by Garrick Dee
Updated December 10th, 2018
For years now Vitamix has been the gold standard when it comes to full sized blenders.
In the link I shared above, America’s Test Kitchen said that the Blendtec with all its power could not outperform the Vitamix in terms of making smoothies and crushed ice primarily because of its blade design (more on this later).
Watch this article is all about
I will break down the differences between these two brands – pitcher, blade, motor, all the way down to interface.
This will help you understand how these features differ and what the different terminologies mean.
By arming yourself with information, you’ll are in better position to pick the right product for your needs.
While Vitamix has been sitting pretty on top, Blendtec has been aggressively marketing their product against them.
In face they’ve recorded a number of videos on YouTube to show off its muscle.
Some of them are pretty impressive like this one where it blended an iPhone.
As you’ve noticed in the photo above these two brands utilize distinct blade designs.
Vitamix uses a four-prong laser-cut, aircraft-grade, stainless steel blade that cut and pulverize just about anything ingredient you put inside.
The wider pitcher meant that the blade had to be bigger as well to maintain performance.
If there’s anything that separates it from the other brands, it is the blade design that is fully capable of not only blending fruits and vegetables. But also stuff like nuts, ice, a block of cheese and much more.
Combine that with the tamper you have a machine capable of making a wide range of recipes. Not only can it blend smoothies, it can also make nut butter, frozen dessert, hot soup, dips, baby food and much more.
The Blendtec does the complete opposite, instead of using a sharp blade it uses a two pronged set up with a blunt blade that curve upward at the edges.
This blade is cold-forged reinforced for heavy duty use.
Since the blade is blunt, it pulverizes ingredients instead of cutting – a big reason why it lagged behind Vitamix in performance tests.
When you compare two vs four prongs, it is obvious who wins.
For me the bigger difference is the tamper. Even though the Vitamix can make a lot of recipes without it, it helps big time when making stuff like nut butter or frozen dessert where there is little to no liquid.
Pretty much all Vitamix blenders come with a 64 ounce container.
The first generation blenders use the taller but narrower jar while the second generation blenders use the wider and shorter pitchers. Vitamix calls this “jars”.
All Vitamix pitchers have the same design – round with ridges on all corners. This ridges are there to create a “vortex” that forces everything down toward the blade.
If you’re wondering why Vitamix is so successful, this is a big reason.
Blendtec needs a separate blender for other recipes
Unlike the Blendtec where you need to purchase a separate pitcher just to make hummus or nut butter, the Vitamix pitcher does it all.
It also comes with a tamper that does two things. First it helps push down ingredients towards the blade and prevents cavitation where bubbles or air packets that form inside the liquid.
It is also possible to make hot soup with the Vitamix because it has a vented lid where steam comes out.
Vitamix also sees a separate container for blending ingredients like coffee beans. They call this the dry grains container but unless you’re crushing large amounts of seeds or beans you don’t really need this add-on.
Blendtec has two types of jars – they call it the FourSide and WildSide.
What the heck is FourSide and WildSide?
The FourSide like the name implies is a square pitcher with four sides. Earlier variants use this pitcher.
Newer variants use what you call the WildSide pitcher, it is basically the same pitcher but with an extra side.
It is a narrow 45 degree angle side they call the “wild” side that according to Blendtec helps it create a faster and smoother blend.
Both the FourSide and WildSide Jars are interchangeable in most variants.
You can make soup with these jars because it does have a vented lid.
While these jars are good at blending wet recipes like smoothies, it lags behind the Vitamix when crushing ice or frozen dessert primarily due to the blade design and in the case of the Blendtec – a lack of a tamper.
Also if you want to make nut butter or hummus you will need to purchase the mini-twister jar that easily costs $100!
On paper Blendtec has much more power with their newest products either having 3.0 or 3.8 peak horsepower.
Vitamix blenders use a smaller motor with their first gen products having 2.0 peak hp and 2.2 peak hp for their newer products.
Winner: Blendtec (in terms of pure power but the Vitamix motor has a lot of torque)
If there’s one feature that represents how different these two brands are it would be the control interface.
Ever since they manufactured their first blender Vitamix has embraced the belief that less is more and that could have not been more evident in their earlier products that use of justtwo toggle switches.
First and second gen interface
As their products evolved based on consumer feedback and testing, they slowly added more features but generally remained true their core which is using mostly manual controls with the exception of the 780 that is their first ever product that uses a fully digital interface.
All-digital Blendtec interface
Blendtec went the other direction when designing product interface. Instead of using dials and switches all of their products use a fully digital interface that is water proof.
Nearly all of the variants have some sort of a pre-programmed control that takes fully advantage of the motor’s power. But it can get confusing at times because all you see are just icons and you will have to remember what those icons represent.
Vitamix also has expanded their feature set in terms of adding pre-programmed controls but most of their products use dials to access these.
Winner: It Depends On Your Preference
One of the biggest concerns you may have with these full sized blenders is height. That means the measurement with the pitcher attached on the motor base.
Overall Blendtec have shorter blenders with heights varying between 15 and 17.25” tall.
Vitamix makes taller blenders. Their first generation blenders stand really tall at 20.5 inches.
And they listened to their customers that resulted in the new jar which is wider and softer. Newer Vitamix blenders are shorter – around 17.25” which is the same height as the tallest Blendtec blender.
First let’s look how the Blendtec performs making smoothies. Below is a Designer Series WildSide making a smoothie with ice, frozen strawberries and spinach.
Blentec making smoothies
For the most basic recipes like these, it should not be a problem.
Green smoothies are some of the healthiest meals you can ever have.
