I once spent a lot of quality time testing three high-end blenders — and I mean a lot of time. My family drank tons of smoothies, I made enough hummus to serve at my cousin's bridal shower, and I turned pounds of carrots into carrot purée.
After the blades stopped whirring, I was faced with a choice: Which one was worth keeping in my kitchen? After some intense hemming and hawing, I chose the Vitamix.
Here's why, and here's what I think of my choice many months later!
My Blender Dilemma
After testing, I had narrowed it down to the Vitamix or the Blendtec, but it was hard to decide which one I liked better. What did I like, and almost as importantly, not like, about each one?
Vitamix 5200, $450
- Total control of blending speed with the variable speed control knob
- Tamper to help force foods down into the blades
- Spout in the blender pitcher
- Very tall — hard to store and can't use it under overhead cabinets
- Very industrial look
- No pre-programmed settings
- Ridges in the pitcher make it hard to scrape thick purées out
Blendtec Designer 625, $400
- Lots of programmed settings
- Square pitcher makes it easy to scrape thick foods out
- Sleek, modern look
- Lightweight (when compared to the Vitamix), and shorter, making it easier to store
- No tamper, so some foods needed to be scraped down a few times during blending; lots of starting and stopping
- Can't completely control blending speed, so difficult to blend at low speeds
How I Made My Decision
At first, I leaned toward the Blendtec because it would be easier to store and I loved that it had lots of programming for a "push-and-walk-away" approach. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I'm not a daily smoothie person, and the occasional blending I did usually required me to monitor the progress of the blending. I also found the buttons not as intuitive as I thought, and I realized that even at its lowest speed, sometimes harder foods would get stuck and I'd have to stop and scrape down the pitcher.
With the Vitamix, however, the tamper meant I rarely had to start and stop, and the variable speed knob meant I could start blending at an ultra-low speed to get things going, then ramp up the speed later when food was partially blended.
And although the Blendtec is easier to clean by hand, just filling the Vitamix's dirty pitcher with a little dish soap and some water and running it for a few minutes was pretty easy too.
Once I realized that power and ease-of-use was what really mattered to me, the Vitamix was the clear choice. The last hurdle was figuring out where to store it, which I solved by placing the base in a cabinet and the tall pitcher on top of the refrigerator. It's not the most visually appealing of storage places, but it's quite easy to reach for when I need to blend.
Many months after making my decision, I haven't regretted it one bit. We've been enjoying banana ice cream and silky puréed soups weekly, and have the Vitamix to thank for them!
Did you make a similar decision on a high-powered blender? How did you make your choice?