The Blendtec Total Blender – Classic WildSide Review

blendtec blender

Is a Blendtec for You?

The claim to fame for the Bendtec The Total Blender® Classic Wildside is that it will eliminate your need for having many other appliances.

Umm… How?

Well, this is supposed to be more than just a blender.

According to Blendtec, this is an all-in-one type of kitchen appliance that will allow you to make super smooth smoothies, fresh whole juices, ice cream, milk shakes, margaritas, soups, sauces, bread dough, salsa, nut butters, mill whole grains into flour and more!

So apparently it replaces as many as 9 other appliances.

This package includes the new precision-tuned 4″ blade in the  big, nearly 3-quart, BPA-free WildSide+™ jug designed for larger and faster blends.

About the WildSide Jar

blendtec wildside jarThe WildSide is Blendec’s tradmaked name for their bigger, almost 3 quart size jug size as opposed to their normal 4-sided jar.  It also has a wide base and a narrow

It also has a wide base and a narrow fifth side, or “wild,” side that affects the angle of the blending vortex.

There are also 2 vertical ridges in the interior of the jug to disrupt the blending pattern, allowing the ingredients to hit 2 additional surfaces and accelerating the blending process.

This 5-side design came about to prevent frozen ingredients from forming a cave above the blade. So of course, making smoothies using the WildSide jug is a great choice.

So of course, making smoothies using the WildSide jug is a great choice.

The WildSide jar is also great for other large batches of cold recipes as well as more specialized functions like blending bread dough. And with the new larger 4 inch blade included with the 5-sided jug, is sonically fused onto the jar and does not detach.

It’s able to manage tougher blending tasks and larger quantity recipes with ease – and in less time.

Located at the underside of the jar, part of the slotted metal blade shaft is seen. Thanks to its design it fits perfectly into the grooves of the drive socket of a titanium coupling.

To ensure the connection fits snugly in place, a 1 ¼”-deep continuous lip comes up from the bottom of the jar, allowing it to rest securely on the upper extension of the motor base while the blender is in use.

What does all of that drive socket stuff mean?

Heavy duty construction, people… heavy duty build quality = long-lasting reliability!

Looking at the jug image, you might notice there are measurement markings on two sides of the container. These are set up in ounces (up to 36) and cups (up to 4).

WildSide jug features include the following advantages:

  • Delivers a smoothie from frozen fruit and ice in as little as 14 seconds
  • Safety blade is 80% thicker and ten times stronger than competitors’ blades and blunt instead of sharp
  • Jar blends without the use of a plunger or other device
  • BPA-free copolyester construction
  • Lower profile jar fits under most kitchen cupboards
  • Vented, Easy-open Gripper lid allows ingredients to be added through the center opening and vents out pressure when blending hot liquids

About the FourSide Jar

blendtec fourside jarWhen it first came out, the FourSide jar had apparently revolutionized the world of commercial blending.

It was all about the square shape which is much better at directing the blend than the older style round jars.

The 4-sided jar also generates more friction which in turn creates heat.  So this makes it better for soups than the WildSide jar.

It’s also especially good for dry grinding and making smaller smoothies since it hold a little less than 2 quarts.  The blade size is also smaller at 3 inches. It can hold 64 ounces when filled right up to the rim, but you would never want to do that.  It needs some air space up at the top.

Currently, you can get either a FourSide or a WildSide  Blendtec with a Classic base.  But they also offer a combo package featuring both containers so you can have both containers on hand to choose the jug that best fits your given task.

 Total Blender Classic

Back towards  the end of  2004, the Total Blender came out as Blendtec’s most user-friendly, made for home use blender to compete in the high-performance blender market.

Now, some have claimed it was just a revision to their company’s Champ HP3 model which was found in numerous smoothie and coffee shops.  But this is not the case at all.

In fact, the Total Blender was designed to use the same mechanical components built into their commercial machines but to provide users with a much simpler interface. This brought to market the company’s first blender model made specifically for home use.

All About the Base

Weight

The base has pretty decent weight coming in at around 7 lbs.  A hefty base helps to keep your blender in place and prevent it from bouncing around when you are doing a challenging blend. So heavy is good for stability.

Power

This machine has a 1560 watt motor, also described as a 3 hp (horsepower). Blendtec did refer to this as a 3-peak horsepower motor in the past but now uses the wattage description. High power adds to faster & smoother blending when combined with the right design elements.

