We know what you are thinking a blender review from an outdoor gear company? We were actually really excited to work with BlendTec on reviewing some of their top of the line blenders. They fit right into our lifestyle for both healthy eating and quick smoothies on the go. At GearChase.com we also LOVE awesome deals on gear, so when we heard that you can get BlendTec blenders refurbished at a steep discount we had to put them to the test to see if all the “Will it Blend” videos, Costco demos, and online buzz were true.
We worked directly with BlendTec to get the full description of what exactly goes into refurbishing a BlendTec blender. We had a bunch of questions for them.
Are they used, with gross leftovers in the jar?
What comes in the box?
Are there going to be missing pieces?
What about warranty of a used blender?
We had so many questions and wanted to see first hand the refurbishment process of all BlendTec blenders that we headed to their headquarters in Orem, Utah. Their headquarters isn’t hard to miss, you just look for the GIANT blender attached to the side of a warehouse near Utah Lake.
We at GearChase are passionate about the outdoors, gear, deals, and feeding our body to keep doing what we love as long as we can. Blendtec promises to make it easier to do this.
For some hard data, we looked to research that has been done on the topic rather than just regurgitating what others simply hear or read from a non-research method. A study was done in 2014 and published in the US National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4103735/) on the effectiveness of blending vs juicing on the phytochemical (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phytochemical) and antioxidants (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antioxidant). The results were as expected, juice products containing fruit peels, seeds, etc. contained higher total antioxidants that the juiced fruit. Additionally, the research suggest that the blended fruit contained larger amounts of phenolic compounds and ascorbic acid. The phytochemical content of the fruit were significantly affected by the juicing method as opposed to the blending method.
Feeding our bodies after destroying them on the trail, snow, mountains, pavement, etc is necessary for survival. Our bodies need recovery, and there really isn’t a better way that consuming a blended shake to get the essential nutrients in the quantity and speed that our bodies need.
Another positive we experienced during our use was the reduction in stomach irritability. Typically after a hard workout, food tends to upset our stomach. By blending these fruits and vegetables together, we were able to get the nutrients that we had starved from our body back to it, without feeling the sickness of eating a meal after a workout.
The Deal with Refurbished Blenders
You have all seen the amazing “Will It Blend” videos that made Blendtec a household name. But they are expensive! There is a great option, the refurbished models offer a great savings over the retail version, and are often even more reliable than the retail version.
During our visit to the BlendTec warehouse and manufacturing facility we got to see first hand what goes into a refurbished blender and asked the questions of what all is replaced, and why do they get so many blenders sent back to BlendTec.
We were told that the majority of the blenders that are sent back to Blendtec are from Sam’s Club or Costco. Because of the many Blendtec blenders that are sold from these warehouse stores and their lenient return policy. We were shown that most blenders returned have less that 15 blends on the blender and rarely because there was an issue with the blender itself.
These refurbished blenders have been used, so should I expect to see someone else green smoothie stuck in the buttons or corner of the wildside jar? Oh, no. To our surprise almost everything from a returned and refurbished blender is replaced. The jars are not reused, they are sent back for recycling as well as the base of the blender. Really, the only part of the blender that is reused is some circuitry, the motor, and the power cable. Everything else is brand new. You will get a new base, new blender jar, so there are no concerns that you might be reusing someone else’s dirty blender.
The blenders go through a series of vigorous test both physical cycles and electronic analysis to ensure that the blender is working properly before it leaves packaged up. The packaging of a refurbished blender is basically the same that would be expected from the retail version. Included is the jar, base, recipe, other instructions as well as packing material.
Our experience is that you are basically getting a new blender with a motor that may have a few dozen blends on it. It’s definitely worth noting that while a new Blendtec blender comes with an 8 year warrantee, the refurbished blenders still come with a 7 year warrantee! That’s a huge piece of mind to feel covered in the case of a failure.
Our Experience with the Refurbished Designer 725
In full disclosure, Blendtec sent us the Designer 725 refurbished unit to try out for a few months and provide our feedback on the refurbished unit. Although Blendtec sent us the blender it in no way influenced our reviews or outlook on the unit.
