on September 19, 2013
I researched blenders for months, talking to blending enthusiast friends, and pouring over every review I could find. Narrowed my search down to a VitaMix (and Blendtech, with VitaMix taking the slight edge), so now needed to select a model - The new motor with a constant cooling fan is much better at cooling when the blender is used at slower speeds (less overheating and shutdown issues), the extra HP is always a good thing, but when combined with the wider base blender container and 4-inch blades it allows for much easier flow to the blades for larger items with less tamping (I rarely need to use the tamper). The ability for it to now fit under the counter is just another added bonus. So I was torn between the 300 Professional and the 750 Professional. Based on feedback from multiple blender friends, the presets on the 750 are not really needed (as they tweak nearly every blend to suit vs. a preset exact time) and actually the presets get in the way somewhat using the speed control.
A unique feature I love is that IF the Blender is accidently left on High (speed 10) and then turned off, when the unit is turned back on it starts back up at a speed 1 (so contents are not needing to be cleaned off the ceiling). Also it's actually a digitally controlled speed control, so i.e., speed #7 is the exact same RPM every time.
I am beyond pleased with my choice of the VitaMix 300 Professional and would recommend same Make/Model to anyone looking for a top performance blender.
I should add that the Vitamix Professional 300 is the same as the 7500 and the Creations Elite, except the creations elite has the 48oz container and each model has a unique cookbook.
If you are looking for a discount you can buy a reconditioned Pro 300 directly from Vitamix for a $120 savings off the retail cost - and if you need even more to justify buying a $4-600 blender Vitamix can break it into 3 payments (1st payment is 50% + a one time $15 fee, then next two months is the split remainder of the balance), note: if you ask they will also include free shipping and a set of vitamix spatulas.
UPDATE: my container apparently had a seal that was not properly seated (never leaked, just noticed that the bottom of the gear was hot and spotted the seal), callled Vitamix, sent them a smart phone photo and they quickly sent me a new pitcher, including a pre-paid return shipping label for the old pitcher - excelent customer service, what an American should be!!
on October 12, 2013
- Quick Update
- Original Review
- 12 day smoothie fast Information
The blender is still used nearly every day if not more than once a day. It has stood up to EVERYTHING. There have been no complaints and it has not skipped a beat. It performs just as well as the day I bought it.
Wouldn't trade it for anything.
I couldn't keep up the 90% vegan diet mainly because I haven't cut out drinking alcohol on the weekends and subsequently find that pizza enters the fray when that happens.
****Original Review 10/12/2013****
With such an expensive product I feel it's important to write an initial review and update it as you live with the product.
I have had this blender for two days.
I spent extensive amounts of time reading reviews, watching videos, reading consumer reports and reading kitchen blogs that have discussed this blender.
Is it worth $550? The legendary status of Vitamix is warranted. It is phenomenal.
There are some underdogs that do a similar job if you do your research you'll find some smaller 1 serving blenders have been given high marks but I did not want a small personal size blender. I want to make large amounts of smoothies that I can refrigerate at work or home and have available throughout the week or at least a few days. Of course produce doesn't keep forever.
I was almost convinced to buy a blendtec but read reviews regarding the O-ring at the base of the blade would wear overtime eventually leaving little bits of rubber/plastic in your smoothie. Even after 3 years of daily use I don't think that's acceptable. The vitamix has no such issues. The blade and all parts INSIDE the blender are metal. Strong sturdy metal. Probably a hardened steel or titanium but don't quote me on that. THe underside of the carafe houses the hard polycarbonate shroud(Hard to explain this part provides stability under the carafe) In the middle of the bottom is a nearly dime size metal turbine with grooved teeth. This turbine connects to the metal housing on the base of the blender.
The blender is very simple with a pulse switch, power dial, and start switch on the front. On the rear right side of the base is a power switch. When you flip it on the symbols and words glow next to each respective switch and dial.
