Another common concern is the blender shaking or moving during blending, especially with chunkier/ heavier ingredients. The movements are not by any means wild nor violent and are seldom huge concern as you can simply hold the blender firm from the top. Movement like this is inevitable with powerful blenders like the Total Blender and the 5200. However, having a lighter base, the Total Blender is more prone to this than the 5200 as we have observed in several demonstrations using the same ingredients on both machines.This is where the tamper of the Vitamix 5200 gives it a significant advantage over the Total Blender (using the default FourSide or WildSide jar). When making nut butter using the Total Blender, you would have to stop the blending and use a spatula to even out the ingredients now and then before starting again to ensure proper blending.
With the 5200, you could continuously stir the nut butter mix with the tamper and finish the blending in about a minute or so. This makes blending nut butter and other thick recipes on the Total Blender 3 to 6 times slower than on the 5200.
The solution, if you own a Total Blender and want fast blending with nut butters, is to purchase a Twister Jar, which can blend nut butters in about a minute without the need for a tamper. However, a Twister Jar would require you spend an additional $100 or so.
Conclusion: Clear Advantage Vitamix
Comparison Factor 6: Dry Grinding
Both the 5200 and Total Blender can do a good job with grinding coffee beans and grains. With the Total Blender, you can do all your dry grinding with the regular jar.
With the 5200, however, if you plan to do dry grinding regularly, it is recommended that you purchase a dry grains container that comes with a ‘dry blade’ so as not to damage the ‘wet blade’ that comes with the default container. The dry grains container costs an additional $120 approximately. This said, we are unaware of any user who has actually damaged the ‘wet blade’ due to excessive dry grinding.
Comparison Factor 7: Cleaning & Storage
This is an area where the Blendtec Total Blender has an advantage. At 15 inches tall with the jar in place, the Total Blender fits nicely between the average countertop and upper kitchen cabinet (which have an average distance of 17 to 18 inches).
For the Vitamix 5200, at over 20 inches tall with the jar on, you would have to dismantle and store the jar and motor base separately under the kitchen cabinet. That said, this should not cause any significant problems usually.
In terms of washing the jar, you may find the regular 64 oz. jar of the 5200 a little hard to reach at the bottom, as it is rather long and also narrow at the bottom. As such what many people do is to put water and a little washing liquid into the 5200 jar and blend it for a while, before rinsing it clean with water. You could of course fork out a little extra and buy the smaller 48 oz. jar which is easier to clean.
In contrast, the shorter and more squarish shaped Total Blender jar that has less internal ridges makes cleaning comparatively easier. Some people have also feedback that by virtue of the difference in blade design, the Total Blender tends to get less residue trapped at the bottom of the jar compared to the 5200.