Value for Money
Summary : I no longer recommend the Vitamix based on the terrible experience I had with my machine and their company in general. I now only recommend the Blendtec to my friends and readers.
**UPDATE: It’s been a few months since I wrote this review and I actually no longer recommend the Vitamix. I have since switched over exclusively to Blendtec myself. Keep reading to learn more. Or if you want to read my in-depth Blendtec review, you can Click Here to check it out.**
Why you may ask?
When I first started using my Vitamix, I loved it. I did have a few gripes such as the pitcher being too tall to fit under my cabinets and the fact that I had to use the plunger once in a while, but that was just me nit-picking and they weren’t deal breakers.
After about a year and a half of owning it though, the jar started leaking from the bottom where the blade inserts into the jar. It was like this weird, black stuff that would come out every time I used it. I’m still not sure what it was exactly (grease maybe?). Either way, I called them up to get a new jar sent to me and the person I spoke with on the phone was extremely rude. They were making it out like it was my fault the jar had started leaking and were hesitant about sending me a new one.
After going back and forth with them for like 15 minutes, they finally agreed to send me a jar but I had to pay the shipping cost. This seemed ridiculous to me, but I really wanted my blender back so I gave in and paid the $13 or whatever it was to have the new jar shipped out.
Not only did I have to pay, but it took over a week to get to me. I feel like the customer service rep purposely delayed the shipping a few days, because it should not have taken that long at all.
So I finally got my new jar in the mail and everything was good at first.
Then a few weeks after getting the new jar, I noticed that there was an odd smell that was coming from the unit every time I used it. Eventually the smell was joined by smoke coming from the vents and that’s when I knew it was a serious problem.
Once again, I called them up and it was another person I spoke with who was equally as rude to me on the phone. They said they think the smell and smoke is a result of the black stuff that was leaking out of the jar and that it had seeped into the motor somehow which damaged it. This was somehow my fault again, and since it was a “user mistake” they weren’t willing to cover it under my warranty. I had like a 30 minute argument over the phone which went nowhere, so I finally hung up on them.
To this day, I still can’t use my Vitamix and they will not send me a new one. My only option is to ship it to them (at my own cost) so they can try to fix it for me (again, at my own cost). I spent over $400 on this thing for nothing…
Now I’ve been using Blendtec for about a year as well, and have never had ANY issues with it (I guess I’m a little obsessive with kitchen appliances which is why I had both to begin with lol :P). It works just as good today as it did the day I bought it. Also when I called to order, the customer service rep I spoke with was very polite to me, which is obviously something Vitamix needs to work on.
I started off with the Blendtec Total Blender Classic, but recently upgraded to the new Designer Series which is AWESOME. The Designer Series is extremely futuristic with all the cool touch-screen buttons and I love how I can press a button and walk away letting the blender do the work (something the Vitamix didn’t have).
I also really like the WildSide Jar that the Blendtec comes with. It holds more volume than the Vitamix jars, but is still short enough to fit under your cabinets. The WildSide Jar also eliminates the need for a plunger because the design of it helps to push all the ingredients into the blades.
So overall, the Blendtec is a much better machine to me and I will be sticking with it for good now. I no longer recommend the Vitamix to anybody based on the terrible experience I’ve had with not only the machine itself, but the rude customer service people they have working for them.
Now I know my experience may not be typical and there’s a lot of glowing reviews on the Vitamix out there, but I can only speak from my own experience here. I’ve also had some of my readers commenting on this post and mentioning some of the same things I had happen with my machine (scroll down to the comments to check them out). So I can gather that my incident is not isolated. Maybe it’s not common, but it’s certainly happening to others as well.
And if you need even more of a reason to go with the Blendtec instead, they are currently doing a Holiday Promo where you can get $100 off their refurbished Total Blender Classic with the WildSide Jar. The price only comes to $279.95 as opposed to the almost $400 you would normally be paying. They will even ship it to you for free as well. Click Here to be taken to their promo page to take advantage of this deal.
Or if you want to read my full review on the Blendtec before you make a purchase, you can check that out by Clicking Here.
