High-Performance Blenders: What’s the Big Deal?

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If I had a nickel for every time I was asked at one of my roadshows, “What’s so great about the Blendtec ?” or “Why is this so much better than the blender I have?,” I wouldn’t actually have to sell the darn things.  These and others like them are certainly legitimate questions – usually asked of me after seeing a price tag of nearly $400 on something that looks not a lot unlike any regular household blender you see in stores everywhere.  Generally, my answer is that with any well-made high-performance blender, your money is primarily being spent on superior horsepower, which is directly responsible for both its versatility and the healthier results it produces.

Before I delve into more detail about this, however, I’d like to make this disclaimer:  I am not an engineer, doctor, nutritional scientist, or dietician.  What I am is a guy who is extremely experienced in using top-of-the-line blenders.  Certainly I know enough to discuss them, but understand my expertise is in how to use them, not in the engineering that goes into making them, nor the science behind the results they produce.

A Quick Note on Horsepower

When I speak of high-performance blenders, I am referring to those that contain at least a 2 peak horsepower-rated motor which will deliver a minimum of at least 1 true horsepower of mechanical energy.  Horsepower is simply a term used as a standard measurement of power – in this case, the power of an electrical appliance.  A blender’s horsepower rating (what is marked on the machine and/or advertised by the manufacturer) is most often used to describe its power output capability.  However, its true performance power is ultimately determined by calculating the strength (amperage) of the electrical current coming into the machine plus factoring in efficiency loss in converting the electrical energy into working energy (for example, how well the machine cools itself during continual usage).

Without getting bogged down in the engineering minutiae, generally a blender does not run continually at its listed horsepower rating (although it certainly can for brief intervals – at startup, for example).  Instead, a well-built blender will usually deliver 60% to 75% of listed peak HP in continuous performance power – 1.2 to 1.5 horsepower for a 2 peak horsepower blender, for example.  And this is what is really important.  A blender that delivers this kind of actual power (over 1 HP) is not only infinitely more diverse than one you’d pick up at a local department store, but is also perhaps the greatest instrument we have in extracting the maximum available health properties our whole foods afford us.

Diversity

In my shows at wholesale clubs I demonstrate as many different uses for the blender as I possibly can, but quite often it’s a customer who will introduce to me at least one use for it that I’d never previously considered.  One gentleman in Raleigh, North Carolina, wanted it specifically for making his own dog food out of chicken – bones and all.  Another in Orlando, Florida, wanted to know if it could be used to make pulp for his paper-making hobby.  A lady in Asheville, North Carolina, brought to me a bag of what looked like nothing but rocks and sticks and asked if we could put them in the blender.  After grinding them to dust her search was finally over for the machine she’d been looking for to make the Chinese herbal medicines she prescribes with her natural healing practice.

Along with their design, it’s the power of these machines, as well as the blade speeds they generate, which allow them to be put to use in the manners mentioned above.  These features are also directly responsible for the more “practical” uses people find for them at home.  With an ability to spin at over 25,000 revolutions per minute (RPM), the blades of these blenders and ingredients spinning against them can together create enough friction to make a hot soup (it’s actually possible to boil liquid in these machines, though for nutritional reasons you certainly wouldn’t want to do this with soup).  Using considerably less blade speed (and, hence, creating much less friction), but utilizing their considerable torque (the force that turns the blade through resistance), these same machines will turn the right ingredients, including large quantities of ice and/or frozen fruit, into a perfect soft-serve ice cream reminiscent of those sold in restaurants and frozen yogurt shops everywhere.

Perfectly smooth (or crunchy, if desired) butters can be made of peanuts, almonds, walnuts, and pecans.  Flours with textures ranging from coarse to fine powder can made from just about any whole grain, nut, or legume.  Even bread or pizza dough can be both mixed and kneaded in these blenders.  And if customer feedback is any indication, the ability to crush ice in some form is one of, if not the, primary reasons for which most people use their blenders.  Ironically, this also appears to be the primary task no ordinary blender performs very well.  Having demonstrated the ability of a high-powered blender to crush ice literally thousands of times, let me assure you, the ability to do so will not be a concern for owners of these machines.

No discussion of the uses for high-powered blenders is complete, though, without mentioning smoothies.  The term itself is certainly a catch-all, for there is no one prevailing definition of what, exactly, makes a beverage a smoothie.  But that is not at all the point here.  Instead, what is important is that no matter your definition or recipe, regardless of the nutritional contents or density or your ingredients, whether you like them silky smooth or as thick as milkshakes, the absolute best smoothie results are produced from high-performance blenders.  There is a reason businesses such as Starbucks, Panera Bread, Planet Smoothie, Smoothie King, Tropical Smoothie, Jamba Juice, Godiva, Cinnabon, Carvel, Baskin Robbins, etc., etc. all use essentially the same machines with the same motors that are being discussed and sold on this site.  It is now entirely possible (and quite easy) to duplicate the exact result at home that you get when you purchase an $8 smoothie at one of these establishments.

Health Benefits

Heavy duty blenders such as the one I demonstrate are not new inventions.  Several of the most well-known makers – Blendtec and Waring, for example – have been producing them for over 30 years.  Vitamix has been making them for close to 80!  Originally, they were marketed as super-strong machines that were both more versatile than the average blender and durable enough for commercial kitchen use.  Although a small fraction of their end-users in the raw food community has been for decades aware of the health benefits they provide, it has only been in the last few years that this feature – what I consider to be the best thing about these machines – has reached the mainstream.  Again, it is not my goal to bog us down with nutritional science.  Instead, consider the following an attempt at painting a brief, broad-brushed picture of why these powerful machines are so popular in the health and wellness community.

