In this article I’ll review my favorite blender for making protein shakes.
I’ll also evaluate the best blenders according to kitchen appliance “experts”, and I’ll throw the favorite choices of the blender-buying public into the ring as well.
Then we’ll see who’s at the top of the heap when the dust settles. 😄
Here’s who’s here:
Best blenders for protein shakes
Top 3 Personal Blenders
Science resources included
As is my custom here on heydayDo, I will provide links to all of the relevant sports science & medical resources, clinical studies, and nutritional data used in this article.
Up ahead I’ll review the key features of the Ninja models that are the top picks of blender gurus and the highest-rated amongst buyers.
First though, I want to talk about my favorite blender for making protein shakes & groovy smoothies, the Vitamix 5300.
It doesn’t show up on any blender “expert” website’s Best Of lists, but so what.
My Vitamix 5300 has kicked butt since 2015 (!), and performed flawlessly a few times again today.
Owner satisfaction rating 94% – 4.7 ⭐ from 1,800+ buyer reviews
A summary of my Vitamix 5300 experience
My baby’s birth certificate
It’s almost 5 years old
I got it as a gift from the wife on Christmas 2015.
Been in daily use since
I’ve used it every day since I got it, except for when I leave town.
No issues whatsoever
No part has worn out or broken, so the blender has never needed a repair.
Just for shakes
The only things I’ve made in the Vitamix are protein shakes and smoothies: no juice, soups, dips, bread, whatever.
For that kind of food processing, my wife uses an 11 year-old version of the Cuisinart Pro Classic.
And I make my morning juice concoction with a 10 year-old Omega J8006.
That’s a lot of protein shakes
* The daily Vitamix use around here has averaged somewhere between 2 & 3 times per day, even after accounting for the days I’m not home.
4 ½ years = 1,643 days
2x/day = 3,286
3x/day = 4,929
So my Vitamix 5300 has probably whipped up somewhere between 3,500 & 4,500 protein shakes & smoothies.
Handles all my ingredients just fine
I think the Vitamix 5300 makes great protein shakes, but you probably figured that already.
My shake & smoothie ingredients only change a little over the course of a year, when I adjust my fitness training programs.
I’ll bump up the calories for a 10-12 week mass-building cycle once a year, and high-calorie foods are added then.
And the fruit evolves depending on what’s in season out in my orchard or at the store.
Here’s a list of foods my Vitamix 5300 has had no trouble turning into a well-blended drink:
- whey isolate
- micellar casein
- collagen peptides
- strawberries, blackberries, blueberries
Fats, fiber, & calories
- peanut butter
- Olive oil
- chia seeds
- ground flax meal
I wrote an article where I show how you can make your own protein shake recipes using these ingredients, and I share some of the health benefits these foods give us.
I provide the calories & macronutrient numbers for each of my recipes too, and you can read it here on heydayDo.
What I like:
Durable – 4 ½ years, 4000 shakes & counting…
Powerful – its 1380 watts is plenty for any of my protein shake recipes
Outstanding Warranty – 7 years of full coverage, including labor (more info on this a bit later)
Excellent owner satisfaction – 4.7⭐, 94% 5 & 4-star ratings from over 1,800 owners across the online universe
Excellent customer service – Vitamix stands behind their products 110%
Made in the U.S. of A – Cleveland, Ohio to be exact
Variable pulse button – you control how fast or slow you want your pulse speed
Easy to clean – for protein shakes it’s just a drop of dish soap, add warm water, & turn it on (video & step-by-steps below)
Big container – 64 oz.’ worth, it’s well-designed with a shape that channels the food down towards the blades while it’s running
Metal blades – unique shape grinds up & blends everything easily & quickly
Fits under cabinets – at a hair over 17”, the Vitamix 5300 fit easily on the counter under the cabinets in both rooms where it’s been used.
What’s not so good:
Honestly I don’t have — nor have I had — any issues with this blender in the 4+ years we’ve been doing our shake & smoothie thing together.
Then again, I’m not the complaining type.
But…this is a product review, so I need to nitpick about something I suppose.
It started to wander a bit
In the last year or so in its new spot on the counter in the TV room, I’ve caused my Vitamix to wander a little.
It only happens when I jam it with a lot more fibrous stuff than normal, and then turn it on and leave it at its lowest speed for more than a couple of seconds.
A food combo like peanut butter, pineapple with its hard center fiber, and frozen whole strawberries can get my Vitamix to vibrate when its on its lowest setting.
Sometimes that vibration causes the feet to move a little.
Turning up the speed stops the vibrating & the wandering.
Packed blender @ slowest speed = bad idea
In a How-To + Recipes booklet Vitamix published in 2012, there’s a page dedicated to setting speeds properly for best results (it’s pg. xi).
One of their recommendations is to use the slowest speed just to get the Vitamix going, then to gradually crank it up right after that.
(I must’ve missed that part when I tore open my present that morning in front of the tree…oops.)