If you have been researching blenders for any amount of time, there’s no doubt you’ve heard of the Vitamix. As far as high-powered blenders go, this is by far the most popular. Does it live up to the hype though? Is it really worth spending over $400 on a blender? Our in-depth Vitamix review will answer that for you. This review is going to focus on the Vita-Mix 5200 model which is probably the most common one people purchase. The company makes a handful of other models too, but they all only differ from each other slightly, so for now let’s stick to the 5200 which I have personally been using for about a year now.
Features of the Vitamix 5200
Peak 2 HP (horsepower) motor that spins at up to 240 MPH and 37,000 RPM. 7 year standard warranty with optional 10 year upgrade. Stainless steel blades. Big BPA-Free 64 oz container. Great for tons of different recipes including fruit and green smoothies, frozen drinks, nut milks, nut butters, salsas, soups, sauces, bread dough, healthy ice cream, and more. Blends the ingredients extremely smooth unlike other blenders.
What All Comes in Your Vitamix 5200 Package?
Let’s first cover everything you get when you purchase a Vitamix (each item will be explained in detail below the list): Motor base in your choice of several colors. 64 oz jar with attached blade and lid (there are several other jars you can use with your Vitamix as well). Tamper to help push ingredients into the blades when needed. Very detailed, hard-bound recipe book with over 250 different recipes in it. Getting started guide teaching you how to best use your Vitamix. Getting started DVD which covers most of the same stuff in the guide, but it just gives you more of a visual interpretation. 7 year warranty.
The Motor and Base
The Vitamix 5200 has a powerful 2-peak horsepower motor that spins the blades up to 240 MPH when on the highest setting. At this setting, the blade speed has been measured at up to 37,000 RPM (rotations per minute)! As you can imagine, this is a LOT of blending power. Due to their engineering advancements, there is also a radial cooling fan and thermal protection system built in to keep the motor from overheating. This translates into more blending power for you. The controls for this unit are on the front of the base. There are 2 separate switches as well as a dial in the center. The switch on the right is just to turn the machine on and off. Once the machine is on, you use the dial in the center to control the speed from 1- 10. After you bring the speed to 10 and want to kick it into overdrive for some serious power, you would flip the switch on the left from “variable” to “high”. When you’re done, switch it back to variable and then turn the dial down to 1 and shut off the machine. Overall, it’s very simple to use.
The Vitamix 5200 currently comes in your choice of 5 different colors which gives you some nice variety: Red Black White Brushed Stainless Platinum
Containers and Lid
The 5200 comes standard with a BPA-free 64 oz. container, but you have the option to purchase other sizes as well if you want. There is also a 48 oz. and a 32 oz jar. All are made of a very durable copolyester material called Eastman Tritan. It’s BPA-free and resistant to heat and chemicals. The handle is very ergonomic and comfortable to hold in your hand. There’s even a thumb indentation on the top of the handle for better grip and comfort. There are measurements up the side of the containers for cups, ounces, liters, and milliliters so you can easily measure the ingredients you’re pouring into the unit. Another cool feature is with the lid. The center of the lid has a plug that you can take in and out which is useful for adding ingredients while blending. Not only that, but the plug has measurements inside of it as well so it can double as a measuring cup. It’s marked at 1 and 2 oz. on one side and 30-60 ml. on the other side.
The Vitamix 5200 includes a laser-cut, stainless steel blade that is around 3 inches in diameter. Each individual blade is just over 1-1/4 inches in length. There are actually two different styles: you have a “wet” blade (pictured above), and a “dry” blade (usually purchased separately). Each of them have their own respective jars (you could swap them out in the same jar if you wanted, but it’s not recommended). The jars are identical to each other, so just the blades are different. The wet blade is used for making things like smoothies, soups, salsas, and so on (so pretty much the main one you will be using), while the dry blade is meant for processing grains into flower, nuts into nut butters, and things of that nature. The basic package only comes with the wet blade container, so you will need to pay a little more for a higher package if you want the dry blade as well. To be honest though, you can probably manage just fine with only the standard blade unless you plan on making a lot of flour, bread dough, or nut meals. You can see the difference between the 2 blades below (notice they are very similar):
The tamper is just a really simple plastic device that you use to push the ingredients into the blades when needed. It’s useful when you’re blending with a little less liquid, or at times when the speed of the blades causes an air pocket to form around them and the ingredients just need to be pushed down to pop that air bubble and come back in contact with the blades. I don’t find myself using the tamper very often, but it does come in handy at certain times. It’s measured to the perfect length so that you can just take out the plug in the lid that I mentioned earlier, insert the tamper, and it will be just short of the blades so you don’t have to worry about it getting chopped up.
