Vitamix vs Ninja – how they really compare
Vitamix vs Ninja Review – how do these two popular blenders TRULY compare? You have seen the Ninja info-mercials comparing themselves to Vitamix and they appear too good to be true. We have been asked many times how Ninja blenders compare to Vitamix so we put the Ninja Kitchen System and Ninja Pro side by side with a Vitamix 5200, Vitamix E310, and Vitamix ONE (the 3 lower-end models most similar to Ninja) to find the truth in our Ninja blender review.
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Generally speaking, most every fair review comparing the Ninja with Vitamix reveals that TV commercials and sales videos don’t tell the whole truth and these blenders are not in the same class. Below you will find DETAILED reasons why. This is not to say the Ninja blender is a poor product; not everyone wants or needs to take advantage of all that a Vitamix has to offer. It’s about getting what you expect and choosing the right blender for YOU and your needs the first time.
Vitamix vs Ninja – Blending Performance
There is no doubt that the Vitamix and Ninja Blenders can crush ice, blend fruits, blend vegetables, and make blended drinks BUT the results will differ. If you spend the extra for the Ninja Mega Kitchen System then you are able to mix and knead dough similar to how you can in the Vitamix without additional attachments. If you want super smooth blends or to make hot soup, or grind grains you will need a full-size Vitamix as the Ninja can not accomplish these tasks. The Vitamix ONE also can not make hot soup, nut butters, or grind grains.
Ninja vs Vitamix 5200 and E310.
POWER: Both machines have good “power”, the Vitamix 1380 watts vs Ninja’s 1000-1500 watts. (*Ninja power / watts vary depending upon specific model – pay close attention to the model you are considering.) We tested the Ninja Professional NJ600 1000 watts (the best seller) and the Ninja Kitchen System and Ultima 1500 watts. Keep in mind that power is only one factor that affects true performance, other factors such as blade speed, torque, heat, friction, and design play a larger part in how well a blender performs.
The Vitamix quite literally is able to handle anything we put in it. The result is always a smooth and consistent texture. The Ninja blender handles fruit smoothies easily but obviously struggles with some of the more demanding tasks such as blending whole frozen fruit, some vegetables, and nut butters.
SPEED: Vitamix is unique in the home blender world in that it has true variable speed control with an amazing range of 500 to 37,000 RPM. This allows you to efficiently accomplish a wide range of tasks that most blenders can not. When you have the Vitamix running at maximum speed it is loud and you know it’s doing some serious work.
Most Ninja models have 3 set speeds (and a pulse), speed 1 for dough making, speed 2 for blending and speed 3 for ice-crushing (frozen-drinks). We were unable to acquire information on the actual speed of the settings. The best we were able to get was a report that on speed setting 3, the highest speed, the Ninja blender can run up to 24,000 RPMs.
Ninja blender models come and go, like the discontinued Ninja Ultima which had a dial to change speed (We found the dial to be “clunky” and the speed inconsistently jumps as it is dialed.) The latest model is the Ninja Intelli-Sense.
The Ninja Chef Intelli-Sense has the same 1200 watt motor and design, still comes with a limited warranty (up to 2 years with some promotions) as the other Ninjas. The latest difference is that it has a set of programmed blend cycles depending upon the container that attaches. The idea is brilliant and the presentation with the flat-panel is very nice.
While the programs can be helpful we found that they just don’t function nearly to the level that you see in the commercials and videos. Ultimately using the high, low and pulse buttons produced better results than using the programs. We still feel if program cycles are what you are looking for then you should consider the blender that does it best – Blendtec.
Blades and Design: Every Vitamix comes with a strong laser-cut four prong stainless steel blade. Two are blunt hammermill blades and two are cutting blades. The entire blade and housing is metal. These blades are made to last and will not lose their edge after 1000s of blends.
The Ninja comes with a vertical 6 blade tower attachment. Six thin sharpened metal blades alternate up a center post. A big benefit of the blade attachment is that it is easily removed for cleaning. A negative is that the blades are sharp and can easily cut your fingers and hands. The Ninja depends on this sharpness to blend – and they do dull over time.
We oftentimes found the need to stop the Ninja blender, remove the lid, scrape the inside of the container, replace the lid and continue blending. The Vitamix on the other hand practically never requires such additional effort.
