While I agree with many at this forum that eating raw dowes not have to be expensive, nor does it require you to have expensive equipment, I also think that nice tools are a pleasure to work with, and can increase the pleasure of the work done with them. After only a month with my blendtec total blender, I decided to give it to my sister and brother-in-law, as they are going through some tough times right now, and they responded incredibly positively to the green smoothies I made for them, and got myself a 20 amp Q-series Smoother with the 96oz pitcher with 4” blade.
I read of the virtues of this blender first at blind guru’s site. I am skeptical of a lot of his information, but he made a few points about the blender that resonated with me and rang true. Specifically, with this blender, you get a smoother smoothie, and you can blend for shorter times, resulting in less oxidation. These things seem like small improvements over the standard total blender, and make it hard to justify the 2.5 times price difference, but I had another motive as well.
I am currently building a home, and designing a raw kitchen for myself. I thought it would be worth some extra money to have a blender I could mount in the counter top, and it was only a little more still to go up to 20 amps. Also, I am a big guy, right around 300 pounds right now (down from 350, 20 of which I lost since going raw) and as such I have high caloric needs, even while losing weight. I also consume the majority of my food blended as well, and so every morning need to make 1/2 gallon of smoothie for breakfast, and 1/2 again for lunch. I thought the 96 ounce pitcher would allow me to make the 1/2 gallon in a single batch, cutting my blending work from 4 pitchers to two. This has a lot of value to me, as I am not a morning person (though I do wake with much more energy now than I did pre-raw with coffee).
So justifications and rationalizations aside, here is what I think about this thing. The difference between a standard blender and the blendtec total blender is huge. The difference between the total blender and the 20 amp smoother is much smaller, and results in a bigger price difference. This would at first glance seem like it is not as good a value, and that is probably true. I think dollar for dollar you get more blender out of the total blender than the smoother. However, that does not mean that it is not worth the expense. The claims above are all true. I get smoother smoothies with less blending time, I can make larger batches saving precious time in the morning before work, and most importantly, though the motor is more powerful, it is also a quieter machine than the total blender. THis means I am exposed to only 70 seconds of loud noise rather than the 200 I needed to make the same batches with the total blender, and it is quieter while it does its blending. It is an absolute joy to use. It is simple to program the buttons to custom programs, and the sound dampening hood is surprisingly attractive compared to the way it looks in the photos. I can’t wait to have my home finished to mount this sucker in the counter.
So my bottom line: if you are looking for a good blender for green smoothies, and money is an object, look at the total blender (or possibly vita-mix if you are so inclined). The difference in price certainly buys a lot of nice produce. However, if you are enthusiastic about blending, and spending the money is not going to negatively impact your life, I recommend this thing whole heartedly, and would be surprised if you are disappointed with it in any way.