Review: Blendtec Total Blender Classic WildSide

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BlendFrSh

 
(updated November 23, 2014)

Introduced in late 2004, the Total Blender continues to be Blendtec’s (a division of K-TEC, Inc.) most user-friendly offering in the high-performance blender market.***  Contrary to the claims of many online reviews, the Total Blender was not simply a revision of the company’s wildly popular Champ HP3 model found in numerous smoothie and coffee shops across the country in the early 2000s.  There was, in fact, a redesign of the Champ HP3.  It is now known as the HP3A and is a fine blender in its own right.  The motivation behind the Total Blender, however, was to use the same mechanical components found in their commercial machines and combine them with a much simpler interface, resulting in the company’s first model made specifically for home use. The following review combines information gathered directly from the company with my experience of over 30,000 cycles of use as a representative of Blendtec at live demonstrations of the Total Blender across the country.

***Edit: The original Total Blender model included a 64-ounce, FourSide container. While this container is still sold separately and is available in other Blendtec model packages, the Total Blender now comes standard with the WildSide container, and this review has been modified to reflect this.

Package and Specifications

The Total Blender is made and assembled in Blendtec’s Orem, Utah, manufacturing facility.  Currently, the package includes a motor base, jar, two-part lid, user manual, and recipe book.  The purchaser has his or her choice of black, white, or red motor base finishes.  A coffee colored base was discontinued in early 2011.

The base of the machine comprises the majority of its heft (7 lbs. with an empty jar), and contains a direct-drive, 13 amp, 1560 watt motor, referred to in industry circles as 3 horsepower (3 HP).  Blendtec used to refer to the motor as 3-peak horsepower, but now generally refrains from use of the term horsepower altogether in its literature, packaging, and online descriptions, most likely due to the general public’s lack of understanding of how true HP is calculated, and, hence, potentially misunderstood (This non-engineer’s attempt at an explanation can be found in this article).  The Total Blender’s direct-drive motor insures no loss of power incurred via friction generated from pulleys, belts, or clutches.  Instead, the motor itself spins the jar’s blade at high-torque speeds of nearly 29,000 revolutions per minute (RPM).

Motor base dimensions are 7” wide by 8” deep, and the entire unit, with the jar in place – lid on – stands exactly 15” tall.  The height of the Total Blender is an important dimension for consumers wishing to keep the unit on a countertop when not in use, as the standard installation height of upper-kitchen cabinets is between 17” and 18” above countertops.  A three-foot power cord with a standard 120 volt, 3-prong plug extends from the rear of the machine.  Also on the back of the base is the main power On/Off switch.  The motor vents from its underside, and the entire base rests on four round, rubber feet, 7/8” in diameter.  The colored portion of the motor base cover is made of a durable polycarbonate with no seams or openings for liquid penetration.

Traditional knobs and levers used to operate the machine are absent on the Total Blender.  Instead, the interface consists of nine small buttons, each labeled with its corresponding function.  Six are pre-programed “blend cycle” buttons.  From left to right, they are labeled Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt, Ice Crush/Milkshake, Soups/Syrups/Fondues, Sauces/Dips/Dressings/Batters, Whole Juice, and Smoothies.  Just above the row of blend cycles, one button manually speeds the machine up, one manually slows it down, and, finally, one is for pulsing.  When lit, a small blue light next to the Pulse button indicates the main power is on.  Just below the interface panel is a blue LCD screen which displays information such as the particular blend cycle in use, time remaining in cycle, overload indication (if implemented), and total number of cycles run.

The design of the Total Blender’s jar has been patented by Blendtec.  Because it is square in shape, contents are able to be poured from any of three slightly tapered corners, all of which resemble spouts.  Although frequently (and erroneously) referred to by reviewers as a 3-quart container, the capacity of the WildSide jar is 88 ounces. It is made of a high-strength Bisphenol A (BPA)-free copolyester.  Measurements in ounces (up to 36) and cups (up to 4) are marked on two sides of the container.  It is also marked with the registered NSF International stamp, meaning it meets the foundation’s (formerly known as the National Sanitation Foundation) requirements for equipment and material intended for commercial foodservice, a general benchmark for public health standards.

The blade assembly features a single 4” stainless steel blade that turns in one direction, clockwise.  This assembly is sonically fused onto the jar and does not detach.  From the underside of the jar, the slotted metal end of the blade shaft fits perfectly into the correspondingly-grooved drive socket of a titanium coupling.  Along with the blade shaft/drive socket connection, a 1 ¼”-deep continuous lip extends from the bottom of the jar, insuring it rests securely on the upper extension of the motor base while the blender is in use.

The jar’s lid has undergone several revisions since the model’s inception.  Now a two-piece design, the latest form consists of a rubber primary cover, molded to form a lip that fits snugly around the top edge of all four sides of the container.  On each corner of this lid are subtle flaps designed for easy removal from the jar using just a thumb and forefinger.  A 2” by 2” opening in the center of the primary cover receives the second piece of the two-piece assembly, a removable, hard-plastic cap which, when fitted into the opening, creates a four-way vent from which pressure escapes during the blending of hot recipes.  The removal of this cap from the primary cover also allows for the addition of ingredients into the jar while the blender runs without having to remove the entire lid.

A 214-page recipe book called Fresh Blends contains instructions on blender use, health and nutrition information, a Glycemic Index chart, dry and liquid measurement equivalents tables, an ingredient substitution chart, and over 200 recipes.  Paired with each recipe is a nutritional content table similar to those found on food packaging, as well as its content yield.

Completing the Total Blender package is a 19-page owner’s manual and user guide providing safety information, a more detailed overview of the blender’s six blend cycles, troubleshooting tips, and details on the machine’s standard warranty, which is 7 years from the date of purchase and covers both the motor base and container.  The titanium coupling (the drive socket for the blade assembly) and the stainless steel blade, however, are covered beyond the standard warranty.  Though this is not specifically mentioned in the warranty’s wording, both of these parts are guaranteed against defect for the life of the machine. 

Operation

Using the Total Blender can be as simple as loading the jar and pushing a button.  For the majority of recipes, though, excellent results using the pre-programed blend cycles do require a bit of forethought from the user.  Key to desired consistency with any blender is a proper ratio of liquid to dry ingredients.  When making ice cream, for example, too much liquid in relation to ice or frozen fruit results in a less-than-solid (runny) consistency.  Likewise, too much ice in relation to liquid might result in a not-so-smooth (crunchy) dessert.  In every Fresh Blends recipe, both the volume and ratios of all ingredients have been pre-calculated to – when paired with their corresponding blend cycles – yield consistently excellent results.  In other words, if a user follows the recipe, and presses the right button, he or she will get the desired result.

Once a blend cycle is selected, users will detect multiple blade speed changes throughout its duration.  No blend cycle runs at a single speed.  Instead, as few as three to as many as eight speed changes may occur over the course of a given cycle.  Blendtec has determined specific speeds and durations for corresponding ingredients in each of its recipes.  Blend cycle duration ranges from 25 seconds on the Smoothie cycle to 90 seconds for Soups/Syrups/Fondues.  Once a cycle is selected, a timer on the LCD screen will count down, informing the user of the number of seconds before its completion.  Once running, blend cycles are not intended to be stopped until the cycle ends.  However, while the machine is running, pressing any blend cycle button will halt it.  This is why no “Off” button is found on the interface panel.  They are all “Off” buttons.

Along with user attention to ingredient quantity and ratios, equal importance should also be placed on the order in which they are loaded into the jar.  When following any recipe in the Fresh Blends book, the first ingredient listed goes into the jar first.  As the user works his way down the recipe, the ingredients should be loaded from the bottom of the jar upward.  If the correct ratio of the right ingredients is loaded into the jar in the right order, and the correct blend cycle is selected, the machine produces the desired result.  User guesswork as to proper blender speed and duration is completely eliminated.

Of course, users won’t want to be limited solely to the 200+ recipes in the book.  For this reason, manual controls are also included on the interface panel.  Marked with arrows indicating “Speed Up” and “Speed Down,” these buttons access each of the blender’s ten speeds incrementally, with Speed 10 representing the highest at over 28,000 RPMs.  The user moves from one speed to the next by pressing the button once for each successive speed.  The machine will also climb and descend automatically from one speed to the next if the button is held depressed.  Once a manual cycle starts, the Total Blender will run for a total of 50 seconds at which point it will shut itself off.  Instead of counting down from 50, however, the timer will start at zero and count upward.  Specific durations for specific recipes designed by the user can be monitored with the timer counting in this manner.  For example, if the user creates his own smoothie recipe and determines, based on his specific ingredients, he needs to run the machine at Speed 6 for exactly 35 seconds, this is possible with the manual controls.  In short, the manual buttons on the panel interface allow the user to operate the machine as he or she would any other blender.

This is not to say that blend cycles cannot or should not be used when making a recipe not included in the Fresh Blends book.  It’s quite possible to achieve perfect results using a blend cycle in conjunction with a recipe found elsewhere or created by the user, himself.  Any recipe that mimics one from the Fresh Blends book in both quantity and ratio is likely to result in a similar consistency via the corresponding blend cycle.  Adjustments can always be made to any recipe, however, whether from the book or not, using the manual controls.  Experience is the best teacher with the Total Blender.  The more it is used, the more familiar with the results produced the user becomes with both each particular blend cycle as well as the manually-operated buttons.

The Pulse button operates just as one would imagine.  It will run at a medium-high speed for only as long as it is held depressed.  Short bursts are great for chopping ingredients instead of pureeing.  Longer durations can be used for anything from cleaning the jar with soap and water to incorporating a forgotten or additional ingredient to making a smoothie outright.

Performance

In terms of sheer power, I’ve yet to see or use a blender in this price range that matches that of the Total Blender.  Any conceivable ingredient a user might want to blend will most likely be no problem for this machine.  In over 30,000 personal and demonstration cycles with this particular model (and many of my customers could verify that I do not “baby” these machines), I’ve never placed anything into the jar that has caused it to fail to run and run properly.  However, were a user to do just that, inside the housing is a sensor which will temporarily trip power to the motor.  Instead of the motor running continuously and eventually burning itself out trying to blend difficult ingredients – not uncommon with regular blenders – it will instead shut itself down and present an “Overload” reading on the LCD screen.  If this occurs the user simply removes or adjusts the ingredient(s) in question and presses any blend cycle button, after which the machine is immediately ready to resume work.  I demonstrate this feature occasionally by placing the handle of a hammer into the jar against the blade while the machine is in an off position, and then holding it firmly against the bottom of the jar while simultaneously starting a cycle.  Because of the sheer power of the Total Blender it is a battle keeping the handle in place once a button is pressed, but after two or three seconds the sensor halts the motor every time.  Likewise, there is an “Overtemp” reading that will appear if the motor has overheated during use.  To date, I’ve yet to actually see this reading via normal use, nor have I been able to create a demonstration which implements it.

This extreme power, along with the design of both the jar and blade, is the key to consistently successful blended results with the Total Blender.  Instead of swirling around the perimeter of a round jar, as ingredient contents tend to do at high speeds with most blenders, ingredients in this jar will deaden, in effect, as they hit the corners created by its square design.  In theory, contents are then redirected to the jar’s center, where the patented blade design and motor power combine to actually draw ingredients down into the cutting path of the blade to be fully incorporated.  This vortex effect is repeated throughout the duration of the cycle, meaning ingredients are constantly and consistently reincorporated, start to finish.  On the Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt cycle the user can most clearly see this effect at work.  Ingredients from the top are drawn down to the blade, incorporated, then pushed up the side of the jar, back to the center, and drawn down again.

Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt and Soups/Syrups/Fondues are the blend cycles that best demonstrate the Total Blender’s extreme diversity.  Determining whether a recipe becomes hot to the point of boiling (if desired) or frozen like soft-serve are two main factors:  the right ingredients, of course, and the proper amount of friction generated against them by the spinning blade.  There is no heating element in the machine.  Instead, the amount of friction introduced to the user’s ingredient contents on every cycle will determine to what extent the recipe heats.  Extreme amounts are created at 28,000 RPMs (the 90-second Soups/Syrups/Fondues cycle), enough to create a piping-hot soup.  How hot, exactly, is determined simply by how long the blade spins.  This particular cycle is 90 seconds.  Most soup recipes calling for hot water as an ingredient are sufficiently warmed after one cycle.  However, to increase the desired temperature of the final product, the user simply has to restart the cycle.  Extremely hot temperatures can be achieved in 4 ½ to 5 minutes (3 or 4 cycles).  Partial cycles can also be run by pressing any blend cycle button mid-cycle, thus allowing for temperature-specific heating (requires the use of a thermometer).  Keep in mind, regarding soups, hotter temperatures result in correspondingly decreased ingredient nutritional yield.  This is something of which to always be mindful.

On the opposite end of the temperature scale, friction is also used to create ice cream in the Total Blender.  Much slower blade speeds on this cycle create much less friction, obviously.  But with the right ingredients and the right amount of friction, in combination with the motor’s high torque, the Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt cycle turns ice and/or frozen fruit and other ingredients into perfect soft-serve ice cream consistencies.  Ranging somewhere between the extreme blade speed differences of the soup and ice cream cycles, those for whole fruit juices, smoothies, sauces, dressings, and milkshakes are all created using separate cycles that implement the exact same design principals.

Extreme torque and blade speeds generated by the Total Blender can also rupture individual cell walls of fruits and vegetables, potentially unlocking valuable nutrients that might otherwise digest unutilized when simply eaten or blended less effectively.  This health benefit accounts for much of the popularity of these machines and is explained in further detail in this article on high-performance blenders.  The Whole Juice cycle is designed specifically to promote a maximum nutritional yield from whole fruits and vegetables.

The patented design of the Total Blender’s blade also enables the same container and blade assembly that blends “wet” ingredients to serve as a mill for grinding whole grains, seeds, beans, and nuts into flours of any almost any consistency.  At lower speeds, instead of flours, the Total Blender makes excellent nut butters out of peanuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews, and pecans.  Uses of these kinds do not affect performance of the blade as it is manufactured with a rather blunt edge as opposed to the sharp edge found on most blender blades.  The Total Blender utilizes its unique blade and jar design along with the muscle of the motor to pulverize, rather than slice, ingredients loaded into it.

The Total Blender also makes excellent bread doughs, cake batters, pie fillings, dips, salsas, fondues, syrups, frozen alcoholic beverages, baby food, etc.  Recipes for all of the above are included in the Fresh Blends book.

Performance Issues

Assuming no perfect blending machine has ever been created, a comprehensive review of The Total Blender must also include its drawbacks.  While this blender has few, in order of importance to this user, they are listed as follows:  Noise.  It is loud.  I have not taken decibel-level readings on it, and acoustics vary from one kitchen to the next, but I feel confident claiming it is as loud or louder than any regular household blender on the market today.  Keep in mind most cycle durations are short, and noise will certainly be dictated by both ingredient content and speeds.  However, aftermarket sound-enclosures for the Total Blender are available through various sources on the internet.  Blendtec, though, does not make one for this model.

As mentioned previously, it is suggested recipe ingredients be loaded into the jar in a particular order.  No tool for assisting ingredients into the cutting path of the blade is included with this model, and for most recipes, regardless of the order in which ingredients are loaded, none is required.  There will be occasions, however, where solid or frozen ingredients loaded lower into the jar delay the incorporation of the entire set of ingredients to the point where additional blending times might be required after a pre-set cycle has concluded.

Cavitation is a common occurrence amongst all blenders whereby an air pocket develops around the cutting path of the blade, preventing ingredients from reaching it.  Extremely cold ingredient temperatures are the main culprits in this instance, and the Total Blender is not invulnerable to this condition.  Adding liquid to a recipe, eliminating the air pocket manually with a spatula, or simply running the machine manually at high speeds quickly remedies cavitation issues.

The length of uninterrupted manual use (as opposed to blend cycles) of the machine is capped at 50 seconds.  In other words, manual use duration via the Speed Up and/or Speed Down controls is also technically on a cycle.  For manual blending requiring times in excess of 50 seconds, the user must re-start the blending process after 50 seconds.

Finally, use of the jar as a mill will result in the bottom 1/3 to 1/2 of the jar taking on a cloudy appearance – the result of minute indentations created by grains as they are being thrown against the jar’s sides at extreme speeds during grinding.  This, too, is common with all polycarbonate and copolyester jars which are required for high-performance blending (glass jars cannot withstand the torques generated by these motors).  Likewise, milling of oily beans (coffee, for example) may stain the jar.  No performance issues result from these effects, however.  They are purely aesthetic.

