288 of 295 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2013
I'm a little bit obsessed with blenders, and I'm a perfectionist when it comes to mechanical things, and the design of them, so when I saw this new Oster VERSA I couldn't help myself - I had to give it a "whirl" :)
Let me cut to the chase, it's a very good design, and well executed, and a good value in today's market. I do have one small quibble, which I note below, and for that reason I am only giving it three stars for now. (revised to five stars, see below)
For my first test of the VERSA I had peeled and cored two large apples, a thick skinned variety (Sonata from WA state) to make an apple sauce fruit compote to top banana ice cream. So I was looking at that small pile of roughage on the cutting board and thought, why not? So into the VERSA went skins, seeds, stems, and cores, with sufficient water, to see whether it could emulsify tough vegetable fiber as well as a Vitamix. (I have a Vitamix 5200, but it's not at this location, so to be fair this is not a direct comparison.) My impression was the VERSA might have taken a bit longer than a Vitamix, and maybe didn't do quite as good a job, but... better than any other less expensive blender I've tried.
But who blends apple core, skin, seeds and stems for breakfast? Not me, so then I decided to give it a real world test. For that I made a nut/seed "milk" using 2 teaspoons of flax seeds, and 1 teaspoon each of chia seeds, sunflower seeds, goji berries, quinoa, almonds, and pumpkin seeds, all in raw state (harder to emulsify, but arguably more nutritious). Raw flax seeds are the toughest to emulsify in a blender, most will leave them in some kind of partially whole state, and you might as well not bothered adding them.
I mixed on low for a few seconds, and let soak for a few minutes before blending, which is what I would normally do making a seed nut milk base for certain smoothie recipes. I'm happy to say it passed this test with flying colors, again, not in direct comparison, but I would say the result was as good as I would expect from a Vitamix.
Bottom line is I'm keeping the VERSA for use in my second location. I do have one small quibble however, when I first tested the tamper with just water in the blender I noticed it was (just barely) long enough to reach the top two blades. At first I thought I must be doing something wrong, because the tamper should not be long enough to reach the blades(!), and how could Oster's engineers have got wrong something so obvious? Well I don't know the answer to that, but I double checked what I'm doing and as far as I can tell, yep, the tamper is just a wee bit too long, resulting in little black plastic flakes in the blender carafe! I'm sure if it is a production glitch it will be ironed out quickly, my machine came from a big box store and was likely from the first production run. I called Oster customer service who suggested I return it to where I bought it with an explanation, and order another directly from their own warehouse, which I did. For the time being I will give it 3 stars, until I figure out if it's something I did, or just an early production glitch. I'll update this review when I know more.
Meanwhile, bottom line, this really is an excellent blender at a very competitive price. It's good looking too, IMHO. The Versa might even cut into Vitamix sales a bit, it would not surprise me one bit.
Update - I received the replacement yesterday and it's all good news, the tamper issue is fixed. The problem in my first sample came down to the lid - it allowed the tamper to reach down further into the carafe, and reach the blades. On the new lid the part that stops the tamper from going down further is just a teeny bit higher. I'm going to assume this was a one off problem, or worst case, an early production glitch that won't affect anyone buying a unit now or going forward. Anyway the tamper issue is almost a non issue for me because I use the tamper so infrequently anyway.
Impressions after using everyday for a week - it's all good news, I like it more after using it. Let me compare it a little further to the Vitamix, the best blender I've used. Yes, I feel VM is the better blender on an absolute basis, but the Versa is a better value for most people. The reason is even the least expensive VitaMix is basically a commercial grade machine, over specd and overbuilt in every way. For example, the VitaMix carafe has much thicker walls than the Versa, it's effectively impossible to break, whereas it looks like the Versa carafe might crack if you dropped it on a tile floor and it hit on the wrong angle. Another example, the VitaMix motor base is considerably heavier than the Versa's, and seems to me has considerably more power on tap also. That might be the reason the Versa motor is protected with a soft start circuit - it ramps up to full power over a second or two. The VM can go from dead stop to full power at the flick of a switch, and it has the torque to do that pretty much no matter what you have in the carafe.
These are features that cost more, but don't add anything to daily use for most people. The Versa, to it's credit, has borrowed many of the better design ideas from VM, but it's not a clone, there are some intelligent trade-offs that make it a more cost effective design for average users. If the VitaMix were near the same cost as the Versa, sure I'd get the VM every time. But it isn't - enter the Versa - it's THE blender choice for folks who would choose a VitaMix other things equal, but were stopped by price.
