my new toy: BlendTec blender (my review)


I got this blender earlier this week and I’m so excited and enjoying it so much I want to tell you about it. There are other BlendTec & Vitamix reviews out there (see links below), and here’s my take on it all.

2010-06-08_first_blendtec_smoothie_sm

1. Why did I want it? Why liquify my fruits & veg?

Actually, for me it’s more about getting a bunch of veggies into one serving. It’s hard to sit and eat a snack of 4 big carrots, an apple, a tomato, and some fresh ginger, as well as a cup or two of water. I get bored and full. But I thought if I could buzz it all into a drink, including some of the carrot greens, make an easy-to-consume-in-one-sitting (and delicious) drink… well I just knew I’d be eating way more whole foods and more often. That’s what I want to do. So recently…

So recently, I decided I wanted a juicer. But I had one in the past, a really expensive one too, commercial quality, high powered, best of the bunch at the time. Ended up hating it. Not using it. Hated cleaning the pulp out of everything. Hated that it wasn’t using the whole food. Felt like a huge waste. Tedious cleanup meant I didn’t get it out and use it much. So this time around, I wanted something that would liquify the whole fruits or vegetables and be a fast clean up.

On a different line of thought, I was thinking for the thousandth time that it would be a luxury to have an ice cream maker, and that maybe I finally deserved one for my retirement years. “Back in the day” I really loved making homemade ice cream with a friend in his ice cream maker.

I didn’t have a blender…well, just one of those electric wand jobbies. I’ve made my smoothies for years with it. But it doesn’t chop up fruit, just blends stuff. I have a great Cuisinart food processor, but it doesn’t make smoothies very well, and anyway, it’s too big for making single- or even double-serving smoothies. And a tedious cleanup.

Then I remembered a long discussion last year with Christa, when she’d told me about the Vitamix blender. It could do all of the above — make whole-food juice, ice cream, and blender-style cleanup. So I went back to my bookmarked websites about the Vitamix.

2. Research

I knew I needed a high-powered blender. Didn’t want to be disappointed again about the results, especially for smoothies. A short googling session about Vitamix revealed to me the newer kid on the block, the BlendTec– because googling for Vitamix reviews kept bringing up “Vitamix vs BlendTec” sites. I found out that these are the only 2 units on the market that will liquify even tough vegetables, manage ice cubes right in the mix, cope with thick nearly-solid creams during ice-cream making, etc.

I began reading the comparisons and reviews. I focused on the ones written by people who have used both products. The others are all by people giving praise for their own blender, with no idea what the other one is like. Kind of pointless, except for reading what features people love in the one they selected.

3. Why did I pick BlendTec?

They both seem like great machines. I can honestly say I’d buy either one for the job.The home models are both in the same price range, without specials, discount coupons, etc. Vitamix is slightly more expensive, but both are expensive for my fixed-income budget But I know you do have to expect that when you want a high end machine with lots of power.

So it all comes down to priorities for features. My main reasons for my choice, in order of my own priorities:

  • SIZE was the main reason. I have a miniscule kitchen. I want the blender on the countertop, and ALL my countertop has cupboards over it. The Vitamix at 20.5″ is too tall to fit under there. The BlendTec at 15.5″ fits perfectly.
  • PROGRAMS: BlendTec has 30 preprogrammed operations, plus fully manual options like 10 speeds, pulse. Even better, the programs run themselves. The speed goes up and down as needed for the item(s) being processed, and best of all, the machine stops at the end of the program. No babysitting the blender. VitaMix doesn’t have that.
  • WARRANTY. Warranties mean something to me. Not so much because of getting free repairs done. More because of what they imply about how the company stands behind their product. At first I was disappointed to see all the reviews mentioning BlendTec’s 3 year warranty compared to VitaMix’s 7 years (with an optiion to purchase more, for 10 years). BUT! I called BlendTec and they said yes, they have 3 years on everything, AND they have a LIFETIME warranty on the blade and the driveshaft/motor. Lifetime! That tells me it’s a well made machine.
  • SERVICE. I found out there’s a local vendor for the BlendTec, and that they are also a Canadian service depot for the machines. IF there’s ever a problem, I won’t have to wait for parcel service for the repair/replacement. 
  • IMPATIENCE. 😉 Once I’d decided on which machine I wanted, I wanted it NOW and it was great not having to wait for an internet order to arrive. I just went to the local vendor and bought it.
  • FAST CLEANUP Basically, it’s just rinse and put back on the base. If the task contained oil or something that doesn’t rinse as well, you just have to put a cup of water and a drop of detergent, pulse, and rinse. (But it’s dishwasher proof if you want to. So far I haven’t felt the need.)

Question from a relative: “The BlendTec though? Sounds a little excessive as it can blend an iPad and a rake.”

(See the fun “Will It Blend?” series of videos!)

