Blendtec Designer 725 Blender Review
If you landed on this review, you're likely on the quest for a sophisticated and ultra-high-power blending machine.
Since Vitamix and Blendtec have set themsevles apart to be above all the other brands, chances are, you've looked at (or you will) the Vitamix 780 as well.
I concluded that these two high powered kitchen appliances finished ALMOST dead even with each other... BUT with Vitamix still coming out ahead by a hair.
Blendtec had already upped the ante by making changes to its higher end model with the new Designer 725.
Good old Vitamix has since followed with a spiffy new designer level machine by coming out with their 780.
I'll be posting a review for that Vitamix blender very soon!
Now, even though Blendtec's redo on the 725 looks almost identical to the previous models, the latest version claims to have more power than ever before.
There are also refinements made to the touch controls and new presets.
So, since the Vitamix had impressed me over the Blendtec last year, I am very excited to check out this new Blendec Designer 725 to see if they can really pull this model ahead of the comparable Vitamix.
725's Power and Performance
The motor has been upgraded to now have 3.8 peak horsepower/1,725 watts.
This is truly a LOT of power!
I can't imagine anyone that would need more Vrrrrroom Vrrrroom in their blender than what this machine offers.
The older model had a 3 peak horsepower/1,560 watts motor – which was nothing to scoff at.
This huge upgrade is a big surprise to me, as I don't believe it was at all necessary since the 3 peak hp was more than competant enough to handle every task.
I suppose it will make blending a few seconds faster!
The programmed presets are set up to blend a typical smoothie in as little as 40 seconds, soup in just 90 seconds and the cleaning cycle is only just 22 seconds. So the this extra power is in fact being used to get things done more quickly.
You have a wide range of blending speeds, starting at 1 and up to the max speed of 100.
At top speed, the blade is spinning at an amazing 29,512 RPM (Revolutions Per Minute).
Another positive aspect to the new motor is that the blender’s increased Hp will operate under less load during heavy or constant use. This results in running at a cooler operating temperature, and the goal with that is to gain a longer motor life.
The Designer 725 also makes use of a new airflow design to make for cooler and only slightly quieter operation. The fan is a bit less noisy than previous models and even some of its competitors - especially at the lower speeds.
Desgin and Functionality
One feature that the Blendtec Designer 725 has that seperates it from other models is the touch slider to set the speed.
Instead of having a mechanical knob or dial, this digital touch slider makes it super easy to control 100 speeds, all at the swipe of a finger.
The first time you plug in the 725, an on-screen message will begin to walk you through each of the presets and introduces the other features of the blender. This is an excllent feature to introduce you to all of the settings and controls.
It smartly tells you which speed to use for stirring, chopping, mixing, blending, or pureeing on the digital screen.
I also like how having a touchscreen interface makes it very easy to clean.
You just wipe it clean with a damp cloth with no need to remove knobs or get into crevices around buttons. This type of smooth surface panel will also be free of the grime and bacteria that a knob or switch will harbor - eek!
In addition to greater power and the slick control panel, Blendtec tries to take things to the next level with more stability and quieter blending!
Is this Blendtec Really Less Noisey?
If you have ever used a Blendtec blender or read a bunch of user reviews about this brand, you will already know that these are probably one of the loudest blender brands on the market.
This has long been one of the main knocks against this blender brand.
They have tried to address that issue with the 725, and they have made improvement.
A teeny, tiny improvement.
Although it is quiter than the other Blendtec models, it's still louder than a Vitamix.
I'm just keepin' it real!
Is It All About the Base?
Aside from power, Blendtec has clearly put a good deal of thought and effort into the look and functionality of the interface for this machine.
The base of the blender is made using brushed stainless steel to give it a sleek, modern and high-end look.
Some think this ads to the heft, but the truth is that the stainless skin is just a thin sheet.
The weight of the base was increased to 10.7 lbs to make it more stable, but this really comes from beefing up the 'innards' and not the mearly dressing the exterior with the btushed stainless skin.
