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Vitamix 5200 Blender In-depth Review
Vitamix 5200 Blender Specifications
The Vitamix 5200 is in a class of its own. Throughout our testing, it consistently amazed us by swiftly and flawlessly blending smoothies, frozen delights, protein shakes, and almond butter, often at speeds two to three times faster than other blenders. Its only shortcoming was leaving a few ice cubes unblended in a 12 oz load, but reducing the ice amount gave us a finer consistency.
The Vitamix 5200 also boasts an appealing design that is sure to complement any kitchen decor. The 7-year warranty, which is far longer than that of most other blenders, underscores the product's superior quality and durability. Vitamix wouldn’t apply such a confident warranty to a subpar product.
For those seeking the best, the Vitamix 5200 is undeniably the top choice.
Things We Like
- Many user-friendly features, including the removable blade assembly
- Versatile speed settings for a diverse range of textures
- Capable of blending non-stop for up to six minutes
- Rapid and potent acceleration for efficient blending
- Excellent for both hot and icy blending applications
- The 64-ounce container is ideal for preparing family-sized batches
- The 7-year warranty is notably longer than other blenders
Things We Don’t Like
- The container does not lock onto the base
- Average ice-crushing capability
- Updated May 12, 2023:
Vitamix offers a wide range of full-sized blenders, with prices ranging from $350 to $650. Top dog among them is the Vitamix 5200, one of the brand's most iconic models. Although some may consider the cost steep, numerous exceptional features and benefits justify the investment.
The Vitamix 5200 excels as a high-performance blender, boasting a 2-horsepower motor that outshines its budget-friendly competitors. In our comprehensive testing, we observed the remarkable performance of its blades. The unique design of its jar also enhances blending efficiency, creating a vortex that pulls food through the blades with ease.
We put the Vitamix 5200 through its paces by blending a variety of challenging ingredients, including frozen fruits, leafy vegetables, raw nuts, ice cubes and dried foods. We were happy to find that it effortlessly pulverized everything we threw at it, producing smooth and consistent textures every time. The only exception was in the ice-crushing test, where it struggled to match some of the other high-quality blenders.
Nonetheless, this minor drawback doesn’t hurt its overall rating much. The Vitamix 5200 delivers a level of performance that, as far as we can tell, is completely unmatched by any of its competitors.
The Vitamix 5200's ability to liquify leafy greens is truly impressive. We put the blender to the test with a mix of kale, apple, banana, pineapple, and plant milk. The resulting smoothie was the epitome of perfection—even the stubborn kale took on a silky, velvety texture with virtually no bits or chunks left behind.
Initially, we achieved this exceptional quality after blending for a full minute. However, through repeated testing, we found that our Vitamix 5200 could deliver the same results in just 40 seconds. This performance far surpasses competitors like Cuisinart and Black+Decker, which took nearly four times longer to blend and still didn’t manage the same smooth consistency.
The extraordinary outcome of the Vitamix 5200 test is a testament to the blender's exceptional design. The uniquely shaped container and high-performance components, such as aircraft-grade stainless steel blades, collaborate to generate an ideal vortex that pulls ingredients downward. Consequently, the blender can break down the cell walls of fruits and vegetables, resulting in faster, smoother blends.
9.8Frozen Fruit Smoothie
The Vitamix 5200's performance in this test was truly exceptional. Within the first 45 seconds, all the frozen fruits were completely transformed into a velvety smooth concoction. We can confidently say it’s rare to find a blender that can do the job so quickly.
However, for some reason, the milk did not fully integrate with the fruit smoothie mixture—a white layer remained on top of the rest of the orange smoothie mixture. Despite continued blending in hopes of improving the texture, it became clear that the blender alone wouldn’t fully incorporate the milk. As a result, we paused the blender at the 60-second mark and manually stirred the mixture before resuming blending. After an additional 10 seconds, we finally achieved a homogeneous mixture.