The Ninja tall blade post does NOT allow the blender to create a Vortex, which is the main design factor that allows blenders to blend efficiently. We found that if you blend with the Ninja at full volume, the ingredients near the top do not get pulled down into the blades leaving you with larger chunks in the top of the blend. Also, areas between the blades and the bottom do not get completely blended. The center post, or “tower” is made of plastic, and some consumer complaints mention that this part breaks under heavy use.
Warranty and Durability
A big factor in the Vitamix vs Ninja consideration is – how long will it last? The Vitamix is made in the USA. It is larger in size with a more industrial feel. They have the industry’s best warranty – 7-Years to 10-years that covers everything. Recognized as a world leader in performance blenders, Vita-mix has proven themselves as an industry leader and have been making blenders since 1937.
The Ninja is made in China and comes with a 1-Year limited warranty. (We have found on occasion that a 2 or 5-Year limited warranty can be obtained.) The blender itself is lighter in weight with more plastic components. The Ninja blender entered the US market in 2009 from the Euro-Pro Operating LLC, a company founded in 2003 originally to make vacuums.
While there are plenty of well used Vitamix still working in home kitchens after 20+ years of use, Ninja blenders are still too young to know how long they will last since they’ve only been in existence for a short time.
Warranty Service: In the off-chance you do have an issue with your blender, Vitamix will cover shipping cost both ways – no cost to the purchaser; warranty service for the Ninja requires that you pay shipping both directions.
Vitamix vs Ninja Pitchers
All current Ninja and Vitamix containers are made from BPA-Free plastic. When purchasing a Vitamix you have several container options to choose from in 3 sizes. The Ninja comes with the standard 72 oz. pitcher and the Ninja Mega Kitchen System comes with an additional 40 oz. Bowl and 2 single serving cups.
Even though the standard Vitamix container is rated to do a great job of grinding grains, they do offer a separate specialty dry grains container designed just for making your own flour. While the Ninja can grind seeds and nuts to make nut butter farily adequately it makes no claim to be able to grind grains to make your own flours. Our attempt to grind wheat berries resulted in an unusable chunky flour.
You can make dough in either the Ninja or the Vitamix. The Ninja requires the Dough Blade and Dough Paddle attachments with the 40 oz. bowl to do so, which are available separately or with the Ninja Mega Kitchen System. The Vitamix requires no additional accessories.
Both Vitamix and Ninja state that you can fill their containers to their full capacity and safely blend.
Ninja container options include:
» 72 oz Pitcher
» 8 cup Food Processor bowl
» 24 oz Single Serve Cups
Controls and Ease of Use
With its unique true variable speed dial, the Vitamix allows for complete control of your blending tasks. There is also a Hi/Lo switch to change from manual variable speed (Lo) to Maximum speed (Hi). Every Vitamix blender comes with a tamper for those occasions when you need help to blend solid foods without stopping the blender. The tamper can be very helpful in when making thick frozen entrees, nut butters, and puddings with no to little liquid.
The Ninja provides a more limiting control with 3 set speeds and a pulse button (some models have an aditional single serve speed button). We have found that the speed dial on the Ninja Ultimate to be harder to use since it did not offer consistent speed control when tuning it (it simply has a dial and a pulse/power switch); we actually preferred the 3 set speeds found on their popular models since they were consistent. Accessing contents in the container with the blade tower present, for tasting or testing is difficult. Also, if you wish to add ingredients while blending, it is much more difficult to do so with the Ninja.
Preparing the Vitamix for use is simple. Place the container on the base, push the soft rubber lid on top and you are ready. The Ninja has a few more details/steps to prepare for use.
The Ninja container is aligned on the base and rotated left so that the safety tabs are pushed down and secure. The lid has a locking handle which must remain in an upright position until the lid is correctly aligned according to the printed arrows. Once correctly positioned and sealed, the locking handle is pushed down onto the container so that the lid latches fit snug under the container tabs.
One feature of the Ninja that easily goes unnoticed when shopping is the Lock-in lever. Positioned on the left side of the blender base, it is almost always hidden in all Ninja marketing images. This lever activates the suction feet for added stability which is required when making dough as the blender can easily roll around if there is not sufficient suction created to hold the blender in place.
