Immersion blenders like this Vitamix unit are a bit different than your standard countertop blender. Rather than a pitcher built around a blender blade, immersion units are just the blades attached to a handheld wand. You immerse the blade into a container of your choice.
For the most part, we’re of the opinion that affordability means little if the machine doesn’t perform well. However, to see whether cost is related to the blender’s efficiency, we tested the Vitamix against four other immersion blenders from different price ranges. This also helped give us a more comprehensive picture of how well the Vitamix performs, how it stands out from the rest, and whether it’s a worthwhile investment.
After several days of testing, the Vitamix 5-speed immersion blender received positive reviews from most of our operators, particularly for its practicality, powerful motor, and premium-quality build. Although it doesn’t have the best weight balance, its versatility allows us to create consistent results. If you’re willing to spare no expense, this tool is an excellent alternative to a full-sized blender for preparing silky purées, hearty soup, green smoothies, or whatever else your heart desires.
Things We Like
- A great tool for recipes that involve fibrous or frozen food
- 4-pronged heavy-duty blade promotes speedy blends and consistent results
- Intuitive interface makes it easy to switch between speed settings
- Ergonomically-designed handle offers a secure grip
- Blade Guard prevents scratching
- Stainless steel body ensures optimal durability
Things We Don’t Like
- Relatively heavy
- Color: Stainless Steel
- Weight: 3.16 Pounds
- Voltage: 110 Volts
- Controller Type: Push Button
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 18 Inches
- Wattage: 625 Watts
Unboxing, Assembly, and First Impressions
In the package, you will find a handheld motor section, blending wand, and owner’s manual. The lack of additional accessories like a blending jar or a whisk attachment did make us hesitant about the high price. Nevertheless, as soon as we had a hands-on go at this blender, its solid construction proved that it was worth the money.
Mostly made of stainless steel, the Vitamix is sturdy and appeals to us aesthetically as well. Under normal use, we believe its exterior is less likely than most to be damaged or succumb to basic wear and tear over time.
Compared with others, this blender is quite tall, measuring about 17.5 inches tall, 3 inches wide, and 3 inches deep. That length may allow it to reach the bottom of deep pots more easily.
At 3.2 pounds, it is also heavier than most — we were pretty shocked by its weight at first. Despite that, however, this blender is easy to hold. It even allows for one-handed operation since there are only two control buttons.
The Vitamix’s blade is constructed of hardened stainless steel. Featuring 4 prongs, this is a unique blade assembly found exclusively in Vitamix-brand hand blenders. There is also a permanent bell-shaped guard at the end of the blending wand. As advertised by its manufacturer, this blade guard can efficiently reduce suction. Made of BPA-free plastic, the bell’s rim should help protect the interior surfaces of your cookware or blending containers.
Vitamix Immersion Blender Tested: Great Performance with Minor Downsides [Overall Score: 8.4]
To give you a better idea of how efficient the Vitamix was, we graded its performance in five individual tests to create our own 1-to-10 scale. The individual tests are designed around the most common uses of any immersion blender. That, we reasoned, would give us a good picture of all the main Vitamix functions that may apply to your buying decisions.
Because some aspects of the performance are more critical than others, we chose to weigh the individual tests accordingly. Each one received a specific percentage of our overall grade as follows:
- Soup test: Since pureeing is the most important function of a hand blender, we allocated 35% of the total score for it.
- Frozen smoothie test: Not all immersion blenders are able to crush ice and frozen fruits. So, we thought the point value of this test should be slightly lower, at about 30%.
- Mayonnaise test: Any best-to-buy blender should be able to make more than just smoothies or soups. We conducted this test, whose score makes up 15% of the total, in the hopes of getting a clearer perspective on the Vitamix’s capabilities.
- Nut milk test: This emulsifying sauce test was worth 15% of the overall score.
- Whipped egg-white test: We listed this test at only 5% since whipping egg-white is likely to be the most uncommon task, especially when so few blenders come with a whisk attachment.
|Vitamix||Soup||Smoothie||Mayonnaise||Almond Milk||Whipped Egg-Whites|
|Time||1 min||1 min 30 secs||1 min 40 secs||40 secs||Failed|
1. Soup Purée (Score: 9.5/10)
For the soup puree test, we used our Carrot Pumpkin Soup recipe. It wasn’t a challenging task for the Vitamix. However, we noticed that this blender can cause spattering when operating at the highest speed setting if the pot’s sides are not tall enough. This isn’t the case with all immersion blenders (for example, the Braun MultiQuick 5 — a mid-range blender — allowed us to start low and increase as we went without any risk of spattering).
