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on March 19, 2011
I spent about a year looking at the 5200 and comparing it to its competitors before buying it last month from Costco. I cook every meal from scratch, and I'm very interested in eating healthier meals. I'm not a vegetarian at all, but I have been eating more of a raw food diet and have been feeling better since. The Vitamix makes it so easy and extremely tasty to eat 3-5 servings of veggies and fruit in a single smoothie.
A few points I've run across researching and in my own experience. The 2 hp motor compared to a 3 hp motor: I love my 2 hp and I'm pretty sure I would not spend the extra money for a 3 hp motor. The key to performance is not the watts or hp, but the ability to perform the task at hand. The science and math geeks calculate work using hp or watts, torque, heat, and other numbers. Since no company (Blendtec, Vitamix, etc.) provides the full specs of performance for their motors, it's unfair to say "A 3 hp motor is better than a 2 hp motor". Just look at car engines... a high hp engine may have low torque or high torque, and be faster or slower, or better gas mileage, etc. So, in terms of performance, the 2 hp Vitamix has been fantastic. To properly calculate "performance", you need to get numbers like the rpm and watts used against a certain resistance and include heat generated/lost in the process. If you don't have *all* those numbers, you're just speculating and making up stuff. Not a fair comparison.
The Vitamix seems much quieter than the Blendtec. Both are loud, but the Vitamix is not a piercing deafening loudness. Even if you see YouTube videos, you can still hear people talk over the noise of the Vitamix, so it's not that bad.
It is difficult to scrape every last bit of food from the Vitamix, especially when it's thick like hummus or peanut butter. I've ground raw cacao beans with some water, coconut oil, and honey, and the motor handled it just fine (it sounded like it was going to break since it was so loud and whiney, but it didn't overheat). But once it was done it was difficult to get the thick goop out. I did buy a spatula that was long and thin with a silicone scraper that fits in between each of the 4 blades at the bottom. It takes a little extra time but I've found I don't waste any food anymore using it. The Blendtec container makes this whole process of getting food out much easier. BTW: Blendtec won a lawsuit against Vitamix since Vitamix stole their Wildside container design. However, Vitamix never intended to use the WildSide container on home blenders, only commercial ones, so it doesn't even affect my decision.
I love using the variable speed control. If you like keeping in touch with your food, controlling how you want it done, chopped, blended, and having very quick responses with the manual controls, then the Vitamix is perfect. People have said "there's no pulse button" on the Vitamix, but you just flip the switch on and off quickly and it works the same. No need for another button or knob that says Pulse on it. If you don't care how your food is made, as long as it gets done right, get the Blendtec. It's more "set it and forget it" kind of technology. I have a friend that just bought the Blendtec and loves it because she does not want to be too involved with her smoothies... just throw everything in, hit the button, walk away, come back and its ready. Personally, I like to play with it more and make it work how I want it to.
Blendtec doesn't have a tamper, and Vitamix does. Some people gave me the impression that you must use the Tamper for Vitamix to work properly when making smoothies and ice cream and such. That made me think Vitamix was inferior since Blendtec would do all that without a tamper. However, now that I have a Vitamix I've realized that thinking like that is incorrect. I rarely use the tamper in the Vitamix as long as the ingredients are in the right order and as long as there's enough liquid. Also, I can vary the speeds to get the mix blending better on the Vitamix. The Blendtec uses that variable speed approach as well, but it just does it automatically. Many reviewers said they had to add extra cycles or use the pulse on their Blendtec anyway, even after their preprogrammed cycle ran. So I figured I'd get the Vitamix since I can just do it all correctly from the beginning. When you make sticky thick items (again, like raw chocolate from cacao beans, or peanut butter, or hummus), the tamper is essential. The Blendtec users have to stop the machine, open it, use a spatula or scraper and scrape down the sides every few seconds. Vitamix just keeps going while you redirect the food or smash it down into the blades. The tamper also is more efficient for redirecting food, not necessarily beating your food into the blade. It's primarily intended to prevent air pockets from forming. Air pockets form in the Blendtec too, so you have to stop it, open it, and use a spatula anyway.
The Costco price for the 5200 was $395 when I bought it. I thought that was great, but then I realized as I walked out the door that tax was 8%. Brought the price to $427. Keep that in mind when budgeting. Some online deals or a deal direct from Vitamix may be cheaper if you factor in the tax at a store.
The height of the Vitamix doesn't bother me. I just set the container on the counter next to the base. I put the container lid on top of the motor base. Looks fine. If counter top space is a deciding factor, get the Blendtec, it's shorter.