I like the industrial and simple look of the front. It's not a touch screen blender like the Blendtech Design Series but I really didn't like the idea of putting so much complicated effort into the look of a blender. The blendtec was almost too pretty. I also don't trust presets. I was looking at the Vitamix 7500 which is (I think)$100 more than this one and the only difference is it has presets for smoothies and liquefying etc... I like to manually do it so I can get the consistency that I want. Plus it saves you some money for fruit to throw in ;)
The base is heavy and the motor is powerful as you'd expect. IT IS SO QUIET! With the amount of power this thing has you'd expect it to sound like a lawnmower(it does basically have a lawnmower engine) but it really isn't ear bleedingly loud like the Ninja blenders for example. I have used your typical $50-$100 blenders all my life and they have all been louder than this one. Those old blenders do well with soft fruits aka bananas and berries, but throwing in kale and oranges and apples they would quickly make mush of everything. THIS THING LIQUEFIES EVERYTHING!
I just made a chilled avocado soup with a 1 1/2 inch chunk of ginger, avocado, chicken broth, cilantro and some salt and it turned out velvety smooth. CLEANING IS SO EASY. I poured the soup into a container(it made about 5 servings of soup) and rinsed out the carafe with warm water. Within 3 minutes I was making a spinach, apple, banana, orange, smoothie and it tasted like HEAVEN.
I am still kicking myself because about a year ago I wanted to get healthy and start eating properly. I watched a documentary about juicing and thought SWEET! This will help! I got an Omega j8006 juicer for $300. It was great at crushing hard fruits but there was SO MUCH WASTE! The pulp getting tossed out or composted was just too much of a waste for me. Grinding 4 apples you'd get maybe a glass of juice. I couldn't handle it. PLUS the cleaning of so many parts it was absolutely a hassle cleaning would take a good 10 minutes and there'd still be pieces of fruit stuck in small places.
This has a carafe with a rubber top and a little opening cover that locks into the rubber top(the hole for the tamper) that's it. Boom after I make something I move it to a big container with a lid to put in the fridge and I rinse out the blender with hot water. Done. It's so easy.
Making a smoothie in 20 seconds rinsing and making soup in 20 seconds. I mean it doesn't get much easier folks.
The consistency of the smoothies I've made are nothing short of perfect.
I read a forum comment somewhere of someone who had a 5200 and just got the 300 and they hated it. They said they had chunky smoothies. I have NO idea how they were making their smoothies but I have to call them a straight up crazy person. Granted I've only made about 5 smoothies the last couple days but this thing has smashed through everything I have thrown at it.
Buying it straight from Vitamix you'll save a few bucks if you find a voucher for free shipping but you'll get it in 8-14 days or pay $70 for 3 day shipping. Luckily I have a Prime account and got it in 3 days for free.
I'm going to go drink more of my banana/apple/orange smoothie.
In closing I did struggle with justifying the price of this blender. Then I thought, "You know? My health is priceless and if this helps me stay healthy it's worth every penny."
As I said in the beginning I'll update this monthly to give more and more insight in how it feels living with a Vitamix. So far we have a budding romance.
I've had this blender for 2 weeks and use it 3-4 times a day. I have switched to a nearly 90% vegan smoothie diet and have never felt more energized. Eating no garbage I've lost 6-7 pounds and my skin, hair and nails all feel different(in a good way).
I have found 2.5 liters of smoothie over a 10 hour work shift keeps me full. I drink less water since liquid is in the smoothies but it's good to stay hydrated as well. Apples, spinach & Bananas are the main staple of most of my smoothies. I buy a lot of frozen fruits too mangos, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries etc.
Anyways the blender has stood up to EVERYTHING. One thing to note. I HAVE SMELLED BURNING from the engine. The problem arises when I pack my blender wrong(waking up you space out and throw it all in lol) If you put frozen fruit or ice cubes in first they will turn into hard slush and get pushed up away from the blades making sort of an ice barrier between the rest of the produce and the blades. I could hear the blades spinning faster because there was nothing hitting them. So you take the stamper and push things down into the blades. The burning isn't TERRIBLE or Overwhelming like it's breaking, it's just the engine warming up because it's not crushing anything. This is something to keep in mind. I try to put in water/almond milk, then mushy fruits, hard veggies, then leafy greens and then ice or fruits.
