Vitamix Ascent A2500 vs Blendtec Designer 650 - Blender Battle - Middle Weight Category
ARE YOU READY TO RUUUUMMMMBLE???
Ladies and gentlemen, today we have a real treat for you, our main event is, a clash of 2 great pugilistic gladiators, the Vitamix Ascent A2500 vs. the Blendtec Designer 650!
In one corner, 17 inches tall and weighing in at 11.83 pounds, we have the Vitamix Ascent A2500. It is the Ascent Series entry level model offering pre-set options. Instead of the touchscreen, it has Vitamix's traditional switch and dial interface.
In the other corner, we have the challenger, 15.5 inches tall and weighing in at 9.8 pounds, the Blendtec Designer 650, who hopes its array of pre-set options will help it knock its opponent to the mat for the count.
Ding Ding Ding…. Fight!
The power of a blender's motor is a critical component to successfully perform difficult blending tasks, such as frozen produce, ice, hard raw vegetables and leafy greens. Without it, you are likely to experience less than stellar results. That being said, both are incredibly powerful blenders with plenty of power and torque.
As Tim the Toolman Taylor always says "MORE POWER!"
With more horsepower and the demonstrated ability to turn garden rakes, golf balls, and iPads into fine powder (video here), the Blendtec Designer 650 takes the first round.
MANUAL BLENDER CONTROLS
Undeniably one of Vitamix’s strongest selling points. Vitamix’s fans really appreciate the simplicity and ease of use that its manual controls offer. The A2500 is not an exception and continues that Vitamix tradition with their standard 10-speed settings.
On the other hand, even though Blendtec is better known for its pre-programmed blend cycles, the 650 still puts up an excellent challenge with its 8-speed touch slider.
No surprise here, Vitamix is renowned for their manual blending controls. But the round was closer than many would have predicted.
PRE-PROGRAMMED AUTOMATIC CYCLES
What is it? These are options on your control panel. Just select the item such as smoothie, ice cream/frozen desserts, hot soups, or other, and it will perform the appropriate blend cycle. The blender then starts, runs a variety of speed cycles and stops when done. These pre-programmed blend cycles are designed by the manufacturers to deliver optimal blends.
The reality of automatic pre-set blender cycles posed a problem for Vitamix. Why you might ask? Vitamix’s signature tamper is a central element of their jar design. The tamper is a wand that is inserted through an opening in the blender lid. It is used to help process thicker mixtures by manually forcing recipe ingredients back onto the blades. So, if you use a tamper, then it’s not really hands-free blending. Considering that, then what’s the use of having pre-sets on Vitamix’s? Well you don’t need a tamper for all blend tasks, but it surely does help. With that all said, the A2500 has three pre-sets; smoothie, soups and frozen treats.
Blendtec took the completely opposite ideological view to Vitamix and their tamper and manual control. Blendtec believed that perfect blends could be achieved every time with a selection of pre-programmed cycles. They achieved this by designing jar’s that did not require a tamper. The perfect vessel for a truly hands-free blending experience.
No contest here, the Blendtec Designer 650 takes this round, hands down. With its array of 6 pre-set cycles offering: smoothie, hot soup, frozen treats, dips/sauces, whole juice and a mixed drinks cycle (Cheers! ). And thanks to the jar design, it is true hands-free blending.
Oh, and there is more to love with the 650 experience. In addition to the convenience of pre-programmed automatic blending on the 650, is the inclusion of Blendtec’s signature digital display of blend time and count down timer. What’s this? It is a super handy feature for those times when you want to know how much longer until a blend is done. Multi-taskers and custom blenders love this as does anyone eager to get their smoothies or other blends done fast.
The Vitamix Ascent A2500 blender looks very sharp and stylish. It’s a huge improvement over previous Vitamix models and their utilitarian design.
This is not your mother’s blender. The A2500 comes in four attractive colors. On the other hand, the Designer 650 follows in Blendtec’s tradition of more modern styling. Sleek and sexy contours, elegant and sophisticated good looks that completely masks the power of its 3 HP motor.
The Blendtec 650 is available in three beautiful colors.
The old saying is as true as it ever was, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Both blenders offer stylish designs and as such it’s too subjective to call a winner.