Summary

The Blendtec Total Blender Classic WildSide is perfect for anyone wanting an extremely powerful, versatile blender that potentially yields health benefits not attainable from regular blenders.  For the money, one cannot find a stronger, more durable machine.  Its American-made craftsmanship is superb.  One could reasonably expect it to be the last blender he might ever purchase.  This machine is “smart” enough to do the majority of the “work” for the user, yet also allows him to assume complete control of the blending process.  The same motor and technology found in this machine can be found in those of coffee houses, smoothie shops and restaurants all over the world.  Those places, too, have their options when it comes to purchasing blenders, and there is a reason they ultimately choose Blendtecs.  It’s because they’re worth every penny.

Please use the comments section of this page to share your own input on or experiences with the Total Blender, to ask questions about it, or for commenting or clarification on anything you read in this review.  It is my goal to assist you in any way I can in selecting the best high-performance blender for your personal needs.

 
 

BlendFrSh

 

253 Comments
Questions? Comments? Let’s talk about it here!
  1. I’m on my second unit (after the first just quit after about 50 cycles; it was replaced fairly quickly) and around 250 cycles (a few days ago) I started noticing oil leaking from the underside of the jar.

    Then today I went to make a smoothie, put water in the jar and went off to do some other things. Coming back after about 15 minutes, something didn’t look right … yes, OIL IN THE WATER INSIDE THE JAR! Who knows how long this has been happening, but it’s scary and certainly a health hazard.

    I’ll try a replacement (if I can ever get off hold … just writing this while waiting 20+ minutes for someone to answer at Blendtec customer service), but I’ll also have to look into some other remedy or compensation (any lawyers out there? is this class-actionable?) because consuming petroleum products on a daily basis wasn’t really part of my “healthy lifestyle” routine.

    Anyone else notice this issue? Anyone have the same problem with other Blendtec or Vitamix models?

  2. Just wait until your healthy smoothie is half gone that you AND your kids are drinking, and you realize it is full of bits of rubber or plastic. Gross!
    I didn’t know where it was coming from and went and ran clean water, and the water turned completely grey and had bits of the same material.
    I wonder how many times we have consumed smoothies with this in it.
    I am so angry! I’m not paying over a hundred dollars for a replacement. We have had our blender for 4 years. Warranty is no longer.
    Will save up and get a vitamix. I honestly don’t think I can trust blendtec anymore, nauseates me to think about drinking a smoothie from their blender!

  3. Thanks for such a thorough review, the best I’ve read anywhere. I had been thinking of getting a Vitamix, and then I discovered the Blendtec. However, reading reviews here (and elsewhere), I’m seeing too many comments about problems with the containers, seals, etc. If Blendtec knows of this, why aren’t they correcting the issue? Vitamix was aware of the teflon issue and, apparently, they’ve corrected it. I realize there is an 8-year warranty, but waiting for a container replacement means that the blender cannot be used until the jug is received. And, after eight year, then what? $$$$

  4. Hey BD, I’ve had my blend tec for about a year now. I haven’t used it in a few months. I used to use it quite aggressively. I went to use it today and the thing started smoking from beneath the container and base! Then it smelled like an electrical fire was about to start. Is this concerning? It’s not like it was the first few uses here. Sometimes the base doesn’t match up easily with the container. I’m not sure if something is damaged or what. Thanks?

  5. If they do, they ought to be sued for false adverting.

  6. How does the blendtec compare to the nutribullet rx for making soups and warm breakfast smoothies? I recently purchased the nutribullet rx and loved it but it broke and walmart was out. I’m really thinking of upgrading to the blendtec.

  7. I received my reburbed unit last Thursday (11/12/15)evening and we read up for a couple of days and made our first berry smoothies Saturday night. To our horror it smelled like burning rubber but since I had already been to this and other sites, I knew about the motor smelling for the first few uses. (Yes, we did the initial washing, in fact, we did it three times). Unfortunately when we went to drink our smoothies they had an awful burnt rubber TASTE! So it was not the motor smelling, it was the rubber seal at the bottom of the jar. Sooo disappointing, besides the $10 worth of fruit wasted, what we had waited for and hoped would be a major improvement over our Ninja bombed on the first use. I had my wife run it a few times today while I was at work. Once with just water and soap. Once with an orange and a little ice. Again, with soap, vinegar & water and another round with an orange and ice. Each time there was smell and rubber taste. I just got back from returning it. SO sad that this great product is having such problems with something as minor as a seal and can’t get it figured out! We use our blender everyday at least once and wanted something that was going to last with that kind of use. I can’t afford to keep trying and wasting fruit and time. Hopefully somewhere down the road I will see all GOOD reviews about how well they did on fixing this issue.

    • I’m sorry, I forgot to add: It is a Total Blender with the Wildside Jar. I purchased it through Walmart online so it is not a store stocked item. That is why I returned it instead of exchanging it. Reordering would take another 7-10 days. As I said, we use our blender everyday.

    • I just purchased my Blendtec today and was irritated by the burning rubber smell on my first use. WTF…. 500 + $ ….. should be awesome from the start ….. Thimking of returning it right noe! …. I will give it a couple more days at best!

  8. I just got a new Total Blender with the Wildside+ jar. I have only used it a couple of times plus used it to clean the jar. Each time, it smells like a burnt smell. Is that just because it is new? Should I be concerned?

    • Hello, me too (just got mine & burnt smell). Did yours go away or ?
      Thanks

  9. Hi, great site and information. I’ve decided on a Blendtec and would appreciate your thoughts on the merits of a refurbished total blender vs a new designer 625. The Designer costs an incremental $160. I understand the differences between the 2 are primarily cosmetic and user interface. Is there any benefit to the extra weight of the Designer model? It seems like the total blender will do it all; just wondering if ita worth to pay the extra for the designer model…I’m also planning on getting the twister jar.

    • bd

      Paul, thanks for the nice words. The extra weight and larger footprint of the Designer Series model is nice for occasions where the blender is trying to motor through some really thick/dense/frozen ingredients. There’s some extra peace of mind that can certainly go along with that. As you have discovered, though, cosmetics and user interface are two of the largest differences in these particular models. So, if they, alone, aren’t enough to sway you into paying the price difference, you may very well be satisfied with the Total Blender. It is a beast of a machine and – in terms of ultimate results – will perform just as admirably as the DS in my opinion.

  10. I recently, August 10 2015, purchased a Blendtec Total Blender with Wild Side Jar from Costco and I immediately gave it a run for its money, $300 after a rebate, for its first use. 2 batches of beef roast and chuck to make roughly 25 homemade hamburgers, during the second batch I was making near the end of my pulse cycles I had received the “overheat/overload” message on the screen, I turned it off and unplugged it for 30 minutes, plugged it back in and turned it on and without the jar tried to use the pulse setting, I immediately received the the “overheat/overload” message on the screen.
    I cut all meat to 1inch squares, the meat was left very cold almost frozen and did not overstuff the jar, filled it less than half each time, I only used the blender 8 times before it cut out in me, did I get a lemon?

    Contacted customer service 3 days later after trying to fix the problem through research on the inter webs and inquired them about it and he advised me to do the test again, without the jar hold pulse for 5 seconds, I received the error message again, he advised me about the 8 year warranty and whatnot, I’m just going to return it and try another one.

    Did I get a lemon?

    • bd

      AR, it appears that you very well might have given that you received the error message with no load in the container. In such a case I would advise you to do exactly what you’re doing – do an exchange for a new machine and not exercise the warranty. Your investment is too new for that.

  11. Hold times don’t seem to be isolated. I’m just adding my two cents. This was given to me as a refurb gift. Great blender, has a couple issues. If it functions properly, it’s awesome. Customer service?? I hope to talk to someone someday….. I work construction full time, so don’t have great opportunities to sit on hold forever. I tried calling last week and was on hold for an hour and a half. Literally. Hung up and decided I’d call back some other time. I’ve now been on hold for 1:30:00…again… I’m sick of hearing “What makes Blendtec Superior??” Well, it’s not their customer service hold times. Blender itself? Great, when it works. Please at least give us a queue status update.

    • bd

      JB, I periodically will call customer service of the bigger-name manufacturers for no other reason than to gauge hold-times. In mid-January 2015 I called Blendtec and waited on hold for exactly 1 hour 19 minutes. So, I agree with you that this seems to be the norm at the present. These times are similar to those from 2008-2010 before Blendtec ramped up their customer service experience. In subsequent years these times were significantly reduced or non-existent. It now appears they are regressing to previous levels.

      Whether this is due to the popularity of their machines or lack of personnel, we can only speculate. I do hope for their sake that this is addressed once again. They have done it before. I’m sorry for the frustration you’ve experienced to date and appreciate you sharing your experience with the site.

    • Just wanted to make sure to update. Service rep came on the line at exactly 2 hours of hold time. He was very nice, troubleshot the issue over the phone and will be sending out a new item immediately. As long as you’re willing to be patient with the hold times, customer service was great. And again, with regard to the product, it’s excellent as long as it works.

    • I am almost at the point of total frustration. I am on my 4th wild side jar gasket failure in three months. I almost exclusively use the blender to make smoothies. The gasket seal is just not up to the power that these motors can produce. Yes customer service readily will replace the jar, but the inconvenience of not having the jar for up to a week and a half starts to get old. It takes a couple of days for them to process the order, and then if like me, you live on the east coast, it will take almost a week for ground shipping to arrive. This last jar started to exhibit problems after two uses. The blade can easily be wobbled with light pressure on the shaft. Once this happens, it will cause the seal to fail in short order. This jar seal issue even caused CNET to place a non recommend on the Blendtec after they had several failures on a test unit. Blendtec needs to figure this out. The last conversation with customer service stated that the latest jars have been improved. The date stamp on the bottom of the jar shows 5/15, so I assumed that is pretty current, and yet the problem still exists.

      • bd

        Carl, thanks for the detailed recap of your experience to date. I’m sorry for the aggravating experience you’re encountering and certainly understand the frustration. I have not been made aware of any advertised improvements in the containers but it wouldn’t surprise me that the Blendtec engineers are working on just that. Apparently there is work still to do. Personally I have never experienced failures in such a short amount of time. My only experience with jar failures of any kind have been with demonstration containers that were used hundreds of times daily for months on end.

        Please feel free to continue sharing your Blendtec experience with the site. I wish you well in acquiring one that meets your satisfaction.

  12. I just bought the blender from Costco 3 days ago and today upon plugging in the power cord, I had this code on the display: P106 and C103. Blendtec’s Customer Service is not open over the weekend. It’s a brand new unit. Do you know what these codes mean? Do I have to be concerned and return this blender for another one!

    • bd

      Delta, are you sure you have a Total Blender model? I have used this model literally thousands upon thousands of times and have never seen these codes. If you have a Designer Series model, however, these codes will appear randomly and are not error codes. They simply appear on the interface screen periodically on Power Up/Down and are not indicative of anything wrong with the blender.

      • Hi BD,
        Yes, I should have mentioned that I have a Designer Series model. I’m glad to hear that it is nothing to worry about. Thank you.

  13. Hi there –

    We bought a Blendtek Classic from Costco on Sunday, on the basis of the strongest possible recommendation from very old friends. The first thing that struck us on using it was an astonishing and painful noise level when it was at the fastest phase of its cycle (our son is a drummer – we know about noise!). The second thing we noticed was a black residue in each corner at the base of the jug, and signs of fracturing/burring in the same areas. We have used it 3 times since (in Smoothie or Whole Juice mode)and noticed the same thing (esp the ear-splitting noise); tonight we decided to make a tomato soup, and – 20 seconds into the cycle – we noticed wisps of smoke coming from between the base and the jug. We switched it off while still in process. Wisps of smoke were still coming out 2 minutes later, and so far I can’t get the jug off the base – think it might have fused in some way. Really can’t see what we have done wrong, but I’m going to have to make a special trip to Costco tomorrow. and I hope they will replace the unit. Fingers crossed they will, because we really want to experience what this machine can do.

    • bd

      Alastair, Blendtecs are loud, as are most high-performance blenders. The only real options to combat the noise they make is a sound enclosure made by 3rd parties. These are somewhat expensive and I can’t vouch for how effective they are. Personally, the noise doesn’t bother me. But when I think of it I will wear a pair of professional ear protectors that I picked up for little money. Something similar to these. You can often find them on sale for under $15.00: Ear Protection.

      While it is somewhat normal for a faint burning smell to be detectable on new machines as well as being able to detect small amounts of residue around the drive shaft and coupling components of the blender, what you are describing is most certainly indicative of a faulty machine. Costco will certainly take it back and offer you a refund or exchange if the Blendtec you want is still there. if you haven’t already, definitely do this.

  14. Hi! The Blendtec Total Blender was recommended to me by a friend for purchase. I see it has been discontinued. Is there a reason for this? Is there a problem with that specific blender? If it has simply been replaced with a new model? What Blendtec blender is the replacement for the Total Blender? Thanks in advance!!

    • bd

      DJ, for all intents and purposes it has simply been re-branded across a few new models. Internally, the same strength motor can be found inside the Classic 560. The Classic 575, and Designer 625 models also have similar strength motors in terms of wattage output. All are advertised as 3 horsepower motors. Each of these differs slightly in terms of user interface, but the motor doing the work is for most intents and purposes the same.

  15. I just bought the Blendtec at Costco, Put all my ingredients and turned it on and the smells like its on FIRE!!!!! gross gross smell….Its BRAND NEW just used it today and spent so much on a blender i never wanted to spend in the first place… WHY IS THI HAPPENING??

    • bd

      Kelsey, the detection of a slight burning smell is typical of these machines upon the first several cycles of use. However, an odor as extreme as that which you’re describing sounds unusual. I would recommend you take advantage of Costco’s return policy and really put the blender to the test. If the smell dissipates after a few uses, I would consider what you discovered to be rather normal. If there is damage to the motor you will definitely notice it again. At that point I would return the blender to Costco for a full refund or exchange for a new unit. Best of luck to you.

      • I ordered a Refurbed Classic with the WildSide. Been searching all week and your site is very helpful. My husband stuck a knife in our cheap blender trying to loosen something. It broke the plastic jar and part of his thumb. Blood and blueberries …oh my… I am afraid to let him use this one. How did the guy blend all of the hard objects without getting hurt? Why don’t they have safety latches like the Cusiart food processors? I am so glad you talked about the burning smell. I have a parrot that lives in the breakfast area next to the counter. It could kill him. He survived the blender explosion but I found a piece of the jar under his cage. I killed a cheap blender trying to make dog food but the food processor is a lot of work and takes hours. I really hope the Blendtec works for me. Thank you for your help.

        • bd

          Linda, first, here’s to a speedy recovery to your husband. Hopefully he won’t attempt that maneuver again. ;-). I have sold many Blendtecs over the years to customers who wanted to ake their own dog foods. I think you’ll be pleased with the results.

          I don’t want to sound dismissive to your idea – I am all for safety, but when properly use I don’t think you’ll have much, if anything, to worry about with the Blendtec. Just make sure you keep the lid in place during blending and don’t remove the container until it has stopped completely.

  16. Hi BD,

    My wife just got me a blendtec for my birthday – something I have wanted for two years. One of the big reasons that I wanted to get it was because it makes flour. When I watched the demo the guy dumped about a tablespoon of rice into the blendtec and ground it. Even though the rice was far below the blade it was still ground because it was pulled up by the movement of air around the blades.

    I only used it for a few days for smoothies and margaritas (LOVED it!) when I decided to grind some cloves in the same manner – as I was out of ground clothes and was making gingerbread. I put the cloves through twice for 50 seconds on high. I smelled a bit of burnt rubber smell, but I didn’t think anything of it as new motors sometime do that. But when I took it off the base a piece of rubber fell on the table. The gasket was melted and there were pieces mixed into the spice and on the counter.

    It sat for a while and then my wife took it back to Costco – where she saw 5 others at the return counter. She decided to return it instead of exchange it. Now I have no blender at all!

    Did I use it incorrectly? The manual said not to fill below the min. line – but no indication as to why. I had presumed that it would just not mix well, not that it would break it. After all, it was done in the demo.

    My wife thinks we should get something else but I did some more research today and it still looks to me like the Blendtec is what I want.

    Your advice would be appreciated.

