Welcome to my Blendtec Total Blender Review after 5 years of owning this machine with the WildSide Jar.
In this review and buyer's guide, expect to find...
- My experience owning it for over 5 years.
- How the Blendtec Total Blender compares to other models in the Blendtec family.
- What the Twister Jar is and why it's important for a Blendtec.
- Whether or not you should consider other brands (including Vitamix).
- Where the Total Blender excels and where it falls short.
Blendtec Total Blender Review Quick Summary
There are 5 major reasons why I think the Blendtec Total Blender is a great choice...
- It's affordable compared to some of the other high-end blenders on the market.
- Can do any blender recipe including blending hot soups, batters, smoothies, hummus, kale, nuts, and juices with ease and consistency.
- This Blendtec has an awesome 8 year warranty.
- It's powerful enough to blend anything once you learn how to use it.
- It's a great bang for your buck and delivers amazing performance.
If you'd like to read a guide a guide the best blender for hot liquids, check our list before you buy one.
But there's one thing that I don't like about it and most Blendtec blenders for that matter -- lack of a tamper.
Having used Vitamix blenders with a tamper along with the Total Blender pretty extensively, I really feel that the tamper makes it much easier to do blends that don't have a lot of liquid or with ingredients that are totally frozen.
You can do it with the Total Blender, but it requires adjusting the ingredients between cycles.
It's not a huge deal, but it will take you an extra couple minutes to blend ingredients like that.
My Favorite Alternatives
A great option for making smoothies, food processing and anything else you could ever want to do in your kitchen. It can't process hot liquids like the Blendtec and it's less powerful, but I think you'll be very happy with it.
Really great value blender that comes with a tamper. You can blend in multiple size cups which is amazing if you want a smoothie on the go.
The one downside is that it cannot heat soup like you can with the Blendtec, but it's a great alternative nonetheless.
Want to learn more about Blendtec Blenders? Keep reading for the rest of the review...
Blendtec Total Blender Key Features
3 Peak Horsepower Motor
The Blendtec Total Blender motor base (and all Blendtec's) have some of the most powerful motors on the market today. The motor allows the blades to spin with a ton of power and at an extremely high speed. This gives you the ability to make high-quality hot soups right inside the blender jar.
Stainless Steel Dull Blades (This is a Good Thing)
Because the motor is so powerful, the Total Blender has stainless steel dull blades that leverage the power of the motor to pulverize rather rely on "chopping" power. That way you won't end up with chunks of ingredients in your smoothies.
The blades are dull, thick, and durable. They rely on the powerful motor to pulverize and won't wear over time like sharp blades. The stainless steel is easy to wipe down and clean.
The Total Blender's interface has all push buttons rather than knobs or a touchscreen. This makes it extremely easy to use.
10 Speeds and Pre Programmed Cycles
Using the + / - buttons on the Total Blender, you can turn the speeds up and down to your liking. It's a very simple mechanism of speed control.
This is actually very important because starting slow allows the ingredients to "catch" onto the blades before you turn it up and create a full-on vortex. This helps prevent air pockets inside the jar especially if you're making smoothies with a lot of frozen ingredients. Learn to use the speeds!
This is the interface of my Total Blender - it's a bit older and the newer interface has symbols instead of words on the buttons, but they do the same things.
You can see it has the speed arrows along with the preprogrammed cycles you can use:
- Ice Cream
- Frozen Yogurt
- Ice Crush
- Milk Shake
- Soups, Syrups, Fondues
- Sauces, Dips, Dressings, Batters
- Whole Juice
- Pulse Button
If you do end up using the pre-programmed cycles they will have an auto shutoff function so you can make your smoothie and walk away.
Illuminated LCD Display Screen
Displays information about the current blending cycle among diagnostics. The illuminated LCD screen is surprisingly helpful and lets you know exactly what's going on as you're blending.
The screen on the Total Blender displays things like blending time and any error codes that may pop up.
If you're doing a rough chop of an ingredient (say for a Tortilla soup), a quick pulse can quickly spin the blades without doing a full-on blending cycle. This is a great function if you want to add some texture to your blends.
Venting Rubber Lid
No matter which blending jar you get, the venting lid means that it can make hot soup without pressure build-up. This cannot be said about bullet blenders who build up pressure inside their containers and can potentially explode!
