But at what cost does it take to have a premium kitchen appliance that is capable of making vegetables and fruits as tasty and palatable as possible?
When I first saw a Vitamix demo at Costco, I knew I wanted one then and there. But the price just wasn’t in my budget.
I went online and discovered there was another competing brand called Blendtec (K-Tec at the time) and it was under $300. It fit my budget better than the Vitamix so I bought it online, sight unseen.
It took me many years later to buy a Vitamix, when my budget was considerable larger.
But that’s all about to change….
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A HIGH PERFORMANCE BLENDER
Smoothie Quality And Taste
High Performance blenders, such as the ones VItamix sells, are capable of turning your fruits and vegetables into the most delicious smoothies and soups around.
If you’ve ever tried to make soup with one of those home-grade $50 blenders, you’ll probably end up like I did with a melted drive shaft (and that was an expensive, all metal, $150 blender).
Or a frozen smoothie, that is full of bits and chunks of frozen fruit. With an unappealing lumpy texture.
Successful smoothie restaurants such as Jamba Juice are proof that the right commercial-grade blender can make all the difference in turning fruits and vegetables into a delicious smoothie.
Who Should Buy A High Performance Blender
The ideal person for a commercial-grade blender is one that is serious about changing their diet, lifestyle, or health.
There’s really not a short-cut to “try” this out at home with an affordable $50 blender expecting to get the same quality of smoothie you can get at a Jamba Juice.
Who Shouldn’t Buy A High Performance Blender?
These kinds of blenders are an investment that could last a lifetime. But they could become yet another kitchen appliance stuck in the back of a bottom kitchen cabinet.
If you’re not sure you’re committed to making your own smoothies at home, you should consider the alternative of buying them at a smoothie restaurant that uses a commercial-grade blender by Vitamix or Blendtec. Restaurants such as these are great options to see if the “smoothie lifestyle” is for you:
- Jamba Juice
- Smoothie King
- Tropical Smoothie Café
Give a local smoothie restaurant a try, a couple times a week for lunch or dinner and see if this is for you before the investment in a blender for your home.
Things To Think About Before Buying A Blender
Here are some of the common things to consider before making that investment into your own blender:
Where will you plan to put it on your countertop? It’s highly recommended that these kinds of blenders be left out on your countertop when not in use. They aren’t some light-weight thing you can easily pull in and out of a cabinet. And anyways, aren’t you trying to change your diet? Keep it convenient and find a permanent home on your countertop.
It’s most common to store the container on top of the blender base. So consider the total height of the blender + container in determining if it will fit under your upper kitchen cabinets.
2 HP is the minimum. And be wary, these numbers are easy to define in different terms. But in general, 2 HP should be considered the minimum to getting professional type smoothie results.
Does the manufacturer stand behind their product and offer a 30 day warranty or a 5 year warranty? As with anything you buy, the longer the warranty usually means the product uses higher quality components such as bearings, motors, mounts, gaskets, knobs, etc. Manufacturers have smart accountants and they do the hard math with their engineers to figure out how long most products will run without needing a repair under warranty.
Does the manufacturer offer a 30 day trial? It’s very difficult to see if this blender will work for you when you can’t try it out before you buy it. And watching a professional demo it isnt’ the same thing as you trying to do it yourself at home in your own kitchen?
EASE OF CLEANING
This may sound like a very simple thing to downplay, but believe me, it is probably the biggest reason why people stop using a kitchen appliance. I have several doo-dads and kitchen gadgets I’ve bought over the years, such as the motorized garlic peeler. Yes, it is super fast! But when you combine the time of peeling + cleaning the garlic peeler, it takes me longer to use the motorized tool. So most times, I just skip it and do it manually with a cutting board and a knife. Same goes for a blender, if it’s difficult to clean or takes a while to clean, you probably won’t use it as often as you’d like.
This topic is an entire article unto itself. The list is long, including Programs, Pulse, Variable Speed, High Setting, etc.
These are industrial grade blenders, with huge motors in them. And they can blend loud ingredients like frozen berries, ice cubes, etc. So sound should definitely be considered.
THE PERFECT ENTRY LEVEL BLENDER
Vitamix has historically used their line of Certified Refurbished blenders to hit a lower price point.
