Today we got the question What food processor to buy Vitamix pro 750 or Revoblend RB 500, which asks people to say which of two blenders is better. It also lists the tasks for which the blender will be used.

We have a rule against "please tell me which model to buy", and for a good reason. We don't have as much fanboyism and flame wars on brands in cooking as in other areas (the network rule was initially created because of ATI vs nVidia questions on Superuser) but we still have some amount of snobism based on brand reputation and price. So people have an opinion about the quality of brands they have not used themselves.

Ideally, this type of question is answered by reading a test by an independent entity, which has tried both models under the same conditions and rated them. For any given pair of models to compare, I believe that we have virtually no users who will have experience with both. So we have to expect answers and votes to be based on something else, whatever that "else" is.

Are we OK with that, or should we edit the question to remove the "which model is better" part of it?

  • I'm not wild about effectively asking for reviews of a specific product (or two) but I thought maybe there was enough there for people to potentially answer by looking at lists of features, possibly along with reading a few reviews in case there are any really obvious relevant issues. If not, I'd probably tend to agree with you. – Cascabel May 21 '17 at 19:18
  • @Jefromi I think the OP has already looked at lists of features, he even mentions that the list is basically the same between the two models. If it weren't, I still think that the wording invites answers like "everybody knows that Vitamix is the best" or "Vitamix is overpriced, get a normal one". If we want answers like "a blender with X is better for smoothies than a blender without X", then we should reword question to ask "what features does a blender need for smoothies": But I think the problem in the question is fundamentally one we cannot answer. The OP doesn't seem to be (cont.) – rumtscho May 21 '17 at 19:52
  • (cont.) missing descriptive information about each of the models on itself, the OP seems to be missing a decision and asking us to make it for him. This is something which I think our site is poorly equipped to handle, so we should close or reword questions which invite it. – rumtscho May 21 '17 at 19:53

At the very least, the question should be edited for the very reasons you noted. To list the tasks and ask what should be considered when looking at different models, I think, would be okay.

Also, I think the OP is looking for something to conquer all of the tasks mentioned in the question, and I'm not sure there is one machine that can do them all, much less do all of them well.

At any rate, I agree with your comments and with your thoughts in this meta question. As the question on main is currently written, I think any answers would be opinion based. So I agree with trying to edit. Otherwise, it needs to be closed. (Full disclosure, I have already VTC.)

  • If someone asks "which of these is better for doing all of these tasks,", then I'd say "it will be hard to do all of those with either of your choices" is a perfectly good answer. – Cascabel May 21 '17 at 20:09
  • @Jefromi it is clear the user has to learn a lot about blenders, but if we changed the question to be something like "how well can a blender do each of the following tasks" we can still give that information without having to compare brands. – rumtscho May 21 '17 at 20:19
  • @rumtscho Yes, and that's fine in this case, I'm just saying if we're going to decide whether the model comparison thing is okay or not, we shouldn't really use "the question is missing the point" to say that model comparisons are bad. It's just a possible easy way out here. – Cascabel May 21 '17 at 20:32
  • @Jefromi The model comparison should go. It still invites opinionated answers. It should be worded in some way that someone can answer to say a bender can't handle the tasks of both a food processor and a blender. I know that would change the meaning of the OP's question but it removes the invitation for opinions on which brand is best. – Cindy May 21 '17 at 20:53
  • So I think there are two things going on here: an XY problem (asked about models, may need to know about using one appliance as blender and food processor), and a type of question that may not be good enough without the XY problem. I'm just trying to get us to consider them separately, e.g. y'all are saying the X is indeed bad and it's very clear it's an XY problem so it's worth just editing to Y. – Cascabel May 21 '17 at 20:58
  • @Jefromi I think I don't understand your last comment. I agree that there is an XY problem, but from then on, I don't get what you are labelling as "type of question that may not be good enough without the XY problem" or what you are suggesting by "consider them separately" – rumtscho May 21 '17 at 23:21
  • @rumtscho The other issue, besides the XY problem, is whether model comparisons are good. If we turn this particular model comparison X question into a blender vs food processor Y question, that's separate from whether model comparison questions in general are off topic. And since part of the justification for doing an X to Y edit here (rather than giving the OP some leeway to ask what they want) is seems to be that maybe model comparisons are off topic, I think we should establish that without bringing the XY issue into it. – Cascabel May 22 '17 at 3:14
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    Maybe this question is a bad example to discuss rules over, given the problem isn't branded product comparison but that it's like comparing kitchen scissors on their merit as screwdrivers? – rackandboneman May 22 '17 at 19:17
  • @rackandboneman Yeah, probably so. (I was trying to encourage discussing both separately, but just focusing on the easy part is sure a lot simpler, as demonstrated by the relative lengths of our comments!) – Cascabel May 22 '17 at 19:19
  • @Jefromi i've never been staunchly anti-shopping, I actually think knowledge about product selection and spec reading can be very valuable on this site... – rackandboneman May 22 '17 at 19:24
  • @rackandboneman I generally feel the same way in principle - when I said "discuss" I definitely didn't mean "call it off-topic"! The trick has always been in figuring out how to get questions framed in a way that solicits more of that valuable, general knowledge and less opinions, which can be tough given that people asking the questions often just want to know which thing to buy. – Cascabel May 23 '17 at 0:57

Ignoring that I think the question itself is misled (see my answer):

I think what needs to go IN a question like that is a description of the relevant specs/features - about a blender that would be jar volume, rpms, wattage, speed control style, blade types, duty cycle, accessories available, manufacturer statements about suitability for certain tasks. Even if these can be found on the web, this is research that is best done one time by the asker rather than by everyone trying to give a recommendation. One could even make it a criterion that such descriptions should be complete enough that the question would still make sense if you took the brand names and models out of it.

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