You’ve seen them and used them a hundred times before. The original hand mixer was first invented in the mid-1800’s. It featured two mixing paddles attached to a small crank and wheel that you had to spin with your hand. It was good for whisking eggs and light batter. It was a good start.
Fast-forward about a hundred years and hand mixers started to come onto the scene. They were far more affordable than the traditional standing mixers and could accomplish most of the same tasks. They were easy to clean, easy to replace, lightweight and portable. Ask any American, and they'll tell you that a handheld mixer is an essential part of their kitchen gear.
Today, we’re going to be looking at the top rated hand mixers on the market. They haven’t changed much in the past 50 years as far as their overall design, but the modern electric mixer is far more powerful and versatile than their earlier counterparts.
Before we get into our top three product recommendations, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of using a hand mixer over a traditional standing mixer. Then we’ll go through a quick buyers guide to inform you about everything you should expect in the best handheld mixer.
Best Hand Mixer
No chef would argue that having a big Kitchenaid stand-up mixer isn't a great addition to any kitchen. They can handle a lot of dough, can be left to mix while you're attending to other things, and save you the arm pain. They do, however, have their drawbacks. They're heavy, harder to clean, expensive, and sometimes they're overkill for a small baking job.
Even if you do have a large stand-up mixer, you should still invest into a small, durable hand mixer. Let's take a minute to break down the reasons why.
One of the best things about hand mixers is that they’re cheap. Nice stand-up mixers can cost hundreds of dollars. They’re not something that you want to just lend to your neighbor or let your kids play around with.
If you’re moving into your first apartment, you may not have the money to invest in a large mixer, and you may not even need something with that much power in the first place. You can get a high-quality hand mixer for around $30-$40.
If your neighbor needs to borrow it, or your kids drop it or burn up the motor accidentally, then you won’t feel so bad about the situation.
Large stand-up mixers require you to take off all of the attachments, remove the bowl, wipe everything down by hand, and you'll obviously want to clean off your mixing unit while you're at it. If you just want to whisk up a quick cookie batter, you don't want to have to break out your big blender and spend 10 minutes cleaning it after only 30 seconds of use.
All you have to do with a hand mixer is press a button, and pop out the mixing paddles. Throw them in the dishwasher or soak them in water, and they’ll be good to go the next time that you need them. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
Sometimes your batter is fickle. There's always going to be that one piece of hard butter, unwhisked egg, or a lump of dough that refuses to mix with everything else.
With a handheld mixer, you can really work the batter and get into all the nooks and crannies of the bowl to make sure that everything is well-mixed. With a large stand-up mixer, you would never be able to achieve that level of maneuverability.
Having a bake meet at your friend’s house? Just throw your lightweight hand mixer into your bag and be on your way. Most of them weigh less than 2 pounds, which means you can easily carry them around anywhere that you want.
Stand-up mixers can often weigh up to 50 pounds, are bulky, and can be a pain to pick up and move. If you accidentally drop it along the way, then you probably just destroyed it. Sometimes you just need something that’s lightweight and portable, and a hand mixer is perfect for that.
Now that we've convinced you why you should definitely add a hand mixer to your kitchen arsenal let's take a look at what you need to keep your eye out for when sifting through the endless list of products all claiming to be "the best handheld mixer." There are a few key features that make or break a good hand mixer.
In the case of hand mixers, their size is almost always directly related to the power of the motor. Depending on the type of mixing that you’re going to be doing, you may want a larger or smaller motor. Larger motors are almost always a little bit heavier, and a little bit more expensive.
However, you don’t have to worry about a larger motor burning out as easily as a smaller motor would. If you can afford the extra $10 or so, you should stick with the larger motor as they’ll usually last longer and can handle almost anything that you throw at them.
Every hand mixer is going to be more portable than a stand-up mixer. However, within the realm of hand mixers, there can be a quite a bit of difference between models. Some are designed to be easily packed and may feature retractable cords, or a smaller profile which makes them easier to fit in your bag.
Often you may sacrifice a little bit of portability by getting a larger size hand mixer, so that's important to keep in mind. If portability is your main goal, then get a smaller unit, but if durability is your goal, then be willing to sacrifice a bit of portability for the larger unit.
Your average hand mixer will have at least three separate speeds; slow, medium, and fast. You will use all three of these speeds in your baking session. However, some nicer models feature even more speeds.
They may also feature extra gears that you can shift the motor into depending on whether you're mixing a light batter or a thick dough. You will usually pay extra for this, but if you're looking for a versatile hand mixer, try to get one with multiple speed settings.