    • bd

      River, I’m sorry for your unfortunate experience. You were simply the victim of a poor container. Blendtecs have been known to have container issues – specifically the gasket you referenced. However, the company has been great about replacing containers at no cost to the customer. Usually these failures occur after extensive use. Your experience is definitely an exception. Based on what you described I see nothing that would constitute “user error.”

      If you wanted to give the Blendtec another shot I would highly doubt you would experience a similar occurrence, at least not before some pretty extensive use of the blender. However, should you run into the issue again, keep in mind that the container is always covered for the same 7 or 8 year warranty as the motor base itself. This is some good peace of mind for all new Blendtec owners. Good luck.

  17. Hey B Dude,

    Has there been any issues with BlendTec and black residue similar to the recent findings people have had with Vitamix? Since Vitamix doesn’t seem to have a realistic plan in action I am left with returning the Vitamix and opting for the BlendTec but would like to be sure before I do. Thanks1

    • bd

      Matthew, yes, there are claims out there suggesting that the Blendtec has similar issues. However, I can’t verify them as none of my containers – and I’ve tested 5 to date – have the issue. They are all several years old with the exception of one WildSide+ jar. It, though, does not have the issue as far as I can tell.

      • I can definitely confirm that this black residue issue exists. I just returned my blendtec total blender to costco. This is the second blender I’ve returned in the last year due to a similar breakdown of the black plastic at the base of the container. If you like I have a photo of the water after running it through the soup cycle. One jar lasted around 600 cycles before a total failure of the black plastic. This lasted about 450 cycles before the water became cloudy with plastic particles. Send me an email and I can share the image with you. Now I’m trying to decide if blendtec is the way to go or vitamix but it sounds like they have issues as well.

        • bd

          Gabriel, thanks for contributing to the discussion. It sounds as if you are describing an issue with the gasket around the drive shaft of the Blendtec container. This is a fairly well-documented issue for which Blendtec’s resolve at the moment is to replace the container free of charge as long as it is under warranty. This is a different issue than black specks/residue originating from underneath the actual blades. Vitamix is currently dealing with this issue, and, although similar issues with Blendtecs have been reported, I have not been able to substantiate the claims with any of my Blendtec containers. I’m sorry for your experiences with the Blendtec thus far.

          • I had bought a vitamix machine and found black specks, so I returned it and bought another one and same result. I then bought a Blendtec and found no black specks but it slowly leaked oil onto the base as a powder form. After hearing that the Blendtec has the black speck problem and after calling Blendtec to inquire about this problem and having them tell me they did not know about this issue(July 9, 2015), I think I might go back to Vitamix. Because VM is aware of the issue and has plans to make black speck free containers this fall.

            • bd

              Chad, you are correct about Vitamix’s resolution to their black speck issue. In my experience the issue with the Blendtec container only arises after a failure of the gasket through extended use. The vast majority of new containers are free of any issues.

    • I got a Blendtec in late November 2014 and tested it right away and found absolutely no black specs (I have the new Wildside jar). I tested it again a couple days ago, and still no black specs. If you do a google search for Blendtec and Black residue or specs you will find this particular article where you asked the question and not much else – something about black residue underneath the jar by the gear – totally unrelated to what is going on with Vitamix. So I would say there is no issue with Blendtec that is evidenced in a Google search. I’d like to read those claims out there that BD is referring to, because I sure can’t find them!

      • bd

        Robert, in addition to the gasket issue you referenced there have been isolated reports made to me of residue being discovered just underneath the blade with the use of a tissue or paper towel drawn against the drive shaft. I have tried this procedure on numerous occasions and have been unable to duplicate the results in the claims.

  18. Hi BD,

    I recently purchased a Blendtec Classic 570 from a Costco. I was unable to find this particular model on the blendtec website. It only has options for smoothies, hot, pulse and 3 speed settings. I was wondering if you’re aware of this model. Is this an older model that is being phased out?

    Sincerely

    Shishir

    • bd

      Shishir, I do know the model. It is one of the newer models in the Blendtec line and contains the exact same motor as the Total Blender. It comes with the same container as well. Performance is nearly identical to the Total Blender with the exception of fewer pre-programmed blend cycles and fewer manual speed settings. It has a low, medium, and high speed as opposed to variable speeds 1 through 10. My opinion is that 99.9% of all you blending tasks can be performed with just these three settings.

      • Awesome. Thanks so much for your prompt response. I’ve been a long time reader since I’ve been looking to buy a nicer blender for a while. Finally did it. Thanks again!

  19. Hi,
    I’m considering buying a Blendtec Total Blender and found it discounted on Costco uk. It comes with two jars, book and DVD. How can it be so much cheaper? Are they refurbished or something?
    Thanks

    • bd

      Mimi, I do not know what Total Blenders are selling for in the UK, but none sold in any Costco locations worldwide are refurbished. They are all new units.

  20. Did you mean “not unattainable” in your review? To me that means that you can attain the same results in regular blenders. I think you meant “not attainable” in other blenders. Thanks, –Pam

    • bd

      Pamela, you are correct. Thanks for catching the error.

      • My pleasure! And, thanks for all your diligence and the plethora of information on your fantastic site. It made my decision on which blender to buy easy! –Pam

  21. Hi. Hi have just purchased a Blendtec Total Blender. The burning smell had come and noe gone within a couple of days. So far so good however I do have one major problem with it. The vented lid allows liquid to splash out. I have two lids as mine came with two jars, standard and wild side. I am blending for smaller amounts but I have experimented with various volumes. The only fix so far is to place some tin foil over the top of the rubber lid and then put the clear part on top upside down. Am I the only one to experience this. My worktop and floor gets lots if little splatters.

    • bd

      Glenn, for “smaller amounts” this should not be occurring. Over thousands and thousands of cycles, I only experienced anything similar to this when using extremely large amounts of liquid – as in, filling well over half the volume of the container with straight liquid prior to blending. I am at a loss to explain why this is occurring, unless you are not including many solid ingredients in your recipes. Even then, if your straight liquid ingredients are relatively “normal” it should not be occurring. Perhaps a call to Blendtec customer service explaining exactly what is occurring might yield some more insight. I’m sorry I can’t be of more direct help.

      • I just bought my Blendtec 570 from Costco 2 days ago and I have definitely noticed this splashing. I have had to hold my lid down because I am afraid it is going to pop off.

        • bd

          Rhonda, Blendtecs do quite a bit of splashing inside the container. Unless it is exceptionally full of liquid and/or high-liquid ingredients, you shouldn’t have to hold the lid. It won’t pop off unless you build an extreme amount of pressure inside it when, for instance, making a hot soup.

  22. My dear sister gave me a Blendtec food processor for Christmas. It was an extravagant gift given in hope that I would eat more veg, live healthier and longer. When I put a carrots in it, they carrot bounces around without becoming sliced or macerated in any way. When I put hot vegetable broth into it to blend into a tasty healthy soup, it shuts down with a heat overload. Currently it collects dust, although I could also use it as a door stop. It is sturdy, looks nice and does not function in any process for which it is claimed to be designed. I would recommend that no person every buy one.

    • bd

      Thanks for your feedback, John. There is no reason vegetable broth would cause the overload function to engage on a properly-working machine. If this is the case then you have a faulty motor base and I recommend you contact Blendtec customer service. Your blender is completely covered under warranty.

  23. I’m thinking of buying the Blendtec “Professional” Series. But I can’t find reviews on it. Is it the same as the others (like the Classic)?
    Thanks.

    • bd

      Joey, the Professional Series is built with the exact same motor and, for all intents and purposes, user-interface (push-button operation) as the Total Blender. As well it includes both WildSide and FourSide BPA-free containers.

  24. Hello! Got a dumb question for ya– purchased my Total Blendtec in January and use it like crazy!! Some days I use it 8-10 times! I “over temp” my Blendtec at least once or twice a week. This is when I am making “sticky” or “thick” foods- using dates or homemade granola bars, nut butters, etc. Is this normal? I noticed in your review that you had not had this happen. I can’t add water- I wouldn’t get a granola bar 🙂 Any suggestions? Is this something I could take care of myself or would I need the company to help?

    I am considering going to the Vitamix 6300 because my friends assure me it “won’t” overheat!! Not sure what to do, and I really don’t want to spend more money if it’s not necessary. Thanks for any help or ideas in advance 🙂

    • I do use my Twister jar for nut butters 🙂

    • bd

      Candy, a similar overload shutoff design to the one in your Blendtec is also present in all Vitamix models. This is a well-thought out safety feature in high-performance blenders which prevents the motor from damage due to excessive heat build-up. Although instances such as that you’ve described are not entirely uncommon, I have yet to personally encounter an overload with any of my Blendtecs when making nut-butters, specifically. Other dense, thick ingredients are more likely to result in an overload depending on the quantity being used, but still I would expect these occasions to be sporadic. The frequency with which you’re describing having to deal with this occurrence seems a bit suspect to me. It would be an inconvenience to be sure, but it might be worth sending it back to Blendtec for warranty coverage. Prior to doing this you would want to have a conversation with Blendtec’s customer service so that your concerns are well-documented.

      A Vitamix would certainly do a great job on these types of ingredients, too. But I wouldn’t make such an investment with the belief that one is any stronger or more capably-engineered to handle these ingredients. The tamper that comes with a Vitamix might make this type of blending slightly more convenient. But, again, the susceptibility to overloads on one is not significantly different from the other. If you have a properly-functioning motor in your Blendtec, you have the right machine for the job. The key is going to be finding out if there is anything wrong with yours or not. Although I can’t say for certain based on what you’ve described, my suspicion is that there might be. I wish you the best of luck. Report back to us what, if anything, you decide to do.

      • Thanks solo much! I think I will give them a call today- I appreciate the advice (and the monetary savings :))!

        • I called today- they set up an account to have a reference point. He thought it was weird that it would only overheat on “sticky” stuff- it seems perfectly logical to me though 🙂 Anyway- he told me to do anything besides liquids in my Twister jar- that’s gonna be a bit of a pain, but I’m giving it a try! Keep ya posted- thanks again!

          • bd

            I’m not sure how that’s going to help diagnose the problem. The WildSide container should easily handle everything you’re trying to do. Like you said, at least you’ve established a reference point if the need arises for warranty service. Keep us posted.

        • bd

          You’re very welcome, Candy.

  25. Hi, I just purchased the Blendtec designer series model. So far, I’m enjoying it very much. I’ve only just had it about 2 weeks. My question is I purchased mine from Ebay, brand new and sealed. Do I still have warranty coverage? and how do I activate it, as I didn’t receive a warranty card with it.

    Thanks

    • bd

      Kevin, the warranties with the Blendtecs transfer from one owner to the next over the course of its duration. To find out exactly how long you have remaining on yours, call Blendtec customer service. Have your blender handy. On the underside of it you will find your serial number. This is what Blendtec will use to verify how much time you have left. As the Designer Series is a relatively new model, you will undoubtedly have several years remaining on the warranty.

      • Ah, just the question and answer I was looking for before I also make an eBay purchase of a supposedly new BlendTec.

        Another question though: When does warranty start? From the point the first person registers it? or from the manufactured date stamped on the base?

        Thanks – Stuart

  26. Thanks for such a comprehensive review. My concern mainly comes from the LCD display and “smart” buttons. I have friends who have had a blendtec/vitamix for 10+ years using daily so I have no doubt that the motor in either of these machines is powerful enough to essentially last a lifetime. However, technology seems to disappoint often times and I am afraid the LCD screen and touch buttons will literally wear out their welcome long before the motor does. Comments or opinions on the realistic longevity on this part of the machine?

    • bd

      Marcie, yours is a fair concern. In my experience, which includes years of both daily personal and professional use of Total Blenders, I have never had a single issue with the digital LCD screen nor the push-button technology on any of my blenders. This includes some with, literally, tens of thousands of cycles-worth of use on them. Nor can I recall having received any complaints about either from Blendtec customers.

      The most common complaint I have received regarding the Blendtec has been difficulty blending frozen and/or otherwise solid ingredients. To this I am referring to cavitation and not the power of the machine. As well, I still receive occasional reports of faulty Blendtec containers, most of which are in regard to a specific gasket failure which occurs over time. This is a warranty issue which Blendtec has always honored to the best of my knowledge.

  27. I’ve had Blendtec for just over a month and it has been used on a daily basis ever since for making green smoothie. Just a quick question, of the two programs, Whole Juice and Smoothie, which should give juice with more smooth texture (without ice BTW)? I have experimented with both but have yet to experiment with exact same composition.

    • bd

      JJ, the Whole Juice setting is not only a longer cycle, but implements the highest speeds for a longer duration as well. This is the setting between the two that will yield “smoother” results, regardless of the recipe you are using. When choosing to use a blend cycle for smoothies, I would almost always opt for it. Similarly, you could also choose to use the manual “Speed Up” button to gradually increase to Speed 10. A full 50-second cycle at these speeds will also yield great results. And, if necessary, you can repeat the cycle until your smoothie is the perfect texture for you.

  28. Hello!

    I just got my total clasic with wild side for my birthday last week. I’ve been following recipes out of the book and online and ran into problems with my 5th smoothie. The recipe called for quite a bit of frozen fruit, yogurt, and juice and recommended the ‘ice crush’ option. I started the machine, and it started to mix, but got jammed quickly. I shut it off, shook/mixed the ingredients then added more juice and started again. This time, it started vibrating really hard and didnt seem to struggle blending. I took it off again, and found melted marks in the four corners of the jar where they meet the corners of the base. I’m worried something is wrong with the machine and that the jar is now less structurally sound. The melting did not go through all the way, but left significant marks on the jar at the points of contact. Any insight would be appreciated!!!

    • bd

      Tristan, a belated happy birthday to you. All high-performance blenders are prone to heavy vibration on occasion. This is the result of the load in the container offering a specific amount of resistance that the motor isn’t being adjusted for. It’s a little difficult to explain but the bottom line is, based on what you’ve described, I do not think you have done any damage to the blender. In all my similar personal experiences, however, I’ve never seen any damage to the container such as what you are illustrating. That should not be happening under any circumstances.

      I recommend you contact Blendtec customer service, describe what happened, and have a new replacement container sent out to you. As your machine is brand new they should be more than willing to accommodate your request as a warranty issue.

      • Thanks for the prompt response! I’ve got it all sorted out now and am looking forward to all the great recipes I can make! It sure is a powerful machine!

    • I have exactly the same problem – blending bananas in the Wildside ! I have had the Blendtec one week – very upset and disappointed. What did they say your fault was?

  29. Any insight into powder rubber residues in the jar?

    • bd

      BD, if you are noticing this, it is indicative of a gasket failure from the underside of the container. Discontinue use immediately and contact Blendtec customer service. This issue cannot be repaired, but if the blender and/or container is still under warranty, a new one will be sent to you.

  30. Love the Blendtec, but contacting customer service is a royal PITA. I called twice and was on hold 20+ minutes each time with no answer. Emailed them and received a different customer service phone number and waited 13 minutes with no answer the first time. Got someone to answer at the 16 minute mark the second (actually fourth) time I called and they helped me greatly! So the customer service was good AFTER you get them to finally answer. My advice is dial em up and set em on speakerphone while prepared for the 1/2 hour wait!

    • Blenderdude

      John, I’m sorry for your unfortunate experience with CS. I’ve never known it to be that difficult to reach them so I very much appreciate you sharing your experience with us.

      • I called today 3 times for a burning/smoking motor after 1.5 yr of lightly use. 1st call was 49 mins and no one answered the phone. 2nd call was around 30 mins. I had to wait almost an hour for the 3rd call.

        • Blenderdude

          Tim, I’m sorry for not only the issue with your Blendtec but also the inconvenience with customer service. That is atypical unless things have taken a turn for the worse here lately. I appreciate you sharing your experience with the site.

      • I read this several few weeks ago and assumed complaints about customer service were isolated instances. Unfortunately, I disregarded the advice and ordered. Shipments were delayed, there was no response to email, and no one answered the phone. Call customer service BEFORE you buy. If someone answers within 20 minutes or less, they may have fixed the problem.

        • bd

          Lorna, thanks for sharing your experience. I hope these recent reports aren’t indicative of them heading back in the wrong direction. It would wipe out a lot of great progress Blendtec has made in its level of customer service in the past few years.

        • bd

          Lorna, as a follow up to recent complaints I just completed a recent test call to Blendtec CS and experienced a 25 minute hold time, myself during a late-morning call. As well, I have received two separate recent complaints of orders having been placed for over two weeks with no shipment confirmations or status update notifications.

