September 6, 2022

Power Blender

Something that's been on my wish list for decades is a Vitamix Blender. They are very expensive, however, and all things considered, never seem to make it to the top of my financial priority list. Last week, I was researching ketchup recipes and ran across a video that caught my attention because the gal cooked all her ingredients together and then blended it—including the tomato peels and seeds!—with her Vitamix. The result was a beautifully thick ketchup with less cooking time. Considering all the hours and days I've spent cranking my Roma Juicer to make tomato sauce, I had to give Vitamix another peek. 

Well, they're still expensive, but when I found a refurbished one for around $300 on Amazon, I was tempted. So, I put it on my mental back burner while I went to work on pears. By the time I took my next break, I decided to do a search on Vitamix type blenders. I spent hours reading and analyzing reviews and comparisons. Here's what I ended up with.

Cleanblend Commercial Blender

Side by side with my old Oster blender.

At a glance, it looks exactly like the a Vitamix, except for the labeling. 

To compare, both are big and heavy, both have variable speeds (unless you get a Vitamix with preset speeds), both have a pulse function, both have 64-ounce BPA-free Tritan containers, both have stainless steel blades, both come with a tamper, both are self-cleaning, and both preform the same functions: blend, chop, grind, emulsify, and will make nut butters, ice cream, and hot soup. To contrast, the Cleanblend boasts 1800 watts of power (3 horsepower), while the Vitamix lists 1440 watts (2 horsepower). 

Also, the blending blades are different. 

Vitamix blades

Cleanblend blades (top view)

(side view)

Another difference is the warranty. Vitamix now offers a free 7-year warranty (formerly it was 10 years), while Cleanblend offers a 5-year free warranty. Both companies offer an extension to 10 years for $75. So, even adding the 10-year warranty to the Cleanblend, it still comes in cheaper than a Vitamix.

Prices? I got my Cleanblend (currently on sale at Amazon) with free shipping for about $200 including tax. Vitamix blenders start at $350 and range up to $800, depending on the model and accessories. Taxes, if applicable, will be on top of that. Vitamix does have more models and accessories to offer. But I think the clincher, for me, was the smoothie tests done at They compared smoothies made with seven high performance blenders, and the Cleanblend really did the best job. You can see the photos at this link.

I've just started using it and will show you how well it works in upcoming blog posts. One thing I really like is that the blade unit is incorporated into the blender jar. That's key to its convenient self-cleaning, but also, means there's no gasket to deal with. That was something I don't like about the Oster; the gasket gets grungy quickly and periodically needs replacing. These power blenders are much nicer in that regard. 

I have to add that I was somewhat hesitant about buying another electric gadget. The world's energy future looks very insecure, with rising costs and discussions about energy rationing. That paints a very bleak picture, where the promised dark winter seems inevitable. Perhaps that's another good reason for the buying the less expensive Cleanblend rather than the Vitamix. On a prepper note, I do have a hand-crank blender, which you can see in this blog post. It has nowhere near the power of my old Oster, let along my new Cleanblend. But considering the way things are, I'm glad I've got it. There's a sense of comfort in being prepared. As with all of the tools and equipment we use, Dan and I have sought manual or off-grid alternatives and learned how to use them. 

Until then, I'm going to take full advantage of my new Cleanblend! I'm excited about the possibility of not only ketchup and tomato sauce, but powdering dried eggs, herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Remember my hopniss flour? I was hoping for something like cornstarch or arrowroot powder, but the best my Oster could do was gritty, which wasn't good for gravy. I'd also like to try making mayonnaise. And who knows what else! More soon.


Kev Alviti said...

I'd say its a good investment. I got a second hand blender/food processor, it was a good make, but I killed the blender in no time flat. And I didn't think I was working it that hard.
The other day I was at the hair dressers and asked him about the clippers he used on my beard. "Oh these are expensive, you wouldn't want these." But I'd rather spend £300 on a set of clippers that do a great job for the next 20 years than have to buy a £30 set every year that I'm not really happy with.

Leigh said...

Kev, now a food processor is something that never tempted me. For some things, it just seems faster and easier to use a hand tool, as opposed to getting a gadget out, setting it up, and then the clean up! I can't pulverize skins and seeds into liquid or powder though, so the power blender is a real plus.

I agree about quality tools. By the time you've replaced those £30 clippers numerous times over 20 years, you might as well have gotten the £300 clippers in the first place and saved yourself a lot of frustration!