I also like the history of Vitamix products. Its been around a long time, and has always been a top branded product.
The warranty on the Vitamix is 7 yrs standard, can increase it to 10 years (turns out that inside the package I found a coupon that says they'll do the extra 3 yrs for only $75, which is a huge savings from the $120 online). The Blendtec does 3 yrs standard, but Costco negotiated with them to include 4 extra years free just to be competitive with Vitamix. That's a great deal, but my concern was why they don't just do 7 yrs standard in the first place. I guess it's to keep their price lower than Vitamix. Plus Vitamix's warranty is simple: the whole thing's covered, motor, container, blade, everything. Blendtec seemed to split everything up. The motor, container and blade assembly have separate durations of their warranty.
As far as preprogramming, Blendtec claims that Vitamix doesn't do that and that Blendtec is so technologically advanced. Well, Vitamix does it, but it costs more, since it's in their professional and commercial versions. I'm not sure if it's true, but I feel like I'm getting a solid workhorse from Vitamix without the bells and whistles of a preprogrammed circuit board, and that Vitamix has such higher quality that if I wanted to get preprogrammed cycles I would have to pay extra for a good quality product. Blendtec offers the technology, but its so much less expensive that I'm concerned that they're doing it cheaply. Again, just speculation, but that's kind of how most businesses work.
I've seen Blendtec and Vitamix demos on YouTube. One video showed Blendtec as blending faster and effortlessly compared to a Vitamix. In my experience with the Vitamix, I have not noticed a difference in speed. It blends and destroys everything I put into it within seconds, and makes a beautiful, super smooth smoothie in about 20-30 seconds. Vitamix suggests blending smoothies for 1 minute most of the time. I have rarely needed to blend anything that long. I've made smoothies with kiwi, carrots, apples, spinach, ginger, lemon, honey, ice, and water (all in the same container), and it blended everything perfectly within 20 seconds (no tamper either, just make sure you add enough water to get it's vortex working).
Cleanup is as easy as they say. Few drops dish soap, fill it halfway with hot water, blend on high for 30-60 seconds, rinse, and your done. I generally wipe it with a soap dish cloth as well, but I don't think it's necessary. I usually just do that with oily and thick stuff. Make sure you clean it immediately though, don't let it sit for 5 minutes or a day later and expect cleanup to be that easy!
I also bought a dry container from Vitamix. The reviews said both Vitamix wet container and the Blendtec container can do grains and dry goods (make your own wheat flour, rice flour from rice, even blend popcorn kernels into a corn flour), but just does not create a super fine flour. The down side was that all plastic containers get foggy or cloudy over time because the hard kernels smack into the walls and cloud it up a bit. If you want to keep your wet container clear and new looking, you need another container anyway. The dry vitamix container does a better job grinding ingredients than the regular Blendtec container. But, Blendtec makes a grain mill for $199. If you grind more than a pound or so of grain daily, then get the Blendtec grain mill. The dry Vitamix container is $99-$120. The blade is different than the wet container, so don't interchange them. I use the dry container for flax seeds (some people through the seeds into their smoothie while its blending, but I like to grind it to a powder first, either in the dry container or a coffee grinder, then add it to make sure it's ground up properly), rice, and chick peas. You can also make bread dough in the dry container. I haven't tried that whole process yet, it looks a little inefficient, but looks like it will work well.
I thought I'd use the Vitamix 5200 a few times each week. Now that I own one, I use to 1-3 times/day, sometimes 5x/day if I'm doing a few different recipes. I absolutely love it!
47 helpful votes
48 helpful votes
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on October 7, 2009
I have had my Vitamix 5200 for about 2 months now. I literally use it several times a day and I could not imagine life without it now. My family has recently begun a journey to eating "raw" foods and the vitamix is a priceless tool in this endeavor. My family starts everyday with a fruit smoothie for breakfast (blended strawberries, blueberries, pinapple and spinach with pure water and ice). The vitamix breaks down everything, mixes it well and blends the most delicious tasting breakfast you ever wanted. Talk about instant energy! Lunch is often a green smoothie, blended in the Vitamix. I have used the dry container to crack wheat berries for bread (not 100% raw yet) and also made homemade nut butters using almonds, walnuts, and pecans. I also make a homemade applesauce using three cored apple (different types produce different tastes so experiment to find your favorite, strawberries, blueberries or even pears). The apples do not even need to be peeled or cored. I do core mine because I don't like seeds, but I leave all the greens from the strawberries on and simply blend then into the sauce.

