Vita-Mix Blender - worth the money?? - VeggieBoards - A Vegetarian Community
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#1 Old 01-16-2007, 12:07 AM
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I've been hearing a lot lately about the Vita-Mix blender. http://www.vitamix.com/household/pro...c=ggl&msg=349b It sounds fantastic. I almost wanted to go out and buy one even though I had a perfectly good blender and a food processor that works but is on its last legs. So, strangely, last weekend I dropped my blender and it shattered into a million pieces! I swear it was an accident! (my husband accused me of wanting a Vita-Mix so bad that...oops! dropped the blender! )



Anyway - the cheapest I can find a Vita-Mix online is about $350. I can buy all sorts of other beautiful blenders for under $100. I would love to have a Vita-Mix but I'm wondering if I can REALLY justify spending that much money. So, those of you who own a Vita-Mix, what do you use it for? How often do you use it? Is it REALLY that much better than other blenders?



In the past, I have used my blender to make smoothies almost every morning. I occasionally make nut milks, too. I use my food processor a lot, too - basically for anything that isn't liquidy enough for the blender. Would a Vita-Mix work for some of the things I currently use my food processor for? -- specifically would it work for hummus?



For those of you that don't use a Vita-Mix, what brand blender do you have and would you recommend it?



Thanks! Need to make a decision fast! I'm in smoothie-withdrawal!
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#2 Old 01-16-2007, 12:28 AM
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i don't own one but i want one so bad.



the thing about them is that they are expensive, but i know a few people that have had theirs for 10 years or more. so it pays for itself. it's definitely worth the investment.



i know the other brand that is pretty popular is the k-tec. i think it costs a bit less, too. but the vita-mix is definitely the most popular one.



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#3 Old 01-16-2007, 12:43 AM
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Yes, they are worth the money! I thought it seemed really expensive but after seeing one in action I was sold. I use it all the time, mainly to make fruit smoothies and green smoothies. Or on hot summer days I'll throw in some water or orange juice with ice cubes and make a slush. And yeah, it's expensive but it's solid. I feel like it'll last forever.



I've never used mine to make hummus. You can adjust the speed, I'm just not sure the dry ingredients would get sucked down into the blade, you'd probably have to scrape down the sides fairly often.



If you decide to get one I'd appreciate it if you'd order it through me. I can give you a free shipping code.

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#4 Old 01-16-2007, 02:29 AM
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If you're using it primarily to make smoothies you'd be better off with a good quality bar blender. You can get equal or superior blenders for less money.



Cook's illustrated recommends the Braun PowerMax MX2050 at $50 as a Best Buy, or the L'Equip R.P.M at $134. The L'Equip outperformed the VitaMix and the Braun was pretty close as well.
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#5 Old 01-16-2007, 08:40 AM
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I use the Waring PBB. It is about $140. I've never heard anyone who has used both claim that the Vita Mix is a better blender. The Vita Mix is probably a better food processor analog than the PBB but ideally you would have a seperate food processor.



Vita Mix may have changed this but in the past they charged $40-$50 for a replacement o-ring for the jar (waring jars don't use o rings, they are one piece, but you can buy an entire jar for $40). Similar sized food safe o rings for other applications usually sell for about 50 cents. Some people claim to need to replace the o rings ever 2 years or so although use of a food grade lubricant would extend the life (but then that is a hassle).



The Vita Mix also will probably not fit under your counter.
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#6 Old 01-16-2007, 08:51 AM
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I was tempted for about three minutes. Then I realized my cheap-o blender works fine for nut milks and smoothies, and my FP works for everything else. If you do get one, let me know how you like it. Also, if you've made anything like nut-based dips, let me know if they've turned out smoother than with a FP or whatever.
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#7 Old 01-16-2007, 09:33 AM
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I had one for a while. I wanted to juice carrots, etc. It does that, but the juice is very. very thick and not that fun to drink.



I ended up selling it and getting a Juiceman Juicer that I love.
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#8 Old 01-16-2007, 01:26 PM
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I inherited a Vita-Mix from my parents, who used it mostly to make frozen drinks. It must be about 30 years old, but still works fine.



Vita-Mix does not call itself a "blender," so calling it a "blender" begs some questions, because it is designed to do things that most blenders AFAIK cannot do.