120 of 123 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2013
Many reviewers have compared the VERSA to its obvious competitor, the Vitamix, which costs about twice as much. I'll compare it to a competitor at the other end of the scale: the Ninja Master Prep Professional, which costs less than one-third as much. Whether that's a fair comparison depends on what you want the appliances to do.
I purchased the Ninja hoping to make smoothies more easily than in my blender or food processor, and it does. The Ninja has multiple nasty-sharp blades, can pulverize ice cubes, and can handle most of what I throw at it. It's quick to assemble, and easy to clean. It does a better job than the food processor or blender of pulling in the food and pulverizing it, instead of just spinning around underneath it making mush on the bottom without blending the top. It's a pretty good deal for the price and got me into the smoothie habit.
The VERSA is definitely a step up, and my Ninja is now in storage.
The Ninja's 450 watt motor is reasonably powerful, but the VERSA's 1400 watt motor is a beast. When I put fibrous vegetables like carrots or kale in the Ninja, it makes a thick puree. It's definitely drinkable, but it's got a lot of texture. Putting these ingredients in the VERSA produces a completely smooth liquid.
I sometimes put chia seeds in my smoothies. With the Ninja, a lot of the seeds survive and are floating in the final product. With the VERSA, they disappear.
The Ninja has no speed control, and can only be pulsed; the only way to adjust the end result is by pulsing longer or shorter. Because the manufacturer recommends doing only 15-second pulses, leaning on it for several minutes to make something really smooth seems risky. But it's great for quickly chopping an onion or making salsa, and most smoothies are done in thirty seconds.
The VERSA has a simple variable speed control dial. Even at the low end it's powerful, and at the high end, it's very loud and whips the contents into a frenzy. You can leave it on for several minutes and not worry.
I tried to make tahini using only sesame seeds in my food processor, the Ninja, and the VERSA. The food processor burned itself out and shut off before making a dent in it because the blades just spun beneath the coarsely ground seeds which stuck to the sides. The Ninja did a better job, but even with its multiple blades it wouldn't pull the seeds in enough to turn them into butter. I stopped trying for fear I'd just ruin it. I'd like to say the VERSA made short work of it, but it didn't. I had to repeatedly use the pusher tool (which fits nicely through the hole in the top and won't reach the blades) to press the seeds into the blades, and the motor eventually shut itself off. After a few minutes I continued, and eventually I had tahini. A very tough job, but only the VERSA could finish it.
The VERSA has three special settings, and I've tried two. One allows you to push a button to make a smoothie, and it automatically changes speed to allow contents to settle into the blades before blending them, and shuts itself off when it imagines the smoothie is done. It works well with ingredients that will blend fairly easily, but with ice cubes or carrot chunks, you may have to turn it back on to finish the job. It also has a setting to make soup. You place the ingredients in, press the button, and walk away while it howls. After about four or five minutes, hot soup! Apparently the speed of the blades alone heats it up. I found if the ingredients are already hot when added, they get even hotter--extremely so. There are soups that can't be made properly just by blending raw ingredients and heating them quickly, but it's very nice to be able to toss some broccoli, seasonings, stock, and cream into the VERSA, push a button, and have hot soup in five minutes.
Unlike my blender, which unscrews at the bottom to remove the blade for easy cleaning, neither the bottom nor the blades of the VERSA are removable. The best way to clean it is to put some soapy water inside and turn it on for ten seconds. I've had no trouble.
The appliance is heavy and seems built to last. With the carafe it fits under my kitchen cabinets. The carafe is made of thick BPA-free plastic, and holds up to 64 ounces.
In summary, if all you need to do is make smoothies from typical ingredients--frozen berries, bananas, juice--the Ninja does a great job, and will make hummus, salsa, etc. nicely for a reasonable price. If your horizons are a little broader and you want something that will do a great job on almost anything, the VERSA is a well-designed workhorse.
UPDATE: The rubber seal around the carafe top on my VERSA became loose very quickly after I received it. It continued to work, but I could see it was only a matter of time before it broke and it didn't seem like it was supposed to be that way. I called Oster and they sent me a replacement under warranty, and it works perfectly--the first one must have been defective.