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Leigh, sounds like the right purchase to me as well. You know will you use it and even in our uncertain power future, I would argue there will be some power, maybe just not regular. And when it is, you will be ready.

Quality tools matter. I am getting more set in my ways about it as I get older. It is a completely silly example, but I work in a martial art where the shinken (true sword, or swords with an edge) that I buy and train with should outlive me with care. Why would I spend a little less for something that will not last?

Ed said...

After many other failed blenders, we bought a basic Vitamix the last go around, probably four years ago. What sold us on it was our go to America's Test Kitchen review. They say the narrow shape of the base of the blending container makes for a better blending experience and thus far it has proven to be true. I just juiced up a lot of volunteer cherry tomatoes to cook down in our crockpot using the blender. We never have the cavitation problems that our old blenders always used to get. But I'm all for spending less for something that meets my needs. I look forward to seeing what you think about it in the future.

Leigh said...

TB, not a silly example at all, rather, a good example. And you added the right qualifiers! "with care" I've been through several cheap blenders since we've been here, but at the time it was the best I could do with our financial resources. But being frugal in all areas means we can save up for quality purchases with the best longevity.

Ed, one of the home video reviewers on Amazon mentioned the same thing. She did a series of tests and never had to stop and scrape during blending. That was another selling point!

Nina said...

I don't even own a blender, although I've had to work around a few things, when one would have been handy. I'm all for the right tool for the job. I imagine that that blender is like hubby getting a good chainsaw, that has lasted for many years. He couldn't even get parts for the first one he bought, even from the local distributor! A tool that will do the job, and possibly save time in the long run, can't be a bad thing.

Leigh said...

Nina, being able to get replacement parts is very important! We've run into the same problem with lawn mowers.

One thing I try to look at is how much use I'll get out of something. If it's a lot, then it's worth it. If only a little, then I'll probably look for alternatives. That said, this blender will enable me to do stuff I've never been able to do before! I'm excited about that.

Goatldi said...

Nice! I have wanted a Vita Mix for about 30 years especially when we were a growing family of four. I remember drooling ever year at "The Big Fresno Fair" when I went through the building that held all the newest kitchen and home goodies. I turned my head every time I heard over the loud speaker "Ladies and Gentleman step right over to see the most slicer, dicer kitchen aid must have of the century?" Then they added the soup maker that even heated up as you prepared it. I think they sold for around $125.00 then. Geoffrey always would remind me we had a perfectly fine blender at home. So time went on I made do and the children did the inevitable and grew up. I still had a trusty blender but gosh look at the nifty Vita Mix display at Costco. I never did buy one because like you I had a hard time justifying the rising price tag they carried. I will however keep your new purchase in mind. As now smoothies are just about a year round stable and my only blender is now the Bullet. And it sure doesn't blend in the ice and it doesn't hold a candle to what else you can now accomplish. I will see what I can find. Well done and enjoy!

daisy g said...

Great score! I think you will find it so useful. I actually got a Blendtec for free, because a client was getting rid of it. We use it for so many things, but my favorite thing to make in it is a delicious butternut and coconut milk soup. It turns out silky smooth!

Enjoy your new toy!

Mama Pea said...

I think you made a great choice. But then, as usual, you do your research which sure beats impulse buying and repenting afterwards! I know we all (well, most all of us!) have to consider costs but I sometimes kick myself for "putting off" purchasing a needed tool for so long because of the price tag. Then when the decision is finally made, and the particular tool is acquired, I kick myself again for doing without it for so long! ;o)

Leigh said...

Goatldi, I like how you analyze. I think it's important to figure out the cost to benefit ratio of any pricey purchase. The Cleanblend will let me do so many things for food storage that I've wanted to do, but couldn't. Sounds like your Bullet was a good choice! But, it never hurts to reevaluate and look at future goals.

Daisy, thanks! Wow, a free Blendtec? Now, that's the ultimate score! Gotta love those silky smooth soups. :)

Mama Pea, thanks! Yup, this is one of those purchases I wish I'd made earlier. I'm glad I didn't wait any longer, considering how prices are going up. Plus, the Cleanblend website seems to be selling out on everything.

I do agree about impulse buying. The things I usually regret are those impulse purchases.

PioneerPreppy said...

I need a new blender will be awaiting your reviews!!!