While there is little doubt consuming fresh fruits and vegetables is the absolute best way to provide the body with the majority of the nutrition it needs, more than one study suggests that merely chewing and swallowing these foods results in a potential nutritional loss of what is available from them of up to 90%.  Chewing our food is and always will be important.  It’s Stage 1 of our bodies’ natural digestion process.  Chewing not only begins the breaking down of what we eat, but also signals the stomach to begin preparing gastric juices for its role in digestion.  Still, the vast majority of nutritive and disease-fighting properties can easily go unutilized during digestion without a more thorough breakdown of our foods’ cell structure, in which these properties reside.  Cell walls in our plant-based foods are comprised largely of a carbohydrate called cellulose.  It just so happens the human body cannot break down cellulose on its own (it lacks the necessary enzymes to do so), which is why the chewing process in digestion has always been so vital.  Yet, once reaching the stomach, a great majority of the energy our bodies do derive from our chewed and swallowed food is actually spent digesting it.

This is where high-powered blending can really pay off.  In theory, via blending cell structure breakdown is done for us prior to consumption which translates into more energy being utilized in the forms of detoxification, disease fighting/prevention, and cell repair.  A strong blender’s ability to rupture cell structure potentially yields a substantially greater increase in the percentage of phytonutrients into the bloodstream that would otherwise go unutilized.  Phytonutrients, of which there are literally hundreds if not thousands found in our fruits and vegetables, reside inside the cells of their more fibrous components – skin, seeds, and pulp.  The more powerful the blender, the greater its ability to aid the body in releasing properties otherwise locked inside these particular cell walls should be.  A blender delivering over 1 actual horsepower of mechanical energy should be strong enough to rupture an exponentially greater number of cells in our whole foods than a traditional household blender, releasing a greater percentage of phytonutrients into the bloodstream which have been determined to do everything from, but not limited to, fighting diseases and conditions such as cancer, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and osteoporosis, just to name a few.

Did I Mention it Cooks?

At my roadshows I’ll rarely sell a Blendtec simply because it’ll make ice cream in seconds.  At the same time, very few people who actually watch the machine in action aren’t at least a little bit impressed that it can.  Most of my customers are savvy, educated folks who appreciate its versatility as well as its potential for the betterment of their health.  For both reasons, these really are fantastic machines.  A customer of mine summed it up perfectly in one sentence, though, at a show I recently completed in Buford, Georgia.  He was fascinated by the fact that the blender could actually cook a hot and healthy soup in minutes, but for over an hour in the store he battled with himself over the price after watching my demonstration.  Finally, on his way to the registers he came back by my booth, picked up a blender, and put it in his shopping cart.  He reiterated again how he loved making soup, and how that alone just might justify what he was about to spend.  Then he said, “But I guess if I don’t give you this $400, I’ll just end up giving it to my doctor down the road, anyway.”  We shared a laugh over what he said, but who knows how much truth his words really hold?  Before I told him I was going to steal his line, I told him not to worry – he was making a phenomenal investment.  By now I’ve no doubt he agrees.

References:

The Numbers Game:  A Primer on Single-Phase A.C. Electric Motor Horsepower Ratings

Phytonutrients

Effects of Vitamix Versus Control Blender, University of Toronto


107 comments so far. Have questions? Fire away! We can discuss it right here.
  1. Hi BD!

    Thanks so much for your website. I love your simple, yet comprehensive and thorough, approach to all the questions posed to you.

    Here’s another question:

    Simply, I am overwhelmed researching all the blenders, their makers and all the different models. I am newly converted to a raw food/plant based diet. I would like to be able to make smoothies, soup, sorbet and nut butters. It would be just me using it at home. And, is a dry food container really necessary as an accessory? I am most definitely considering buying a refurbished model. I just don’t want to pay extra for a bunch of settings I will never use.

    Thank you in advance for your assistance. It is greatly appreciated.

    Lori

    • bd

      Lori, you’re welcome. And, thank you for your nice words. The Dry Grains container is not necessary at all unless you plan to do significant flour-making out of whole grains with your machine. For even occasional use in this capacity, the standard container that comes with any model will be sufficient. Any Certified Reconditioned model will be outstanding for the four functions you mentioned. If these functions are your sole or primary considerations, purchasing based on price is a great way to go. Even the least expensive model will make you very happy in this regard.

      • Thank you so much for the quick reply.

        I’m thinking you should change your name to Blender God!

        • One last question, BD, if you don’t mind.

          I’ve seen the optimal batch size and am wondering, will it hurt a 750 or 7500 to make consistently smaller batches in the 64 oz container?

          • bd

            It will not hurt it in the least. Depending on how small your recipe is, however, it is possible you may have to administer a little extra help with a spatula if the volume isn’t sufficient for the blades to adequately do their job unassisted.

            • Thank you so very much, Blender Dude (though you will always be Blender God to me)!

              I am absolutely going to buy my reconditioned VitaMix through your website since you are the one who has spent valuable time with me answering all the questions. I am so thankful that you kindly share your knowledge and so completely answered all my questions.

              Thanks again.

              • Just ordered the Certified Reconditioned Next Generation Vitamix and the order went through without saying it was not in stock. Does that mean it is in stock?

                Fingers crossed!

                • bd

                  Lori, for today, at least, it looks like the Black and Red motor bases are in stock for that model. If you ordered one of those colors, you should be good to go. The most definitive way to know, though, is to check your email for an order confirmation from Vitamix. They send one immediately after every order.

                  • Yes, I got an order confirmation and I did order black!

                    Thank you so much, BD! I’m convinced I could have never calmly and confidently arrived at a decision without your assistance.

                    Again, I’m so grateful for your help.

                    • bd

                      Awesome. Congrats and happy blending!

              • bd

                You’re very welcome, Lori. You are free to continue to ask questions after your purchase as well. Congratulations!

  2. Thanks for the great read. High-Performance Blenders: What’s the Big Deal? | blender dude!, Interesting Stuff! Here at Spaceman our focus is to deliver the highest efficiency commercial frozen yogurt machines, frozen beverage machines and more.

