Vitamix Blender Comparison Guide
Machines that mix come in all shapes and sizes. Some are manual, plastic, and cost $10. Others are commercial steel, can mix 60 quarts of dough at a time, and cost $11,000.
As with everything, what you buy will depend on how you need to use it. Blenders are no different.
Some people prefer this brand, others prefer that brand. Some want 3 horsepower, others want 2 horsepower (others don't know what they want!).
It can be quite confusing knowing what sort of blender you should buy for your bar, restaurant, coffee-shop, or home. Hopefully this blog will shed some light on that.
Here at Prima, we sell a lot of Vitamix blenders. Vitamix blenders are high quality blenders geared for commercial or home sales. At Prima, we specifically sell the commercial line of blenders... although they can just as easily be used in a home.
It should be noted that the commercial line has a shorter warranty length (3 year instead of the residential 7 year warranty), although this difference in length can largely be attributed to the fact that a commercial machine is designed to withstand multiple uses per day (dozens as opposed to just a handful).
Besides the container and warranty, there is little difference between the commercial line and the residential line of Vitamix blenders.
In order to help clarify the differences between the Vitamix blenders, it would be helpful to overview each of the 6 most commonly sold blenders that Prima carries and identify unique and shared attributes of each.
The Drink Machine is the ideal entry level blender (for iced drinks) for home or shop users... though, with a 2 hp motor, "entry level" is somewhat of a misnomer.
The Drink Machine exceeds many commercial blenders and practically all residential blenders in power and is an excellent blender for the individual blending at home or just beginning a slower shop.
The Drink Machine comes standard with a 64oz polycarbonate pitcher and comes standard with an ice blade (designed specifically for blending iced drinks and juices).
The Drink Machine is the most affordable blender that Prima offers and is all around a practical and well-made machine without the "specialty" options included on other Vitamix blenders.
Equipped with a variable speed motor for precise controlCheck it out Featured Product
The Vita Prep (along with the Barboss) is the most common blender that we sell to residential users. While it is technically a commercial blender, it can be used quite successfully as a home unit (it is practically identical to the Vitamix 5200 residential blender).
The Vita Prep comes standard with a 48 or 64 oz container (your choice), heavy duty tamper, and a 2 hp motor. The Vita Prep is one of only two Vitamix machines we carry (the other being the Vita Prep 3) that comes equipped with a variable speed motor. This allows more control over each drink and how it is blended.
The Vita Prep comes standard with a "wet blade" and is ideal for a home user or shop owner with a moderate shop volume. It will blend anything from iced drinks to heavier smoothies and coffee drinks and is even used successfully for food processing, soup & salsa making, dough kneading, and other similar kitchen applications (although you would need to purchase a separate "dry blade" for this sort of application).
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The Vita Prep 3 is the supercharged version of its younger sibling, the Vita Prep. With a 3 hp motor, the Vita Prep 3 is built to last and is designed specifically to succeed in the normal wear and tear of a busy commercial setting.
The Vita Prep 3 also has the handy variable speed setting on its motor and comes standard with a "wet blade" in its included 64 oz container.
This is a blender that can be used successfully at home or in most shop settings (although the 2 hp motor of the Vita Prep is generally plenty of power for residential users). Its ability to blend iced drinks as well as smoothies and ice cream drinks make it a versatile and sought after machine in the restaurant and coffee world.
Like the Vita Prep, the Vita Prep 3 is often utilized for food processing, soup and salsa making, dough kneading, and other similar kitchen applications.
Blend ice like a boss with this durable drink makerCheck it out Featured Product
While the Vita Prep and Vita Prep 3 tend to be more versatile and can be used in many applications, the BarBoss is the ideal blender for bar settings (hence the name) where a frozen drink is made with regularity.
Its built in "acceleration timer" begins in low speed, steps up to high, and then turns off automatically when the timer has completed the cycle. This makes preparation of other drinks possible while the frozen drink is being blended. It should also be noted that it comes standard with the Vitamix "ice" blade (like the Drink Machine) which is ideal for quickly chopping up ice for frozen drinks.
Like the Vita Prep blender, with the BarBoss you have the option of choosing either a 48 oz or 64 oz container when buying it. The 64 oz is nice for larger volume shops of course, but the 48 oz container makes the overall height of the blender shorter, in case you have a tight area you need to get it into (in fact, the 48 oz containers are also stackable... so hey, buy 3 or 4 ;).
All in all, the BarBoss is a reliable and durable blender and ideal for bar-like operations.
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If the Drink Machine is the Chevy Malibu, the BarBoss Advance is the Cadillac CTS. It is, well... er... quite a bit more advanced than the other machines, both in design and function.
The BarBoss Advance fits well into any blending situation and will perform equally well in a bar, coffee shop, or restaurant.
What makes the Advance different than the other Vitamix blenders? To begin with, it has a completely new container which is more ergonomically designed and aesthetically pleasing (i.e., it looks really cool), and provides a wider base which enhances blending by creating a "more powerful vortex" (according to Vitamix).
A flexible, two piece lid allows you to add things while ingredients are blending. It also has a new, wider blade made with hardened stainless steel which speeds up the blending process. Two things to take note of, the BarBoss Advance container cannot be used on the other Vitamix machines because of its unique design and it does not come with a tamper.
Possibly the most helpful aspect of the BarBoss Advance not found in the other Vitamix blenders is its ability to have pre-programmed blend settings.
