Best Hand Mixers of 2017
Hand mixers are ideal for quick or lightweight baking projects. Our shopping guide is here to help you find the best hand mixer so you can start creating your favorite desserts.
Your Guide to Hand Mixers That Beat the Competition
Oooh, the aroma of freshly baked cookies. Ahh, the taste of real whipped cream on a slice of pie. If you're a whiz in the kitchen and love to do your own baking, you're probably quite familiar with both.
Choosing the right hand blender can be nearly as difficult as deciding which delicious recipe to whip up next: chocolate chip cookies or red velvet cake. While we can't help you with your menu decisions, we can definitely help you find the best hand mixer for your kitchen.
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If you're eager to buy a hand mixer and get baking, consider the three products in our matrix above. All are quality choices that would serve you well. If you'd like to find out more about hand mixers—why you might need one, which models are the best, and how to use your hand mixer correctly—continue reading this shopping guide for more helpful information.
Why Do You Need a Hand Mixer?
There are two basic types of kitchen mixers: stand mixers and hand mixers. While both perform the same basic function—mixing batters, doughs, and various other cooking blends—each has its own strengths and weaknesses.
Stand mixers are powerful appliances with a motorized base, sturdy beaters, and a bowl that locks in place during use.
- Pros: Stand mixers easily tackle stiff bread or cookie dough and other hard-to-stir mixtures. Many brands sell a variety of attachments that greatly expand the mixer's uses.
- Cons: Stand mixers are expensive and require a lot of storage space. You're limited to mixing in the product's included bowl and cannot move the beaters around as you work.
Hand mixers have removable beaters that attach to a lightweight motor housing.
- Pros: You can use your hand mixer with any bowl you desire, and you can move the beaters around as needed. Cleaning requires little more than washing the beaters, and it's easy to store a hand mixer.
- Cons: Hand mixers aren't as powerful as stand mixers, and they can struggle with very stiff doughs.
Many bakers prefer to own both types of mixers, using the hand mixer for quick or lightweight jobs and the stand mixer for stiffer blending tasks. If you need a mixer only for occasional use, however, or for mostly beating eggs, whipping cream, and mixing batter, a hand mixer is really all you need.
What to Look for in a Good Hand Mixer
Using your hand mixer should simplify your kitchen time and make baking and other cooking tasks pleasant. When choosing the right hand mixer for your needs, all the following considerations are important.
- Hand Mixer Weight: Since you'll be holding the mixer while you work, it shouldn't be too heavy, as that would quickly tire out your hand. But you also don't want a hand mixer that's too light, as you would then run the risk of the mixer skittering around the bowl. The sweet spot for most users is between two and four pounds.
- Grip Comfort: The right hand mixer is well balanced and comfortable in your grip. The handle shouldn't be slippery or hard to hold onto. There shouldn't be any problem with excessive vibrations during use.
- Bowl Perch: Most hand mixers are designed to perch on the side of a bowl while not in use. That way, excess batter drips back into the bowl, not onto your kitchen counter.
- Motor Power: While hand mixers don't have the power of stand mixers, you still want a motor that has enough oomph to handle basic mixing tasks like whipping cream, preparing pancake batter, and beating eggs. Generally, that requires at least 200 watts of power, although more is recommended.
- Speed Choices: A good hand mixer has at least three speeds: low, medium, and high. While some mixers have far more than that, you'll find that five speeds are enough to handle just about anything you ask of your mixer. The toggle or button should be easy to move, yet it should stay in position once set.
- Beater Ejection: When you finish mixing, it should be easy to eject the beaters. An easy-to-press button, rather than a complicated process of twisting and pulling, will greatly simplify your cleanup.
- Every hand mixer comes with a basic beater. You'll find your hand mixer is far more versatile if it also includes a few specialty attachments, such as a whisk or dough hooks.
Other Features to Consider
While the above features are the most important, there are others that are not crucial but still nice to have.
- Dishwasher Safe: It's generally easy to wash the beaters in the sink, but it's nice to be able to pop them into the dishwasher when necessary.
- Touch Pad: It's surprising how much mess mixing can make. You'll find a hand mixer with a touch pad, rather than buttons, is far easier to wipe clean after a batter or pudding mishap.
- Turbo Power: Sometimes you just need a little burst of extra power, and that's what hand mixers with a turbo or boost button offer.
- Slow Start: This handy feature eases the beaters up to your desired speed setting, thereby minimizing splatter and splash.
- Swiveling Cord: A swiveling power cord lets you move the mixer as needed without the cord getting in your way.
- Dough Hooks: These screw-shaped beaters are for kneading bread or cookie dough.
How Much Should You Spend on a Hand Mixer?
There are decent hand mixers that cost $20 or less, which may be sufficient if you only use your mixer occasionally to beat eggs or make whipped cream. If you'll reach for your hand blender more often, however, or count on it for sturdy performance while mixing cookie dough or batter, you'll be happier with a better-quality model that has a more extensive range of features. For those hand mixers, expect to pay $40 to $50, although some very high-end hand mixers cost quite a bit more.
Tips for Using Your Hand Mixer
- Turn your mixer off when attaching or removing beaters or other accessories.
- The mixer should be off when resting on the edge of the bowl.
- Use a damp sponge or towel to wipe off the body of the mixer after each use, and clean the beaters thoroughly before storing them.
- Set the beaters in the mixing bowl before switching the mixer on. Otherwise, you'll have splatters.
- Turn your mixer off before unplugging it.
- While licking the beaters is one of the joys of childhood, keep your kids away from the mixer while it's switched on.