Ninja vs Blendtec vs Vitamix! It’s time for a Blender Stand-off, with user interviews and four blending challenges!
Full Disclosure: This review was NOT sponsored by any of the three brands. I borrowed a Ninja, Blendtec, and Vitamix from friends and family in an effort to see which blender I liked best. After a series of ‘Blender interviews,’ I confirmed that a lot of you worried about the extra large size of the Vitamix. Since I couldn’t find one of the Vitamix ‘low profile’ models to borrow, I reached out to Vitamix, and they sent me a low profile model to test in person. However, this review is not sponsored by Vitamix, and all opinions are my own. This post does contain affiliate links, which help keep this site running.
I have a confession. Are you ready? I’m a BLENDER MURDERER! It’s true– I have single-handedly caused the death of 4, 5… 6?… innocent blenders.
I’ve poured hot soup into a plastic blender basin and melted the plastic. I’ve blended an icy drink in a glass blender basin and then rinsed it in hot water– cracking the basin. I’ve had gaskets break inside the blender base, and motors stop working, and basin seals go bad. I’ve brought home brand-new blenders, only to find they rock back and forth noisily, or leak all over my counter.
Is it me? Is it the blenders? Either way, it’s bad news for the blender when it sees my hand headed towards it to hit the ‘on’ switch. And I am SICK OF IT! A few weeks ago, when I saw my 2-year-old blender was leaking all over the counter, even with the seal firmly in place, I decided it was time to end the Blender Death Streak, and find a better blender solution.
Which blender should I get? Which will blend my food into wonderful, creamy deliciousness? I decided to find out by borrowing expensive blenders from friends and family… without revealing my history as a blender killer. (For the record, no blenders were harmed in the making of this review.)
The Blender Stand-Off – Ninja vs Blendtec vs Vitamix
There are a few blenders that I’ve heard consistently good things about. The cheapest of the batch, with some models starting at around $50– is the Ninja. These blenders are NOT professional-grade, but have die-hard fans! These blenders claim to be affordable powerhouses able to pulverise even hard-to-blend foods in seconds.
The Blendtec is the blender system that I knew the least about– but I’ve got a friend who gushes and gushes about her Blendtec, and I like their series of ‘Will it Blend’ marketing videos showing their blenders, quite impressively, demolishing iPhones. (Wasteful? Yes. Amusing and entertaining? Also yes.) They market their blenders as “safe, but powerful,” with blunt blades (not sharp blades) that blend, in theory, at 300 miles-per-hour. Blendtec’s blenders are more expensive than Ninja’s, with models starting at around $200 refurbished or $300 brand new.
And finally– the Vitamix. This sturdy blender system is the most expensive of the three, with models starting at about $250 refurbished or $500 brand new. (If that seems ridiculous, keep in mind how many $40-$50 blenders I’ve murdered, and then start adding it all up.) Vitamix has been around for years and years, and its blenders are, supposedly, designed to LAST. Instead of claiming that their blenders will “demolish anything in seconds,” these blenders advertise “trained horsepower” that will steadily (and yes, sometimes slightly more slowly), transform your food. Impressively, these blenders are also supposed to be able to make ice cream, knead bread, and even cook soup.
I interviewed friends, families, and my readers about their favorite blender– and everyone had a lot to say. (Want to read some of the comments? Here’s a link to the Instagram conversation!) After listening to everyone’s comments, I decided to see how each of these blenders held up in three areas: Blender Appearance, Blender Speed, and Blend Quality. To test them, I tried the following hard-to-blend items with each blender: frozen fruit and ice, leafy greens, dates, and chickpeas.
I tested the Ninja Pro System 1100.
The Interviews: So many people own a Ninja that it’s beginning to seem familiar, and not at all as sneaky and elusive as a real Ninja would be… (Or is the ‘Ninja’ name a reference to the blades?!)
