Of all the blenders on the market, there are only two that stand out from the pack and claim to be the best machines for making a green smoothie. In one corner, we have the ever-popular Vitamix with a reputation for making excellent smoothies and a build quality that lasts a lifetime.
In the other corner, we have the Blendtec with more horsepower and the demonstrated ability to turn garden rakes, golf balls and iPads into fine powder. So, which blender is the best blender for making green smoothies?
Vitamix vs. Blendtec
Vitamix and Blendtec are expensive blenders. They are an investment, though, and the demonstrated quality and longevity of these blenders justify the price points.
Vitamix has a a range of price points starting at $409 for the compact S30 model, $449 for their standard 5200 model (the one I have), on up to over $700 for the new 780 with touch interface.
Blendtec blender prices start at $320 (Classic 560). The Designer Series starts at $500, while the top-of-the-line blender goes for just under $1,000 (the Tom Dickson Extreme).
Vitamix offers Certified Reconditioned blenders starting at $259.
Blendtec also offers Certified Refurbished blenders starting at $279 for their Classic series and $400 for their Designer Series.
Winner: Overall, Blendtec wins this category with a Certified Refurbished Blendtec Total Blender with 7-year warranty for $279.
If you order a Vitamix through any link on Incredible Smoothies, you’ll receive free shipping within the United States. That’s a discount of up to $25! You also get free shipping on a Blendtec blender when ordered through the Incredible Smoothies website.
Winner: It’s a tie.
The Vitamix C-Series blenders (which include the 5200 model) feature a 2 peak horsepower motor. The newer G-Series Vitamix blenders have a slightly upgraded 2.2 horsepower motor. The Blendtec Classic Series blenders boast more power with a 3 peak horsepower, with Designer Series blenders providing up to 3.8 horsepower.
While some people might cite Blendtec’s greater horsepower as a sign of a better blender, Vitamix is no less capable of achieving the same results as the Blendtec. You’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between them in the quality and creaminess of a green smoothie. Basically, there’s no real difference between a 3 (or 3.8) horsepower motor or a 2 horsepower motor when you’re blending up food items – particularly green smoothies.
Horsepower, and to a degree wattage, specs on a blender are generally marketing hype. A blender’s performance cannot just be rated on the wattage the motor uses, or how much horsepower it has. Blade, pitcher design, and motor mechanics all play a critical role in how well a blender performs. When it comes to blenders, 1500 watts is not always better than 1000 watts, and 3 horsepower doesn’t automatically trump 2 horsepower.
Winner: It’s a tie. While on paper, Blendtec has better specs than the Vitamix, blade and pitcher design, as well as motor mechanics make these blender perform essentially the same. And there’s a bit of marketing hype surrounding horsepower ratings on blenders, anyway…
Vitamix has a solid 7-year warranty. You can purchase an extended warranty for $75 that covers it up to 10 years. Certified Reconditioned Vitamix blenders come with a 5-year warranty, with the option to extend it to 8 years for $75 more.
Blendtec offers 8-year warranty, while Certified Refurbished Blendtec blenders come with a 7-year warranty.
Winner: Blendtec offers one year more in their warranty, and refurbished models have a better warranty than Vitamix reconditioned blenders.
Both Blendtec and Vitamix are high-end blenders designed to perform a variety of kitchen tasks. They are quite a step up from a $100 department store blender. Both blenders feature break-resistant, BPA-free copolyester pitchers, stainless steel blades, and durably-built base. Both blenders will pulverize hard materials such as ice, frozen fruits, nuts, seeds, grains and coffee beans and last for years and years.
Winner: It’s a tie.
The newer Vitamix G-Series blenders feature a shorter, wider 64-ounce pitcher. When mounted onto the blender base, the G-Series blenders fit underneath most kitchen cupboards. The older C-Series blenders are much taller with a narrow, tall pitcher and do not fit under kitchen cupboards.
Blendtec Classic blenders are stand at 15-and-a-half inches tall with pitcher, which means that it can fit under most kitchen cabinets when placed on your kitchen counter. Blendtec machines are about the same size as a standard blender so you don’t need to make extra room for it, and it fits neatly into a small apartment kitchen, RV or other small space.
Blendtec Designer Series blenders are just slightly taller, and take up the same counter-top footprint as a Vitamix (width/length/depth), but should still fit under kitchen cupboards. It is also noticeably lighter than the Vitamix, which weighs in at about 10 pounds.
