|Product Dimensions||27.94 x 20.32 x 45.72 cm; 4.76 Kilograms|
|Capacity||64 Fluid Ounces|
|Item Weight||4.76 kg|
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Vitamix Explorian Blender, Professional-Grade, 64 oz. Low-Profile Container, Black (Renewed)
|All prices include VAT.|
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|Item dimensions LxWxH||27.9 x 20.3 x 45.7 centimeters|
|Item weight||10.5 Pounds|
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
On the specs (not specks), I've appended a longer answer with details for those who want them, but the short answer is that these numbers as given by manufacturers typically don't matter because they're too vague or don't connect with practical performance. (The power specs in this review should mostly be read as if in scare quotes.)
Vitamix seems to agree, as I'll explain below.
What does matter? Real-world experience is the best guide. This blender has the performance of more expensive ones, without the bells and whistles.
My own experience, summarized below, is much like that of others. I've read numerous comparative kitchen tests and hundreds of comments from owners of this and similar blenders, including Blendtecs and Ninjas. The bottom line is that all of the full-size Vitamixes and Blendtecs are amazing. Some prefer one, some the other, some love both. Some think one lasts longer, some the other, both have great warranties. And there are some Ninjas and other brands that may be good alternatives. (I'm trying out a Weston 2.4 HP that works great, with an 8-year warranty but not much of a track record yet.) Chances are you'll be happy with any of the comparable models that have the features you want.
Update November 18 2018: I've been using this daily for four months to make fresh salsa and to clean itself at high speed afterwards, and everything still works as new. Not the most demanding work it can do, but it's been reliable fo far. And the salsa has been great!
Black specks, jar recall
There was once an issue with bits of PTFE (Teflon) showing up in blended food, not dangerous but unappetizing. That was addressed a few years ago and isn't an issue with current new or reconditioned machines.
There is currently a jar recall, but not for the jar that comes with this. (It's for the Ascent/Venturist line.)
Here's what we know about this machine and how it fits in the Vitamix lineup, and what we don't.
Vitamix has a generous return policy, and there are demo units, so they get a lot of these back with limited or no use. They're inspected and tested, given new container shells (the jar except the blade assembly), new blades if a year old or damaged, new tampers and booklets, and any other part that doesn't perform or look right is replaced with a new part. Then they're sold at a significant discount.
Mine came with a couple small scratches on one of the blades, otherwise looks and performs as new.
The warranty goes down with the price, from 7 years for a new one to 3 years for reconditioned (still a lot).
Amazon calls this a reconditioned Explorian E310, but it's actually the E320 configuration according to the Vitamix descriptions of its models. The E320 was originally made exclusively for Costco, so that may be why they aren't calling it that here, but that's what I'll call it.
The E310 and E320 are the entire Explorian line, the no-frills "getting started" part of the Vitamix lineup of full-size workhorses. They occupy the same space as the older 5200, their most popular model over the years, and 5300, another model made for Costco.
The unit I received is a little taller than described at Amazon, just under 17-3/8" with the lid on, 16-3/8" without. It's 7-7/8" wide and 9" deep.
The base is over 9-1/2 pounds, the jar adds over 2-1/2 more.
The cord reaches a little over 4 feet from the back of the base, a few inches more from the side.
The 310 and 320 have what looks in every way to be the same base, though the 310, like the 5200, has the 2.0 HP spec, and the 320, like the 5300, has the 2.2 HP spec. This reconditioned version comes with the 2.2 spec. I don't think it reflects a real difference, as explained below.
The base housing is sturdy plastic, with a lot of substantial metal inside. (To see inside, google vitamix boltr and play the teardown video--if profanity and off-color jokes bother you, turn the sound off. It shows a 5300, basically the same inside as this one. The guy uses it to blend rocks. Really.)
The E320, like the 5300, has a low-profile 64-ounce jar with 4" blades. The E310 has a 48-ounce jar with 3" blades. The 5200 has a taller 64-ounce jar with 3" blades. The wider low-profile jar may be easier to fit on your counter, while the narrower jars may be easier to use with smaller batches.
The jar is BPA-free plastic. No blender this powerful I'm aware of uses glass.
There are raised markings on the outside for cups/ounces and liters/ml.
The tough rubber lid clamps securely onto the top so it won't come off while in use.
The rubberized handle is very sturdy. I pound on it often (to shake stuff down in the jar--while off the base), and it doesn't complain.
The basic controls are roughly the same for all the models I've mentioned: on/off, pulse (or high for the 5200), and a dial to control speed. The pricier 750 model adds presets: five buttons for automatic blending programs. Vitamix has an even more automated line, the Ascent or Venturist (Costco) series: their phone app can automatically run 17 preset programs and walk you through hundreds of recipes, and they recognize what size jar you're using and adjust mixing times accordingly. The E320 is fully manual.
People have mentioned some of the knobs feel cheap. The two toggle switches on mine feel high quality, secure and smooth. The variable-speed dial does feel cheap, not so smooth, but it works fine.
