I want a top of the line blender but don’t know whether to choose a Blendtec or a Vitamix…help!
We get this question a *lot*. What’s the difference between the two? Which blender is right for me? Will it do what I need? Hopefully this comparison can clear up any questions you might have concerning the two high profile brand names! Without further ado…
Blendtec offers three options: the Fourside, a 64oz container with four sides; the innovative Wildside, a massive 90oz container with five sides that reportedly creates better vortex suction to draw unblended food down towards the blades; and a special Twister container designed for thick mixtures. It does work well for this purpose: the Twister jar significantly reduces the amount of time to make nut butters (1 minute for the Twister vs 6 minutes for the Fourside). It advertises a unique design to make sure the thicker nut mixture will be drawn down towards the blade to ensure a consistent blend. It’s important to note that the Twister does not have a unique blade – that part is identical to the other jars – the only difference is the shape and size of the jar and cover. Blendtec jars are dishwasher-safe, but only on the top level of the dishwasher!
Vitamix offers multiple options: the standard 64oz container, a compact ‘low-profile’ 64oz container that is shorter than the standard, a 48oz container, a 32oz container, and a special dry goods container that is used to grind up grains. The difference in the dry goods container for Vitamix is that it uses a different blade that is specially made to grind. While you can use the standard jar for this same task, it will, over time, dull the blade. As mentioned above, Vitamix jars are not meant for the dishwasher, so don’t risk damaging it by doing so!
Both brands offer a variety of containers, but the one constant is that both are made out of BPA-free plastics (often called copolyester). Containers from both brands are highly durable but, as with all plastics, can absorb odors or stains if left exposed to them for long periods of time.
The motors in both of these brands are extremely powerful, more powerful, in fact, than the rest of the competition. It’s the reason they’re able to handle blending nut butters or mixing bread dough or crushing bags of ice. Blendtec shows off that most of their models come with 1560 watt motors, which is incredibly powerful. Vitamix does not show their motor wattage on most of their product pages, however, researchers have reported that most of their models appear to be 11.5 amps, which translates into 1380 watts. The only con to the extreme power that each offer is that they’re both quite noisy as a result.
Blendtec was the first to use pre-programmed cycles where you can press one button and the blender will run through a routine, changing speeds to best blend your food. Vitamix has now developed similar preprogrammed cycles for their Professional series.
Most Blendtec models use electronic buttons, both to adjust speed manually and also to select programmed routines. Vitamix models, on the other hand, tend to use a dial to manually adjust the speed of the blades, while using electronic buttons to select programmed cycles. The benefit to the electronic buttons is that the entire interface is flat and easy to wipe clean; however, the dial gives very precise control over your blending speed.
One of the big differences between the two: Vitamix uses four extremely sharp blades angled up in the standard formation; Blendtec uses two dull blades in a wing-tip design. The reasoning behind Blendtec’s decision to use dull blades is that the rotational force from their 1560 watt motor will be enough force to blend any food without needed to chop it up. They also believe that the wing-tip design creates a whirlpool that draws down any unblended food at the top of the blender.
Blendtec does not supply a tamper with their blender under the claim that their wing-tip blade technology sucks down the food well enough. While this is mostly true, if you’re dealing with any food that sticks together (for example, frozen fruits), it may occasionally stick together at the top of the blender and fail to move down. The problem is easily solved with a spatula or a piece of silverware, but it will require you to pause the blending as opposed to a Vitamix with a built in tamper. It’s a minor omission from an otherwise stellar blender design, but an omission nonetheless.
Because of the dull blade, cleaning a Blendtec jar by hand is extremely easy. If you need to reach down to clean any sticky food off the bottom of the jar, you don’t need to worry extensively about getting cut from the blade. With the Vitamix, however, the blades are extremely sharp, so if the event you need to manually reach down to clean nearby the blades, you’ll still need to be very careful. It’s important though, to recognize that the Blendtec jar is a whole attached unit that you can’t take apart for cleaning, so it’s a good thing that the blade is dull since you’ll likely have to reach down to clean under it at some point. The Vitamix, in contrast, does have a separable blade to make cleaning easier.
Many users suggest the easiest way to clean both containers is to add some dish soap and warm water to the blender and blend for 10 seconds. And while we think this largely comes down to personal preference, it’s certainly a quick way to get the job done.
As far as the blender base goes, Blendtec uses the electronic control panel as mentioned above, which makes it easy to wipe clean with a damp, warm cloth. Vitamix is also easy, but most models do have a dial to control the speed that you’ll have to work around.
Height is one of the biggest differences between Vitamix vs Blendtec. When they first debuted, Blendtec models would fit under most kitchen cabinet overhangs, whereas Vitamix blenders were too tall to fit under most. The average height of Blendtec models was 5 inches lower (15.5 inches) than Vitamix models (20.5 inches). However, after users voiced their displeasure, Vitamix created a special ‘low profile’ 64oz jar that is wider and shorter than normal, that allows their blenders to fit underneath the average kitchen cabinet. If you’re interested in tucking your blender away close to a wall, you’ll likely either want to go with a Blendtec, or make sure you’re getting the special ‘low-profile’ Vitamix container.
Longevity & Warranty
Both of these blenders are extremely durable, coming with seven year warranties and handling daily use for multiple years.
Actively searching to view any problems that users had with either brand found a couple of trends. According to users, Blendtec jar seals will eventually leak and start to break down; however, it appears that most users don’t experience this until after 500, 1000, or even 3000 uses. Also, some users have had trouble with the motors on the new VitaMix blenders, stating that they’re less durable than older models from 15+ years ago. If you have trouble with either blender under warranty, they may have you ship your model to be fixed at their warehouse.
Both blenders can be used extensively for various tasks in the kitchen. While they can obviously handle standard blending tasks, they can also be used as a:
- Grinder (for nut butters or flour)
- Whole juicer
- Dough mixer
- Ice cream (soft serve) maker
This flexibility is largely due to the powerful motors they both have, as well as the well-designed blades that can handle a multitude of ingredients.
A *very* minor detail, I mean, you care about how your blender works, not the paper that comes with it! That being said, we believe the recipe book included in the Blendtec blenders is quite good, while the quality of the Vitamix recipe book varies greatly depending on the model you purchase.
Both of these blenders are significant investments. You’re probably looking at between $400 and $600 depending on the package you choose. Thankfully, they both come with 7-year warranties, and are made with quality parts to withstand a lot of use. If you’re using a blender daily, the motor in a lot of cheaper models will burn out, but these should last for years, and they have the warranty to back it up.
So which is right for you?
Hopefully reading through has helped you identify the features you’re looking for in your blender. Here’s a quick summary of all the differences we covered above:
What’s unique about a Blendtec:
- Offers a 90oz jar
- Lower height to fit under kitchen cabinets
- Slightly higher motor wattage
- Designed with dull blade
- Blade and container are non-separable
- Uses electronic buttons to adjust manual speed (programs as well)
What’s unique about a Vitamix:
- Requires a special compact jar to fit under kitchen cabinets
- Designed with sharp blade
- Blade and container separate for cleaning
- Plunger/Tamper included
- Uses a dial to adjust manual speed (uses electronic buttons to select programs)
There’s no right answer when choosing between the two brands – it’s purely personal preference depending on the features you need for your own situation. Need a 90oz container? Blendtec will be way to go. Can’t live without a tamper? Vitamix will serve you well. Now that you know the major differences between the two brands, you should be armed with the knowledge to make the right purchase!