BEST KITCHEN COUNTER FRIENDLY BLENDER
The importance of the dimensions of a blender are individualized and unique to your kitchen. Know your cabinet to counter height as this will determine how much space is available for storing and using your blender.
The more clearance you have will determine what dimensions are acceptable and preferable for both storing and operating.
There is nothing more frustrating than unpacking your new blender and finding out it does not fit under the cabinet!
If you are interested in the A2500, it is a taller machine, so be sure to carefully measure your kitchen counter to cabinet clearance to be certain you have enough clearance to fit.
Keep in mind, that there is the additional height of a tamper, as it exceeds typical countertop to cabinet clearance. This means for many, the Ascent A2500 cannot be kept on the counter fully assembled and as such, you may need to store the tamper and jar separately.
Blendtec wins the kitchen counter friendly competition as their blenders are more compact and lighter than the Vitamix blenders. The 650 should fit under most cabinets, even those with decorative moldings.
Let’s face it, cleaning is an annoying chore! So, in the interest of doing less work (don’t you do enough already?), its important to determine which is the easier blender to clean.
Cleaning a blender can be broken into two parts, the motor base and the jar.
The Vitamix A2500 motor base has a hybrid control interface of both a dial and capacitive touch interface. The presence of a dial may require more intricate cleaning attention to clean spills, splashes, dirt, grime, bacteria and germs from around the dial.
On the other hand, the Blendtec Designer 650 blender base is completely smooth, typically only requiring simple damp wiping.
Usually cleaning the jar can be done fast and easy by simply adding some water and a little dishwashing liquid to the jar and briefly running the blender and then rinsing. This will easily remove blend residuals around the blade and jar interior. However, stickier blends can require a more hands-on approach.
A dull to touch blending blade is most ideal, as it makes cleaning around the blade assembly easier and safer. Vitamix claims that the blades on the A2500 are dull. But upon examination it gives the impression that you could cut your hands on it. On the other hand, the Blendtec blade system is indisputably completely blunt.
* Not Quite – In our opinion.
The Blendtec Designer 650 model is the winner in this category offering the most wins. Including:
- Safety of cleaning around the blunt blending blade
- Ease to clean blender base due to controls being 100% simple wipe clean smooth surface via their capacitive touch interface
One of the perks of owning either one of these blenders is the great warranties they offer. They are a testament to the quality and reliability of these products.
Vitamix’s standard warranty on all blenders is 7 years. However, Vitamix has upped the ante and is offering a 10-year warranty on their Ascent Series blenders. Blendtec’s standard warranty on all new blenders is 8 years. You can’t lose with either!
The winning blender with the best warranty is the Vitamix Ascent A2500 for offering an outstanding 10-year warranty.
These blenders are loud. For all intents and purposes, they will be within a similar decibel range. You will not conduct a normal volume conversation while they are running without raising a voice or straining an ear.
But will one subject you to a shorter noise duration? Yes! Now anything less than 10 seconds is not that noticeable. For this duke out, lets look at the popular blend task of making soup, which has a noticeably longer blend time than other pre-sets.
Both 650 and A2500 have soup pre-programs. The blend time to complete blending a soup cycle on a Blendtec is 3 minutes and on a Vitamix A2500 5.5 minutes. So clearly this blend comparison has a distinctive and noticeable difference in noise duration.
The winning blender for least noise is the Blendtec 650, because it can make soup significantly quicker than the A2500 due to the WildSide+’s high friction design. Shorter run time = shorter time to be subjected to noise!
BLUNT BLADE SYSTEM
Historically, Vitamix jars had a sharp blade system. However, in recent years they have been moving towards more of a dull blade system and state that their blades are dull. Vitamix promotes that the Ascent A2500 has a dull 4 prong blade that is safe to touch.
In our opinion, the Vitamix blades are not completely dull and could still pose a cutting risk when doing a hands-in manual clean.
Unlike Vitamix, the Blendtec blade system has always been completely dull with a thick 2 prong dull stainless-steel blade. Instead of slicing the jar contents like a sharp blade system, these blunted blades literally pulverize its blends to desired texture conformity.
About the Jar blades
- Historically Vitamix Blades were razor sharp. You had to be very careful to not cut yourself when cleaning the jar. But with the Ascent and other recent generation models, Vitamix has been transitioning to more of a dull blade system.