SECOND UPDATE: After about eight months the replacement rubber gasket has stretched just like the first one. It's apparently a design defect. Too bad, although everything else works very well.
189 of 197 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2013
I was very close to buying a Vitamix for $500 from Costco but decided to do more research first and am very glad I found the Versa! I am mainly interested in making green smoothies but also want to make soups and ice cream.
So I got a Versa a few days ago from a local department store whose name starts with "K" (sorry Amazon - had to have it NOW).
I had to be sure this thing is as good as a Vitamix, SO: My neighbors happen to have a nice new Vitamix so I invited them over for a "blend-off". We spent a whole afternoon with the Versa and Vitamix head to head using identical ingredients. We started with green smoothies - kale, spinach, carrots, cucumber, broccoli, and mango juice. Next, my neighbor made some strawberry ice cream. To finish I made some sweet red pepper cream of chicken soup - I wanted to see how you could heat soup in a blender (this is amazing to me - the soup heats from friction of blades spinning at 28,000 rpm)!!
With all three recipes we got identical results with both machines except that the Versa heated the soup a little faster than the Vitamix which took about a minute longer to get up to 140 degrees according to my little meat thermometer.
So I'm very happy with my purchase because I got the Versa for less than half the cost of the Vitamix!!!!!
The only thing in question now is durability and dependability. The build quality seems very comprable plus the Versa also has the 7 year warranty. Time will tell...
Pros: As good as blender more than twice the price! Has three pre-programmed cycles for smoothie, soup, and sauce/dip.
Cons: Since we're comparing to Vitamix - Does not have the super low speed like the Vitamix. This would be nice for coarse dicing like pico de gallo but not a deal killer. The size doesn't bother me because after all we're in super blender class here right? Noise level is no more than my old cheap blender.
UPDATE 9-15-13: I have been using this blender heavily almost every day since I bought it. I drink at least two 32 oz. vegetable smoothies a day plus my wife drinks probably another 32 oz. or so. I now put a whole avocado WITH SEED/PIT per 64 oz. (the size of the blender pitcher) of smoothie and it completely liquifies with NO tastable particles - total creamy goodness. The avocado makes the smoothie nice and smoooooth. I usually make two or three pitchers per session, then put it in the 32 oz. bottles that the Bolthouse carrot juice comes in from Costco and freeze them. I travel a lot so I take them with me in a cooler and drink them as they thaw. I have lost around 14 lbs. since I started juicing/smoothie-ing with no self-discipline required because the smoothies are delicious and satisfy your hunger. Each 32 oz. smoothie has 24 oz. of vegetables in it - 8 oz. juice or almond milk and the rest veggies. I figure that's equivalent to at least THREE large restaurant salads but without the high calorie dressing and meat. My calculation is based on the size of a 9 oz. bag of spinach - it's pretty big - seems to me about the same volume as a large restaurant salad. FURTHERMORE - the restaurant salad is usually lettuce which is nowhere near as nutritious as the kale and spinach that I use in my smoothies. So if I drink two 32 oz. smoothies a day, it's like eating SIX SALADS!!!
UPDATE 7-3-14: Still smoothying and no deterioration in performance of the blender. I still drink 1 to 2 quarts of smoothie per day faithfully and love it. So 7 to 14 quarts per week which I would consider pretty heavy use. I've come up with a way to make in bulk weekly. I was previously measuring ingredients for every blender pitcher so multiple measurings per batch. Finally I got smart and now pre-measure for whole batch, add to blender whatever fits per pitcher and mix in big bucket then put in Bolthouse bottles for freezing. This is much quicker and the results are more consistent. A typical batch is 2.5 lbs fresh spinach, 1.5 lbs kale, 1.5 lbs. power mix greens from Costco, 1.5 lbs cucumber, 2 lbs broccoli, 48 oz carrot juice, plus ingredients for flavor can be either 48 oz fruit juice or (yes, I really do this: 48 oz almond milk, 4 tablespoons vanilla, 3/4 cup instant coffee, 32 packs of Stevia). So either the fruit flavor or coffee flavor has the same vegetables. This batch recipe makes about 8 quarts (2 gallons) of smoothie.
76 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2013
10/2014 Edit: Tamper/pusher has cracked at the base with just about one year of use. Warranty does not cover it. $10 for a replacement every year is bad and gets worse if Oster discontinues them. Motor and everything else has held up fine.