This test also demonstrated how important a tamper can be in promoting a smooth, quick blend. We found that by continuously pushing ingredients down towards the blade, we could expedite the blending process significantly. Our tamper tests turned out flawless smoothies. Only a few tiny flecks of raspberry skin and seeds remained, but they were negligible and did not did not compromise the overall quality of the drink.
This test poses a particularly demanding challenge, combining notoriously tough ingredients such as raw nuts and chewy dried berries. Yet, once again, the Vitamix 5200 rose to the occasion. It set a new benchmark for heavy-duty performance by effortlessly liquifying everything in this protein shake in just one minute, leaving little to critique.
In contrast, other blenders we tested struggled to keep up, with most leaving three times as much unblended debris within that time frame. The Hamilton Beach blender performed the worst, taking up to 4 minutes and 30 seconds to process the oatmeal, yet producing a vastly inferior result with three times the amount of unblended chunks when compared to the Vitamix 5200.
Almond butter is possible thanks to the nuts’ natural oils. Properly extracted, the oil creates that signature creamy and velvety texture. However, not every blender is capable of effectively breaking the almonds down into a fine powder while also incorporating the natural oils and creating the proper texture. This means that certain blenders may require added oils or sweeteners to achieve the right consistency. (For example, the Hamilton Beach and Cuisinart.)
But fear not, because the Vitamix 5200 is the exception to the rule. In just 60 seconds of blending, this machine gave us a scrumptious and silky-smooth almond butter that outshone every other blender we tested. And since it can create almond butter with just the nuts themselves, the end result is a healthier and more natural spread that retains all of the almonds’ nutrients and flavor. For anyone looking to make homemade nut butter with ease and without any artificial ingredients, the Vitamix 5200 is undoubtedly the best option.
The Vitamix 5200's ice-crushing performance fell short of our expectations. It was able to crush some—but not all—of this test’s 12 oz worth of ice. About 19% (approximately 2.3 oz) remained unblended. The resulting crushed ice was not as snow-like as we had hoped, though it was still good enough for use in drinks that call for crushed ice, like cocktails and slushies.
One possible reason for the incomplete blending is that the ice became trapped under the blades. The tamper may have contributed to this issue; we used it to vigorously push ice downward. In addition, ice has a natural tendency to clump together, and these clumps can cause the blades to lock up and stop spinning. However, we cannot rule out the possibility that the Vitamix 5200 simply does not excel at crushing ice.
Despite imperfect results in this test, the Vitamix 5200 is still among the few blenders that can claim any reasonable ability to crush ice. For best results, we recommend blending only 6-8 oz of ice at a time.
As of the time of writing, the Vitamix 5200 is available in three different colors: red, black, and white. Each color variant comes at a different price point even though they’re all the same under the hood. Whether you choose the cheapest (the black version) or splurge on the pricy white one, your Vitamix 5200 is sure to fit in well with most kitchen decor. Its sleek and minimalist design is a picture of sophistication and versatility, while the robust construction ensures that your investment will pay off for years to come.
In the Box
- Motor base
- Blending container with lid
- User guide
- Recipe booklet
All of the components included in the Vitamix 5200 box are essential for getting the most out of your blender. While the motor base and blending container make up the centerpiece of the machine, the user guide and recipe booklet provide an array of tips, tricks, and recipes to help you unleash your Vitamix 5200’s full potential.
During our testing, we found that the tamper is also essential to achieving a consistent blend, particularly when working with thicker mixtures or chunky ingredients.
Measuring 7.8 by 8.8 inches at the base, and standing 19.7 inches tall with the container attached, the Vitamix 5200 blender has a relatively large footprint. Its height, in particular, means it may not fit with the standard 18-inch clearance between kitchen countertops and cabinets. Make sure you have a place to put it before you buy.
Our Vitamix appears to be truly exceptional in terms of build quality, with each component crafted to last. We subjected the blender to a series of rigorous tests but found no signs of wear and tear. All the polished surfaces remained as shiny and perfect as when they first came out of the box.