#1 IMPORTANT THINGY: Have fun with it! If you enjoy it and make delicious smoothies the whole family can enjoy being healthy and not even feel like it's "Yuck veggies eww healthy". I follow some smoothie recipes but mostly just buy all the produce I love and then mix them all up. Think of your own creative combinations. Have your kids suggest things, etc. Make it enjoyable and you'll start looking, and FEELING better.
All the best.
on September 16, 2013
I've done a lot of research on blenders over the years and have upgraded from a bog standard Cuisineart blender, to a Ninja, and finally to the Vitamix. The Ninja was a big step up; much easier to clean, more powerful and I was really satisfied with it for a long time. But my juicing/smoothie making needs have increased over the years and I've been finding that the Ninja doesn't do that great of a job when throwing kale, broccoli, chard etc at it. My smoothies came out with lots and lots of bits, and I end up having to do a lot of chewing.
So I decided to go all out and get the new Vitamix and I am so glad I did. It really does live up to the hype and everything I've thrown at it gets blended much more smoothly. I haven't had to use the plunger that comes with it, and my smoothies come out as good as when I go and buy them at a real smoothie/juice place. I was expecting it to be loud after watching some youtube videos; maybe on the highest setting it is louder than the Ninja, but I don't even need to turn it all the way up and so for general usage it's actually quieter, which is a nice bonus.
Coming to terms with the expense gap between this and other blenders took me some time, but now, everything makes sense. This is a far superior product and you get what you pay for. 100% satisfied.
on February 9, 2014
This review is for those who, like me, have always wondered how chefs at upscale restaurants manage to create silky soups and velvety sauces out of such extraordinarily unusual ingredients like cauliflower or spinach... My wondering stopped two days ago when my Vitamix arrived. Mystery solved - not to slight all the wonderful chefs out there, but it is not the skill, it is Vitamix! :).
So far, I have made two different kinds of soup, four kinds of smoothies, hummus, salsa, potato batter for latkes, milkshakes, and finally, hot chocolate. My verdict is this - this is by far the best kitchen machine I have ever used. Silky consistency? Sure, takes a minute. A funky bright green soup that fascinated my kids enough to eat it? Yup, 5 minutes of work. Real steaming hot chocolate? Absolutely, and I wasn't the one whisking it while the milk and chocolate mixture was coking. And just for fun, how about taking half a pineapple, hacking it into a few big chunks and making a smoothie? Easy, just use the tamper. And i barely peeled that half pineapple. I bet it will pulverize a tree branch if you are really serious about adding fiber to your diet.
It took me a while to choose between this model and the one with the presets. I decided I would figure out how to use the 10 variable speeds and save $120. Glad i did - it is a piece of cake to use. I expect to use the instructions from the accompanying cookbook (which is great, by the way), but once i understand better how different speeds change the texture, I expect to go by feel.
It wasn't clear to me how the blender makes soup - there is no "hot soup" button. My guess is that the 2.2 horsepower motor naturally produces so much heat that if you let it run for more that 2 minutes, the contents of the bowl will warm up. At about 5-6 minutes, it gets to hot that you need to let your soup cool down a bit to make it comfortable to eat. Of course, before I determined this, I ended up with a rather warm smoothie :)
All in all, I love this thing. My children have wondered how we ever lived without this blender and asked if we could take it on vacation with us. Unqualified success.
Oh, for those who may be interested in that green soup - sauté leeks, chopped celery, and some kale in butter. Add a clove of raw garlic to the blender, the sautéed veggies, and a bit of chicken stock. Slowly increase the speed to 8 and cook for 3 minutes. Through the opening in the lid, add some baby spinach and cook for 3 more minutes. Add salt and some grated cheese and enjoy!