Very good Vitamix clone with a low profile jar for a much cheaper price and a 7 year warranty. Passed all tests I put it through and the only real con is longevity. As long as the product keeps working or long warranty comes through to fix any problems, this seems like a great buy.
The Machine itself:
Base - extremely light and had me worried. 7 year warranty assuaged my fears some what. No problems with lacking power to blend.
Jar - 64oz BPA-free short profile jar. This still doesn't not fit under a normal kitchen counter with the lid on. However, the stockier jar is much better to handle and to remove thicker foods with a spatula from the bottom. I prefer this over the taller narrower vitamix jars. Handle is very solid and easy to grip. Lid fits tight.
Things it can do:
* Dips/Spreads/nut butter - Hummus comes out great and very, very smooth. I do think I overloaded and overheated the machine doing hummus (3-4 cans vs 1-2 as recipes called for). See notes as it is likely my fault and even a vitamix would have died too.
* Soups - This is the only preset button that I actually use. Blended raw vegetables down to a frothy soup. 187F was the temp I recorded when done so you will get steamy "soup." I put the parentheses there because I believed the hype that these high performance blenders actually made soup. I would call it a hot, raw soup. Cooking is still required before/after for flavors/spices/herbs/etc to blend. If pressed for time, you can eat what comes out as it would be ready to serve.
* Smoothies - You can load this right up to the top with smoothie ingredients. Kale, spinach, apples, celery, pears, you name it and it will disappear. Raw carrots--gone. You can not find chunks or parts of spinach/kale after blending. For people who say that that a vitamix/blentec produces a better smoothie, I don't think they would pass double-blind testing. I don't think it's possible to blend something more than what this delivers and certainly not for double the price.
* Desserts - Sorbets and ice cream work. The "four pillows" will form just like in a vitamix (powdered/dry milk or protein powder or something is needed to thicken it or you will just get "ice milk"). Sorbets will require some elbow grease with the tamper.
Notes: There are two sensors to stop damage from occurring: overheat and overload. Vitamix and Blendtec do the same thing. The glowing red light will tell you which one has tripped:
Overheat: If you run the blender for too long it will just shutoff. You will then have to wait until it cools and maybe hit the reset button on the bottom. (Turning the dial to "preset / pulse" mode, the light will *not* glow red like normal. Unit will seem "dead" until it cools.)
Overload: Sensor will trip if you have too heavy of items or the blades can't move. Remove some items then continue blending. (Turning the dial to "preset / pulse" mode, the light will glow red like normal. Unit will seem to be ready to blend but not respond to controls until unloaded more.)
130 of 149 people found the following review helpful
Okay, so here's the deal - all of us that have the "Customer review from the Amazon Vine(tm) Program" received this product for free in exchange for providing a review (we are allowed to say whatever we want however - reviews may be anywhere from one to five stars).
I mention this because I literally just bought a new blender before this one plopped into my life. In fact, I bought this one: Oster BVCB07-Z Counterforms 6-Cup Glass Jar 7-Speed Blender, Brushed Stainless/Black
So, if you're asking yourself whether this blender at 300 dollars is five times better than one that costs 60...hopefully I can help out.
First, opening the box: My boyfriend has a new friend he named "Majestic." He saw it when I first unwrapped it, promptly christened it, announced we could not possibly get rid of it no matter what, and stared at it with an expression of awe. Now he smiles every time he sees it...it's weird. Another reviewer said it's a man's blender...I can't refute that. To me it just looks like a nice, sturdy blender that looks like it belongs in a smoothie shop.
Size: For starters, where are you going to put the blender? If you are like me, you have a place in mind for your blender, but you'd better make sure this will fit. Read the description. It's about 2 feet high. Which is several inches taller than the space between my counter and cabinet. So check that out first. That said, this one has more capacity - 1/3 more in fact.
Accessories: both have lids, separable jars, and bases. There is a little pamphlet blender "cookbook" with the smaller blender and a hardcover one with this one. This one also includes a giagantic stir stick. Other than that, not a lot of difference.
I decided that to really decide if there was a noticeable difference, I'd need to do a side by side comparison, so I made tested them dry, then made soup, then made smoothies, and then chopped up some nuts (because you know...soup to nuts!)