Vitamix 5300 tech specs:
Power: 1380 watts (120V, 11.5A)
Height: 17 ¼”
Base: 7”W x 9”L
Weight: 12 lb.
Container size: 64 ounces
Here are 3 of Ninja’s most popular & highest-rated blenders.
(Note: Unlike all my fitness equipment reviews here on heydayDo, I haven’t been able to get out & do a hands-on test drive of these blenders. I’ll update this article if/when I product-test them.)
So the feedback below on each of them is from the blenders’ owners.
Owner satisfaction rating 91%, 4.6⭐ – 7,100+ reviews
- Easiest to clean of the three Ninjas
- Has single-serve cups you blend in too
- Shreds ice well
- Longevity – a few reports of parts breaking
- Leaking cups
Owner satisfaction rating 90%, 4.6⭐ – 4,000+ reviews
- Comes w/ food processor & cups
- Great for crushing ice
- 5 manual programs
- Not the easiest to get clean
- Won’t fit under some cabinets
Owner satisfaction rating 88%, 4.5⭐ – 2,000+ reviews
- Smart programs, 3 auto & 5 manual
- Comes w/3 different-sized blender cups
- Cups don’t blend well after awhile
- Won’t fit under some cabinets
Vitamix vs. Ninja
The main differences between the Vitamix 5300 and the highest-rated blenders that Ninja sells are found in these areas:
- Warranty coverage
- Size of container
- Speed settings
- Ease of cleaning
- Where they’re built
The Vitamix 5300 — and all Vitamix’s for that matter — cost a lot more than Ninja blenders do.
There are a few good reasons for that of course.
Vitamix’s warranty policy blows away Ninja’s; it’s not even a fair fight.
The warranty on the Vitamix 5300 is for 7 years of full coverage, including all parts, all labor, & all shipping costs to and from Vitamix; read it here.
Ninja offers only a 1-year limited warranty that has plenty of items & parts excluded; take a look.
Note also that Ninja only covers half of the shipping cost when you send it in to be repaired.
I believe the strength of a warranty tells you how much a company believes in the quality & longevity of their product.
So I’m just guessing my Vitamix 5300 will last longer than a Ninja blender.
I mean, I’ve already given it 4 ½ years of heavy use and it hasn’t even blinked.
And there are multiple reports of Ninja blender parts breaking.
The other side of the coin
However – it should be noted that these sprinkling of complaints are pulled from owner reviews that number well over 13,000.
And that’s just for the 3 Ninja blenders I’m featuring in this review.
And most Ninja buyers are pleased with their purchase, as evidenced by the product ratings.
Though I still think my Vitamix will outlast all of those Ninjas…😉
Size of container
The main containers for these 3 Ninja blenders are all 72 oz., while the Vitamix 5300 is 64 oz.
The Ninjas’ overall dimensions aren’t that different than the Vitamix’s, but several people have commented on not being able to fit their Ninja under their cabinets on the counter.
With my Vitamix (at 17”) it’s close but it fits, and slides right in.
The Ninjas’ use push-buttons to set speed, whether it’s a manual program or one automated by their Auto IQ technology.
The Vitamix speed is adjusted by turning a knob.
Ease of cleaning
The Vitamix is easy to clean after whipping up a protein shake or smoothie.
It’ll self-clean and down below I get into how to set that up; it’s real easy.
Depending on the Ninja, the cleaning can be a little more involved due to the blade design and the design of the container itself.
You’ll have to take the container apart to clean down at the bottom, taking care to avoid the blades of course.
There were more Ninja owners saying how the cleaning process is easy compared to the ones complaining about it.
The Vitamix comes with just the tamper, which is cool to use when you have to nudge a piece of something down towards the blades.
All 3 of the Ninjas I feature here come with cups that can be used on the blender, and one of them — the Mega Kitchen System 770 — comes with a food processing bowl too.
Ninja container parts can go in the dishwasher, but the Vitamix is not dishwasher-approved.
Where they’re made
Vitamix blenders are built in Cleveland, Ohio. And Ninja products are manufactured in China.
Best personal blenders
As a bonus, here are the top 3 personal blenders on the market at this time.
I didn’t include them in the review portion of this article because I feel their size, design, and usage are all so different from countertop blenders that they’re really in their own category.
But here they are, in case you’re interested in which ones are currently the best of the bunch.
Ninja Nutri Pro Personal Blender
Owner satisfaction rating 90%, 4.6⭐ – 3,200+ reviews
NutriBullet Nutrient Extractor
Owner satisfaction rating 90%, 4.5⭐ – 700+ reviews
Oster My Blend
Owner satisfaction rating 84%, 4.4⭐ – 7,500+ reviews
More about Vitamix
Before I wrap it up, I want to provide information on several Vitamix 5300 topics that people ask about, including:
- a comparison to the 5200 model
- what a refurbished 5300 blender is
- the Vitamix full warranty details
- Vitamix recipes
- & other FAQs too
Vitamix 5200 vs. 5300
Vitamix 5200 Vitamix 5300
While the two models have much in common, there are a couple of important distinctions to be aware of:
* The 5200 is 3 inches taller than the 5300 (it’s 20 ½ ”), so it won’t fit under most cabinets.