The main problem I have with mine is that even on low settings it is very, very powerful and often blasts the contents up against the dome cover. So I have to use the on-off control to toggle it on for just a second or two then off, then on again, etc.



I think many raw food enthusiasts want to use it as a juicer, but I've never owned a juicer so can't compare it with a full-fledged juicer.



ETA: If the dome-cover is placed in the upright position, then the machine does not fit under my counter. If placed in the down position, it does fit under my kitchen counter.
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#9 Old 01-16-2007, 01:42 PM
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My folks have one and I LOVE using it whenever I'm there. I can't decide if I'd actually buy one myself, given the opportunity, maybe only because I have so many other needs for that much $$ at the moment...

They ARE awesome machines, I do have to say and they make wonderful summer-ice-creamy-slush-fruit blends that are somehow unlike smoothies. I much prefer the Vita-mix consistancy as it seems thicker, smoother and less "icy" than the blenders I've used.

I HAVE heard (as remi said) that certain replacement parts are mucho expensive but also have heard how tough they are and seen first-hand how long they last. (My folks have had theirs forever, I swear, years and years...).



I guess it all depends on what you want it to do specifically and if a cheaper machine would fill the bill or not.
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#10 Old 01-16-2007, 02:58 PM
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Thanks for the input so far! I'm mostly torn because my food processor is starting to get a big crack down the side so I will most likely need to replace that, too. If the Vita-Mix will do both jobs, that would be great - it would open up my counter space to have only one machine there. But if the Vita-Mix can't do hummus I will definitely need a food processor because I make hummus all the time.



I mainly want a blender to make smoothies, shakes, nut milks, and to puree ingredients for vegan ice creams (such as nuts, fruits, etc). TNS - what you say about the Vita-Mix turning things so smooth and creamy makes me think it would be a great machine for prepping ingredients for ice creams.



So -- I need to decide whether to spend $350 on one Vita-Mix or on BOTH a high-quality blender and food-processor. Sounds like I could still get some very quality machines and my total bill would be less than the price of the Vita-Mix. Decisions, decisions!
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#11 Old 01-16-2007, 03:08 PM
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i have one and love it. i used my blender a lot and would burn them out very quickly. i was buying one every year so the vita mix was a great investment. i could not be without it now. colorful--you can do hummus but depending on how thick you like it it would likely be easier in the food processor. mine came with a dry container that you can grind flour, powder sugar etc. it is very powerful and i know will last a long time.

good luck on your search!
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#12 Old 01-16-2007, 05:53 PM
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I'd get this instead:

http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-CB-6...&s=home-garden

http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-BFP-...&s=home-garden



Refurb or not.



A blender with a square base (where the jar doesn't taper much) and a glass jar is just as useful.



The vita-mix has a plastic jar, so if you blend hot chilis, you need to have a good way to clean it well before making a smoothie.



I had a vita-mix for a while and I wasn't impressed. I had to use the stick-thing to mix stuff around when I made batter, or else the dry stuff doesn't mix well. I never had to do that with my kitchenaid (or was it cuisinart?) blender. It cost $100. I used it for smoothies, and they got a little warm-ish, because the vita-mix heats up a bit.



I know people rave about it, but I can't justify the cost when I feel I get better results using a blender with a non-tapered glass jar. And I used it for hummus a lot too.
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#13 Old 01-16-2007, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OregonAmy View Post

I'd get this instead:

http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-CB-6...&s=home-garden

http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-BFP-...&s=home-garden



Refurb or not.



A blender with a square base (where the jar doesn't taper much) and a glass jar is just as useful.



The vita-mix has a plastic jar, so if you blend hot chilis, you need to have a good way to clean it well before making a smoothie.



I had a vita-mix for a while and I wasn't impressed. I had to use the stick-thing to mix stuff around when I made batter, or else the dry stuff doesn't mix well. I never had to do that with my kitchenaid (or was it cuisinart?) blender. It cost $100. I used it for smoothies, and they got a little warm-ish, because the vita-mix heats up a bit.