  3. My daughter loves smoothies. However, she does not like having the seeds throughout her drink. I was told that both a blendtec and vitamix blenders can break down and liquidfy those seeds — strawberry seeds to be exact. Is this true?

    • bd

      Arlene, yes, both blender manufacturers you mentioned make blenders that will completely pulverize strawberry seeds. However, depending on the amount you are blending, this might take several minutes and/or “cycles” depending on the model you use. Because of this, if eliminating any trace of the seeds is that important to you, I recommend starting with frozen berries and/or other frozen ingredients, including ice. This will allow you to blend for significantly longer periods of time while still keeping the temperatures of your recipes down as much as possible.

    • Can I blend an alvacado seed in a reconditioned standard vitamix (5200 series)?
      Also do you know what the difference is in the Vitamix 2 horsepower and the 2 plus?

      • bd

        Janice, yes, you can. The technical difference between those two motors is .2 horsepower. The slightly stronger motor is designed to turn a slightly larger blade assembly found in the Next Generation containers. Both perform nearly identically for almost all blending functions.

  4. Hi Blenderdude,
    I am looking for a blender for one purpose only,….to finely chop Olive Leaves. These leaves are very tough, almost leathery, and despite drying them prior to chopping them, the blades on my current blender are dull after about 50 jugs (about 1/3rd full of whole leaves)
    Besides the blade issue, the leaves tend to get stuck crossways above the blades, and the flow stops so I have to stop the blender & shake up the leaves in the jug.
    I tried a blender with a wider based jug, but it was useless as the leaves just didn’t flow or circulate sufficiently.
    From my experience I need a narrow based jug, replaceable blade sets, and perhaps a tamper tool, which I have no experience of.
    My budget won’t stretch to more than an OmniBlend V, unless I can find a reconditioned higher spec unit somewhere, which is unlikely in Australia.
    Do you think the OmniBlend V might work for me?
    Thanks.

    • Blenderdude

      Phil, first let me say that I have no experience with olive leaves. I do think the OmniBlend is powerful enough to handle them, though, based on what you’ve described. My main concern is the blade assembly, however. In the U.S., it is covered by the distributor for 1 full year. This might not be a long enough warranty to meet your satisfaction. Only you can say. The Omni V comes with a tamper but the container is not what I would consider “narrow.” Another option in Australia with which I have some experience and have been pleased with its results is the Optimum 9400. You might want to investigate into it.

      Have you considered blending the leaves in water? You might find that you can more easily reach the appropriate texture level you desire this way, after which you can then strain off the liquid and then allow the leaves to air dry. Just a suggestion. Good luck to you.

      • Thanks for your comments.
        I have looked at the 9400, which is on special at the moment for $471(AU) which seems like a good price.
        Although power is one important factor, power alone won’t fulfil my needs, as I need the material to be circulated by the blades so a reasonable amount can be processed in one go.
        The total amount I process in a day would be around a half a cubic yard, which is very time consuming, especially if I have to do small amounts each ‘Load’.
        I have found that if I half fill the jug on my current machine, I often have to stop it part way through and shake it up, then finish it off. Not a problem if doing a few jugs full, but when doing a hundred or more it is.
        I did try water, but it was too slow a process for the quantities involved, and as I am making a tea out of the leaves, some of the valuable juice was lost in the water used for processing.
        I will contact the people selling the 9400 & see what they think.
        Thanks again. Phill.

  5. Hi BD,

    Im looking at buying a blender soon, definitely leaning towards vitamix but I found an alternative today I can get on sale for $550 instead of $799 (Australian dollars). The one on sale is called vitamizer pro (by semtec?) Its specs look as good (32,000rpm, 3HP) but im worried about it not performing like a vitamix. Have you heard of the vitamizer pro and do you have any thoughts on this. Any advice is much appreciated. Cheers

    • Blenderdude

      Alison, I have no experience at all with the Semtec line. The only non American-made blenders sold in Australia with which I’m familiar are those made by OmniBlend and Optimum. Although not quite made of the same overall quality in general, I am a fan of both of these lines as alternatives to Vitamix.

  6. I am new to blending and food processing. I’ve borrowed friends appliances and just finally purchased a ninja 1.5 horesepower/1200watts. Then the next store had a 2.0/1500 watt ninja for 120$ additional. Thoughts on the differences? My main use now is raw food smoothies, hummus, chopping…

    • Blenderdude

      Deb, I have some experience with several different Ninja models. Some of them are fairly nice blenders for the money. The ones in the $100.00 range do a decent job on smoothies. They will handle frozen fruit fairly well. The smoothies will almost never turn out as smooth as one made from something like a Vitamix or a Blendtec, however. Then again, you are not paying anywhere near the price you would for one of those blenders. They are not a bad option, especially if budget is a prime concern.

      Once you get into the $300.00 range, though, I would no longer consider a Ninja. Despite the horsepower, they are simply not as well built nor do they perform as well as these other high-powered blenders. For close to the same money I would always recommend a Vitamix or Blendtec, even if it is a reconditioned model. They are just superior all-around blenders, come with superior warranties and customer service, and will last much, much longer.

      • Thanks so much! I’d rather save a bit longer and get something that do great things as I learn more!

  7. Hi there

    In your article you mentioned that high-speed blenders rupture cell walls. Can anyone tell me whether blending renders probiotic bacteria (in yoghurt) inactive? Plant cell walls are much tougher than bacterial ones…

    I add yoghurt to smoothies every day, blended in a Vitamix, and it occurred to me this may not be such a good idea!

    • Blenderdude

      Anar, to the best of my knowledge no study has ever been performed specifically on blended bacteria. I don’t know that the actual process of blending would have any detrimental effects on it, but it could certainly be susceptible to the ill-effects of the resulting friction generated by the blades and the blender’s contents. Heat would seem to me to be the biggest point of concern.

