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Vitamix is one of the most trusted of all brands in the blending technology, suitable for use in our homes or in the commercial kitchens. It is a brand that can be attributed to quality craftsmanship and has remarkable durability. Of all the different appliances that Vitamix manufactures, it is known quite well for its vast array of blenders.
There are so many blenders available in the market. I am sure many people(even me) find it quite a daunting task to make the perfect choice for the blender that can fulfil our needs and wants and will also be within our budget. When the same company brings out a new model in their product range, the task becomes more difficult of finding what really is the difference between the different appliances.
So here am I, trying to ease out the process for you. I will be comparing two great products from Vitamix – the Vitamix E 310 and the Vitamix E 320 blenders. They are a part of the Explorian series. I will provide you with a complete overview of these two products – which happen to be marvelous creations of Vitamix, both in terms of functionality as well as affordability. So let’s get started.
An Introduction to the Two Models
As mentioned earlier, the Vitamix E310 and the E320 are a part of the Explorian series. They are mainly designed for delivering performance at an affordable price. These two appliances are probably the ones we will go for if we have budget constraints as they are the least expensive among the entire Vitamix collection.
Their budget friendly nature should definitely not make us think that they are less powerful as compared to the premium counterparts. Their performance is comparable to the more expensive Vitamix flagship C-series 5200 models. They also have quite a strong build and their blades are made from aircraft grade steel, the one with which the more expensive models of Vitamix 7500 and 750 are made.
THE VITAMIX E310 MODEL
The major unique selling proposition for this particular model is its budget friendly nature. Previously if we had to own a Vitamix below $400, we had to go for a refurbished option. But with the introduction of this model it is possible to get a brand new appliance with a great value for money.
Suitable for medium sized blends, it has all the classic features of any other brand. Another great feature of this product is its ‘pulse’ feature, which many other devices lack. The only problem that can occur is due to the small size of the container and a little jerky performance.
THE VITAMIX E320 MODEL
The Vitamix Explorian 320 is considered to be one of the best blenders on budget. The most important features of this model are the powerful motor and the larger blades. It has the exact same features of the moe premium models but also has an updated design. Overall, this product can be a great addition to our kitchenware.
Now let us take each of the features and see their performance with respect to it.
Entry level blenders
These two models come under the category of entry level blenders. They might not possess the extensive controls and features of the premium ones but that does not mean that they do not deliver a great performance. They are the top in their class. They are considered to be the best among the entry level blenders and a gateway to the commercial and heavy duty ones.
Speed settings and Programs
The control panels for the Explorian 310 and the 320 models are absolutely identical. It does not consist of any fancy controls and is simple to use. It has a ten variable speeds dial knob, an on/off switch and pulse switches. The speed can be regulated by turning a dial. We are provided with a smooth transition between the different speeds. The lowest speed is around 1400 to 1600 rpm whereas the highest one ranges around 23000 to 28500 rpm, depending upon the blade size( the speed is so incredibly high that it can heat liquids with friction). Such a wide range of speeds allow a great control over the blending process.
The speed control is actually soft start but if we accidentally put it at a high speed, the machine does not ramp up but increases to the maximum speed instantly. The Pulse function can be activated by pressing the Pulse lever after reaching our desired speed.
The medium speed works the best for softer ingredients whereas the higher speeds are used to deal with hard foods such as seeds and nuts. The pulse function is useful while chopping vegetables and also while making sauces.
Base Unit and Motor Power
Both the models come with an identically designed base unit. The E310 model has a 2HP motor while the E320 model has a 2.2HP motor. However the information in the base indicates that they have the same VM0197 motor model which corresponds to the 2.2HP type. So on paper these two models are different in terms of their motor power but in performance they are absolutely identical.
The base design has some features from otherVitamix models such as Legacy and Ascent. The machine base is heavy and quite well made. It is sturdy and does not rattle on the counter base even while working at the highest speeds. Also the power on/off switch at the bottom does not light up the control panel when the power is on.
The cooling features of the models are also the same. They prevent overheating by radial cooling. Apart from the cooling fans, they also have thermal sensors which initiate an automatic turn off of the machine in the event of overheating. In case the blender gets turned off due to overheating, we have to give it a resting time of about 20 minutes before switching it on again.
48 oz capacity 64 oz capacity
Both the models are made by Eastman Tritan Copolyester of premium quality. They are durable, temperature resistant(up to 200F) and also shatter resistant. They consist of glass like see through pitchers which are made of polycarbonate.
One of the differences between them is the capacity of the blending jar.
The E310 model has a capacity of 48 oz whereas the E320 model has a capacity of 64 oz.
The size of the E310 jar is decent and will take up less space in our cabinet. Its base is also narrow and is hence suitable for dealing with smaller portions.
The E320 jar on the other hand is quite large and has a wider base which can easily work with two cups of ingredients at a time.
Also the former model has a plastic grip whereas the latter one has a rubber grip.
Both the containers have a proper spout for pouring the contents out.