Winner: Blendtec, only because all of their blenders can be stowed underneath kitchen cupboards, while only the G-Series Vitamix blenders can.
Both blenders come with a 64-ounce pitcher (depending on which package you choose) made from a durable, break-resistant co-polyester (plastic). Vitamix also offers 32-ounce and 48-ounce pitchers, as well as a specially designed pitcher for grinding grains (sold separately).
The new Vitamix pitcher that comes standard on the G-Series line is shorter and wider, with a larger blade assembly.
Blendtec has three pitcher options including their 64-ounce FourSide and 90-ounce (total volume) WildSide pitchers. A compact Twister Jar is specially designed to quickly grind grains and make nut butters in about a minute.
The standard 64-ounce Vitamix pitcher is a perfect all around blender pitcher that makes everything, well, perfectly. The Vitamix tamper tool adds to the versatility and speed at which you can blend. The tamper is not even needed when blending green smoothies in the new G-Series pitchers.
Making green smoothies in the Blendtec FourSide pitcher can be frustrating at times, and you will wish that Blendtec made a tamper for it. Instead, I often found myself picking the pitcher up, giving it a good shake, and blending again. Repeat as necessary if you use a lot of greens in your smoothie. The larger WildSide pitcher is so much better as the wider base makes a tamper completely unnecessary.
On the older Blendtec Total Blender Classic series, the WildSide pitcher was not able to sufficiently blend frozen strawberries. I’d always get gloppy bits of half-thawed strawberry in my green smoothies. The newer Designer Series blender has a slightly modified Smoothie blend cycle that seems to have cleared up this problem in my own tests.
Winner: Vitamix wins this category due to the shortcomings in the Blendtec FourSide pitcher, and the Vitamix tamper adds versatility and speed.
Interface – Buttons vs. Dials
Most Vitamix blenders feature a switch and dial interface giving you precise, manual control of your blending. While switches and dials might be harder to clean than buttons, I enjoy the complete control I have over my blends that I get with my Vitamix.
The new Vitamix 780 blender features a touch interface, which is highly responsive and super easy to clean. Tap the pre-programmed blend cycle you want, or tap “Pulse”. You can slide your finger up or down to speed up or slow the blend manually.
The Blendtec Designer Series blender also features a touch interface. There are no buttons to press. Simply touch the lighted icons on the interface to activate the pulse and blending cycles, or to turn off and on. A slider bar allows you to speed up or slow down your blend by simply sliding your finger left or right. The control is precise and responsive. Since there are no raised buttons, cleaning is as easy as wiping off a smooth surface!
Blendtec Classic Series blenders feature a button interface.
Winner: It’s a tie. Both Vitamix and Blendtec offer touch interfaces now, and while buttons are easier to clean, dials give you much more manual control.
Pre-Programmed Blend Cycles
The Blendtec Classic 575 blender features 4 pre-programmed blending cycles: smoothies, self-clean, 60 seconds and 90 seconds. The less expensive Classic 560 does not feature pre-programmed settings. The older Blendtec Total Blender (only available as Certified Refurbished) came with 6-preset blend cycles.
The Blendtec Designer Series 625 features 4 pre-programmed settings, while the 675 and 725 both feature 6.
Certain Vitamix models come with pre-programmed blend cycles. In the C-Series line, the 6300 and the Professional Series 500 come with 3 pre-programmed settings (including a smoothie option). In the next generation G-Series line, the Professional Series 750 and the 780 come feature 5 pre-programmed settings (including a self-clean and smoothie option).
As far as pre-programmed blend cycles, I don’t use them. When my Blendtec Total Blender was my main blender, I always used the “Smoothie” button. But when I upgraded to the Designer Series, I felt that the smoothie blend cycle ran too long. Then I quickly got used to full manual control on my Vitamix 5200.
Now that I have the Vitamix 780, I find myself not using the pre-programmed blend cycles. Again, I felt that the smoothie cycle ran too long and over-blended it. It only takes about 20 seconds on high to get a thoroughly blended, creamy-smooth green smoothie in a Vitamix, but the pre-programmed blend cycle runs much longer.
Winner: I’m not calling this one. I do not use pre-programmed blend cycles, so this is not a feature that sells me on a blender. Strictly speaking, however, Blendtec has 1 more blend cycle than the Vitamix on the Designer Series 675 and 725 blenders.