      • Good point! Thanks for your thoughts on this. I hope we see more research in this area.

        • I have the same concern, so I mix in the yogurt with a spoon after the blender is done.

  8. Have you had any experience with the Oster Versa? It seems like an relatively new comer that seems to be gaining some popularity. Based on comparisons I have seen of it online versus the Vitamix or Blendtec, it doesn’t seem to be quite their equal. But, it does seem like it might be a good competitor against the Omniblend V. In fact, I would love to see a comparison between it and the Omniblend. Especially since it is very close to the Omni’s price.

    • Blenderdude

      Joe, my only experience with it is seeing it work in person. I have never actually used it myself. I have contacted Oster about sending me one for review but have not heard back from them. I honestly don’t expect to, either. If I do get my hands on one I will be sure to review it for the site.

  9. I am a new owner.When I started up the Vitamix Creations 2, the container did not seat well and the container came partially off the base unit. I now wonder if it caused small burrs around the metal part of the drive socket and the gear under the blade assembly. I must have not had it on variable speed and not started it out on the 1 speed, as I should have done. I stopped it quickly, but the 2 ares feel a little rough. If the machine runs well, did I damage anything? Thanks.

    • Blenderdude

      Marilyn, don’t feel bad. In due time this happens to just about everyone. I’ve done it myself countless times. The only part of the blender this is likely to have affected is the drive shaft on the underside of your container. Give it a quick visual inspection to make sure all the grooves and ridges are in-tact and straight. I can’t imagine that they aren’t. As long as the container seats flush and securely into the drive socket you should be fine.

  10. Hi BD,
    I live in a house build in the 1960’s. The outlets are 3-prong so it’s not ancient, but of course it is not the most modern, either. I like the idea of these high speed blenders, but I am a little concerned about the wattage/current these blenders might draw.

    Has anyone complained of melted fuses/switched circuit breakers while using these blenders? Or any other issue regarding wattage or current?

    Thanks!

    • Blenderdude

      Janet, I’m not an electrician, but as long as you have 15 amp or larger circuits servicing your kitchen you should be fine. Now, it is entirely possible that a breaker could trip if other appliances or electronics are pulling from the same circuit when you use your blender, but that shouldn’t represent a safety concern – just some temporary inconvenience :-) . I have never heard a fuse/circuit horror story as a result of a blender before.

      • Thanks for the quick response, blender dude! My home inspector did say something about 15 Amperes, so I think I am set.

        Merry Christmas!

  11. Hi…I would like to know which you would recommend if I am getting my first Vitamix. I have seen the Vitamix 5200s demonstration at Costco and then a friend of mine told me about Professional series 750 model which she loved. I know there is a big difference in price but aside from that…which one would you recommend between both? One of the review of the 750 model stated that the 64 oz container is not secure or stable as they were loading it with veggies and fruit….is that true and is that a problem? Really would like to know the honest truth and which you would recommend before putting in the money for either.

    • Blenderdude

      Sue, I suppose everyone has his or her own definition of “secure,” but I have never had an issue with stability from either container. These models are both fantastic choices. What you would want to weigh in comparing these them are how important overall size is to you, how important pre-programmed settings might be for you, and, to a lesser extent, the differences in the recipe books. You would then place a value on these features and see if they justified the difference in price or not. The conclusions will always vary between individuals.

      What I can tell you is that both blenders will make equally fantastic results with everything from smoothies to soups to nut butters. The 5200 will always be manually controlled, whereas the Pro 750 will give you the option with certain Vitamix recipes to let the machine stop on its own after the recipe is complete. Both come with 64-ounce containers. The one with the 5200 is taller and more narrow. The one with the Pro 750 is shorter and wider, with a 1″ longer blade. Again, either would be a great choice, and I wouldn’t let one opinion on how stable a particular container felt dissuade you from purchasing that particular model if its the one you really want.

      • Since I was just at the Vitamix Store to purchase my 5200, I can share a few more details I learned in comparison. The 750 has a slightly stronger motor, needed to deliver the same power with the longer blade. it is also 10dB quieter. The other interesting difference is that the 750 has the shorter container allowing it to fit under most cabinets. however, because of the wide base, it requires a minimum of 3 cups of material to properly blend. On the 5200 the base is smaller so only 2 cups are needed. The 5200 is taller, and by default, then doesn’t fit under cabinets as well. However, they sell a shorter 48oz container to then fit.

        • Blenderdude

          Thanks for your input, Rob. It is always interesting to learn how sales reps from the companies pitch their products.

  12. BD,

    Thanks to your videos and unbiased reviews, I’ve decided to go with the blendtec – better value in my opinion. If you had to choose only One jar, would you pick the 4 side or the Wildside? I primarily make protein smoothies for myself, but am interested in expanding my blending for my family. I’ve read claims that the Wildside does a much better job at eliminating cavitation…Do you find this to be true in your experience? Also would you recommend the Designer over the Total (price not being a primary factor)?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Blenderdude

      Jeff, of the two, I would choose the WildSide. Both perform the same functions, so I would select it based on its greater capacity, alone. The larger blade does complete a little more work than that of the FourSide with every revolution. It is fair to say that it is slightly more efficient. It also is slightly less prone to cavitation although certainly not immune. All blenders are susceptible to cavitation – it just goes with the territory.

      If price was not a factor I would probably choose the Designer Series. I like its aesthetics and it is slightly quieter than the Total Blender. Having used the TB so many times it would take at least a little acclimating to the capacitive touch interface. Having used it before, though, it would not be a big transition at all. I’m sure I would really enjoy using it.

      Should you ever wish to expand your accessory line with the Blendtec, the next container I would recommend you investigate would be the Twister Jar as opposed to the FourSide. Enjoy your Blendtec!

