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Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Review: Ninja Ultima Pro Blender vs. Vitamix Blender

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The Ninja Ultima Blender was sent to us for review. No other bribes were exchanged. All opinions are my own and my kids’ :-) jaden

A few weeks ago we released “First look at the Ninja Ultima Pro Blender” – here’s our full video review!

This review has been long overdue! As my parents and brother can attest to, I’m a big fan of Vitamix and Blendtec (I’ve purchased and gifted units to both them) and it’s the ONE appliance that I’m always using in the kitchen.

We make smoothies, soup, sauces, chop nuts and even snow. But it’s a pricey investment:

Is it worth the money? Absolutely. Are there cheaper alternatives that work just as well?

ninja ultima You’re just about to find out! Ninja recently came out with the Ninja Ultima Blender Plus for $259.00.

It has a 1500 watt, 2.5 horsepower motor. All these watts and horsepower talk makes my head spin. In the end, I want to see the Ninja perform. Will it hold its own against the Vitamix?

Ninja Ultima Blender Plus on Amazon: $259.00 + free shipping

You might want to watch the “First look at the Ninja Ultima Pro Blender” first before the full review below.

 

Full Review: Ninja Ultima vs. Vitamix Blender VIDEO

 

 



43 Responses to “Review: Ninja Ultima Pro Blender vs. Vitamix Blender”

  1. Lauren — 2/11/14 @ 2:22 pm

    Thanks for this quick and informative review. I am researching new blenders now that I am simplifying our diet to more whole and homemade foods (the peanut butter test was a great one for me).

  2. Haha, I never knew there was a blender called a “Ninja”. That right there gives it points in my book!

  3. Laura K — 2/11/14 @ 4:32 pm

    Thank you for this great review! I have been wanting a Vitamix for a couple of years now. I think I might get one for Christmas this year! I know my parents were just looking for a new blender and they were leaning toward the Ninja because of the cost but then my dad noticed that there was a warning on the box that it contained lead! They live in California and any items that might touch food that contain lead must disclose that on the product. Needless to say they ended up with a Vitamix. Oh and for the peanut butter, I always use my Cuisinart because it is much easier to clean. I make PB at least once a week and it works really well. Again, thank you for the comparison!

    • SteamyKitchen — 2/24/14 @ 12:43 pm

      Hi Laura! Ninja responded to this comment in an email to me and I thought I’d post it for you and others who are wondering about it:

      “The warning label was put on the bottom of a small set of our packaging in error at our factory. We apologize for the miscommunication. Once this issue was brought to our attention, we swiftly corrected the packaging and removed the erroneous warning for all printed packaging going forward. Rest assured that all Ninja products exceed federal and state testing/compliance regulations.”

    • Vinny — 3/22/14 @ 2:06 pm

      The lead is only in the PVC of the power cord. DON’T EAT THE POWER CORD! TVs, mixers, blenders, computer / laptop power cords (which you touch a lot) all typically use some time of PVC cover as it is very protective from shock around water. Some PVC coatings can have minor amounts of lead in them.

  4. sybil — 2/13/14 @ 3:50 pm

    There is a $50 (sale) version of the Ninja that is perfectly wonderful (if you aren’t making huge amounts of food) – just saw it on sale at Target! It’s a smaller two-part version. Good food – great lives!

  5. Bev Harrison — 2/14/14 @ 2:52 pm

    I am on my second vitamix…in 40 years. Don’t think I will be needing a 3rd in my lifetime.

  6. Larry — 2/14/14 @ 3:03 pm

    The Ninja lid goes on only one way because it’s has a safety interlock. With the taller blades, you could conceivably get your fingers into the whirling blades.

  7. Robin — 2/14/14 @ 3:10 pm

    I have had a different outcome in my test of the Ninja Ultra Kitchen System 1200 versus Vitamix Turbo Blend 4500 home test. I bought the Ninja, which comes with three individual-serving blender cups, a food processor attachment and a blender pitcher, at Costco for $119. Great buy, I thought , so I transported my Vitamix and Cuisinart food processor to the garage. First criticism of the Ninja is the awful smell it has. Second criticism – mine doesn’t puree/blend as I would hope.
    I recently made a pureed broccoli soup. It seemed that no matter how long I blended the soup in the Ninja, the teeny broccoli buds would not incorporate and disappear. Depressing. I pulled my Vitamix out of it’s new home in the garage and poured the soup into it. Blended perfectly. I am sad – very, very sad…
    Maybe my Ninja is a crappier version than yours, Jaden

  8. carol s — 2/14/14 @ 3:31 pm

    I have been using the Ninja 1100 for the past 2+ years, and it works great, from my green smoothies, making soup, hummus, salsa, and mixing dough should I choose to make a veggie pizza. There are 2 different bowl sizes and ,many blade attachments, I believe it was under $200, and I love it.

