Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Blendtec vs. Vitamix, what do you think?

Ever since my Thermomix foray, I've been thinking about how much I miss its blender skills.  The power of the Thermomix was one of the key elements I was looking for when I bought it, but when my other expectations fell short I decided to sell, even though it was an awesome blender. But I knew I could get a top of the range blender for around half the price of a TM.


Thermomix

Now that spring is here in Sydney I really want to be able to make icy smoothies at home, and almond milk and healthy sorbet.  In the last few weeks I've been doing a lot of research on blenders. I know I'm after a high powered one, I've already got a very average one sitting in my cupboard. It struggles to make banana smoothies (from fresh bananas!) so really it sits in the cupboard all the time.

Vitamix 5200


So, I've narrowed it down to a Vitamix or a Blendtec.

Both seem to have some advantages and some cons.  Vitamix seems to be the blender of choice for the green smoothie brigade, which is one of the reasons I want one. They are also much more widely available in Australia, even if they are twice the price of the States. 


But Blendtec seems to offer an easier-to-use blender, with its square base (making it easier to clean) and pre-selection buttons. I also have loved their 'will it blend?' advertisements for years and years. Check out their YouTube channel here.  They really are a brute of a machine!

Blendtec- Wildside

Price wise they are about the same. Depending on offers etc they are available for around $800.

What do you think? Have you tried out both? Or are they not worth it?

3 comments:

  1. I discovered your blog when looking for reviews of the Thermomix; there's a secondhand one available in my area right now and I was thinking of getting it. Your review really helped, so I thought I'd try to return the favour.

    I've owned a Blendtec blender for over two years now and I LOVE it. When I was initially looking at powerful blenders, I was going to get a Vitamix -- several of my friends had them, so I was familiar with the brand -- but I did a bit more digging and discovered the Blendtec.

    First off, let me say that both the Vitamix and the Blendtec work well. Both are also insanely noisy. In North America -- I'm in Canada -- both come with a seven-year warranty. So, why did I decide for the Blendtec?

    - The wide, angular jar means no tamping is required, plus it's really easy to scrape out every last bit of the contents. (The folks at Vitamix agree, because they copied the design until Blendtec successfully sued for patent infringement.)
    - The Blendtec fits comfortably under the kitchen cabinets. If you've ever seen a Vitamix, it's a freakishly tall appliance.
    - The Vitamix sells a separate jar for grinding grains. With the Blendtec, the Wildside jar can be use grind grains -- that means less clutter and less expense. (Both jars end up looking cloudy after some use, but that's to be expected.)
    - The Blendtec has pre-set buttons. The base model I have has four programmable buttons, plus a pulldown menu of many more, so I just have to make my selection (such as whole juice, soup, ice cream) and walk away while the Blendtec does its thing and automatically shuts off afterwards. In contrast, you have to manually do everything on the Vitamix.
    - If you love nut butters, the Blendtec offers a special jar that is especially suited for making those. It's called the Twister Jar and there's tons of reviews on amazon.com but the main thing is is this: Creamy, amazing nut butter -- without any added oils! -- in less than a minute. No joke, it's like a miracle. It's also great for ice cream (I use a little bit of milk and a handful of frozen fruit) and hummus. Unlike with the Wildside jar (by the way, the Blendtec comes standard with that jar or another but definitely the Wildside jar is much better, as the jar and the blade are wide), you do need to twist the lid while processing the contents, because the lid has spatula arms. (It's awkward to explain; your best bet is to look at a Youtube clip.)

    One caveat about the Blendtec: Each time, before use, lift the jar and twist the little screw at the base. For some reason, it gets a bit stuck and the jars wear out -- because the blade is built into the jar, so the entire unit has to be replaced -- if this gets "unstuck" at high speeds (i.e., when you turn the blender on). I gently unstick mine each time and my jar has held up nicely :-)

    I personally love being able to hit a button and having everything done for me. Or the speed of making almond butter within a minute, so buying my Blendtec with its Wildside jar, as well as the Twister Jar, has been an awesome buy for me. The blender sits on my counter and I use it daily.

    Having said that, I should say that you can make lovely smooties as well as hummus with a Bamix immersion blender, and the grinder accessory allows for making small batches of nut butter. It's definitely an option for people cooking in small quanties and for whom price and space are more important.

    Don't hesitate to pepper me with questions!

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    Replies
    1. Hey Claudia, thanks for your review! also wanted to know can the blendtec make hot soup from raw vegetables like the vitamix. i was pretty sold on the vitamix but you make the blendtec sound very convincing!
      no sure about the screw needing adjusting, thats a bit worrying, how long do the jars last for and how much to replace?
      TIA Heidi

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  2. Hi Heavenly Ingredients. What did you finally decide on? Vitamix or Blendtec? Oh, and why did you decide on it? Btw, I've read many TMX owner acknowledged that a Vitamix is by far a much better blender (especially when making smooth smoothies, soups, etc). You did the right decision to sell the TMX. Thanks...

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