If you’ve never invested in a Vitamix, the Explorian Range will be an attractive option. That’s the point. To attract NEW buyers to the Vitamix experience with budget-friendly pricing. Albeit, a good budget for what’s considered to be the GOLD STANDARD of entry-level premium-grade blenders! But which is better – the Vitamix E310 vs. the E320? Let’s find out…
The core differences between the Vitamix E310 vs. the E320 is the motor and the container size. More so the container. The E310 comes with a 48 oz container and the Vitamix E320 has a 64 oz low-profile container. The higher the capacity of the container, the more ingredients you need to use. That makes the Vitamix E310 better suited to smaller portions and the Vitamix E320 better equipped for a family kitchen.
Vitamix E310 Vs. E320 Comparison Table
|Features||Vitamix E310||Vitamix E320|
|Container size||48 oz||2 liter / 64 oz|
|Minimum ingredients needed||1 to 1.5 cups||2 to 3 cups|
|Motor size||2 hp||2.2 hp|
|Colors available||Black, red, and slate||Black and red|
Main Differentiators Between the E310 and E320
|Vitamix E310||Vitamix E320|
||2. Longer blade (4” instead of the 3” on the E310) with a slightly bigger motor makes it the more reliable model in the long-term|
||3. 7 years manufacturer warranty – 2 extra years protection!|
TL; DR: The Vitamix E310 is cheaper to get started but you’ll spend more on groceries if you’re feeding less than four.
Understanding the Categories of Vitamix Blenders
To get a REAL feel for what you’re getting from either the Vitamix E310 or the E320, it helps to know what the other ranges are. Or, for a better way to put it… what’s been left out of the Explorian range for the price to drop?
The gist is that it’s the TECH they skipped. You don’t get pre-set settings for hands-free blending, nor do you get some fancy Touch Display or Self Detect technology. (Depending on who you ask, that could be a GOOD thing!)
In total, there are 15 Vitamix blender models in the non-commercial blender market. Those are split into 3 product lines.
1. The Vitamix Classic (C Series)
These models include the Vitamix 5200, Pro 500, Turbo, Vitamix 5300, and the Vitamix 6500.
2. Vitamix Next Generation (G Series)
These models include the Vitamix 7500, Pro 750, and the Vitamix 780.
3. Vitamix Explorian (E Series)
The Vitamix E310 and E320 are the only two models in this product line, and it is the budget line of Vitamix blenders that was introduced in 2017. The Vitamix Explorian product line consists of the same level of robustness in the build quality and design as all other Vitamix product lines, but lack the advanced Smart System, which is only available in the premium line of Ascent (A2300, A2500, A3300, and A350) and the Vitamix Venturist, which is the V1200 model.
The only advanced features you may miss are any pre-set programming for hands-free blending. But, given they both have 10 speeds, they can spin fast enough for most blends to be done in a minute or less anyway.
The Difference between Legacy, Classic, and Smart System Vitamix Blenders
The main advantage of the newer Smart System Vitamix blenders is the pre-set programs for hands-free blending, but it doesn’t make them frustration-free. As you’ll know, tech isn’t ALWAYS smart and oftentimes, doesn’t play as it should. In the case of Vitamix, the most common complaint of the Smart System models is that the motor base doesn’t always recognize the container used, rendering the Self Detect feature utterly USELESS!
The Classic line doesn’t have any of the tech barriers because there are NONE. Explorian blenders give you the old-school robust Vitamix builds without what could be INFURIATING technology (when it doesn’t work). The Explorian models do the same processes only manually, and even at that, whether you use it for food prep for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks, every time will likely be less than 5-minute sessions. You just need to be there to push buttons and turn the speed dial.
One of the differences you really ought to know before buying ANY Vitamix is the size of the container you’ll need. As a guideline, the E310 is handy for small portions of ingredients, and the E320 is better suited to families of four or more people in the household. (More on that to come)
No matter the model of Vitamix you buy, there are interchangeable containers, but like comparing the Vitamix E310 to the E320 model, there are a PLETHORA of containers and they DO NOT work at their best across all models.
As an example, the 64 oz container supplied with the Vitamix E320 doesn’t do as good a job when it’s put onto the Vitamix E310 and that’s not only because of the motor size, but also the size of the blades. In use, the motor size doesn’t seem to make a difference on the surface, but under the hood, the extra power is there because the blade on the 64 oz container is an extra inch in diameter and that’s because the base of the container is wider.
The way Vitamix containers are designed is to create a vortex inside them so that the ingredients fold towards the blade letting you blend without needing to reach for the tamper (that’s included btw).
Logic dictates that if you make the base of the container wider, and increase the blade length to accommodate the extra width, it’s only sensible to up the power by 10% to make sure it can spin at the same high speeds for just as long without the motor overheating. Regardless of how thick of a consistency your blend is.
