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To Vitamix or Not to Vitamix?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi there,

Seeing that two of my Breville blenders exited from this Earth in a puff of smoke and loud explosions (all within 6 months), I think that the universe is telling me something...BUY A BLENDER THAT IS POWERFUL AND DURABLE!!!

The first explosion was actually the glass jug into which I (perhaps stupidly) put in steaming liquid from a soup broth to blend. The jug burst into pieces within minutes. There was nothing wrong with the motor so I saved it. I did not buy the second one but, coincidently, received the same brand and model from a friend as a present. That one's motor died randomly one day. And then the original motor died as well.

I am sick of these mediocre blenders that I had. It would really bug me when making a smoothie (and yes, that is the main reason I use it for) and the blender would leave bits of food all in chunks no matter how much I leave it to blend on the highest setting for. I want something that is sturdy, that is really powerful and will last preferably more than a couple of years. Is there such a thing as a blender that is awesome at pulversing as well as grinding and chopping to smitherines?

What kind of blender do you recommend? And are those VITAMIX things worth the hype? I have seen them in action on you tube but never in real life.

Thanks for your time...
post #2 of 25

I am only experienced with the Vita Prep, which is the commercial version of the Vitamix line. I can not say enough good stuff about it. It is the one tool I can't live without and the only blender that I will ever buy. I have had mine for probably 15 years now and still going strong.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #3 of 25

Vitamix are good blenders, but pull a lot of juice (electricity) and make a lot of noise! Their design is also not very cleaning friendly.

I'm sold on the Blend Tec blenders. We bought 2 commercial grade blenders with the sound barrier cases for our juice and smoothie bar over four years ago and they still work like champs!

We blend everything from raw carrots and frozen fruit to cocoa nibs and chocolate pastilles in them (making our hot chocolate mix) and they work great. Yes, they are a bit noisy too, but they do not seem to be as loud as the Vitamix.

I also like the design of the blades-they aren't sharp but pulverize everything beautifully.

Over 5500 blends on each and they're still running like champs!

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www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

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post #4 of 25

I've used vita prep. They are loud. Very loud. They also generate a lot of heat - and are expensive. But they are fantastic. 

 

I own a Brevile and have had it for about 5 years. No problems yet but I don't use it every day for smoothies - although I've made a lot of smoothies and soups with it. It pulverizes ice and never had any fruit chunks in it whatsoever. Sometimes a very small bit of broccoli stem will make an appearance in my soups, though.

post #5 of 25

I strongly recommend getting a vitamix.  Since you've already blown through two Brevilles, you clearly know the cost of getting a model that won't last. Vitamixes are painfully expensive, but not as painful as replacing another worse-performing model will be in another two years.  

 

I moved into my own place about 6 months ago and bought a Vitamix when I decided to start making green smoothies on a regular basis (easy way to get your greens in when you don't have a lot of time).  I love it.  I did a lot of research and watching of youtube comparisons before making a decision, and found that BlenderDude.com was an invaluable resource in navigating the landscape.  Based on his reviews and others, I went with a refurbished model because it saves you a bunch and still has the full 5-year warranty that new versions have, and it comes with a brand new container (which means a brand new blade as well).  Use a referral code from him (or any other vitamix affilate) and you get free shipping, which is normally $25.  

 

From what I've heard, blendtecs are also great and don't have any personal experience with them, but I'd disagree with the criticism about Vitamixes being difficult to clean.  Maybe that's an issue with the commercial models, but to clean the consumer models, you just rinse the container, and then put dish soap and water into the container and blend a bit.  It cleans itself.

 

I'm sure you can't go wrong with a blendtec either, but I'm a big fan of the "tamper" that lets you safely push food towards the blades.  I've found that it lets me use much less liquid when blending frozen fruit smoothies, and for easier jobs, just makes the process go faster.

 

Bottom line though - if you can afford it, get either a Vitamix or a Blendtec, it's an investment that will pay for itself in only a few years, and make blending anything so much easier.

post #6 of 25

I happened upon a VitaMix demo at a Costco while I was visiting in Reno and was so impressed (and liked the special price) that I bought it and lugged it home to Chicago. My wife was stunned when I told her the price, but a couple of really nice frozen daiquiris calmed her down.

 

We have not been disappointed in the past five or so years. Soups, dips, frozen cocktails, and a LOT of smoothies later, it's still going strong.  It's a little hard to empty completely with thick materials, but the self-cleaning feature makes that chore effortless. We love this blender.

 

I saw a BlendTek sometime later and hefted it: it weighs about one-third as much as the VM. My long experience with woodworking tools has led me to believe that heavier is better, with an electric motor.  I did see a VM commercial that wound up by"blending".. a cellphone. :eek: It ended up pretty much a powder. They didn't offer any recipe suggestions.

 

If you are diligent on the web, you can sniff out coupons or specials to get the price close to $400, instead of the $5-600 list prices.  They offer a dizzying array of models, accessory packages, and prices.  I got the 5200 with the push stick, couple of recipe books, and a DVD.

