If you have ever tried your hand at baking the simplest things such as cakes, cupcakes, cookies or tried mashing potatoes or making pancake batter, you know how handy a hand mixer can be.
Hand mixers are most suitable for lighter, beating and mixing jobs or making things in smaller batches, rather than carting out heavy equipment. Some of the everyday tasks that you can perform in no time with a hand mixer include:
- Whipping eggs or egg whites
- Whipping cream
- Mixing cake batter
- Preparing icing
- Creaming butter
- Mixing salad dressing
- Preparing homemade mayonnaise
- Sauces, dips and marinades
- And much more
Hand mixers that come with attachments let you go beyond light duty mixing and engage in moderate to some heavy duty mixing like preparing pizza dough or even kneading bread dough.
However, for the heaviest mixing jobs, stand mixers are a better option as they feature more powerful motors and can handle denser doughs well.
Hand mixer attachments
Other than built-in features such as multiple speeds, LED displays or retractable cords, hand mixers come with some basic attachments. These attachments are designed to handle specific mixing tasks and can make the job much easier.
Based on their design features, these attachment can be categorized as the following:
Every hand mixer comes with a pair of traditional center post beaters. Beaters are used for all beating and mixing jobs from watery batters for crepes to heavier batters for cakes.
They are also suitable for tasks like creaming butter and sugar without whipping too much air into the mixture, or for mashing boiled potatoes.
A variation on the traditional center post beater, the wire beater is thinner than the centre post beater and incorporates more air into the mixture. Wire beaters are also easier to clean. You can use them for anything that you would use traditional beaters for.
This is the attachment you need to make whipping much easier. It is used to incorporate air into the mixture or blend the ingredients smooth by eliminating lumps. The best types are made from stainless steel and will quickly help you whip up cream, egg whites or mousse.
The whisk attachment in some models may also feature a balloon whisk.
Dough hooks are designed to deal with dough and knead it to perfection. They make for a much easier and more convenient option to hand kneading and take much of the work out of hand kneading.
In fact, you can use the dough hooks for anything that requires kneading. This attachment features a pair of hooks that turn and fold the dough in the bowl yielding a well kneaded dough that you can then use as per recipe instructions.
Snap on storage
Somewhat more of a feature than an attachment, a snap on storage element is always a welcome option. It lets you store all of your additional accessories in one place eliminating the frustration of losing them.
What Else To Consider
In terms of comfort, a quality hand mixer needs to be balanced and easy to hold. It should not be too difficult to take in and out of its storage spot.
Also, it should be light enough without causing any discomfort if you need to use it for a longer mixing or beating session, such as whipping up a meringue.
Speeds can vary greatly on hand mixers from basic three speed beaters to a whopping 16 speeds. But more speed settings do not make for a better mixer.
Quality mixers that come with as few as 4 to 5 speeds can handle most mixing jobs as well as others with a lot more speed options. But do look for a slow start speed to prevent splattering when starting the mixer and a turbo boost feature to give extra power during mixing.
Look for hand mixers that come with a bowl rest feature. Since you will need to rest the mixer some place while you do other things, a bowl rest feature will allow you to perch the machine against the bowl to catch any drippings.
Easy release button
Try to get a hand mixer that comes with an easy release mechanism. Sometimes after getting the job done nicely, the struggle come after all the work has been done. It can become a hassle if attachments refuse to come off the mixer easily.
Plus, look for attachments that are dish washer safe for added convenience.
The Cost Factor
Hand mixers are fairly affordable appliances if you are not looking for anything too fancy. Most customers can easily find a good product priced between $50 and $100 offering a plethora of features that will let you tackle any kind of mixing task.
If you are looking for something even less expensive than $50, you can still find enough variety and models to get powerful results with a few advanced features thrown in.
Just remember that unless there is a design advantage, you should not have to pay a lot for a basic unit. Things that impact price are usually the different number of speeds available, the wattage and the additional accessories.
For the most part, the average customer can get the most value out of their purchase within the $50 to $100 range.
So which is the best hand mixer overall?
Here we will look at some of the best that this category has to offer. Our list takes in both cost effective and high end hand mixers, but is mostly gauged by performance, durability and meeting expected results.
Sunbeam Heritage Series Hand Mixer (Top Pick)
Sunbeam offers a range of mid-priced mixers that come in a variety of colors. This model features a 250 W motor with a 6 speed setting. There is also a burst of power button when you need the extra speed.
This model features a nice design and 3 interesting color options to choose from. The handle is ergonomically designed for maximum comfort and ease of use. The design feature of this model make it easy to hold it for extended periods of time.
There is also a cord wrap feature for easy storage.
But what customers really love about this Sunbeam hand mixer is the vertical storage caddy it comes in, making it a very space efficient unit. The vertical storage caddy not only stores attachments cleverly but allows the mixer to stand nicely on the countertop or in the cabinet.
Overall, this unit is easy to operate, makes for excellent aesthetics and is recommended for anyone looking for style and durability in their new hand mixer.