The motor base of the Vitamix 5200 is made of die-cast aluminum and high-impact plastic. While the aluminum provides strength and durability, the plastic helps to reduce weight and gives the exterior a nice sheen.
The container is also a true masterpiece of both style and function. It is made of BPA-free Eastman Tritan copolyester that demonstrates remarkable clarity and heat resistance. The shatterproof design of the container is an added bonus, and we can attest to its durability against accidental drops and falls.
Inside the container, the blade assembly is another prime example of the Vitamix 5200's attention to detail. The four-pronged blade is made of hardened stainless steel, which is corrosion-resistant and should remain sharp for extended periods.
According to Vitamix, the blades are crafted using precision machining techniques. They’re stamped from a sheet of stainless steel, then heat-treated and finished by a computer-controlled laser cutting process to create the unique four-pronged design.
During our tests, we noticed that the blades' sharpness and strategic positioning did increase their effective surface area, enabling them to blend more ingredients in a shorter amount of time, compared to other models. Additionally, they are angled in a way that promotes a high-speed circulation of ingredients and creates a powerful vortex, pulling ingredients towards the blades for even distribution and consistent blending results.
We found that the motor can maintain consistent torque and cool temperatures at high speeds, which gives this blender the stamina to blend continuously for six minutes at a time—long enough for the blades' friction to heat your soups or sauces to serving temperatures even without the stove.
While we haven’t conducted specific tests on this blender’s ability to make hot soup, we can attest to the real-world results we've observed in other blending tests. For instance, when making almond butter, the resulting blend was relatively warm due to the blades' friction. The same also went for the protein shake test and this further supports the idea that this Vitamix 5200 blender can generate enough heat to warm up liquids.
Given the powerful rotating speed, it needs to have a secure and balanced connection between the motor base and the blending container. Fortunately, the Vitamix 5200 is designed with three key linkage components: the retainer nut, centering pad, and drive socket.
The retainer nut securely fastens the blade assembly to the container and slots into the base’s drive socket, linking the motor to the blade. Both are stainless steel—a motor this powerful needs a tougher connection than the traditional rubberized couplings. The centering pad positions the container properly and also reduces vibration and noise while blending.
The blending container of the Vitamix 5200 is made from BPA-free Eastman Tritan Copolyester—a top-grade and lightweight material that can withstand impacts, scratches, shattering, and chemical degradation. Tritan Copolyester is also odor and flavor resistant so the container won't absorb any residual flavors or aromas from previous batches of food or liquid. This property is especially important when blending pungent or aromatic ingredients.
The blender’s lid is composed of two main parts: a larger section made of high-quality plastic (commonly referred to as the main lid) and a lid plug made of flexible and durable rubber. The two parts of the lid are designed to work together to create a complete leak-proof and spill-proof seal.
Specifically, the main lid is designed to fit tightly onto the blending container purely through friction. Meanwhile, the lid plug can be easily attached and removed from the main lid, providing a mess-free way to add ingredients during the blending process. It also creates an opening that accommodates a tamper, which allows you to push ingredients down towards the blades for a smooth and even blend.
The Vitamix 5200 offers great flexibility and precision with its three distinct controls. All the settings have clear markings and are self-explanatory.
You can select either high-speed or variable-speed mode. When set to high, the motor runs at its maximum speed of approximately 23,122 RPM, delivering robust blending power that is perfect for tougher blends.
However, for more delicate ingredients such as herbs or fruits, the variable speed option is the way to go. In this mode, you select the intensity using the center of the control panel. Option number 1 is the gentlest setting at 1,419 RPM, while 10 equates to the full High mode.
Extra Accessory: Tamper
After conducting numerous tests, we’ve come to regard a tamper as not merely an accessory, but an essential component of any blender. That’s particularly true when blending thicker or heavier mixtures that resist the blades' movement.
When a blender's blades are spinning, they generate a suction force that causes the ingredients to move towards the bottom of the container. However, thick ingredients or mixtures may not respond. This is where the tamper comes into play and proves its significance.
