help! my blender broke!

That new blender I bought?

It broke! The other day when my daughter was trying to pry it up to put it away — it has some pretty intense suction-cup thingies on the bottom that make the blender really adhere to the work surface — the base broke.

The blender still works but it’s no longer secure. (When my husband looked into the issue, he discovered that other people have had this same problem.)

I told myself that if this blender breaks, then we’re getting a Vitamix, but now I’m hesitating. I really, really liked that Foodi Ninja, and Vitamix’s high price point (about the cost of a stove, practically) seems a little outrageous. Plus, the Vitamix has just a single blade so it’s basically just an ordinary blender, right? Would it really be as effective as the Foodi Ninja’s ferocious 3-blade blending?

Since I’ve never used a Vitamix, I emailed some friends who have Vitamixes. What about making butter? I asked. (I’ve heard that the Vitamix heats up ingredients — you can make soup in it — which would be disastrous for butter.) Do you have to use the tamper while blending? Did it have a dough blade? How effective is it at processing tough stuff like nuts?

Here’s what they said:

*No idea about a dough blade. (Maybe Vitamix sells one for, like, $975.00.)
*We have a separate container (with blade) for dry ingredients which I use to make whole wheat flour. But I think we bought that separately.
*The dry container works for nuts and other stuff.
*It makes beautiful butter from cold cream straight from the fridge.
*I used to make smoothies all the time and I rarely even needed to tamp them down.
*We have made pesto in it.
*Ours bit the dust a couple times and they fixed/replaced it for free.

Hmmm, not exactly convincing, but not exactly negative, either. Just, not the rave review I was hoping for to justify a splurgy purchase.

For years, we used a simple Oslo. (According to Amazon, we bought a replacement blender in 2019.)

While I liked the one-switch simplicity (flip up to go fast, down to go slow), and appreciated that it was durable and easy to find replacement parts, it required a lot of hands-on coddling. Plus, it needed lots of liquid to blend properly (stiff smoothies were A Real Project), had a small canister, was super loud, and the motor always smelled hot.

Switching to the Foodi Ninja, I was blown away by its efficiency and practicality. I loved the way the 3-tiered blade chewed up the food in mere seconds. I loved how I could lift out the blade and then pour directly from the canister. I loved how the lock-on lid, the solid base, and the different settings allowed me to walk away. I even liked all the little extras (which I thought I would hate): the dough blade that I used for making butter and the second, smaller blade base and the two other canisters for smoothies, nut butters, etc.

Yet even with all that wonderfulness, it only lasted for two months.

So now what? Do we spring for a Vitamix? Do we dig deep into the Internets in hopes of finding another, lesser known and more economical, blending beast and then take our chances? And if we do get the Vitamix, which package should we choose? There are so many options! (The benefit of buying from Costco is that we can always return something if it goes wrong….)

So I’m turning to you, friends. What kind of blender do you have? Why do you love it (or not)? Do you have a Vitamix, and is it worth the cost?

My dream is a workhorse blender than I don’t have to even think about (except to swoon over its wonderous powers) for at least a good 10 years. It might be unrealistic, but I’m still hoping.

This same time, years previous: cuajada, in the kitchen, the quotidian (8.6.18), pile it on.

25 Comments

  • Erik S.

    We bought ours from Costco & the base broke/separated from the motor because the suction is too strong when lifting from countertop. Then one of the washers rattled around and it started smoking/burning smell. Ninja wants you to contact 1-866-826-6941 & the do offer a Lifetime Warranty but you need to buy direct to be eligible.

    After 10+ minutes on hold, I’m going to just take it to Costco and see if they will replace it. Probably easier & perhaps a newer model won’t have this systemic issue.

  • Annie

    The same thing happened to me! I love the Ninja foodi blender but the base came apart when I tried to get if off the counter. I purchased it from Target, but contacted Ninja warranty department and they sent me a brand new base.

    • Manda J

      I had the exact same thing happen to me!! We have the same one, from Costco, and my dad bought it and has been using it with just the smoothie attachment – with no problems. But I went to to use it for the first time and had no idea how to (I’m 36 by the way) and so I wanted to look at the manual first. Turns out we don’t have it, so I went to pick the base up to see what the model number was so I could look it up online – I didn’t know it was also listed on the back of the blender, which, turns out it wouldn’t have mattered anyway, because it’s far back against the wall, and so when I went to just move it, it wouldn’t slide and so I tried lifting it, with very little pressure—no yanking whatsoever, the entire base broke apart in the same way displayed above.

