Out of all the blender models on the market these days, Vitamix vs Blendtec are the only two that stand out. They are the two biggest names in the industry known for their powerful, durable, high-end blenders backed up by exceptional warranty coverage. To some extent Vitamix and Blendtec are direct competitors in becoming the foremost blender brand.
So, which is better – Vitamix or Blendtec?
Vitamix vs Blendtec – Blender Comparison
The question of Vitamix vs Blendtec comes up a lot. They are kind of like BMW and Audi.
Vitamix has been around since 1921, promoting blending as a healthier way of life. Blendtec began in 1975 and is famous for blending iPhones, marbles, and even garden rakes into a fine powder.
Vitamix is the brand used by Booster Juice, Orange Julius, and Smoothie King while Jamba Juice is team Blendtec.
Vitamix is referred to as the golden standard by Cook’s Illustrated (America’s Test Kitchen company), Wirecutter (American product review company), Food Network (American television channel), and Consumer Reports. Blendtec has earned the Gold Innovation award from Housewares Executives (a premier source of news, analysis and market intelligence for the consumer housewares industry) and has been repeatedly named as the most high-tech blender on the market.
The truth is that both Vitamix and Blendtec are solid companies with high-end products. Whichever you choose, they are a smart investment. In this Vitamix vs Blendtec review, I will explain all the similarities and differences between these two brands and compare their products based on features, design, price, and performance.
Vitamix vs Blendtec – Base
The base of the blender is the mechanical heart of the unit. It contains a high-speed, fan-cooled electric motor as well as a turn on/off switch, speed controls, and other settings to adjust the type of blending desired.
The power of the motor (along with container size and shape, and blade design) is one of the three main features that affects blender performance.
High-speed blenders often boast 2 or 3 peak horsepower (1 horsepower equals 746 watts), which indicates the amount of power generated when the motor meets resistance. This initial boost in torque makes the start of the blending process easier, but soon thereafter (a split second, at best) the power of the motor drops to the running horsepower. So, the benefit of a peak horsepower is minimal.
Since all you need to calculate the wattage of a blender is the input amperage and voltage, you can ignore the listed horsepower rating (which is typically peak horsepower) and do the math yourself. When you compare the Vitamix and Blendtec blenders, you will realize that you are getting nearly the same blending power, around 1,500 watts or close to 2 running horsepower.
When it comes to the interface, Vitamix vs Blendtec veer into vastly different territories. If there is one feature that represents how different these two brands are, it is the control interface.
Vitamix features a traditional interface with physical switches and a dial for a precise, manual control over every blend. Out of all the Vitamix models, only the Vitamix 780 is 100% touchscreen.
Blendtec models go high-tech with their touch interface featuring a digital screen and electronic controls. The flat design (no raised switches or dials) is sleek and modern looking.
Which is better? This is really a question of personal preference. If you like to blend in your sleep using traditional controls, you will appreciate the simple and intuitive controls Vitamix has to offer. However, if you have a busy kitchen and want to automate your blender, Blendtec has more to offer here.
There are two types of speed controls – variable and preset.
Vitamix has a variable speed dial with a range of 500 to 37,000 Revolutions per Minute (RPM).
Blendtec blenders come with 5 to 8 preset speeds, depending on the model. The Designer 725 is an exception – it has a 100-speed touch slider with a range of 4,080 and 28,000 RPM.
If you like to control all blend speed settings, you will most appreciate the manual speed control options on the Vitamix blenders. Models with more manual speed options offer greater precision capabilities to achieve desired textures. However, if you want to simply select a speed and blend, the preset speeds on the Blendtec blenders will enable you to do just that.
Both Vitamix and Blendtec offer pre-programmed settings.
The main difference is that Vitamix blenders continue to run until manually shut off, when a cycle ends, or until the thermal protection kicks in to prevent overheating. Blendtec will automatically shut off after a maximum of 90 seconds of continuous blending (or when the chosen program cycle ends, whichever is less).
To be honest, I don’t really use pre-programmed cycles because I find that they either run too long or not long enough. I much prefer the manual blend to get the results I want.
Another thing to note is that pre-programmed settings are simply timers set to run the blender at various speeds for a set amount of time. There are no sensors adjusting the blending time and speed to get the perfect result. For the most part, you still need to be present to watch and listen for the blender to “tell” you when it’s done. Blend a smoothie with frozen fruit for too long, and it’s no longer frozen or cold. Blend a soup for too little and it’s nowhere near being hot.
Vitamix vs Blendtec – Containers & Accessories
Container size and shape (along with the power of the motor and blade design) is the second main feature that affects blender performance. The size of the container affects the amount of stress put on the motor while the shape of the container affects blending circulation.
Size & Material
Both Vitamix and Blendtec come with a 64-ounce/1.89-litre container made from durable, break-resistant BPA-free polycarbonate (plastic). While both blenders’ standard containers are advertised as “2 qt”, there is a notable difference. All Vitamix containers are UL rated to blend at capacity – their 64-ounce/1.9-litre container can blend a full container’s worth of food. Blendtec, on the other hand, recommends filling their containers only half full for optimum efficiency.
