The Vitamix 5200 is part of the Vitamix Legacy series, a well-known line of blenders that the company continues to improve on even today. First released in 2007, this is an older-design blender but it has remained popular despite the introduction of newer models. The reasons are aplenty, from its exceptional durability to its ultra-satisfactory performance.
The blender is also used for residential and commercial purposes because of its fairly large capacity combined with its compact footprint. The price may be slightly expensive but when you’re looking for quality, you may want to consider it for your home and/or restaurant business, too. Your life will likely be richer for it, too, because it’s the kind of blender that can tackle nearly every solid and liquid ingredient you use it with.
Base Unit & Motor Power
While it looks no bigger than a standard home blender, the Vitamix 5200 was designed to be an industrial blender. As such, it has a powerful 2.2-horsepower motor equivalent to about 1,500 watts. Its motor’s ball bearing design reduces friction and, thus, it prolongs the life of the unit itself as well as makes it more efficient in the blending process.
The parts of the motor are also made of metal, instead of plastic, so these are extremely durable. The motor also has an efficient cooling system that obviously cools down the motor while it’s in operation. This also means that the motor will stop automatically if it becomes overheated, so there’s no risk of explosions.
With proper care and maintenance, the base motor itself will last for a decade or so, thanks to the combination of a powerful motor, a built-in radial cooling fan and a special thermal protection system.
The 64-ounce jar, or container, for the Vitamix 5200 has a fairly high profile of about 20 inches. You may or may not have trouble fitting it in your kitchen cabinet but it can also be placed on the kitchen counter when it isn’t in use. There’s a merit to its large size, nonetheless – you can make medium to large batches of smoothies, juices and nut butters.
The jar, by the way, is made of impact-resistant clear co-polyester, a BPA-free material. It’s placed atop a rubber pad for greater stability and lesser vibrations.
When in operation, the blades spin at more than 37,000 revolutions/minute resulting in a rotational speed varying from 11 to 240 miles/hour. The result: These can cut through a wide range of solid ingredients, from frozen fruits and ice cubes to soft fruits like peaches.
But there’s a hitch with the blade design: These cannot be removed (i.e., fixed) with standard tools. Getting out food stuck between its prongs can be tricky although the tamper makes the job easier.
Control Panel and Speed
The old-fashioned control panel of Vitamix 5200 consists of three controls, namely: a high/variable switch on the left, a dial for the 10 variable speeds in the center, and an on/off switch. There’s no learning curve with it, thanks mainly to the fact that everything is clearly laid out on the control panel.
You can decide the coarseness or fineness of the solid ingredients with the 10 variable speeds. We recommend using the high mode for certain heavy-duty tasks, such as breaking ice cubes, nuts and seeds, and frozen fruits. You can switch to the variable mode for other tasks, such as making juices, purees and thin batter.
The unit measures 8.8 x 7.2 x 20.5 inches, a fairly tall blender. Depending on the size of your kitchen cabinets, you may be unable to stow it in the highest cabinet. You can just place it on the kitchen counterpart, preferably away from the edge and in a corner, since it looks stylish anyway.
When storing it in a cabinet or a kitchen counter, be sure that it’s as dry as possible. While the BPA-free plastic jar probably won’t develop molds, it’s better not to risk it. Besides, it’s easy enough to dry after cleaning, usually by letting it air-dry after cleaning it and then placing it inside the cabinet when it’s completely dry.
This is a fairly heavy blender weighing in at nearly 11 pounds. You have to be careful about transferring it from, say, the cabinet to the kitchen counter and then back again after use.
Functionality and Versatility
Every blender will be primarily judged by its performance in making smooth and silky smoothies. The Vitamix 5200 delivers exceptionally well despite its age! Its blade cuts through numerous common smoothie ingredients including berries, green vegetables, fresh and frozen fruits, oats and even cookies.
The blades make short work of the solid and liquid ingredients that are used in making juices, too. These ingredients are so well-blended that, if the ingredients were measured well, no ingredient completely dominates the juice. Plus, the texture is just as smooth as if you’re drinking ordinary juice but with healthy ingredients.
The Vitamix 5200 blades are so sharp at high speeds that these can actually cut through ice cubes, frozen fruits and other hard ingredients. You can make an entire pitcher of margarita in just 20 seconds or so although you may have to occasionally stop the motor and shake the pitcher. It’s a minor flaw in an otherwise excellent blender.
Baby food, dips and sauces are easy-peasy to make with this blender, again because of its powerful motor and sharp blades. You can make these foods within 10 minutes or less depending on the type of ingredients and selected speed. You can also check for smoothness by passing them through a sieve, especially if you’re making baby food.
Soup/ hot ingredients:
The Vitamix 5200 can make warm soups straight from its container, too. Its blade generate sufficient friction and, thus, heat so room temperature ingredients can reach more than 153°F after the blending cycle. It can then make warm tomato soup or butternut squash soup within 10 minutes or so, which can be served immediately.
You can chop carrots, onions and cabbage, among others, which can be used in preparing salads, guacamole and salsa dressings. The 10-speed range and the low-speed RPM makes chopping easy.
You can also use this blender in making nut butters from almonds, peanuts and Brazilian nuts, to name a few. But we also noted that the resulting nut butter isn’t as smooth and silky as we expected but it will pass for home use.
In terms of milling corn flour and grinding cheese, it’s among the best blender we’ve seen so far.
This can also be used for blending batter for waffles and pancakes as well as small batches of dough for breads and the like.
Unfortunately, the Vitamix 5200 can cause a mild ruckus in the kitchen when it’s in operation. The motor may be powerful but in exchange, it’s noisy! If you think this way, you’re not alone in your observation, if it’s any consolation.
The noise can be extra-loud, too, when frozen ingredients and ice cubes are being processed. These solid ingredients bang loudly into the plastic container, thus, the noise. Don’t worry about the jar breaking though since it is thick, sturdy and impact-resistant.
Ease of Using and Cleaning
The Vitamix 5200 is so easy to use, a major plus in our books. You just attach the jar to the motor base, place the ingredients in the jar, and attach the lid. You can then flip the on/off switch, turn the speed dial to whatever speed you desire, and let it run for the allotted time.
This isn’t a dishwasher-safe blender. But it’s easy to clean – pour hot water nearly to its top, add a few drops of soap, and blend on high speed for 10-30 seconds. Its self-cleaning function means that you don’t have to wash it at the sink or dishwasher after every use.
Warranty and Customer Support
It comes with a full 7-year warranty on parts and labor, as well as shipping in case of repairs. The shipping covers to and from your address, too.
The Final Verdict
The Vitamix 5200 may be an older model in the Vitamix line of blenders but it is solid proof that age doesn’t matter in blenders – it’s the overall performance! The old-school switches and dial may not be as sophisticated as touchpad controls in newer blenders but these also have their merits. These are easy to use – just flip up and down for the on/off switch and the high/variable switch as well as turn the dial, and that’s that.
When it comes to overall performance, it delivers well on nearly all aspects that matter, from making smoothies, soups and juices to mixing batter/dough and grinding cheese, corn and nuts. It’s the kind of old-fashioned blender that you will not hesitate to have in your kitchen and use it nearly all the time.