Ease of use on the control panel: Okay, let's compare the two. The BVCB07-Z (the cheaper one) has 7 speeds and 9 bunch of buttons. This has a dial and 4 buttons. The dial controls the speed and the four buttons are: pulse, smoothie, soup, and dips/spreads. The other one has some preprograms also (like "frozen drink" but mostly uses it's buttons for speed control. While the other isn't difficult either, the dial is super easy - turn and it goes, and as far as the preprogrammed buttons on this one...I'm in love!
Ease of assembly: this one, hands down. just sets on in any of the 4 possible orientation (line up the corners) and works. The other you have to set it down in the sweet spot and twist until it clicks into place...not as easy, though possibly a little more secure. (Both are held in place very well when actually blending.)
Need: Well, if you're even considering it, you might be able to afford it. If you blend a whole lot, like a health nut who lives on smoothies, or you own a food truck or something like that, I could DEFINITELY see you considering something like this. I'm sure there are other professional blender options that are just as good or better, but this seems like it would fit right in. If you only use your blender occassionally, then you have to do the value proposition yourself...the other blender would probably do very well for you and save you quite a bit of money.
Power: Well this one wins hands down. You can read the stats yourself. The other is 600 watts, this one is 1400 watts. This has a big thick power cord like it means it and it roars like a bandsaw too. It's not quiet. At all. It's no wonder it chews food. It has so much power in fact that every time my food came out quite a bit hotter/warmer than it went in. Also, the other, cheaper blender started to smell "hot" after a few minutes of blending, this one did just fine with 5 minutes on high speed.
Stability: The other jar is a bit tippy - I feel like full of liquid on the counter it's easy to tip over. This one is solid with a square base.
Quality: Both blenders actually look pretty quality. This one has more of a "pro" look to the base - better mat and lines whereas the other looks a little more "consumer" but both look very nice and like they'll last. Both have very solid seeming blades and attachments, though this one is in general just a little more solid. The other is glass jar and this is plastic, but it's a very sturdy seeming plastic...I highly doubt there's any issues with chipping or cracking. I'd hope for the price that it will also age well. If I were a betting person though the main difference is this one looks like it can simply take on more things without balking and may do so for a longer lifetime. Based on the blending experience, I imagine this to be true.
Soup test: I made butternut squash soup. Chunks of butternut squash roasted and then boiled in chickstock with onions and spices, pretty big chunks, pour into the blender hot. In this blender I just nervously hit the "soup" button and it roared to life. Although it came with a giant tamper, I did not need it at all. It just sucked the food right on down so I left it alone and didn't do a thing. The top by the way is lovely - it released steam! After watching it, I can tell the design is intentional - it's got vents to release steam without letting food spurt out when it bubbles and pulses. A little over five minutes later it shut itself off abruptly and the soup had actually gotten hotter to the point it was boiling inside the container! But it poured out smooth and lovely. This could definitely make me love this blender! I've never made anything so smooth in my kitchen that didn't start that way from the can.
Meanwhile I put the other half of the mix in the cheaper blender. Let it run on high for a few minutes but it started to smell hot. Bottom part was blending well, but chunks were on top so I had to stop and stir it and pulse it a bit. I ended up having to do a lot more button pushing to start it, stop it, pulse it, stir it, and start it again in cycles. Never did get it as smooth. Though to be honest, it tasted exactly the same :)
Smoothie test: to be honest, very much the same experience. Ice and fruit. The other was a lot of pushing down and restarting, this made a much smoother product with almost no hands on.
Nuts: Only bothered in this blender - wanted to see if I could control it enough to get a rough chop. If you pulse it once or twice, perfect salad topper!
Clean up: Both blenders were honestly very easy. This one's top comes apart easier so maybe a slight win there, but yeah, can't complain. As for blade cleaning put a little dishsoap and fill half full with water then run it and rinse it - worked great on both of them.
So far I've only played with the two blenders over the weekend. I imagine my boyfriend will use it quite a bit too as he makes "green goo" (he won't cook himself a vegetable...in typical manstyle when he thinks he needs vegetables he just throws a bunch in a blender and drinks the horrid slop that results) He is already making plans.
Ultimately, would I buy this one or the other one if I were making the decision all over? Well...the other one. I don't use a blender enough to really justify the price. However, if I did, this one is REALLY, REALLY nice. And it makes life so much easier...except for the size. Having paid for the other one, I will be keeping it too...but it's probably going to end up as a back up and I'll try not to become a blender hoarder (okay so my hoard is two blenders, but still, it's probably bigger than most people's).