Yet even with the substantial weight of the base and the textured rubber feet, the 725 will still bounce around the countertop if you are whizzing through very tough or frozen ingredients. It's best to stay close by it when you first start it up, and keep your hand on the unit in case it begins to scoot about.
Size: The 725 is 15.5 inches tall when the jar is sitting on the base unit. This is more space freindly when compared to the Vitamix.
What are the Blending Jars Like?
The jar is marked (in easy to read black!) with easy measuring volume units in ounces and cups on one side, and ml and cl on the other side.
They feature the following:
- Made of dishwasher safe, BPA-free copolyster material
- 90 ounce Wildside+ Jar Used for larger and faster blends
- 4 inch stainless steel blade, which is non-removable from the jar
- Jar is 9.5 inches tall, making the total height of fully assembled unit 15.5"
The jar's 5th side - or 'wild side' - and vertical ridges are what allow the ingredients to hit two additional surfaces, and work their way down towards the blades.
This 5 side design eliminates the need for a tamper, like the Vitamix requires.
The Blendtec Designer 725 fits with all of the Blendtec jars, so if you want to get a 64 oz. Blendtec FourSide Jar to make average sized blends, or to have specifically for grinding, or the Blendtec Twister Jar or the Blendtec Twister Jar, Mini to make things like nut butter or special purees like homemade baby food - it won’t be a problem!
Both the Wildside+ and Fourside Jars can be used to blend hot, cold, wet, and dry with the same jar/blade.
The Twister Jar is mostly used for wet ingredients and ice cream, and not really used for grinding dry goods such as flax seeds.
Blendec Blade Design is not Sharp?
All of Blendtec's jars come with a single blade that is blunt, and it is supposed to be this way!
Thanks to the high power, it easily processes ingredients while also making it much safer to clean.
Plus you'll never have to worry about it losing sharpness.
This unique blade is made in a unique shape, is 80% thicker and 10 times stronger than the sharp blades used by Vitamix. Those different design factors are neccessary due to the fact the Blendtec blade is dull.
What's with the Vented Lid Design?
With the typical blender, processing hot soups requires that you leave the lid off and cover with a tea towel to reduce the pressure inside the jar.
However, this Blendtec comes with a vented lid which also allows you to add ingredients to your jar through a removable central opening.
By keeping the vented lid on, there is the right amount of extra pressure produced while blending hot liquids and they will properly disperse.
Not only is this lid design very convenient, it is also much safer and more efficient than a conventional lid.
How Good are Automatic Settings?
The programmed auto-settings include the some of the same previous (and probalbly most used) ones:
- Whole Juice
- Hot Soup
- Ice Cream Setting
There are also couple of newer ones:
- Clean setting
Although other models do not have the Clean setting, you can still accomplish this by adding and pulsing hot water with a drop of dish soap. But with the specific Clean setting, EASY just got EASIER with the Designer 725!
Having these program settings allows you to almost 'set and forget' so you can step away with the opportunity to let it run while you tackle some other task.
When using any of the 6 preprogrammed cycles, the blender will tell you what cycle you've chosen on the digital screen, plus it will also count down the blending time for it.
Once it hits zero, it will shut off automatically.
Additional time can also be added in increments of 10 seconds to each preprogrammed setting. This is a really great feature, because sometimes a setting just might not blend long enough based on the ingredients you are using.
You have the option of adding 10 right away or as you are blending.
Just hit the corresponding setting once to add 10 more seconds of blending… or tap it twice for 20 seconds… and so on for up to an extra 90 seconds.
This feature can be especially handy when you are making a whole juice or soup recipe.
Blendtec 725 Program Settings, One by One
The Smoothie Setting
Ask a devoted Blendtec user and they will tell you this machine is best smoothie maker, EVER! I can't say they are wrong about how good it is at this task. I'd say at the very least, it's on par with Vitamix.
With one touch of the Smoothie Cycle, a 40 second countdown clock will display while it does its thing.