Most people I interviewed about their Ninjas had nothing but good things to say about the blender. No one, as far as I could tell, had previously owned a professional blender, but instead the Ninja seems to be a step up from the more basic, entry-level blenders– and people LOVE IT. I did manage to get a few cons, however, and it made me feel like I had a clearer picture of what the Ninja could do before I even touched it. (I do want to emphasize that MOST of the Ninja owners had zero complaints, so if the following things don’t worry you– there’s a decent chance you’d also love a Ninja.)
The main complaints were about the blades– the Ninja has a 3-blade system, and Ninja users complained that the blades were so sharp that the blade system was a little scary to pull out and clean, and also that thicker blends (like hummus) would consistently get stuck around the super-sharp blades.
People also told me that the blender was amazing with rough chopping, but didn’t deliver a smooth, silky blend, and that it struggled to purée dates or similarly sticky items. Other complaints were about poor design– a spout that spills when you pour, areas on the outside of the basin that trap dishwasher sediment and are hard to clean, and some models lack the plastic removable insert in the lid that allows you to release steam or add liquid mid-blend.
Blender Appearance: The model I tested was several years old, and was starting to show a little wear. The plastic coating on the base had started to warp slightly, and the basin was slightly etched. Overall though, it was in decent shape. I felt like it was lightweight enough to easily pick up and store in a cabinet when it wasn’t in use, and I liked that this model had the option of switching out a small basin for smaller batches of food.
Blender Speed: The Ninja was fast! It crushed everything I put inside it quickly, and I was impressed! Nothing took more than a few seconds to blend, no matter how thick. It did vibrate on the counter slightly when I had it on high speed, but didn’t move around or rock.
Blend Quality: The Ninja blended everything into very tiny pieces, and handled the frozen fruit and ice with zero problems. The leafy greens I blended were mostly blended through, although I found two spinach leaves untouched, stuck to the side of the basin, probably hanging on for dear life! When I added chickpeas and dates to the basin, I did end up with a more chunky hummus.
Overall: I thought this was a decent blender, especially if you’re comparing it to a standard, non-professional blender. Will it completely purée everything? No, but overall I was impressed. The only things that I REALLY did not like about the Ninja were the lid and unsecured blades. The blender wouldn’t even switch on if I didn’t have the lid perfectly secure and turned the correct direction (which I felt was probably a too-restrictive safety feature), and the blades on this model needed to be pulled out of the blended food before pouring. I kept forgetting to pull them out, and they’d fall right out of the basin when I started to pour (which didn’t feel safe at all).
I tested the Blendtec Classic Series 575
The Interviews: Blendtec may have the most entertaining marketing campaign, but I had a really hard time finding anyone who actually USES a Blendtec. Out of all my interviews– I only found three Blendtec users, and all three were 100% in love with their blender.
Blender Appearance: The model I tested was heavily used and on its second owner, but it was in great shape. The base and basin still looked almost like new. As with the Ninja, I felt like this Blendtec was lightweight enough to store in a cabinet and move onto onto the counter when you wanted to use it.
Blender Speed: This blender was fast, and blended anything I threw at it in seconds. The base stayed firmly in place while blending, even on high speeds.
Blend Quality: The Blendtec handled frozen fruit and ice just as easily as the Ninja, but with smoother and creamier results. It easily puréed the spinach, as well as the dates and chickpeas.
Overall: This blender is impressive. The ONLY negative I saw was that it was LOUD– and I do mean LOUD. All conversation stopped while the Blendtec was running.
I tested the Vitamix 5200 Series Blender AND the 7500 Professional Series Blender with a Low-Profile Basin
The Interviews: I had high– and I do mean HIGH– expectations of the Vitamix. Vitamix owners repeatedly told me that this machine was life-changing, that it would never die, and that it would give me the silkiest blends I’ve ever seen. They told me they used it daily, and that its massive size was balanced by its usefulness. One reader told me she’d had her Vitamix for 22 years, another for 15 years, and the friend who let me use her Vitamix was pained to part from it for even a single day.
A few readers mentioned Vitamix downfalls– they told me that the long, narrow basin could trap thick foods at the bottom, and that it was hard to get everything out of those batches. They also told me that the machine was a workhorse, but sometimes struggled with small batches that didn’t fill the basin.