The boyfriend has a plan to redo all of the kitchen appliance arrangements this coming weekend to make space for this...I'm nervous, but he's done okay with other redesigns, so we'll see how it goes.
If I have any problems, I'll be sure to update. Otherwise assume that "Majestic" is still in our kitchen, making me soup and winning loving smiles from my boyfriend.
Update: Two complaints and a compliment. (1) I don't think I previously mentioned sufficiently just how noisy it is. Seriously, you will want to leave the room while it's making soup...which could be a problem because (2) I have since had the "leek soup incident". There is a max fill line on the blender and even though every other thing I've had at the line (or below) had no issues, for some reason the leek soup I made in this turned into a mini-kitchen volcano. When I came back into the room (I'd left to hold a conversation away from the roar), it was all over the counter, the floor, and the blender. The lid was on, but it had apparently frothed up and leaked out anyway. Turns out the little buttons and feet are not all that easy to clean crusty soup out of...I'm still picking at it with toothpicks.
And the compliment: All in all I love the blender! I'm using it about 3-4 times a week, mostly for smoothies and alcoholic fruit drinks (I joined a group co-op thing where you get a basket of fruits and veggies every week, and I have no idea what else to do with all the fruit) and of course, more soups... It's seriously easy and consistent in quality. Very easy to clean as well, provided there are no soup lava flows.
69 of 77 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2013
We recently needed a performance blender especially for mixing fruit/veggie smoothies and actually bought the Vitamix from Costco first. After coming across many very positive reviews for this blender (but the earlier model with the taller jar) we decided to try it with the intention of returning it if it didn't compare to the Vitamix. Not only does it compare, but for the money you save over the Vitamix, it's a no-brainer. So, back to Costco the Vitamix went.
My only concern would be if it will hold up for the long haul. But the fact that it has the same 7 year warranty as the Vitamix gives some piece of mind, though time will tell. Save yourself some serious $$$ and try this blender... You won't be sorry.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2014
Can I afford a VitaMix? Yes. Do I want to pay that much for a blender if there is a less expensive, comparable alternative? Hell NO. I did a lot of research on blenders and I concluded that this one was the best to try. One aspect that sold me was the 7 year warranty which gave me confidence at the gate. The day I received it, I immediately started to experiment, smoothies made with kale were SMOOTH. Need crushed ice? You get snow. Almond butter anyone? Coming right up. I wasn't offended by the noise...my juicer is much, much noisier. Easy to clean? CHECK! I spent more time than I should have looking at goofy videos comparing the degree of "smoothness" obtained with various blenders. There are WAY too many people who obsess about the smoothness of their smoothies. There's definitely a contingent of borderline "WEIRD" vitamix devotees. To those, I say "step aside...the Versa is here!"
134 of 157 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2013
I was trying to get something that would make my protein shake/fruit smoothies as smooth as my old Vitamix without paying $500, I took a chance on this Oster since the reviews were all good. I hate to give it a not so good review but there are better options for less money. I was ultra-pleased with the Vitamix I used to have, the Oster feels as powerful and feels like it will last a long time but the main problem that I have with it is it leaves some fruit chunks in my smoothie when I use frozen fruit. My smoothie consists of 8 oz of water, 2 scoops of powder, 1 frozen banana and 4 frozen strawberries. There are still chunks of fruit that don't get blended all the way after about a minute. I previously also owned the top rated Kitchen Aid blender which only cost me $100, it blended the same smoothie without lumps but the gasket began leaking on me as other users reported. I also tried a friend's Nutribullet and it didn't do as good of a job as either the Vitamix or Kitchen Aid. I ordered the Oster and tried it all week and actually sent it back because I was expecting at least as smooth of a drink as my $100 Kitchen Aid. So I kept researching and finally ordered and tried the Breville Hemisphere Control Blender for $200. I'm keeping that one and am satisfied with the smoothness, there were no chunks of frozen fruit left and it blended everything automatically and shut itself off after the preprogrammed time. I even filled the Breville with ice cubes with no liquid and it turned it into snow within 35 seconds with no ice chunks. The Breville is definitely a better value than the Oster with it being $100 cheaper, able to blend without leaving chunks, much quieter, smaller, automated smoothie program, and a lid that is easy to get off using the finger ring. I have also owned a Blendtec blender and have used my brother's Ninja blender as well, the Breville makes smoother drinks than both of those. The Breville is the best value with everything considered.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
I have never used a 'professional' grade blender prior to using the Oster VERSA. The raw power of the VERSA is addicting. I consistently use a blender to perform a few tasks. The first is making smoothies and frappes. The second is soup. In the past I have made due with sub-$100 blenders. I had developed a system for working around the limitations of such blenders. With the VERSA, those limitations disappeared.