          Hopefully our reporting this type of feedback will help encourage Blendtec to step up their commitment to excellent customer service to recent levels. Again, I appreciate your feedback.

  31. I’m also concerned about the rubber residue that rubs off during the high speed cycles. Are my smoothies getting any of this noxious odor or particles in them? I have noticed an odd taste and coincidentally have had some health issues since using my Blendtec two or three times daily for the last 2 months. I’ll be raising my concerns with my doctor soon. Hope it’s not related. Anyone else?

    • Blenderdude

      Tina, unless your jar is visibly leaking from the underside, it is highly unlikely that any part of the seal is making its way into your smoothies. It couldn’t hurt to check for damage, though. If the seal/gasket does fail, then it is likely that you will find evidence of it in whatever recipe you make at the time. However, you will also notice that the container leaks from the underside/drive shaft as well.

  32. I have a Blendtec Wildside with twister coming in the mail. I’m looking forward to making a 16 oz smoothy every day. Will it work well to make this amount of smoothie in the Wildside jar? Will I need to purchase a 4 side jar? Thanks for your response in advance. LB

    • Blenderdude

      Laura, whether or not your WildSide will be the optimal container for making 16-ounce servings will depend largely on the ingredient makeup of your smoothies. Using a fair amount of liquid as one of the ingredients should allow it to work just fine. Regardless, the Twister Jar will be an excellent option for this size smoothie. Ingredient makeup is far less important when using it, and though 16 ounces is approaching the upper limits of what I’d recommend for the Twister, it is nonetheless an acceptable size for this container. You absolutely will not need to purchase a FourSide container for this task.

  33. Is there a time limit the designer manual slide?

    • Blenderdude

      Roger, the manual cycle will last 50 seconds if you don’t stop it prior.

  34. hello. I bought blendtec and i love it. as a raw vegan i use it several times a day to prepare fresh food. do i have to switch it off with the behind button after each use? so that it counts all cycles? or if i will use it 4 times a day can i leave the blendtec in the mode switch on?

    • Blenderdude

      Daniela, I’m glad you’re enjoying your Blendtec. During my days working for Blendtec I would have my blender powered on 12 hours a day, every day, with no ill-effects. At last count my primary demonstrating Blendtec had over 22,000 cycles of use, the majority of which were accumulated this very way.

      • Does the metallic powder diminish after enough use? it’s odd to me that this is normal – I would have thought that it would be mentioned in the blendtec literature they provide because my first thought was that I bought a lemon and it’s stripping the pitcher shaft.

        For the record I own a designer series and notice the powder forming on all 3 pitchers but much less so on the wildside/4 side jars. Mostly it forms when blending hard items on the twister jar.

        thank you.

        • Apologies, my reply was meant for “Jaime’s” question below but appeared here.

        • Blenderdude

          No worries, Lee. If you are talking about the fine residue that forms on and around the drive shaft and coupling of the blender, this is quite common. There is a lot of force at work with a metal socket turning a metal shaft. I have tens of thousands of uses on my Blendtecs. The good news is, though this condition is not unusual, it has never appeared to affect the performance of my blenders or containers.

          • Exactly, it’s a fine metallic colored powder that is deposited on the base around the coupling after using the blender. Very happy that this is a common occurance although a bit worrisome when I noticed it.

            thanks for your help.

  35. The one common factor I’ve seen in all the complaints is Costco Seriously I read all of these and 90% of the people who complained bought theirs from Costco. I’m ordering online from the manufaturer.

    • Blenderdude

      James, you make an interesting point. I do know from experience, though, that Costco does not take the hit on returns – Blendtec does. Every machine that comes back to the store, regardless of when, is charged back to Blendtec, re-packaged, and returned to their factory in Orem, Utah. This would be an awfully inefficient way to try to pass of inferior product in my opinion.

  36. Hi there, first off thanks for the great review! It was really helpful.

    I purchased the BlendTec yesterday. I have used it three times (made two smoothies and chopped some veggies) but this morning there is a clear, odourless yellow oil leaking out from around the touch pad! I’m totally dismayed. This can’t be normal – right?!? I’m thinking I’ll have to return it for a new one.

    • Blenderdude

      Jeanine, no, that is not normal at all. In fact, I’ve never heard of anything similar happening before. I definitely recommend you return/exchange it.

      • Thanks for the quick reply! I was able to return it to Costco and I bought a new one to replace it.

      • Well! So much for that. The 2nd blender I bought is having the same issue. When I got home with the 2nd blender, I took the blender jar, lid and base out of the box and just laid them on the kitchen counter, with the jar sitting upright on the base. Six hours later, I went to clean the blender jar so that it would be ready for me to use in the morning. To my extreme disappointment, to put it mildly…there is about a tablespoon of this same yellow oil accumulated in the blender jar! The oil is pooled around the blade mechanism. There is some on the lid near the clear plastic section and a small amount pooled around the rubber feet on the base. I swear, the pieces looked and felt absolutely clean with no oil to be seen when I took it out of the box.

        I just don’t know what to think about this. Maybe the Costco I purchased it from got a bad shipment, or something happened during shipping. I’ve never read anything like this while I was researching the Vitamix and Blendtec. Two brand new machines…leaking oil before even being used (or barely used, in the case of the first one). I’ve contacted Blendtec to ask about my options.

        • Blenderdude

          Jeanine, how bizarre. To me just as odd as the oil being there at all is in how many different places around the blender it appears. Regardless of the explanation, obviously this one should go back, too. I’m glad you reached out to Blendtec on the matter. This is a quality control issue on either the manufacturing or shipping side that I know they’d wish to be informed about. I’m sorry for your experience thus far. Please keep us informed on any developments.

  37. I would like to comment about the complaint many people have about the burnt rubber or plastic-like smell that sometimes comes from the base, especially in newer Blendtecs.

    So my Blendtech was less than a week old today. This morning I prepared a large batch of carrots soup and was blending it in batches, doing one full “soup cycle” per batch. After only three back to back cycles, I smelled a very strong burnt plastic odor coming from the base. I lifted up the front of the machine and took a gentle whiff, and it was clear that that was where to smell was coming from. I despaired a bit, figuring I got a lemon, and looked up the issue online, this being one of the sites I came across. Finally I decided I got a dud and I returned it to Costco just less than an hour ago. While at Costco I even noticed the Blendtec demo guy was there and I asked him about the problem. He said it was definitely abnormal and that I should return it, so I did.

    I got a brand new one and just now, as I was unpacking it, I noticed the insert in the jar with some info on how to start using it and stuff. It tells you how to clean it before use, how to fill the jar for best blending performance, and at the bottom it says this:

    “*WHAT’S THAT SMELL?* So you’ve run your new Blendtec blender a few times, and you’ve noticed an odd burning smell coming from the motor base. Not to worry- this just means the motor’s carbon brushes are getting comfortable as they gear up for years and years of service in your kitchen.”

    So it seems that I returned a perfectly good blender. I find it interesting that I could not, and still can not find any information about this online and even that Blendtec employees are not aware of this. Yet, it is a known issue, and not a serious one, in fact it seems to be expected to happen. It is in fact, normal, it seems, as long as it is not actually shutting off or displaying error messages.

    So I just wanted to get this info out there. If you have a fairly new Blendtech and you get this smell. Do not freak out. Keep using it for a while and it should go away after… I don’t know how long, but if after a few weeks or whatever of regular use, if it does not seem to be getting better, or functionality starts suffering, only then would I return it or have it repaired.

    • Blenderdude

      April, thank you very much for sharing your experience. This is a fairly common occurrence with many new electrical appliances as the motor windings cure. We have discussed it to varying degrees in the comments sections across this site several times. Some of the comments sections have hundereds of posts so it isn’t always readily apparent, but it has been addressed. Your experience will hopefully be front and center on this page for quite some time to help others who may be equally curious. Thank you again.

      • I want to ask this question by replying so that April’s comments still remains front and center…

        But as I am getting to know my new Vitamix, a thought occurred to me that I always wondered about the Blendtec. Do you know why it is that BT has timed cycles on their manual settings? The reason is obvious for the pre-programmed cycles, but for the timed cycles, it makes very little sense to me. I at least wish BT’s manual cycles were something like 3 minutes or so… something longer than the pre-programmed cycles. And it just seems so arbitrary to only have it be for 50 seconds… you’d think it would at least be a well-rounded 1-minute at the very least.

        Also, just curious, but I noticed that on my Vitamix, that drive socket where the jar sits in has that hard plastic around it and it is starting to wear. I don’t think that will have any bearing on the performance, but is that a part of the normal wear-and-tear?

        • Blenderdude

          Joe, I do not know why the manual cycles are timed, nor do I know why 50 seconds was the chosen length. That would be a good question for one of Blendtec’s engineers. I agree with you that it seems arbitrary. I also have on too many occasions to mention wished the manual cycle was longer than it is, as I primarily use only it when blending with my Blendtec. I would love to see it either un-timed or at 90 seconds like the Soup cycle.

          Regarding your Vitamix, if you are referring to the rounded circular portion of the socket on the outskirt of the drive shaft, then yes, it will take on a slightly worn look with enough use. It shouldn’t give any appearance that it might fail with continued use, however.

  38. Purchased the Blendtec Total Blender Classic package from Costco one month ago and have been using it to make smoothies each morning for the past three weeks. Yesterday smoke began to billow from below so I stopped the machine and allowed to cool. The “over temperature” also was displayed. This morning I was able to make one smoothie but on the second one the motor began to sound odd and soon it was barely working (no smoke or “over temp” message, though).

    I plan to return to Costco and will probably go with a Vitamix as I am a little gun-shy about replacing with another Blendtec after mine failed so soon- under very light usage.

    • Blenderdude

      Howie, that definitely doesn’t sound like an issue that will resolve itself. Lemons do occasionally make it into the marketplace and you happened to be an unfortunate recipient of one. I can understand your skepticism and don’t blame you for returning it. Hopefully your Vitamix experience will be the exact opposite. Feel free to let us in on how it goes.

      • It does seem like there are a lot of complaints about Blendtec’s durability. But I have owned my Blendtec since Feb 2013 and I’ve already got over 2600 cycles on it and I’ve never had a problem.

        I also don’t take it easy on my blender.

        • I actually saw the above comment and wanted to throw in my 2 cents and forgot to ask my question. Sometimes in my blends, I’ll use a chunk of pineapple with the core, or it will have a carrot, and it seems that there are always some little chunks of the pineapple or carrot. This happens even if I run it on its highest speed for 50 seconds. This is something easily remedied by letting it run a second cycle or so.

          However, the thing is, I’ve watched a lot of Blendtec demos on YT, and I constantly see the demonstrators throw in pineapples or carrots and they will just run it for one whole juice cycle. Now, I am assuming theirs turn out perfectly smooth, as I know the demonstrators wouldn’t do anything to have egg on their face. Do you have any idea why mine aren’t perfectly smooth with these ingredients?

          It’s not a really big deal, as it doesn’t bother me to let the machine run a little longer. But of course, given the choice, I would rather it just blend for one cycle and be done with it.

          • Blenderdude

            Joe, there is nothing wrong with your machine. Remember, the Whole Juice cycle was designed to correspond with precise recipes created by Blendtec. Of course, you may use these cycles with your own recipes, but doing so may require “tweaking” the results a bit manually. Because I almost never use a recipe book, I always operate all my blenders manually. Depending on my ingredients, I, like you, usually use one full cycle on manual speed 10, then at least a partial-to-full second cycle to achieve the texture I’m after. It sounds to me like your experience is very similar.

        • Blenderdude

          Joe, I believe the vast majority of the complaints about the Blendtec are regarding its container. And these complaints, as visible as they appear, really do represent a small percentage of units sold. I have tens of thousands of cycles on my Blendtecs and have never encountered a single problem with the blenders, themselves. They are true workhorses.

          • That’s good to know, because honestly, as I read all of these complaints, I’m getting a little paranoid. I use my Blendtec a lot. I’ve owned it for a little over 9 months and I’ve already got over 2600 cycles on it… I think I’d be lost if anything happened to it, lol. But all of these complaints make me feel like I am either really lucky, or I am on borrowed time.

            But I am relieved to hear your experiences with it and to know that the complaints are actually the minority of cases. I also found this from Blendtec’s website:

            “Please have your blender with you when you call. During the call, we will troubleshoot with you to determine the exact nature of the issue. If the problem is with the jar and it’s under warranty, we will ship you a new jar for free—you won’t even pay for shipping. If the problem is with the motor base, we will provide options for repairing the blender or sending a refurbished blender as a replacement. Again, we’ll pay the shipping costs.”

            Blendtec Warranty Info

            It’s good to know that Blendtec even pays the shipping. I didn’t know that previously.

            • Blenderdude

              Yes, Blendtec has an excellent warranty and does a great job with honoring it.

      • Blendtec was returned today and the Vitamix 5200 Super Package ordered. I’ll make a note to post impressions of the Vitamix after a month or so with it.

        Thanks for your thoughts.

        • Blenderdude

          Howie, good luck with the new machine. We look forward to your report.

  39. Hi BD. I have been waffling over which blender to buy Blendtec or Vitamix for several months. So have been using your website and found it helpful. I have been watching Costco for the “shows”. Three weeks ago I finally decided. It’s a Blendtec TotalBlender with Wildside jar! I was impressed with the price, the size (fits on my counter) and the warranty which is now 8 years. works great, love it!! used over 35 times. Yesterday I’m shopping again at Costco and now they have a Vitamix show. Significantly more money, I paid $350, they are selling Vitamix for $595.00. Easy decision there. But the Vitamix demonstrator worried me. She stated I will void the warranty if I load the machine with ingredients past the marked line. So at home I checked my Owner’s manual and sure enough it says “Never operate the blender with more than the marked capacity of the jar.” Why then does so many of the recipes fill it past, and the photo on the front of the recipe book show it full almost to the top before blending? This means I can’t even follow some of the recipes they provide. I want the biggest jar for making my family smoothies all at once. Your thoughts? is this true?

    • Blenderdude

      Tracey, this is a classic case of a scare tactic/sales pitch by a demonstrator for a competing manufacturer. I’ve seen it with all of them. Blendtec is not going to void your warranty for following one of their recipes. The warning in the manual is against blending recipes that, in a liquid/blended state, fill your container past the markings. In these instances you might see liquid escape through the vented lid or, in the case of soups, create such pressure inside the container that the lid is forced off. You want to avoid either scenario and the best way to do this is keep the total liquid volume under 6 cups.

      Experience will teach you these thresholds, but, as you’ve probably already discovered, even filling your container completely full of fruits and veggies usually won’t yield this much volume provided you don’t add a large amount of straight liquid yourself along with it. By all means, follow the recipes in the book, and feel free to experiment on your own, too. Your warranty will be completely valid.

  40. I purchased my Blendtec last weekend. I was also able to watch a demo so I knew what to expect in noise level. However, I do not recall the machine sounding like it was “grinding” through the whole cycle.

    I followed the owner’s manual to run the machine without the jar. It sounded fine and “smooth”. I put the jar on (no ingredients) and ran the pulse for a few seconds as instructed in the manual. It immediately sounds like it’s griding ice. Is this normal or is something no right with the jar?

    I have no trouble with preparing my smoothies and I put everything in the order it should be. But it has that “grinding ice” sound during the full duration of the cylce…even when I’m using frozen peaches/blueberries and NO ICE.

    • Blenderdude

      Dee, based on your description, this noise does not sound normal at all. If the Blendtec roadshow is still going on, I recommend you return the blender to Costco and pick up another. Another option is to call Blendtec and describe the issue. Based on how new your machine is, request that it be replaced with a new machine. They should be willing to accommodate you. If you run into any resistance, you always have returning the machine to Costco and exploring other options as a last resort. Blendtec should be willing to do whatever it takes to make you a satisfied customer. Best of luck to you.

    • I bought the blender in the spring, and it has made a world of difference in the nutrition value to both myself and my husband … every day start with smoothies using various fresh fruits, and vegetables. We love this blender, love the healthy foods I’m able to put into my body – without cringing (because i hate fruit, i hate vegetables).

      Today I am flipping out … the motor is burning out. The smell of burning wires is so evident after this morning’s breakfast smoothie. There’s no good reason for this … we are so careful with its use an care – not only because we are in love with what it’s given us, but the hefty price tag. We’ve never experienced a “shut down” because of overload, there’s been no prior indication that there was any struggle going on with it.