The Total Blender features a direct drive motor which prevents loss of power that can take place from transfer and friction generated by components like pulleys, belts, or clutches.

This also means fewer parts involved that could wear out. I like that a lot. So it’s actually the motor itself that spins the blade at high speeds of nearly 29,000 RPM (revolutions per minute).

Size & Dimensions

This can be useful to know if you don’t have very much counter space in your kitchen or wet-bar. The dimensions for the base of the unit are 7” wide by 8” deep.  And with the jar set in place with the lid on, it’s exactly 15” tall.

The height tends to be the  most important consideration for people who want keep their blender on a counter-top instead of stowing it away.  So for this reason the 15″ height is ideal because the usual height of upper-kitchen cabinets ranges between 17” and 18” above the counter. Many people like the size and scale of this machine.

Power Cord & Switch

The Total Blender power cord is 3 feet long with a 3-prong plug.  Often, cheaper blenders will only have a 2 ft chord. This one comes out and extends from the back of the base. Also located at the back of the machine is the main power On/Off switch.

Design of the Base

To keep things very stable, the base rests on four round, rubber feet, which are nearly an inch in diameter to give it good and balanced contact with the counter.  The motor also vents from the underside

The housing, or material of the base cover is made from an extremely durable, molded polycarbonate. Since there aren’t any seams or openings, your motor is completely protected from any liquid penetration.

To keep a sleeker and more modern design, you’ll notice the absence of traditional knobs or switches used to operate the machine. Instead, the Total Blender operation is controlled with nine small, soft-touch buttons. Six of these are labelled with easy to use, pre-programed “blend cycle” buttons.

blendtec total blender

From left to right, the 6 pr-programmed buttons are:

  • Ice Cream |Frozen Yogurt
  • Ice Crush |Milkshake
  • Soups |Syrups |Fondues
  • Sauces|Dips|Dressings |Batters
  • Whole Juice
  • Smoothies

Just above the bottom row of blend cycles, you’ll find arrow buttons to allow you to manually speed up or slow down your machine up.  And there is one more button used just for pulsing. There’s a small blue indicator light next to the Pulse button to tell you when the main power is on.

Operation

Using the Total Blender is meant to be as simple as just loading up the jug, pushing a button and just letting it rip!

After selecting a blend cycle, you will probably notice the change and use of multiple blade speed changes while it’s working. None of the blend cycles run at one single speed. In fact, it can vary from three to as many as eight speed changes during the course of a given cycle.

Blendtec has created a smart machine that has specific speeds and duration set up to match with certain ingredients used in each of its recipes. Blend cycle lengths will range from 25 seconds for the Smoothie cycle to 90 seconds for Soups|Syrups|Fondues.

After choosing your desired cycle,  a timer on the LCD screen will count down to let you know the number of seconds before it is done. Blend cycles should not be stopped until the full cycle is done and ends on its own. And if you do press any button on the machine while it’s running, it will come to a stop. This is why there’s no “Off” button found on the front interface panel.

Total Blender’s Performance

In terms of sheer power, you’ll be challenged to find another blender in the same price range that can match a Total Blender. Any imaginable ingredient you might want to blend will most likely be no problem for this machine.

But in case you threw something crazy in there that could never blend, Blendtec has installed a special sensor inside to temporarily cut power to the motor.  So instead of the motor running on forever and eventually burning itself out – instead it will shut itself down and display an “Overload” message on the LCD screen.

If this should happen to you, just take out or adjusts the contents of the jug, then press a blend cycle button again to resume blending.

There’s also an “Overtemp” message that will show up if the motor has started to overheat while in use.   Although this only happens very rarely, give it some time to cool down before resuming your blend if this should happen.

Making Ice Cream or Soup

Here we see one of the best examples if of the Total Blender’s extreme diversity. With the right ingredients, and cycle setting, the ingredients will move from the top and be pulled down to the blade, mixed around, then pushed back up the side of the jar, into the center, and drawn back down again.

To make soup it will require the right non-frozen ingredients, of course, and the proper amount of friction generated against them by the spinning blade.   Since there is no heating element in the machine – it’s the actual friction that will determine to what extent the contents heat up.

Extreme amounts  of friction are created at 28,000 RPMs (use the Soups|Syrups|Fondues cycle) and it’s actually enough to create a piping-hot soup. Yup! No microwave or stove is required.