Although for years I wanted a Vitamix, in retrospect the struggle to make the decision was perhaps a bit out of proportion but spending that amount of money on a blender caused me, time and again, to vacillate. But all that accomplished was to delay the inevitable and waste money on lesser appliances in hopes of finding an inexpensive substitute. When I realized there was no substitute for a power blender, my remaining concerns were whether I would use the appliance enough to justify the cost and if so, which model should I buy.
So, in January 2013 I made the decision to purchase based on my daily morning smoothies and the inability of my trusty Oster Beehive blender to completely decimate fruits and vegetables - particularly leafy greens like Kale but also things like unpeeled apple. This shortcoming caused me to add expensive green foods powder to the mix because I felt those nutrients were essential. I tried to choke down chunks of fruit, vegetables and bits of unprocessed greens but ultimately it was not palatable and a wholly unpleasant way to start the day.
A few years ago I wasted money on a relatively expensive juicer that extracted all the pulp leaving essentially a sugary, watery juice. So much waste is involved with juice extractors. I was buying huge bags of various vegetables at the warehouse store and filling my refrigerator to the point that the space was overwhelmed to the detriment of other food that required refrigeration. I wanted a healthy morning drink but eating a bit of everything is, in my opinion, if not healthier physically, is perhaps a happier, more balanced way to live. Life is to be enjoyed.
Needing a pound of carrots to obtain a cup of juice with the bulk of the vegetable either being tossed or saved to be re-purposed in ways that were not practical for my life - and I was never certain how to calculate exactly how many, for example, carrots I was consuming. I needed something more straightforward. Pulverize a carrot and drink the results.
Add to this the ridiculous, meticulous cleaning requirements of the machine and I ended up donating it to charity after a month or so of genuine effort. In sharp contrast, cleaning the Vitamix entails filling the container half full of hot water and adding a drop or two of dish detergent and running the machine for a minute, rinsing and let dry. If I have any regrets it is that I hesitated to take the plunge and wasted money on lesser machines.
So, after adding up the cost of the failed extractor, ridiculous quantities of fruits and vegetables needed to use it and then examining the limitations of my basic blender and the cost of the green foods powder I knew it made sense for me to buy the Vitamix or one of the other brands.
I examined the two top power blenders, both good machines, but decided I preferred the controls on the Vitamix. I also didn't like the fact that the blades are not removable on the container of the other brand. The blades on the Vitamix, if they become damaged, can be replaced. Also, one of the things I disliked with my basic blender was the way I had stop the blending, remove the lid and with a spatula push down the contents of the smoothie into the blades, recover and restart. The provided tamper tool that comes with the Vitamix handles that, although I have not needed it for smoothies.
Narrowed down to brand, the next step was selecting a model. This is a highly personal choice dependent upon the user's needs because I think the basic machine is 95 percent of the decision, and the model secondary. My debate centered on the programmed settings and whether they were something I needed. After doing a lot of reading I discovered for my use, the answer is no and the reasoning behind that is that, although those settings can be used with other recipes, for optimal results they are designed for use with Vitamix recipes. So, using my own recipe might require some tweaking to the timing, largely eliminating the value of the feature.
The pre-program for smoothies might, for example be a bit longer than I would need or be too short depending on my recipe. If my plan was to use only the recipes included with the machine this would not be an issue, but I knew that constraint would not work for me. The same results can be obtained without the pre-programmed settings, and a number of the reviews I read said things like - if you are going to spend the money anyway, go ahead and get all the bells and whistles -- but I do not like to spend money unnecessarily, so the reasoning did not resonate.
On tools, I spend only to meet my needs and requirements. But, for another household the question may be more complex and factor in whether the family members are more likely to use the machine if they can just turn the dial to "smoothies" than without. If it would encourage use than perhaps the programmed settings are well worth the added expense.