      Are we going to have to go without for weeks before replacement? Our diet and nutrition will be totally thrown off, and I can’t contact support till tomorrow (MST), and we don’t know what we will do in the meantime.

      I’m serious – being without will take away the ability to maintain healthy eating habits…. and am worried. (Husband’s dropped 60lbs (big man to begin with); and I lost 27 lbs, without even knowing it – it was him that was put on the new eating method, and i was just tagging along.)

      Does anyone have an answer they might offer today? ANY suggestions what we can do while it’s being replaced and/or fixed?

      • Blenderdude

        Pat, I’m very sorry to hear of your blender troubles and understand completely about the inconvenience this will potentially cause. I cannot guarantee you anything on Blendtec’s behalf, but when you contact customer service I would emphasize how important it is that you be able to maintain your healthy eating regiment. Request a replacement blender while yours is being diagnosed and repaired. It can’t hurt to ask. I truly hope you aren’t without one for very long. You are to be commended for your success to date. Good luck.

  41. Can the blendtec be used as a food proceessor the way the Vitamix can? With the manual controls can you eliminate the need for the tamper? I just see a lot of times when the Blendtec struggles to make dense stuff on youtube.

    • Blenderdude

      Joseph, the Blendtec can be used to chop, but due to its rather blunt blade it will not produce a fine dice like you would get from a food processor. The manual controls on the Blendtec are precisely how you would manipulate the blades to compensate somewhat for a lack of a tamper (the Twister Jar is another remedy). However, this takes a good bit of practice/experience. Predominantly frozen and other thick ingredients can and will often be difficult for any blender that does not have a tool of sorts to help assist the ingredients into the cutting path of the blades. The Blendtec is no exception.

  42. I just purchased the Blendtec total with Wildside today and I noticed, as I flipped through the bonus cookbook, it mentions a lot more recipes that use the Fourside blender. Do I need to purchase this additional blender for when I make small quantities of salad dressing or single serving smoothies? Will the Wildside still be ok to use for these jobs until then? Thank you in advance for your time. I can’t wait to start blending Blendtec style 😉

    • Blenderdude

      Zoe, I do not recommend you get the FourSide container at this time. The WildSide will do everything the FourSide will. For whatever reason, Blendtec has not updated/modified the recipe book tailoring it to the WildSide container, specifically. In my opinion they should as the WildSide is the primary container sold today with any of the models available in their line. You can still make any recipe in the book using the WildSide container, although you might want to adjust the proportions to a recipe that seems so small in volume that the ingredients would have difficulty reaching the blades.

      For very small-quantity recipes like those you mentioned, you might have to “help” the WildSide container by stopping the machine periodically and using a spatula to guide ingredients back into the cutting path of the blade. If you didn’t feel like doing this and decided to invest in a separate container, the Twister Jar is the one I recommend. This is an ideal container for very small recipes. It is also great for handling thick and frozen ingredients. Congrats on your Blendtec. I hope you enjoy it.

      • Thank you for your swift response. I will happily keep the $100 I was going to spend on the Fourside and see how the Wildside works out for my smaller tasks. Otherwise, I will consider your suggestion, the Twister, for a future purchase, if needed.

        Thanks again…

      • I’ve asked this question to all top blending companies and only one had the courage to respond to it, I’ll say later which one. Can the Blendtec make raw almonds into fine flour? Is there a special jar I can buy that would make raw almonds into flour better than the standard Blendtec jar?

        I know all the top blenders can go back and forth on blending performance but when it comes to the almond test they all freak out and run away! I don’t need almond butter, I need almond flour. Can some on here post a video of a Blendtec making raw almonds into fine flour.

        If it can I will walk straight into a store and buy it. This is the only test I’ve yet to see any blender pass, something about almonds that just scares everyone away.

        • Blenderdude

          TGD, the Blendtec can help make it (as can other manufacturers). However, it’s not as simple as loading raw almonds into the container and blending away like you would do with roasted almonds. The only ways I know to successfully achieve the texture you desire is to first remove as much moisture from the almonds as you can – usually by dehydrating – then carefully monitoring the blender as it starts to grind. You have to stop blending before the oils and fiber start to coagulate, which will form “butter.” At this point you would technically have almond flour, but it probably wouldn’t be fine enough for your liking. I would then repeat the dehydration process, then do one final, very quick, “blend.” This will result into as close to a flour texture as I believe you can achieve with a high-performance blender.

          There is no container Blendtec makes that will circumvent any of these steps, although the Twister Jar may lessen your actual blending time over the WildSide or FourSide.

        • I read your comment earlier today and I was just going through the specs of a rather new blender called the Optimum 9400, an Australian make. And in their features video the first thing the demonstrator does is make almond flour/meal! (Link here: http://youtu.be/ljRFJz8idEY) I had to come back and find your comment so I can link you to it.
          But as BD said, I think most high power blenders can do this. As the demonstrator says in the video you have to pulse rather than full out blend or you’ll get a butter rather than a dry flour. It depends on how fine you want it, the finer you want, the dryer you’ll need the mix.

  43. I purchased a Blendtec with the wildside container at Costco about a week ago. I’ve used it about three times. Tonight I used it to make an individual smoothie -just yogurt, a cut up peach, raspberries and a few ice cubes. After a few seconds it gave me the overload error, even though it seemed to be mixing okay. Every time I pressed a cycle the overload error came on, even when the smoothie was completely blended. I unplugged the machine and plugged it back in to clean it with water and a drop of dish soap as usual and still got the overload error when I tried to run it. I’m not sure what triggered the error -maybe an ice cube, but I can’t get it to reset.
    -Lisa

    • Blenderdude

      Lisa, this is not typical at all of the Blendtec. Your machine should not be doing this with such a simple recipe. It’s a rare occurrance, but it sounds like you got a faulty machine. If you can still exchange your unit at Costco, I would recommend you do so. You can always contact Blendtec, as well, and ask them to send you a new machine (I wouldn’t suggest requesting warranty service, as your machine is brand new). As a last resort, you can always simply return the machine to Costco and look to purchase another separately. I’m sorry for your unfortunate experience.

      • BD, May I ask why you wouldn’t suggest requesting warranty service? My machine is 2 weeks old and did the exact same thing Lisa described. Since I bought the blender online at Costco and they don’t usually carry Blendtec blenders in the store, I went ahead and called Blendtec to help me with my problem. They will be sending me a new motor base. Do I have a disadvantage by calling Blendtec directly instead of going through Costco?

        P.S. This is my second Blendtec Blender and I know how wonderfully they perform – never had a problem like this before. So simply returning it to Costco for a refund was out of the question 😉

        -Mel

        • Blenderdude

          Mel, I’ve always felt that a brand new machine should be replaced, not repaired. So, I wasn’t suggesting to not call Blendtec’s customer service. Rather, I was advising not to elect to use warranty repair coverage in this instance. I apologize for the confusion. Replacing a faulty new machine just like you did is exactly what I would recommend to anyone in this situation. Only if for some reason the manufacturer didn’t want to cooperate would I then consider a return. The downside to this, as you know, is you are left without a blender and must start the purchasing process over again.

  44. Hello,

    Your website has been very helpful. I am purchasing the Blendtec for my husband who makes green smoothies every day. I am debating between the classic Wildside or the classic wildside AND the twister jar. Thoughts? Is the classic wildside ok for indivdual smoothies?

    Thanks
    Ange

    • Blenderdude

      Ange, the WildSide container is excellent for smoothies depending on how large or small you consider an “individual” size. You will want to use enough ingredients to reach the blades in the container so that it can perform properly. Anything less will still work, but you may have to give it a little extra help on your part in the form of a spatula or even a quick shake of the container. This is where the Twister Jar really comes in handy. For smoothies 20 ounces or less in size, the Twister Jar is perfect because the specially-designed lid will ensure that the ingredients reach the blades no matter what they are or how little/much you use.

      In short, the Twister Jar is not mandatory for all your smoothie needs, but I do highly recommend it if you are not deterred by the extra expense.

  45. I purchased the Blendtec Total Blender Classic 4 years ago from Costco, specifically to get the 7 year warranty. I don’t use it daily, maybe 3-4 times a week and mostly for power smoothies or protein smoothies after a workout. The motor failed in less than a year. Blendtec replaced it with a refurbished model, despite my complaints about not wanting a refurbished unit. Recently the blades in the jar would not turn by hand (I’m almost OCD about keeping the container clean and hand turning the blades before each use), so I called Blendtec. They said the jar and blades were not covered by the 7 year warranty and that I would have to purchase a new jar for about $80 and pay shipping. I argued with them and told them I was going to go back to Costco and complain bitterly, so they sent me a “previously returned jar” (may have been used or not, may have scratches, etc.) for free. I would not recommend Blendtec despite its ease of use with its blend modes. It’s cost is incredibly high compared to my really old Cuisinart blender, and I’ve never had a problem with the Cuisinart.

    • Blenderdude

      Mike, thank you for sharing your experience. Unfortunately, it appears you purchased your Total Blender just before the period when Blendtec started covering the container for the same duration as the rest of the blender. Back then container failures were not entirely uncommon when subjected to heavy use. Hopefully the new container they sent you will last much longer.

  46. I’ve had my Blendtec for about 4 yrs. Within the last week I had noticed it was slow to start, sounding as if it wanted to go but had little power. I wasn’t making anything unusual and even tested it with water and it did the same thing. The problem seemed to go away for a few days and then last night as I was blending vegetables for soup, I smelled something burning and I felt the blender was making a strange sound. I stopped it and found shredded burnt rubber between the base and the jar and tiny bits of black rubber in the blended food. Do I need a whole new jar or just a seal?

    • Blenderdude

      Sherry, that is a gasket on the container that has worn out. It cannot be repaired so a new container is required. However, depending on how long you’ve had your blender, it is covered under the warranty. Contact Blendtec to inquire about getting a new one sent to you. If you don’t have your original receipt, be prepared to give them the serial number off of the Blender. It can be found on the underside of the motor base.

  47. Hi
    I have the Blendtec and love it. But the o ring on the bottom has started to disintegrate. Is this replaceable or do I have to buy a whole new jar.

    Thanks for your help.
    Rita

    • Blenderdude

      Rita, unfortunately that part is not replaceable on the Blendtec container. However, depending on how long you’ve had your Blendtec, it is very likely that the entire container, itself, is covered under warranty. I advise you to call Blendtec customer service. If you no longer have your receipt or are not sure of exactly how long you’ve had your blender, have the serial number handy and they can determine this for you. If you are still covered they will send you a new container.

  48. Hi BD,

    Firstly, great site…lots of super, unbiased info. Now, looking at the Blendtec vs. Vitamix question from a slightly different perspective, I’m leaning toward the Blendtec while still feeling taunted by the Vitamix. Impressed by a Vitamix 5200 demo today, having a mother who really loves hers, as well as using the same a few times and having a good perception of its quality build, I left Costco today anticipating I’d return, get a membership, and buy that machine.

    BUT…I’m a single guy who questions 1) how much I’d use a high-performance blender, 2) how quickly would I consume some items such as nut butters, and thus 3) might the Blendtec in a $400 package unique to Sams Club where I already have a membership, be my smartest purchase option, given it includes both the Wildside container and Twister? Why smarter?…because primarily of the Twister.

    Reviews suggest the Twister jar provides a better, faster prep of nut butters than any VM unit, not to mention even easier cleaning, by virtue of its smaller size. I’m anticipating it should work well for single-serving smoothies and perhaps soups too. If so, it may become my one go-to container for everything, unless I really wanted to prepare a larger volume of some recipe. The smaller Twister would surely require cutting up fruits/veggies to some extent, but that seems almost silly to even call inconvenient as it takes little time to do.

    Something too I’d not given consideration to and read on another site, was that for more complex recipes that might combine one batch of blended ingredients with another, is that this combo set of Twister and Wildside could likely serve that need quite well.

    But, conceptually, I like the idea of the VM blenders using a sharpened blade that slices through ingredients rather than just beating them to a pulp, and it seems I typically do read VM blenders will produce smoother results in less time for the same size container in use. I also like the idea that the VM blenders offer a lower speed setting better suited for chopping than Blendtec.

    Ultimately, yes, both are great blenders. But, do you think that the Blendtec package offered by Sams Club at $400 might simply be a “no-brainer” in contrast to a Vitamix 5200? In writing all this, I feel I may have reached that conclusion, but welcome another opinion or thoughts worth considering.

    Thanks,

    Daryl

    • Blenderdude

      Daryl, thanks for the compliments on the site. I would equate the Twister Jar with a Blendtec to having the tamper on the Vitamix. Neither is absolutely necessary but both make most blending jobs significantly easier. I would agree that the cleanup with the Twister Jar is probably a little easier than the standard Vitamix container regarding nut butters, although the right spatula will make getting the good stuff out of either fairly painless. I do not agree that the Twister produces a better nut butter than does the Vitamix. They are both superb in this department. Time-wise, they are about equal, also (reference my videos).

      The Twister Jar is a great container for single-serving recipes – I think you’re on the right track with that assumption. I don’t think you’ll run into recipe scenarios that require the use of two different containers that frequently – I can’t remember the last time I did – but I can’t refute the claim that two containers would be nice on these occasions.

      I also don’t necessarily agree that the Vitamix produces smoother results in less time. The Blendtec is perfectly capable of providing super-smooth results in similar blending durations. However, this will often require a little more user “savvy” on the part of the Blendtec operator. Many Blendtec users defer to the pre-programmed cycles for all their blending needs. And while its true that the pre-programmed cycles can be convenient for many uses, you will find that mastering the manual controls on the Blendtec will help yield much better results in less time quite frequently. If you want to consistently produce similar results to the Vitamix (and its very useful tamper) with the Blendtec, you simply must learn to use the manual controls. Once you do, you’ll find the actual blade design makes little difference. Both designs are super-effective.

      I don’t think any particular blender package is a “no-brainer” unless and until you’ve found the model that meets all your needs and expectations. I can tell you that you’ll be very, very pleased with either of these two models/packages you’re considering. I would also urge you to go with the one you’re feeling drawn toward. My experience has taught me that there are far fewer purchaser regrets when this occurs. Best of luck with your decision!

      • BD,

        Thanks for your reply and insights. I do feel nearly 50/50 about the Blendtech vs. Vitamix, yet am now leaning toward Vitamix after reading their 7-year warranty is a “full coverage” warranty wheras Blendtec’s is “limited” and thus may require an explanation of certain potential problems/damage before they honor the warranty. Another consideration is the Blendtec recommendation to only go 1/2 to maybe 2/3 full on a container when doing a blend, thus resulting in a lower max volume per blend than can be obtained with a Vitamix. Of course, that departs from my smaller-serving thoughts, but more on the premise of if I was preparing drinks for others as well, the Vitamix might let me squeeze in 1 or 2 more servings per batch.

        Staying with the single- or small-serving thought however, I’m also thinking perhaps a purchase of the 48-oz. compact Vitamix container might we worthwhile. To that end, using almond butter as an example, I see that 2-3 cups of almonds are needed in the 64-oz container in order for the tamper to reach them and be effectively used. I’ll likely learn this answer tomorrow, before you have a chance to reply, so it’s asked in part for others to benefit seeing: Do you know if the 48-oz container is smaller at the inside base than the 64-oz container? If so, that suggests it could be used for smaller serving batches; if not (perhaps just simply shorter), then there is nothing really gained to merit the purchase. I could opt for the even smaller 32-oz container, but with no tammper, I suspect preparing nut butters in it would require periodic stopping, to scrape down the mixture with a spatula.

        Thanks again!

        Daryl

        • Blenderdude

          Daryl, it is not uncommon for either manufacturer to ask questions about blender issues prior to warranty service. Both companies do an admirable job of honoring warranties in my opinion. Vitamix will cover the cost of shipping both ways for most warranty service, however. That is one significant difference. Regarding the recommendation to limit ingredients to 1/2 – 2/3 of the container, this is for straight liquid ingredients. You can certainly fill the container full of fresh or frozen produce since it will reduce in size drastically once blending begins. The Blendtec lid has a venting system that is prone to letting liquid escape if you fill the container too full with liquid, though. Vitamix does not generally have this issue but, then again, the WildSide container is larger than any Vitamix container so that might equal out in the long run.