It's not clear the "2.2" HP motor is any different from the "2.0" HP one. The only independent test I've found determined that with the same jar/blades and same stuff to blend, both motors operate at the same maximum input wattage and blade rpm. (More at the end of the review.) Vitamix doesn't make much of the difference. Their website says:
"Since all Vitamix blenders are able to perform the same variety of culinary techniques ... you can select a product based on the size you need and the controls you prefer."
Some years ago Vitamix explained why they don't make a higher-HP home blender:
"Higher horsepower motors draw more power and are louder, so we only recommend them for applications that demand continuous processing all day long, e.g. culinary chefs and professionals. Extensive testing has shown that competitors’ 3 horsepower machines [i.e. Blendtecs] will not increase or even match blend performance over Vita-Mix 2 horsepower machines."
Vitamix does make higher-HP professional blenders. I'll include below reasons to think the 2/2.2 HP motor can already push the limits of some kitchen electrical systems.
Asked about performance differences between the "commercial-grade" motor of the 750 and the other 2.2 HP motors, Vitamix told me:
"The only difference between the E320, 5300, and the 7500 is where the product is sold at, as well as very minimal cosmetic differences. The Vitamix Professional Series 750 is different. as it has 5 preset programs on the machine allowing the machine to run for you."
It appears the only performance difference Vitamix thinks matters among those models is the presets.
Other possible differences
The 7500 was advertised as being 40% or 7 dB less loud. It's still very loud, but the E320 and others are apparently noticeably louder.
There are also differences in how vents are structured and other purported cooling advantages for the 7500. If a Vitamix motor gets too hot it shuts itself off and you have to wait 20 or more minutes for it to cool, a hassle, but it never happens for most people. The E320 doesn't have the advanced cooling.
Performance in the kitchen
The E320 makes short work of anything I use it for. Smoothies take under a minute, salsa just a few seconds (though I've started adding salsa ingredients in stages so it takes a few seconds a few times--makes a perfect mix of smooth and chunky). A milkshake took a little over a minute. I've mostly been using the recipes at the website as a guide. There are a lot more there than in the recipe booklet.
It laughs at ice, no problem pulverizing it, no stalling. Smoothies are smooth, no chunks.
Works well at slow speeds too (important for chunky salsa).
Stuff can get stuck away from the blades, especially if it's thick or there's only a little in the jar. The tamper really helps when there's more than a couple cups of stuff. It can be safely used through the lid while the machine is running. If you use smaller amounts you may have to stop and reach in with a spatula, or add something wet. Blendtec doesn't have a tamper but offers a jar and blending programs they and some of their owners claim make it unnecessary. Others say stuff does get stuck sometimes and wish it had one.
You can get smaller jars to use with this, but they're expensive.
This thing can travel across a counter if the load and speed are right, so I keep an eye on it when I have it operating at high speed. Hasn't move more than an inch so far. An uneven load can also shake the jar, but I haven't had any issue with it threatening to come off. The four pegs that keep it in place are almost 1-1/4" tall.
This blender sounds like a jet taking off when you start low and turn it up to high speed. It gets louder than most of my power tools. Have to yell to talk over it. Fortunately, it's only a minute or so, usually. (I don't heat soup with this, which takes several minutes. It's great for blending some soups, but there are quieter ways to finish heating.)
The instructions say you can clean the jar in the dishwasher, though they say at the website (not about this jar specifically) it can damage jar components. Similarly, Blendtec recommends its "dishwasher safe" jars be hand washed to extend their life. Probably best to usually let it wash itself by filling it halfway with warm water, adding a touch of soap if needed, and turning it on for a minute. That's easy and highly effective.
The blades aren't that sharp, won't cut you, but the points are sharp enough to poke if you don't pay attention. Easy to clean around.
Though it's "only" three years, the warranty for this has a couple unusual advantages shared with other Vitamixes and Blendtecs: shipping both ways is covered, and so is wear from normal home use. Most warranties don't cover those.
For those who want it, I'm adding some details about the power specs, including why some are useless.
Vitamix says its HP figures are "peak motor output horsepower." That's the maximum power the motor can put out, for how long we don't know, could be as little as a split second, and is likely reached as it starts up or stalls against a load it can't move. It's not a useful measure of how much power the motor can deliver continuously while blending.
Further, it's the motor's output, not the power at the blades, so it may have been measured without blades and cooling fan attached.
Further, the power of a motor varies a lot according to the kind of load it's working on and the speed it's operating at.
Similarly, Blendtec has a footnote on some of its webpages that says (in all caps), "Peak horsepower (PHP) does not denote the operational horsepower of a blender but rather the horsepower output of a motor, including the motor's inertial contribution, achieved in laboratory testing. In actual use, Blendtec motors do not operate at the peak horsepower shown."
Amps, and more on horsepower
Some try to infer power from the amperage rating claimed for a motor. The rated amps multiplied by the voltage should give a rough upper limit on the continuous power of a motor. But it's a measure of power going in, not power passed along to the blades, which may be much lower and vary a lot for different loads and speeds.
