Handheld mixers are typically a more affordable option than stand mixers and take up less space. This becomes an important consideration if you have a small kitchen.
Whether you want to pull it out for a quick job, such as creaming eggs and sugar, or plan on whipping up a meringue for a show stopping pavlova, a hand mixer is a convenient kitchen tool to have around.
Hand mixers are also a better option than bulkier stand mixers for cooks who only engage in small mixing jobs or are new to cooking.
While stand mixers do offer more features, not everyone wants an appliance that eats up valuable counter space in the kitchen. Instead a hand mixer is a much more compact, lighter appliance that needs minimal space and is easy to store. You don’t even have to assign it a permanent spot, but can keep it in the cabinet or inside a drawer, wherever space is available.
Plus, there is the ease of use as there are not as many functions to remember and fewer buttons to operate. And then there is the cost factor to consider.
Without any shred of a doubt, hand mixers are the more cost effective option. If you are only just starting your hand at cooking or baking, then we would definitely recommend starting off with a hand mixer.
As your skills and culinary experiences broaden, you can then consider getting a bigger appliance, but for beginners, hand mixers can get the job done as well as any of the more expensive gadgets.
So what should you be on the look out for when purchasing a hand mixer?
What to look for in a hand mixer
Look for a hand mixer that offers between 200 and 250 watts. This is enough power to get most light to moderate mixing jobs done well. But if you plan on working with denser doughs and heavier batters, look for a model that features a 300+ watt motor.
This feature will allow you to adjust the mixer’s speed as per your requirement. For instance, you may want to start off slow for stirring, combining and mashing jobs, such as when you mix in flour and dry ingredients to batter, or when you add liquids to dry ingredients. Slow mixing can also come in handy when you cut shortening into flour or work with thin or splashy batters.
Medium speeds can be used for mixing and beating jobs such as working with cookie dough. You can also use these speeds for combining sugar and shortening or adding sugar to egg whites for a meringue.
Moving on to higher speeds can let you take care of your creaming or whipping needs, such as whipping creams or beating egg whites
Low start speed and quick burst feature
The low start speed deserves special mention, because not every hand mixer comes with this option. But the low start speed is important as it prevents unnecessary batter splattering, or blowing up a cloud of flour as you start the mixer. There are certain models that can come with as many as 3 slow start speeds which is a very useful feature to look for in a hand mixer.
Likewise, some models also feature a quick burst option to give extra power at any speed.
Since you will be holding the mixer in your hand as you work, it is important to pay attention to its handle. You need to feel comfortable as some mixing jobs may run for a fairly long duration.
Typically, the option for handle construction rests between parallel handles and slightly slanted ones. Since you have to lift your elbow up while holding the mixer, the parallel design may cause some discomfort. A slight slant in the handle may prevent this awkward positioning and be more comfortable to work with.
The choice, however, totally depends on your comfort level so try out your grip on a few models before purchasing one.
This feature gives the hand mixer its durable and functional qualities. Look for a model that is lightweight, has easy-to-reach buttons and does not have seams at the bottom.
Avoid models with seams because when you beat something like dough or thin batter, it will stick and get trapped inside the seams. Not only will you have to spend longer cleaning out the seams but it will also affect the longevity of the mixer.
Other considerations that we recommend include looking for a design that offers support to rest the hand mixer on the counter top, comes with a tangle free or retractable cord and has a single press accessory detachment system.
An important aspect of construction is the material. Hand mixers come in different materials, each with its own set of advantages. For instance, stainless steel mixers can make the mixer sturdier but may also make it heat up faster on higher speeds.
On the other hand, plastic mixer bodies absorb the heating from the motor better but the mixer becomes more susceptible to vibrating, causing an inconvenience while mixing.
Many hand mixers also come with additional accessories like wired beaters, balloon whisks, dough hooks and more. When considering accessories, it is also important to look at the materials. For instance, a hand beater having stainless steel accessories is a better option and may factor into the overall cost of the product.
Another feature to look for is snap on storage which makes keeping loose accessories together in a single place easier.
To buy branded or not?
While stand mixers are largely attributed to their make and brand, that is not the case with hand mixers. If anything, there are plenty of small appliance companies that offer quality hand mixers at a fraction of the cost of branded ones.
If you only want to invest prudently in a hand mixer, there are plenty of economical options to choose from. Here we will look at some of the most affordable yet high performance hand mixers that you can buy on a budget:
Best Hand Mixer on a Budget
1 – Oster 2500 Inspire Hand Mixer (Top Pick)
One of the best models in this budget category, this Oster model is a rugged yet simple mixer ideal for different mixing needs. It comes with a 240 watt motor with a one touch eject button that expels the beaters when you are done mixing.
The Oster 2500 boasts a traditional design that works with the touch of a few simple buttons. A minimalist small appliance, this is the perfect kitchen tool for anyone who enjoys light duty cooking and baking without sacrificing power or performance for the low cost.
