Update: I summarize all of the current Black Friday Blendtec and Vitamix deals in a more recent Black Friday post. The deals below expired in 2013.
Blendtec is offering an extended Black Friday deal for Holiday shoppers: they just reduced the price on their Certified Refurbished Blenders by $105, through December 31, or while supplies last. That brings it down to $279.95 from their usual reconditioned price of $384.95. (Free shipping will be applied if you click from the links on this site.) I have to wonder if this was inspired by Vitamix’s sale on reconditioned units. This is a bigger discount than Vitamix is offering, making it the best budget buy of the season. Through the end of November Vitamix reconditioned machines start at $279, but I recommend going for at least the variable speed Vitamix, which is marked down to $299.
This Blendtec, like all Blendtec machines, comes with preset programs. If you want preset programs on a Vitamix, the current reconditioned sale price is $349.
Blendtec offers a 7-year warranty on their certified refurbished machines, compared to Vitamix’s 5 years on reconditioned machines.
It remains to be seen if there will be any other Black Friday Blendtec or Vitamix deals, but I would be surprised if there are any deals as strong as these refurbished machine deals.
I’ve been doing some hands-on testing of a Blendtec machine, and hope to update my old Vitamix vs Blendtec page soon, but here’s a quick summary of the most important differences in my opinion:
Interface: buttons on Blendtec vs switches and dial on Vitamix; this comes down to personal preference.
Tamper: Vitamix machines come with a Tamper, which is handy for thicker mixtures. Blendtec boasts that their machines don’t need a tamper, but having one is useful for thick mixtures like sorbet or nut butter. To address this issue Blendtec started selling the Twister Jar, and some people use homemade tampers made out of dowels. For making things like smoothies, The Next Generation Vitamix machines often don’t need the tamper, and they perform similarly to the Blendtec Wildside container.
Physical size: Blendtec is shorter than even the low-profile model Vitamix, and Blendtec is also lighter.
Noise: both are loud, but Blendtec is louder
Blending consistency: for most things Vitamix and Blendtec are indistinguishable, but when pushing the limits of fibrous green smoothies (e.g. including the stalks of kale), Vitamix produces a slightly smoother result.