During the mixing process, you’re going to make a mess. It’s unavoidable. “Batter is going to splatter, and dough is going to flow,” as pastry chefs commonly say. Keeping this in mind, you’re going to want a hand mixer that’s easy to wipe down, clean, and keep looking new.
Stainless steel is going to be your best option. Food doesn’t stick to it easily, and when it does, it’s very easy to wipe off. It’s also pretty durable when it comes to scratching and small drops.
Often, what distinguished the highest rated hand mixer from the competition are its extra features. These are small details in the design or that enhance usability. Some examples may include an ergonomic or cushioned handle, a reverse setting, clips to keep the cord out of the way, or long warranty periods.
These are all small features that can really make a difference in the long run, so they’re certainly worth taking into mind when comparing hand mixers.
Not all hand mixers are created equal. For as many high-quality hand mixers that are on the market, there are just as many cheap rip-offs. To save you from buying a dud, we’ve sifted through the competition to find the top three hand mixers on the market. Let’s take a look!
After sorting through all of the highest rated hand mixer options on the market, we chose the KitchenAid KHM7210CU as the best hand mixer overall. It may well be the best KitchenAid hand mixer anywhere. Some notable features:
This thing is an absolute beast; it can slog through even the thickest dough without any issues. The motor on this unit is very impressive, and we would say that it even rivals some smaller stand-up mixing units.
It's worth noting that the larger motor size does increase the weight of this unit, but the extra power is definitely worth it. Combined with its variable 7-speeds and reverse mode, you can mix anything from smooth brownie batter to thick sourdough.
The whisks feature a unique curve design which keeps them strong and prevents them from getting jammed up or bending.
One of the coolest features of this mixer is that is has a soft start. Unlike your standard hand mixer that jumps to it’s set speed like a raging bull, often splattering the mix everywhere, this KitchenAid unit slowly builds up speed to prevent any accidents from happening.
This model also has a lockable swivel cord. It’s a small afterthought in design that makes a world of difference while you’re mixing your batter. It allows you to lock the power cord to either the left or the right side which makes it easy to switch hands and mix without having to worry about getting the cord all tangled up.
The Cuisinart HM-90S was a very close competitor with the winning KitchenAid. With a 220-Watt motor, this unassuming mixer can whisk through almost anything. It has 9 different speeds which allow you to have a great level of control over your batter and features a cool digital adjustment meter. Just press the up or down button, and the motor changes speed.
The one feature that the Cuisinart lacks when compared to the KitchenAid is a reverse function. This is especially handing whenever your whisks jam. While this doesn’t happen often, it’s still a nice feature to have. However, the Cuisinart HM-90S makes up for this with its other great features.
A really intuitive feature of this unit is its sturdy, clip-on storage case. All of your accessories and whisks fit into the clear case which then clips onto the bottom of the mixer. This means it’s incredibly easy to keep all of your gear together and makes the mixer really easy to carry around.
Like the KitchenAid’s Soft Start feature, this model has their own version which they call SmoothStart. This feature gradually ramps up through the first three slow speeds until it jumps to a higher speed, preventing messy accidents and splatters.
Overall, this is just a simple, high-quality mixer. It doesn’t have a lot of fancy extras, but it does have a powerful motor, solid build, and plenty of extra mixing accessories.
Coming in at just under $25, this Hamilton Beach model is the most powerful hand mixer for the money. While it’s definitely a budget option at half the cost of the other two models, it performs faithfully every step of the way. Some notable features:
It doesn’t have a lot of special features, but it does have 6 speeds and a quick burst button, which is really all that you need for most household baking. This hand mixer does have a really useful bowl rest feature, though.
There's a little curve on the bottom that fits into the edge of a bowl perfectly, so you don't have to completely remove the mixer every time that you take a break. Like the Cuisinart that we reviewed above, it also has a small clip on storage case for the whisks.
Well, there you have it; our unequivocal buyers guide to purchasing the best handheld mixer. Overall, we have to recommend the KitchenAid KHM7210CU. For the price of just over $50, you're getting a really solid machine that can last for years if treated well and can power through almost any dough that you put in front of it.
If it’s not what you’re looking for, however, Cuisinart is a great runner-up. If you’re on a smaller budget, then the Hamilton Beach is a nice compromise. These products are all available on Amazon, and they are constantly running sales on their kitchen equipment, so head on over and check them out! You might get a great deal.