  13. BD,

    Just two days ago bought my Vitamix 5200 at Sam’s Club here in Alaska. Took it home and my husband (who thinks the 5200 is a piece of junk and a scam) tried using our machine for the first time. He was making the apple sorbet like they demonstrated at Sam’s Club.
    Enough liquid to just cover the blades, 1tsp of Stevia powder (our substitute for the agave), Spinach, then the ice. He started at variable 1, then started turning it up got to variable 8, flipped to high
    The sound was horrible & my husband believes it stripped the gear. Now even when using the tamper and following exact directions & the recipes, at times it seems like the blades stop moving at variable 10 and high speed, it just stops mixing then makes a high pitch sound. I have to turn it off immediately.

    Also, made a smoothie today, and about 45 seconds in, the machine shut off. The overheat mechanism kicked in. Again following recipe, ingredient order, and instructions.

    Do you think that maybe the unit had been faulty, because it doesn’t operate the same as the 5200 demo model did at Sam’s club.

    Thanks
    Melonie in Alaska

    • Blenderdude

      Melonie, without seeing your blender in action first-hand it is difficult to speculate what is happening. It is always possible you received a defective unit, though these instances are fairly rare in my experience. The steps your husband followed appear to have been done in the correct order. There is nothing he did that would have “stripped any gears,” so you can probably eliminate user error in that instance.

      Sometimes when it appears as if the blades are not moving – because you cannot see any of the ingredients being blended – what is actually occurring is a condition called cavitation. The blades are spinning but they aren’t in contact with any of the ingredients. It is important to really implement the tamper in these cases. If you are certain you are using the tamper correctly and that the blades are in fact not moving, you definitely have a faulty machine. I would strongly consider taking it back to Sam’s and picking up another unit if possible.

      The overload you experienced is designed to protect the machine. It should be a rare occurrence, though, and usually will not kick-in when following Vitamix’s recipes. Signs are pointing to you just being unlucky with the particular machine you purchased.

  14. I’ve read that when making a smoothie, there is a difference in consistency between the Blendtec vs the Vitamix. Some find the Blendtec to give a more frothy product vs the Vitamix which gives a creamier product. Do you find that to be true?

    • Blenderdude

      Bonnie, in general, I do not find that to be true. I am well aware of this misconception and believe that it stems from people taking the results of a random recipe made in the Blendtec via its “Smoothie” cycle, and comparing it with those of a smoothie made in the Vitamix which has been completely manually controlled. The pre-programmed blend cycles on the Blendtec are recipe-specific. For any random smoothie, optimum results are just as likely, if not more, to be made via its manual controls, just as you would make one in a Vitamix. This allows the user to blend until desired results are reached rather than have a blend cycle that was not designed for a particular recipe determine the results.

      Froth is largely a byproduct of two things: the particular ingredients used and the temperatures of these ingredients. Blade and container design are also factors but to a much less significant extent in my opinion. Both blenders you mentioned are fully capable of producing both creamy and frothy results. It just depends on what you’re making.

  15. Great site BD, very well done!

    I have found a Professional 300 for $529.00 and also have the Vita Prep 3 HP for $499.99. Is the commercial version overkill for home use. Your thoughts on this would be appreciated.

    Thanks for your time

    Jeff

    • Blenderdude

      Jeff, I appreciate the compliment on the site. I do not think the machine, itself, is overkill for home use. Many people thoroughly enjoy the VitaPrep in their homes and for good reason. It is an amazing blender. Why I think just about any “home” Vitamix model is the better choice, though, is the significantly greater warranties they all carry along with very comparable performance.

      • Thank you for the prompt reply, you have helped me make make a decision. One other questions came to mind. I live in Canada and we are going to the US for a weekend getaway. We can buy one there for a significant savings. Is the warranty effected in any way if I have a unit purchased in the States?

        Thanks again

        Jeff

        • Blenderdude

          Jeff, this is an excellent idea on your part. As long as you use the Vitamix within the parameters of its warranty, it will follow you with full coverage wherever you take your machine.

          • Hi BD,

            Well I am sitting in my hotel room in Birch Run Michigan. The Williams Sonoma outlet mall is just across the street. There is a great deal on the Profesional 500. However all of the boxes on the shelf are plain brown boxes with a small white label with the model details on it. None of them had the full color box that I have been accustomed to seeing online. Is this something to be concerned about. There is nothing on the box that says reconditioned.
            With the money we are spending don’t mind me if I want to cover my butt. Do you have any thoughts on this?

            Thank you for your time once again.

            Jeff

            • Blenderdude

              Jeff, given the Williams-Sonoma reputation, I wouldn’t think there is any funny business going on. The units should be brand new. It might even be the case that the “full color” box is inside the brown shipping box, but I don’t know this for certain. If you decide to take the plunge, I would call Vitamix with the serial number and confirm that yours is a brand new unit with a full 7-year warranty.

              • BD,

                Based on your information I I’ll be taking the plunge. I really appreciate your knowledgable and prompt replies.

                Jeff

                • Blenderdude

                  Congrats on your Vitamix, Jeff.

  16. Really great points on all of those things. Do you still demonstrate the Blendtec? Would you say that once you get to the high end blenders like the Blendtec and Vitamix, that they are “equal” so long as you know how to work them? I’m also curious, with the new Omniblend that you have reviewed on your site, exactly what incentive would someone have of passing up the much cheaper, but equal in perform Omniblend over the Blendtec or Vitamix?

    If you ever do any more videos of the Omni vs Vitamix, one thing that I think could really show the difference of the two is have both blenders blend something in the Vitamix jar. Because I know the Vitamix jar fits on the Omni. It could be that the Vitamix blends slightly smoother than the Omni because of the jar, but if the Omni is using the Vitamix jar & tamper, then we’ll be on a more level playing field and we’ll see what the machines themselves can do.

