The only thing harder than coming up with the money for a Vitamix is figuring out which Vitamix models to buy. Seriously! There are so many options and their name are so confusing. At one point, Vitamix used to offer more than 30 models! Today, there are 15 different models plus exclusive packages produced for selected retailers (Costco, QVC, Amazon). No wonder this causes a lot of confusion and customers are often puzzled which Vitamix model is the best and which one is worth buying.
In this review guide, I am going to compare all the Vitamix models and help you see clearly which one is the best for you. In case you’re not interested in reading the entire review and just want to know which Vitamix blender is best for whom, here is a brief summary:
- Best on a budget: E310 or Certified Reconditioned
- Best value: 5200
- Best features without new technology: Professional Series 750
- Best you can get (the most advanced with the newest technology): A3500
Vitamix blenders fall into two categories – non-commercial (for home) and commercial (for restaurants, bars, and coffee shops). I am not going to talk about commercial blenders because they are not ideal for home use. They are generally more expensive and have shorter warranties (3 years).
Non-commercial Vitamix blenders can be further divided into two product lines – Legacy and Smart System. Vitamix also used to offer a line of personal blenders – Space Saving – but those were discontinued in 2019. Blenders in each product line fall further into series – C – Classic, G – Next Generation, and Explorian (within the Legacy line), and Ascent and Venturist (within the Smart System line). Finally, each series offers several Vitamix models.
So, two lines, five series, and 15 non-commercial Vitamix models.
Let’s look at all the differences between the product lines, series, and models.
Legacy blenders include some of the most popular Vitamix models, including the iconic 5200 or the popular Professional 750.
All Legacy models are able to accomplish the same standard Vitamix functions with no difference in the quality of performance – they all make green smoothies, hot soups, frozen desserts, smooth purees, thick dips, crunchy or smooth nut butters, fine DIY flours, sticky dough, dense cake batter, crushed ice – all of it! Legacy blenders just aren’t as “smart” as Smart System blenders (more on that later).
The majority of current Vitamix models belong to the best-selling C-Series, also referred to as Classic. This series is the oldest and includes five models – 5200, Professional Series 500, TurboBlend 3-Speed, 5300, and 6500.
The differences between Classic models can be divided into 3 categories:
- Power of the motor – the majority of the Classic blenders have a 2 HP motor. The exception is the 5300 and 6500. which have a 2.2 HP motor. The slightly higher peak horsepower is pretty insignificant in day-to-day use though because the power of the motor drops to a running horsepower (the actual blending power) within a split second after the start of the blending process. Using the listed watts of all the Classic blenders, you can quickly calculate that the running horsepower is practically the same (1.85 HP vs 1.9 HP).
- Control panel – the control panel is where the most differences between Classic models lay. Here are two questions to ask yourself when choosing a Classic Vitamix model:
- Do you want a variable speed dial?
- YES → 5200, Professional Series 500, 5300, 6500.
- NO → TurboBlend 3-Speed.
- Do you want preset programs?
- YES → Professional Series 500, 6500.
- NO → 5200, TurboBlend 3-Speed, 5300.
- Do you want a variable speed dial?
- Container design – classic blenders with a 2 HP motor come with a 64-oz narrow (tall) container whereas classic blenders with a 2.2 HP motor come with a 64-oz wide (low-profile) container. Here is how to determine which container is better for you:
- Do you plan on making single or small batches of food?
- YES → blender with a 64-oz narrow (tall) container
- NO → any blender will be a good choice.
- Does the blender have to fit under a standard kitchen cabinet?
- YES → blender with a 64-oz wide (low-profile) container.
- NO → any blender will be a good choice.
- Do you plan on making single or small batches of food?
Here is a simple table outlining all the differences and similarities between the Classic blenders:
|Motor||2 HP||2 HP||2 HP||2.2 HP||2.2 HP|
|Variable Speed Dial||10||10||3||10||10|
*The pulse and high-low speed controls perform essentially the same function.