The vitamix is definitely expensive, and I know that times are tough now, but I think that you can't put a price on your family's health. Since my family has started eating this way, we have lost weight, my daughter's skin is clearing up and we have so much more energy to accomplish great things during our day. You cannot put a price on that! I highly recommend this machine to anyone that wants the best for their family.

Oh and yes prior to buying the Vitamix, I burned up two blenders. Vitamix has a seven year warranty on their product, they are serious about their products. I love mine and you will too!
47 helpful votes
48 helpful votes
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on February 9, 2010
There's Vitamix....and then there's everyone else. There's no need to elaborate on its quality; everyone knows it's the best. What I had to consider was how was I to justify the price? Well, considering the numbers of meals and sides I now make instead of buying prepared, and the fact that it's all fresh, healthy and without preservatives, I think it will pay for itself in short time. In addition to doing much of what my juicer used to do, I now make rice milk, peanut butter, hummus, guacamole, green smoothies, and soups quickly....and in one container. I'm eating healthier because it's just so much easier to do so. Don't worry about the noise. It's an extremely powerful machine, and it's mighty roar is am audible sign of quality and strength; and is saying, "you can put anything in me and I won't break."
25 helpful votes
26 helpful votes
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on January 2, 2011
Ever since I saw one of these at Kitchen Conservatory, the Vitamix was always in the back of my mind. I knew I needed something better than my piece of junk department store blender that nearly smoked when trying to chop ice (making smoothies impossible), but I just couldn't justify the price on it. Both that - and my as-seen-on-tv Ninja food processor got very little use, so I figured that the Vitamix would also be a silly impulse overpriced purchase that would sit collecting dust.

I was in my local Costco one day last Spring and walked by the Vitamix demonstration stand, and my credit card literally jumped out of my wallet into my hand. So my impulse got the better of me and I was the proud owner of a Vitamix 5200..and the verdict? I could not have made a wiser purchase.

Unlike my old blender, I have used my Vitamix nearly every day (or other day) and making smoothies could not be any faster. Toss some frozen strawberries in, toss some yogurt and/or milk, some blue agave for flavor, run it for a minute or less, viola. You have something Jamba Juice or your local smoothie place would charge $5 for.

There's no multitude of silly blending mode buttons to mess around with, just the variable speed (1-10) and high. Also included is a plastic tamper (with a lip that prevents it from going too far down into the blades) that slips onto the lid and helps push food down into the blades. From what I understand, it's patented by Vitamix so you won't see that on any other blender. The tamper alone saves additional time as I was always having to stop and restart my old blender when the contents would not work their way down into the blades.

Clean up is also just as fast. Vitamix's cleaning recommendation is to fill the container with water, add a drop of dishsoap and run the blender on high. What I do instead is simply use my sink's spraying hose on full blast and this cleans the container out quickly, but I will use the other cleaning method if that doesn't do the trick.

