How to buy the best hand mixer
By Jane Darling
Hand mixers are perfect for whipping cream, whisking eggs or mixing batter. If you only bake occasionally, they're the ideal gadget for small, quick baking jobs.
Essentially electrically powered whisks that you operate with one hand, hand mixers are really useful if you don't have the room or budget for a full-sized food mixer or processor.
Because they're so quick to get out and use, as well as easy to clean, hand mixers are also useful for even the most seasoned bakers, especially if you're cooking in a hurry.
However, if you bake larger amounts or heavier mixes like bread dough, you might want to consider a stand mixer or a food processor, which have more varied attachments and can deal with larger quantities.
How much should I spend on a hand mixer?
Hand mixers are small and simple gadgets, and that's usually reflected in the price.
You can buy a hand mixer for around £5 if you go for a basic supermarket brand, but prices do go up to £100 or more. Spend less than £20 and you'll get a fairly basic-looking plastic model, with flat beaters, and possibly dough hooks.
Pricier models are often as much about style as they are about mixing ability. They tend to be made of more premium materials and have extras like cord storage, additional speed settings, soft-grip handles and extra whisking attachments. However, the flipside is that all these extras can make them heavier to handle.
You won't need to pay more than £50 to get your hands on one of our Best Buy hand mixers. Go to hand mixer reviews to find one to suit your budget.
Buying a hand mixer: things to consider
Your budget and how often you bake is likely to affect what hand mixer you go for. If you're looking at the top end price-wise, and are a keen baker, it might be worth seeing if a small stand mixer might suit you better. Visit our stand mixer reviews to see reviews of mixers starting from £68.
If it's a hand mixer you want, here are the key features you'll need to think about:
- Dough hook – if you bake your own bread, then dough hooks will take some of the legwork out of kneading.
- Balloon whisk – balloon whisks incorporate air into your recipe when you beat egg whites or cream – handy if you want to make perfect meringues and soufflés, although most flat beaters (included as standard with a hand mixer) will do a decent job as it is, so this one isn't strictly necessary.
- Mixing bowl and stand – halfway between a hand mixer and a stand mixer, some models have a bowl that fixes into place. We haven't found these to be super effective, but if you want to give your arm a rest, they can be handy.
- Blender – this attachment effectively transforms your hand mixer into a hand blender for blending, chopping and puréeing jobs.
- Storage stand – to make sure that the various attachments are never separated from your mixer, storage stands keep everything neatly contained in one place.
1.5kg - the difference between the heaviest and lightest mixers we've tested
It's also worth considering how comfortable the mixer will be to use:
- Grip – check whether the handle has a good grip to avoid slipping.
- Weight – our tests have found that the weight of the hand mixer has no real effect on its quality, so its purely down to personal preference whether you buy one that's heavy or light. If you're mixing for longer periods of time, you might find a heavier model a bit of a strain on the arm muscles. The models we've tested range from less than 1kg to around 2.5kg. As with many kitchen appliances though, the heavier the product, the more expensive it's likely to be.
Now that you know what to look for, head to our hand mixer reviews to find out which models are our Best Buy mixers, and see first look reviews of the latest launches from KitchenAid, Morphy Richards, Kenwood and more.