Blendtec Review vs Other Blenders
Blendtec Total Blender vs Food Processor
If you're not sure if you should get a Blendtec Total Blender or a food processor, let me say this.
A Blendtec can act as a food processor, but not vice versa.
You're also getting the ability to blend or create smoothies, hot soups and other things that a food processor can't do.
So how does a Blendec best function as a food processor?
It's called "wet chopping" and it works like this.
- Place the ingredients you want to chop into the blender and cover them with a decent amount of water.
- Using the pulse function, do short rotations of the blades to chop the ingredients - the more you pulse, the finer the chop.
- Use a mesh strainer to get rid of the water and enjoy!
You can also use this pulse function to dry chop (although the wet chop is easier in my opinion).
By doing pulses with pauses in between, you'll be able to chop up carrots, onions and more -- just like you would a normal food processor.
So if you're between the two, I'd opt for the Total Blender because of it's greater versatility.
Also, most food processors typically come with a one year warranty. Compare that to the 8 year warranty of the Blendtec
Blendtec Total Blender vs Designer 365
The differences between these two Blendtec Blenders are a matter of aesthetics and interface.
The Total Blender Classic has 6 pre-programmed functions (Smoothie, Batters, Hot Soup, Whole Juice, Ice Cream, Ice Crush) while the Designer has 4 (Smoothie, Ice Cream, Whole Juice, Hot Soup).
You’ll find that the Designer also has a slider to control the variable speeds while the Total Blender Classic has the +/- buttons which let you adjust it up and down.
The Total Blender has 10 speeds while the Designer has 6.
Functionally, both machines can do the same thing, but many people feel that the Designer has a “cleaner” aesthetic — which would make sense given the name.
I wouldn’t necessarily prefer one over the other. To me, it would be mainly a matter of what they cost when I’m shopping.
Blendtec Total Blender vs Classic
There aren’t many major differences between the Blendec Total Blender and the Classic 575.
The power is the same and the warranty is the same — the only differences are in aesthetics and slightly varied controls.
Rather than having the +/- buttons to control the 10 speeds on the Total Blender, the Classic 575 has a separate button for each of its 5-speeds.
It also has fewer pre-programmed settings than the Total Blender, but the ability to go for 60 seconds or 90 seconds at the push of a button.
If you’re stuck between the two, I don’t think you’ll notice much of a difference in practical functionality – there isn’t one.
The final decision will come down to price and preference.
*The 570 is a model that’s available only at Costco. It’s got a few less buttons (Smoothie and Hot + 3 Speeds), but is otherwise the same as the 575 in terms of power and overall abilities. It’s also got a fewer color options.
Blendtec Total Blender vs Vitamix 7500
The Total Blender has three advantages over the 7500: The pre-programmed cycles, power, and longer warranty.
It has one disadvantage which is the lack of a tamper.
This is the case for pretty much all Vitamix models, but I don’t think the 7500 is the one I’d pick over the Total Blender.
Well, the 7500 is usually priced a good amount higher and you don’t really get much compared to the other Vitamix blenders.
I’d much rather get the A2500 for the warranty and advanced technology or the Explorian E310 as a bargain option.
If it’s between the 7500 and the Total Blender – I’d probably just get the Total Blender with the Twister Jar on the side because I’d end up spending around the same amount.
Blendtec Total Blender vs Vitamix A2500
The most important differences between the A2500 and Total Blender are…
- Warranty: The A2500 comes with a 10 year warranty while the Total Blender has 8.
- Tamper: As with all Vitamix models, the A2500 has a tamper where you need to buy the Twister Jar separate for the Blendtec to get out air pockets.
- Pre-Programmed Settings: The Total Blender has 6 settings built into it while the A2500 only as cycles that can be accessed via the Vitamix Perfect blend App. But if you don’t care about the cycles, it’s still got a variable speed and pulse.
So all prices being equal (you can usually find the Total Blender for cheaper, though), I truly believe that the A2500 is the better choice.
The longer warranty, the tamper, and the optional technology that you can leverage with the A2500 is what brings it over the top.
Aside for the slightly weaker motor, I can’t really see any downside to the A2500 besides for potential extra cost.
The motor isn’t that important because it’s still powerful enough to blend pretty much anything you want — especially with the tamper.
So unless the price difference is significant enough to impact your budget, I’d go with the A2500.