Also included is a very nice cookbook and DVD with recipes, tips and suggestions on using the Vitamix. It's not some cheap toss-in: it's clear a lot of thought was put into the cookbook as it has a rugged cover that folds back in order to stand the book up. Be warned though: not all the recipes - especially ice-cream related stuff - is as easy as the book/DVD make it out to be. Like Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince's potions book, you'll be finding more optimal alternative steps over what the book suggests to complete the recipe.

While not many, there are a few flaws to the unit. The plastic piece that fits on the top of the lid (when not using the tamper) has holes on the side, so if you're cleaning the container with the dishsoap, the soap tends to foam out of the top of it if you use too much. Also, this much power in a blender doesn't come without a price: it's LOUD. Not such a big deal if used in a house, but you have to consider noise levels in an apartment or townhouse. However the noise depends on WHAT you're mixing in there, harder / more solid items like frozen fruits and vegetables will make far more noise than softer foods or liquids.

It also might take a little while to get the hang of things, when you have to use the tamper and when you don't, as well as running times to prevent turning frozen things into soup. All I can say is that you don't have to worry about being a little rough with forcing foods down with the tamper, the Vitamix is more than capable of the job.

Some people scoff at paying such a high price for a blender, but I agree with the others: they've clearly never used a blender like this. With a seven year warranty, you'll end up paying the same amount going through cheap department store blender after blender anyway and the experience is more frustrating. As I've learned with paying more for better things, it's far more likely that you'll use something a lot more when the user experience is pleasant. So treat yourself: you'll be glad you did.
11 helpful votes
12 helpful votes
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VINE VOICEon June 23, 2010
I've been using the Vita Mix 5200 for over 2 years. I saw it demoed at our state fair and had to buy it. I could write a book on all the uses of this magnificant machine. Every morning I make some sort of shake with it. Sometimes I will make a quality protein shake with your basic fruits or sometimes I make a shake using veggies like celery, beets and leaves, carrots and plums. Every single time this machine blends perfectly! I make the BEST carrot ginger soup and carrot pumpkin soup. It makes awesome tomato soup and can grind up the grains for a great bread to round out a nice fall meal. I love making fresh nut butters with this machine as well. Peanut and Almond butter doesn't last very long in this house! I've even made some terrific scrambles eggs in it! Vita Mix has a wonderful website with great recipes and instructional videos as well. This is an expensive investment, but with all of its uses it is well worth the price tag. Love this product!!
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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Enthusiast: Cookingon October 5, 2009
We had a old Vita Mix 3600 and we just got a new 5200. I like to cook from whole foods, grains, get my spices from my backyard, and this machine make your life sooo easy. I bake bread every 3 days or so (grind the wheat grain on Vita mix, but still use my kitchen aid). We make soup, ice cream, hummus, green smoothies in the morning with flax seed, pumpkin seed and sunflower seed. You can not tell there is seeds there, because is sooo smooth. My only problem so far is I used to grind pork meat for homemade sausage on my old Vita mix, and seems like it took a lot of effort from the new one. I have to check with the company on that. It's a little pricey, but you save in the long run.

I wrote a review for the Vitamix 5200 Blender but I notice the title and product changed. I do not buy ready mixes because I have a vitamix and a Kitchen aid stand mixer and I do all from scratch. I could not endorse or not this product (Vitalicious vitamuffin Fat Free Blue Bran Muffin Mix) because I never tried and I am not planning in try it.
12 helpful votes
13 helpful votes
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on March 12, 2010
I have owned my Vitamix 5200 for 9 months now and can't imagine my life without it. I make fruit and vegetable green smoothies. If you want to become healthy you must add fruits and vegetables to your diet. This is the easiest way to do it. Every day, I place a bunch of items: spinach, kale, celery, carrots, pears, apples, grapes, you name it, into the container and the Vitamix blends it into a delicious green smoothie. I have recently added items like, chia seeds, flax seeds, and other natural supplements and antioxidants. The Vitamix is not cheap but it works like a champ and I feel it is one of the best investments I have made to keep myself healthy!
17 helpful votes
18 helpful votes
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on August 22, 2010
It's strange to wax rhapsodic about a blender, but, for me, the Vitamix represents an opportunity to make a wholesale change in eating habits - a welcome opportunity. I bought my Vitamix 5200 exactly one week ago at Costco. I have eaten more whole fruits and vegetables in the past week than I have in the last month. The Vitamix is an absolute workhorse. While one can argue that any good blender can make a smoothie, it would be difficult for any other consumer blender (with the exception, perhaps, of Blendtec) to withstand the onslaught of seeds, skins, pulp and cores that the Vitamix handles with ease. I can also attest that I have cooked soup in my Vitamix and it has been delicious. And yes, ice cream is also possible. Unfortunately, the claims tend toward a little exaggeration as it is not that easy to consistently get smooth, creamy ice cream out of a Vitamix. It definitely takes practice as timing, and the use of frozen fruit, rather than ice cubes, is critical to success.