    • Blenderdude

      Joseph, I still do demonstrations via invitation, but I no longer travel the “roadshow” circuit. In terms of performance of these blenders, yes, I can create virtually equal results with either. Someone without as much experience may endure a little more “trial and error” with the Blendtec on certain recipes, though. As much as I like the OmniBlend – and I consider it a very nice blender for the money – I do not consider it the equal of either Blendtec or Vitamix in terms of performance, and don’t believe I’ve ever stated that I do on the site.

      Your video suggestion is a good one. However, as a result of a legal agreement between Vitamix and the North American distributor for OmniBlend, I could not perform such a demonstration without violating my affiliate agreement with OmniBlend. I’m sorry.

      • Bd, I just misunderstood I think. When you said that the Ominblend can be as smooth as the Vitamix with just a little longer blending, I thought that was like saying they were on the same level.

        • Blenderdude

          Yes, for the majority of recipes, the OmniBlend will produce very similar results to the Vitamix, usually with nothing more than extended blending time. The quality of the results will often be indistinguishable. Because the Vitamix achieves these results sooner and sometimes with greater ease, I consider it to be the superior performer.

  17. Hey, I was planning on getting the Blendtec for different reasons. I noticed I can get the signature series for the same price as the total classic (but the total classic has an extra of warranty). Is the signature really any better? I seemed to notice more noise complaints on that model, but I don’t know if I just noticed it more? Any help is appreciated, thanks!

    • Blenderdude

      Anthony, originally the Signature Series came with several extra accessories that are normally sold separately and was designed as an “all in one” model. Now, however, for all intents and purposes, both models you mentioned are the same. Both have the same motor and virtually the same blend cycles (the Signature Series has one fewer). The Signature Series has an individual button on the control panel for each of its 5 manual speed settings, while the Total Blender has a Speed Up/Speed Down button with 10 individual speeds. Both come with 7-year warranties and the noise produced by both is essentially the same. You should make your decision largely on aesthetics, because the performance of each will be equal.

  18. Hi. I was wondering where the Vitamix study conducted at the University of Toronto, can be found? I have found many references to it, but can not find the actual study itself. I couldn’t even find it on the University of Toronto website.

    Thanks for your assistance.

    Kind regards

    Daisy Squires

    • Blenderdude

      Daisy, about a year ago the site which provided the study results I referenced removed the URL. I have tried on numerous occasions to find it elsewhere but, like you, have been unsuccessful to date. I am sure it could be accessed through a database such as LexisNexis or something similar, but I don’t have accounts with any of these resources. I will continue to try to find the study and will certainly re-link the results if I am again able to.

  19. I was at Costco a couple of months ago and saw the Blendtec demo. I was very impressed, and began to research high performance blenders. Today, I saw the Vitamix road Show at Costco. The rep was a bit snooty and tried to put down Blendtec. One of the things she said was that if you put hot liquid in a Blendtec and something goes wrong, it will void your warranty. She also said if you fill the jar more than half way, it will void the warranty. So, my question is, can you speak to the 7 year warranty of the Blendtec? Is the Vitamix warranty better? I am leaning toward buying the Blendtec.

    • Blenderdude

      Kayla, this kind of sales tactic is common among reps of all high-performance blender manufacturers. It is unfortunate, but you will often see the same thing go on at a Blendtec show regarding the Vitamix. To answer your questions specifically – no, neither adding hot liquid or filling the container over the half-way mark will void your Blendtec warranty. Other complications may potentially arise from adding too much liquid or allowing blended ingredients to get too hot, but the worst thing that might happen is having a large mess on your hands. What voids the warranty are typical issues such as using the machine in a commercial capacity, physically altering the blender, performing certain repairs yourself, stepping the voltage up or down, etc.

      Both the Vitamix and Blendtec warranties are for the same duration – 7 years. One major difference is Vitamix will usually cover shipping expenses related to warranty repair to and from your home, while Blendtec requires you to pay for the shipping to them when warranty service is required.

      • Thank you! That’s what I needed to know. I wish sales people wouldn’t be…so ridiculous in their attempts to get sales. Just talk about why your product is great! :-) It’s great that Vitamix offers to cover the shipping, but the model I saw was $200 more than the Vitamix at Costco…so quite pricey. I was all set on the Blendtec until I discovered some Waring Xtreme videos. Have you ever used a Waring Xtreme blender?

        • Blenderdude

          Kayla, I have seen seen the Waring perform at trade shows on multiple occasions. I have no personal experience with it myself, though. It appears to be a nice, strong blender, and capable of many of the same functions as those blenders featured on this site. If memory serves, the warranty on it isn’t quite as long as Vitamix or Blendtec, but it is also lower priced than some of its competitor’s models.

          • Okay, thanks. I think I will stick with Blendtec. I’ve read some recent reviews that say Blendtec has been paying for warranty shipping both ways, so that’s good to know. Not sure if it is a policy change or simply when they feel like it.

  20. Hi there
    I am looking at buying either the Blentec homemaker or the optimum 9400. Have you used the optimim and whats your opinion about the significant differences in the number of blades, rpms, watts they each have and if that changes nutritional value because of there differences? If its not going to change the nutritional value of the raw foods for the worst I would perfer to get the one with more power which is the optimum as they are selling at the moment in Australia for about $ 300 off their normal price. They also claim to have more power that the vitamix. I will only be using this for home use.

    • Blenderdude

      Leonie,

      The Optimum line is not available in the U.S., where I am, to the best of my knowledge. I have never used the 9400. I have looked closely at the Optimum 9200 and it looks to me to be nearly identical to the OmniBlend V, which is manufactured by JTC Electronics. Everything about it looks the same to the point where I believe that the same manufacturer produces both blenders and would, therefore, make the 9400 as well. I have been told in the past by individuals via email that they are not, in fact, the same blender. This may very well be the case. However, nobody who claims to be in the know has ever accepted my invitation to actually name the manufacturer.