I suggest you don't get one that lacks the fully-variable speed feature- I think that would limit its versatility somewhat.

 

Happy blending!

 

Mike

travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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post #7 of 25

They are absolutely worth it. I also went through a few blenders within a couple months of each other before I gave up and invested in a Vitamix. It certainly helps that they come with a 7 year warranty. I second the earlier advice to look into reconditioned models. Basically new for $100+ cheaper. 

 

I've never owned a Blendtec, but I've heard great things about them as well. I think at that price point, both Vitamix and Blendtec are going to be great machines, and it's mostly a matter of personal preference or style. I think they sell reconditioned models as well.

 

But yes, make sure you use a promo code for the free shipping. I used the one from http://rawblends.com/vitamix-blender. A quick google search returned one for Blendtec as well: http://boozysmoothies.com/blendtec-promo-code

post #8 of 25

Vitamix - get one now.  It is well worth the investment, and it is my most widely used kitchen electric.  I have tried alot of others - and it is the most reliable and the best functioning for the money.  You can pulverize strawberry seeds, chili seeds, or chia seeds, and have no grit in the finished blended product.  You need to get one. :beer:

post #9 of 25

going to have to echo what a few before me had said and recommend a BlendTec blender if you're really trying to get the best quality out there. I have experience with both Vitamix and BlendTec and while you will still probably be happy with the Vitamix as it is a great blender, I definitely felt more confident with the BlendTec. Best of luck on your search!

post #10 of 25

"---I suggest you don't get one that lacks the fully-variable speed feature- I think that would limit its versatility somewhat.---"

 

​Or you can buy a PWM variable motor speed controller for around $20.00. Plug in the blender, and you can vary the speed from 0 RPM to max RPM.

 

PWM stands for paused width modulation. It gives the motor full torque even at slow speed.

 

 

dcarch

post #11 of 25

Don't overlook the Ninja Professional series.  I have both a 1500 watt Ninja and a Vitamix.  Hands down, I prefer the Ninja for a smoother blend, especially when doing smoothies and frozen drinks such as Margaritas.  It performs just as well as the Vitamix in my opinion, and less than half the price. 

post #12 of 25
Just my 2 pesos, i personally find that the ninja has a lot of nooks and crannies on the blades that can make it hard to clean properly.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grande View Post

Just my 2 pesos, i personally find that the ninja has a lot of nooks and crannies on the blades that can make it hard to clean properly.

 

Mine goes right in the dishwasher and comes out spotless.  I would never attempt to clean the blades by hand as they are far too sharp. 

post #14 of 25

Important factors when considering blenders:

 

Power is not everything. RPM is very important. A 500 horsepower car engine will make a lousy blender because it only rotates at around 6,000 rpm.

 

The Ninja runs at 24,000 rpm, and the Vitamix runs at 37,000 rpm, much higher, the higher the better.

 

rpm, is not everything. The fluid dynamic design of the jar is very important. If the food rotates at the same rpm as the blades, there will be 0 blending, doesn't matter how powerful and how fast the blades rotate.

 

Ninja has the sharpest blades of all blenders, which is not an advantage. We all know that all blades will get dull at some point, what then? Blender blade steel cannot be very hard to prevent breaking. They cannot hold a sharp edge for too long.

 

dcarch

 

 

 

.

post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcarch View Post

Important factors when considering blenders:

Power is not everything. RPM is very important. A 500 horsepower car engine will make a lousy blender because it only rotates at around 6,000 rpm.

The Ninja runs at 24,000 rpm, and the Vitamix runs at 37,000 rpm, much higher, the higher the better.

.

Don't forget, however, that the Ninja has three rows of blades, each rotating at 24,000 RPM, which effectively gives you 72,000 RPM.
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mocoondo View Post

 

Mine goes right in the dishwasher and comes out spotless.  I would never attempt to clean the blades by hand as they are far too sharp. 

What about using a toothbrush to clean those nooks and crannies????

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
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post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mocoondo View Post


Don't forget, however, that the Ninja has three rows of blades, each rotating at 24,000 RPM, which effectively gives you 72,000 RPM.

Actually it does not work that way.

 

RPM x diameter of blades = velocity.

 

Velocity is what counts. It is the difference between the speed of the blade tips and the speed of food travel that makes chopping effective. In other words, you can have 100 blades, and if they all rotating at 10 rpm, it will have no blending of the food at the end of the day.

 

May be another example. If one car goes 50 miles per hour, will 10 cars each going at 50 miles per hour get there ten times faster?

 

dcarch

post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcarch View Post

Actually it does not work that way.

Actually, it does work that way.

For a given velocity, the greater the number of blades, the greater the amount of work that is done in a given amount of time.

I design turbine engines for a living. This is why we put many fan blades in an engine and not just two.

To put it in the simplest of terms, say you have 100 pounds of onions to chop up. Will the task be finished faster with one chef wielding one knife or will it be finished faster with 30 chefs wielding 30 knives?
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mocoondo View Post


Actually, it does work that way.

For a given velocity, the greater the number of blades, the greater the amount of work that is done in a given amount of time.

