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A comprehensive experimental investigation has been conducted into the high-power continuous-wave (CW) laser performance of isostructural Yb-doped vanadates, including three ordered crystals of Yb:YVO4, Yb:GdVO4, and Yb:LuVO4, and two mixed ones with compositional disorder: Yb0.007 :Y0.407Gd0.586VO4 and Yb0.015:Lu0.52Gd0.465VO4. The CW laser operation of the different vanadates is compared under nearly identical experimental conditions by using a high-power diode laser as the pump source. In addition to the output characteristics of the individual vanadate lasers, the polarization properties and optical bistability exhibited in the laser oscillation are also discussed. The spectroscopic properties closely related to the laser performance are compared and summarized for these Yb-doped vanadates.