The graduations on the jars are in millimetres, ounces and cups to adapt to all the different recipes.
The jars are fitted with a black rubber lid, with a clear plug and custom made tampers. The tamper is an efficient tool that helps to deal with thicker mixtures and also forms a better vortex.
How to process larger and smaller batches?
As I have just discussed the capacity of the jars, it is apt that I now talk about how the two models process the different quantities of food.
The 48 oz jar is better suited to process small batches of food whereas the larger 64 oz jar is better suited for larger recipes.
The minimum amount of food in the smaller jar is about 1 to 1.5 cups, whereas the minimum amount of food that can be handled by the larger jar is around 2 to 3 cups. If we try to process small quantities of food in the wide bottomed 64 oz jar, there will be a splashing of the food and the quality of homogenizing will not be great.
So for foods such as mayonnaise and nut butter, the E310 jar is more suitable.
The smaller jar will make us handle the ingredients in batches which could have been done by the E320 jar in one go.
The blades of the two models are identical in their design but just have different sizes.
The blades are permanently built into the blender jars.
The E310 has 3 inch 4 prong blades, built into the 48 oz narrow jar.
The E320 has 4 inch 4 prong blades, built into the 64 oz wider base jar. All the Vitamix machines have a ball bearing type of blade system that has better lifespan, greater efficiency and better performance with less effort. The blades are made of stainless steel and are of laser cut aircraft quality that ensures perfect work.
The blades can also be removed with a special Vitamix wrench but unless instructed by the manufacture service, it is not advisable to do so.
Weight, dimensions and length of the cord
The E310 weighs 11.5 lbs and the E320 weighs 13 lbs. Both the models have a cord length of 4.5 feet, that can be neatly reeled underneath the base. Both of them have dimensions of 11*8*18 inches.
They can fit easily into our kitchen cabinets.
Using and Cleaning
As the blade assembly is fitted into the jar for both the models, it is quite simple to assemble and use. First we have to fill the container with the ingredients, then place the lid with the two plugs on top of the jar and make the two tabs snap on the container and then place it on top of the base.
Then we have to press the on switch by keeping initially at speed 1 and then turn the knob to come at the speed of our choice. The four shafts keep the container stable. The tamper has to be used when blending thicker mixtures.
Both the jars are dishwasher safe. We can also be manually cleaning them.
For it, we have to rinse the jug, fill it up with warm water and then add a few drops of liquid soap to it. Run the machine for 30 seconds at a high speed.
Then we have to throw away the water, rinse it again and then dry it with a piece of cloth.
One of the points of consideration while choosing a blender is the noise that it emits. The Explorian models are powerful machines and are hence quite noisy.
Even though the silicon pad underneath the base will dampen the noise coming from the working machine, it still outputs a noise level of 90 decibels at the lowest speed and about 97 decibels at the highest speed. So they are really noisy at high speeds or when dealing with hard foods.
The E310 comes with a warranty period of 5 years whereas the E310 comes with a warranty period of 7 years. The full warranty covers parts, labour, shipping and return shipping both ways.
The warranty is also transferable and we will be able to enjoy a full warranty even if we purchase a second hand model.
The customer service is also very helpful and can be availed between the business hours.
The E310 model is available in only black colour. The E320 model is available in two colours – red and black.
There is a difference in the prices of both the models.
But in comparison to other blenders of Vitamix, they sure are budget friendly options.
They will definitely not be digging a hole in our pockets. Because the E320 is a newer model and has a greater capacity, it is priced higher.
But as I have already mentioned earlier that the price is definitely not a determinant of quality in this case.
There is also a refurbished E320 model available on seasonal discount with a full warranty of 3 years.
How to save money for the purchase of a Vitamix blender?
As I have mentioned earlier, the E320 can also be opted as a refurbished model which is certified. The recertification process happens in the Vitamix company itself, where all the subpar and poorly functioning parts are replaced with the new ones.
The blenders which are put up for reconditioning, in most of the cases are the ones which have been lightly used or have been used for display or demo reasons.
The process follows a 17 point checklist that includes functional points as well as aesthetic considerations.
The worn out parts, such as the lid, the tamper, the pitcher are fixed or replaced and proper functioning is guaranteed. Care is taken such as the device does not look worn out and a new appearance is given to it. But one thing that I cannot be sure about is whether the blades are replaced or not.
So if we are looking for blenders with amazing performance and that too at great and reasonable prices, Vitamix should be our first choice.
These two blenders are simple in design, have no fancy attachments involved and deliver premium performance in their class. Both of them are a part of the Vitamix G series and are quite similar in their performance.
The only difference between the two can be in terms of the container size.
One has the smaller 48 oz container, ideal for about 4 people in a small household.
The other one has a larger 64 oz container to cater to a greater number of people and can handle larger quantities of food in a single batch.
So our choice of the device will predominantly depend on our requirements and what amount of food that we will be processing.
But overall both the models are definitely worth buying and live up to the name of their parent brand.