My reply: The ipad and rake are just illustrations of the motor power and durability. I’ve tried with other blenders in the past that could never do the juicing thing properly. I have a food processor that can’t even make juice or even good pulp out of some veg & fruit. Ever try sawing your fireplace logs with a kitchen knife? It’s not about overkill
, it’s about getting the tool for the job you want done properly. There are only two blenders on the market that can take up the whole plant and make it drinkable. This one can make whole juice out of even the tough veggies, make fresh hot (!) soup from a pile of them, pulverizing the pulp too so you get all the fibre & nutrition as well as the juice. You can throw in the seeds, hulls, skins (of some), all of which hold fibre and nutrition. And it can make green smoothies — a drink of kale every day, that’ll clean yer tank (and make you healthy, ya!)

4. So anyway…

I’ve had my BlendTec for a week and I’ve used it more than anything else in my kitchen this week. I’m such a happy camper! I’m experimenting with recipes 3 or 4 times a day. Tonight I’m going to make some real, homemade ice cream — with real cream, real vanilla pod, real excited kid-feelings. YaY!

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21 thoughts on “my new toy: BlendTec blender (my review)

  1. Thank you so much for your review. It has been very helpful as I am deciding between a VitaMix and a BlendTec. Could you please tell me where you got your Blendtec? Also, you mentioned that there was a local vendor in Vancouver? Would you be able to give me their info? Thanks a bunch. Jenny

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  2. Hi Jenny, glad you found my notes helpful. After having had it for 6 weeks, I’m still loving using it. I’ve got more energy and feel healthier. I have a veggie smoothie at noon and a fruit smoothie mid-afternoon every day. And then there’s the occasional other uses, recipes, etc. I haven’t had a lot of success with the ice cream idea yet, but then I don’t want to use all those artificial ingredients used in the Blendtec recipe book and I guess I’m not too great at making up my own recipes. Yet.I gather you’re in Vancouver, BC, Canada? The vendor I bought my Blendtec from is in Richmond. Here’s the Blendtec page on their website: http://www.bravocoffee.ca/equipment/blendtec.html. If you go buy one from them, please tell them you heard about them through me, ok? I can tell you my full name in email, and if you have any other questions, mail me at skyhome-at-telus-dot-net.

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  3. Hi Kate,Welcome to the blender fan club. I have had my Blendtec for just over 400 cycles and had to replace one of the pitchers due the blade assemble seizing. I have blogged about the very short warranty process, since they quickly replaced my pitcher with a new one. In the process I learned some very important steps to prevent premature failure again and hopefully extending my new pitcher way beyond 1000 cycles. I use it everyday, so I will hit 1000 before the end of the year.Enjoy,April

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  4. Careful with what you call "unbiased". GreenSmoothieGirl did nothing but talk about how great the Blendtec was and how it was so much better than the Vitamix that she burned out and broke. That was when she sold only Blendtec – now that she makes some money from promoting Vitamix it’s sooo great.see: greensmoothiegirl.com/blog/2008/05/18/vitamix-vs-blendtec/I would look at the other reviews

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  5. Thanks for the feedback, sweetpeas. Point taken. However, as I said, I DID look at tons of other reviews before buying. What I indicated above was that I tended to appreciate most the reviews written by people who had used BOTH of the machines I was considering rather than just one or the other. For everything I research before I buy, I find that comparison reviews mean more to me, personally. So GreenSmoothieGirls’ review fit my bill at the time (if not yours, obviously) because that reviewer HAD used both blenders and wrote about both of them in her review. I could then take her opinions and balance them along with those of several other reviewers.Anyway, I ended up buying the Blendtec because I prefer some of its features over the Vitamix. Not because one is better than the other, but one fits MY needs better. And I’ve been happy, happy, happy with it ever since.I truly don’t mind if GreenSmoothieGirl has switched her favorite or changed her opinion since then. I might too, some day, who knows. The point is, her review at that time fit what I was seeking at that time.

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  6. P.S. The last two comments are in March, 2011. I wish my blog would put dates on followup comments! In this case, it’s important that it’s been 9 months since I began using my Blendtec and I’m very happy with it.

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  7. Thanks for the link to my Blendtec Review on my website, ChezBettay.com. I own both the Vitamix and the Blendtec and love them both. Size is the major difference: counter space and clearance for cabinet height. Glad to hear you are enjoying your Blendtec.

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  8. Hi Kate, Thank-you for the great info & links! You really helped make my decision easier & I’m going with the Blendtec. I like the Wildside jug, the cool Presets & the 15.5" height that will actually fit under my cupboards.The big Wildside jug looks really appealing as I make smoothies with Crazy amounts of Greens, & with this they will just get pulled down automatically instead of always having to push on them, shake the jug, etc. The Presets look really amazing too! Having it stop, vary the pulse/tempo/speed etc all on it’s own is pretty fantastic!I’ve had a Vitamix in the past, but I’m defecting to Blendtec, ha ha. Ultimately I don’t think a person can go wrong with either. Most people who’ve had both say they give their Blendtec the edge. What really helped as well was when you answered the question about where you bought your Blendtec in our area. I live in South Vancouver & the place you mentioned is about 8 minutes from me… And they service them! How great is that? Send me your name & I’ll mention you. Thanks again!