          Contrary to what you might expect, the 48-ounce Vitamix container is not noticeably narrower at the base than the standard 64-ounce. So, don’t count on much difference in that regard. The 32-ounce container is a little narrower, however, and the tamper that is used with the standard 64-ounce container can also be used with it.

          • BD,

            Indeed…I confirmed exactly what you said regarding the 64-oz vs. 48-oz Vitamix containers, with the latter simply being shorter. After posting my question here yesterday and later reading the specs on the containers, seeing that both had the 3-inch blade also led me to expect this similarity.

            In the end, after seeing that the 5200S package at Costco was trimmed in price by elminating a nice recipe book, I wound up walking out with the 6300 instead. I liked that it has a separate main power switch and may find the programmed settings convenient…time will tell. One thing I didn’t realize is that the pulse switch is governed by the variable speed knob, which is also nicer than a simple pulse to highest speed as I thought to be the case. All in all, including a pretty good “Savor” recipe book, $499 didn’t seem so unreasonable. The recipe book does lack the nutrition info for each recipe however, which I think would be nice to have.

            Thanks again for your comments and advice.

            Daryl

    • Had so much trouble with my Blendtec I returned it to Costco. Would walk across the counter if I had some thick batters in the jar. Would overload frequently. Had to constantly turn it off and move the ingredients around with a spatula. Had trouble even when I followed their recipes.

      • Blenderdude

        Roxane, I’m sorry for your frustrations with the Blendtec. The “walking” is a completely normal albeit fairly infrequent occurrence with just about every high-performance blender. Frequent overloads are not, though. If these were typical of the majority of your blending experiences, you probably did the prudent thing in returning your unit.

  49. Which color do you think is best looking in total blender? It’s tough to tell online and I only have seen black one in person. Thx

    • Blenderdude

      Kevin, black is the most popular color by far. I demonstrated with a black one and a white one, and have a red one for personal use. I think they all look good.

  50. What size is the blade of vitamix 6300? I think total blender from Blendtec is 3″, is 4″ better (designer serie)? Thx

    • Blenderdude

      Kevin, from tip to tip, the Vitamix 6300 blade assembly is right at 3″ wide. Each of the 4 individual blades is 1 1/4″ from the center hub. The Blendtec FourSide jar has a single 3″ blade, tip to tip, and the WildSide container has a 4″ blade. The Designer Series comes with a WildSide container.

  51. I purchased a Champ HP3 2/29/04 at a home builder show and other than having to have a couple of the jars replaced because of the gaskets wearing out, I haven’t had any problems with it until just this week (6/5/13) and now I keep getting “OVERLOAD” message and it stops.(I’m on 4941 cycles) I’ve tried turning off and unplugging, but it continues. Being that this is now the weekend, I will have to wait until Monday to call the company but I can still use it. We use it at least once a day. One jar is for grinding coffee beans and the other I use to make smoothies, peanut butter, guacamole, salsa, to puree soup and more. I absolutely love this machine and would be lost without it. I found your site in researching this machine and I’m hoping that if it just needs serviced, I can be back in business, but if I need to replace it, your site is helping me to decide what to replace it with. I would go with another Blendtec. I just saw the new Twister Jar that looks intriguing since it looks like just the ticket for making nut butters and smoothies or guacamole and plan on purchasing but I want to get my machine problem resolved first. Do you have any suggestions as to why I’m getting Overload message and if it’s something that I would need to send in for repair? Is there an advantage to ordering a new one through your site if it comes to that? It looks like you offer free shipping. Thanks in advance to any feedback.

    • Blenderdude

      Letha, I’m sorry to hear of your misfortune with your Blendtec although it sounds like you have gotten a tremendous amount of performance from it so far. I have experienced the “Overload” indication numerous times but my machines have always reset themselves after such with no issues at all. If yours appears “stuck” on “Overload” then you are experiencing an issue that will definitely require Blendtec service. I am not going to be of much use to you in that regard as far as tips or tricks – it sounds like you have tried everything already. Hopefully Blendtec will give you some encouraging news about its ability to be repaired on Monday.

      If you do end up purchasing another Blendtec, the Twister Jar is awesome for those thicker guacamoles and nut butters you like to make. It will really cut down on the time it takes to make them.

      Yes, I offer free shipping through my site but the Blendtec, itself, would be delivered directly from them in Orem, Utah.

      • Thanks. I’ll let you know how I make out.

        • OK. I just called and I can say I got excellent service and I’m happy with the company. My machine is no longer under warranty, but they will send me a replacement reconditioned Total Blender with jar for the price of motor repair on my unit. The cost for that with shipping is $185.00. I also ordered an additional jar and the new twister jar with spatula, so my bill came to $403.00 They are sending a shipping label to return my unit when I get the replacement and should get it in 5 business days. It’s going to be a long wait. The customer service representative I talked to thought that the seals that were worn in the jars had put a strain on the motor so lesson learned. If the jar gaskets/seals are worn, replace them. I realize the jars are expensive, but I’ve had these at least 6 years. Considering how much we use this machine and for what we use it for, it is worth it to buy a new jar if we wear one out.

          • Blenderdude

            Letha, thank you very much for sharing your experience with us. I’m glad you’re happy with how things turned out. May you have just as many if not more years of success with your new Blendtec.

            • I heard a suggestion that perhaps the reason some people have problems with their blendtec seals is becasue they may be washing them in the dishwasher and then drying them with high heat. I wonder if there is any truth to this?

              I have heard one demo rep once say that you can wash the jars in the diswasher, but hand washing will extend the life of the jars.

              Also, i find this a little odd, but I’ve never seen a VM overload or even heard of that. Seems odd that a 3 hp would have this happen, but not a 2 hp.

              • Blenderdude

                Joseph, yes, repeatedly subjecting the seal of the Blendtec container to high heat will prematurely shorten its effectiveness. It is one reason that Blendtec does not recommend using the dishwasher to clean its containers. Hand-washing will most certainly prolong the life of the containers. What you heard is correct.

                Though uncommon, it is possible to overload both the Vitamix and Blendtec. Both have safety mechanisms to prevent motor damage for just such occasions, rare as they may be.

                • I have had a Vitamix for over 15 years and had to replace the gears for the jar once in that time. I was going to get a new Vitamix with the larger base, but after comparing the Blendtec and VM, I decided to try the BT due to price. I hope I have made a wise decision. Time will tell. I just wanted to say that the VM can also overheat. I like to make my own nut butters and find that my VM struggled to make it without overworking. I also don’t like the tamper as it is hard to push things down from the side, especially if the ingredients get down low. The tamper won’t reach them. I am anxious to try the Twister Jar to make some nut butter with my BT. I’ll post again after I’ve done that.

  52. Very informative videos and website! I’m doing my research on both Blendtec and Vitamix before making a decision. At the moment, I’m leaning a little more toward Vitamix, but have a few questions:

    First, I’ve read a few reviews on other websites that claim that a Blendtec doesn’t break down chunky frozen fruit as easily as a Vitamix and can overheat and stop running until it cools down. Would you agree?

    Second, the Vitamix blender bases looks sturdier than the ones from Blendtec and weigh quite a bit more. I understand that the lighter Blendtec has an advantage when traveling, but I wonder if the heftier Vitamix will be more durable in the long run.

    Finally, which company provides better customer service?

    • Blenderdude

      Jeff, thanks for the compliments on the site. Regarding part one of your questions, no, I do not agree on either point. The Blendtec is every bit as capable of breaking down frozen fruit as the Vitamix. However, it might not do so in a single given blend cycle. Sometimes it takes additional blending time and/or running the blender manually. The Blendtec definitely requires the user to get to know it through trial and error to a greater extent than does the Vitamix. This is largely because of the tamper. The tamper takes a lot of guesswork out of blending, especially on the “tougher” ingredients. Overheating should not be a concern in your buying decision, either. It is not unheard of for either blender, but is a rare occurrence for either.

      The Vitamix blender base is heavier and has a more “solid” feel to it. I do not think this necessarily translates to greater longevity or durability, though. The Blendtec is plenty durable.

      Blendtec customer service has come a long way in the last few years. I hear very few complaints these days. This was not always the case. Vitamix customer service is not immune to occasional criticism but it is still deserving of its reputation as having the best customer service in the business.

  53. Hi,
    After almost 3 years of using my Blendtec I started noticing a dark oil in the bottom of the jar coming, I guess, from the motor (sorry I’m not sure what word to use for that).
    Is that normal?
    I would appreciate your reply.
    Thanks a lot!

    PS: I’ve used a Vitamix as well and in my opinion Blendtec is much better!

    • Blenderdude

      Laura, no, that is not normal, but it is not an unheard of condition. It sounds to me like a seal around the blade assembly of your container has gone bad. If this is a container that came as part of a package, it should still be under warranty and Blendtec will replace it. If you bought it separately, you are probably right around the warranty expiration date. Either way, I would contact Blendtec asap. Have your serial number handy so they can track when you purchased yours.

  54. I have had my Blendtec for three years and love it. I now would like to use it to mill whole grains however I do not find directions in my manual. Can you please help me?
    Thank You,
    DonnaLea

    • Blenderdude

      DonnaLea, it is a very simple process. Simply add dry grains to a dry container and grind on high. Stop periodically to check for your desired consistency. I recommend grinding no more than 2 cups at a time.

      Here is a video I made in which you can see how the Blendtec is used for this purpose: Whole Grain Griding.

  55. Thank you for your videos! I decided on the Blendtec total blender and have been using it for about a month (once or twice a day). I noticed today that there is a grey metal powder on the base when I remove the jar. Have you had this problem?
    Thank you for your time.

    • Blenderdude

      Jamie, yes, this is perfectly normal. It is residue from the drive shaft of the container and the coupling of the motor base spinning together at high speeds. It should wipe right off.

  56. I just replaced the carafe after 702 uses. Appears to be continued problems with the Blendtec bearing. Blendtec told me that this has a warranty of only three years, not seven. Internet is full of complaints about this problem.

    • Blenderdude

      Alex, I’m sorry to hear of your container failure. If you bought the container separately, it is covered for 3 years. If your container was part of a blender package and you bought it within the last 4 years or so, it is covered for 7, the same as the blender itself. I wouldn’t hesitate to contact them again if you think your container might still be under warranty.

    • Thanks for your response, BD. But the real issue is if Blendtec really is a viable purchase if you have to replace the container every few years at $70-80 each. Any information if they intend to upgrade the design, say to a ceramic bearing? As it stands, I cannot but conclude that the VM is the only way to go.

      • Blenderdude

        Alex, Blendtec has sent me prototypes of new containers before on which to provide feedback, but I am not in their loop on pending design changes. I can certainly understand the frustration of anyone who has experienced a container failure like yours. I have been fortunate in that I haven’t had such issues with mine, personally, although I mention in my FAQ section that I’ve had a couple demonstration containers fail after 5000+ uses.

        I can attest to a substantially improved construction quality in today’s Blendtec containers compared to the pre-2009 units. That design change coincided with the increase in warranty duration to 7 year/3 year you have today. However, it appears there is still room for improvement. Again, I’m sorry for your misfortune.

      • I have had the same problem with my BlendTec. I bought mine in 2008. In 2009, there was smoke and a grinding noise from the motor. BlendTec agreed to ship me a new jar and told me that regular use would prevent the rubber at the base of the blade from drying out. Um, okay. I have used it just about every day for green smoothies, vegan ice cream, soups, salsas, etc.

        BUT, we just returned from a 4-month trip and when I tried to use the blender again I ran into the same problem. I called BlendTec and this time they want me to pay $80 for a new jar. With a cost of $400 I didn’t think I’d have this many problems with a machine.

        I don’t want to pay another $80. I’m considering a lawyer here because this is really frustrating and stupid.

        Any advice?

        • Blenderdude

          Nancy, if you are sure about the year in which you purchased the blender, I’m afraid this is simply a matter of warranty duration. I know that shortly after I began working for Blendtec in 2009, the company increased the warranty coverage to 7 full years on the motor base. Not long after that they started including the container in the 7-year coverage, also. Had you told me you bought the machine in mid-2009 or after, your container would definitely still be under warranty regardless. As it stands, yours was probably only covered for 1 or 3 years. I wish I had better news for you, though I do believe, like you, that the container should have been covered for the same duration as the blender when you bought it. I wish you the best of fortune in getting this straightened out.

  57. Hello BD. Congratulations for your videos. Very helpful. Thanks to them I decided to buy a BLENDTEC with a Wildside jar.

    Now I have seen that for some small recipes I need a smaller jar. I was thinking on purchasing the fourside when I found out about the twister. Now my question is, can I use the twister for smoothies and soups instead of the fourside?. Would you have any experience using it in this way?.

    Thanks a lot.

    • Blenderdude

      Paco, congratulations on your Blendtec. I think you’ll really enjoy it. First, let me say you can make small recipes in the WildSide container. You want to have enough ingredients so that the blade is covered and it should work fine. Even if you don’t you can get it to work with perhaps a little help with a spatula. That said, the Twister jar comes with one lid for twisting and another lid that fits securely for use like the WildSide and FourSide. I use mine for smoothies all the time. I have not ever tried it for soup. I know it will definitely heat your soups, but because there is so little room in the jar in terms of volume, I would probably be a little concerned with pressure build-up. Stick to your WildSide for soups.

  58. I have a used blendtec ez blender. I was wondering do you know a way to program the name on the LCD screen. As of now it says carvel, it was from a Carvel Icecream place. Also I want to use it to make soups. I have a program code list for settings but none include the 90 sec high soup setting. Do u know if it is possible to get that code on this ez blender. Or would I have to just run multiple 50 sec cycles on 9speed? Thanx for all the help.

    • Also I wonder what’s the average cycle life you have seen older blendtec’s on and still have life in them… The used one i got has 6500 cycles used already. How many does your test model have that you do demos with?

      • Blenderdude

        Tony, when I made those videos in 2011 my demonstration Blendtec had over 19,000 cycles on it if I’m not mistaken. It has close to 28,000 cycles now and still works like the day I got it. I can’t tell you for certain that every blender will be the same in this regard, but it’s certainly not a bad sign.

    • Blenderdude

      Tony, I have no experience programming the commercial Blendtecs, but I’m fairly certain that they can be re-programmed. My suggestion is to contact Blendtec, 800-253-6383, or http://commercial.blendtec.com .

      • Thanks so much! I love all you helpful videos. I have literally made blended drinks everyday. Smoothies, milkshakes, daiquiris, and even soup twice. I love this machine. I know that I will be buying another one too just to have a new one, but this used model is going at it so good. I love this blender. It has changed my life and I have taken it over friends houses everytime a bunch of us are getting together. I just love it! Thanks for the info about the life on yours and ill follow up with blendtec about getting it reprogrammed. Thanks again

  59. I am glad I found this site. I am in the market for a high performance blender and let’s face it, this is a big purchase. I am leaning towards the Blendtec as it will fit under my kitchen cabinets, I love the auto settings, and it is cheaper than the Vitamix. I agree with you that both are outstanding.

    I really enjoyed your videos comparing the Blendtec and the Vitamix. Keep up the good work.

    • Blenderdude

      Scott, the Blendtec is an excellent choice, especially if you like the idea of pre-programmed cycles. As you do your “homework” you’ll find Vitamix does have a few model options that will both fit on countertops and compete in price. Thanks for the encouragement about the site – let me know if I can be of further assistance.

  60. I have found both VM and BT websites to be unclear about what the newest model numbers are and information in general. They both need to be more upfront and clear about their products. Your site on the contrary is very clear. One thing when you list all the blenders why not list the price as well?

    • Blenderdude

      John, thanks for the encouraging words about the site. All the pertinent purchase information for the blenders is listed on their individual pages, accessed by clicking on any individual blender from the group page. Thank you for your suggestion – I will consider listing the prices on that page as well.

  61. BD,

    Thanks so much for all the great info.

    Am I right that the Blendtec does not require a separate wet/dry container? Also, does the Blendtec have a container (nt the new one) that is smaller than 64 oz?

    • Blenderdude

      Debbie, yes, you are correct. The same Blendtec container performs both wet and dry blending functions. Other than the Twister Jar, there is not a smaller container than the FourSide (64 oz).

  62. BD… Great stuff and thanks for your work.

    I have a Blendtec on order with the smaller Fourside carafe. I will primarily be making single batches of smoothies and soups, about 24 ounces each serving. Would there be any benefit for me to purchase the Twister for small batches of smoothies and soups, or is the Twister made specifically for thicker recipes?