With a very humble price tag, this Oster hand mixer is a real bargain for people who do not want to shell out dollars on a professional mixing stand. They still get the feature of a quality hand mixer such as multiple speeds, turbo burst and additional accessories.
Though powerful, the motor on this unit offers quiet operation without causing too much of a ruckus.
- Multiple speeds
- Ergonomic design
- Quiet performance
- Dough hooks included
- Doesn’t cost a fortune
- Eject button may not work as advertised
- Design does not allow to stand the mixer upright- always tips over
- No storage options
Other Hand Mixers Worth Considering
2 – VonShef 5 Speed Hand Mixer
The VonShef 5 Speed Hand Mixer is a great pick for anyone who is new to baking or looking for their first hand mixer. Featuring 5 different speeds and a turbo setting, this budget friendly hand mixer can become your best friend in the kitchen if you like to bake and cook on a regular basis.
This model comes with a 250 watt motor that can take good care of all your everyday whisking, mixing and kneading needs. It is a user friendly appliance that features easy thumb operated speed settings making it simple to switch speeds when using the hand mixer.
Attachments include durable chrome beaters, a balloon whisk and dough hooks which can handle heavier cake mixes and doughs fairly well. The chrome accessories also work well for whisking egg whites, beating cake mixtures, cookie doughs and creaming ingredients together. All accessories are dishwasher safe and easy to clean.
It is a quality mixer that offers versatile functionality at a very affordable price.
- 250 watt motor
- 5 speed settings
- Attachments included
- 1 year warranty
- Budget friendly product
- Attachments may be thinner than other beaters
- Hard to stand the mixer upright on countertop
3 – Hamilton Beach 62682RZ
This Hamilton Beach model is great buy in terms of not just price but functionality as well. It comes with a 250 Watt motor with six speed options and a QuickBurst button that gives you a little need for speed when required.
This hand mixer comes with traditional beaters and a whisk, but no dough hooks. It is designed to accommodate various types of baking mixtures and performs aeration, beating, whipping and whisking tasks well.
This model also features a snap on case that makes storing accessories a cinch. There is also a bowl rest feature that allows the bowl to catch all the drippings. A built in groove lets you rest the mixer over the bowl while you pause to add in ingredients or even just read the recipe.
There is a swivel cord with this model that can also fit into the snap on storage compartment. The swivel cord can be adjusted according to the needs of left or right handed users.
- Swivel cord
- Bowl rest feature
- Snap on storage
- 6 different speeds
- QuickBurst option
- Very affordable product
- No dough hooks included
4 – KitchenAid KHM512CL 5 Speed Hand Mixer
One of the brand’s more cost effective options, this model is a helpful tool that offers 5 different speed settings to work with. It can easily accommodate various mixing tasks from stirring chocolate chips and chunky ingredients to whipping heavy cream or egg whites.
It is a lightweight product that is easy to handle and useful for getting mixing and whipping jobs done in a short time. The model features a slanted handle for easy grip and comfortable use. There is also a cord locking option that allows you to get to the ingredients from any angle without any hindrance. The hand mixer also comes with a convenient detach button to release accessories easily from the unit.
Even though this model has limited features, it performs satisfactorily well in relation to its price. Many customers using this KitchenAid model are happy with the performance and multiple speed settings.
- Light weight model
- 5 speed settings
- Slanted handle
- Cord locking features
- Available in a range of colors
- Cost effective product that offers good functionality
- 1 year warranty
- Speeds may be lower than other KitchenAid models
- Some concerns about not enough speed for tougher jobs
5 – Cuisinart HM 50 Hand Mixer
This Cuisinart model is best suited to the occasional chef or others with a smaller budget. The unit has a 220 watt motor making it suitable for light to moderate duty mixing tasks.
There are 5 speeds to choose from which you can access form the slide dial on the handle. The mixer handles various tasks well and benefits greatly from the extra-long beaters and a swivel cord.
However, this model does not include any additional accessories and the absence of dough hooks is sorely felt when using this hand mixer as it struggles with thick doughs. The two standard beaters included allow you to perform beating tasks well.
Being a Cuisinart, we expected it to come with a storage option, but none is included. However, it makes for a good basic hand mixer that offers steady performance and is recommended if you don’t need a hand mixer for very frequent use.
- 220 watts
- Multiple speed options
- Extra-long beaters
- Swivel cord
- Value priced
- No additional accessories
- No storage option
- Not as strong as other hand mixers in the same category
If you are tight on budget and cannot afford a high end, commercial level hand mixer, you can still choose one of our recommended options here and get a kitchen tool that will do mixing, beating and whipping jobs well for you.
If you are only going to use a mixer occasionally but are looking for a product that will offer performance without breaking the budget, one of these options will make a perfect choice for your kitchen.