Why buy a Ninja? You want a machine that’s strong and effective, but you’re not willing to part with a massive amount of money to get it. Designed to compete vs. Vitamix and Blendtec at much friendlier price-point, Ninja blenders and other kitchen appliances seem to be gaining more and more popularity each year. But should you actually consider choosing a Vitamix over a Ninja? We explore this conundrum as well as a go in depth about a bunch of Ninja models below.
We've linked below two basic Vitamix units - one new and one reconditioned. As stated below, they're both going to be reliable powerhouses, but the reconditioned one has a bit of a shorter warranty than the new one, but alas still much longer than the Ninjas.
**Click any of the links above to read customer reviews on Amazon or continue reading for our full comprehensive guide.
You've probably heard that Vitamix is the "cream of the crop" when it comes to blenders. But why? Well, it comes down to two major factors: power and reliability. Most Vitamix units come standard with a 7-year warranty and have high horsepower motors to back them up. They're also extremely well designed for what they do, but aren't as versatile as some of the Ninjas.
Ninjas are versatile because they often have different parts that you can swap in and out depending on what you're trying to do. For example, the Mega Kitchen System has large blender containers, smoothie-sized containers, and even a food processor container. Not that Vitamix units aren't versatile (they can blend pretty much anything), they just don't offer many options for swapping out different containers.
Most Ninja Blenders also tend to be less expensive (*prices vary), but have much shorter warranties. Some units, like the Nutri Ninja BL642 have a 2HP motor which is similar to the lower end of the Vitamix range. Generally speaking though, Vitamix blenders are more powerful.
When making the final decision for your blender, it's going to come down to cost, risk tolerance, and your individual needs. Here are a few examples:
If you plan on making things like soups, nut butters, smoothies, salsas, hummus, etc. all on a regular basis, then a Vitamix will probably be the better choice. For a heavy user, having the peace of mind of a Vitamix Warranty will be well worth it. You'll also know that the Vitamix will be able to handle whatever you can throw at it.
If you're on a budget and need something that's going to reliably make smoothies and the occasional soup then consider the Ninja. Many Ninja users have it last well beyond the warranty period and for some it simply doesn't make sense to fork over the money to buy a Vitamix when a reputable mid-tier brand like Ninja is available.
Ninja stands as one of the best alternatives to truly expensive and heavy-duty blenders, like those produced by Vitamix and Blendtec. While other brands are attempting to corner the same market, none do it quite as well as Ninja – their models’ high horsepower, similar features to higher-tier blenders, and strong design elements put them above the pack.
Good Alternative to the Higher-Tier Blender for Most Jobs
The brand has a range of different models, each with different strengths and weaknesses, so you can be sure to find something you’re looking for – if you’re not looking for an exact Vitamix replicate, Ninja has been innovative in the single-serve container area, and some of their models come with a range of functionality that other brands lack.
The differences between the models here comes down to the features that they contain. There is quite a range – the higher end models, like the BL810, come with the highest horsepower motors, the most variability in manual speed settings, and the longest warranties. The lower tier models, like the BL210, come with reduced features, including a complete lack of speed customization and an alternative blending method.
There are also differences when it comes to the accessories that each model comes with. Ninja relies heavily on different accessories to create different results – unlike some blender models, which use a single container and different pre-programmed cycles to create different blends, Ninja requires you to change out the blades or the containers to create different blends. Some models come with more accessories, like the BL770, which allow you to make more different products; others come with very few, so your blending is all but limited to liquid-heavy creations like smoothies or soups.
If you’re looking for a blender that can churn through anything you throw at it, look for the models in this list with higher horsepower; anything lower than 2-peak horsepower will struggle with items like nuts and ice, so you should steer away from those. In the case of the nuts, you can always soak them beforehand to make them softer, but throwing them directly in and expecting smooth results might be disappointing.
If you’re looking to create a range of different things, you should either look for the models with variable speed control or with a range of accessories, as these will allow you to control your blender more specifically – making it easier to create hard-to-create foods like nut butters or flours.
Nut Butters are a Tasty Source of Healthy Fats!