      I am a fan of the OmniBlend V blender so, as such, I have no reason to suspect that the Optimum line of blenders is not a quality line. I just have no personal experience with these machines. The specs of the blender you mentioned: blades, RPM, wattage, etc. will have no ill-effects on nutritional yield unless you allow it to – in the form of over-blending to the point where you allow sufficient friction to build up to where it destroys nutrients via heat.

  21. How do this blenders cope with blending frozen fruit with no liquid at all ?
    And how about blending things like almonds with no liquid at all ?

    Thanks

    • Blenderdude

      Ty, I’m not sure to which blender you’re referring, but different blenders “cope” in different ways. Blenders such as the OmniBlend and Vitamix come with tampers with which the user can “force” frozen ingredients into the blades, allowing it to blend. Others like the Blendtec require much more finesse on the part of the user, although the Twister Jar, sold separately from most Blendtec models, helps greatly with this type of blending.

      Dry grinding of nuts and grains is generally not a problem for any quality high-performance blender. This is a very commonly used function of these machines.

      • Thank you for your reply.
        Can the blendtec H3PA blend frozen fruits or nuts with no liquid at all ? Does it require a lot of work on the part of the user ?
        The JTC for example doesn’t succeed in that.

        • Blenderdude

          Ty, blending only frozen ingredients is going to be the biggest challenge for any high-performance blender. Doing this successfully will require some additional “help” from the user with any of them. This is, in part, why I’m a fan of tamper tools and, in the case of Blendtec, the Twister Jar (which can be used by the HP3A, by the way). All of these machines can do this job though some more efficiently than others. Without the Twister Jar, the HP3A will require what I would call significant effort on the part of the user to blend only frozen fruit. But, it can be done. Blending only nuts in the HP3A in the WildSide or FourSide container will also require some manual effort with a spatula, though not as much.

          • It is so nice of you to answer all the questions so thoroughly.

            Thanks

  22. Hello,
    Have you checked the omega BL630 ?
    What do you think about it ?

    • Blenderdude

      Ty, I have seen this particular model as well as other Omegas at a trade show. I have no personal experience with it but was fairly impressed with what I saw.

  23. Hey BD. I was wondering if you know just why Blendtec created the Signature Series blender. It only has 5 manual speeds vs. the 10 speeds available on the Total Blender. Plus, it eliminated the ‘ Ice Crush’ preset that is used so often by consumers. Is there anything that Blendtec added to this unit? Does it also offer the improved cooling efficiency of the Designer series? They suggest that the Signature has a lower speed available for chopping but the Speed#1 is the same as all the Blendtecs:
    ~4000 RPM. I am confused why both Blendtec and Vita-mix offer ‘new’ model designs that might offer less performance than previous models.

    • Blenderdude

      Brad, the Signature Series is simply a package Blendtec put together which includes various containers and accessories. The blender itself contains the exact same motor and, as you have discovered, practically the exact same control panel. My personal opinion on why this model has 5 manual speeds instead of 10 is that Blendtec was simply trying to use up all the “real estate” on the control panel. The high and low speeds are still the same. The blender just has fewer intermediate speeds. I would not worry too much about the lack of a specific “Ice Crush” function. You can use any of the lower manual speeds to achieve the exact same result. The Signature Series is built on the same platform as the Total Blender, meaning it does not have the newly designed cooling system found in the Designer Series.

      I think Vitamix and Blendtec come out with “new” models with varying accessory packages just to try to appeal to a wider range of customers. It does not necessarily have anything to do with “better” blenders. Just more choices regarding “bells and whistles.”

  24. Had a blendtec. Maybe 2 years. Died. Not happy with that. Read about leaking and how it may have gotten down inside. Also I was blending an avacado pit, when it died. It seemed the switch broke. I only blended pits 3 or 4 times. Just too much? Thinking of the Vitamix 750, but the price is stopping me. Blendtec again, not sure it will last.
    Any advice? Comments?
    Thanks a lot.

    • Blenderdude

      Betty, first let me say I am very sorry for your misfortune. However, before you spend more money on a new blender keep in mind that your Blendtec – motor base and container – is covered for 7 years. Before I did anything else I would pursue warranty coverage.

      My hunch is that the incident occurring while blending an avocado pit is just coincidence. The Blendtec handles those with relative ease. There have been reports of container leakage, but I have not heard of nor ever experienced the motor base, itself, allowing liquid to penetrate it, so I tend to doubt that is the culprit, either. And I’m not entirely sure I understand what you mean by the “switch” breaking, so I’m not going to be much help diagnosing that for you. Regardless, though, this sounds like it stopped working on you during a normal blending procedure. I highly recommend you contact Blendtec customer service and exercise your coverage.

      If you decide to go a different direction, though, I am a big fan of all the Vitamixes – the Pro 750 as well as the many lower priced models they offer, too.

      • Thanks for the reply. I did not fill out the warranty card. So my guess is, they would just say , So? I could not prove the purchase date.But it certainly has been no where near 7 years.
        The switch now just has no click or catch to it now. It just moves freely back and forth.
        Yes it was just a normal blending cycle. The only good thing it was almost the end of the cycle, so I got my morning smoothie!
        Thanks,
        Betty L.

        • Blenderdude

          Betty, depending on where you bought it, it is possible that they can verify your purchase date by tracking your serial number on your Blendtec. Before giving up I would definitely contact them and try since your machine is obviously still under warranty. The switch should be a relatively minor fix for them given what you described. Best of luck to you.

    • Why would you blend an avocado pit?

      • Blenderdude

        Amanda, some high-performance blender users like to take advantage of the soluble fiber found in the pits.