As opposed to the other blenders with manual controls, the BarBoss Advance has 6 pre-programmed settings (with auto-shut off, of course) which blend a drink according to the specifications Vitamix has determined (random fact: a rep of Vitamix told me that the most commonly used settings will most likely be 3-5). These settings are:
- Thin drinks, juice & ice
- Light coffee drinks
- Specialty drinks, thick viscosity
- Ice cream & regular coffee drinks
- Regular Smoothies
- Frozen fruits & hardened ingredients for extra thick smoothies
It is possible to change the pre-programmed settings on the Advance, however, in order to do so you will have to purchase the correct software from Vitamix. By Vitamix's own admission, this is more of an option for research and development teams or large corporations with a very specific drink in mind.
As the representative I talked to told me, it's very much like replacing the timing belt on your car... it's not really something the average end user can do, and you could do more harm than good if you screw it up. She assured me that you will probably never need another setting other than the 6 that are already programmed in to the blender. However, if for whatever reason you would like to consider reprogramming the settings, please call Vitamix Support at 800-886-5235.
Includes 6 program buttons, letting you make up to 34 programs for precise beverage productionCheck it out Featured Product
The Quiet One takes into account all the best attributes from Vitamix blenders and fuses innovative technology with these features, creating an almost unbelievably quiet, consistent blend.
Clearly, noise reduction was the reason Vitamix invented this remarkable machine. The Quiet One is dramatically quieter in tone and volume with smoothies, milkshakes, or salad dressings.
As a blender is running, a great deal of noise comes from motor vibrations. The Quiet One’s motor is surrounded by intricately designed gaskets which prevent vibrations from reaching the rest of the blender. The motor then “floats” on these gaskets, while the magnetized seal reduces vibration and noise from the high powered rotation of the blade.
The Quiet One’s patented seal on the noise reducing cover allows for simple, quick cleaning. No screws, bolts or hinges are used for attaching the cover to the base of the machine, as it is sealed with high powered magnets.
The Quiet One received first place at Coffee Fest 2010, won awards from Star Chefs Contest and Kitchen Innovations 2011, and was a National Restaurant Association winner. The bottom line is that if you are any type of front-of-house store, such as a coffee shop, smoothie store, or bar, you should seriously consider investing in a machine that uses similar sound proofing and sealing technology found in a Lexus or Mercedes-Benz.
In conclusion, it should be noted that the overall differences between these blenders are somewhat minimal. The important thing to remember is that the basic design and motors are generally identical in all of these blenders with the exception of certain programming and operating differences.
Vitamix has always been known to make exceptional blenders and we at Prima stand behind their product.
To see a quick comparison between these blenders, check out this comparison chart:
|Blender||Model #||Application||Motor||Timer||Pulse||Variable Speed||Pre-programmed Settings||Included Container||Compatible containers||3 year warranty||Blade Type Included||Tamper Included||Sound Dampening||In-Counter Option|
|Drink Machine Two Speed||748||Iced drinks, smoothies, etc.||2 hp||No||No||Yes||No||64 oz or 48 oz||64, 48, 32 oz||Yes||Ice||No||No||No|
|Drink Machine Two-Step||1230||Iced drinks, smoothies, etc.||2 hp||Yes||No||Auto||No||64 oz or 48 oz||64, 48, 32 oz||Yes||Ice||No||No||No|
|Drink Machine Advance||5086||Iced drinks, smoothies, etc.||2 hp||No||Yes||No||Yes||32 oz||32 oz or 32 oz w/ Ice blade||Yes||Advance||No||No||No|
|Vita Prep||1002 or 1003||Purees, Grinding, Chopping||2 hp||No||Yes||Yes||No||64 oz or 48 oz||64, 48, 32 oz||Yes||Wet||Yes||No||No|
|Vita Prep 3||1005||Purees, Grinding, Chopping||3 hp||No||Yes||Yes||No||64 oz||64, 48, 32 oz||Yes||Wet||Yes||No||No|
|Barboss||5028 or 5029||Iced drinks, smoothies, etc.||2 hp||Yes||Yes||No||No||64 oz or 48 oz||64, 48, 32 oz||Yes||Ice||No||No||No|
|Barboss Advance||5085||Iced drinks to heavy smoothies||2 hp||Integrated||Yes||No||Yes||32 oz||32 oz||Yes||Advance||No||No||No|
|Touch & Go 2 Blending Station||34013||Iced drinks, smoothies, etc.||2 hp||Integrated||Yes||No||Yes||32 oz||32 oz||Yes||Advance||No||Quiet||Yes|
|Blending Station Advance||36021 or 40010||Iced drinks to heavy smoothies||3 hp||Integrated||Yes||Yes||Yes||48 oz||48 oz||Yes||Advance||No||Quiet||Yes|
|The Quiet One||36019 or 40009||Iced drinks, smoothies, etc.||3 hp||Integrated||Yes||Yes||Yes||48 oz||48 oz||Yes||Advance||No||Ultra Quiet||Yes|
|Portion Blending System Advance||5132||Iced drinks to heavy smoothies||2 hp||Integrated||No||Yes||Yes||48 oz||48 oz||No||Advance||No||No||No|
|XL Capacity Blending System||5201||Iced drinks to heavy smoothies||4.2 hp||No||Yes||Yes||No||192 oz and 64 oz||192, 64 oz||Yes||XL Wet||Yes||No||No|