The Great Blend Off

Tracy Partridge-Johnson
Editor & Publisher – Tracy Partridge-Johnson

I heard back from Kelli at Blendtec. They are sending me one of their blenders so that I can do a side-by-side review of their brand compared to Vitamix.

As you probably already know if you’ve been involved in the Raw Food community for even a short time, Vitamix seems to be lauded as the standard in the industry, when it comes to high-speed blenders.

Now, I must confess, I got along just fine as a high-raw foodist for over 3 years using my steady-Freddy Oster. But that was long after I had already blown out my first Vitamix.

True story…back in 2004 or so, before I’d ever even heard of the concept of raw foodism, I purchased a brand new, shiny, never-been-used Vitamix from a local distributor here in Portland. I convinced hubby (based on the research I’d done) that it was a miracle machine well worth the $450 price we paid for it.

In those days I wasn’t much into silly things like warranties or the like. So, when my first Vitamix died after VERY light use, within months of purchase, I moaned and complained…but didn’t know about the 7 year warranty. So, we considered it a sunk cost and licked our wounds. Bear in mind that I never made anything more challenging than a fruit smoothie with it, and only infrequently at that.

Then in 2007 I discovered the raw food lifestyle and was immediately sold on the concept! But I didn’t want to spend another wad of cash for a second Vitamix when I already had a perfectly good blender. So, I made due with the one I had.

Two years later, my dear husband bought me a “new and improved”, high-end Oster brand blender for Christmas, after he saw how serious I was about the lifestyle…and it worked fine for most jobs.

But I was making a lot of soaked nut creams that really weren’t as creamy as I’d like using a regular blender. So I began thinking about Vitamix again. Wondering if I should give them another chance? “After all”, I thought to myself, “I’m literally the only person I’ve ever known whose Vitamix died on them!”

So, last year I did it. I broke down and purchased another Vitamix. This time directly from their website. Granted, I did choose the factory reconditioned model because it saved me over $100 and the warranty was for 5 years instead of 7. But that seemed pretty good to me. Their assurance that the factory reconditioned model was just as good as the brand new one sold me, so I placed my order.

Annnndddd….ya. It is burning out on me.

Less than one year later.

And the hardest thing I put into the thing is frozen fruit. And really, I am not using it that much! At most, I may use it twice a day to make green smoothies or banana ice cream. But more often than not, I don’t even use it every day. So, on average, over the course of the last year, I’d say I’ve put it through light use. Certainly nowhere near the wear they put on them at Jamba Juice or other smoothie establishments! (I know, I know…those are the _industrial_ models…but still.)

So this time I was smart about it and registered my warranty as soon as the box arrived! I wanted to make sure my butt was covered and I wouldn’t be left out in the cold with a lemon again! But when the thing started to smell like the engine was burning up and making a horrible grinding noise and I wrote to Vitamix to tell them about it, they didn’t respond. So, after another week went by I sent another email to their customer support department with the subject all in caps, hoping to get someone’s attention. Still no response. In fact, I still haven’t heard back from them…even after writing directly to one of their customer support representatives…so I’m going to call.

But in the meantime, I decided to write to Blendtec to tell them about the situation and let them know that I’d like to do a video product comparison. I know that my dear friend and contributor to the magazine, Chef Tina Jo Stephens, raves about her Blendtec! So, I thought “What the heck!” I’ll give Blendtec a shot!

So, that’s the story.

Blendtec was very responsive and got right back to me. (They already get a BIG Gold Star just for their responsiveness!) They are excited to have me do the review of their blender compared to the Vitamix.

So, you can look forward to that review in the next month or so. I really hope Blendtec blows my socks off! I am sorely disappointed in Vitamix and it actually makes me sad.

I’d love to know if any of you have had a similar experience with Vitamix! Is it just ME?!? Do I just put off some anti-Vitamix vibe that makes them break for no reason? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Till next time…

Tracy

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