But they have a tremendous new solution that fills the need for a lower priced blender without skimping on quality or performance.
Intro….The brand new Vitamix Explorian E310!
Vitamix has been busy in 2017 with the launch of two new product lines, the Vitamix Ascent Series and the Vitamix Explorian Series.
With the Vitamix Ascent they went upscale and brought on incredible features never before seen on a blender (such as their Self-Detect Technology and Full-Size / Personal-Size containers).
In October of 2017, Vita-mix released the Explorian Series, and the first blender in that series is the E310.
The E310 hits that sweet spot of an entry-level price, with all the features and capabilities of their older Series such as the 5200 Classic-Series.
|Price – It’s the lowest priced new Vitamix you can buy today||Programs – It only has manual controls, so it can’t do set-and-forget blending.|
|Warranty – It comes with a 5 yr warranty, that is upgradeable to 8 years||Sound – It isn’t as quiet as the newer Ascent blenders.|
|Performance – It has the power to deliver results like any of the other blender lines. Don’t let the low price fool you.|
|Simplicity – It’s like an iPhone, you can use it basically without reading the instruction manual. There’s an on/off switch, variable speed from 1 – 10, and a pulse button. It’ll take all of 30 seconds to become an expert.|
Who Should Buy The E310?
The Vitamix E310 is perfect for those shopping for their first high performance blender.
It can also be a great upgrade for those needing to replace an older Classic Series blender such as the Vitamix 5200. The controls and power are very similar, so the switch to the E310 will be easy.
It is also the best blender for someone on a budget.
It doesn’t have all the features and capabilities of the Vitamix Ascent line, but for many, an on/off switch and variable speed controls are all they need.
And for many chefs, they still train on the legendary 5200 that has basic controls.
Who Shouldn’t Buy The E310?
The Explorian E310 isn’t for everybody.
The container is only 48 oz, and it’s a narrow body format.
Many longtime blender cooks are accustomed to the larger 64 oz containers.
For most people though, a 48 oz container is large enough.
It also doesn’t support the latest trend popularized by the Ninja line of blenders that use single serving personal sized containers.
The E310 only supports the use of a full-size container.
It can support Vitamix’s personal sized containers using an add-on called a “personal cup adapter” purchased separately.
If you’re used to a blender with Programs, the E310 may not be the right blender for you either.
Programs are awesome and a big convenience that allows for set and forget type of blending.
KEY FEATURES OF THE VITAMIX E310
OK, it’s not necessarily a product feature, but price is what the Explorian and specifically the E310 is all about!
There’s no other blender on the market today that balances price and value better than the E310.
You could get a Vitamix Certified Reconditioned blender at similar pricing, but for some it’s an icky thought, and for others, it’s tough to find the right model at the right time at the right price since they are limited quantities.
Being a brand new blender, the E310 availability will be way better than a Certified Reconditioned model, and it does offer the warranty extension to 8 years as well.
Vitamix E310 Performance
The performance of the E310 is similar to the Vitamix 5200.
It uses the same or very similar 2.0 HP motor.
Sparing you from all the low level details, the key point here is, even though it is the best priced Vitamix on the market today, it still can deliver all the same recipe results for:
- Smoothies – such as green smoothies, strawberry smoothies, or weight loss smoothies
- Hot Soup – such as tomato soup, tortilla soup, or butternut squash soup
- Nut butters – such as the popular peanut butter or almond butter
- Homemade Baby Food – such as butternut squash baby food, sweet potato baby food, or carrot baby food
The Explorian introduces a new body design.
It’s still extremely similar to the older bodies used in the C-Series and G-Series, with some slight visual design changes. From what we can tell, they’re cosmetic and not functional differences.
Overall, no biggie here. It’s a nice body design, switches and knobs are high quality, but nothing good or bad to say on the body.
The motor is the proven 2.0 HP variety used by Vitamix.
Since we’re talking about horsepower, more doesn’t always mean better. Being an engineer myself, calculating the right motor characteristics for the task at hand is the perfect way to balance cost and performance.
I like Vitamix’s approach where they basically match the motor to the type of containers.