So, October 2013 the decision was made that the 300 Pro was the model that would do everything I needed, and then some. There is a learning curve and I admit to being a bit intimidated and worrying about harming the motor so I watched the included instructional DVD, twice. And, there is great information contained in the cookbook and instruction guide, too, but here are a few things that might be helpful to note.
The container does not lock down on to the blender base. The drive socket simply slides into the opening on the centering pad. Initially, this is a bit disconcerting. My Oster container locked into place. The arrangement quickly becomes the new normal, but I mention it primarily because it is possible to lift the container up off the centering pad while it is still running. Never do this. You never would, right? Me either, except I almost did when I heard a weird, semi-alarming noise. For some inexplicable reason my instinct was to grab for the handle. Anyway, suppress any urge to lift up on the container while the blender is running no matter what happens - instead, simply flick the start/stop switch to stop.
Always make sure the variable speed dial is on one, the lowest speed, before flicking the start/stop lever to start and then gradually increase the speed to the level appropriate for the job - like ten for smoothies. It is not necessary to gradually turn the dial back to one when ready to stop blending although it will not hurt anything if you do, but just flicking the start/stop switch to stop is fine.
Do not use the tamper without the lid on or it will be destroyed. It is relatively thin plastic so blade damage should be minimal, but the contents of the container along with the tamper will be ruined. Remove the lid plug and insert the tamper, when needed, to push food down. It is the correct length so it will not hit the blades. I have used the tamper primarily when making sorbets, sherbets and ice cream.
Always put ice cubes in last, and softer foods in first so the softer foods can quickly form a vortex to suck down the harder items.
There is no heating or cooling elements in the blender. The heat for making soup is caused by the blades turning at such high speeds that the friction causes the contents of the container to heat up. This is why ice is added when making a smoothie. Whether there is no desire to drink it ice cold, or dilute the mixture, the ice keeps the ingredients from heating up during processing and possibly losing vital nutrients.
Making ice cream involves using ice and semi-frozen fruits, etc. and running the machine only as long necessary to bring the ingredients together in a delicious frozen concoction. The result may require some additional time in the freezer if a firmer texture is necessary. Running the blender longer will heat up the mixture and make it softer, not harder.
The blender is loud, particularly at the high speed, although it is a world away from the decibel levels of my Oster. Fact is, blenders are loud, which may be an issue depend upon living arrangements, shared walls and hearing preservation. Perhaps it is over-kill but I use ear protection - again something I started because the Oster was so bloody loud.
Demonstrators at warehouse road shows sometimes mention how many appliances can be replaced with the purchase of a Vitamix, but that for my use it is not realistic, so that is not where I sought cost justification. By using the pulse button, it can be used to imprecisely rough chop veggies for salsa. And, it can grate hard cheese like Romano or Parmesan Reggiano, but the food processor I have used for almost two decades has blades to shred vegetables and fruits to varying degrees with precision, and same with grating cheese - including softer cheeses. I puree, chop vegetables and make nut butters, etc.
And, despite the popularity of making nut butters in the Vitamix, it is messy to get all of it out of the bottom of the container. With my food processor, when done, I can completely remove the blade and scoop out all of the nut butter, so that is my preferred machine for that task. So, the blender, great as it is, does not replace the food processor. And, my stand mixer has a dough hook and kneads bread like a champ, and with attachments, the mixer has many other uses like meat grinding, pasta making, etc. so I have no desire or need to replace either of these tools with the blender.
But the blender can do a couple of things neither of these appliances can accomplish - pulverize fruits and vegetables into a healthy drink, and with the dry container, grind grains for use in baked goods. This second use is not essential but one I realized I'd like to incorporate in my cooking so about a month ago, I bought the dry container. I make pasta, bread and pizza dough from scratch, so it was probably inevitable that at some point I would want to taste the difference between fresh milled wheat and pre-ground.
