Go for the Vitamix. My mom has a Nutribullet and it sucks. I have a Ninja and it's just OK. My brother has a Vitamix and it's AWESOME. There's a reason it costs more. Think of it as an investment and don't waste your money on wannabes.
Vitamix. I use mine everyday pretty much and it's so great. If you want to save some money, I'd suggest buying one refurbished online (or possibly at their trade shows they go to on the last day of the event).
Similar to the Vitamix (which I have and love) is the Blendtec.
They are very similar in terms of power (very powerful) and noise level (think starting aircraft), the main difference is that the Vitamix is manual, so more usable for cooking, while the Blendtec has preset programs, so you can put the ingredients for your smoothie inside, push one button, and the blender goes e.g. 10 seconds on slow, then 30 seconds on high and so on. That is why that one is normally used by McDonalds or others.
There are also Chinese and Taiwanese copies, good ones are JTC Omniblend and Saro (those are sold in Germany with a 2-year-warranty covering even restaurant use) at about 30-50% of the price of the Vitamix (which is much more expensive in Europe).
Wanted to add that I can make the comparison because I had both the Vitamix and the Blendtec (got a used Blendtec Easy Blender from UK, it has a count of the blending cycles, so you can estimate its "mileage"), as a backup unit and when I was changing jobs and living in another city during the week.
I liked both very much, but the Vitamix was more versatile, so I gave the Blendtec to my mother.
We have a Vitamix and it is one of my favorite means of food prep. Not only is it great to have around for smoothies, but if you have any allergies like I do, it makes it possible to make things salsas and more that I can no longer buy. The most important bit of advice that I was given and it is in the manual but I can't emphasize it enough is to immediately get rinse water in the container and whir it away. Yup, even before eating. All you need to do is forget it once and you will never again!
The second important thing is that you should NEVER try to remove or move (or even bump into) the jar while the blender is running. If the jar gets moved a little bit, there will be a horrible metal grinding noise as the spur on the bottom of the jar will then eat into the internal gearwheel in the base. Trust me, it happened to me (accidentally bumping the jar), and it is not a good thing.
I have a 2hp Ninja and it is awesome. Got it at Sam's club.
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