**The Vitamix 5300 and 6500 were originally made exclusively for Costco but are now available reconditioned directly from Vitamix.
So, which Vitamix model from the Classic C-series is the best?
Both the Standard Programs and the 6500 are the most feature laden Classic models. Standard Programs comes with a tall (narrow) container while the 6500 has a wide (low-profile) container. With the tall (narrow) container, there is no need to purchase an additional container for smaller portions, so the Standard Programs has a slight advantage, in my opinion.
If price is an issue, then the iconic 5200 is the best deal. Compared to the Standard Programs model it lacks preset programs, but it makes up for it in price.
G-Series Vitamix models, also referred to as Next Generation, are essentially improved Classic C-Series blenders. The two most frequent complains about the Classic Vitamix models were that they were too loud and didn’t fit under standard kitchen cabinets. So, in 2013 Vitamix solved both those issues as well as added a few more features.
The main changes introduced in the Next Generation blenders (not found in Classic blenders) are:
- New 2.2 HP motor with an enhanced air-flow management system.
- Secondary on/off switch – to add another layer of safety – and more preset programs – Classic models had a maximum of 3 preset programs while Next Generation models have up to 5 preset programs.
- Noise reduction system – Next Generation models are 40% less noisy than Classic models.
- Wide (low-profile) container – all Next Generation models come with a wide container.
The differences between the Next Generation models can be divided into two categories:
- Control interface – with the Next Generation series, Vitamix introduced its very first touchscreen. So, when choosing a Next Generation blender, the first question is:
- Do you want a touchscreen? YES → 780. NO → 7500, Professional Series 750.
- Control panel – all Next Generation models have the same controls – start/stop, pulse, 10 speeds. The only difference are preset programs. So, the question is:
- Do you want preset programs? YES → Professional Series 750, 780. NO → 7500.
Here is a simple table outlining all the differences and similarities between the Next Generation blenders:
|Motor||2.2 HP||2.2 HP||2.2 HP|
|Variable Speed Dial||10||10||10|
So, which Vitamix model from the Next Generation G-series is the best?
Both the Professional Series 750 and the 780 have the same features except that the Professional Series 750 has manual controls whereas the 780 comes with a touchscreen (digital controls). Considering that the 780 is the most expensive Vitamix model (it is even more expensive than the A3500!), the Professional Series 750 is the best choice out of this series. If you really want the 780, look for a refurbished model, which is often available at a bargain price
The Explorian is a budget-friendly Vitamix series that was introduced in 2017. These are the most affordable Vitamix blenders that have a similar functionality and design as Classic blenders but come with either a 48-oz container (E310) or a wide 64-oz container (E320). You can think of Explorian as a C-series and G-series hybrid.
The only two differences between these two models are the container and warranty.
Here is a simple table outlining all the differences and similarities between the Explorian blenders:
|Motor||2 HP||2 HP|
|Variable Speed Dial||10||10|
So, which Vitamix model from the Explorian series is better?
It depends on the size of the household. The E310 can process smaller minimum volume of food, and so it better serves smaller households (4 people or less). The E320 is more suitable for larger households (4 people or more).
In 2016 Vitamix released their newest line of Vitamix blenders called the Smart System. These blenders inherited a powerful motor and an efficient blending ability from the Legacy line, but added many new technology features that promise to make the Smart System blenders the most advanced for many years ahead.
The main features introduced in the Smart System blenders (not found in Legacy blenders) are:
- SELF-DETECT™ technology – the blender base uses a near-field communication (NFC) to identify what size of the container is being used (there is an NFC tag embedded in the bottom of the container) and automatically adjusts the program settings and times accordingly, changing up to 140 parameters. Smart System models only run when they recognize a container. So, previous Vitamix containers without the NFC tag don’t work with the new models.