Different models use different sizes of containers, but not all Vitamix containers are compatible with every machine. This is important to note if you plan to upgrade from a Classic to a Smart System because the containers can be incompatible. Changing from Classic or NextGen to a Smart System will render your old containers useless.
Smart System containers are compatible with Classic models, but not the other way around. On Smart System blenders, the Self Detect function only works on Smart System machines. The containers will fit, but it won’t give you the additional tech feature of Smart Detect and that, in turn, stops the pre-sets from functioning. In other words, if you go from Classic to Smart, all your Classic containers will ONLYwork the same as they did before.
Classic containers are the cheaper of all Vitamix containers as they don’t have any technology, other than those needed for the blender to work – like rubber seals to stop leaks. The basics! These containers have a rubber lid, seal, and a smaller blade system than the Smart System blades. They’re still the same BPA-free (food-grade plastic) that’s anti-scratch and designed to last without the containers clouding.
Containers compatible with the Explorian Vitamix Models
1. Classic 64 oz (a tall pitcher)
The 64 oz tall container stands at 20.5” when it’s attached to the base, so when fitted, it’s unlikely to fit under your kitchen cabinet. This uses a 3” (non-removable) blade system and can handle medium to large portions of ingredients.
That said, you can still use it for smaller portions as small as 8 oz. For thicker blends like nut butter, and ice-cream mixtures, you’ll need to up the minimum quantity to 20 oz.
2. Low profile 64-oz (shorter and wider)
The low-profile 64 oz container is the one supplied with the Vitamix E320. When attached to the base, the Vitamix E320 stands at 17.25”. The minimum recommended ingredients for this size are 2 cups for liquid blends like soups, smoothies, sauces, and whole juice.
For thicker blends like frozen desserts and nut butter, it’ll do its best when there are at least 3 to 3.5 cups of ingredients used. As this is the bigger size for larger quantities of thicker ingredients, a tamper is included should you need to push tougher foods toward the blade to increase food flow.
The 48 oz container is the one supplied with the Vitamix E310 model. When attached to the base, it stands at 17.4” tall, so it should fit under a kitchen cabinet. Where it differs in design is the width of the base.
That has a knock-on effect on the vortex created inside the container. The minimum quantities to use are 1.5 cups for liquids and 3 cups of thicker ingredients like nuts.
The 32 oz container has the same shape as the 48-ounce container and there’s no change to the minimum amount of ingredients. It’ll just make smaller portions.
Vitamix containers are available in wet and dry containers. The difference between wet and dry is how the ingredients are blended. The wet containers are the ones supplied with any new Vitamix blender and they’re designed to pull the ingredients toward the blades, which is how these blenders consistently get a smooth texture.
Dry containers work the opposite by pushing ingredients away from the blades and up the walls of the container.
Dry is better for grinding and milling, therefore, may be better suited for grinding coffee beans or milling flour – on the regular. Wet containers CAN still manage it, but if you plan on grinding tough ingredients a lot, the dry container will last longer as it’s designed specifically for dry ingredients.
Remember that wet containers constantly blend ingredients because they pull the food TOWARD the blade. Dry containers blast ingredients AWAY from the blade, effectively grinding grains into dust.
The Vitamix Personal Cup Adaptor has a 20-ounce capacity and is designed to add personal blending functionality to a full-size Vitamix blender. The personal cup includes a leak-proof travel lid and is compatible with both the E310 and E320.
For families who want the larger E320 but with the option of single-serve portions for breakfast smoothies to go, this would be the upgrade to go for!
For those who prefer plastic-free blending, there’s also a 48-ounce stainless steel container that’s compatible with all full-size Vitamix blenders.
All Classic containers have fixed blades so to get the most out of every blend, it’s worth buying the Vitamix Blade Scraper, which lets you scrape thicker blends from UNDER the blades. This is especially handy for those thicker consistencies of ice creams and butter. Less wastage is money saved!
What You Can Do With ANY Vitamix Blender
Whether you opt for the E310 or the E320, both offer powerful blending you can depend on. That extends to making nut milk, nut butter, crushing ice, making snow cones and so much more. The only question is how much of ANYTHING you’re likely to be making with your blender in the one go.
As outlined above, the E310 has a 48-ounce container, and the E320, a 64-ounce low-profile container. You can make more of the same with the E320, but the E310 will make the same in lower quantities.
Read what makes Vitamix so expensive.
Vitamix E310 Overview
|Tech specs of the Vitamix E310|
|Container size||48 oz|
|Motor size||2 Horsepower|
|Minimum ingredients||1.5 cups for juices, and 3 cups for thick blends|
|Colors available||Red, black, and slate|
The Vitamix E310 is only a few inches shorter than the Vitamix 5200 model, can pulverize the same thick ingredients and make frozen smoothies in under a minute.