Blender Appearance (5200 Series): First of all, I’d HEARD that standard Vitamix blenders were big, but I was a little startled by just how huge this thing is. It’s about 20 inches tall– that’s right– just short of two feet high, and the base was 7″x8″. This thing is hefty. The blender basin holds 64 ounces– about twice the size of my current compact blender basin. That said, it was pretty and white, and the spout was well-designed to avoid spills and splatters.
Blender Appearance (7500 Professional Series with a Low-Profile Basin): I’m going to admit right now that I have a little bit of a crush on this blender. It’s chic with a chrome and black finish, and I was able to try out both the low-profile 64-ounce basin AND the even smaller 48-ounce basin, as well as the “personal cup” size.
Even with the low-profile or smaller jar attached to the base, this is NOT a small machine. However, the standard-sized basin was too tall to fit inside or underneath any of my kitchen cabinets, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that both the low-profile basin and the small basin fit easily in my cabinets. This is a heavy machine, and I don’t think I’d like to move it back and forth to a cabinet, but if I wanted to, it would fit. I liked that I could store the low-profile basin in the cabinet, and leave either the personal cup or the smaller basin attached, since those are the basins I would likely use most often. Both basins came with a tamper to help push down any air bubbles while blending.
Everything on both models, and on each accessory basin or attachment, was high quality. The older 5200 series was in fantastic shape, even after years of daily use, and I was impressed that the personal cup attachments use double-walled plastic.
Blender Speed: Both Vitamix models that I tested blended the foods a little more slowly than either the Ninja or the Blendtec. I’d almost call the blending “gentle”– there was very little splashing around on the low-speed settings, and both models steadily powered through all the blends. This blender didn’t love it when I threw in frozen fruit and ice with very little liquid, but as soon as I added more liquid it got to work.
It wasn’t exceptionally noisy, and on the slower settings was actually pretty quiet compared to the other two blenders. Neither Vitamix model budged at all on my counter when turned on, even at high speeds.
Blend Quality: This is where the Vitamix shone. Each and every blend turned out silky and smooth, and I saw why people love Vitamix. The margaritas I blended were well blended without chunks of ice, the greens inside the green smoothie were demolished, it handled the dates just fine, and it made incredibly creamy hummus.
Overall: My biggest impression was that this blender is exceptionally well-made. This isn’t a blender that will crush anything you throw into it within 30 seconds. However, everything that I did put inside was steadily broken down and puréed until creamy. I trust Vitamix’s reputation, and trust that this blender would last for years and years. The bonuses with this blender are big– since I don’t have a stand mixer, I love having the option to knead my pizza dough in the Vitamix instead of by hand, the fact that it can cook soup is kind of amazing, and I was really pleased with the self-cleaning setting.
Okay, I’m actually not going to choose a real winner. Why not? Because I think it really depends on how much you want to spend, and what you expect from your blender.
The Ninja: Keep in mind that the Ninja may show wear and tear earlier than the Blendtec or Vitamix, and probably won’t give silky blends with thick, hard-to-blend foods like dates or hummus. Choose this blender if you want to spend less than $100, are a-okay with the extra sharp, 3-blade setup, and blend a lot of frozen smoothies.
The Blendtec: This blender does exactly what a good blender should. It blends– pure and simple, and it does it well. As a somewhat accident-prone person, I appreciated the blunt blades. I also liked that it weighed less than the Vitamix, making it easier to stow away if you don’t have a lot of counter space. It also seems to hold up well over time. Choose this blender if you want to splurge on a high-quality blender, but don’t have the counter space for a Vitamix. This blender was also a little faster than the Vitamix with smoothies or other icy drinks, so if you demand smoothies be ready in seconds– this model might be perfect.
The Vitamix: This machine was drool-worthy. It blends, it cooks, it kneads dough, and it cleans itself. Plus, it has a reputation for lasting for decades. If you’ve got the budget and the counter space, this would be my choice.
What do you think? Do you have a favorite blender? Do you have a blender-related worry that I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments!
P.S. – All this talk of blended food is making me hungry! Here are a few recipes that use a blender: