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How to buy the best hand blender

By Aaron West

What to look for, how much to spend, and what to consider - we've got the lowdown on buying a hand blender.

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Handheld stick blenders are great for quick, easy blending and chopping jobs - such as making soups, dips or puréeing food.

They are small and easy to store, unlike bulkier food processors and jug blenders. They also have fewer parts, so are generally straightforward to use and clean.

Most can chop, blend and purée, and some models include whipping, whisking and even potato mashing accessories. However, when it comes to baking and chopping, hand blenders are better suited to smaller jobs. 

In this guide, we explain how to pick the right model for you, and key features to consider before buying. 

Just want to see our top recommendations? Head to our hand blender reviews.

Is a hand blender right for you?

If you cook frequently or do lots of baking, you might want to consider a food processor or stand mixer instead. These take up more space but are better for larger-scale kitchen jobs.

If you're looking to make a daily smoothie, we've found Best Buy blenders from less than £50, which will make light work out of even the toughest ingredients such as ice, nuts and leafy green veg or frozen fruit.

How much do you need to spend on a hand blender?

You can pick up a basic model for a fiver, but premium hand blenders can cost well over £100, so what's the difference?

Basic hand blenders will have a simple press-and-hold control button, and usually come with just the main chopping blade. They tend to be made of white plastic. More expensive models will have additional speed settings and extra features such as a soft start (to prevent ingredients spraying up everywhere). They will usually be made of premium materials, and are likely to come with extra blades and accessories such as a blending beaker, mini chopper, whisk or potato masher.

You don't need to splash out to get a good hand blender though - we've found a brilliant Best Buy hand blender for under £30. And if you're drawn to the stylish metal hand blenders, remember they will be heavier to hold when blending, which could get tiring if you've got lots of prep to do.

Buying a hand blender: things to consider

Controls

Check that the power button is easy to press: hand blenders are about as long as an A4 sheet of paper, and some weigh nearly as much as a bag of sugar, so they can be tiring to control if it is hard to get a good grip and reach the controls. Some hand blenders also have ergonomic handles and soft-touch controls to make using the blender more comfortable.

Basic models will usually just have one speed. Paying more will get you a range of speeds, which can help to avoid unexpected splashes.

Accessories

Some hand blenders come with bowls and beakers for chopping and blending that fit to the blender, helping to keep ingredients from spraying across your worktops. If you want to use your hand blender for a particular task, such as whisking, whipping, chopping or blending, look for one with a specialist accessory for easier food prep.

Not all accessories do the job they're supposed to well though, so before you pay up for lots of extras, check our hand blender reviews.

Materials

Hand blenders with metal shafts are less likely to stain than those with plastic. The blending shaft is the part that gets dirtiest, and if you are blending lots of soup, you might find a metal shaft more convenient. Stains on plastic shafts can usually be shifted with some vegetable oil though and metal models may be heavier, which can be tiring if you're blending big batches.

Cord

The cheapest models may have short and inflexible cords, which could make reaching your dish trickier. There are cordless models around: having no cord in the way while you're blending is handy, but bear in mind they tend to be pricier, heavier and will have a limited run time.

Max run time

This can vary from as little as 10 seconds. That might be fine if you just want to quickly blitz small amounts, but it's worth checking before you buy, so you don't get stuck partway through blending.

And one thing you don't need to worry about...

Wattage

Although you'll often find the wattage mentioned in the product details, a higher wattage doesn't guarantee better results or that the blender is any more durable.

Overall, it's worth thinking carefully about what you like to cook and what kitchen tasks you do most often so that your new hand blender doesn't end up in a cupboard full of rejected gadgets.

For more choosing advice see our guide choosing the best food prep gadget for you.

Which? hand blender reviews

We've tested 11 hand blenders from brands including Beko, Bosch, Braun, KitchenAid and Tefal. Our 2018 tests uncovered three Best Buys and an awful Don't Buy - head over to our guide to the best hand blenders for 2018 to find out the models worth buying - and the one to avoid.

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