  9. Tarrant — 2/14/14 @ 3:52 pm

    I have been considering cheating on my Vita-Mix ever since the Ninja 3 in 1 cooking system came in and CHANGED MY LIFE. I would like the single serve option and the fact that you can do food processing types of things with some models. But I loved your head to head comparison. It makes me feel a wee bit better that I really do have the hardcore VitaMix.

  10. TOM BEDFORD — 2/14/14 @ 6:51 pm

    Thank you Jaden, helpful and entertaining as usual… I am curious of the Montel Williams advertised blender.

    • Billy — 6/1/14 @ 7:39 pm

      Hey Tom, check out the Omega blender vs Montel Willams blender. I was looking for a quality blender and did my research on Youtube. The Montel Williams blender is garbage!! It will probably withstand the test of time. I bought a Blendtec blender and the motor went out in 4 months. I then bought a Vitamix 6300 and I love it to death!! You can feel the quality and it blends better than any other blender!! You can blend strawberries and see not one single seed. It also makes piping hot soups. I love making hot chocolate with it on the soup setting. Sure, it’s expensive but well worth it!! It comes with a 7 year warranty and it’s made right here in America in Ohio. This will be the last blender you will ever buy. Check out what the Vitamix can do on Youtube.

  11. Andi — 2/14/14 @ 8:07 pm

    I have a mid-range Ninja (not the full food processor/blender version, not the cheapest). I started making smoothies – kale, 0% greek yogurt, frozen pineapple, chia seeds. Does not incorporate well like the Vitamix. I personally don’t mind chia seeds not being pulverized, nor do I feel the need to allow them to gel in advance. The kale, however, I’d prefer liquified. Unfortunately, I had chunkier smoothies. I can deal, but when I attended a Vitamix demo @ Costco, I really learned what my Ninja simply cannot do. Maybe this one is better (believe my own is 1000 watts). It’s not a bad blender by any means – far better than any other lower-end brand I’ve tried, great at dried products, etc. But – when I saw my 4 year old eat “ice cream” with carrots in it and had no clue, I was sold. Now – have I purchased my Vitamix yet? No – because I’m a savvy coupon girl. I’ve done my research, and am seriously considering getting a certified reconditioned model directly from Vitamix.com – professional 500 is $349 right now. 5 year warranty, but one can buy another 3 years for $75. Personally…I’ve learned of so many people who have had these for 20 years plus without issue, so if mine is going to have an issue, I suspect it will be south of 5 years. I intend to use this often, so $349 for the version with all of the features I require is great for me!

    • Robin — 2/14/14 @ 9:00 pm

      Hi Andi – You can get a Vitamix Turbo Blend (I think this is their least fancy model) for $378 at coolshinystuff.com. This is up from about $299 for which I bought mine about 4 years ago. Anyway, I prefer this to my Ninja. I will continue to use the Ninja for blending stuff that I’m not too picky about, but the Vitamix is the best. It just is.

  12. Allison — 2/14/14 @ 11:26 pm

    Thank you so much for this review. This was a burning question in my mind – could I get Vitamix results from a lower priced product (Ninja), especially with the commercials I’ve been seeing on television. You answered a whole lot of questions that I didn’t even know I had :-) Thank you again for all your time spent on this!

    • Billy — 6/1/14 @ 7:47 pm

      Hey Allison, I got a Vitamix 6300 and love it to death!! If your strapped for cash and need a quality blender, check out the Omega blender on Youtube. It’s not a shabby blender. If I didn’t save for the Vitamix, I would have gotten the Omega blender with the 3 horsepower motor. There’s also the Waring Extreme blender to consider. They both are cheaper than Vitamix but they both give great results. My advise is go on Youtube and see for yourself.

  13. A quality blender is on my wish list so I watched this with great interest. What a great side by side comparison! It was quite entertaining watching those machines crush things :) Thanks for this super helpful and informative post.

  14. Thank you for this video review – I have been wondering how good the ninja was with blending nuts into nutbutter – so appreciate your video demo!

