The Vitamix 5200 goes beyond ordinary blenders: It can grind grain into flour, pulverize whole fruits and vegetables, turn ice into snow in seconds and even create hot soup with the press of a button, making it a top recommendation from experts and owners for those who need a heavy-duty blender. It's self-cleaning -- just swirl soapy water in the jug -- and the controls are intuitive and simple to use. Yes, it's expensive, but it lives up to its price.
A blending superpower. In virtually every expert review we found where blenders were tested, the Vitamix 5200 was at the top of the list. It's also one of the highest-rated blenders on consumer review sites such as Amazon.com. Owners say the Vitamix never stumbles, no matter what they throw at it. It churns nuts into nut butter, kneads dough and grinds coffee, spices and even grain - - something that's really popular with the gluten-free crowd. Vitamix says the friction of the blades can create hot soups in four to six minutes, and owners say that it really works. It excels at traditional smoothies, but can also handle "green" smoothies made with hard fruits and leafy veggies, an area where most blenders tend to lag. Expert reviewers say it's loud, but owners don't seem to care.
Simple controls -- and blends itself clean. The Vitamix 5200 is simple to use, reviews say: Just set the jug on the base and flip the switch. A dial lets you control the speed, from 1 to 10. It also has a variable speed option for even more control. The lid has a removable plug to add ingredients while the blender is running or to use the included tamper to prod food toward the blades. It scores highly for convenience at a top testing organization, where experts like the well-balanced, easy-pour jar, clear controls and easy cleanup. The blades don't detach from the jar, but Vitamix recommends whizzing soapy water in the blender to clean it, and owners say this works well. Reviewers also love the long, 6-foot cord.
Built to last. We saw owner reviews referencing Vitamix blenders that have lasted for 20 years or more and experts agree: the Vitamix 5200 has survived years of use in one professional test kitchen. Those professionals say that, although it's expensive, it's cheaper in the long run than buying low-quality blenders and replacing them more frequently. The jug is made of tough, Eastman Tritan co-polyester, which is considered more durable and resistant to the demands of heat, heavy usage, impacts and chemicals than the more common polycarbonate. As for that "plain" looking dial that some users say looks uninspiring: Experts say that design will last much, much longer than the typical pushbuttons. The Vitamix 5200 comes with a long, seven year warranty.
This test of more than 75 blenders includes testing of the Vitamix 5200. Blenders are rated on blending yogurt, pureeing soups and crushing ice for smoothies. They are also evaluated for convenience, noise and durability.
Review: Vitamix 5200 blender, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated
2. Cook's Illustrated
This testing was originally performed in September 2012 with editors challenging nine blenders, including the Vitamix 5200, with a variety of blending tasks. It was updated in January 2014 to include long-term durability results after using the blenders heavily for a year.
Review: Blenders, Editors of Cook's Illustrated, January 2014
The Vitamix 5200 was the top pick in last year's blender roundup. This year, after updates in testing, Cristine Cyr Clisset chooses the Oster Versa, saying it's plenty powerful enough for most people at a fraction of the price of the Vitamix. However, Vitamix outperformed all of the other blenders in testing, and she recommends the 5200 for avid cooks.
Review: The Best Blender, Cristine Cyr Clisset, May 29, 2015
4. Good Housekeeping
Calling it "one of our top performers," testers for Good Housekeeping give the Vitamix 5200 series an overall rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. It excels in all the tasks they set for it, but is downgraded for no pulse feature, not being dishwasher safe and the noise factor.
Review: Vitamix 5200 Series Blender 001372-1101, Editors of Good Housekeeping, July 2013
In a departure from virtually every other expert review we evaluated, the editors of ChowHound.com are not impressed with the Vitamix 5200, giving it a rating of just 2 stars out of 5. They say that the Vitamix does not perform well enough at its price point, and is not particularly easy to use. However, in nearly 15 user ratings, the 5200 gets 5 stars out of 5.
Review: Vitamix 5200 Standard review: Can a Smoothie Machine Cut It in the Kitchen?, Editors of ChowHound.com, June 20, 2013
Naming the Vitamix 5200 the "Best Superpower," in this roundup of the six best blenders, editors say it, "…can blend sauces or turn kale and (whole!) apples into juice with hardly a smidgen of pulp." They also note its easy cleanup.
Review: The Best Blender for Your Kitchen, Editors of RealSimple.com, Not Dated
More than 110 owners review the Vitamix 5200, giving it an overall rating of 4.8 stars out of 5. The Vitamix 5200 is only available from third-party sellers here, and other distributors are available elsewhere on this site, as well as special packages and bundles. This review includes the basic blender with a 64-ounce jar, as well as a couple of bundles. Regardless, the Vitamix 5200 gets very high ratings across the site.
Review: Vitamix 5200, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of November 2015
In nearly 55 reviews, the Vitamix 5200 (this version includes 64 ounce and 32 ounce containers as well as two recipe books) earns 4.8 stars out of 5. All but three reviewers give it a 5-star rating and 92 percent would recommend it to a friend. It's particularly popular with bakers who say it excels at grinding flours and grains.
Review: Vitamix 5200 Super 64oz Variable Speed Blender w/Dry Container, Contributors to QVC.com, As of November 2015