The Vitamix 3600 blender, also known as the Vitamix 4000, is one of the oldest Vitamix blenders with a distinct retro look and machinery.

Despite its ancient fabrication, this blender’s power, performance, and durability are quite impressive.

Whether you’re interested in the Vitamix 3600 as a collectible, or you actually want to use it for daily blending, read on to find out everything you need to know about the Vitamix 3600.

In this guide, we’ll be going over:

Let’s get into it!

Vitamix 3600 vs. 4000

The Vitamix 3600 and the Vitamix 4000 are actually the same blender. They may have slightly different branding and styling, but they are essentially the same machine.

Vitamix often rebrands their models or updates them and gives them new names. In this case, there do not appear to be any major/noticeable differences to distinguish the 3600 from the 4000 based on just the machine and its capabilities (again, other than just outward appearance).

This blender can be found with the following names: 3600, 3600 Plus, Commercial 4000.

But there are no significant differences between the 3600 and 4000. In fact, even individual 3600s will be different from each other; not every machine you find under these names will be exactly the same – some may have certain things different like the dials, knobs, drive coupling, etc.

A note on the drive coupling: Can either be 6-point or 12-point. Make sure whatever coupling you have on the container matches that of the base.

How Old is the Vitamix 3600?

The Vitamix 3600 (aka Vita-Mix 3600) is one of the oldest Vitamix blenders ever made! It was made in 1970 and was popular through the 1980s.

Even to this day, many people still love this machine! Nowadays, it is mostly desired for its retro look and nostalgia, but it still works good as ever and actually has competitive functioning to many modern blenders. Vitamix has always been known for its durability and professional-grade power.

What Can the Vitamix 3600 do?

The Vitamix 3600 or 4000 is a powerful blender and can actually crush ice.

Made with durable materials and parts, this blender can handle pretty much any ingredient, making it great for blending up:

  • Smoothies and other drinks
  • Dips and spreads
  • Dressings
  • Sauces
  • Batter
  • Dough
  • Baby food
  • Nut butters
  • Frozen desserts

Vitamix 3600 Specifications

PriceVariable. Can find used for ~$100-200.
Motor2 HP
Controls-Start/stop switch (with blade direction reversal)
-Rotary speed dial (3 speeds – low, med, high)
Parts/Accessories-Stainless steel pitcher with handle and spigot on the outside and stainless steel blades inside
-Plastic action dome with funnel piece and clamps
-Stainless steel motor base with switch and dial controls on the front and handles on the sides
-May come with safety feature on the back of the motor base to shut it off if the motor is overloaded
-May come with wooden tamper (need funnel in action dome to use tamper properly)
-May come with a recipe book
Weight14.35 lbs.

Vitamix 3600 Pros and Cons

ProsCons

  • Powerful – can crush through even ice

  • Versatile

  • Easy to use – simple and intuitive controls

  • Easy to clean

  • Durable – all parts are made to last

  • Affordable for a Vitamix blender

  • Retro look and feel (can be a pro or con)
  • Loud

  • Heavy

  • Can’t see through the pitcher

  • Can be difficult to find one in top shape
  • Vitamix 3600 Reviews
     

    Here’s what people are saying about the Vitamix 3600 blender…

    What they like:

    • 25+, 30+ years and still going strong.
    • Use it to make breakfast smoothies, whole grain flour, nut butters, and more.
    • Only needed minor replacements over the years. Still works as good as when bought.

    What they don’t like:

    • So loud
    • Can’t see if it is finished blending due to stainless steel container.
    • Since buying used, sometimes parts are broken.
    • After blending for a reasonable time, still chunks in the smoothie. Chunks get stuck in the spigot. (Note that another review said: have to blend on all three speeds to make sure there are no chunks left at the bottom)

    Who Should/Shouldn’t Buy the Vitamix 3600?

    The Vitamix 3600 is the right blender for someone who:

    • Collects vintage/retro appliances.
    • Likes the look and feel of this ancient blender (that still works well!).
    • Wants a tough and durable blender to last a long time.
    • Wants a versatile blender to make anything in.
    • Wants a simple and intuitive Vitamix that’s easy to use.
    • Wants the power and versatility of a Vitamix, at a lower/more affordable price.

    The Vitamix 3600 is not the ideal blender for someone who:

    • Wants a powerful but quiet blender.
    • Wants an advanced blender with various settings and/or smart technology.
    • Wants a blender that’s small, light, and easy to store away/transport.
    • Wants a blender they can throw in the dishwasher.
    • Wants a modern, state-of-the-art, warrantied blender, new from the store.

    How to Use the Vitamix 3600

    To use the Vitamix 3600, follow these general steps for an efficient and effective blend:

    1. Put your ingredients in the blender jug. For optimal blending, add the ingredients in the following order: first liquids, then soft ingredients, then hard/frozen ingredients.
    2. Secure the lid on the jug with the clamps and place the jug on the motor base.
    3. Make sure the speed control dial is at the lowest speed.
    4. Press the start/stop switch to start the motor.
    5. Slowly increase the speed using the dial.
    6. While blending, use a tamper through the lid (with funnel piece) if needed to help push the food into the blades. Add more liquid/ingredients through the lid if needed. Stop to scrape down the sides if needed.
    7. Once well blended, dial down the speed back to the lowest, press the start/stop switch to stop the motor.
    8. Serve. Rinse and wash jug as soon as possible.

    How to Clean the Vitamix 3600

    You clean a Vitamix 3600 with any of the following methods:

    • Blending soapy water, then rinsing out
    • Washing by hand with soap and water

    Due to the shape of the container, the blending method will be easier (and safer!) than sticking your hand in to get around the blades.

    Where to Buy the Vitamix 3600

    This old school blender has been discontinued and is obviously not sold by Vitamix anymore. But you can still buy it used or second-hand.

    Keep an eye out for the Vitamix 3600, 4000, or similar versions, in places like eBay or even yard sales and thrift stores. You might be able to snag a like-new blender for a great price.

    And if you get your hands on a Vitamix 3600 that’s missing some parts, you can usually find individual replacement parts for sale as well.

    While you can’t get a brand new, warrantied Vitamix 3600 straight from Vitamix, you can still find a solid used Vitamix 3600 blender for a reasonable price – and based on user reviews, it should hold up for years and years of use, making it well worth the money.

    Conclusion

    The Vitamix 3600, and its identical model the Vitamix 4000, is an antique when it comes to Vitamix blenders. This blender really has it all, with its unique retro style as well as the power and high-performance of modern Vitamix blenders.

    Keep your eye out for one of these gems and you might be able to snag an excellent blender for a bargain!

    Let me know in the comments below if you own a Vitamix 3600, 4000, or similar model!

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    Topher
    Topher
    1 year ago

    I just got a 3600 ($25 on Craigslist! Woot!). When I run it, it smells a bit like hot machinery. Should I open it up and clean / lubricate any parts? What lubricant should I use?

    Delisa
    Delisa
    11 months ago

    I found a Vita-Mixer Maxi-4000 at a sale last Saturday for $8. I originally thought I would resell it, but after reading this article I am going to keep it and enjoy it myself!!!

    Tony
    Tony
    8 months ago

    Picked up a 3600 along with spare pitcher assembly. Is there a reason the pitcher wouldn’t be dishwasher safe? it looks like the bearings are double sealed and everything else should hold up fine?

    Shannon Noble
    Shannon Noble
    8 months ago

    I had a 3600 for years until the attachment peg on the motor broke off. That was in the late 80s. I found a very good condition 4000 today with low mileage for $50 US at an antique store up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I really missed that little beast so looking forward to firing up the 4000.