I design turbine engines for a living. This is why we put many fan blades in an engine and not just two.

To put it in the simplest of terms, say you have 100 pounds of onions to chop up. Will the task be finished faster with one chef wielding one knife or will it be finished faster with 30 chefs wielding 30 knives?

So, if you don't mind, let's talk some more.

 

In turbine design, the more blades you have, the more quantity of air you will move, but the speed of air will not increase. To increase the speed of air moving, you will need multiple stages of blades in a turbine inlet compression compartment, or increase the rpm of the blades, not more blades in the same stage.

 

In the onion example. more chefs chopping, more onions will be chopped, but the onions will not be chopped finer. To chop the onions finer, the chefs need to move the blades faster, to have more chops per given pound of onion.

 

Again, how smooth your smoothie can get, if you have a blender with 1,000 blades, but only rotates at one RPM?

 

dcarch

post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcarch View Post

So, if you don't mind, let's talk some more.

In turbine design, the more blades you have, the more quantity of air you will move, but the speed of air will not increase. To increase the speed of air moving, you will need multiple stages of blades in a turbine inlet compression compartment, or increase the rpm of the blades, not more blades in the same stage.

In the onion example. more chefs chopping, more onions will be chopped, but the onions will not be chopped finer. To chop the onions finer, the chefs need to move the blades faster, to have more chops per given pound of onion.

Again, how smooth your smoothie can get, if you have a blender with 1,000 blades, but only rotates at one RPM?

dcarch

Once again, not entirely true. Each time a blade passes through a fluid, it accelerates that fluid. The more "stages" you have, the greater the acceleration of that fluid. The Ninja effectively has three separate stages, whereas the Viitamixer only one.

Reference your smoothie example. One RPM can make a smoothie plenty smooth with a sufficiently long enough blade; the speed at the tip being significantly faster than the speed at the root. And there again, the Ninja has longer blades which makes up for the slightly slower overall RPM.
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mocoondo View Post


Once again, not entirely true. Each time a blade passes through a fluid, it accelerates that fluid. The more "stages" you have, the greater the acceleration of that fluid.
Isn't that what I said?
The Ninja effectively has three separate stages, whereas the Viitamixer only one.
The Ninja has three sets of blades, they are not designed to act in stages, such as in a jet engine turbines, with one stage reinforces the next stage to build up pressure or air speed. Ninja blades are like wheels on a tractor trailer, more wheels will not make the truck go faster.

Reference your smoothie example. One RPM can make a smoothie plenty smooth with a sufficiently long enough blade; the speed at the tip being significantly faster than the speed at the root. And there again, the Ninja has longer blades which makes up for the slightly slower overall RPM.

I am glad that we agree on this point, that it is the speed of the blades (rpm) which makes the difference in performance for a blender, If you calculate the 24,000 rpm of the ninja and 37,000 rpm of the Vitmix, there is huge difference in blade speed in Vitamix's favor. 

 

It is very difficult to achieve Vitamix's extreme high speed for a motor. To counteract centrifugal force, everything has to be strengthened, the bearings, the internal turbine ventilation blades, The magnetic windings of the rotor, the commutator. The slightest dynamic imbalance at 37,000 rpm can be a very big problem . 24,000 rpm is very typical of general universal motors such as Ninja's, not much special engineering will be needed.

 

dcarch

post #22 of 25

I've tried them all. Vitamix is, hands down, the only one worth it's salt ... It does what the others claim to do. Moreover, it is made in the USA ... manufactured in the same Ohio town, by the same family since 1937. Plenty of pride in craftsmanship and a warranty like no other. (Disclaimer: I sometimes help Vitamix with in-person promotions ... but I do that because it IS the best. If anything else beat it, I would work for them instead.)

post #23 of 25

This guy on youtube has different videos comparing the Vitamix and Blendtec, since that is what you'll probably choose between.  He tests them side by side making peanut butter, ice cream, oat flour and a few other smoothies.  The two are very similar in results, and you'd probably be happy with either one.

 

 

post #24 of 25

Every kitchen I've worked in has had a vitamix. I personally own vitamix and would buy one again if I had to but this one will probably outlast me. Nothing like them for reliability.
Blentecs are wonderful machines too, in you are a home cook and need preprogramming or you have a staff that is untrained and you need consistency. Never used one professionally, but have friends that have had them for years and have seen them at some coffee shops. As said, if you need a consistent product with an untrained staff, Bledtec is the way to go.

For a home cook, I'd also consider Kitchen Aid Diamond (you can even find them for only about $40 refurbished). Breville Hemisphere, Oster Versa and maybe an Omega. The main thing is avoid those crummy telemarketed Montel rustmasters and flimsy Ninja's

post #25 of 25

As a focal point of an amateur's kitchen, a Ninja is great. 

As a blender, it is downright terrible.  

Variable speed Vitamix.  There is nothing else.

I know NOTHING about turbines, but I know that if I put kale, carrots, apples and ice into a Ninja, I have to chew my smoothie.  

When it's done in my Vitamix.... it's smooth as silk.

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