      When that happened, there were also 3 metal washers that had broken off as well (the fourth one stayed put until the very end), but no matter how many times I put them back and placed the base over the bottom part and tried to connect it, it wouldn’t and the washers would just immediately fall out, and sometimes get stuck in the base. I did not feel safe trying to use it with them stuck in there, ever after “re-connecting” it. I mean the blender absolutely SHOULD NOT break apart when you go to LIFT IT UP!!

      It is clear there is a problem with this Costco model if multiple people keep having this issue (author said her husband looked into the matter and found out her people have had the same issue). They need to remake this, maybe with an extra step of having to press it down hard before it sticks so bad it literally won’t come up for anything. And maybe add a release lever or something??

      The good thing, I went and brought it back to Costco—No box, No receipt, no idea when it was purchased except that it shouldn’t have been more than a year, and they took it back with absolutely no problem at all!! And I got there like 5 mins before closing, worried I wouldn’t be able to get a replacement and they told me not to worry, they’d let me go in and get it, regardless of the time. Oh, and turns out it was purchased just shy of a year prior, which they were able to look up off of the membership card.

      Normally, I used to go and would tell everyone that they should always purchase everything from Bed, Bath, and Beyond, even if it was more money (which was rare bc of their prices & 20% off coupons) bc of their unbelievable Return Policy—I once returned a Toaster that broke more than Two Years later (and with no receipt, they found it by Credit Card Search), with No Problem! But they have changed their Return Policy substantially, to a standard, basic, don’t care, won’t help if it’s past like 30 days policy – and so they’ve lost this family plus I’m sure others.

      Now the Ninja Foodie Blender that we had purchased that came apart was like the 350 or something? And they don’t have that version/bundle anymore, only the newer more expensive one that’s the same one but it comes with two food processor blades as well, which was $30 more even with it on sale in the circular like $40 off. I don’t know if it was the same way with the previous version, but I found out that the Costco version of the new one, model number: CO401B is different from the one they sell everywhere else. The actual one sold by Ninja, Best Buy, Target, Kohls, etc. has a Stainless Steel base and model number: S401. I don’t know if the stainless steel base one is breaking apart the same way or not though. Anyway, let’s hope this newer model doesn’t have the same problem. Unless that was the model the original poster had that broke…

      (And I’m sorry this reply is literally like longer than the author’s original post. ‍♀️ I have a language disorder and trouble putting anything in writing that’s not extremely long! Sorry!)

  • Thrift at Home

    I have an old blender and can’t recall the brand. It’s noisy and does ok. It was about $50. We do smoothies in it, essentially. I have a stick blender to puree soups and a food processor for most everything else. Reading these comments here, I think I will stick with my old blender here until it gives out. I am so disgusted by your new blender!!!! I hope you get your money back!

  • Kim

    We bought our Vitamix used from Craigslist and we love it. We recently bought another one at a thrift store for our daughter ($30!!) It works great, too. I advise looking for used, unless you’re in a hurry. I’ve never noticed that it warms up the contents.

  • mommychef

    I also have a Vitamix, a super basic model bought a few years ago on a Costco Black Friday deal. Have never once used the tamper. It is loud, so i have rarely used it to do hot things like soup or hot chocolate because you have to let it go for quite a few minutes to build up the friction and I can’t stand it. Smoothies, frozen drinks, salad dresssings all turn out great. I feel like I need to get a smaller bowl to do the dry stuff properly and they cost almost as much as the whole basic model did and I am too cheap to go for it at the moment.

  • K

    I have a 20 yr old Oster blender with the stainless steel jar that I love. I mainly use it for sauces and dressings (and the occasional Margarita), so I can’t really say it does everything. For Smoothies I have a separate Nutribullet which I also love (although it is deafeningly loud). You seem to do a lot more adventurous cooking than I do and on a bigger scale (just my daughter and I here). You should definitely purchase whatever has the most of what you are looking for. No doubt you will use it to it’s fullest.