At any rate, cleanup is as easy as the company claims. Literally, all it takes is about half a container of water, a drop or two of mild dish soap, 30 seconds at high speed and the Vitamix is clean. I am also very impressed by the commitment to customer service both before and after the sale. One of the reasons I chose Vitamix over Blendtec is the unparalleled 7 year warranty. If the Vitamix breaks or becomes damaged for any reason within the 7 years, the company will repair or replace it at their cost - including shipping to the repair facility and back. While Blendtec, another high quality blender, has matched the 7 year warranty, the company doesn't pay for shipping. Also, the wealth of recipes and the community of people, including chefs, that use the Vitamix really add to the whole experience.

Vitamix is a great kitchen appliance - so much more than a blender! I really believe it is worth the admittedly high cost as a Vitamix can replace a juicer, food chopper, and a food processor. Many Vitamix owners have talked about getting 10, even 20 years of use out of this amazing product. If Amazon does not offer the 5200 any time soon, it is available at Vitamix, at selected home and garden shows, Costco, and Sam's.
12 helpful votes
13 helpful votes
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on October 2, 2009
I really wanted a grain grinder, but after lots of research found only 1 that would come close to what I wanted and it was $500. Though the vitamix costs more, it is also the most amazing blender ever. This grinds everything. And it is super easy to clean. I didn't find it very loud (only when grinding corn for cornmeal.) I would recommend this to anyone. It was definitely worth the money. Now I have a grain grinder and super industrial blender.
17 helpful votes
18 helpful votes
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on February 18, 2010
I have owned both the VItamix 4000 Commercial Blender as well as a Vitamix 5200 series. I adore my stainless steel machine (the 4000) but actually find that the 5200 model DOES blend faster and easier due to the rounder shape of the container.

These models are both work horses and I plan to own them FOREVER!

People who say that any old blender will do the trick have never used a Vitamix or needed/wanted to create a SMOOTH drink made with leafy greens or fresh uncooked carrots.

Things I make in my Vitamix 5200:
*frozen drinks
*nut and seed butter
*fresh soups (hot and cold)
*fresh ground flax meal
*fresh fruit sauces
*sorbet, ice cream, slushies
*mashed potato
*cauliflower mashed potato
*whipped cream
*nut cheeses
*cashew whipped cream (or macadamia nut whipped cream)
...and the list goes on

I like the design of the machine. To me it is a classic type style. The tamper makes all the difference in the world when making nut butters or anything that needs to be pressed in to the blades.

I have tried other machines such as the Blendtec and it did not swing me over. I like the fact that I can adjust speed as necessary with the Vitamix; I like having a tamper and there's no better warranty than the vitamix 7 (or 10 year extended) full warranty.
Yes, it IS an investment for your health and well being.
It's easy to burn out 100 dollar blenders over and just do it right the first time and you won't be sorry. There's a 30 day money back guarantee too and often reconditioned models can be had (same full warranty) for 379.

Bottom line: you can make healthy food in a Vitamix 5200 :
*prepare it fast
*clean up fast
*save money and time
*increase your health and well being
*count on quality, reputation and warranty of this product to LAST

Receive FREE GROUND SHIPPING on your entire order: use this code is 06-004658
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25 helpful votes
26 helpful votes
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