We can also wonder how much we should read into the amperage ratings even for input. Vitamix says the E320 is 12 amps in the manual, but the sticker on the back says 11.5--the same number as for the 2.2 HP 5300 and the 2 HP motors. Blendtec claims 13 amps for its 3 HP motors, 15 for its 3.8 HP. By electrical code the latter would need its own dedicated circuit, as most homes have 15-amp circuits, but nothing is mentioned in the manual. So do they really think it calls for a 15-amp rating? Weston, a brand owned by Hamilton Beach that claims 12.5 amps, says their measure is based on an optional configuration: "The blender as provided may draw significantly less power."
One intrepid reviewer, Adam at joyofblending, actually tested some Vitamixes and found that with the same jar/blades and heavy load to blend, the 2 and 2.2 HP motors both maxed out at 1600 watts input, 13.3 amps, though I don't for how long.
Adam did a tougher series of tests on a 7500 that saw input go up to 2050 watts, requiring about 17 amps for ten seconds at a time. His tests indicated the 2.2 HP motor was able to produce 1.9 HP at the blades over ten seconds. That's actually quite impressive, and probably getting close to practical limits of many kitchen electrical systems, which usually have several devices per 15-amp circuit. (A 15-amp circuit can easily handle 17 amps for ten seconds, but he did overload his power strip once while doing these tests.)
How about rpm? There too the figures commonly cited aren't what they seem. It's widely reported based on an old claim from Vitamix that the blades of the 5200 and other 2 HP models turn at up to 37,000 rpm, which would mean the tips of the blades were moving at 330 mph. That's very different from the claim that's currently on the 5200 box, that they move up to 240 mph. That would work out to under 27,000 rpm.
Adam at joyofblending tested this too, and the actual highest rpm for the 5200 was closer to the latter figure, 28,500, or 254 mph. He theorized that the 37,000 figure was the rpm of the motor without blade and fan attached.
He also tested the 7500 and 750, which should be the same as the E320. They turned their larger 4" blades at 22,700 rpm, or 270 mph.
Blendtec, by the way, claims 28,000 rpm and 310 mph, and in some places 29,512 rpm, though I haven't seen those claims tested.
The problem with all of those rpm claims and measures is that they're about free spinning, not blending. Vitamix does claim at an obscure part of its website that the 7500 turns at 16,000 rpm with a heavy load (1380 watts worth). Adam measured up to 12,000 rpm in a test using 3.5 cups of hummus, so about half the free-spinning speed. Only rpm measures of this kind could be useful in evaluating and comparing blenders for practical use.
But just seeing how well they blend the hummus, and whatever else, is still the best test.
Let me start saying that probably I would by it again, considering that it costs almost 50% of the Professional 750 (new) but it feels and look undoubtedly cheaper.
So far I can say that it is only the look and feeling, the functionality is the same (and that is the reason why I would buy it again) but certainly the controls knobs and all the structure feels "cheaper".
The 750 is incredibly sturdy, it does not vibrate and it stands still even at max speed, this one vibrates a lot more, if you don't keep your hand on top of the container at max speed it tends to move around (probably I just need stickier feet, but still.....) the plastics feel flimsier.. etc...etc...
So.... it feel and looks cheaper, it performers the same with some minor caveats... it costs 50% less....
Blendtec is absolutely wonderful for blending the things that are impossible to blend. The Vitamix blender has more finesse. The blade is sharper. The blade of the Blendtec is more blunt. This means that while it's great at breaking things down, the Vitamix beats out the Blendtec when it comes to making juices and very fine smoothies and soups. The Vitamix is also better at chopping thanks to the sharper blades. The blunt blades of the Blendtec don't chop as well. This is all for those who can't decide between the two or who want to know why they may need both. Now for someone who just want to know whether or not this is a good blender.
It's not just a good blender, it's an excellent blender. Let me warn you, however, that if you are used to those cheaper blenders ($100 or less) that have less powerful motors, this thing is going to be very, very loud. I'm used to it because it's the same volume of sound as the Blendtec but I can see where some people might not like the loudness of it. To me, it's worth the noise to get the results. The controls are pretty self-explanatory and easy to use. While they might not look as fancy as the Blendtec controls or have as many options, the Vitamix can do just as much and get the job done well. I really like the tamper that goes through an opening at the top that lets you push solids that have come up the side back down. Malts and smoothies also seem creamier when made in the Vitamix. That is definitely a plus. As someone who has only used high-end blenders for a number of years, I can say without a doubt that the performance of the Vitamix blew me away and I should have listened to my friend a lot sooner. It may not look as impressive as it is, but it really is an impressive blender. Whether you want to make smoothies, soups, nut butters, or whatever else you could make in a blender, this model can definitely handle it with ease.
As far as durability, I have heard nothing but good things about this brand but I haven't had the product long enough to know if it's going to die on me before I deem it is the appropriate time (due to the abuse I put my blenders through). However, if this does not last as long as I would expect it to I will definitely update my review.
For those asking themselves, "Is it really worth spending that much on a blender and how much of a difference can there be between this blender and my $100 or less blender?" Yes, it is worth spending that much on this blender and there is a HUGE difference in power and performance when comparing this blender to other, cheaper blenders. There is a HUGE difference in results that one can only experience by blending with a high-end blender like this one.