  • cat

    I bought a blendtec, a refurbished one. Its loud, not unlike the Vitamix. I love it though, it’s got a few preset options and then speed controls depending on what you’re making. The thing i have not quite mastered is the liquids to frozen ratio, i always tend to overpack my blender. The thing that sold me on the blendtec over the vitamix, is the blade is squared and not sharp. Just in case i have to hand wash it. They do have different jars depending on what your making. I’ve had mine about seven years now, no issues. It also keeps track of how many times you use it.

  • April

    Adding my voice to Vitamix support: power, durability, customer support (almost 5 years after purchasing a refurbished machine, my container gave out and they gave me a new one under warranty), ease of butter making, and all-around versatility. It’s easy to clean, too—you just blend soapy water. Voilà.

  • Mavis

    We’ve had a Blendtec for 11+ years and never had a problem. Makes ice cream, soup and smoothies. It’s pretty magical if you ask me.

  • zoedawn

    I have a vitamix. Works great for salad dressings and butter (though at the whipped cream stage sometimes I have to turn it off and work out an air bubble by lifting up canister and tapping it hard on counter), hate it for thick smoothies (must use the tamper and even then, it struggles). I did not know canister is not supposed to be submerged. I’ve even put it in dishwasher on occasion and it seems fine. Do not like that the cup measurements on side are nearly impossible to read. And you have to press the on button twice to get it started. Stupid thing to complain about but it’s annoying! Have not tried as grain mill or for dough. Oh I have also “powdered” maple sugar with it. It didn’t super powderize but it was definitely very fine and creamed easier than regular maple sugar for cookies. We were never impressed with the “soups” it makes. Weird and “raw”ish.

    I use it 3-5 times a week. Have had it for 4ish years. Probably would not buy again but definitely am not getting rid of it. Sorry that is not a very positive review compared to the others…

    Can you borrow a friend’s for a few days to see what you think?

  • Clara

    I have a Breville blender and it is excellent. Five years with no issues. The base is heavy and it doesn’t rock while working. I’ve blended leafy greens, ice, fresh and frozen fruits with uniform results. Also, it’s super easy to clean. Good luck on finding the blender that’s right for you!

    • dottiependleton

      I agree with Clara, love my Breville blender and highly recommend this brand. Makes thick green smoothies every day plus is super quiet which, to me, is a wonderful feature in a blender.

  • Melissa

    I think I have to agree that a Vitamix is sooo worth the money. I also purchased a refurbished one. I hear they have amazing customer service (I have been lucky and have not had an issue that required contacting them). But you should DEFINITELY take back your Ninja. That is ridiculous.

  • Rosemary

    I will warn you that when Kerinna turned her Vitamix up to high speed it sounded like an airplane taking off!! So it can be very loud, but most of the times we have used it full speed was not necessary.

  • Anne

    I hope you’re taking it back for a refund from wherever you bought it. It should be under warranty and if you bought it at Costco of course they’ll take it back.

  • Becky R.

    I bought a refurbished Vitamix at least 10 years ago. I don’t know if they still sell them on their site, but it was much less expensive than a new one, came with a warranty, and has been a real workhorse. I only use it as a blender, so I can only report that, yes, it will warm up the contents well enough to make soup. I have not found anything it cannot emulsify. It has such a wide variety of settlings that it will do just about anything. It is so powerful that I only use the tamper rarely, mostly when the contents down against the blade liquifies so quickly that the content above cannot make it down to the blade. The only downside is that you cannot immerse it in water, so you have to clean it by putting soap into the container and running it for a few seconds, but that works really well. I don’t have anything negative to say about my Vitamix. I love it. There are a lot of recent competitors to Vitamix, but I don’t think any of them have the track record Vitamix has. So, I heartily recommend Vitamix, and based on my experience, you don’t have to buy the most expensive one to have a great blender. I have never tried to use it as a food mill, make dough, or make butter, and I do not own any attachments.

  • Jenna

    I bought a refurbished Vitamix several years ago and I’ve never regretted it. I use it almost every single day, multiple times. Smoothies, popsicles, adult frozen cocktails, sauces, grinding oats, nuts, making confectioners sugar, blending batter, soup. Above all, while cooking for kids who hate seeing pieces of vegetables but eat them if they’re liquefied. It was the one “crazy” item I packed along in my checked bags when we moved to Puerto Rico!

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