On the bright side, the Vitamix didn’t create as much of a mess as the Cuisinart Smart or the cordless KitchenAid. With the bell guard, it didn’t suction to the pot’s bottom as much as its counterparts, either. As such, we didn’t have to simultaneously lift and stir the wand around. Overall, that meant faster blending times and fewer food splatters.
2. Smoothie (Score: 9/10)
As we learned from our research, most hand blenders are made well enough to blend fresh fruit. The real challenges are solid foods and leafy greens.
So, for the smoothie tests, we blended kale, frozen fruits (mango and pineapple), and whole ice cubes to evaluate the Vitamix’s performance. We wanted to know how long the job would take, how easy the Vitamix would be to use, and how smooth the resulting drink could be.
With 625 watts of power, the Vitamix is more powerful than most hand blenders on the market. At the highest setting, it has a rotational speed of up to 13,900 RPM. It took only 1 minute and 30 seconds to complete this test. By comparison, its counterparts such as the cordless KitchenAid and the Cuisinart CSB-175BKQVC required nearly double the time.
Regarding the smoothie’s texture, of all the blenders we tested, only the Vitamix could churn out a thick, creamy smoothie with almost no solids left behind. Plus, despite being longer and heavier, it operated well in our 24-oz blending jar while the BPA-free plastic bell guard helped prevent scratches on the jar’s surfaces.
3. Mayonnaise (Score 8.3/10)
For the mayo whisking test, we initially whisked together two egg yolks and 150ml oil in a 24-oz vessel. Of the five blenders in the test, only the two two units with whisk attachments passed the test. The Vitamix (as well as the other remaining blenders) barely reached the egg yolks and left us with a jumbled mixture before oil was added. Its blending wand wasn’t designed for such a small volume of ingredients. We do suspect, though, that the results might have been better if we used a narrower blending container.
At that point we decided to modify the recipe to include three egg yolks and 240ml oil. With this amount, all five of the blenders produced acceptable outcomes and only our culinary expert could tell the differences between them.
The Vitamix didn’t have the fastest performance. It was nearly 30 seconds slower than the winner, the Cuisinart. Our Vitamix took about one minute and forty seconds to incorporate all the ingredients.
This is because when the mayonnaise emulsified and started to thicken, the blending wand generated a suction force, pulling itself against the container’s bottom. That made movement more difficult and slowed the whole process down. We don’t necessarily consider the time to be a deal-breaker. Since the blender itself is quite heavy, though, the longer the process takes, the more it will fatigue your hands.
In conclusion, despite some drawbacks, the Vitamix is an acceptable alternative to a hand mixer for preparing mayonnaise or other emulsified sauces. Still, it is not the best hand blender for this job and ideal results may require extra effort.
4. Almond Milk (Score: 9.3/10)
Our nut milk was made with two ingredients: raw almonds and warm water. The nuts had been soaked overnight prior to blending, so the Vitamix took just 40 seconds to yield one serving of drinkable almond milk. Although it wasn't the most efficient blender in our testing, it was so good at drawing ingredients toward its blades that we didn't need to move it around much for an even blend.
That said, from start to finish, its crushing process didn’t go very well. The almond skins, along with peeled chunks, became lodged in the blade guard. We had to stop the blender temporarily and use a spatula to dislodge the food, which we didn’t have to do with other models.
Not only that, but because the Vitamix couldn’t create a consistent vortex, everything got close to overflowing when we increased the speed.
Suction was a problem again as well. As a result, we got some almond spatter when we tried to lift up the wand. Most of the splatter-related issues could probably be avoided, though, if we blended it in a taller or larger jar.
5. Whipped Egg-Whites: Failed
The Vitamix could be a great all-around blender if it included a whisk attachment. This is because, in our test, there was no way the immersion blender could beat egg-white with its ordinary blending shaft. Unlike a whisk attachment, the blending shaft can’t force air into the egg whites, which is the way to create an even, bubbly foam. Consequently, the result was a cloudy liquid with two separate layers of bubble film and eggy water. We awarded it no points for this test.