For example, the old C-Series uses a 2.0 HP motor, which was a great match for the container and 3” blade size used.
Versus on the follow-on series called the Next-Gen which used a 4” blade, which theoretically would require more power to drive a bigger blade, a 2.2 HP motor was designed for use.
In a nutshell, the 2.0 HP motor for the 48 oz container and any container using the 3” blade is a perfect match for power and performance.
The 5200 is one of the legendary blenders that sold like a zillion of them over the years.
One of the challenges was the overall height.
See the comparison of the E310 vs the 5200 and pay close attention to the upper kitchen cabinet height.
It fits today’s lifestyle more.
It’s great for one serving or two. And that’s what is made most of the time when we talk about smoothies.
It also can use any of the C-Class containers, so you can purchase separately one of the larger 64 oz containers if you find you need it.
But for the money, the target market, the majority of buyers will be perfectly happy with the 48 oz container that ships with the blender.
The lid is basically the same as other containers.
It incorporates a removable cap to insert the patented mini-tamper.
The color and overall shape of the lid looks a little different from the 5200 or 7500, but it functions the same.
The blender supports self-cleaning.
Put a half container of warm water with a couple drops of dish soap in it, and…
- Press Start/Stop. Then slowly raise from 1 to 10
- Run for 30-60 seconds
- Rotate knob from 10 back to 1.Press Start/Stop.
- Empty the water from the container.
- Rinse the container, lid, and tamper in fresh water.
- Voila, the blender is clean.
Do the clean-up immediately after emptying the ingredients out of the container.
We find it is much easier to do it right away rather than waiting, which allows food particles and proteins to bind to the container, blades and crevices.
Add-On E310 Accessories
The E310 supports many accessories!
E310 Compatible Containers
- C-Series Containers
- G-Series Containers
- 20 oz Cup (must use the Vitamix Personal Cup Adapter)
E310 Non-Compatible Containers
Containers that support the Vitamix Self-Detect Technolgy such as the ones used on the Ascent blenders.
E310 Personal Sized Container
The E310 supports the use of the Vitamix 20 oz cup. It requires the purchase of an accessory called the Personal Cup Adapter
E310 Tamper Holder
I’ve never owned one of these, but I think I will have to buy one soon.
It is a plastic holder that fits on the bottom of the blender base. And it allows storing the tamper in a space saving upright configuration.
In my previous house, I used to store the lid’s cap in the drawer permanently and keep the tamper in the lid as it’s storage spot.
But in our new house, the kitchen cabinets are the standard height, and I can no longer store the tamper in the lid.
The blade scraper is for those occasions when you blended an oily, sticky type of food in your container and need a way to clean the underside of the blades.
The Blade Scraper is a handy tool to thoroughly clean your blender.
WHAT DO OTHERS THINK OF THE E310?
E310 ALTERNATIVES TO CONSIDER
If you’ve decided on a Vitamix, but aren’t certain the E310 is for you, check out our article, Which Vitamix To Buy.
If you’ve decided the E310 is at the top of your list, but need a few comparable models to compare it to before making your final decision, we’ve selected the main models people are considering:
Vitamix E310 vs A2300
- Price The E310 $$$ is cheaper than the A2300 $$$$, but you get quite a bit more for the money
- Blender Height Basically the same height
- Power The E310 is less powered with 2.0 HP whereas the A2300 has a 2.2 HP motor. But again, they use different containers with the A2300 using a bigger 4” blade, thus requiring more HP.