Now, most of the soup recipes will call for hot water as an ingredient. To increase the temperature of the final soup, you can simply restart the cycle to run it a second time or even 3rd time. You can achieve extremely hot temperatures in 4 ½ to 5 minutes (3 or 4 cycles).

On the complete opposite end of the scale is making ice cream – by also using friction. But much slower blade speeds are used during this cycle.  And with the right ingredients, the right friction, and using the motor’s high torque, you’ll get a perfect soft-serve type ice cream  on the Ice Cream cycle setting.

Whole Juicing

The Whole Juice cycle is designed specifically to promote a maximum nutritional yield from whole fruits and vegetables. Whole juice is what results from blending fruits and veggies into a drinkable liquid without removing the pulp. A traditional juicer machine separates and removes all of the pulp…which is usually thrown away.

By whole juicing with a Total Blender, you put whole fruits and vegetables in the blender. The power of this blenders causes the fruits and vegetables to become totally pulverized.  The results is a smooth juice, but you don’t end up throwing all the pulp away. This is why its called whole juice.

See the how to to make a far more healthy juice with a Total Blender on our Blendtec video page. Just click the link here: Blendtec Videos and a new browser tab will open up the page.

And Other Things …

The Total Blender makes excellent nut butters out of just about any kind of nut. It can also mill flour from dry grains.  It uses  its unique blade and jar design in combination  with the power of the motor to pulverize the ingredients loaded into it.

The Total Blender also makes terrific dough for bread, cake batters, pie fillings, dips, salsas, fondues, syrups, frozen slushy beverages, baby food, and so much more. They even include a recipes book for all of the above..

Performance Issues or Cons

A completely honest review will also point out any negatives of a product.  Let’s face it – no product is perfect and no machine can be all things to all people

Here are some that we found:

Very Loud

This machine is very loud and almost any owner of one will say they it’s the only thing they don’t’ like about it. In fact, there are A LOT of moaners & groaners about this issue because it’s just so darn loud.  The decibel-level readings are between 95 dB to 102 dB. That’s as loud as a Boeing 737 jet, a jackhammer or an outboard boat motor!!!

You can pay an extra $70 and buy a muffling enclosure to bring the noise down closer to 65dB. But since the duration for most cycles are pretty short, most people just deal with the noise.  That’s the trade off when you have such a high power motor.

Cavitation Issues

Blendtec suggests you load ingredients into the jar in a particular order so that they will blend properly to avoid the cavitation issue – which is an air pocket opening up around the cutting path of the blade.  What then happens is the ingredients stop moving down into the cutting blade to get blended.

This is a really common issue for most blenders except for the Vitamix because they include a tamper to help with moving the ingredients around from the top with a stopper (prevents hitting the blade).

There is no tamper tool included with the Total Blender as they have tested and shown their design does not require one when the proper quantity and order of ingredient placement is followed. And using a tamper could potentially damage their particular blade design.

Clouding of the Jar

Lastly, the jar can take on a cloudy appearance  from tiny scratches cause by milling grains and other rough, dry ingredients as they are being thrown against the jar’s sides during high speed grinding.

But this is a common and unfortunate issue with all non-glass jars that are a must for use with high-performance blenders (glass can’t hold up against the torque generated by these high power motors). Also, grinding coffee beans may stain the jar.

But these are just aesthetic issues, after all, and doesn’t affect the blending performance of your Blendtec.

Final Summary

The Blendtec Total Blender Classic WildSide is a great match for anyone looking to take advantage of an extremely powerful and super versatile blender.

At this price point, you can’t find a stronger or more durable machine.

Just like it’s American-made rival the Vitamix, this too is made in the USA.   And because it’s of such high quality, you can reasonably expect it to be the last blender you might ever buy. It’s backed with one of the longest standard warranties of 8 years.

Thanks to its excellent preset cycles, the Total Blender is  “smart” enough to do the majority of the work for you.

It has the same motor and technology found in the professional and commercial machines used in coffee houses, smoothie shops and restaurants around the world.

It’s kind of like buying a car from a company that builds race cars and incorporates the technology taken from running them on the race track, then using that data to build better everyday vehicles. Blendtec does much the same with their blending technology.

Like so many thousands of others, you’ll find once you actually own a Blendtec, you’ll feel it was worth every penny. Review the special pricing offered right now on Amazon… Save up to $200 – don’t miss out!

 

Will It Blend? was the famous and funny marketing campaign gone viral that used a series of infomercials to demo the Blendtec line of blenders, especially the powerful Total Blender.