- 250 W motor
- 6 speed settings
- Soft grip handle
- Power burst button
- Chrome beaters
- Storage caddy provided
- Available in 3 colors
- 1 year warranty
- Its light weight may make it delicate to handle
Hamilton Beach 6 Speed Ergo Hand Mixer (Budget Pick)
Hamilton Beach has earned its reputation in the mixer category offering both hand and stand mixers. This model is engineered with ergonomics in mind featuring a design that does not tax the wrists while you use the mixer.
Instead, this Hamilton Beach model has a unique design that prioritizes the user’s comfort and control when handling the unit. The position of the handle on this model allows the user to keep their elbows lowered and their wrist in a neutral position.
While keeping this comfortable position, you can also switch between speeds without readjusting your hand.
The Hamilton Beach hand mixer has a slow start feature to minimize splattering, and a Quickburst option to speed things up. In all, there are six different speeds to work with to tend to your stirring, folding, mixing, beating, creaming and whipping requirements.
- Ergonomic design
- Comfort grip
- Slow start option
- Quickburst feature
- Stainless steel attachments
- May be difficult to use for some people
- Some concerns over loud operation while the motor runs
- Dough hooks not included
Are there other hand mixers to consider?
Dualit 4 speed hand mixer
The Dualit 4 speed hand mixer is a tidy little appliance to get you started in the kitchen. It comes in a sleek design that is paired with subtle curves and a glossy finish.
This model features a chunky handle that is comfortable and easy to grip. There is also a slider to control speeds and an eject button to release attachments.
The back of the hand mixer comes with a swivel base offering dual function. First off, the back provides a sturdy base to rest the mixer when not in use and second, it acts as a winder to draw in the power cord for storage.
The underside of the Dualit hand mixer has two holes to fit in the attachments. The unique feature about this is that one of the attachment areas in shaped circular and the other hexagonal.
Both openings correspond to the attachment stems to ensure that the correct attachment goes into the right slot.
The balloon whisk attachment fits in either slot. The model also has a safety feature to prevent the machine from overheating.
We would recommend this hand mixer to anyone looking to take the work out of whipping eggs or cream. It comes with a powerful motor outshining many other mixers with similar features.
- Stylish design
- Powerful motor at 400W
- 4 speed settings
- Three attachments
- Retractable cord
- Plug store
- Safety cut off feature to prevent overheating
- Available in different colors
- Comes with recipe ideas
- Speeds slower than other mixers
- Suggested running times seem too short
- Unit gets heavy after holding for a while
Cuisinart 7 Speed Hand Mixer
Cuisinart is a prominent player in the world of small appliances. This model from Cuisinart is ideal for regular home use.
Since there are 7 speeds to choose from, this unit can tackle all your mixing needs of aerating, whipping or simple beating well. There are 3 low speed settings for starting things off without making a mess, and other speeds to work with based on your recipe’s needs.
The hand mixer comes with two extra-long, extra wide beaters and a whisk. On the flip side, there are no dough hooks included.
The unique design of the beaters come without a center post to prevent the mixture from sticking to the beaters. There is also an LED speed display making it easier to read the settings.
The Cuisinart 7 speed mixer also has a swivel cord to rotate in either direction. There is also a plastic spatula included along with a recipe book to keep you busy.
We recommend it for anyone in search of a good hand mixer for their everyday kitchen tasks.
- 220 W motor
- 7 speed options
- 3 low speed settings
- Swivel cord
- LED speed display
- Not ideal for working with thicker doughs
- More expensive than other similar models
- No dough hooks
- No storage option
KitchenAid KHM5120B 5 Speed
KitchenAid is a major brand in the mixers market offering more models than any other single brand. The KitchenAid KHM5120B is a powerful, sleek and user friendly unit that is well designed to handle most kitchen tasks well.
With five different speeds, this hand mixer offers reliable mixing ability. You can easily tailor your kitchen experience based on the requirements of the recipe. The sturdy beaters with this unit are well equipped to mix any recipe to its desired consistency from a slow stir to a high whip.
The unit also features a soft start option, beater ejector button, pro whisk and the choice to select from an assortment of color options.
There is also a swivel cord for the user’s convenience and the turbo beaters are dishwasher safe.
The down side to this unit is that there are no dough hooks included. So if all you need to do is use the mixer for light to moderate duty jobs, then this is a reliable, basic hand mixer for you to consider.
However, if you are looking for something to work better with doughs and heavier batters, we would recommend looking at some other KitchenAid models.
- Reliable basic unit from a reputable brand
- 5 speed setting, enough for most jobs
- Quiet operation
- Cost effective unit
- Not suited for very heavy duty tasks
- No dough hooks included
- No storage option
Being affordable, space-saving small appliances, hand mixers yield excellent functionality for everyday kitchen tasks.
For anyone who enjoys cooking or baking, our list of recommended hand mixers can come in handy to prepare everything from a simple cake to a four course meal.
So here you have mixers in different price ranges, with multiple plus points and the promise to deliver a high profile performance all in one place. Which one will work the best for you?
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.