The 650 wins this round because its blunt non-sharp blade system makes cleaning safe and easy.
EXTRA THICK BLENDS
The Vitamix jar comes with a tamper that is used to push the jar contents onto the blades. The Blendtec WildSide+ Jar can make extra thick blends such as nut butters, but it would take periodic stopping and wiping down the sides thus slowing the process.
The Vitamix A2500 64-ounce base jar with tamper is better than the WildSide+ jar when making thick recipes such as nut butters. But if you use a Twister Jar on the Blendtec for extra thick blends, that’s another matter all together, and another battle… Tamper vs Twister Jar, tickets available soon!
Blendtec and Vitamix both provide excellent large general all-purpose type jars that come with your blender. Both Jars are well made and constructed of BPA free, strong, light weight Tritan co-polyester. And both provide unique qualities and value.
The Vitamix all-purpose jar that comes with the Ascent A2500, is their 64-ounce Low-Profile Container (with SELF-DETECT ™). The jar design is a mixture of both a circular and square shape. It has an outer body that follows a mostly circular shape with four vertical inward jutting sides. In a top down view, the inside looks like an octagonal shape on a rounded square base paired with 4 pointed blades.
The jar is from their new SELF DETECT line of Vitamix jars which is compatible with only the Ascent Series of blenders. With the SELF DETECT, the jar model is recognized by the Ascent A2500 (and all Ascent’s) which then are supposed to adjust blend preprogram settings depending on which size jar is in use. Currently there are no reports of blend cycle differences between jars that we can see, however in the future there may be updates on the blenders that may avail of this self detect technology. Another feature of the detect line, is it will not run a blend unless the lid is fastened close.
The A2500 has another interesting feature that there currently has no use for, a Wi-Fi capability. It’s been suggested that this may allow owners of Ascent blenders to obtain new pre-sets and other technology updates in the future. But we will have to wait and see what may develop.
What makes this jar special is the tamper that you can use to press thick and frozen ingredients into the blades. This enables it to tackle thicker blends without having to pause and wipe down the sides and resume.
The Blendtec all-purpose jar that comes with the Designer 650 is their 90-ounce capacity WildSide+ Jar. The WildSide+ jar is a low-profile angular design jar with 4 similar sides and one shorter fifth side which is paired with a single thick stainless-steel blunt blade.
The innovative design featuring an extra-wide base and the narrow fifth "wild" side which helps create faster, smoother blends. The jar design increases blending efficiency for frozen ingredients by up to 25%. The patented fifth side allows for bigger, quicker blends. The WildSide+ jar also features two vertical ridges on the interior walls to disrupt the blending pattern even further and accelerate the blend. The result? The fastest, smoothest blends yet.
Ultimately Vitamix must have agreed with Blendtec engineers for better blender jar design, because they released a jar similar enough that they lost a patent infringement lawsuit for 24 million dollars to Blendtec in 2012. (Details here & here)
A tough call, the tamper’s utility vs the WildSide+ innovations, but in the end, the WildSide+ Jar takes the day because its design provides quicker blending, the blunt blades are safe to touch during cleaning and it provides truly hands-free blending automation.
It’s the last round baby!! It’s do or die. Now its time for this Vitamix vs Blendtec Blender Battle to talk Dollars and Cents, because heck yeah, PRICE MATTERS!
Now both these blenders are loaded up with power, impressive warranties, manual controls and pre-set features. You know they are not cheap. You know Quality costs more, and you know that you get what you pay for. But you still want to get the BEST VALUE. So, let the bell ring and get this round on.
Winner: Blendtec 650
Currently you can find the A2500 for about $719.95 CAD. But the Blendtec Designer 650 wins the lowest price round as you can find it being sold by some vendors (including good4lifemart.com) for about $649.95 CAD.
Note that prices may change since time of writing.
BLENDTEC 650 IS THE WINNER!!!
A hard-fought battle that went the full 12 rounds. But the judge’s decision is for the Blendtec Designer 650.
So, there you have it. Blendtec’s Innovation, triumphs over Vitamix’s long history.
Please don’t send emails saying how barbaric blender battles are! Nobody is forced to participate in or watch a Blender Battle. All participants do so of their own volition. Those who don’t like them should just ignore it if they don’t like it.