The first thing you will notice using the VERSA is how much FASTER it is. You save a significant amount of time. Blending a full pitcher of smoothies takes less than a minute versus 10+ minutes with cheap sub-$100 blenders. With the VERSA, I can simply fill the pitcher with frozen fruit, cup of yogurt, some OJ, and peanut butter, hit blend and the VERSA will chew through it in seconds. Really, the only time limitation is how smooth you want your smoothie to be.
I cook a lot of soup for my family. A common task is using a blender to smooth out the soup and give it the right texture. The VERSA makes such a huge difference when making vegetable based soups such as butternut squash. It really breaks down the vegetable fibers and gives the soup a silky texture that takes it to the next level. I can't imagine going back to a cheap blender.
Probably the toughest task, and what normally kills my blenders, is making frappes. For me, this consists of a tray of ice cubes, 8 oz of espresso, and frappe mix. In the past, this is a tedious process that consists of shaking the blender a lot. The VERSA just plows through the ice cubes. Better yet, it emulsifies the frappe mix, giving your coffee drink that 'coffee house' texture that is normally so hard to replicate without adding lots of cream.
The build quality of the VERSA is pretty top notch. While the housing is plastic, it doesn't feel cheap. It feels solid and sturdy. The 64oz jar in particular feels really solid and I didn't miss having a glass jar. One thing that was unexpected was how big the VERSA is but that is due to the monstrous motor it packs. In operation, the VERSA is surprisingly quiet. It was quieter than my cheaper blenders. It is also very stable. It doesn't vibrate, move across the work surface, etc. A really nice touch was the large speed control knob. I found it very useful when blending thicker items like dips.
The one thing I did not like about the VERSA is the buttons. They are not sealed. So, if you drip anything on them, the liquid can penetrate into the inner workings of the button. I spilled a few drops of fruit smoothie on one of the first time I used the unit. I was never able to clean up all of the smoothie and I can still see some residue. It also made the button 'sticky'. That said, it doesn't appear to have impacted the functionality of the button.
I really liked the VERSA. While it is expensive, it has provided a noticeable improvement over cheaper blenders in both speed and quality of the finished product. It is better in nearly every way. Given that I typically wear a blender out every few years, the VERSA will likely save me money in the long run as I don't expect I will wear it out. It is powerful and well built. It also seems to be at a more reasonable price point than the trendier VitaMix blenders.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2014
I bought this as my first high-power superblender. My brother has a Vitamix and I love what it can do to make whole juices (drink the fruits and veggies with the fiber intact), but I really didn't want to spend that much money and went many years without. In researching my options, came across the Oster Versa and bought it based on the reviews. I'm coming back after many months of use to say, this thing has done everything I want it to do. I have managed to stop the machine with my extremely thick and sticky peanut-butter protein bar recipe (adding brown rice syrup to peanut butter), but I've realized I prefer those bars to be handmixed once the ingredients are each blended to the right size particle. The machine makes peanut butter no problem. It also completely pulverizes raw ginger, carrots, beets, celery, and greens like kale and spinach for whole juices. Remember to add enough filtered water for your whole juices-- basically fill with water up to the height of your foods.
Also, I see someone stating that the blender lid started leaking after 45 days. At some point my lid started leaking, but upon examination I realized that the soft rubber had gotten pulled away from its seating in one spot. I pushed it back into place and voila! no more leaking. I also have no trouble cleaning the jar. When I've made nut butters I put hot water and a few drops of detergent into the empty jar, then turn on the blender to high for 60 seconds as the instructions note. I don't use detergent for cleanup after juices, only for butters.
ah, one more thing. When the blender first arrived the lid smelled awful-- I guess the rubber hadn't had a chance to air out. I cleaned it with detergent and water, and let it sit overnight. Next day, smell was greatly reduced, and it was completely gone in a couple more days. So, not a problem.
Love this blender. So much so that I came here to write a review.