- Warranty The E310 only has a 5 yr warranty as standard, whereas the A2300 comes with a 10 year warranty as standard
- Return Policy 30-day in-home trial if purchased direct from vitamix.com
- Ease of Cleaning Both come with the Self-cleaning system
- Controls Big differences here. Both come with 2 switches and a dial that perform start/stop, pulse, and variable speed. What the A2300 provides extra is a display, that reports errors, counter,
- Loudness The E310 is quite a bit louder than the A2300
- Legacy Both are brand new models for 2017, so they both have a long model life ahead of them
- Key Differentiator The A2300 natively supports personal size containers without need for a Personal Cup Adapter. And the A2300 has a 10 year warranty vs a 5 year warranty on the E310
- Why Buy E310 It’s cheaper
Vitamix E310 vs A2500
- Price The Vitamix E310 $$$ is cheaper than the A2500 $$$$$, but you’ll miss out on a lot of advanced features.Blender Height Same as the E310 vs A2300Power Same as the E310 vs A2300Warranty Same as the E310 vs A2300Return Policy Same as the E310 vs A2300Ease of Cleaning Same as the E310 vs A2300Controls The same differences as the E310 vs A2300, except the A2500 adds: 1) Digital Timer which helps with making repeatable results from your recipes and 2) ProgramsLoudness Same as the E310 vs A2300Legacy Same as the E310 vs A2300Key Differentiator Same as A2300 except the A2500 also has Programs. They are a huge timesaver.Why Buy E310 It’s much cheaper and you don’t need Programs or Personal sized container
Vitamix E310 vs Certified Reconditioned Standard
Price The Vitamix E310 $$$ is slightly more expensive than the Reconditioned Standard $$$ blender
Blender Height The E310 is shorter than the Reconditioned Standard and the difference is dramatic, being able to fit underneath an upper kitchen cabinet or not.
Power About the same, both using a 2.0 HP motor
Warranty Both come with a 5 year warranty as standard. Except you can upgrade the E310 to an 8 year warranty, you cannot do that with the Reconditioned Standard
Return Policy 30-day in-home trial if purchased direct from Vitamix.com
Ease of Cleaning Both come with the self-cleaning system
Controls The controls have very minor differences, but basically function the same
Loudness About equal in loudness
Legacy The E310 is all new for 2017 and the Reconditioned Standard (basically 5200) has been out around since 2007. The Reconditioned Standard blenders are now often sold out.
Key Differentiator These are very similar blenders, with the biggest difference being that the E310 ships with the low profile container, thus allowing it to fit underneath most upper kitchen cabinets.
Why Buy E310 It’s readily available and it’s got a long model life ahead of it
Vitamix E310 vs Ninja CT805 Chef
Price The Vitamix E310 $$$ is more expensive than the Ninja CT805 $$
Blender Height The Vitamix E310 is the perfect counter height at 14.5” tall, whereas the Ninja CT805 is 18” tall. The CT805 will not fit underneath most upper kitchen cabinets.
Power The E310 is clearly a 2.0 HP motor, but the specs are unclear for the Ninja CT805 as its only spec listed is 1500 watts. If you do the math and assume all variables and efficiencies are the same, then it can generally be assumed the CT805 also has 2.0 HP.
Warranty Big differences here, the E310 has a much longer warranty and confidence inspiring 5 year warranty (extendable to 8 years), whereas the Ninja CT805 only comes with a 1 yr warranty and offers no extension options.
Return Policy Vitamix the manufacturer offers a 30 day no-questions-asked return policy to allow for in-home trials. Ninja doesn’t have a similar program, so whatever your retailer allows is what you can get.
Ease of Cleaning The Ninja CT805 appears to have a similar self-cleaning system
Controls The E310 offers simple and basic controls, whereas the CT805 has an elegant backlit display with a variable speed knob, 6 buttons, and several Programs options. The CT805 has the E310 beat as far as controls go.
Loudness Both are loud blenders
Legacy The E310 and Ninja CT805 were introduced around the same time, in the Fall of 2017
Key Differentiator On the surface the CT805 offers much more features in the Controls department, but the one big differentiator for me is the lowly 1 year warranty
Why Buy If the CT805 at $ is in your budget and that’s all you got, this is the best blender on the market to buy if you can’t afford to buy the E310. If you can spend a little more and afford the E310 $, we think you’ll find much greater value in it over the long run.
The Vitamix E310 is the perfect blender for those that are buying their first high-performance blender, or those replacing an aging or broken Classic-Series such as the 5200.
- Vita-Mix finally answered the market demand for a Vita mix blender that has a lower height and smaller container.
- The E310 controls are very simple, making it easy for a beginner to master the blending on an E310 very quickly
- The Explorian E310 solves the #1 biggest complaint that a Vitamix costs more than $500. The price point is in the $300 range. And that’s for a brand new, never been used model.
Click below to check the latest price on the Vitamix Explorian E310 blender!