If you can afford the upgrade to the Designer 725 it’s well worth the extra money. It’s clean look, and touch digital buttons make cleaning it and looking at it a lot easier. We tend to think the other blenders like the Classic 575 or the Total Blender tend to look too industrial sitting on the counter. However, the Designer 625 and 725 have a more stealth look.
The refurbished Designer 725 is really in a league of it’s own as far as speed, power and capacity. With it’s 100 touch point blending control, 3.8 peak horsepower motor at 1,725 watts it can handle anything you can shove in there. The sliding control is very useful to just place your finger on and slide up and down as you hear the blender start chopping, or when the presets aren’t quite doing their job.
The user interface was very friendly and easy to use. With five preset blending cycles as well as a cleaning cycle there is just about everything you need to create Smoothies, Juices, Soups, Salsa, Ice Cream, and don’t forget the self clean option that works pretty good for normal uses.
In addition to the 100 Speed touch sensor, there is also a multi-speed pulse button that you can hold down and let go to pulse the blender blade as desired.
On of our favorite designs of the 725 was the sleek modern touchscreen. It’s flat and smooth and cleans off with one swipe. No more using the corner of a rag to scrub around little buttons on the blender.
3.8 peak horsepower motor
This motor is powerful! Consider most walk behind lawn mowers are about 3 to 4 horse power. You can imagine the damage this blender can do for your blending needs.
Illuminated Touch Screen
The touch screen is easy to clean and bright enough to see in the dark or daylight.
6 Pre-Programmed Cycles
Smoothie, Salsa, Ice Cream, Whole Juice, Hot Soup, and Clean
100 Speed Touch Slider
Sliding your finger back and forth on the touch slider to increase and decrease the speed. There is also a pulse option to touch and let go, for stop and go.
Add 10 Seconds
By tapping the blend cycle button your currently on, you can add 10 m ore seconds to your blend
Strong Durable die-cast finish
7 Year Refurbished Warranty
Seriously who offers a 7 year warranty on a refurbished product? This is awesome.
The BlendTec wildside 5 sided jar is dishwasher safe and allows for higher volumes and a lower counter height. The “Wild Side” a fifth sided corner helps to turn the contents and redirect them back to the blade. The jar is impact-resistant, and BPA-free copolyester. It was mesmerizing watching these jars get molded while we were at the BlendTec facility.
There are also smaller 2 qt (64 OZ) containers as well as a Twist Jaw that is used for creating ultra thick recipes like peanut butter.
We did get to try out the Twister jar and were really surprised at how well it worked to agitate the ingredients and help insure a smooth blend of something so difficult like almonds or peanuts.
Below we were using it to make a chocolate almond butter. It starts off slowly smashing and grinding the almonds. We weren’t too careful while using the twist lid and made a bit of a mess, so be sure to hold the lid down tight as you are turning counter-clockwise. It’s incredible how much heat is created when girding the almonds, just touching the side of the twist jar it was fairly hot.
You can also see by the photos, using the Spectacula™ spatula it’s very easy to get the entire contents out of the jar not wasting any of those expensive almonds. It’s not as easy to clean the large jar by just running a cycle of soapy water. We did have to get out the scrub brush and clean well around the blade. The scraper comes completely apart which made cleaning it very easy. Even the top cap pops in and out for cleaning.
One complaint we had with the twister jar is that it seemed to fit more loosely on the base, so we felt like we needed to babysit it more that the other jars. It wasn’t too big of a deal since you are holding and twisting the jar during use. Another complaint was that after a few uses of the twist jar, it began to show signs of use on the bottom gasket. Not sure how long these would hold up, but it’s good to know the jars are covered by a 3 year warranty. It’s also worth mentioning, the customer service with Blendtec is above and beyond. As we had questions about the blender, and the jars we sent emails and called into Blendtec to get quick answers. They were always very polite responded very quickly, and made sure I had exactly the information I needed. I’ve heard of many others with the exact same experience so I can’t assume they were just being nice to us.
