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Vitamix 5200 Review

While this blender is still very high performing, it is slightly inferior to the other Vitamix models that we reviewed
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Price:   $450 List | $400 at Amazon
Pros:  Good at making smoothies, great at crushing ice
Cons:  Less convenient to use, no presets
Manufacturer:   Vitamix
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Oct 16, 2017
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79
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 10
  • Smoothies - 30% 9
  • Ice - 20% 9
  • Convenience - 20% 5
  • Pureeing - 15% 8
  • Grinding - 15% 8

The Skinny

Has your heart been set on a Vitamix blender but getting sticker shock at a price? The Vitamix 5200 isn't necessarily cheap, but costs a decent amount less than the other Vitamix models. The 5200 performs quite well across the board, only delivering a somewhat lackluster performance in our convenience metric. This blender does a great job at making smoothies and blended drinks for a slightly lower price than the other top-tier Vitamix models.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Vitamix 5200 did thoroughly outperform the KitchenAid Diamond, the best value option and winner of our Best Buy award. The 5200 is far superior when it comes to pureeing and making smoothies, as well as grinding hard food. However, the Diamond only costs about a third of the 5200, making a much better choice when shopping on a budget. The 5200's performance was only exceeded by our trio of top performers, the Hurricane Pro, Vitamix A2500, and the Vitamix Pro 750. The A2500 and the Pro 750 are substantially more expensive than the 5200, while the Cuisinart retails for roughly the same.

The Vitamix 5200.
The Vitamix 5200.

Performance Comparison


To determine which of these kitchen appliances came out on top, we bought the best and put them head-to-head to find our winners, judging their performance in five weighted rating metric. These were Grinding, Pureeing, Smoothies, Ice, and Convenience, with the performance of the Vitamix 5200 described in the sections below.

The 5200 makes excellent super blended smoothies.
The 5200 makes excellent super blended smoothies.

Smoothies


The most important metric of our review, our Smoothie metric takes credit for the largest portion of the score at 30%. We selected four common smoothie recipes — green, berry, fruit and oat, and Oreo — to rate the performance of the 5200. This product did very well, earning a 9 out of 10 and tying for the top spot with the Cuisinart Hurricane Pro, Vitamix A2500, and the Pro 750.

The 5200 made an awesome green smoothie that essentially poured right through the sieve without any issue.

The 5200 easily broke down the tough cell walls of the kale.
The 5200 easily broke down the tough cell walls of the kale.

The texture was exceptionally smooth, with no flakes or chunks of unblended greenery and a consistent flavor profile throughout the drink.

A smooth  evenly flavorful smoothie throughout.
A smooth, evenly flavorful smoothie throughout.

The berry smoothie was also fantastic, with no unblended chunks of fruit in the final drink and an incredibly consistent texture.

The 5200 was a top performer in our smoothie testing.
The 5200 was a top performer in our smoothie testing.

The 5200 also completely destroyed the seeds, with the finished mixture cleanly pouring through the sieve.

The 5200 had no problem crushing up the seeds.
The 5200 had no problem crushing up the seeds.

This blender did struggle a little with the fruit and oat smoothie, forcing us to use the tamper a decent amount to actually get it to blend. The final mixture wasn't as smooth as other models, being a little on the grainy side. However, this blender's performance did rebound when it came to the Oreo malt, creating an exceptionally smooth and creamy milkshake. It did take a little bit of tamping to get the mixture to start blending and there were one or two little clumps of ice cream that the blade missed, but all in all, it was an excellent shake.

The 5200 made deliciously smooth frozen drinks with minimal effort.
The 5200 made deliciously smooth frozen drinks with minimal effort.

Ice


Taking responsibility for the next largest portion of the score, our Ice metric is worth 20% of the final score for each blender. We based the scores for each product on its performance in two tests: mixing an excellent margarita and crushing a full pitcher of ice. The 5200 again did very well, earning a 9 out of 10 for its results.

This blender had no issue crushing ice without any liquid present, demolishing an entire pitcher in less than 20 seconds or so.