I know people rave about it, but I can't justify the cost when I feel I get better results using a blender with a non-tapered glass jar. And I used it for hummus a lot too.



ooh...that sounds cool, I love that the blender and food processor share a base. That way I could keep the heavy base on the counter and only store one top at a time. It looks really good, my only concern is the 2 1/2 star recommendation. A lot of the reviewers either complained that it is unbearably loud or that it didn't last long, or both. How long have you had yours, and have you found noise to be a factor?
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#14 Old 01-16-2007, 07:53 PM
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I've had mine since June of 2001, though it went unused for about 18 months while I lived overseas. My brother & his gf have it now and it still works, so... I dunno. It is loud, but not as loud as the vita-mix!



Any blender you get is going to be loud though, right? I've never had a quiet blender. Maybe those are $1000
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#15 Old 01-16-2007, 08:01 PM
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I love my vita-mix!! I use it soo much and I can fill the whole thing with veggies and fruit and it is blended in 30 seconds!



I can also make super yummy thick thick frozen blueberry vegan ice cream in 30-60 seconds!!



Before that my blended smoothies and salads used to take forever to make.
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#16 Old 01-16-2007, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OregonAmy View Post

I've had mine since June of 2001, though it went unused for about 18 months while I lived overseas. My brother & his gf have it now and it still works, so... I dunno. It is loud, but not as loud as the vita-mix!



Any blender you get is going to be loud though, right? I've never had a quiet blender. Maybe those are $1000

ha-yeah, the vitamix is loud but other blenders were as well and poo poohed out quickly
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#17 Old 01-17-2007, 10:26 AM
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I really appreciate all your help so far! One more quick question - there are several different models of Vita-Mix out there. Are they all pretty much the same?
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#18 Old 01-17-2007, 10:39 AM
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Just a quick comment about the options mentioned by Oregon Amy. They have 3 cup processor attachments. I have a 7 cup Cuisinart food processor that my sister got me. It's great. Before I got it, though, I asked around and was told that if I was going to get a food processor, I should get one with at least a 6 cup capacity--that people who had gotten smaller models just weren't happy with them in the long run.



My older model Vita-Mix has a stainless-steel container, not glass or plastic,

so I can't really comment on the modern versions with the plastic containers.



Maybe this information isn't very helpful, but your question is a difficult one, since it is hard to know which trade-offs to make when your budget is limited.
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#19 Old 01-17-2007, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe View Post

Before I got it, though, I asked around and was told that if I was going to get a food processor, I should get one with at least a 6 cup capacity--that people who had gotten smaller models just weren't happy with them in the long run.



I was told the same thing. And I'm definitely glad I listened.

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#20 Old 01-17-2007, 02:01 PM
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I don't have a Vita-Mix but I have used one when I was helping out in a restaurant - They are very loud! Seems like to much power for me. If you owned a smoothie place or a Jamba Juice I would get one. I am sure they are great but I can't see paying that much for one - I don't need that much power.



I own an Oster - only 40 bucks at Bed Bath and Beyond. I make smoothies, blend juices, soups, cashew sour cream, nut mylks, drinks, chop up veggies, etc. It crushes ice great. I even ground up my chunky pink salt in there as I don't have a salt grinder.



http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/prod...1&SKU=13687471



It has 14 settings and each settings says what it is the best for. Has a Smoothie speed too and it works great for smoothies!



Even my bf loves it and he thinks Vita-mixes are great.
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#21 Old 01-17-2007, 02:59 PM
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Doesn't heat kill the nutrients? Can this be avoided with a Vita-Mix or other blenders?



I need a blender exclusively for fruit/green smoothies that can be used everyday, is this good enough reason to buy a Vita-Mix, or would a cheaper blender suffice?
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#22 Old 01-17-2007, 04:25 PM
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Okay, I wimped out on the Vita-Mix. Mainly because I tried using our food processor and it is really leaking so I know I need a new one, and I just couldn't see shelling out nearly $400 on a Vita-Mix AND buying a new food processor. Also, I measured the height from our countertops to our top cabinets and the Vita-Mix is way too tall to fit between. So are a lot of the professional-quality blenders. So I'm going for a shorter one.



Joe - thanks for the tip about the size of the food processor. My current one is a 7-cup and I couldn't imagine using a smaller one. A bigger one would be nice but I have a small kitchen so I'm going to stay with 7.



