The Blendtec Total Blender is an incredibly powerful, robust and versatile device that I can highly recommend for anyone enthusiastic about health. With the strong and sturdy motor and the thoughtfully designed jar, constantly superb blending results will be guaranteed.
The Total Blender’s outstanding performance is unbeaten in this price range.
Searching for the perfect blender
As I got more and more serious about eating healthy and nutritious foods, it soon became clear that a powerful and robust blender would be the number one must-have tool in my kitchen.
I used to own the Tribest Personal Blender which is a decent option for making small fruit smoothies and grinding nuts or cacao but it was simply lacking the sheer power to create green smoothies out of fiber-rich greens such as kale or to whip up raw soups with tough ingredients like carrots. Especially the green smoothies were something I really didn’t want to miss out on for they are by the easiest and most delicious way to load up on nutrient-dense leafy greens.
Initial research led me to the Vitamix 5200 which appeared to be the single best choice when it comes to blenders and almost everyone in the scene seemed to possess one of those machines. However, being a student, I was a bit intimidated by the hefty price tag of the Vitamix and kept on searching for alternatives.
Soon I stumbled upon Blendtec, a manufacturer that is known to produce both personal and commercial blenders of supreme quality. Out of their whole product line, one blender stood out for me in particular: The Total Blender. It has a regular price of 379.95$ but can be ordered in certified refurbished condition for 259.95$ or 279.95$ (depending on the jar) from the Blendtec website directly. Refurbished blenders need to pass strict quality inspections and come with a 7-year warranty which makes this a pretty impressive offer.
I didn’t hesitate any longer and ordered the device right away. A couple of years later I can still say that it was the perfect choice. I’ve come across many blenders in the meantime and none of those being in a similar price class came close to the Blendtec.
After 4 years of using it almost on a daily basis, it still runs like on day one. But let’s get into some more detail.
What does the Blendtec do for you?
This blender is a masterpiece of versatility and power. It is equipped with an enormous 3 HP motor that handles pretty much anything you throw at it. It’s so strong that it breaks down the individual cell walls of fruits and vegetables to make otherwise unutilized nutrients easily available. Having full access to all the vitamins & minerals will consequently let you reap the maximum amount of health benefits from your foods.
The Total Blender is far more than just a smoothie machine. It can perform a variety of kitchen tasks such as chopping vegetables with the pulse function, making ice cream, grinding nuts or grains, creating warm soups, batters or whole juices, to name just a few. In essence, this device can replace several other kitchen appliances.
Most of the time, I use it for my daily green smoothies and with the Blendtec they get a super-soft and creamy texture. Occasionally, I also prepare gourmet raw food recipes, crackers or nut butter, and the blender comes in extremely handy here as well.
Power & Performance
You’ve probably already bumped into a video of the “Will it blend?” series which Blendtec has put on Youtube. But if not, here’s what it’s all about: Basically, Tom Dickson, the founder of Blendtec, throws all kinds of household items or technical devices into a blender and blends them up until pulverized.
While I’m definitely not a fan of destroying or wasting well-functioning objects, this surely shows what an immense power the Blendtec Total Blender has. In everyday’s use, the ridiculously strong motor handles everything with ease.
Green smoothies become silky and smooth, ice creams soft and creamy. Whole juices can be created without any chunks whatsoever – all the fiber and skin of the vegetables or fruits gets broken down and processed completely. It’s as different as chalk and cheese when compared to my old Tribest Blender.
The interface is exceptionally easy to use, you will get the hang of it in a couple of minutes at most. There is an “On/Off” button on the back of the device and 9 touchpad buttons on the front. The buttons are pretty much self-explanatory: There are 2 buttons to manually adjust the speed, 6 preprogrammed blend cycle buttons and a “Pulse” button.
There are several changes of speed during each cycle and the duration varies as well, to give you the best possible result for your desired recipe. You can literally fill your blender, push a button and walk away – the Total Blender is going to do the rest for you. While a certain cycle is selected, the LCD Screen will show a countdown with the remaining seconds. There is no dedicated “Off” button, but pressing any of the 6 blend cycle buttons will stop the operation immediately.