Ice? Snow problem.
Ice? Snow problem.

The 5200 did slightly worse when tasked with blending a margarita, performing about on par with the KitchenAid Diamond. This blender took a little bit more time and required us to vary the speed and stop and shake the pitcher occasionally to keep the mixture blending.

Like the other Vitamix brand models  the 5200 also comes with a tamper.
Like the other Vitamix brand models, the 5200 also comes with a tamper.

Convenience


Ranking on the same level as our Ice metric, Convenience also takes credit for 20% of the final score for the Vitamix 5200. We determined scores for this metric on how easy it is to clean each blender, take the lid on and off, or use the preset functions. The 5200 delivered a middle-of-the-road performance, earning a 5 out of 10 for its efforts.

The 5200 gave us a little difficulty when it came to cleaning, as it is not recommended to place it in the dishwasher. This model is also a little more difficult to manually clean, giving us much more difficulties with its taller and narrower pitcher than the other Vitamix models.

Like the KitchenAid Diamond  the narrower pitcher makes it more difficult to clean.
Like the KitchenAid Diamond, the narrower pitcher makes it more difficult to clean.

This blender does lack a digital timer and preset functions, making it a little more difficult to use. However, the controls are clearly and intuitively labeled.

There are no presets or a digital timer  but everything is clearly labeled and easy to read.
There are no presets or a digital timer, but everything is clearly labeled and easy to read.

It's also very easy to remove the lid, but this blender is a little on the loud side compared to the rest of the pack.

The 5200 had some trouble making a smooth and creamy nut butter.
The 5200 had some trouble making a smooth and creamy nut butter.

Pureeing


Accounting for 15% of the total score, our Pureeing metric is comprised of a trio of assessments, testing how well each blender made mixed soup, heated it, and made nut butter from almonds and peanuts. The 5200 did very well, earning an 8 out of 10 — just slightly behind the perfect 10 of the Vitamix A2500, Cuisinart Hurricane Pro, and the Vitamix Pro 750.

This model did an excellent job at mixing tomato soup, creating a silky-smooth soup that effortlessly poured right through the sieve in just under six minutes.

The 5200 made the ideal tomato soup: hot and well blended.
The 5200 made the ideal tomato soup: hot and well blended.

The 5200 easily heated the soup to the point that it was hot enough to be served, reaching just over 153°F at the conclusion of its blending cycle. However, this blender severely struggled with making nut butter. The mixture never became smooth and creamy like the other Vitamix models, remaining thick and grainy. The motor also became exceptionally warm — enough for us to feel the need to give it a rest. We even added a little extra oil and never got satisfactory results.

If you plan on doing a lot of dry grinding consider getting an extra pitcher or the pitcher with the dry foods blade.
If you plan on doing a lot of dry grinding consider getting an extra pitcher or the pitcher with the dry foods blade.

Grinding


For the remaining 15% of the final score, we judged how well each blender handled grinding hard food. The 5200 concluded our test with a solid performance, earning another 8 out of 10. This appliance did a great job at milling corn flour, creating a mixture that almost entirely passed through the sieve, with only a tiny bit of residual caught.

The 5200 did superb in our flour test  only missing a few kernels.
The 5200 did superb in our flour test, only missing a few kernels.

The 5200 also did very well when tasked with making powdered sugar, matching the performance of the top models. The 5200 finished with a solid performance in our parmesan cheese challenge, though it couldn't match the Cuisinart or the KitchenAid. It produced a relatively fine blend of grated cheese, but not quite pizza parlor shaker quality.

Value


The 5200 is a good value pick if you want a Vitamix and can deal with the lack of presets. However, there are comparably priced models that matched or even outperformed this one if you are fine moving outside the Vitamix brand.

Conclusion


The Vitamix 5200 is a solid blender that does quite well for the vast majority of uses. It still is quite a pricey product, but it is substantially less expensive than other Vitamix models and is a good pick for those that want a Vitamix but are shopping on a budget and don't mind the lack of presets.


David Wise and Austin Palmer