Because the Vitamix is extraordinarily powerful, it does its jobs quickly without involving too much physical effort. Once the blender is activated, it draws almost everything toward the blades, creating a homogeneous mixture. Still, you’ll need to move the blending wand around in the ingredients to promote an uniform texture. Most impressively, Vitamix is a among a few hand blenders on the market that features four blades rather than only two. This special design promotes greater contact between the blades and ingredients, resulting in faster blending times and finer results.
Ease of Use: Easier to Use than Most Variable Speed Blenders
We’re really impressed with the Vitamix’s ergonomically designed handle. It’s not just about modern looks; this handle is coated with a rubber layer to ensure a comfortable grip, which makes it practical for processing large batches of soup. It’s nice to have that comfort, especially given how heavy the motor is.
This coating is also very handy when you have sweaty or slippery hands. You can focus on your prep work instead of your grip.
We also particularly like this blender’s intuitive interface. You can get five different speeds out of it but there are only two buttons on the front. You won’t need much practice to operate them smoothly; we figured out how they worked before reading the user manual. As a visual aid, this blender also has an LED display on top indicating the speed.
The Vitamix is also different from others in terms of its acceleration. Its speed steps up gradually rather than the violent torques others create. That went a long way toward preventing messes and should also prolong the motor’s lifespan.
Like most immersion blenders, the Vitamix breaks down into two parts that connect with a simple twist. Given how heavy the thing is, though, it may be tougher to get the job done if your hands are greasy.
Cleanability: Not Dishwasher-Safe
The removable blending wand is not dishwasher-safe, so after each test, we had to clean it by blending water with dish soap and letting the blades clean themselves. Along the way, we noticed a few extra differences between the Vitamix and its competitors which mainly stem from the blending wand design.
Although both the soup and smoothie tailings rinsed off easily under the tap, the Vitamix was the most difficult to clean after making mayonnaise. As an oil-based substance that is both sticky and insoluble in water, we couldn’t remove mayonnaise by blending in warm soapy water alone. A lot of gunk remained until we resorted to a bottle-cleaning brush and specialized cleanser.
But the real problem was cleaning the blades. It was a real challenge to scrub the backsides of those blades. And since the 4-pronged blade assembly is razor-sharp, we had to clean it with extreme caution. What a time-consuming and frustrating process that was!
Is the Vitamix Immersion Blender Worth the Money?
The Vitamix 5-speed is a simple, high-end blender. Needless to say, it is not without drawbacks, but it is better built than most. We’re confident when we say it’s among the few hand blenders on the market that provide the right balance of performance, quality, and value.
And although it costs nearly twice as much as others, the premium price isn’t just for the brand name. It genuinely gives you superior blending performance on most tasks. It is well worth the money, and the company’s generous warranty reflects their confidence in the product.
Should You Buy the Vitamix Immersion Blender?
We’ve been reviewing blenders for years. The increasing demand for green smoothies left us wondering when we might see a good immersion blender capable of making the silkiest smoothies out of green leafy vegetables and whole ice cubes. The Vitamix 5-speed answers that call. However, due to its downsides, this blender may be less appealing to some users – particularly those on a limited budget or with wrist injuries.
If you are after a well-rounded hand blender, don’t mind some extra heft, and can afford the high price, the Vitamix is likely the best one to buy. Otherwise, we recommend you consider other, more affordable options like the Braun MultiQuick 5 or the Breville BSB510XL Control Grip.
About our Review and Why Trust Us
We purchased the Vitamix immersion blender of our own accord for testing purposes only. We didn’t receive any sponsorship or donations and have no stake in the manufacturer’s reputation. Suffice to say, this review was purely conducted to communicate unbiased information collected from our actual extensive testing as well as our evaluations as actual users.
And most importantly, all the products, including the Vitamix immersion blender, are tested in-house by not only kitchen tool enthusiasts, but also by a professional chef and multiple cooks with years of culinary experience. That is to say, our recommendations are authentic and dependable.
Plus, while we couldn’t put our own hands on every possible hand blender for comparison, we ran our tool through a series of tasks to give you different perspectives on its blending performance. The conclusions and opinions we brought to you today are the same ones we’ll be passing on to our own friends and families.
Tina has been a part of Healthy Kitchen 101 since 2018, where she’s devoted to working full-time as a writer and reviewer. Being a passionate amateur home cook, she loves to discover practical cooking solutions, which she brings into every kitchen through her extensive product testing.