  15. Amie — 2/18/14 @ 8:58 pm

    Thanks so much for this comparison, how did you know I was trying to figure out which to buy? Perfect timing.
    It’s very hard to decide.
    I remember 26 years ago trying to figure out if I should get a Cuisinart food processor ( I did) how did I ever make that monumentous decision without the Internet? Not sure but it’s still going strong. My 2 sons grew big, tall and strong dining on food made with it.

    I am leaning towards the Vitmix. when you sort of step back and think about it, when you are goingto pay this much money on something used everyday the Vitamix is not too much more money wise, and I keep finding reviews that Ninjas don’t last and the lid fidgetyness is hard to come to terms with.

  16. Patricia — 2/24/14 @ 5:32 pm

    Thank you for this video review …… I appreciated your video demo! This is a super helpful and informative post.

  17. Harrison — 3/4/14 @ 6:03 pm

    Thanks for the great review Jaden. When I saw the first review, I must admit I was a bit skeptical, especially having seen and touched older model Ninjas which were pretty “mediocre” (and that’s being charitable). It’s great to see that they are continually improving their product and trying to produce a good product at a great price point. I thought the review was fair and pointed out both pros and cons. Like you, I am VERY VERY leery of the removable blades.
    While I continue to recommend vitamix and blendtec to my friends, it’s great to see that ninja finally has a decent product. This will enable many households to have a good quality blender at a reasonable price. I’d like to see a side by side of the New Ninja, the Oster Versa, the Breville Hemisphere and the KitchenAid, which I have personally used and think very highly of.and which are about the same price point as the New Ninja.

    I’d be interested in seeing a review of the Ninja multicooker too, it looks really interesting. Honestly I had a prejudice based on seeing previous Ninja products. Now that they are improving, and because of your review, I’d like to learn about it.

    • Pat — 4/8/14 @ 9:51 am

      If you are considering KitchenAid, make sure to check the reviews on durability. I have had two of the older models and the black rubber gear on the base that drives the blades “disintegrated” on both of them. It is highly unlikely I got two lemons. We have purchased the tool and the replacement gears, and it is not hard to change them – when you have the instructions. The only problem is, they don’t last very long. Hopefully the new models hold up better. I will not be buying another Kitchenaid blender.

  18. Dee — 3/9/14 @ 9:49 am

    Another big but not visible difference between the two is the internal gears. Vitamix uses metal gears and the Ninja uses plastic gears. Plastic gears is not a good thing! Kitcheaid tried this with their mixers for a while and got some serious back lash. Our Vitamix is almost 10 yrs old and still works like the day it was new.

  19. Carole — 3/11/14 @ 3:20 pm

    Thanks for posting this great review. I was considering buying one of these because I gave my 27 year old Vitamix to my kids, but I think I will get another Vitamix. I want one that I will not have to replace, and the Vitamix customer service is awesome.

  20. Melissa L. — 3/15/14 @ 10:31 am

    Great review! I thought some people would benefit by knowing two things about VitaMix; The company offers a significant discount to those who purchase it for medical reasons (my son suffered anoxia at birth and has cerebral palsy. He can only eat finely pureed foods. They also will expediently offer a substitute for use while yours is in for repair, if used for medical reasons). They also offer an impressive eight-year warranty. As you can imagine, our VitaMix gets an enormous amount of use. We’re on year ten. Also, I find it exceedingly easy to clean.
    I just took my Steamy Kitchen cookbook to the huge Asian grocers and had fun choosing ingredients. My first bottle of black vinegar sits in my pantry, ready for a batch of beef and broccoli. :) Thanks so much for all your fabulous recipes!

  21. cheryl lee calway — 4/4/14 @ 5:04 am

    I read the Consumer Report on the Vitamix VS. Ninja and the results were:
    1. Ninja QB 1004
    2. Vitamix
    3. Ninja Blender
    I’m going with the Ninja QB 1004.

  22. Tony Bartoine — 4/8/14 @ 8:02 am

    Grate article, I personally own both blenders and find the Vitamin to be way better than the Ninja in many ways. The build quality for a start is solid metal, where the Ninja is made of cheaper plastic parts that will ware down over time. The Vitamix is a lot more expensive but so much more worth it over the long run.

    • The Cook — 4/8/14 @ 8:18 am

      Oh, and the Vitamix makes a truly hot soup, don’t buy into the hype of the Ninja, it’ll need to be heated up on the stove or microwave.