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  9. Hi Darren,Thanks for the feedback! I’m glad you found my article helpful in making your decision. I’m still using my Blendtec every single day (green drinks like you) and still thanking myself for making the decision to get it. You’ll be glad you defected ;).I don’t understand the "send me your name" part though…. my name is right here and you used it to start your message. My twitter name is @skyhome if that’s what you mean?Happy blending!Kate

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  10. Oh! You told the other person to mention your name when purchasing it & said you would send them your full name. How do you find the lid on yours for coming off while blending or causing it to overheat? I am planning on getting the big jug & it looks like they may have changed the design of the lid. Someone else was say that on one they had a while back they had those issues.

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  11. Oh, duh. My full name is Kate Britt. Yes, if you buy there, do mention me and tell them you saw my blog post. I doubt they’ll remember anything about me by now, but I always think it’s a nice thing for businesses to know they’re succeeding by word-of-mouth.I’ve never had my lid come off during blending. I’ve never had overheating. I haven’t heard about their new Wildside jar until now, so thanks for mentioning it. I just went to their site to look. The lid looks identical to mine. The jar is shorter and bigger capacity; sounds good. Although I have to say, the jar I have is more than big enough for all my blending jobs. I make smoothies for two and there’s always lots of room left in the jar.

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  12. Certainly not here to toot my own horn but I own both brand blenders. I’ll give you the truth when it comes to which brand might be right for you and which won’t be. This from a 15 year restaurant vet. Thank you for your review, I can confirm the size issue you have in your kitchen–most people don’t take that into consideration before they purchase.

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  13. <html><head></head><body style="word-wrap: break-word; -webkit-nbsp-mode: space; -webkit-line-break: after-white-space; ">Hey, thanks for the link to my review article of the Blendtec Total Blender and the Vitamix.<div>Betty Morgan aka Chez Bettay, The Vegan Gourmet"</div><div><br><div><div></div></div></div></body></html>

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  14. yes that’s me.I baught the Vitamix, 3 days after,. My daughter just baught the Blendtec, i return mine Vitamix after i read that lady said she had trouble with the VM. and had to send it for repair or exchange mow i am looking to buy the Blendtec buti dont know i want to make i creem. next thing i did not like ihe idea of using that Tamper to push push so i dont know. how do i make i Cream w/ out using the Tamper?

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  15. Hi areader,I’ve never used a tamper with my Blendtec, have never needed to. Its powerful motor and blades grab everything I’ve ever put into it and do a great job. Now and then I’ve had to add a little more liquid because I’d put so many solids they’d just sit there — the blades do need liquid in order to draw the solids into the vortex created by the blades.I haven’t made ice cream. I hope somebody with a Blendtec will post here and comment about that. The reason I haven’t is because I don’t like all the premanufactured items listed in the ice cream recipes. I’ve yet to try making up a recipe of my own out of all natural ingredients.

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  16. Hi Irv,I hope you’re not using my blog as an advertising page for a company you work for. I sense you might be, because you only provided a link with no personal comments or reasons for your opinion. Plus, the link attached to your name is a dead link. So…. That place you linked to may be a good place to buy from, but in Western Canada not so much. That company you mentioned is in Toronto, but for people in my area, the place I mentioned above would of course be better because it’s right here and we can buy in person.

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  17. <html><body><div style="color:#000; background-color:#fff; font-family:garamond, new york, times, serif;font-size:24pt"><div><span>I bought mine there, got a good deal. &nbsp;Sorry if I caused you a problem, I’m just no familiar with Facebook.</span></div><div><br></div> <div style="font-family: garamond, ‘new york’, times, serif; font-size: 24pt; "> <div style="font-family: ‘times new roman’, ‘new york’, times, serif; font-size: 12pt; "> <div dir="ltr"> <font size="2" face="Arial"></div></div></div></div></body></html>

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  18. I’ve had two vitamin blenders. The early one with the square metal tank and a newer one with the plastic jug. Used each of them for two years and wasn’t very happy with either. Reason being, I use them daily and when I loaded them up, the circuit breaker would pop and it’s a long wait until it will start again. The breaker has to cool down, to work again and that can take up to 15 minutes. I then discovered the Blendtec, got one and used it daily and then some, for 10 years. Not once did the circuit bearer pop, this is one power house machine, which has been trouble free. Decided the buy a newer model Blendtec, sold the old one and after 3.5 years later, the new owner advised the unit quit. For under $200.00 all the innards are being completely replaced and it will be as good as new.The Blendtec also takes up much less counter space and dose not require a tamper, as does the Vitamix. For my money, it’s the Blendtec.

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