  25. Hi there!

    Thank you for your YouTube series. The videos helped me make a decision about which is best for my needs. I do have a quick question. After you made soups, they were heated by the blending process. What prevents the machines from warming smoothies and ice creams?

    Thank you for your help!

    • Blenderdude

      Amy, high-performance blenders left to run continuously will generate enough friction to heat anything, including smoothies and ice cream. The key to getting perfect results with these machines is to blend the right ingredients for the right length of time. If you load ice-cream ingredients into the jar and run the blender for the length of time it takes to make soup, you won’t get ice cream. Likewise, if you load soup ingredients into the jar and run the blender for the length of time it takes to make ice-cream, you won’t get soup.

      Using the recipes in the books that come with these blenders is a great way to get started “training” yourself about ingredients and blend durations. Over time, your experience will guide you when you start branching out with recipes of your own.

  26. Can I put an avocado pit in a 2 horsepower blender? (The Ninja Mega Kitchen System 1500)

    • Blenderdude

      Aleta, it is not simply the horsepower which allows a blender to do something like this. Blade design is also important. I have used the Ninja before but never for avocado pits, so I cannot tell you yes or no with any assurance. Judging solely by its blade design, I don’t think you’d get the results you’re looking for, but I could be mistaken.

      • Oh, okay! Well I have heard that avocado pits are actually fairly soft, despite how they feel. Is that true? I am willing to try it, IF you don’t think it will hurt my brand new blender! (Food Processor actually). The blender has the three blade design up the core, but maybe I wouldn’t actually be using the “blender” but the shorter, fatter bowl with the one blade. So my question then is do you think there’s a possibility of hurting the blade by trying?

        • Blenderdude

          I would not worry too much about the blade, but that doesn’t mean the blender cannot be damaged. Avocado pits are certainly not the hardest seeds in the world, but I don’t know that I would call them “soft.” They are extremely dense. At the risk that it could damage your Ninja, I do not recommend it.

          • Okay!! That’s what I needed to hear. I won’t do it. Thank you so much Blender Dude!!

  27. I made homemade LaraBars alot with my food processor, but it died. Could I make this recipe in a Vitamix?
    It has Nuts and Mejdool Dates (but no liquid).
    Would I need the dry container, or could I use the regular one?
    Thanks for your site,
    Sara

    • Blenderdude

      Sara, I’m not sure exactly what your recipe contains but, regardless, I’m quite certain that the Vitamix – with the standard container – would easily help you with the ingredients, especially the nuts and dates.

  28. where is the actual scientific proof that these blenders break down the cellulose walls of cells?

    all these sites claim this is true, but i have yet to see this backed up by a single shred of evidence.

    • Blenderdude

      Paul, research findings from a University of Toronto study in 2008 were originally linked as a reference at the end of this article when it was first published. That link is no longer available. For what reason, I’m not sure. Nor have I been able to locate these findings from another source. I imagine it is available from a database like LexisNexis, but I don’t have access to any of these databases. I will continue to try to locate the U of T study and re-link it if I’m successful.

  29. Do the Blendtec jars stain with vegetable juices from spinach, carrot and beetroot? What is the best way to deal with this?

    • Blenderdude

      Sarayu, if you do not leave your juice or smoothie in the container for extended periods after making it, staining should not be a problem. Over time the containers may develop a “cloudy” effect from grinding grains or extensive blending of frozen ingredients.

  30. Greetings, I watched your video in youtube “Blendtec VS Vitamix”, but I don’t understand who is best…can you tell me? very thanks =)

    • Blenderdude

      Fabio, I honestly don’t think one is necessarily “better” than the other. What’s important is figuring out which one is best for you and your family. I suggest watching the rest of the videos. Hopefully, you will gravitate toward one or the other. That’s the one you should get.

  31. I just wanted to thank you for your YouTube video series…. it was so helpful in figuring out the advantages of a performance blender and deciding why which blender suited my needs (in my case, a Blendertec).
    I really appreciated your informed, objective and non-salesy approach!

    • Blenderdude

      Suby, thanks for the kind words. Enjoy your Blendtec!

  32. Which do you use more, Blendtec or Vitamix? Is there one you use for certain things over the other? I know they are both very similar, especially seeing as VM stole from Blendtec so finding someone that has both or has used both…it would be nice to hear from. I’ve been reading stuff on and off for over a year now and I finally decided I’m just going to buy one. But…I’m the type of person that researches to find my “best bang for my buck” and after all the research, my mind just got overwhelmed.

    • Blenderdude

      Justin, the short answer to your question is I use the Blendtec more often. I spend a great deal of time on the road and this just happens to be the one I take with me. I find the Vitamix easier to use for chunky salsas and, as you can see in one of my videos, peanut butter. For everything else, there is little to no difference in the results.

      The main difference you will find in these machines is the process for getting to these results. That’s what I’ve tried to help everyone with in my video series. I don’t blame you one bit for doing your due diligence – this is a big ticket item. The good news is, you won’t go wrong with either – just find the one you think you’d enjoy using the most. Of course, I’m happy to answer any specific questions you might have, too.

  33. Is the Blendtec machine able to sufficiently breakdown wheatgrass to add to a smoothie? If so, do you recommend this ingredient or have a particular recipe including wheatgrass?

    • Blenderdude

      Olga, the Blendtec is more than capable of breaking down wheatgrass that you add to your smoothie. However, it will not “extract” the liquid from the fiber. If you are interested in just the juice from wheatgrass, you would still need to use a juice extractor. I think I have a recipe or two on my site that calls for wheatgrass. However, you could add it to just about any smoothie of your choosing with success.

  34. VitaMix was started in the early 1920s so has been around for closer to 90 years not 80 as you said.

    • Blenderdude

      Ed, in the article I reference when Vitamix first started making blenders, not when the company came into existence. According to the Vitamix website, 1937 was the year their first blender was produced.

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