Pros: Pre-programmed cycles, powerful motor, effective design, compact size
Cons: Pricey. The jar has a limited life expectancy.
Update October 2011
When I originally rated this item for durability, I gave it a middle rating and stated that it was too soon to tell. Two years and three months later, the results are in. The motor burned up while I was making a smoothie.
I am so glad that I purchased mine at Costco!
They cheerfully refunded the full purchase price. Since the factory warranty for the blender is only two years, I would have been out of luck had I purchased it elsewhere.
The Blendtec had a digital counter on the front of the base that counted every cycle that was run. It had been used only 267 times.
I plan to replace it with a VitaMix next month when their sales person comes to Costco.
The Blendtec Total Blender was being demonstrated at Costco last week. When I stopped to watch the demo, one of those lively little machines jumped right into my cart! Can you believe it?
Well, okay then. Actually the demonstrator put it in my cart after I told him my color preference. It comes in black, white, red, and coffee.
If there is anything that will press my "I want that!" button, it is a product that makes good nutrition easy and enjoyable. The Smart-Touch technology (described below), 1500-watt motor, and effective design make it quick and easy to turn out delicious soups, smoothies and much more.
But What About Clean-up?
Simple. Add warm water and a little bit of dish detergent to the jar. Press the pulse button for 5 seconds. Rinse and drain. Done!
How does it work?
The power button is on the back. When you flip the switch, the blue LCD panel lights up on the front. It reads "home" on the left side and there is a digital counter on the right side that tracks how many cycles the blender has performed.
There are six cycle buttons across the bottom row of the touch pad.
Ice Cream / Frozen Yogurt
Ice Crush / Milk Shake
Soups / Syrups / Fondues
Sauces / Dips / Dressings / Batters
Each cycle runs a predetermined number of seconds, automatically speeding up and slowing as appropriate for whatever is being blended. While it runs, the right side of the LCD panel counts down the seconds remaining for the cycle. Then it shuts off automatically at the end of the cycle. How nice!
You can adjust the blender speed manually while it is running by pressing the up and down arrow keys on the left side just above the cycle buttons. There is also a pulse button on the right side above the cycle buttons for manual operation.
To stop the blender at any time, you press any of the cycle buttons on the lower row.
This blender is loaded with great features:
Smart-Touch Technology: That is their term for the pre-programmed cycles, and the main feature that sets this blender apart from any that I have previously used.
Power Drive System (from the box): It is a combination of the power from the 1500-watt motor, the direct drive socket and blade design. These components work together to break up hard ice and frozen fruit, giving you the smoothest texture every time.
Stainless Steel Blade Design: Blendtec promises that their patented two-prong wingtip design will power through the toughest ingredients. From what I have seen so far, I believe it. Instead of pushing the food up, these blades draw it down.
The Square Design of the Jar: The square shape forces ingredients into the blending vortex. There is no need to stop blending to push foods down into the blades. It really works!
Heavy Duty 64-ounce jar: It is made from BPA-free Triton. It looks like clear Plexiglas, about 1/8 of an inch thick, with cups and ounces clearly marked in black. The demonstrator bounced it off of the concrete floor twice and then stood on it, with no damage to the jar. You can easily pour from three sides because of the square shape. It is light-weight and easy to handle.
How long will the jar last?
According to their customer service rep, the expected jar life is 3-4 years. The bearings located between the blades and the bottom side of the jar can wear out. If that happens within three years, Blendtec will replace the jar.
There are two options. If you mail it to them, they will send you a new jar when your old one is received by Blendtec. The second option is to pay $17 for them to ship the jar to you right away, along with a prepaid label to return the old one.
The current cost for a replacement jar is $60, if your machine is out of warranty.
Gripper Lid: The two-piece lid is well-designed. There is a vent to let steam and escape and a moat to contain minor overflows. The center section is removable to let more steam escape. It is easy to grasp and remove the lid from the jar.
Three-Year Warranty on the motor base and jar: By returning the special registration card included with blenders purchased through Costco, the warranty on the motor base only is extended by an additional four years. That adds up to a seven-year warranty on the motor base for blenders purchased at Costco. The jar warranty is three years, not seven.
What about customer service?
I was concerned about the life expectancy of the jar after reading another review here on Epinions. So I called their customer service number to ask about it. I got through to a customer service rep within a minute or two. She was pleasant, professional, and quite helpful. She thoroughly answered my questions about the warranty and the jar.
Is there anything else I should know about the Blendtec?
Yes. The customer service rep explained that it is not good for the blender to be unused for months at a time, as that can cause problems with the bearings.
What is in the box?
The blender base, jar and lid.
15-page instruction booklet
The extended warranty card
A beautifully-designed 246-page spiral-bound cookbook
How much did it cost?
When rating high-priced appliances, I would prefer not to rate them for durability until I have used them for quite a while. Since that is not an option, I usually use the average rating until I see if it holds up as expected.