But if you absolutely cannot afford it, I’m sure you’ll be happy with the Total Blender.
If your budget is really tight, then you could also consider a refurbished Total Blender to potentially save a few bucks.
Blendtec Blender FAQs
What Can You Do with the Blendtec Total Blender?
The Blendtec Total Blender is amazing for home use can make pretty much anything your heart desires.
Having used the Total Blender throughout this whole week I've made all of the most common blends that I make in my Vitamix.
- Really thick smoothies.
- Banana ice cream
- Plant-based cheese sauces.
- A hot soup.
- Dry Grinds
- Nut Butters
- Baby food
What is the Blendtec Twister Jar And Why Is It Helpful?
There were several times during certain blends (like banana ice cream) where I'd have to stop and readjust the ingredients.
The Twister Jar is the Blendtec Blender version of a tamper which gets the ingredients moving towards the blades so you don't have to stop during blending.
As you can see, the Twister Jar keeps all the ingredients moving inside the blender which allows the Blendtec to leverage it's a really powerful motor.
If you plan on making things like nut butter or really thick fruit ice creams, then I would highly recommend getting the Twister Jar.
If you're just going to be making standard smoothies, hot soups, and sauces, then it's not really necessary.
What's The Difference Between the Blendtec Wildside Jar and Blendtec Fourside Jars?
According to Blendtec, the main difference between the WildSide Jar and FourSide jars is size. The WildSide+ has a 90 oz capacity while the FourSide jar has a 75 oz capacity.
The WildSide Jar's extra ridge is designed to keep the ingredients flowing to ensure that a vortex is formed.
Depending on where you shop, you'll tend to find different combinations of bases and jars.
Also, both jars can be used interchangeably for the Blendtec models featured on this guide.
Both of these jars are BPA free.
What Do Other Reviews Say?
To make sure I'm not totally biased, I researched to see what others were saying about it online.
The majority of people that bought the Total Blender seem to be happy with it, but there were some common complaints.
The main one was the issue of the motor jamming and the screen saying OVERLOAD.
In my experience, this would only occur during heavy-duty blending. When making banana ice cream with no liquid, the bananas would sometimes cause an overload from being too hard (they were frozen) or being too stuffed into the jar.
When the blender stopped and said OVERLOAD, I would give the blender a minute to recover while I mixed the contents in the container.
While not a seamless process, it still produces a perfectly textured frozen-fruit treat.
Can you Juice with a Blendtec Blender?
Yes and no. In order to fully juice with a Blendtec Total Blender then you need to get a nut milk bag or some sort of cheesecloth. If you can't find any, you might wanna check out our post on where to buy cheesecloth in the grocery store.
However, you can blend up a bunch of fresh fruits and veggies and drink whole juice. It will have all of the nutrients as normal juice along with the pulp and fiber of the fruits and vegetables.
Is Blendtec Better than a Vitamix Blender?
Blendtec Blender and Vitamix Blenders always seem to be at odds. The truth is, they're both amazing machines. We could sit here and nitpick the little details, but at the end of the day, you're going to be happy with either or.
How Long Do Blendtec Blenders Last?
Thanks to their 8 year warranty, most Blendtec Blenders will last at least that long. Blendtec is also very good about staying true to their warranty and fixing your blender if something goes wrong.
However, do note that not all of their machines come with an 8 year warranty. This is especially true of you buy a refurbished over a new blender.
Is a Blendtec Blender Worth it?
Given that you can usually find them for a great deal (especially if you go with a refurbished Blendtec) then yes I think it is totally worth it! This is a blender that you'll be using in your kitchen for years and if you back-calculate what it will cost you on average then you're really only paying pennies per day over the long run.
Review Wrap Up
To conclude this review, I want to say that I think the Blendtec Total Blender is totally worth the money. Because I have so many blenders, I ended up giving mine to my parents recently and they use it almost every day. At this point, the blender is almost 6 years old and it's still running just as well as when I first bought it.
The only thing is, you just want to be mindful of all of the different packages there are out there when you're buying a Blendtec. Some come with the FourSide Jar, some come with the WildSide Jar and some even come with the Twister Jar.
Make sure when you make your final decision that you're getting a package that suits your specific needs.
Before you go, feel free to use the links below to check on the other great alternatives mentioned in this article...