If you are making a smoothie that has a lot of frozen fruit ingredients, you can add some extra time with the Add 10 feature to get it just right if 40 seconds is not long enough.
Using a Blendtec will pretty much guarantee that you can get 100 percent smooth restults making any kind of smoothie. This really is one of the best machine for smoothie making.
Using the Whole Juice Setting
There is NO blender on the market that will extract juice.
You can make whole juices, but to make an extracted juice, you would need a unit like the Breville Juice and Blend Dual-Purpose Juicer & Blender. It has a juice extraction attachment. You can read my review about this machine here:
What the Blendtec Designer 725 can do is create a whole juice - same as all the other Blendtec blenders.
This actually means you don't waste any pulp and you get all the nutrients and fiber too.
To make a whole food juice with this model, use the Whole Juice setting. Be sure to add in some ice or use some frozen fruit to prevent heating the ingredients. Heat will destroy valuable enzymes – plus a cool juice is nicer to!
You can see a video on how to make a whole juice with a Blendtec here:
Making a Hot Soup
Just like the Vitamix, this high powered blender can actaully blend and heat soup!
By using the friction of its rapidly spinning blade, this machine whips up a hot soup in just a few minutes.
Once you toss all your ingredients into the jar, just punch the Hot Soup cycle to blend it up for you. The display on the base will countdown from 90 seconds. If the soup needs more time, you can add up to 90 more seconds right away with the Add 10 feature.
The Designer 725 can do some dry chopping. By 'dry' I mean you are chopping the ingredients without adding any water or liquid.
Dry chopping is best for quickly chopping veggies instead of doing so by hand. I think it's nifty for chopping onions becasue it's faster, easier and you won't cry!!!
Needless to say, if it can do dry, the 725 can also perform wet chopping.
So in that case, you will use water to assist with circulating ingredients in the jar. Popular things to wet chop are salsa or cabbage for making slaw or raw sauerkraut.
Note that of all the capabilities the Designer 725 (and other Blendtecs) have - chopping is NOT what they do best.
This is due to their blade, which is blunt rather than sharp.
But it should be noted that the 725 model DOES chop better than the other blendtec models. This is thanks to the great amount of control offered by the 100 speed touch slider.
Grains & Seeds
It's easy for this Blendtec to break down whole grains for you to make oatmeal or flour for baked goods. And it doesn't even need a separate grinding jar to do this.
To grind, you can use manual speeds to process grains and make flour, or to finely grind flax and chia seeds. You can also use the Pulse option to grind grains to your preferred degree.
Yup, you can even process raw meats by also using the Pulse feature. Make everything from healthy chicken meatballs to turkeyburger patties.
Mixing & Kneading Dough
This new Blendtec Designer 725 can actually knead wet and dry ingredients into dough for you - so you don't need a separate stand mixer with a special attachement (like a Kitchenaid stand mixer).
Nor will you need to perform this arduous task by hand where you would have to blend wet ingredients separately from your dry ones, then mix the two together, manually…
This is where the thick blunt blades come in handy to blend the wet and dry ingredients into a doughy ball.
Again, this is WITHOUT the need of a separate grinding container!
You will be able to create cookie or cake batters along with quick breads and yeast doughs without having to own a separate bread maker.
Making Ice Cream
This might arguably be Blendtec's sweetest feature…
Making your own home-made ice cream!!!
Set it to the Ice Cream cycle, pop in all the ingredients and in less than a minute you’ll have made your very own, fresh and healthy ice cream, sorbet, or frozen yogurt.
The specific self cleaning setting is a new feature for this mahine - onw that many folks had been asking for,
To use this new cycle, just add a cup of warm water plus a drop of dish soap into the jar, put it bakc onto the blender base, and touch Clean. This fires up a 10-second pulse which thoroughly cleans the blade and the inside of the jar
When it's done, simply rinse it out under your faucet with warm running water.
Unlike the Ninja and the majority of other blenders, whose separate blades, gaskets and jars must be taken apart in in order to clean properly.