Where it’s likely suited best is for a single person looking for a blender to help them make healthier meals and stick to a healthier diet. As you’ll no doubt know, the more variety there is in your diet, the more likely it is you’ll stick to it.
The only noticeable difference between the E310 and the E320 is the container size and in that respect, this is best-considered single-serve for meal replacements. As in, if you plan to make soups, you can expect enough for one person per batch.
For two people, it’s only big enough portions to make a breakfast smoothie big enough for two. Dips and salsas, it’d have to be some size of the party to need more than 48-ounces of a salsa dip.
For preparing meals for more than one person, it’s reasonable to expect that you want it done in one blast. Not have to set it up to prep one meal AT A TIME! Despite the smaller size, the E310 is capable of doing a couple of smoothies in one blend, but any thick blends like soups, you’ll likely only get enough for one person.
The upside of the smaller container is better portion control and less food wastage, so less cost per blend or smoothie.
For best results with any Vitamix blender, it’s recommended you cover the blades with food before blending. The more there is to start, the better a texture you get.
Given the smaller size, it only needs 1.5 cups of ingredients for liquid blends like a Frappuccino, and for thicker blends like nut butter or frozen yogurts, you’ll need at least 3 cups worth of ingredients.
The speeds are controlled manually with a 10-speed dial. You can start at speed 1 (slowest) and QUICKLY ramp it up to the fastest speed of 10. The high motor power helps give the blender a jump start, getting up to speed fast, then you can manually set the speed to whichever you need, hit pulse, or the on button, and hold it down as it does its thing. (It tends to move around the worktop when you push the speed beyond 5)
There is thermal protection so you don’t need to worry about overworking the blender. If you start to get close to pushing it too far, it’ll shut off before you get a chance to damage the motor. There’s also a radial cooling fan integrated into the motor’s base helping you run it for longer without it overheating.
If it does overheat, the unit needs up to 45-minutes to reset. This can be sped up by using a blow dryer on the coolest setting to blow cold air in through the cooling fan in the base. Once the motor temperature is cool enough, it will reset and you’ll be good to get back to blending whatever you were having a hard time with before it shut off.
Another aspect that can’t be overlooked is the E310’s functionality for pureeing baby food. Parents who need to blend baby food regularly definitely need something with a reliable motor that can be run daily and puree everything down into a velvet-smooth consistency. That’s something the Vitamix E310 will handle effortlessly!
Vitamix E320 Overview
|Tech specs of the Vitamix E320|
|Container size||64 oz low profile|
|Motor size||2.2 Horsepower|
|Minimum ingredients||2 cups for juices, and 3 cups for thick blends|
|Colors available||Black and red|
The 64 oz low profile container, when attached to the base of the Vitamix E320, stands at 18”, which should fit under most standard sized overhead kitchen cabinets.
As a countertop blender, the E320 is likely to be most useful in family kitchens, owing to its bigger capacity container and slightly more powerful motor driving the 4” blades – an inch bigger than those in the 48 oz container on the E310.
What you can expect is to be able to make light work of making soups, sauces, sorbets, ice cream, smoothies, salad dressings, salsa, dips, guacamole, AND it will cut and dice onions, carrots, and another veg with ease.
The container included is a WET container, meaning it’s better suited for blending liquids rather than dry ingredients like grinding coffee beans or nuts. Despite being a wet container, it can still handle dry ingredients too. That said, if you do more grinding grains and milling flours, there is a dry container that’s better suited to those.
Where the larger E320 makes its mark is for families, and for those who prefer to prep their meals in batches. With the 64 oz container, it’s possible to make batches of ice cream then freeze them up for weeknight desserts.
The thing to remember with Vitamix blenders is that they are different from other blenders. They don’t rely on sharp blades, but rather work on the premise of dull blades with power! It’s the power in the motor that does the blending, not the sharpness of the blades so you don’t need to worry about blades dulling because they’re designed to be dull anyway.
There is a tamper included with the E320 and it’s something to make use of because the more you can push the food into the blade, the better a consistency of blend you’ll get.
On that note of consistency, the E320 has the same manual 10-speed dial, pulse and on/off controls. As previously mentioned, the Explorian series is stripped back to the bare essentials for a high-performance blender, however, depending on your preference, it could be even better than some of their pricier models because manual settings give you MORE control.
With this, you can start/stop whenever you like, start on a slow speed of 2 or 3 for 10 to 20-seconds, check the consistency, bump the speed up, use some more elbow grease with your tamper, then finish it off with a 30-second blast on the highest speed.
The high speed SHOULD be used too because that’s why Vitamix uses overload protection and radial cooling fans in all their performance blenders. The higher the speed, the better the airflow to the motor, so the less likely it is for the motor to overheat.