    It would be nice to see Blendtec offer a single serving carafe or attachment.

    • Blenderdude

      Rick, thanks for the nice words about the site. For your needs you have ordered the perfect Blendtec setup in my opinion. The problem with attempting to make smoothies and soups in the Twister Jar is that it does not have a lid that securely attaches to the container. So, you would have to manually hold down the lid throughout the entire blend. Making smoothies this way is possible, but challenging. Making soups this way is a disaster waiting to happen. 😉

      About a year ago Blendtec sent me a prototype of an attachable lid for the Twister Jar. It works well but I have not seen any indication yet that they plan on putting it into production.*** If and when they do, I will make them available on the site.

      ***Edit. In 2012 Blendtec started including a fitted lid into the Twister Jar package.

  63. We have noticed a smell, that seems to coming from the gear or rubber area at the base of the jar, we use this daily and clean it the way we were shown but the smell is kinda gross! I have used vinagar to clean it but nothing seems to work. Any suggestions?

    • Blenderdude

      Andrea, if the smell is coming from the inside of the jar, I would suggest tea tree oil or maybe even a little bleach in water. I have never run into this situation, personally, so I am not going to be a great deal of help. Perhaps some other readers can provide some ideas.

  64. BD, after reading your reviews I had decided to purchase a Blendtec. While looking on amazon for a good deal I came across a criticism regarding pieces of the o-ring found in nut butter as the ring is in contact with the food being blended. Have you found this to be true?

    • Blenderdude

      Wenonah, there is a small o-ring made of rubber just underneath the blade that comes in contact with ingredients. I have never had this ring fail on me and I have demonstrated Blendtecs for well over 50,000 cycles. I have experienced a rare occasion where another component of the drive shaft has worn out from extended use, causing a need for a replacement. This, again, occurred only after many months of running the blender 60 to 80 times a day, 7 days a week. It is simply unlikely that this would happen as a result of normal, daily, home use.

      That said, the Blendtec containers are covered for the full duration of the warranty that comes with the blender. Should such a problem ever arise, Blendtec would replace the container without charge.

      • I just received a blendtec as a gift but I was told not to make hot sauces because the taste will penetrate the jar and in turn make all the drinks spicy. Is this true? This will be kind of hard for me being that I am Mexican and my family likes spicy food.

        • Blenderdude

          Cathy, I cannot say that I make hot sauces often but after cleaning the container I have never had the flavor of one recipe penetrate into the next.

  65. Hi BD…thanks so much for all of the great information! I’m still researching and figuring out which blender makes the most sense for us. I do have a question on the Blendtec vs Vitamix. I’m looking now at total cost of ownership, so I’m curious which parts have to be replaced for each blender.

    I’ve seen information in reviews about having the replace the pitchers on the Blendtec every 1-3 years due to a seal breaking.

    For the Vitamix, I’ve also seen comments about having to buy new blades and the tool to replace them, but I’m not sure how often that is needed. I also didn’t see any blades on their website.

    Is there a standard maintenance recommendation by the companies, or can you comment on this from your experience?

    Thanks so much!!

    • Blenderdude

      Rachel, Blendtec had some issues with their containers in years past, but those have largely been resolved now. That said, if you did have an issue with the container and/or blades, they are covered by the blender’s warranty for a full 7 years.

      The Vitamix blades rarely, if ever, need replacing. The exception would be if you chose to do a lot of hard grain-grinding in the “wet” blade container. It is for this reason that they make a “dry” container.

      I’ve never had a single issue with Vitamix containers, and the only rare ones I’ve had with Blendtec containers came after demonstrating with them for literally thousands of cycles. My recommendation is to select the blender you think you’d like the best and use the most. The containers for both are well made and should not be an issue for you down the road.

  66. I love the sensibility of your responses. With both VM and Blendtec having enough power and control, the big difference between the two would appear to be their containers. Different container designs result in different behavior and will illicit different techniques to achieve the same results. Whew, that was a mouthful.
    My question pertains to the new VM WildSide jar by Blendtec that is designed for use on VM and can be used on the Waring Xtreme machines. Can these jars be expected to perform just like they do on the Blendtec machines?
    Finally, and not to cloud the issue, I read that Blendtec won a patent infringement lawsuit against VM for the design of the WildSide jar. That alone suggests to me that the WildSide jars might be worth a try. (I own a Waring Xtreme).
    Thanks.

    • Blenderdude

      Renato, thanks for your kind words. I would expect the VM WildSide to perform well on any machine it was designed to fit. However, I would not expect any better result from it than from the container that already comes with your blender. These manufacturers spend a lot of money on research and development to design a container that works optimally with its corresponding motor base.

      Blendtec containers are definitely nice and work well, and the company did, in fact, win a patent-infringement lawsuit over its design. I just don’t think the performance difference in what you already have is going to justify the expense.

  67. I have had the older K-tec model since 2004 or 2005. At first we ended up replacing the jar 5 times. The first 4 worked fine at first then it would get off balance and have serious problems our warranty was for 8 years since purchase. That is up. Our last one we decided milling grain was not a great choice so we stuck with shakes or smoothies. It wasn’t until 5 years later that we noticed the bottom of our jars gasket beginning to deteriorate. I have seen others have a problem even earlier. I think because we would rinse out our jar right away and set it upside down on our counter that it prolonged our jar usage comparatively well. Overall it has worked great over the years except for the issues with the jar.

    • Blenderdude

      Ann, that specific issue with the containers was common with the earlier Blendtecs (especially when the blenders were known as K-Tecs as in your case). The company has made significant improvements in the quality of the containers and today’s are warrantied longer than in the past. You definitely prolonged the use of yours by taking such good care of them, though.

  68. Great review. One of the things I didn’t see mentioned are the power requirements for the Total Blender.In other words, what are the circuit requirements at the wall? 20 amps to be safe?

    Many thanks in advance.

    • Blenderdude

      TBK, yes, a 20 amp circuit will be more than adequate to run any high-performance blender like the Blendtec. I would also expect a 15 amp circuit to be fine as long as nothing else was running on the circuit along with it.

  69. i just want to say thankyou. what a fabulous resource your site is. very grateful for such complete, clear and unbiased information. not made decision yet, just starting along that road!

    • Blenderdude

      Su, thank you very much for the nice words. Let me know if I can answer any questions you might have.

  70. hi im VERY interested in buying a blendtec blender, but with so many of them i am lost as to what one is the best model to buy? and one that will last a lifetime since they are pricey.

    • Blenderdude

      Adrian, there are actually very few Blendtec models from which to choose. All models in The Total Blender line come with the exact same motor and motor base. The only differences are the different containers – all of which are very nice. The Designer Series model also contains the exact same motor with a new fan design that makes it slightly quieter. It contains the same blend cycles as the Total Blender line but has a different user interface – digital “touch” technology as opposed to buttons.

      With proper care, any Blendtec you choose should be expected to last well beyond the warranty period, if not decades.

  71. Hello, I just got the Blendtec with a wildside jar a week ago has used it for a few times following the recipe book. It works as expected most of the times. But I notice the inside four corners of the base of the jar has developed some scratches or small dents. It looks like the machine is grinding the jar somehow … I called the Blendtec’s customer service, they offer to send me a replacement jar to test this out. Have you seen this problem before? I am a bit skeptical if this may be a design issue particularly with the wideside jar. I am thinking to return it and get one that has the fourside jar, but then I will have two jars since the other package always comes with both fourside jar and wildside jar. Please advise.

    • Blenderdude

      Carisa, I am unable to tell, specifically, to which part of the container you are referring. Is it the inside-bottom of the container where you place ingredients? Or, is it the inside four corners of part of the container that covers the motor base? Regardless, there shouldn’t be any noticeable “dents” in the container. Over time, some “cloudiness” is normal on the inside of the container as of a result of hard and/or frozen ingredients are being thrown around inside it at very high speeds. This is perfectly consistent with all high-perfomrance blender containers, not just Blendtecs. It will not alter the performance of the blender nor your results in any way. There is no way for the blade to come in contact with the jar’s sides when working properly.

      I also would not expect to see any dents or scratches on the inside portion of the container that rests upon the motor base. Some slight wobbling will take place during blending, but certainly not enough to create dents. The FourSide jar works essentially the same way as the WildSide. I don’t think changing jars is your solution. If there is a defect with your container, take Blendtec up on their offer to replace it.

  72. Hello, Thanks in advance for any help. I just acquired a K-Tec Champ HP3A 3hp Blender!.. in a thrift store for ($I won’t say)! I am excited to use it. Since I do not have a manual for operations and/or troubleshooting ideas, I need your help. I put a small amount of water and ice in for testing. I plugged it in, turned it on and pressed 1.,..then 2, 3 so on. The display reads “overload” for all buttons pushed. I read that it may be due to the blade in the container not moving as freely as it should. I swirled it around and there is some resistance. Probably food/drink residue from previous use..and it could be really stuck since it may not have been used for a while. What are your suggestions to clean this… OR could it be something else that is making the “overload” indicator light up? Thanks!

    • Blenderdude

      Jan, the first thing I would do is turn the blade by hand several revolutions to try to loosen it up. Then fill the container about 1/3 full of water, add a few drops of liquid detergent, and hold the Pulse button for 60 – 90 seconds. Try your cycle buttons again. If the “Overload” message still appears you are more than likely going to have to contact Blendtec for service. Even though you are not the original owner, they will still repair it for you. Just expect a nominal charge for the service.

      Just a little water and ice should never generate an “Overload” message with the Blendtec. Best of luck!

  73. Hi, Hello! I don’t know if you have answered this question elsewhere, but I was wondering if you know how long Blendtec containers last? I was leaning towards buying a Blendtec and read a few comments somewhere else that they are quite disposable and that the seals for the blades disintegrate and leak into food eventually. Is this common, or are the jars supposed to and usually last for quite a long time?

    Thanks!

    • Blenderdude

      Devin, there is no single answer to your question. They are certainly not “quite disposable.” In previous years I had issues with the seals on a couple of containers I used for demonstrations. These were containers that were used thousands and thousands of times prior to these incidents, however. I have other containers that have been used thousands of times and are still performing perfectly. Today’s containers are guaranteed by Blendtec for as long as the blenders, themselves. You should feel very confident regarding their quality.

  74. My question is: What is the smallest amount of ingredients you can use in the Blendtec and still have it work efficiently? I only want to make, lets say, an 8oz glass of whatever. Will it work the same as for four people?
    Thank you.

    • Blenderdude

      Sy, good question. The answer depends on what, exactly, it is that you want to make. I would say, in general, the larger the volume of the recipe, the easier time you will have in making it because it allows for the blender to take advantage of its design in creating a vortex which constantly recycles the ingredients downward into the cutting path of the blade. You can certainly make 8 oz. recipes, but I would recommend that you start with a much higher ratio of soft and liquid ingredients that you would otherwise. Without liquid, low-volume recipes are going to have a tough time being fully incorporated in the Blendtec without some help (i.e. stopping the machine and using a spatula).

  75. has there ever been any issues where the computerized controls stop working in the blendtec? it was brought up some people wonder how long something like the digital controls will last vs. the vitamix’s manual controls, some people say they’ve had a vitamix 20+ years and it still works!… even though there is a 7 year warranty it would still be ideal to not have to use the warranty since the product should hold up considering the price and how it’s advertised as being so strong. I did buy a blendtec since it looks more modern, was lighter, smaller and easier to clean and so far I’ve been very happy with everything I’ve blended, so I’m hoping it will last for many years and maybe in 20 years I can say the same thing that people have said about their vitamix.

    • Blenderdude

      Dianne, I cannot say for certain that there hasn’t, but I can tell you that I have never experienced such an issue – and I have used my Blendtecs for tens of thousands of cycles. The number of times I’ve used several of my machines would easily equate to 20+ years of normal, everyday use. I really don’t think it’s anything to worry about.

  76. Dude,

    We just bought the Blendtec w/ wildside and noticed that the recipe book specifies the smaller fourside jar for many of the recipes. Do I really need two jars for this or is this a marketing ploy to get me to buy another jar!?

    Thanks!

    • Blenderdude

      Theo, you definitely do not have to have the second Blendtec jar. Just keep in mind that, with the size differences, you may need to do some “manual” adjustments to get the final blend consistency you desire with certain recipes. The “Speed Up” and “Speed Down” buttons are perfect for this.

  77. Hi Dude,

    I’m the proud owner of a Vita-Mix 5200. It has been my constant companion for the past three years and has served me green smoothies of outstanding nutritive quality on a daily basis. My question is this: how does the Vita-Mix with 1380 watts have a top-end blade speed of 37k revolutions per minute but the Blendtec with over 1500 watts only achieves 29k per minute? I read when I was doing my Vita-Mix vs. Blendtec research that the VM has larger teeth than the Blentec; is this the case? And if so, is it the reason for this paradox?

    Sincerely,

    Chris

    • Blenderdude

      Chris, let me preface my answer by stating that I am not an engineer. The best explanation I have for the RPM differences in the two machines is the overall length of the blades. The blade assembly in the Blendtec is approximately 4″ in length while that in the Vitamix is right at 3″ in length. The Blendtec blade has a longer “path” to travel to complete a single revolution. The horsepower/wattage in the machines certainly contributes to speed (RPM), but, as for its importance in a blender, is a better indicator of power. It doesn’t matter how fast those blades spin if the blender isn’t strong enough to pass through those dense, frozen ingredients you load into it.

      The good news is, at those wattages, both blenders are more than capable of handling heavy, dense loads. I’m not exactly sure of what you mean by “teeth” but my guess is it (they) has (have) little to do with your question about RPM.

      • Dude,

        Excellent answer. By “teeth” I meant gear teeth, where the power from the motor base is transferred to the blades. The VM gear is large and heavy with deep teeth that I would compare analogously to very wide tires on a race car versus much narrower tires on a normal vehicle, the wider tires (teeth) being the means to transfer the power of the engine into speed. If indeed the VM has a sturdier gear, then it would suggest greater actual power and probably greater longevity than the Blendtec, no?

        Thanks again for maintaining a blog for those of us in the green smoothie community with serious technical questions, your knowledge and experience is invaluable.

        Chris

        • Blenderdude

          Thanks for the nice words about the site. In theory, I would think you are correct. I have seen images of gear mechanisms of both of these machines on the web. From recollection, that of the Blendtec and Vitamix are relatively similar in size, with the Blendtec perhaps a bit larger. Both are significantly larger than a standard household blender. From experience, I have over 70,000 “blends” from these two manufacturers, combined, and I have yet to wear one out. I don’t question the quality or durability of either.

  78. Thank you for your very informative website. I would love your opinion. I am currently deciding between the Blendtec with Wildside Jar and Vitamix 5200. I have used a Vitamix before. The one thing I was really pleased with the Vitamix was the ability to make really thick smoothies with the use of the tamper. I could put frozen fruit, yogurt, spinach and a very small amount of liquid. With the use of the tamper I got a really thick smoothie blended perfectly. I have also read many reviews that stated the Vitamix blends greens such as kale to a super smooth consistency, more so than Blendtec. Can you share any experience you may have with these questions. Thanks so much!

    • Blenderdude

      Andrea, thanks for the nice words about the website. The Blendtec will make smoothies of super-smooth consistencies, also. Every bit as smooth as those from the Vitamix, in fact. However, the user must pay particular attention to the ingredients and ingredient ratios with the Blendtec to avoid “manually” operating the blender to achieve desired results. The pre-programmed blend cycles on the Blendtec are for recipe-specific ingredients from the recipe book Blendtec includes in their packages. If the desired consistency isn’t achieved after using a pre-programmed cycle, the user can still blend to any consistency by using the manual “Speed Up” or “Speed Down” buttons.

      What the tamper does with the Vitamix is allow the user to blend ingredients of any kind and in pretty much any quantities he/she desires. It will “force” ingredients to be blended. Both methods will work, and both blenders will make great smoothies. You just have to decide which is more practical/makes more sense – for you.

      • Thanks for your response blender dude! I am still deciding which blender to purchase and your feedback and website are so helpful. Thanks again! I have a couple follow up questions. So I did have a chance to use a friend’s Blendtec yesterday. The container is a much thinner plastic. The Vitamix container is very thick and sturdy. What is your take on this relating to longevity? I have heard of many people having their Vitamix for 10-20 years. The Vitamix has such a simple controls. Do you think that makes it less likely to have repair issues? Also which blender do you think is louder, Blendtec or Vitamix? Thanks again for your help.