Now let’s cover the size of the Vitamix 5200: 20.5 inches tall when you have the 64 oz container attached (the container by itself is 13.4 inches) 8.75 inches deep 7.25 inches wide Weighs 10 pounds 9 oz. Cord length is 6 feet and has a compartment around the bottom of the machine so you can easily wrap it if you don’t need all 6 feet. One of the only gripes I hear about this machine is that it’s hard to store underneath cabinets due to the tall height. This is true, however you can always solve this by just taking the container off the base and keeping them side-by-side. They should then both fit underneath your cabinets just fine. You can also opt for a smaller jar if you would prefer.
Recipe Book, Getting Started Guide, and DVD
The recipe book that comes with your Vitamix is really awesome. It’s a hardcover, 3 ring binder that can be setup like an easel so that you can easily flip through the recipes and follow along while in the kitchen. It has very detailed pictures and instructions for each recipe and is perfect if you’re just starting out with a Vitamix or a healthy diet and are unsure of all the things you can make. The recipes include: Smoothies (both fruit and green smoothies) Frozen Drinks (even a few adult drinks) Nut Milks Soups (The Vitamix even cooks the soup for you if you let it run on high for a few minutes. This saves you from having to dirty more dishes or cook it on the stove.) Dips and Spreads Sauces Breads Breakfast Dessert Dressings and Marinades Recipes for Kids There is also a getting started guide and DVD that basically show you how to best use your Vitamix 5200. This includes care and cleaning, an overview of the machine and it’s components, safety tips, and more.
The Vitamix has one of the best warranties when it comes to blenders. They currently offer a standard 7-year warranty on all parts with an option to upgrade to a 10 year warranty for a fee (around $75 at the time of this writing). To me, this shows they really stand behind their product if they are willing to back it for so long.
If I absolutely had to find one thing with the Vitamix that may put people off, it’s that it is pretty loud when operating at full speed. It personally doesn’t bother me, but it’s something that needs to be mentioned. However, this is to be expected with such a high-powered machine with 2 HP that spins at 240 MPH and 37,000 RPM. You’re not going to get away from this with any high-powered blender that you buy. Plus, it’s only really noticeable if you’re in the same room. If I’m upstairs in my room and someone is downstairs using it in the kitchen, I can hear it, but it’s not painfully loud where it disturbs what I’m doing. So I definitely wouldn’t let the noise factor put you off from buying this machine.
How Smooth Does it Really Blend Ingredients?
Okay, this was the main reason I wanted to buy a Vita-Mix in the first place. I wanted to start eating healthier and incorporating more green smoothies into my diet because to be quite honest, my diet was pretty bad up until this point. I literally went through 4-5 different blenders in a matter of a few months before I finally decided to put up the money for my Vita-Mix 5200. I had some cheaper ones from the department store (osters, hamilton beaches, and a few more that I forgot the brands), and then when those all burnt out on me which didn’t take long, I tried a Ninja blender because I thought it would work. Not one of these blenders was able to fully blend my fruit and greens to a smooth consistency. As a matter of fact, I think the Ninja was probably the worst one at it. Every smoothie I made had those distasteful chunks in them and it didn’t taste like I was drinking a smoothie at all. It was more like water with bits and pieces of fruits and vegetables in it. Needless to say, it was disgusting. The Vitamix completely solved that problem though and I can honestly say that it blends everything VERY smoothly, including vegetables and leafy greens. It’s been a little over 2 years since I bought it and I went from consuming barely any greens in my diet, to now drinking on average 2 smoothies per day with big handfuls of spinach, kale, chard, or other greens in them. If you’re on the fence at all, I would recommend not wasting your money on all of the cheaper blenders that you will most likely be disappointed with, and just get a Vitamix instead. I spent more money trying to test out all of the cheaper ones when I could have bought a Vitamix from the beginning and saved a lot of time and frustration.
What is the Vitamix 5200 NOT Meant For?