There is a distinct, improved flavor to the bread and pizza dough, and although I optimistically claim it is obvious I also realize that like those that tout audiophile speakers that create sounds only dogs can hear, it may all be in my head. So, clearly this is an aspect of interest wholly dependent upon the individual user. If explored, note that the wheat berries/grains should be stored in the freezer to keep the grain as cool as possible while grinding since nutrients are quickly lost when heated by the friction of the blender blades.
Have I used it to make soup and ice cream? Absolutely, and it is fast and fun but again, in no way replaces my food processor or stand mixer. I still like simmering chunky soups and stews on the stove top or in the oven. One use that was unexpected, I rarely buy basic dairy milk and the Vitamix is great for making rice milk, soy milk, almond milk, etc. Recipes are included with the machine.
Regarding the recipes, they are great for a guide for learning the basics regarding, timing, proportions and the order ingredients should be placed in the container, but do not be limited to what is in the included cookbooks. I have several besides the one that came with my model that I picked up at book and yard sales while ruminating on the purchase.
As a learning tool, the basic books are all important to look through, but some of the recipes in more recent cookbooks created by professional chefs can be a bit removed from the main purpose of the book and usefulness of the machine. Sometimes in what seems to be rote mode they call for carefully diced vegetables that the blender will then pulverize. So, read critically and use common sense. Confidence will grow with frequency of use.
Can the machine be used for basic cooking? Yes, but it is useful for some aspects and not for others. I grow impatient with some requirements - like first cooking some vegetables and meats, holding portions out and then dicing some chunks to be added after the soup or sauce is cooked in the blender in order to provide texture to the dish. It is just too much trouble. Again, I do not need to use the machine for every meal to justify its space in the kitchen. I have no desire to contort recipes that more easily are prepared in another manner to rationalize my purchase. There is nothing to defend. I use the Vitamix at least once every day, and for me, that is enough.
So, after eight months of use I am sold, and only sorry I waited. No buyers remorse or let down from unrealistic expectations. This is a serious machine and the seven year warranty speaks to the expectations of the manufacturer. And, although much less important, it looks good in the kitchen - like it always belonged there.
on January 28, 2014
My husband and I really wanted to get a good blender for awhile. We weren't sure if we really needed to spend over $400 dollars but once we tried a friend's Vitamix we knew we would get a lot of use out of it. Already making green smoothies every morning for over a year, there was no doubt that we would use it a lot. So we went for this version that is over $500! What's another hundred?! And we really love it. Now we've used it for soups, smoothies, sauces, and even made dips and peanut butter in it. Great purchase. We highly recommend!
on January 7, 2014
I never thought I'd be someone that dropped hundreds of dollars on a blender, but here I am. After going through several cheaper blenders, I wanted to go beyond just "getting by" and get jobs done right. I do a ton of cooking at home, making purees, sauces, soups...everything, from scratch. My wife is also fond of making healthy smoothies. We got by for many years using cheap blenders, but the cheaper blenders typically resulted in subpar, gritty textures, or required extra steps like softening up vegetables with boiling, prior to blending. This wasted a lot of time in prep.
The Vitamix has been a godsend, extremely capable when it comes to thoroughly blending tough ingredients, like carrots, with the most minimal of efforts. This tool actually has me rethinking and speeding up a lot of the cooking techniques and prep I use. One thing that I think must be noted is that due to the power of the blender on the max setting, it has the capability of heating up food, which can impart different flavors. Prep accordingly.
After spending hours reading differing opinions on this and the Blendtec, and after spending considerable time on the phone with customer service reps of both companies, I went with the Vitamix. I feel that a company's phone support and how they handle warranties is a predictable gauge of how reliable the parent company is for me. This might seem strange, but prior to any considerably large purchase, I spend a bit of time getting a feel for companies and "test" them, posing as a product owner with questions, or with a warranty issue. Vitamix had very professional and knowledgeable phone representatives and when I challenged their customer support and warranty support, they passed with flying colors. Extremely helpful and attentive, there were no attempts to try to dodge, evade, or deflect. Although I have never had a problem with my Vitamix, I am fully confident that if something does happen to mine at some point across the generous 7 year warranty, Vitamix will fully back their product. The price was daunting for me, but spread across the 7 year warranty term, it comes out to around $70 per year for a comprehensive warranty backed product that does a great job. That's good value for me.