Both manufacturers offer an array of large, medium, small and specialty plastic containers for use with their blenders (see photo below). However, because Blendtec containers operate only at a half blending capacity, even the largest 90-ounce/2.66-litre Blendtec container (with a 36-ounce/1.06-litre blending capacity) can only about half the amount of food the standard 64-ounce/1.89-litre Vitamix container can.
In addition to plastic containers, Vitamix also offers a 48-ounce/1.42-litre stainless steel container compatible with all full-size Vitamix models. Blendtec offers only plastic containers.
Along with blending power, the blender container design is an integral component in achieving smoother blends at a faster speed. You can have the most powerful blender available, but if the jar and blade system are poorly designed, the results will be unsatisfactory.
Vitamix blenders come with either a tall, narrow container or a short, wide container. I have always preferred the tall container because it creates a strong vortex. Even at high speeds, foods and liquids are circulated back into the blade for nearly mess-free blending. The short and wide containers create a vortex as well, but it’s less apparent. In both cases, the Vitamix’s slightly tapered container effectively pulls ingredients towards the blades and helps create a steady vortex.
Blendtec blenders have a square container with a wide, flat-bottom base. This results in ingredients splashing up and out to the sides, away from the blade. The WildSide jar produces a better blending vortex than the FourSide jar, but the food is still not nearly as contained as in the Vitamix containers. As a result, blending in the Vitamix is faster and more efficient.
Vitamix blenders comes with a signature tamper to push ingredients down into the blade and eliminate air pockets. The tamper is generally not needed, but is extremely helpful when making frozen desserts, nut butters, dips, and other thick blends.
Blendtec blenders do not come with a tamper. Blendtec claims that their container design and a straight blade make a tamper unnecessary. However, the lack of a tamper (aka having to stop the blender and push the ingredients down into the blade and/or add extra liquid to continue blending) has been one of the most frequent complaints of Blendtec users. This is why Blendtec came up with a Twister Jar designed to make thick, dense blends. The top of the jar has a lid with attached scrappers that twist to push thick products off the jar walls to ensure a smooth blend. The only limitation is that you can only blend 16 ounces/0.47 litres at a time, and there is no solution for the other containers.
Blade design is the third main feature that affects blender performance. Generally speaking, there are two types of blender blades – an “X” style blade, designed for pulverizing, cutting, and chopping, and a “wing” style blade, best suited for ice crushing.
Both Vitamix and Blendtec blenders have a full-hardened, high-grade stainless-steel fixed blade that is blunt (what mixes thing up is the powerful motor). The only difference between these two brands is the design – Vitamix uses a four-tipped “X” style blade whereas Blendtec has a two-prong “wing” style blade.
Both these blades are engineered so they don’t need replacing when used as recommended. Both brands also feature a hardened metal drive socket, which is essentially everlasting. (The drive socket is what spins the blade, transferring the power from the motor to the blade).
Vitamix containers come with a round rubber spill-proof vented lid with a center plug that can be removed to add ingredients while the machine is running. (The new Smart System container lids are clear plastic). These lids have a “locking tap” that snaps on the lip to keep the lid on securely for blending.
Blendtec containers come with a symmetric square vented Gripper lid that presses in place. It also has a center plug for adding ingredients. A minor flaw in the Blendtec lid design is that it doesn’t stay on as securely. Some customers have complained that the lid pops off when blending.
Vitamix vs Blendtec – Price & Warranty
Vitamix and Blendtec are expensive blenders. They are an investment, though, and the quality and longevity of these blenders justify the price points. I have already written about how Vitamix pays for itself in just a couple of months – I personally save over $3,100 a year just by using Vitamix. So, owning a high-speed blender is absolutely worth the cost to me.
Vitamix has a range of price points starting at $449 for their standard 5200 model (one of the ones that I own) and up to $800 for their A3500. Vitamix also offers Certified Reconditioned blenders starting at $290.
Blendtec blender prices start at $320 for their Classic 560. The Designer Series starts at $500, while the top-of-the-line blender goes for just under $1,000 (the Tom Dickson Extreme). Just like Vitamix, Blendtec also offers Certified Reconditioned blenders starting at $280.
Both Vitamix and Blendtec offer free shipping within the United States and a no-risk 30-day return policy to try out the blender. If you decide it’s not for you within 30 days, you can return for a full refund. Vitamix will even pay for return shipping, however Blendtec will not.
Both blender brands are built to last and have the best warranty of all household blenders to back it up. They go far beyond the typical 90-day or 1-year warranty of regular blenders.
Vitamix set the standard in the industry around 1999 with their 7-Year Full Use warranty. Blendtec’s warranty changed in 2014 from a 3-year warranty to a full 8-year warranty (10-year for the Pro models), thereby becoming the best warranty in the industry. The new Vitamix Smart System blenders now have a 10-year warranty to match. Extended warranties are available from both companies at an additional cost.
Vitamix vs Blendtec – Performance
In Vitamix vs Blendtec comparisons, consumers report that both blenders are incredibly powerful. Both are marketed as capable of making smoothies, creamy soups, ice cream and sorbets, thick dips, crunchy or smooth nut butters, fine DIY flours, sticky dough, dense cake batter, crushed ice – all of it!
But how do these blenders perform in real life?
The Smoothie Test – Vitamix vs Blendtec
Smoothies are what most people make in their blenders. A perfectly blended smoothie should be, well, smooth. It shouldn’t be chunky, stringy, or gritty. It should also have a consistent color.
The difficulty when making thick smoothies – with frozen ingredients and very little liquid – is that they form air pockets around the blender’s blade. Since Vitamix comes with a tamper, it’s not an issue because the tamper is able to push the food down and break those air pockets. It literally takes 30 seconds to make a frozen smoothie in my Vitamix.
Unfortunately, Blendtec blenders don’t come with a tamper, so you constantly have to stop the machine and stir the mixture. Blendtec claims its blender design doesn’t need a tamper, but that’s obviously not true for a challenging job like this one. With all the stirring and shaking, it takes over 2 minutes to make a frozen smoothie in my Blendtec.
The Soup Test – Vitamix vs Blendtec
Both Vitamix and Blendtec can make hot soup due to the friction of their blades. The amount of friction produced in such a small, confined space generates enough heat to bring ingredients to temperatures close to 180°F/82°C.
While Vitamix can spin their blades faster than Blendtec, Blendtec’s thicker blade design is able to heat soup slightly faster. Starting with cold/room temperature ingredients it takes about 5 minutes to heat up soup in the Vitamix whereas it takes only 4 minutes to heat up soup in the Blendtec.
When it comes to blending hot soup (rather than making hot soup from cold/room temperature ingredients), the nuanced speeds of Vitamix blenders trump the wild power of Blendtec. Blending hot soup is a potentially perilous task no matter which blender you use. If the motor starts out at a high speed, the combination of steam, heat, and whirring blades can send a geyser of hot liquid out the top of the container. Vitamix is equipped with speeds low enough to guarantee that all ingredients stay inside the blender container. Blendtec, on the other hand, is so forceful that it flings all the ingredients up the sides of the container.
The Ice Cream Test – Vitamix vs Blendtec
Ice cream is even more challenging to make in a blender than a frozen smoothie. There is even less liquid, yet the blender has to crush the ice crystals as quickly as possible. The smaller the ice crystals and the faster they are moved around, the creamier the ice cream turns out.
Blending frozen ingredients is tricky because they start to freeze up on the sides of the blender container as they are crushed. Vitamix has the advantage of a tamper to push all the ingredients back down into the blade and transform frozen produce into thick soft-serve ice cream in about a minute.
Making ice cream in the Blendtec standard container is almost impossible. After only 20 or 30 seconds of blending, the ice cream begins to freeze on the sides of the blender container and form an air pocket around the blade. It’s much easier to make ice cream in the Twister jar. However, the Twister jar is quite small, so you can only make one serving of ice cream at a time.
Vitamix vs Blendtec – Cleaning
The cleanup process consists of two separate tasks, cleaning the blender container and cleaning the blender base.
Both Vitamix and Blendtec containers are really easy to clean. Simply add a little hot water and a drop of dish soap, and blend on high for about 30 seconds (or select the clean cycle preset if the model has it).
That said, stickier jobs such as nut butter and bread dough usually require additional scrubbing after first self-cleaning. Vitamix containers are narrower and taller than Blendtec containers. the blade is also pointier, which requires more care when handling or doing any additional cleaning.
Blendtec, on the other hand, has a big thick dull blade that is easy to reach under and around. Also, the square design of the container is easy to reach and clean with a sponge.
For both, not having to disassemble and reassemble the container and blade is definitely a time-saver.
While it’s not necessary to clean the base after every use, it won’t hurt if you do, especially if the contents of the blender spill or splash onto the base.
The switch and dial interface on most Vitamix blenders require more intricate cleaning than the smooth button or touch interface on Blendtec blenders. However, this has never been an issue when using my Vitamix 5200.
So, Which Is the Best Blender?
Well, this is a subject of debate. You might as well ask if a Mac is better than a PC, or a Nikon camera better than a Canon camera. Basically, those who have a Blendtec love their blender, and those who have a Vitamix swear by it.
Personally, I have used/owned the Vitamix 5200, Vitamix 750, Vitamix 2300, Vitamix 3500, Blendtec classic 575, and Blendtec Designer 725.
I prefer my Vitamix. Always have. Always will. It is simply better at blending food and liquid, and thanks to the tamper, it purees thick mixtures in half the time the Blendtec takes. Vitamix also provides much more control.
Whichever blender you choose, I don’t think you will be disappointed. But if you wanted me to nudge you in one direction or the other, I would steer you towards the Vitamix, particularly one of these three models.
This post was created in partnership with Vitamix (a brand I’ve loved and used for years) and contains affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are my own.