  23. Susana — 4/14/14 @ 10:35 am

    Awesome HONEST review thank you!!!

  24. Pamela Fowler — 4/19/14 @ 8:09 pm

    I found this blog at the right time. Considering buying a blender that is powerful, with several options such as Cuisinart and Vitamix. Read this review and see video comparison, I will choose to purchase the Vitamix. Thanks Jaden..

  25. Mark Sturm — 5/1/14 @ 10:54 pm

    It’s worth noting that you can get the entry-level Blendtec (Total Blender Classic?) for $269 as a factory refurb (ie all new externals and internals brought to factory as-new spec), warranted for seven years.

    For $100, *if* I was completely strapped and needed a blender desperately, sure, the Ninja might be an option, but there’s no way I’d get the Ultimate (or whatever it is) for twenty bucks less than a 7-year warranted commercial blender.

  26. Pingback: How to Choose a Blender. | greensypants

  27. Verónica Castro — 5/10/14 @ 10:35 am

    Thank you for that comparison, it was very useful. You are right the Vitamix is an investment, I purchased mine in 2003 used everyday for my protein drink and only have to re order the cup, the engine still works great, I love my Vitamix.

  28. Sandi Matthews — 5/20/14 @ 4:02 am

    There is nothing like a Vitamix!!!. I do miss my 3600′s stainless steel container with the spigot. Does the Ninja make truly hot soup or bread dough? Is it Made in America?
    Vitamix is a U.S. Company out of Cleveland, Ohio. I am sick of inferior quality Chinese goods being marketed as the same as American made goods. Who wants a machine with a “contains lead” on the box warning?

  29. Billy — 6/1/14 @ 7:58 pm

    If buying a brand new Vitamix is a little too high for you to purchase, go on Vitamix’s website and buy a Recondtion one. It comes with a 5 year warranty and will blend better than anything that is out there. Vitamix has been around for over years and blenders is all they do!! Everybody tries to compare their blender to the Vitamix cause they know it’s best. The infomercial on the Ninja, they had the switch on low so it looks like the Ninja blends better. Check all this out on Henry PJ on Youtube. He points out what all the sneaky things the people at Ninja did to make it look like the Ninja is a better blender. The Vitamix is made right here in America in Ohio. If you buy a Vitamix, it will be the last blender you buy.

  30. Anne R — 6/9/14 @ 1:32 pm

    I had a Vitamix and sold it, it was just not for me. I have the Ninja Mega System ad it does way more for me, works perfect and is so much easier to clean. Maybe I am the only thinking that way, but in addition to my choice I saved a lot of money.

  31. Gilly P — 6/24/14 @ 8:12 pm

    My Ninja blender Died after a year!
    Loved it – really loved it, but unfortunately the plastic components on the top of the base unit and the bottom of the jar are made of rubbery plastic that broke down and turned to bits of black plastic everywhere. Of course it happened just after the 1 year warranty was over. Ninja was unbelievably difficult to deal with and would not help me make my credit card extended warranty claim. The service was so bad that I thought I was being punked. Really disappointed with Ninja service and product durability. I guess that’s why you have to pay so much for a Vitamix!

  32. Monica — 6/25/14 @ 1:45 pm

    Already order the new one with coupon at http://piggycoupons.com/ninjakitchen.com

    Great Savings Ninja Ultima!

  33. christina — 6/27/14 @ 4:26 pm

    I have the Ninja Professional, it is 1000 watts and just over a year old. The lid is all plastic and broke, but I was able to order a replacement lid for under $20 and now it is working just fine. Really considering investing in the Vitamix though. Not sure how much longer the Ninja will last- the pitcher is starting to come apart, but I suppose I could replace that too.

  34. Larry Molter — 7/2/14 @ 10:07 pm

    I am staying at a guest retreat on Maui and a woman guest arrives with her Vitamix in a backpack. She carried in the plane from California. She never travels without it. She made us kale smoothies and I was sold. Immediately bought a factory reconditioned model for $329. It’ll be there when I return. Cant wait.

  35. Mikki — 8/7/14 @ 3:06 pm

    What a great review!!
    I don’t know how I have never seen your site before but I’m definitely going to be a new follower!! AND you’re a FLORIDIAN!! Double points for that one! LOL!

    Still not sure if I can spend the money on a Vitamix yet, though I’m looking at the Ninja system because I need a food processor and thought their one system that has a food processor attachment would be worth checking out!

    Have an awesome day!
    Happy cooking!

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