Anyway, if anyone's interested, here are the models of blender and food processor I'm going with. They are both KitchenAid and both highly rated on Amazon:



http://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-KSB...&s=home-garden



http://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-KFP...&s=home-garden



Thanks again for all the help, everyone!
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#23 Old 01-17-2007, 04:30 PM
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I love kitchenaid products (I have a bit of an obsession with them ) I hope you enjoy them. My blender is a larger version of the Cuisinart Amy linked to (50 ounce) and my food processor is the 11-cup version of the one you've selected. I also have a stand mixer.... I don't know what it is about the damn stand mixers, but I love mine.
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#24 Old 01-17-2007, 05:04 PM
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I love kitchenaid products (I have a bit of an obsession with them ) I hope you enjoy them. My blender is a larger version of the Cuisinart Amy linked to (50 ounce) and my food processor is the 11-cup version of the one you've selected. I also have a stand mixer.... I don't know what it is about the damn stand mixers, but I love mine.



Yay! I just placed my order and now I feel extra good about it. The online reviewers seemed to love kitchenaid too, that's why I went with it for both products. I actually ended up getting the 9-cup food processor because the 7-cup turned out to not be available immediately. I'm secretly kind of happy about that, I was going to save a few $$ but I really wanted the bigger one!
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#25 Old 01-17-2007, 07:58 PM
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get one from ebay is a lot cheaper



http://snipurl.com/17r7k

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#26 Old 01-17-2007, 08:32 PM
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Yay! I just placed my order and now I feel extra good about it. The online reviewers seemed to love kitchenaid too, that's why I went with it for both products. I actually ended up getting the 9-cup food processor because the 7-cup turned out to not be available immediately. I'm secretly kind of happy about that, I was going to save a few $$ but I really wanted the bigger one!



Good call. The kitchenaid food processors are great.
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#27 Old 01-19-2007, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colorful View Post

Yay! I just placed my order and now I feel extra good about it. The online reviewers seemed to love kitchenaid too, that's why I went with it for both products. I actually ended up getting the 9-cup food processor because the 7-cup turned out to not be available immediately. I'm secretly kind of happy about that, I was going to save a few $$ but I really wanted the bigger one!



I currently have the 11 cup kitchenaid food processor. Have had it for over 6 years now and LOVE IT.



I've had the 350 watt blender that Amy linked and it was LOUD LOUD LOUD. Since we juice and make smoothies EVERY day, that blender gave out. We got the larger (and newer) version of the 600 watt one she linked. It's quieter and very powerful. Wattage makes a big difference. Now when I make my smoothies I don't have to worry about letting my frozen strawberries thaw before I throw them in. They go straight from the freezer in to my blender. I'm really happy with it, so far. We'll see how long this one lasts.



I've been hankering for the Vita-Mixer or the Champion K-something or other for a while. But I've got other things upon which I must spend my money. (Like my kids, etc.)



Hope everything works out with your new stuff!
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#28 Old 01-19-2007, 10:47 PM
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"... for 10 years or more"



I had my $24.98 Oster for 20 years.



I had to replace the blade once every 5 years or so. $12 to $15 each time. Because the bearing wore out and the blade axle was loose inside the bearing and liquids leaked out. The motor last 20 years. They include a gasket when you buy the blade assembly.
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#29 Old 01-19-2007, 10:53 PM
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"... for 10 years or more"



I had my $24.98 Oster for 20 years.



I had to replace the blade once every 5 years or so. $12 to $15 each time. Because the bearing wore out and the blade axle was loose inside the bearing and liquids leaked out. The motor last 20 years. They include a gasket when you buy the blade assembly.



You paid $24.98 for a blender 20 years ago?
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#30 Old 01-19-2007, 11:34 PM
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You paid $24.98 for a blender 20 years ago?



It wore out about 4 years ago. So I bought it about 24 years ago I think. I'd say around 1983. I remember it was under $50. It may have been $29. Or $32. Or $21. I'm sure it was over $20. It had a glass jar. The plastic jars were very popular when I bought it, but I spent the extra 5 or 10 on a glass jar. Much nicer. The Oster I bought about 4 years ago was also under $30. Nice glass jar. However the motor on the new one is a piece of junk. The fan fell off a week after I bought it. I took out the motor and tightened the nut properly. The motor still makes an awful racket. The old one had a much better motor. The blade on the new one is better though. Bent a bit differently. Faster-working and the bearing (same design) lasts about the same length of time — it is about time for the first replacement.
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