Archive for November, 2012

Is the Vitamix 7500 worth the extra money?

I received the following comments on one of my YouTube videos:

nice video. I’m very happy with my 5200 which I purchased at costco for a good price. I don’t plan on getting the 7500 but do you think it’s worth the extra money? great video and looking forward to more.

The answer to that question is a qualified “yes”.  (Obviously, the biggest qualification is how much “extra money” someone’s paying for the 7500.)

To give better context to my answer, I thought I’d share my updated feedback on the Vitamix claims for the 7500 that I originally shared in a post back in September:

  • Greater than 2 horsepower motor to process dense ingredients with ease

Yes, the Vitamix 7500 does process dense ingredients with ease. I still don’t care about the horsepower number, as I’m just interested in how the blender actually performs.  That said, it definitely performs.  The original hummus recipe that came in the 5200 cookbook instructs you to “Blend for 1 minute, using the tamper to push the ingredients into the blades while processing.”  The Roasted Red Pepper Hummus recipe that comes in the recipe book for the 7500 uses the exact same instructions, but when I made hummus with the 5200, I found the tamper to be necessary.  When I make the same hummus with the 7500, not only is the tamper not necessary, but the way the hummus blends, it’s clear that it’s all being processed evenly.  The sesame seeds I use are completely blended and the texture is excellent.  Even in my first attempt, the tamper was not necessary to make a Banana Milk in the 7500, and carrots and similar vegetables blend in the 7500 smoothly where the tamper and water were needed for the 5200.

Simply put, the tamper stayed in the 5200 lid when not in use because I needed it more often than not, but the tamper isn’t needed for the vast majority of the same recipes when I use the 7500.

  • Vibration dampening technology for noticeably quieter performance

Yes, it is noticeably quieter.  As I answered in the comments section of an earlier post, the 7500 is definitely quieter than the 5200, even at full speed.  At lower speeds, the difference is significant, but at it’s highest speed the difference is definitely not huge, and would be very low on the list of improvements the 7500 has that I’m appreciative of.

  • Ultra-responsive Variable Speed Dial and pulse feature for precise recipe creation

The speed dial now offers speeds 1-10, and that’s it.  It used to be that you needed to dial from one to 10, and then flip the switch to high to blend at high speed.  That “High” switch has been replaced with a pulse switch.  This does make normal use slightly easier, as you need only deal with the dial.  While the instructions state to always start the blender at 1 (as with the 5200), in both normal use and when using the pulse switch, the powering on of the blender seems to automatically throttle itself on the 7500, and accidentally starting it on 10 or high doesn’t seem to have a negative impact on the 7500 as it did on the 5200.  (Full disclosure:  It’s so easy to use the blender without resetting to one every time that I left the lid off of some frozen pina coladas I was making when adding some stevia, and turned the blender back on [thinking it was set at one] while it was still at 10.  Only my face and dignity suffered, the blender had no problems spinning up to high speed.)

  • 64-ounce container designed to fit under most kitchen cabinets.

As I mentioned in my first post, I don’t really care about this.  I’m sure it’s nice for others, but it’s not why I upgraded.  There is an unexpected beneficial side effect that I’ll mention below.

Now, there are a few things not on the list above that I really like.  The biggest difference is the power switch on the side of the blender.  I don’t know whether the 5200 uses any more power than the 7500 while plugged in but not in use, but with two young kids, I appreciate the fact that the blender has an on/off switch that makes it substantially less likely that someone will accidentally turn it on.  The LED lights when the blender is on are a nice touch as well.

I’m also pleasantly surprised by the benefits of the wider blender container.  Part of the need for the tamper with the 5200 was the tendency of food like celery, carrots and frozen bananas to stay upright longer, requiring a longer blending time, and a large handful of leaves, such as spinach, could easily become stuck above the blades due to the narrow container.  The blender container on the 7500 means leaves fall into the blades and vegetables that would stay horizontal in the 5200 longer fall into the blades quicker on the 7500.

Now, I recognize that most people aren’t going to want to spend +$500 on a blender, but the Vitamix 5200 is not that much cheaper, so if you’re willing to pay for a new 5200, I would recommend buying the 7500 if you can afford it.  If someone is weighing their option between a refurbished 5200 and a full price 7500, I would say it comes down to how much you’re willing to spend and how much that extra bit of performance is important to you.  As I mentioned in my last post, if you’re somehow able to find someplace that has sells Vitamixs that has a 20% coupon that doesn’t exclude Vitamixs, that could be a better deal than buying from Vitamix.com.  But in my experience, and current prices at Vitamix.com, I’d say the answer to whether the Vitamix 7500 is worth the extra money depends on whether you view the refurbished 5200 (or a great 5200 Costco deal, as the commenter above found) as the best bang-for-your-buck.  If you’re willing to spend the extra money on the 7500, I definitely believe it is the best home consumer blender you can buy, and a noticeable improvement over the 5200.

Update (3/23/2013):  In addition to the refurbished 5200 I mentioned, there is now a refurbished 7500/Pro 300/Creations Elite available.  I wrote a post about it, and I think it’s a fantastic option to consider for anyone thinking about picking up a Vitamix.

Hunting for Black Friday specials on a Vitamix

Update (11/28/2014):  This year Vitamix has excellent promotional pricing on most of their Vitamix Certified Reconditioned Next Generation Blenders available as of this update.  My post with more details is here.