Both the Vitamix vs Ninja will continue to run until manually shut off or until a thermal switch is activated to prevent overheating and damage. If this protection measure is activated you will need to wait about 15 minutes before the blender can be used again.
Nutrition and Taste.
Both blenders do a good job at turning out tasty fruit smoothies, protein shakes, dressings and sauces. But if you are looking to invest in a blender to get the best taste and most nutrition possible there is a difference.
Independent research has demonstrated that the Vitamix is capable of sufficiently breaking down plant cell wall structure to increase the nutrition available for use in your body. This increases the availability of phytonutrients (aka phytochemicals). While the benefits of these plant-based nutrients is an ongoing area of research, studies have shown that they effectively act as antibacterial/antiviral agents, stimulate detoxifying enzymes, balance hormones and boost the immune system.
With an increased focus on health and nutrition, green smoothies have become very popular among those looking to boost their immune system and improve their well-being. Other Ninja reviews concur with our findings that the Ninja fails to make a smooth green smoothie. On the other hand, the Vitamix is known for making creamy, super smooth green smoothies no matter how much greens are added.
But that difference is not only seen with green smoothies, the Ninja simply can’t blend as smooth. Why is this important? Texture is everything. In addition to more nutrition, smoother, smaller particles creates a more homogenized result which in turn bring about more flavor as well as a more pleasing texture.
Research has demonstrated that the Vitamix 5200 processes food sufficiently to break down plant cell walls resulting in better nutrition
Clean up is easy with both the Ninja and Vitamix. Unlike most kitchen blenders, the bottom blade housing of the Vitamix is not easily removed to access the blades for cleaning. To clean the Vitamix, after an initial rinse, add warm water and detergent to the container and place on the blender base. Blend on high for 5-10 seconds and finish cleaning with a quick rinse and hand wash as necessary.
You may clean your Ninja in the same manner as the Vitamix above using the pulse button. All blades and attachments on the Ninja can also be removed for washing, but be careful not to cut yourself on the sharp blades.
Regardless of which blender you own, the most important factor for easy clean up is to rinse and wash your container immediately after use.
|Dimensions||20.5" x 7.25" x 8.75"||18.1" x 6.7" x 10.6"|
|Height||20.5 inches high
17.25 (with Compact container)
|18.1 inches high|
|Speed Controls||High/Low and Variable Speed||3 speeds (plus Pulse)|
|RPMs||~500 – ~37,000 RPMs||Reported up to 24,000 RPMs|
|Green Smoothies||Super Smooth||Somewhat Chunky|
|Power||1380 watts||1100/1500 watts|
64 oz. BPA Free Copolyester
48 oz BPA Free Copolyester
32 oz BPA Free Copolyester
|40 oz BPA Free SAN plastic
72 oz BPA Free SAN plastic
|Grain Grinding||Yes||Not recommended|
|Blade||4 prong Stainless Steel||6-blade attachment
Variable Speed Dial
|Warranty||7-year Full Use||1-year Limited (occasionally more)|
|Black, White, Red,
Brushed Stainless or Platinum
Vitamix vs Ninja Blender Bottom Line:
The Ninja Professional/Ninja Mega Kitchen System is a decent versatile blender for light to medium use. For the $190 or so price tag you are getting a good blender that can accomplish most tasks required of most regular blenders.
Ninja may serve you better if:
- you are limited by budget
- you will mostly be making only fruit smoothies and drinks
- you do not plan on grinding grains
- you do not plan on heavy use on a regular basis
The Vitamix is considered by many as the king of blenders. It is one of the most powerful and versatile blenders for the home market and is backed by the industry’s best warranty. This blender is a workhorse that can do most every kitchen task and take a beating doing them.
Vitamix may serve you better if:
- you like total control over the speed
- you value getting a Full Use 7 or 10-year warranty on everything
- you like a more solid, industrial blender
- you plan on grinding grains and making hot soup
- you plan on using your blender a lot on a regular basis
- your smoothies and blends must be very smooth
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4.7 (42,297 user ratings)
I have both machines and the Ninja will not make protein shakes that include spinach and oats. It just leaves a mash at the bottom of the blender. I think the ninja is ok for fruit only smoothies but thats it.