I reviewed the Vitamix, Blendtec, Ninja and the Healthmaster in a previous blog post here, however that was over two years ago and needs to be updated! My experiences with each machine have evolved and I've used a new appliance, the NutriBullet, which I need to add to the mix!
This is the cream of the crop - the ultimate blender that everyone should own. My use of my Vitamix (I've had both the 5000 and the 5200) over the past six years has cemented my unwavering loyalty to this brilliant machine. I bought my high powered blender the instant I decided the raw lifestyle was worth investing into. I've taken it on trips, on airplanes (checked & carry-on!), even on my honeymoon! Not only does it help me create all my raw vegan dishes, but it saves me tons of time. It grinds nuts and seeds, completely bursts the cell walls of plants to release that incredible chlorophyll, breaks down frozen fruit to make ice cream, in fact I haven’t found anything my Vitamix cannot do. When people ask if I miss hot foods (as I don't cook anything), I demonstrated how my Vitamix warms up my food. There is no heating element, but it runs at 240 mph and the friction heats up my soups, sauces, dips, etc.
The only problem with the Vitamix? It’s expensive!!!!! If you buy a brand new Deluxe Vitamix 5200, with all the bells and whistles, it comes out to $650. HOWEVER! You can also buy a Vitamix that has been “factory reconditioned” for $329.00 (Click here!) ! I always recommend reconditioned machines. You get a brand new container with a motor that has been refurbished to be like new for half the price of the new ones. If you put in this code when you check out, you get free shipping ($25 savings!): 06-005351.
People are always asking if there are other blenders out there that are cheaper, yet have the same performance. I have personally used four other blenders that are good in their own right, but I will stress that NO BLENDER have the same performance as the Vitamix, in my experiences. Now mind you, I use my Vitamix 3-8 times a day, and have used each of the following blenders at least a dozen times each while teaching classes and coaching people in their own homes.
The first is a Blendtec, the rival to the Vitamix. It’s slightly more affordable than the Vitamix, coming in at $400 for the “Wild Side” (basic version), and only $279 at the moment for their Factory Reconditioned Basic. It’s slightly more powerful than the Vitamix, coming in at 1560 Watts vs. the Vitamix’s 1380 Watts. The Basic comes with a 32 oz. pitcher, the Wild Side has a 44 oz. pitcher, and the Vitamix has a 64 oz. pitcher. The Blendtec has a broader based pitcher – easier to get your food out and nothing gets trapped under the blades. The Blendtec can also warm up your liquids and dips, which is awesome for a raw foodist. All in all, the Blendtec is a GREAT BUY. If you find one, go for it.
BUT…there are some major drawbacks. First, it does not come with a tamper – an instrument to push food into the blades. Therefore, you need to cut and dice your food smaller so it will move AND you CANNOT make Raw Vegan Banana Ice Cream in this blender. :/ That’s a big part of my diet, so I cannot imagine having the Blendtec permanently. Second, even though the base of the pitcher is larger (my Vitamix pitcher is tapered) and it makes getting your creations out easier, it has serious problems with both small amounts and large amounts of food. The blades will spin if there isn't enough food to move around - and while it's difficult to do small amounts in the Vitamix, the tamper makes it possible. Also you cannot fill it to the top with food and expect it to blend. I can make a full 64 ounces of Green Smoothie in my Vitamix, but you can only fill the 44 oz container half way! Third, the larger motor doesn’t do any more than I need, but it is a LOT louder – which is not so good when you have kids with sensitive hearing, babies, or need to do any food prep when people are sleeping. And fourth, with all its preprogrammed settings (ice cream, dips, smoothies, etc.), it's much harder to work manually. When trying to make a dip out of cashews, for example, you need to run the dip setting two to four times to get the same consistency with the Vitamix. In my opinion the next blender is more efficient than the Blendtec, for a fraction of the price.
The NutriBullet is new on the market in the past year, which makes me both excited and nervous. Excited because it holds such promise and is such a great deal. Nervous because it is part of the Bullet family of machines and they all had mechanical issues...so I'm hoping those have been improved upon or fixed. The Magic Bullet had issues with leaking, with breaking down quickly (buy a new one every year or two), and so I'm been playing with as many as I can do see how they fare.
So far, none of those issues have arisen (please comment at the bottom if you'd had any issues with yours!). It's not a bad price of $130 on their website (you can also pay in installments!), but I've found it as little as $87 on Amazon. The Nutribullet has only 600 watts, which is half the power of the Blendtec and Vitamix. And the pitcher to blend in is only 24 ounces large. However, it is GREAT for small quantities of smoothies, dips, and dressings. I would not use the NutriBullet for soups, ice cream, or large quantities of anything. It does grind grains and nuts, though, and for that reason alone I prefer the NutriBullet to the Blendtec. I find I get a better consistency from grinding nuts and then adding the rest of the ingredients in the NutriBullet than the Blendtec. There has been a handful of times that I've switched from the Blendtec to the NutriBullet when my clients had both machines.