These combine the best of both worlds – pulp and nutrition from leafy greens.
This recipe includes some grapes, banana, strawberry and a lot of spinach. Take note she did not put any water, only ice.
Grinding stuff into powder
Here’s a tougher task for a blender – grinding wheat or rice into fine powder…
And here’s another video of it crushing ice into a fluffy snow-like texture…
One of the toughest things a blender can make is nut butter.
I know I mentioned that you need to purchase a separate jug for making stuff like nut butter but this video proves that you can make nut butter with a Blendtec using the WildSide jar even without the tamper.
On a side note make sure to use roasted peanuts when making this homemade recipe in order to bring out the natural oils inside peanuts.
How does a Vitamix stack up?
Next up let’s look at the capabilities of the Vitamix…
First let’s look at how it handles a green smoothie with one of the toughest greens to blend – Tuscan kale and celery…
If you’re curious, the Blender in the video is a Vitamix 5300 that uses the 2nd generation 2.2 hp motor.
Here’s a demo of a Vitamix 5200 crushing ice (with water).
Homemade nut butter
How about some homemade peanut butter this time with the 750?
Unlike the Blendtec that does not have a tamper, the Vitamix has one and it helps in terms of the consistency. Again, you do not need to buy the dry container just to make this recipe at home.
Do you like bread?
If you’re into making your own bread then great news, the Vitamix is also capable of grinding whole grains into a powdery texture.
This is probably the only time you will need to use the dry container that has a different blade design specifically for pulverizing whole grains or beans (yes even coffee beans) into a fine powdery texture.
Winner: Vitamix (slightly – the tamper makes a difference with recipes that do not have a lot of liquid)
Both of these brands stand by their product and offer some of the longest warranties in the market.
Vitamix blenders come with a 7 year warranty
The Vitamix for instance offers a 7 year warranty right off the bat with an optional extended 3 year warranty for around $75.
Amazon has offers a cheaper extended warranty for the Vitamix – around $34 for the same period.
8-year warranty for Blendtec
Blendtec in their quest to un-seat Vitamix as the market leader in full sized blenders offers a longer warranty – at around 8 years for most of their consumer blenders. And a full 10 year warranty for the Professional 800 and Tom Dickerson Extreme.
Amazon also offers an extended warranty for the Blendtec for less.
Either way you can’t go wrong with any of these two blenders when it comes to peace of mind.
New Ascent series now has a 10 year warranty!
Update: Vitamix has just release a new series of consumer blenders they call the Ascent series.
All of these variants come with the same 2.2 hp motor as the professional series blenders but with upgraded user interface that are digital in all but one variant.
The best thing about these new blenders is warranty. It comes with a full 10 year warranty that exceeds the warranty offered by Blendtec.
Winner: Vitamix (if you buy the Ascent series)
Buying any of these two brands will cost you a lot of money – at least $350 and up.
If the thought of spending that much money on a blender does not appeal to you fear not because you can buy either of these products used.
The term “refurbished simply implies a used appliance restored to an almost new condition. A majority come from returned items that manufacturers don’t want to throw away.
Manufacturers like in this case the Vitamix and Blendtec gives their seal of approval and marked “Certified Refurbished” and will back it up with a warranty – albeit a shorter one.
Price-wise both of these brands aren’t far apart with prices ranging between $350++ and $1,000++ depending on the variant.
The cheapest brand new Vitamix on the market right now would be the TurboBlend VS (VS stands for variable speed) which would cost around $360 more or less.
The most expensive would be the commercial series blender called the “Quiet One”.
For the Blendtec, their cheapest variant would be the Total Blender Classic that costs a little under $280 with the FourSide Jar and their most expensive would be the 875 Stealth Commercial Blender that will set you back close to $2,000.
If a brand new Blendtec is too expensive then don’t hesitate to check their refurbished products because it also comes with a warranty.
It really depends on your preference.
Why consider a Vitamix?
If you are old school and prefer a blender with simpler controls then the Vitamix is for you. They designed their blenders as such that there won’t be too much of a learning curve.
For instance if you buy a 5300, you get a blender with two-toggle switches and a rotary dial in the middle.
Those two toggle switches are the start/stop and pulse buttons. The rotary dial controls how fast the blade spins.
If you prefer something with pre-programmed controls so you can set and forget, Vitamix also offers that with their “professional” series blenders the 750 and 780.
Why consider a Blendtec?
Blendtec has a more modern interface in all their products. At first glance you’d think that it was an iPhone.
All of their products have digital controls which have a learning curve. Even if some of the icons look familiar you may find yourself constantly looking at the manual or quick start guide just to see what those icons mean.
Superior blade design of Vitamix
When it comes to overall blending performance it is very hard to beat the Vitamix because it has the superior blade design, pitcher design, simple controls and the tamper.
Having a tamper is a big deal
The addition of the tamper is what gives this machine the versatility it has over the Blendtec.
Not only will it prevent cavitation but it gives you a helping hand when blending recipes that has very little to no liquid content like hummus or nut butter.
Plus you don’t need to buy a specialized jug just to make nut butter or frozen dessert.
Vitamix makes better nut butter
Though the Blendtec is fully capable of making nut butter, nothing beats the smoothness that comes from the Vitamix.
Blendtec blenders are shorter overall
One thing though I like about the Blendtec is the size of their blenders which is overall shorter than the Vitamix. You may have to consider this if you have a small home where countertop space may not be as generous.
Price wise both brands are pretty much the same so you will have to have to see which of the brands tool or feature set will suite your needs and then make a decision based on that.