One thing: Juicing. I know the company advertises this as a “juicer”, but it’s not. It’s a great blender, food processor, bread dough maker, soup maker, and all those things I already mentioned, but it’s not a juicer. A true juicer presses your fruits and vegetables and extracts JUST the juice out of them and discards all of the skin, fiber, and pulp. The Vitamix will still liquefy them all, but it’s not exactly the same. They are 2 completely different machines with 2 different uses. If you want to juice your fruits and vegetables, buy a juicer. If you want to blend them into smoothies, use a blender. As for juicers, I personally use and recommend the Omega J8006. I own a Vitamix and an Omega juicer and I use them both every day, just for different uses.
Clean up is very simple with the Vitamix 5200. When you’re done using it, just put some hot water and a small drop of dish-soap in the jar and let it run on high for about 30 seconds. Rinse all of the soap out, and you’re good to go. For tougher jobs and stickier ingredients, you may need to hand-wash it, but that shouldn’t be too often.
Best Place to Buy?
I wouldn’t buy the Vitamix from any place other than it’s official website (remember to use this link to get free shipping or just enter coupon code 06-008159 during checkout). You can watch videos of the Vitamix in action and get tons of recipes that can help you learn how to make the most of your machine. Ordering from the website also ensures that you get your 30 day risk-free trial, free shipping, and 7-year warranty. Plus, many of the 5200 packages include different accessories, so you’ll want to review each one to see which meets your family’s needs.
Putting it All Together
The Vitamix 5200 combines a powerful 2-horsepower motor, sturdy body and stainless steel blades to create a blender and food processing machine unlike any other. Not only does it blend, chop and puree foods, but it can also grind grains into flour, meats into sausage, whole spices into rubs, and nuts into non-dairy milks (almond, hazelnut, cashew, etc.). The motor is so powerful, and the blades are so sturdy, you can even use the Vitamix to knead bread dough or process veggies into soup. . . and yes, the Vitamix’s blades are fast and powerful enough to actually heat and cook the soup for you! All you need to do is put your ingredients for the soup into the machine, turn it on and let it run for a few minutes, and it will start to heat up and cook the soup right in the container. The Vitamix even comes with a big recipe book that has many different recipes for soups, dressings, smoothies, nut-milks, dough, and much more. It really does make eating healthy 10x easier. (Oddly enough, you can also use the Vitamix to make homemade ice cream that’s a lot healthier than store-bought ice cream) When you are done using the Vitamix, all you need to do is add some hot water and a drop or two of dish soap. Turn on your Vitamix and it will actually clean itself – just give it a good rinse afterwards. What’s even more amazing is how sturdy the Vitamix is. It’s made right here in America and you get a 7-year warranty to back up the Vitamix’s workmanship. You also get a 30 day in-home trial: If you don’t like the machine, return it (at Vitamix’s expense) and you get your money back. Vitamix even lets you return your machine up to a year after you buy it for a partial refund. I love the way Vitamix stands behind its products.
Advantages and Disadvantages
There are so many benefits to owning a Vitamix, I’m not sure where to begin. But here are a few off the top of my head: Pros Vitamix is a whole-food processor and blender in one. You can add whole fruits, veggies, greens, nuts, grains. . .whatever you like, and the Vitamix will process them however you like. Great for green smoothies. It blends the greens and fruits together so well that you won’t even know you have greens in your smoothie. It leaves no chunks at all like other blenders do. Makes healthy eating way easier. You can use the Vitamix to freshly make condiments that you would normally buy in the store, such as ketchup, mayonnaise and salad dressings. You’ll save money and avoid the preservatives and additives often used in making store-bought products. The Vitamix is also great if you or your family members have food allergies and you need to control what goes into your food. Unlike juicers, the Vitamix doesn’t just extract juice from fruits. Instead, it pulverizes whole fruits so well that they become a nutrient-rich drink, full of fiber and other good things that get lost in the extraction process with standard juicers. The Vitamix is self-cleaning. You can cook soup and freeze ice cream in the Vitamix. 7-year warranty in case anything goes wrong. As with anything, there are a few cons to the Vitamix 5200, although it’s nothing we feel should change your mind about purchasing this awesome machine. Cons The Vitamix is noisier than most standard blenders. Of course with a 2-horsepower motor this is to be expected, but we feel it’s something that needs to be mentioned. You may need separate containers depending on what you plan on using the machine for. Some of the Vitamix 5200 packages include both a dry-blade container as well as a wet-blade container, so if you plan on making a lot of flour, bread dough, and nut meals, you may need to invest in one of the packages with the dry-blade container.