You can use a Vitamix for longer on a higher speed than the lower speed. You’re more likely to experience the overheat protection kicking in when blending at a low speed. These are designed to pulverize through the toughest of foods at EXTREMELY high speeds, so don’t be afraid to put yours through its paces. If it struggles, it’ll cut out before it overheats.
One of the things to take advantage of with the powerful motors on both the Vitamix E320 and the E310 is thick leafy greens and the stems. They’ll pulverize all thicknesses into a crunch-free smoothie with ease. Herbs such as parsley, basil, and cilantro have a lot of nutrition in the stems and the Vitamix will pulverize them into a liquid without chunks.
Whole strawberries, apples, and pears too, although if you’re using a lot, you’ll be safer to deseed those first, then toss the lot into your Vitamix. Perfect for rich applesauce.
Vitamix E310 vS e320: How the Vitamix Explorian Models Stack Up
Smoothies and Whole Juices
Both the E310 and E320 have enough power to zap any of your greens into a whole juice or smoothie. Even the shorter diameter 3” blade on the E310 will liquefy the hardiest of vegetables and fruits (including seeds) into a chunk-free consistency.
For families struggling to get kids to eat all their greens, whole juices made with a Vitamix can be a GAME CHANGER!
Hot Food Blending (and reheating)
Raw foodies LOVE Vitamix blenders because they can make hot veggie soup without having to cook the veggies. If you don’t know, when you cook vegetables, they lose some of their nutrients.
Vitamix blenders use blunt blades at a fast speed to liquefy foods. Combined with the powerful motors of either 2 HP or 2.2 HP, the high RPM (revolutions per minute) of over 22,000 RPM creates a TREMENDOUS amount of friction heat. How fast it spins depends on the thickness of your liquids. Water spins the fastest and it is possible to bring water to boiling temperature in a Vitamix in 11.5 minutes.
Vegetable soup heats faster because the liquid is thicker. It heats even faster in an E310 because of the smaller 3” diameter blades having to do more work.
Something to remember is that Vitamix blenders HEAT food using friction heat. They DO NOT COOK food. For vegetable soups containing potatoes or anything that needs to be cooked, pre-cook them first before putting them into the blender. Any meat you’re using MUST be cooked because friction heat is not safe for cooking meat.
Chopping and Slicing Tough Ingredients
Both the Vitamix E310 and E320 are equipped with powerful motors. Twice the power of a regular blender, hence why they’re called high-speed PERFORMANCE blenders. 1 HP is equal to 746 watts, so a 2 HP motor is roughly 1,500 watts, and the 2.2 HP motor on the E320, 1,640 watts, nearly 10% higher.
Where the power of the motor matters is in the startup because the main burst of power happens in blenders at the start when you press the pulse button or turn it on. The motor powers up with a max boost then decreases to its operating horsepower, which is always lower but is consistent. At higher speeds (above 5), the bigger the motor is, the better it will blend tougher ingredients.
Keeping in mind the E310 is equipped with a lower sized container with 3” blades and the 64-ounce low-profile container uses 4” blades, the E310 will need to work harder at crushing tougher ingredients, but it will still manage it. If you plan to make small batches of ice cream, or nut butter, or grind small quantities of coffee beans, you’ll be able to do that with the Vitamix E310. But, only small portions.
The E320 is better equipped for dealing with bigger batches as it has longer blades (less work on the motor) and a 10% POWER BOOST to help it along.
Thermal Protection on the E310 and E320
When buying a new blender, it’s natural to be concerned about what it can and can’t handle. Nobody likes the smell of BURNT-OUT electricals.
Vitamix has this part nailed with the Thermal Protection system included in every Vitamix blender. Thankfully, despite downsizing the Explorian range to the BARE ESSENTIALS, they did the sensible thing and stayed with the thermal protection/overload protection system. It’s this that has customers describe Vitamix blenders as being INDESTRUCTIBLE!
In essence, the blender is programmed to recognize when the motor is at risk of overheating BEFORE it gets a chance to. It will shut it off before it overheats. Once it shuts off, it’ll take up to 45-minutes for it to reset.
Now, for those who are always trying to fire through huge batches of tough ingredients and expect to continuously run it for 20-minutes or longer, the thermal protection will be frustrating because of continuous use. That said, given the SUPERSONIC SPEEDS on these, neither the Vitamix E310 nor E320 should need to be running for longer than 10 to 15 minutes. The E310 will blend most ingredients for a maximum of 10-minutes before it shuts down. The E320 will run for slightly longer.
This is a good thing and it’s why there are longer warranties on most Vitamix blenders. The E310 comes with a 5-year warranty and the E320, a 7-year warranty.
The only thing to remember with both the Vitamix E310 and the E320 is the faster you run it, the longer it’ll run for. Performance blenders work their best when they’re run at higher speeds in short bursts rather than low speeds for longer than necessary.