All Vitamix blenders come with a tamper tool, which you can use to push the ingredients down into the blades of the blender. It’s a great tool, especially when making green smoothies since large handfuls of leafy greens love to get caught in the pitcher, unreachable by the blades. A tamper is indispensable for making large green smoothies, or nut butters, or ice cream. It also allows you to use less water, or no water, so that you can get just the right amount of thickness for a smoothie, sauce or soup.
While using the tamper is essential in the classic tall pitchers in the Vitamix C-Series line, the new G-Series blenders come with a shorter, wider pitcher with larger blades that excel at pulling ingredients into the blades. While I need to use my tamper for just about every green smoothie I blended in my Vitamix 5200, I have never had to use it in my Vitamix 780.
Blendtec does not have a tamper tool but instead boasts a square-pitcher and unique straight-blade design which they say makes a tamper unnecessary. I have found this to be true only when using the larger Blendtec WildSide pitcher. I’m amazed at how I can pack the pitcher full of fruit and greens, then hit the smoothie button and in 30 seconds have a rich, creamy smoothie.
I’ve often wished that Blendtec made a tamper for the standard Blendtec FourSide pitcher. I usually need to hit the “pulse” button a couple times before running the smoothie cycle. Depending on how full I fill the pitcher or what my greens to fruit ratio is, I might have to stop the blend and push the greens down with a spoon or give the pitcher a shake after I hit “pulse” a couple times and before I run the smoothie cycle. It can be a little frustrating.
Winner: Vitamix wins this category because the tamper is quite useful, and the Blendtec FourSide jar could really use a tamper.
To my ears, the Vitamix 5200 is noticeably less noisy than the Blendtec Total Blender. I haven’t put a decibel meter to it, but it is definitely less noisy, even on the highest speed setting. In the newer models, the Vitamix still is quieter with the 780 noticeably hushed compared to the Blendtec Designer Series.
The Blendtec is louder, but I don’t think it is unreasonably loud. It’s as loud if not maybe slightly quieter than my old Cuisinart blender, and it takes a lot less time to make a smoothie than the Cuisinart.
Thanks to the tamper tool, it takes less time to blend using a Vitamix than with a Blendtec so not only is the Vitamix quieter, you’ll spend less time in the morning listening to a blender motor running! Vitamix wins in the “noise” category!
Winner: Vitamix is definitely quieter.
Both blenders are easy to clean. Simply add a little hot water and a drop of dish soap and blend on high for about 30 seconds. Or just give it a good rinse with hot water (that’s what I do). The Blendtec Designer Series, as well as the Vitamix 750 and 780, feature a pre-progammed “Self Clean” cycle.
Blendtec’s straight-blade design makes it much easier to clean the pitcher and get underneath the blade (the blade is not removable).
The Blendtec’s square pitcher design also makes it easy to pour smoothies and scrape out thick, gloppy nut-butters or puddings. The pitcher is easy to wipe clean.
It is easy to scrape out gloppy nut butters and batters from the Vitamix pitcher, though it’s tough to get everything that’s behind the blades at the narrow end of the classic, tall pitcher. The newer Vitamix pitchers are much easier to clean and empty because they have a wider base.
The switch and dial interface on most Vitamix Blenders make them just slightly more difficult to clean than the button or touch interface on every Blendtec blender. However, this has never been an issue when using my Vitamix 5200.
Winner: Blendtec due to easy-to-wipe-clean button interface on older blenders, and straight blade makes it just slightly easier to clean than Vitamix.
The Vitamix features a familiar, four-tipped blade. Blendtec has a single prong, wingtip straight blade. The Blendtec straight blade is not sharp and so it won’t cut your fingers. You have to be careful cleaning around the the sharper Vitamix blade.
Neither the Vitamix or Blendtec have a sharp blade because high end blenders do not need it. Sharp blades dull over time, which will negatively affect blending performance. If you want your blender to perform well for years, you don’t want one that relies on sharp blades! A dull blade coupled with speed and power are much more effective at thoroughly liquefying ingredients to make a rich, creamy green smoothie.
Winner: It’s a tie.
The classic Vitamix 5200 is a stylish blender that has an upscale appearance. It looks like serious business, and has an instantly recognizable profile. The next generation (G-Series) Vitamix blenders have an updated appearance and a shorter, wider pitcher. The Vitamix 780, with its touch screen interface, gives it an upscale, futuristic look.
The newer Blendtec Designer Series blender has a sleek, ultra-modern design. The blender’s most interesting feature is the lighted “touch user interface”. The lighted icons on the interface matches the touch-screen technology we’re using everywhere else in our lives.