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I like window shopping.  Or, more accurately, I should say I like hunting for deals on the web.  When i bought my Vitamix 5200, it was only after multiple days of making sure I tracked down the best possible deal.  I cannot say the same for the 7500 I just bought, and with all the Black Friday deals going on, I decided to go hunting for Black Friday blender and, more specifically, Vitamix deals, and I was very happy to see that there currently is no better deal available for the 7500.

Whether it’s a Bed Bath & Beyond coupon, or a coupon from some other retailer that sell Vitamix blender, there’s inevitably terms like this:

 The discount cannot be applied to gift cards, shipping, or sales tax. Offer excludes the following: All-clad, Alessi, DKNY, Dyson, kate spade, Kosta Borda, Miele, Monique, Lhuillier, Mambe, Nautica, Orrefors, Riedel, Shun, Skybar, Swarovski, T-Tech, Vera Wang, Vitamix, Waterford, Wusthof, or Zwilling, Baby Jogger, BEABA, BOB, Britax strollers, Bugaboo, Bumbleride, ERGObaby, Maxi-Cosi, Mountain Buggy, Mutsy, nap nanny, Orbit Baby, Pediped, Peg Perego, Quinny, Robeez, Svan, Teutonia, Uppa Baby, baby furniture, diapers, wipes, baby food, portrait studio services or formula”

Now, that said, if anyone is interested in a Vitamix, and you live a near a brick-and-mortar Bed Bath and Beyond, and they’re happy to extend 20% off to their Vitamix blenders, that’s possibly the best deal you can get.  Along with a “20% off your entire order” coupon from Bed Bath & Beyond, I also received an HSN.com coupon for $20 off an order of $40 or more (Coupon Code #115924 for anyone who’s interested in using it, since I won’t), but unlike QVC, HSN.com doesn’t sell Vitamix blenders.  QVC sells the “Creations II” along with the 5200, but as far as I can tell, those are the same blender, and the Certified Reconditioned from Vitamix.com for $329 is a far better deal in my mind.

It looks like there was some kind of Black Friday Vitamix special in 2011, but there’s no news about any Vitamix Black Friday specials that I can find this year.  There were some dubious sites linking to high priced Vitamixs at Amazon, and there were some sites talking about last year’s sale, but it seems like, at least at the moment, the best deal anyone is getting on the 7500 or a (refurbished) 5200 is from Vitamix directly.

Update (11/23/2012):  As seen on this page, now through Cyber Monday, Vitamix has taken $50 off the 5200 Healthy Lifestyle package.  If you’re looking for just a blender, my new post gives my answer on whether not the 7500 is worth the extra money.  If you’re interested in a new 5200 (not the Vitamix 5200 Vitamix 5200 or the newer 7500, both of which I recommend) and a dry grains container, this is a good sale, otherwise, I still recommend the refurbished 5200 or the newer 7500.)

Update (3/23/2013):  In addition to the refurbished 5200 I mentioned, there is now a refurbished 7500 available.  I wrote a post about it, and I think it’s a fantastic option to consider for anyone thinking about picking up a Vitamix.

Making a Banana Milk in the Vitamix 7500 and Vitamix 5200 side-by-side (with video)

One of the very first things I made with my 5200, and one of the reasons I bought it, was Banana Milk.  Basically, blend a frozen banana and milk.  It’s awesome.  Unfortunately, it will eventually (or quickly) break normal (weaker) blenders, and getting the entire banana blended so there are no chunks left takes time or a good blender.

Now, with the 5200, I got pretty good at learning how to use the tamper to quickly make awesome banana milks with no chunks, but I wanted to see if the 7500 could do the job in a reasonably similar amount of time without using a tamper.  I also just wanted to blend something in my 7500, and I knew my son would help me drink the second banana milk.

I made a video, which is below, but the summary is:  Yes, the Vitamix 7500 handles a frozen banana without a tamper better than the 5200, likely because of a combination of the larger jar circumference and improved power.  I would likely still use a tamper regardless, but who knows, maybe with the right mix of milk to banana, I might find myself skipping the tamper altogether for future banana milks.

Anyone interested in asking questions about the 7500, 5200 or the differences between the two?  Let me know in the comments!  Anyone interested either of the blenders in the video?  (The Certified Reconditioned Vitamix 5200 or the new Vitamix 7500?)  They’re both at Vitamix.com and you can get free shipping with coupon code: 06-006651)

Update (3/23/2013):  In addition to the refurbished 5200 I mentioned, there is now a refurbished 7500/Pro 300/Creations Elite available.  I wrote a post about it, and I think it’s a fantastic option to consider for anyone thinking about picking up a Vitamix.

Vitamix 7500 arrived! Uploading an unboxing video as I type this.

My Vitamix 7500 arrived today!  I went looking, to no avail, for an unboxing video of a 7500 before I ordered mine own, I thought I’d make my own.  I’ve never made one before, so I have no doubt it’s horrible, but here it is:

I also made another video putting it side-by-side with my current Vitamix 5200 to compare basic differences like height, cable length and noise level, which should upload as soon as the unboxing video finishes.  I’ll put that video below once I have a link for it.  (Edit:  Added video)

For anyone who’s interested in asking questions about the 7500, 5200, or the differences between the two, please fire away in the comments below!