* The adjustable pulse function on the 5300 is more user-friendly and useful than the manual 5200’s, in my humble opinion.
* The 5300 lists a higher peak horsepower (2.2 vs. 2) than the 5200, but that’s no big deal. They both have the same running power of 1380 watts (120 volts x 11.5 amps).
About a refurbished Vitamix 5300
Buying a refurbished, “certified reconditioned” Vitamix can be a smart way to save a few bucks and still get a top-quality blender.
A refurbished Vitamix 5300 is backed by the same full warranty coverage that Vitamix provides for all of its new products.
And the length of that full coverage is 5 years.
A refurbished Vitamix 5300 IS NOT the same as a “Renewed” model on Amazon.
Amazon only offers a 90-day warranty on their Amazon Renewed products; buyer beware.
You can check out the details of these certified reconditioned blenders on Vitamix’s website. (3)
One of the main reasons for Vitamix’s best-in-class owner satisfaction rating and premium pricing is the outstanding warranty they provide for their new products.
One coverage policy, three warranty lengths
Vitamix offers one policy that applies to all of their new blenders.
The only thing that’s different amongst their various models is the length of that coverage, not the terms.
In a nutshell, those terms provide full coverage for:
- All parts
- All performance
- All labor
- 2-way shipping cost
- No expense to the owner
Here’s a pic of the warranty that came with my Vitamix 5300:
Lengths of warranty protection
Vitamix makes several blender models and I didn’t check the warranty coverage for all of them.
But all the blenders I did look up fell into one of these three warranty lengths:
- 5 years
- 7 years
- 10 years
Vitamix recipes: PDFs, ebooks, etc.
Here are a few resources that have hundreds of recipes made with the Vitamix blender; enjoy.
Vitamix’s recipe page – This is on their website. It’s a page with categories by food type you’re looking to make.
This book — available in Kindle, paperback, or hardcover — is a popular, well-regarded (4.5⭐) Vitamix recipe collection written by Jodi Berg, Vitamix’s CEO.
This free 176-page PDF was put out by Vitamix in 2012.
Besides recipes, this ebook provides an overview on what the features of the Vitamix are, and how to correctly use it.
It also explains several specific preparation techniques in detail.
It’s in color & has photos too.
This PDF ebook is titled Whole Food Recipes For Better Living, and was published by Vitamix in 2008.
It has 124 pages of recipes drawn from over 20 types of dishes.
It’s also free and is in black & white.
Here are answers to a few of the commonly asked questions regarding the Vitamix blender.
How to clean a Vitamix container?
The easiest way to clean the container is to
- fill it halfway with warm (not hot) water
- add a drop of dish soap
- pop on the lid
- put it on the Vitamix
- turn it on at its lowest setting
- gradually increase speed to its highest
- let run for 30-60 seconds
- rinse it out with warm water
- set it upside down somewhere to air dry
I got this technique from my owner’s manual on pg. 16 (6).
Here’s a real brief video showing just how easy all that is:
And if your container becomes cloudy
I slack off on the diligent cleaning program with my Vitamix on occasion.
So inevitably the container will look a little cloudy even after cleaning it.
From Vitamix’s website, here’s their recommended steps for clearing up your container.
Where is the serial number on a Vitamix blender?
The serial number can be found under the bar code, which is either on the bottom of the blender or on the back, like mine:
How many watts is a Vitamix?
Wattage varies with Vitamix products since they make so many different blenders.
The majority of their blenders have either 1380 or 1440 watts.
As an example of this, here are two popular Vitamix blenders and their respective wattage:
- Vitamix 5300 – 1380
- Vitamix A2300 – 1440
Manufacturers like to list peak horsepower but you don’t use that to figure out the watts or to compare the true power of two blenders. (7)
To calculate watts, simply multiply the volts by the amps.
In the case of my Vitamix 5300, that looks like this:
120 volts x 11.5 amps = 1380 watts.
There are calculators like this one online you can use if math isn’t your strong suit.
Why is Vitamix so expensive?
Vitamix blenders cost more than others for three main reasons:
* The high quality of the American-made Vitamix results in reliable blenders that last for several years without problems.
* The best-in-class warranty that Vitamix provides owners of its blenders is superior to its competitors’ warranties by far.
* The degree to which Vitamix stand behind their products, as shown in the outstanding customer service they provide.
* All of the above results in well over 15,000 owners who collectively have given Vitamix’s products a 4.7⭐ rating, with 95% of all reviews being 5-star or 4-star.
I hope that my article on the Vitamix 5300 & other protein shake blenders is useful to you, and I wish you well on your fitness journey.