The Blendtec Classic Series blenders are more angular in appearance and to my eye, do not look as elegant at the Designer Series or Vitamix models.
When it comes to color, I prefer black, so color options are just not important to me. Both Vitamix and Blendtec offer blender models in black, white and red.
Blendtec Designer Series blenders come in a variety of designer colors including black, polar white, pomegranate, chartreuse, sea foam, orchid, slate grey, champagne, dark roast, charcoal, gunmetal and stainless – depending on which Designer Series model you choose.
In contrast, Vitamix offers a limited color palette. The Professional Series 750 comes in black, copper finish, and brushed stainless. The Vitamix 780 only comes in black and red. The Vitamix 5200 has the most color options that include black, white, red, platinum and brushed stainless.
Winner: Too subjective to call. Blendtec has more color options on certain Designer Series models, though I prefer the overall look and design of Vitamix blenders.
Overall Online Support
While Blendtec has a wildly popular and entertaining “Will It Blend” marketing campaign on YouTube, Vitamix has an amazingly information-packed website that contains a forum, recipes, nutrition information and specific content catering to raw foodists, vegetarians and even baby-boomers. The Vitamix website and recipe book features more healthy recipes than the Blendtec. However, I don’t feel that this is a reason to choose one machine over another. I just that Vitamix has more of a community feel than the Blendtec brand. Although Blendtec has recently added a LOT of recipes that you can browse on their website.
When it comes to making silky-rich green smoothies, both the Vitamix and the Blendtec do a fantastic job. I can’t say that one outperforms the other when it comes to green smoothies. I really can’t tell much of a difference between green smoothies made in either blender. Both blenders break up cell walls, which unlocks the nutrition in fruit, vegetables and greens better than any other lower-powered blenders can.
Both the Vitamix and the Blendtec can make smoothies, nut butters, hot soup, frozen ice cream, crush ice and grind grains, though the Vitamix might be easier and more effective “out of the box” for things like ice cream, nut butters and grinding grains, as well as blending frozen ingredients – something the Blendtec WildSide pitcher doesn’t excel at 100% of the time.
Winner: Vitamix by a slight margin, only because the tamper speeds up blending, and is useful for other blending tasks like nut butters. As for as green smoothie quality, both blenders are identical.
Made In The USA
Both Blendtec and Vitamix are “designed and assembled” in the USA. What this means is that for the most part, the blenders are made in the USA, but some components might come from overseas. While Blendtec isn’t the most forthcoming about how much of their blender components are not from the USA, Vitamix clearly states on their blender base that it is “made in the USA with 70% minimum US content”.
Winner: Too close to call.
So, Which Is The Best Blender?
Well, this is a subject of debate online. You might as well ask if a Mac is better than a PC, or a Nikon camera better than a Canon camera. Basically, those who have a Blendtec love their blender, and those who have a Vitamix swear by it.
As far as the end product being the green smoothies and other foods that you blend using these blenders, the results are identical in quality. I recommend that you look at the subtle differences between the two and see which one feels the best to you.
Personally, I have used the Blendtec Total Blender, Blendtec Designer Series, Vitamix 5200 and Vitamix 780.
However, I’ve come to prefer my Vitamix blender. I’ve been using it more and more because it is quieter, takes less time to blend, and provides so much more control. I find it to be more versatile “out of the box” than the Blendtec blenders.
Whether you choose the Vitamix or the Blendtec, I don’t think you will be disappointed at all. But if you want me to nudge you in one direction or the other, at this point, I’d steer you toward a Vitamix for many of the reasons I’ve already mentioned in this review. And if you order by clicking on the image below, you’ll get free shipping within the United States!
If you don’t like ordering over the Internet, you can call Vitamix directly at 1-800-848-2649. You can use my affiliate code: 06-007702 to get free shipping.
Have Your Mind Set On A Blendtec?
Then I’d steer you toward the Designer Series blender with automatic (hands-free) blend cycles, a responsive touch-interface and stylish design with plenty of color options to make it look as though it belongs in your kitchen. Click on the image below to get free shipping within the continental USA:
Editor’s Note: This article was originally written in September 2009. It has been updated regularly to keep the information current. Even so, prices and specifications may change at any time. This article was last updated on February 4, 2016.
AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: The links on this page are affiliate links, and I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking them. The opinions represented in this article are my own, based on my first-hand experience. Thanks for your support!