If you’re looking to make a daily smoothie just for yourself, look for models that come with single-serve container options; this will mean that you don’t need to wash a whole bunch of different parts for a simple morning smoothie.
If you’re looking to save a little money and planning on making liquid-heavy products that don't require as much power, look for the cheaper models in this range – typically distinguished by their reduced features.
It all depends on what you want. Decide what you’d like to use your blender for, then read through each model’s specs with that in mind – it’ll be the most helpful way of finding the one that’s best for you.
The BL642 has a 2-HP motor, similar to some Vitamix units. This means that it has a ton of power and can handle nearly anything you throw at it easily. It has a lot of great add-on and feature options which include different container styles as well as timed blending from auto-IQ. To some, this may be additional bells and whistles that they don't really need, but other people get good use out of it.
When compared to a Vitamix you're getting similar amounts of power, but a much lesser warranty.
The Ninja Ultima Blender is one of the more powerful and popular in the Ninja fleet. It features 2.5-peak horsepower, a variable 10-speed dial, a 72-oz dishwasher-safe container and two sets of blades, of which one is removable. This makes it the most similar in this line-up to high tier blenders like Vitamix or Blendtec models, which almost all feature such high horsepower and 10 speed options. It also has a longer warranty than all of the other blenders in this list, at two years.
While this unit is even more powerful than some Vitamix models, most users won't need such a high horsepower blender. That being said, it is going to be a balancing act between cost and peace of mind from a much longer warranty.
The Ninja Mega Kitchen System is designed to be exactly what it sounds like: a mega kitchen system, designed to do everything under the sun. It comes with two different containers – a regular 72-oz blender container and a 64-oz food processor bowl – as well as two 16-oz cups and four different types of blades, so that you can create everything you can imagine.
Like most of the other models in this list, it features three manual speeds and a pulse setting, as well as a 12-month warranty. Unlike most of the other models on this list, it has a powerful 2-peak horsepower engine, which makes it impressively powerful. There are few cons to this machine; one of them is that it is noisy, which is understandable considering its size, and the other is that it is not a true all-in-one machine like other blenders can tend to be; accessories need to be swapped out to get different results. However, if you’re interested in a Ninja system, you should already be aware that the brand relies heavily on accessories, and so this shouldn’t be a problem for you and as stated above, if you don't mind storing extra stuff - it could be viewed as an advantage.
As mentioned, the Ninja Professional Blender BL610 shares the same horsepower, container size, speed settings, and warranty as the Professional Blender NJ600. However, it comes with some added features that explain why it is a higher tier unit than the NJ600; a much-improved design, the addition of safety blades, and few reported issues with its reliability over time. If you’re torn between the two models, I’d recommend the BL610 over the NJ600 for this reason – reliability is an important component when purchasing a blender.
The Ninja Professional Blender NJ600 is a simple, mid-range Ninja product that performs exactly as you’d hope it would. It’s very similar to the BL610, and the two are almost impossible to tell apart. Both models come with 1.3-peak horsepower, 72-oz containers, 3 manual speed settings and a pulse function, and 1-year warranties.
The Ninja Kitchen System Pulse is designed to be an all-in-one machine. Of all the models in this line-up it’s the simplest, without any buttons whatsoever and with a push-and-twist blending technique similar to that of the Magic Bullet line. One of the benefits of this machine is the ability to switch between a large 40-oz container and a smaller, single-serve container on the same machine, which allows you to then take your single serving with you on the go. It also comes with a dough hook, but at such a low power level, there have been user reports of it not being sufficient for certain types of bread.
This model’s 12-month warranty, its inability to vary speed and weak power made it the last on the list.
However, if your blending and processing jobs are going to be light, you want something that can chop or do a bit of food processing, and you're looking for an all-in-one low footprint this just might be the right model for you, but since this article is about blenders, we like to suggest ones with the best blending capabilities.
Hey! I’m Michelle and I write product reviews for ThriveCuisine.com. I’m always preparing healthy / plant based foods and I’ve developed a knack for helping people get the best bang for their buck.