This is a phenomenal product, with phenomenal US based support.
on December 18, 2013
My husband purchased the vitamix pro 300 based on extensive research (on here and other juicing sites) and he couldn't be happier. The vitamix quickly mixed up all the Kale, spinach, fruits and veggies he could throw at it. We made a garlicky whipped cauliflower side dish that aside from excessive peppering (our fault) was delicious.
as for the quality of the unit, it's unparalled. We've seen and used Ninja's and kitchen aid mixers that claim to match the vitamix for a fraction of the cost...but the truth is; you get what you pay for. The base is solid and weighty. The speed ajuster feels like it won't break off after slight use, the canister is so well made and the lid fits snug and is easy to clean. I wouldn't recommend the additional cost the next series up from the 300 adds; the programs are the only addition, and they're unneeded as you really won't walk away from this thing as it works quickly (Albeit super loudly).
our next attempt is to make soup (probably a pea or tomato) and from what we've read, this thing can easily handle that task.
on December 26, 2013
We've been suffering with a Ninja for over a year. We make a green smoothie with raw and frozen fruits and greens 3 times a week. Add a little flax seed too with some almond and coconut milk as a fluid. The Ninja costs 1/5 the amount and it got some good reviews, but it cannot properly blend and smooth out the ingredients. So it was more like a chunky instead of s smoothie. We could let it blend for 5-10 minutes (walk out of the room because it is so very loud.) It just cannot smoothie it. We have to chew our smoothie. BUT, put exactly the same ingredients in to this Vitamix and the results are totally smooth - radically better. There is no contest. I figured it was not possible for these ingredients to be smoothed out by any blender. This Vitamix proved me wrong. The blend is as smooth as you can get. An incredible difference. Then to top it off, this blender - the Pro Series 300 (using the next gen motor and container shape) - is so MUCH quieter than the Ninja. It's still loud, but it does not hurt your ears like the Ninja.
Some Cons: The choices of models is fairly confusing, do a little research - and not at Vitamix's website. We are very happy we did, The shorter wider container fits under the counter and the "next gen" motor is surprisingly quiet.
on January 27, 2014
I just recently bought this Vitamix a few days ago. I used to use the old Vitamix 5000 for 3 years during college. That blender worked great but it was owned by my roommate and I have tried other blenders in the past few years trying to find a substitute. There is no substitute for a Vitamix. Once the New Generation models came out I have waited to read the reviews and do some research on the options. Any Vitamix seems like a great choice. My friends own the CIA 1710 and like I said I used to have the 5000. I chose this one due to the smaller height and wider base with bigger blades. It is working great so far.
Other blenders may test well in customer reviews or even the prestigious Consumer Reports. But let me tell you, year after year the Vitamix performs as well as it did the first time out of the box. I have thrown a lot at my blender making a variety of soups, shakes, desserts, smoothies, alcoholic drinks, and weird dinner concoctions. I use it primarily for daily green shakes with kale, spinach and whatever fruits are in season or on sale. The Vitamix is a champion at making the smoothest textured drinks. Period. There are no chucks or bits of food you need to chew, this is especially important with kale. As massive as this powerful motor is, the Vitamix is much quieter than any of the other blenders I have used. I don't feel bad using it at 10pm in my apartment complex to make margaritas.
I looked at the Ninja Ultima but after reading some more info I decided to go with the trusted Vitamix. The biggest deciding factors for me was that the Vitamix is American made (that's worth paying for in itself) and the Vitamix has an excellent customer service center and has been around for 30+ years. I know if I have any issues in the future I will be taken care of.