Problems & Complaints with Blendtec's 725
This Machine will Blend Itself!
During the first year this model came out, the added power seemed to be a negative when it came to wearing out the gasket on the jar.
This appeared to only become a problem when processing nuts into nut-butter.
Making nut butters is one of the tougher challenges for most blenders, and it normally requires longer blending times. But this is where Blendtec has always stood ahead of the rest and been superb at this task.
When tested by CNET, the Blendtec 725 produced lovely almond butter, but when the jar was lifted from the base they found bits of shredded rubber on the machine!!!
This was accompanied by an unpleasant burnt rubber odor. When the underneath of the jar was inspected, they found the rubber stuff coated around the inner rim.
The problem came from the rubber gasket that surrounds the jar's spindle. It's the material that forms a watertight seal at the the bottom of the jar.
The spindle must sit straight in the base of the blender while it spins, otherwise it will grind the gasket against the base if the jar tilts.
Other high-power blenders, like the Ninja Ultima, have built a locking mechanism into the base to help keep things firmly in place.
But Blendtec has no such reinforcement.
So there wasn't anything to stop the jar from moving which caused the gasket to meet the very intense friction against the base of the blender.
They concluded that due to the high horsepower, the Blendtec 725 tends to wobble when blending heavier foods. After just a few minutes blending almonds, it had shredded the gasket.
That means the jar is no longer watertight. So when you try to run a cleaning cycle, water will leak out.
Blendtec 725's Gasket Shredding Corrected??
Now, in response to this issue, Blendtec did act fast to make changes to the jar to correct the problem by 2015.
However, there might still be some of the flawed versions unsold on some retail shelves... so keep this in mind if you buy one.
You might have to contact Blendtec to send you a new jar if you shred the gasket on yours.
The New Quieter Machine is not Quiet Enough?
Even though this new design has resulted in a less noisy machine, many people still find this Blendtec blender too loud for their liking.
I guess this just boils down to personal noise tolerance.
It's a trade off for having a high powered blender... none of them will ever run with just a dull roar.
All I can really say it that you need to experience it for yourself and make up your own mind to decide if the noise is too bothersome.
Error Message Hassles
A number of error message complaints have turned some people off from this machine - and I can't say that I blame them.
This is the problem that would tick me off the most if I had to expereience it. That darn diagnostic code and Error message.
It seems nothing anyone tries to do can make it work. Nope, not even unplugging the blender and plugging it back in.
Even afer waiting a few hours - it's the same message.
The good news is that this complaint only seems to be with a small percentage of users, and it is covered by the warranty.
But it's just a pain to have to go through the process of getting it fixed after just a few months of use. Maybe the old fashioned knobs and dials are not such a bad thing!
Warranty & Durability
The Blendtec Designer 725 comes with an 8 year,full use warranty.
Compare this to the measley 1 or 2 year warranties - like with Oster or Ninja - that are offered with regular blenders. But then again - they can be 1/7th of the price... so you can just buy another one every year or two!!!
So it seems the warranty fits with the price of the blender!
Overall Value of the Blentec 725
When you look at what machine this blender can replace - bread mixer, ice cream maker, meat grinder, etc...
And when you consider the high quality construction, and the fact that you can potentially still be using this machine 1 or 2 decades down the line... owning one of these seems like a pretty good idea.
Personally, I've never regretted it when I've spent a few extra dollars to buy a higher quality appliance, kitchen tool or other equipment.
Cost & Best Price of the Blentec Desinger 725
Although there are a few different retail outlets that sell thise model of - and you can certainly buy it online directly from Blendtec's site, usually for the full list price of $750.
Another option to check out is Amazon.com because they often have the lowest price. Not always... but VERY often they are the best price. Plus, I find it very EASY to get a refund with no questions asked if I am not happy with an item purchased on Amazon. They always put customer satisfaction first.
No matter how you choose to buy one, make sure to use all the terrific features on this high powered blender as much as you can to make it worth the spend!