That being said, you get what you pay for. It's a good price, but still cannot create the amazing dishes that the Vitamix can. However, if I have the option to use the Blendtec or the NutriBullet....I'll be choosing the NutriBullet.
FYI, the whole extracting vs. blending vs. juicing thing? The NutriBullet is a blender, no matter how they spin in.
I have had the opportunity to try out Montel William’s HealthMaster on several occasions. You can find it on Amazon for only $120 (it keeps getting cheaper every year!). It comes in at 1100 watts of power, which isn’t much less than Vitamix’s 1380 watts. It has a monster 70 oz. pitcher that has a nice broad base where no food gets stuck. It comes with a tamper! Yaaay! Raw Vegan Ice cream, here we come! AND…the base is programmable just like the Blendtec.
Here come the con’s. First, like the Blendtec, even though the base of the pitcher is larger (my Vitamix pitcher is tapered), I have problems doing small amounts of food. One cup of dip in the HealthMaster just spins…doesn’t mix, even with the tamper. Second, the lower wattage means that it just isn’t as powerful and doesn’t blend as smooth or creamy as the Vitamix or the Blendtec. I tried to make a pie crust (crushed nuts and fruit) in the HealthMaster and it got stuck in the pitcher, and I had to take it all out and use another appliance. The pitcher has pockets where food gets caught and I can’t just spatula it down to the bottom…I’m not sure if you can see from the picture. The motor is ridiculously loud and slightly smelly (which the manufacturer says will wear off within six months). Lastly, it has two locking mechanisms that sound like a wonderful safeguard but are actually quite annoying. The thing won’t run unless the pitcher is locked to the base and the lid is locked to the pitcher. Both locks are quite difficult to engage and after working with it for a half an hour, my fingers were starting to blister. I got used to it quickly, but my friend said she was less likely to work with it because of this feature. It also doesn't run at the speeds of the Vitamix or Blendtec, which means it won't warm up your food. I have had too many people tell me that their Health Master broke down within the first year to recommend this machine any longer. Use your money more wisely!
Lastly, I've had more experience with the Ninja than with the previous two machines because it's far more affordable, available, and everyone seems to be getting one! This machine is wonderfully unique in that it has multiple blades. Because of this, a tamper is less necessary to push food into the blades - there are blades in the middle and on top! It has a programmable base with 1000 watts of power (only 100 less than the HealthMaster!), has a wonderfully easy to use 72 ounce container. All in all, they have taken a little bit of everything and made a great machine for only $100.
However, you get what you pay for. With the Ninja, you pay a fraction of the price for a fraction of the ability. I cannot make the same quality of dips, sauces, desserts, smoothies, and ice cream is out of the picture. It does many amazing things and is far better for making Green Smoothies than a traditional blender (Oster or Hamilton Beach). So if you are using your blender for mostly just smoothies - than this is a great machine for the price!
The Ninja and the NutriBullet are close in my mind, but this would be great for large amounts of liquids and the NutriBullet would be great for small amount. If you live by yourself, go with the NutriBullet. If you live with a large family, this is the machine for you. If you have the budget and would like to make the investment - the Vitamix is the best there is and you'll have it for a decade or more without needing anything else!
Each of the machines listed come with recipe books that are definitely a part of the price - wonderful recipes that get you to use the machine and eat healthier. Sure, they aren't raw vegan, but they are homemade from scratch and encourage you to move away from processed foods. That's the first step - less processed, more whole foods!
So there we are. Five different blenders. Each of the blenders tackled Green Smoothies with ease and are amazing blenders. The Ninja and the NutriBullet are close in my mind, but this would be great for large amounts of liquids and the NutriBullet would be great for small amount. If you live by yourself, go with the NutriBullet. If you live with a large family, this is the machine for you. I still recommend the Vitamix. It is worth the investment and even if you aren’t raw in any capacity it is wonderful for your kitchen. Not to mention, the Vitamix has been around since 1937 and is made in the US. If a machine has a warranty, I would trust a company that has been around more then ten years and has perfected the craft that they are in. Just my two cents...
If I have moved you toward the Vitamix and are interested in purchasing one, use this code for free shipping (06-005351) and go here! I hope this helped!!!!
About the Blogger
Haley is passionate about Raw Food and how God has used it to heal her. She loves to share what she knows with anyone who is curious, and finds herself talking to everyone around her about her lifestyle.