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.

12 Comments

  • 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!

  • 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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