        • Blenderdude

          I would not make the thickness of the containers a big factor in my decision. The BPA-free containers are very sturdy in both blenders. The blades and/or bearings in the containers will wear out long before the co-polyester sides will, and that could be years and years down the road. The motor bases on both Vitamix and Blendtec should easily last 10 to 20 years or longer. It is conceivable that the digital controls of the Blendtec might have issues eventually. However, I’ve run thousands and thousands of cycles on mine without any issues whatsoever.

          Regarding noise, on higher speeds there is not much, if any, difference in the two blenders – the Blendtec may be ever-so-slightly louder. On lower speeds, though, the Vitamix is noticeably quieter.

  79. Blendtec has 30 pre-programmed blend cycles yet I can not find anything that tells me what those 30 cycles are and how they are activated. Can you enlighten me?

    • Blenderdude

      Ron, the particular Blendtec model to which you’re referring is the HP3A. It is slightly different than the Total Blender I promote on this website. I wrote an article several months ago which points out the differences between the two and also gives you some insight into those blend-cycles you are asking about. You an read it here: http://bit.ly/q5l6VT. Best of luck. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

  80. Hey Dude!

    First, thanks for a great informative website!!!
    Both companies should, I hope, realize the time and effort you have done and how it helps consumers like me make a satisfactory choice.

    I am one of the ones who have narrowed it down to the 2 you have on here.
    I’m kinda leaning towards the Blendtec and have a couple of questions about them.

    I dont wanna call it “idiot proof” but for a very non-good cook like myself,,, are the per-programed button as “ignorant proof” as I am hoping for? Do they really perform as intended or do I need to have more ‘hands on’ like the Vitamix?

    Also, do you know if Blendtec has free shipping?
    I know I can get these on Amazon with the benefit of saving on tax and/or shipping costs and on a 4 -to- 5 hundred dollar purchase of some 15 pounds or so,,, it does add up.

    After reviewing all your videos (love em all btw) is my ‘presumption’ correct in that one can just use the ‘wildside’ and not really have a ‘need’ for the smaller original? My thought is that I can save on one jar for a future ‘twister jar’

    Thanks much in advance.

    • Blenderdude

      Montague, thanks for your questions and for the nice words about the website. The Blendtec is definitely not “ignorant proof” as you say. The pre-programmed buttons work extremely well for specific recipes that come in the Blendtec recipe book and for other recipes that mimic the Blendtec ones in terms of ingredient content and ratios. However, you cannot simply load the container with just any ingredients, press the “Smoothie” button, and expect a perfect smoothie. It doesn’t work that way and this frustrates many Blendtec owners. For this reason there are also manual controls on the Blendtec. These are the buttons I use almost exclusively. I have developed enough experience with these two buttons that I can get the Blendtec to do just about anything I want it to. That said, my personal opinion is that the Vitamix is the easier of the two blenders to operate. And the tamper that comes with it is the reason why. Many people hate using the tamper, but, I feel it offers an extra element of control for users that the Blendtec does not. If you’re worried about one blender being more “ignorant-proof” than the other, the Vitamix would definitely be, despite the pre-programmed cycles on the Blendtec.

      Blendtec rarely offers free-shipping. They randomly have special promotions (about once a year on average) but I couldn’t tell you when the next one will be. The Blendtecs sold on Amazon are the HP3A models, not the Total Blender. The HP3A is a very nice blender, but is not the same model I used in my videos.

      Finally, yes, you can do everything in the WildSide jar that you would do in the standard FourSide jar. Best of luck in your decision!

  81. Hey Jonathan. I now have the Blendtec however, most of the recipes are not coming out too well. I am following the recipes to a T! Last night I made the white sauce, completely runny/watery. Made a salad dressing, completely runny. I am sure I am follwing instructions correctly. I am leaning toward returning it and getting the VM, which is at Costco til tomorrow with the demo. Help………..

    • Blenderdude

      Mary, I’m sorry you’re having trouble with the Blendtec recipes. To be honest, the recipe book is not the Blendtec’s greatest feature. There are some good ones in it, to be sure, but I almost never use the book anymore. I would say that, in general, Vitamix produces the better recipe book of the two. If that is an important factor to you, then by all means make the switch. Above all else it is important that you really like the blender you’ve chosen – otherwise you’ll be less inclined to use it!

  82. Here’s a follow-up to my last post regarding service/warranty. I just heard from the Blendtec folks; about 1 hour from the time I left my message. Very friendly and helpful, and apologized for the fact that they were unusually busy this morning. The warranty seems to match up with that of the Vitamix. The major differences between the Blendtec service and the Vitamix service, according to their rep are the following:
    You must pay to ship your blender back for service (they say it costs them about $24 to send a blender). It takes them about 2 weeks to turn around a blender that is sent back for repair. They do charge $11 for a new jar if yours is defective in any way – that includes a prepaid label to send back the old one.

    If you have a different experience with Blendtec, please let me know!

    • Blenderdude

      Beth, other than purchasing new tampers I have no direct experience with customer service for either company. I can only clarify details on their policies and relay feedback I’ve received from my customers over the years that I’ve been demonstrating. As with most company’s customer service departments, everybody’s experience with them varies slightly. I think it all depends on who you talk to on a given day regarding the shipping charges. That’s their policy, but I’ve been told by more than one customer that Blendtec has not charged them to ship the machine and/or jar during warranty service. Like I’ve mentioned before here on the site, Vitamix has really lead the way in customer service but Blendtec is working hard to equal them. Thanks for sharing your personal research.

  83. I have a quick question:

    My last bit of research on the Blendtec was to check on the warranty. I decided to contact the company to get the “straight scoop”, and was on hold for 15 minutes before leaving a message for them to call me back. It’s now 45 minutes later and I have not heard from them. (called Vitamix, just to compare, and the call was answered in about 3 seconds. I had a conversation with the sales gal, was transferred to service, spoke to service/parts about the details of their warranty – all in the same amount of time I waited on hold for Blendtec).

    Could you share your understanding of the Blendtec warranty? I know that Vitamix includes all parts and labor on all aspects of the unit/carafe. They send a pre-paid shipping label and generally have the product repaired and sent back out within 3 business days. Would love to know how it works with Blendtec, from your experience.

    Thanks!

    Thanks!

  84. You really are a pro at addressing consumer questions – I commend you and thank you for your time and expertise. Can’t imagine a better source for information.

    Two last things (I think – but no promises!): Another plus with the Vitamix seems to be that you can fill the carafe to the very top with no problems. You must be careful not to fill the Blendtec too full. That means bigger batches with the VM, right?

    I have yet to have soup that is hotter than lukewarm. I borrowed a friend’s Vitamix over the weekend and ran it for 3 straight minutes, then again for another 2, and still it was not hot. Finally had to transfer it to a pan (kinda defeats the purpose!). Will borrow my friend’s Blendtec today and try again in hers (no luck last time). I did see the smoke coming out of your blenders in your demo, so it must work! I have never found a chicken base/boullion with no msg (or equivalent), so I use healthy liquid chicken stock. That prevents me from using boiling water, which would certainly help.

    By the way – you said that although you use your Blendtec a little more often, you could be happy with your Vitamix full time. Could you also be happy with your Blendtec full time? And here’s a great question for your potential customers: WHAT WOULD YOU MISS MOST ABOUT EACH?

    A world of thanks!

    • Blenderdude

      Regarding the volume of the containers, technically, you are correct. You could fill the Vitamix container almost all the way to the top with liquid and it probably would not escape. You could do the same with the Blendtec and some liquid would probably escape. But, in reality you would not do this to either. Most recipes you blend don’t start out as liquid – they become liquid. You could fill either container over the top with fruits and vegetables and add some liquid and the total liquid created would not escape either lid. So, yes, you might get slightly “bigger batches” with the standard Vitamix container as opposed to the standard Blendtec FourSide container. At the same time the Blendtec WildSide will make slightly bigger batches than the Vitamix.

      The starting volume and temperature of your soup ingredients is what determines how long you have to let the ingredients blend before they reach your desired temperature. Frozen ingredients will eventually boil if you blend them long enough. You just have to implement trial and error. Unless you start with very warm water, one 90 second cycle with either blender is not going to make soup piping hot. Just repeat the Soups cycle ( or run on High longer with the Vitamix).

      Yes, I would be more than happy with only a Blendtec. I go months and months at a time with both. I am fortunate to have both but I honestly can’t say I need but one. And it really doesn’t matter to me which. I would miss the size and power of the Blendtec if I couldn’t use it again, and I would miss the very low-end speed on the Vitamix. It allows me to run the blender with the lid off without me having to hold a switch or button, so I can add ingredients as needed if I need to adjust a recipe.

      Thanks for the compliments about the website. I’m glad you have found it helpful.

  85. Hi,

    I so appreciate that your reviews are fair – with no clear preference toward either Blendtec or Vitamix. They are really excellent. However, I’m now in a total quandry over my decision! Had finally, after much research and trying both side by side (friends brought them over)decided on the Vitamix, but just wasn’t 100% sure I wanted to have that large base on my counter for the next several years. Now I’m back to considering the blendtec, but I do have some concerns. Would you be able to address any of them?

    – Cavitation (I’ve seen it myself, and have read about it in reviews). With no tamper to help out, and the Blendtec seeming to need more water/liquid in order to blend properly, I’m wondering if this is a significant negative. AND, would the smoothies etc be more watered down because of it?

    – I have seen in demos that you must often “shake” the smaller carafe to get it to blend. The larger one doesn’t seem to have that problem (although I did notice that it seemed a little unstable on the base) The Vitamix doesn’t move at all – clearly very stable. Comments?

    – One reviewer noted that when you have to push a certain cycle TWICE, the “counter” on the blender counts that as another use, therefore reaching the warranty faster (didn’t know the warranty was based on the # of uses). I much prefer the manual controls, but want to make sure this will not be a total hassle or problem.

    – What DO you do if the food gets a little stuck (no tamper to push down like the VM) – everyone says “add water or add liquid”, but what if you don’t want extra liquid? For example, I was able to use all fresh or frozen fruit with some ice in the VM.

    – You can put a whole fruit into the VM – sounds like you must cut up the fruit in the B.

    – VM has been around SO long and has such an excellent track record – plus, I have heard RAVES about their customer service. I know people who have had their VM for 8-10 years, and even those who are passing it down to other family members. Haven’t heard such things about the Blendtec, and not sure we can count on their track record. PLUS, not sure about their customer service. Longevity (and lack of hassle in having something break down) is important to me.

    – Last question: Can you tell me which blender you prefer to use for which purpose? (for example, you generally use the Blendtec for soups and the VM for smoothies?).

    P.S. Although the VM top is kind of a pain to position in place, it is SO secure! The Blendtec top seems much less so, and I’ve read about people have explosions when it came off.

    THANKS!

    • Blenderdude

      Beth, I will do my best to address your concerns. I’ll take them in order:

      Cavitation is common in all high-powered blenders. It is unavoidable with recipes containing many frozen and/or thick ingredients. With the Vitamix, cavitation is almost always alleviated using the tamper. With the Blendtec, there are various “tricks” to implement. Sometimes adding liquid does help. Other times speeding up the blender to the highest speeds will do the job. Sometimes a quick shake of the container (just the container – not while the blender is running) is all it takes. The more experience one has with the Blendtec the easier it gets. You just sort of “know” after awhile what you need to do. That’s the best way I can explain it.

      The size of the blades in the larger Blendtec carafe relative to the area at its base is similar in a relative sense to that of the smaller carafe. Cavitation will still occur in both. It is less common in the larger jar, though, because of the size of your ingredients relative to the blades/area at its base.. In other words, there is more “room” for a large frozen strawberry, for example, to find its way into the cutting path of the blade in the larger jar than there is in the smaller container. This makes for somewhat “easier” blending in the WildSide container. However, again, cavitation will occur in the WildSide, and you would alleviate it the same way with either jar. Stability on the base is not a major concern. Yes, they may move around a bit at the beginning of a cycle, but I’ve never had the container come off the base entirely. With the Vitamix, again, cavitation occurs, but the tamper is the answer to it. The motor base of the Vitamix is heavier than that of the Blendtec, but the jar on the base is no more or less “stable” during blending, in my opinion. You could always simply keep a hand on either at startup if you were overly concerned about this.

      Yes, every time you run a “cycle” on the Blendtec the counter will count another use. This is true. However, the statement that Blendtec voids its warranty after a certain number of uses is false. A Total Blender purchased for home use has a warranty that is covered for 7 full years. It is not based on the amount of usage. The blenders they sell commercially to restaurants and the like are given usage-based warranties.

      The best thing you can do to ensure successful blending in either blender is to load the containers in order from your softer/more liquid ingredients lower in the jar, up to your more solid and/or frozen ingredients on top. Following this sequence almost always results in a perfect blend. Cutting your ingredients into manageable sizes prior to blending also helps tremendously. The only two issues that would cause food to “get stuck” in the blender are the size of the ingredients, and cavitation, which we addressed above.

      Yes, you can put the entire fruit into the Vitamix provided you use the tamper to drive it into the blades. You must cut larger fruits first with the Blendtec. Either way you must do a little extra “work” yourself. Do you want to work a tamper during your blending or would you rather cut the apple into quarters, first? You decide. It’s about the same amount of “extra effort” with either. In my opinion, most people think of cutting fruit as a negative aspect of using the Blendtec while discounting completely the fact that the tamper must be used with the Vitamix with certain ingredients to achieve the same effect. I don’t mind either method, so this is a non-issue for me.

      Vitamix has been around a long time and the reputation of their customer service is well-deserved. The are excellent. Blendtec, however, is not a new company – they’ve been in business since the 1970s, and have made tremendous strides in recent years to improve their customer service. The matching of the Vitamix 7-year warranty this year was a big step. I have been informed countless times by my customers of a pleasant customer-service experience with Blendtec. I feel confident recommending either company as willing and able to back up their products.

      I do not use one blender over the other for any specific uses. I can do anything in either. I do use my Blendtec more often. I prefer, slightly, its power and size to the Vitamix and, with my experience, I can do anything in it without the tamper. As mentioned above, though, it does require more intuition than the Vitamix. The tamper that comes with the Vitamix is a big plus in my book, not a negative like it is with some. I can give anyone a Vitamix and have them blending like an expert from the get-go. If I could only use a Vitamix for the rest of my life it would be fine by me.

      Regarding the Blendtec lid, the only times you would be even remotely concerned with it are if you were cooking soups to extremely hot temperatures and more pressure built up inside the jar than was escaping through its vents. Or, if you filled the container with straight liquid past the 3/4 mark prior to blending, some liquid might want to escape from these vents. “Normal” blending does not effect the Blendtec lid at all – it is very secure.

    • I have been using the vitamix for about a month and just bought the blendtec. Vitamix was great, but way too big. The Blendtec fits right under the counter and you can take the pitcher off and in without moving the base. That is enough of a reason to keep the Blendtec (unless your kitchen is HUGE!). They both make my green smoothies well–blendtec may be a little smoother even.

      • Blenderdude

        Rebecca, thanks for sharing. I’m glad you found the right blender for you. The Blendtec is awesome. Enjoy it!

        • Jonathan,
          What great answers! I like that you don’t really gravitate toward either brand – Vitamix or Blendtec – and give very informative and unbiased reviews!
          Thank you! I found this response very informative as well!
          elisaveta

          • Blenderdude

            Thanks for the nice words – I’m glad you’ve found them helpful.

            • I have been using the Blendtec Designer Series Blender since 2012 and unfortunately, I am on my third jar. Until yesterday I did not even know that there was a gasket issue with the jar.

              I have to admit, I am overall very satisfied with the blender unit. However, my first jar’s gasket seal broke after 700 cycles and completely vaporized in my smoothie. I did not even realize it at the beginning. The rubbery smell gave it away and I called the Blendtec hotline in 2013 and they send me a new jar.

              The second jar held for another 700 cycles. First it started leaking (black oil) after 500 cycles, turned easily after 600 cycles and ultimately broke after 700 cycles. I called the Blendtec hotline again and I received a new Wildside Jar+ yesterday.

              I really like the Blendtec support and they are good in replacing the jars. However, after reading all the reviews and complaints about the jar, I am worried that this is a design flaw and it’s been going on for a couple of years at least without a permanent fix. I am seriously considering buying the Vitamix Quiet One Blender but I am not sure if I do not run into other issues (black speck issue) with this one.

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