If you don’t fancy any of these preprogrammed settings, you can easily alter the speed manually as well. The 2 “Speed” buttons will let you adjust the speed in 10 increments and therefore give you full control over the operation. Lastly there’s the “Pulse” button, which is ideal for chopping ingredients or cleaning the jar.
The Total Blender has an intelligent system that monitors factors like operating temperature or motor safety to make sure everything is running smoothly. In case the system detects abnormally high temperatures, it will shut itself down and have the LCD screen show the message “Overtemp”. However, I’ve got to say, that I never came close to pushing the blender to its limits and actually see this myself.
The 6 blend cycles include:
- Ice Cream / Frozen Yoghurt
- Ice Crush / Milkshake
- Soups / Syrups / Fondues
- Sauces / Dips / Dressings / Batters
- Whole Juice
While everyone’s taste is unique, I definitely find the Total Blender to be an eye candy in my kitchen. The motor base has a very sleek, modern and tough design that makes a great combination with the stylish appearance of the WildSide+ jar.
The Total Blender has a fairly small size (15″ tall with the lid on) and low profile, so it fits under most kitchen cabinets quite comfortably. Furthermore, it comes with a velcro strap for its power cord to keep things nice and tidy.
With the different blending cycles you can create anything from frozen ice cream to warm soups. These are the two extremes and of course everything in between is possible as well.
The cycle for soups runs for 90 seconds and gently warms your liquids just by the fast rotation of the blade. During winter time, I like to use this function to nourish myself with slightly warm meals (not heated above 115 °F) that still comprise all the vital enzymes and vitamins. The options are almost endless: You can make smoothies, whole juices, nut milk, sauces, dressings, ice cream, soups or batter, to name just a few.
The device is laid out in a way that it can also serve you as a mill to grind whole grains or nuts into flour.
Are there any Drawbacks?
- The strong motor of the Blentec comes with a price: It can get pretty loud, maybe marginally louder than other comparable blenders. For me, however, that has never been much of an issue since I’m not overly sensitive to noise.
- The device comes without a tamper which might need some getting used to. You have to make sure to place the most water-containing foods on the bottom and add enough liquids in general to get the perfect results. A good idea is to use the recipe book that ships with the Blendtec to look up ratios of the different ingredients and get a better feel for it.
- When blending manually (by using the “Speed” buttons), there is a cap at 50 seconds whereupon the blender will stop itself. If you wish to go further than that, you will need to restart the process.
- While the blender works well for grinding stuff like grains or nuts, doing this will cloud up the surface of the jar after some time. Unfortunately, this is a common issue for blenders using these kinds of polycarbonate materials for their jar and the Total Blender is not immune to it either.
Besides motor base, jar, lid and owner’s manual, you will receive a free 214 pages book full of easy to follow recipes which makes a very nice addition to the package. Even if you prefer to freestyle, the book can serve as a great source of inspiration (the original recipes aren’t necessarily raw or plant-based though, so be sure to make adjustments).
The Total Blender is the perfect fit for anyone looking for a powerful and sturdy high-class blending machine. Performance-wise there is no better option in this price range, the Blendtec pretty much plays in the same league as 600 dollar devices.
It stands out for its great versatility: You can choose to have full control over the blending process by manually adjusting the speed, or use one of the convenient preprogrammed blend cycles which deliver great results for all kinds of recipes.
The Total Blender is an extremely trustworthy machine with outstanding US-made build quality. I’ve been using it for many years already, almost on a daily basis and it runs flawlessly just like on day one. It may very well last you a lifetime. The immense strength of the blender provides you with health benefits that can not be achieved with regular blenders: It has the ability to break down the cell walls of fruits and vegetables to provide you with all the wonderful and essential nutrients.
If you’re just looking for a blender to occasionally prepare small fruit smoothies, the Total Blender might be a little bit over the top. In this case, a Tribest Personal Blender or Nutribullet might be a good starting point.