- Wireless connectivity – Smart System models have Bluetooth to make use of the free Perfect Blend App. The app features 17 blending programs and over 500 recipes. The blending programs work with all Ascent and Venturist blenders, including models that don’t come with preset programs.
- Timer display – the digital timer counts up and displays the seconds and minutes of manual blends.
- Clear lid that snaps onto the container – previous containers had a black rubber lid that locked in place.
- Dishwasher-safe container – only SELF-DETECT™ containers are dishwasher-safe.
- 10-year warranty – previous Vitamix models came with either 5 or 7-year warranties.
The differences between Ascent models can be divided into two categories :
- Control interface – the Ascent series offers two different interfaces – manual and digital. So, the first question to ask yourself when choosing an Ascent blender is:
- Do you want a touchscreen and a countdown timer ? YES → A3300, A3500. NO → A2300, 2500.
- Control panel – all Ascent blenders have the same controls – start/stop, pulse, 10 speeds. The only difference are preset programs. So, the next question is:
- Do you want preset programs? YES → A2500 or A3500. NO → 2300 or A3300.
Here is a simple table outlining all the differences and similarities between the Ascent blenders:
|Motor||2.2 HP||2.2 HP||2.2 HP||2.2 HP|
|Variable Speed Dial||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Timer (Count Up)||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Programmable Count Down||–||–||✓||✓|
So, which Vitamix model from the Ascent Series is the best?
The absolute best blender on the market at the moment is the A3500. It has all the bells and whistles plus everything that comes with the Ascent Series models. If money is no object, I highly recommend the metal finish bases.
If you’re attracted by the self-detect technology and wireless connectivity but prefer a cheaper model, then go with the A2300 or A2500. The most budget-friendly model with all the Ascent features is the V1200 (see below).
With the Ascent series release, Vitamix also created a new hybrid model for Costco shoppers called the Venturist.
The Venturist includes the same features as the Ascent but without preset programs and in a G-Series shell. The end result is an older looking blender with new technology. Within the Venturist series, there is only one model – V1200, which closely resembles the Ascent A2300.
Which Vitamix Model to Buy?
I know I have just thrown at you a lot of information. So, here is a quick summary of the most important points with carefully selected quick picks for the best Vitamix blenders for different needs and desires.
Best Vitamix Models
- Best on a budget – if you‘re looking for bargain Vitamix, your obvious choice the is the E310 (for singles) or the E320 (for families). Explorian blenders have a powerful motor, simple design, no electronics to break down, and a performance comparable to any other Vitamix blender. It is a great machine with Vitamix quality at entry-level pricing.
- Best value: the majority of Vitamix users trust that the classic 5200 is the most versatile blender that does any task perfectly, and rightly so. It comes with all the essential features anyone will ever need and a 64-oz narrow (tall) container. The classic narrow container can process very small amounts of food without any problem. So, if you intend to experiment with small and large volumes of food and want the perfect result every single time (without having to purchase an additional container), then the 5200 is the best choice for you.
- Best features without new technology (aka the best Classic): the Professional Series 750 is the best choice for those without interest in the Smart System blenders. It‘s the most feature-rich Classic (analog) model and the most popular out of the Legacy line.
- Best you can get (aka the best Ascent): the A3500 is a clear upgrade from the Legacy line. It has the latest and greatest features and the longest warranty. The A3500 is clearly the best of the best Vitamix has to offer. Like all Smart System blenders, it includes built-in wireless connectivity which pairs with Vitamix’s “Perfect Blend” app, giving you access to 17 programs and over 500 recipes.
Whichever Vitamix you choose, you may want to consider buying refurbished (reconditioned) models as they are usually the best deal. Vitamix guarantees them to work as well as new ones, the price is discounted by up to 40%, and aside from the print on the box, the machines are practically indistinguishable from new. If you’re curious about what exactly you’re getting when you purchase a reconditioned Vitamix model, see my New vs Refurbished Vitamix comparison.