Without the tamper, it would be considerably more challenging, if not impossible, for the Vitamix 5200 to produce a perfect frozen fruit smoothie in such a short amount of time.
The blender’s control panel is designed to be user-friendly and intuitive, allowing for easy operation even if you never open the user manual.
The tall and narrow blending cup may be tricky to wash by hand, particularly if you have larger hands. Still, cleaning is effortless when you just fill it with soapy water and run the machine at its highest speed.
Assembly is straightforward, but the lack of a locking mechanism between the container and the motor base may cause the container to be unstable when dealing with tough ingredients. We recommend holding the container’s handle throughout the blending process to prevent it from falling off the motor. Moreover, the lid requires a bit of force to snap tightly into place, though it is easy to remove.
9.0Ease of Blend
The Vitamix 5200 effectively blended ingredients with little need for user involvement. In comparison, many other blenders frequently demanded that we stop, remove the lid, and use a tamper or spoon to move things around. During these pauses, the distribution of the ingredients was disrupted, resulting in uneven blending. Moreover, the constant opening and closing of the lid led to spills and messes, especially when handling liquids and fine powders.
The Vitamix 5200 features a long power cord (5.9 feet), allowing you some flexibility in where you place your blender. And when you’re done, you can wrap it up in the handy recess under the base to keep the cord out of the way. The cord wrap includes flexible retainers that effortlessly release more cord as needed without unscrewing anything. The whole setup is great for storage and use alike.
Our main concern centered around the insufficient connection between the container and the motor base. It gave us noticeable vibrations when we crushed ice and processed frozen fruits. The container even seemed like it might topple off the motor base, so we had to hold onto its handle tightly throughout the blending process to maintain stability.
We can’t say for sure whether the container might actually detach from the motor base, but for optimal performance, it's best to place the blender on a flat surface and firmly grip the container handle while blending. Start the blending process at a lower speed and gradually increase it to help mitigate the impact of instability.
The noise level of a blender is mostly dictated by the power of its motor. The Vitamix 5200’s robust motor reaches 99.8 dB in our noise level test using ice cubes and water to simulate the blending of an icy smoothie. This noise level is akin to a motorcycle or a lawn mower. However, since it does its job so quickly, the noise is short-lived. Most users won’t find it particularly problematic.
The Vitamix 5200 assembly process is straightforward. To start, make sure the container's tabs align with the motor base's notches, and then gently slide the container into place. Note that there is no locking mechanism, so you will not hear a click or locking sound to indicate that it is securely attached.
Next, insert the lid plug through the main lid and rotate it clockwise until firmly connected. After assembling the lid, position it on the container by lining up its flaps midway between the spout and the handle, and then firmly press it down. Be prepared to apply significant force to secure the lid properly. The tight fit can be a pain, but it does ensure the lid remains securely in place during blending. Fortunately, it’s easy to remove once blending is complete.
Although none of the Vitamix blender’s components are dishwasher-safe, all of them are easy to clean by hand.
The container features a smooth, minimally-grooved inner surface that simplifies rinsing and reduces residue buildup. Its design also effectively prevents stubborn remnants from sticking to the walls, with most food particles washing away under running water. This also applies to the two lid parts, which have very few crevices where food particles may accumulate.
The sleek and intuitive motor base can be easily wiped clean with a soft cloth. Since the lid and pouring spout minimize spillage and prevent ingredient splashes from reaching the motor base, you’ll rarely need to clean it anyway.
To clean the blade assembly, simply remove it from the container to access every nook and cranny. However, a brush is recommended for reaching each blade and minimizing the risk of injury.
About your guide
Tina Pham is a staff writer and reviewer, with five years of experience in the industry. As a passionate amateur home cook, she loves to discover practical cooking solutions, and has made it her mission to bring her findings to every kitchen. Her ultimate goal is making cooking more of a pleasure for all.
Lap Vo is head of the Research, Testing, and Review Team (the RTR) at Healthy Kitchen 101. He is responsible for designing and overseeing the testing of kitchen tools and appliances.