of a switch breaking than a computer circuit board, but that's just me. And I do blend frozen strawberries all the time... so, lets talk Vitamix now.
The Vitamix Blade Assembly
- Blendtec - Easer to clean
- Blendtec - Lower height, Wider jar
- Blendtec - Better Blade
- Vitamix - Simple to operate Base
- Vitamix - Frozen Food Tamper
The Vitamix Blender
If you have read this far you have noticed I did a poor job of separating Vitamix from Blendtec in my talking points about the Blendtec. I supposed I could have just lumped them both in together. But it's hard for me because I have had both and Really LIKE BOTH Blenders. In fact i would be just fine with either, but if I had to buy another one right now it would be the Blendtec because of the containers and ease in Cleaning.
The Vitamix Jar
The Vitamix jar is really high quality and easy to use... the problem is clean up. It's narrow at the bottom and the blades are SHARP... hard to get your fingers down in their (Never clean it while on the base!!!). The blades can build up bio film over time (Seems like sticky foods like flax seeds like to leave a teeny bit of residue behind even if cleaned well). The Vitamix jar/container also has ridges or creases in it's design and these same films and sticky material tends to build up on these over time. The easiest way to find them is to put a few drops of dish washing liquid (I prefer Dawn) and spin it up with a few cups of water. The resulting foam is bright white and shows off all the places in the container that need to be cleaned. So for cleaning it's Blendtex by a MILE! Even with a Tamper the Blendtec has too many great benefits to win over the masses!
The Vitamix Base
I really like it! And I like it a lot. Simple to use and... well simple to use. No cycles to interrupt and I don't care about push button programming on my blender because I make smoothies primarily and it only takes about 4 to 5 minutes from the time I start prepping the fruit and veggies until I have a nicely blended smoothie! Turning the dials up and down is something I like to do while I'm blending everything... it makes me feel like I'm in control of the operation. With the Blendtec there are times (Like with Strawberries) where I have to stop and interrupt a cycle then start it over again because they are too frozen. No problem with the Vitamix.
Blendtec Promotional Video
Warranty and Quality
You'll want to read the fine print. Blendtec upped their game to a 7 Year Warranty (But only for USA Customer) to match Vitamix's warranty term in 2011. I don't know which is better in terms of warranty because I haven't sent one in for Repair. Blendtec is Made in the USA and based in Utah. Vitamix also offers a 5 year warranty on some products so again check the fine print. Vitamix products are built by hand in the USA with at least 70 percent American components. I believe the motor unit comes from Europe. So it it matters to you then Blendtec is more "American". Vitamix has also been around longer, but I'm sure they are still stinging from the Lawsuit Loss... which limits their ability to innovate a wide easy to clean jar. Both are high quality and at the top of the industry.
Blendtec Twister Jar
Okay so back to Which to Buy
Answer: Purchase the Vitamix Base with the Blendtec Jars (Okay you can't but if you could!!!)
Wait what? That's right. Buy the Blender that suits the way you'll use it and what is important to you the most.
For me it was the easy to use simple twist switch base. I actually had a bit of a problem with the Blendtec I purchased from Costco (Nothing major) a few years back. Something with the programmable controller (And before they had the new 5 side wild side jar). I use a lot of FROZEN foods straight from the freezer so at the time (My Vitamix was purchased in 2006 I believe and is still going strong). Based on the new jars, when it fails I'll be buying a Blendtec.
You really can't go "wrong" with either Blender, but as I write this "review" I think most people are going to like the ease of clean up and easy to leave on the counter options the Blendtec Provides.
Winner: Blendtec - but it's darn close!
These Blenders are probably going to last you for 10 years of more. Don't worry so much about which brand is Cheaper... purchase the blender that best suites your purpose!
And yes they are both pretty noisy, but they are not turned on very long so it makes little difference. How loud they are also depends on what you are Blending.
Be sure to read reviews at the Amazon links above on BOTH Brands.
Amazon Reviews are PRICELESS... you learn so much about products strengths and weaknesses by reading the experiences of others!
Peace! And get Healthy!