Update: Sale pricing valid through end of February, or while supplies last.
I heard from my Vitamix contacts that a Vitamix Presidents Day Sale is coming on February 15th, 2016. The Certified Reconditioned 5300 will be $60 off, bringing its price down to $299. I always recommend Certified Reconditioned machines, since they are significantly discounted and guaranteed to be as good as new. When they go on sale with an additional discount like this, they are an unbeatable deal.
So, how does the 5300 compare to the other Vitamix models? It is a slightly weird one, in that it has a G-Series container on a C-Series base. That said, if you want the wide, low profile container, this is the most affordable way to get it, and this sale makes it a steal. The 5300 misses out on the G-Series base, which has redesigned airflow for slightly better cooling and sound dampening, but the differences are minor.
Advantages of the wide container include:
• less need for the tamper (ingredients fall into the blades more easily)
• better chopping capability (you can course-chop more ingredients at a time)
• easier to scrape thick mixtures out
• easier storage (at 17.5” tall, the container with lid on the base fits under standard kitchen cabinets)
• faster processing time
• under some circumstances, marginally smoother blends
The one disadvantage of the wide container is that for small volumes of under ~2 cups it does not work quite as well as the C-Series narrow container. This is a non-issue if most of your blends are over 2 cups. Or, if you are willing to spend a bit more, you can get a second narrow container, which will give you the best of both worlds. I like the 32-oz container for this purpose, although the 48-oz container has the same narrow bottom, so it works just as well.
If you want to be able to blend small amounts and don’t want to get a second container, then I would recommend the Reconditioned Standard 5200, which comes with a narrow 64-oz container. (Or if you want a short and narrow container, the 5200 with Compact Container is a good choice, although it is not available reconditioned.)
If you want to read more about the different models, check out my Vitamix comparison page.
Other ongoing deals
Or, if you want to go high-end with a premium metal finish and 5 preset modes, the Pro 750 recently came down in price. It is now $90 less than its original price, and its metal body was just upgraded to have a more durable finish. I’ve heard that the new version is also a bit quieter, but I have not yet tested it.