It’s nice to see some real world photos, and not just the cleaned up manufacture photos of what it actually looks like to blend nuts. As you can see it’s pretty clean and does the trick. We couldn’t have been more pleased with the results. By the way, if you like Nutella, you have to try the chocolate almond butter from one of these twister jars.
The blade is very unique on the BlendTec blenders jars. It’s not sharp like you might expect. It’s somewhat blunt edge however pulverizes by ripping and shredding it’s contents with it’s hardened steel. I was told that there is quite a process that goes into making the blades to keep them somewhat flexible on one side and strong and hard on the other for the perfect crushing machine.
The lid was far better than any other lid we have used as far as sealing the top of the jar. However it did leave us with some concerns and wishes. The lid seals amazingly well if you have it pressed tightly around all sides of the jar. The vented top was a little hard to remove when trying to add contents during blending, but not too bad. Washing the lid can be a little tricky, or you might just feel spoiled that the Jar is so easy to clean, and you might actually have to scrub the lid.
While the videos of the Blendtec always seemed to be perfect we did have a few issues with contents getting stuck in the top and sides of the blender. If we tossed in a half apples, it sometimes would just float around in the jar. We learned what can and can’t get away with using the Blender. For example just tossing in entire celery stalks didn’t always get caught by the blade, and we had to cut them up into smaller pieces. Basically, just cut or keep your contents small enough to be moved around in the blender from the start. Also, make sure you have enough liquid for the blending purpose, and you will be fine.
Juicing, Soups, Ice Cream
Juicing with the blenders huge motor was amazing. It was fun to just throw whole fruit into the machine and let it do it’s magic. It literally pulverized everything and anything we put in it. It was easy to drink more fruits and vegetables knowing that you were going to be left with a gritty fibery mess. It blended everything from frozen strawberries and pineapple to broccoli and celery.
It’s incredible to think that you can warm up soup with a blender. But the 3.8 horsepower motor had no problems warming up a soup using just the blender. There are a bunch of healthy and not so healthy soups listed on blendtec website, one of our favorite was teh creamy taco soup.
One of our favorite treats was blending frozen bananas. It matches the consistency of ice cream and with a little chocolate syrup it even taste similar.
The Designer 725 comes with blending rewards (https://www.blendtec.com/rewards) built into the blender. The program is designed to reward you for eating healthy. There are certain milestones build into the blender that display a code when reached. You can then redeem your codes for recipe books, gift cards, product discounts, kitchen supplies and more.
For example, we hit 100 blends and got a Spoonula. Of course you will still need to pay for the shipping, but still a great benefit. Additionally, we hit 100 blends relatively fast. Also, we noticed you get blend rewards for cleaning too.
While there were a few nitpicky issue we had with the blender, the one that really stands out is just how loud the blender is. If you can opt for the commercial grade blender with the cover it’s very quite. But without this cover this thing is loud. Not just kinda loud, like wake up the kids the house is on fire loud. It’s amazing, running the blender without the jar on this’ fairly quiet. But you load up the blender and turn it on, the sound is very loud. Luckily it’s short, and once the large bulky items in the blender are broken down it does get a little quieter.
If you have been brought down by cheap, under powered blenders for years and years (like we have been) Blendtec blenders are like experiencing what you expected blenders to do when you were a little kid. Anything edible we dared to throw in the blender was handled with little to know agitation. These blenders are expensive, and the refurbished models help a little. We can honestly say, these blenders can change your life. Over our time testing the refurbished unit, we ate much healthier meals, and consumed more fruits and vegetables than prior eating habits. It’s easy to drink these healthy smoothies, and feel full throughout the day.
The build quality is top notch. As we toured the factory, we saw the amount of detail that goes into each part, from machining little caps inside the jars to meticulously testing each and every motor.
Check out the link below to view all the refurbished deals on Blendtec Blenders today.
Currently for Black Friday, All refurbished blenders are an additional $100 off! This ends November 30, 2015.