Unless you have some pretty serious arm muscles, you won’t be able to whip egg whites into fluffy meringue mounds or combat a wad of sticky bread dough with just a bowl and spoon. For anything more intense than a small batch of cookies, you need an electric hand mixer.
For its durability, power, and relatively light weight compared to other models, we recommend the Cuisinart 9 Speed for its low start speeds, built-in storage compartment, and 220-watt motor that can handle thick batches of dough or whip potatoes into a frenzy.
We thought that the Cuisinart 9 Speed was a good fit for the average cook/baker who doesn’t want to waste time with low-power hand mixers that take forever but doesn’t necessarily want to haul out a stand mixer just for a batch of cookies.
Overall, the Cuisinart 9 Speed has everything you need for the vast majority of home cooks and bakers and can handle anything up to large, thick batches of dough that require a stand mixer anyway. While there are quieter models out there, we liked that the Cuisinart has a very powerful 220-watt motor while still being relatively easy to lift and move while mixing.
Top 5 Hand Mixers
|Cuisinart 9 Speed||220 watts||9-Speed||Check Price|
|KitchenAid 7 Speed||150 watts||7-Speed||Check Price|
|Aicok Hand Mixer||250 watts||6-Speed||Check Price|
|KRUPS GN4928||200 watts||10-Speed||Check Price|
|Hamilton Beach 62620||290 watts (using Burst Button Only)||6-Speed||Check Price|
Best Overall Hand Mixer
Cuisinart 9 Speed
The average home cook and baker needs tools that are compact, efficient, and powerful enough to handle a wide range of jobs. The Cuisinart 9 Speed is a longtime fan favorite of bakers because it can start at very low speeds on the 1-3 settings, reducing splatter.
It’s 220 watts, which means it can power through really thick batches of dough with lots of chunks, like raisin oatmeal cookies, but it’s more lightweight than some older models like the KitchenAid hand mixers, so that can be nice if your arm, wrist, or elbow get tired very quickly moving the blender around the bowl.
The Cuisinart lacks the convenient swivel cord that some models have but features a useful plastic case that snaps on the bottom and corrals all of your attachments AND the cord in one place. This could be nice if you tend to lose cooking gadget attachments in a drawer.
A quirk of the Cuisinart is that it starts out fast and then slows down if you have it at the lower settings, so you might want to experiment with that before you push “on” with your beaters immersed in a big bowl of egg white.
The Cusinart comes with beaters, dough hooks, a whisk, and a spatula, all dishwasher safe. Though there are other models out there that come with more attachments, this is really all you need for the vast majority of recipes.
It’s kind of loud, but it’s powerful. Overall, if you’re looking for a powerful hand mixer for casual use that won’t have to be replaced every six months, the Cuisinart 9 Speed is a good pick.
Pros and Cons
- 220 Watt
- Storage Case
- Low Start Speeds
- Relatively Lightweight
- Dishwasher Safe Attachments
- Doesn’t Balance on End
- Starts Fast then Slows (at Low Speeds)
- No Retractable Cord
2. Best Hand Mixer for Thick Dough
KitchenAid KHM7210ER 7-Speed
KitchenAid has a decades-long reputation for handling bread dough with ease, and we were surprised to find that a hand mixer like the KitchenAid 7-Speed could venture into this territory along with its stand mixer cousins.
While there is a 9-Speed model available from KitchenAid, we felt that the 7-Speed was comparable, especially if you don’t spend a lot of time making merengues or other dishes that require extremely high whipping speeds. If you need a super-fast model, by all means upgrade to the 9-Speed.
The KitchenAid is heavier than other models we reviewed, but if you’re looking for something that can handle thick dough, this is a good pick. As with most KitchenAid appliances, you have to buy most of the accessories separately – this only comes with the wire beaters and a whisk, so keep that in mind if you need dough hooks or other specialty attachments.
For hand mixers, the little details are usually the things we notice the most. We liked the padding on the handle as well as the ability to swivel and lock the power cord up and out of the way while mixing.
The “Slow-Start” feature means the mixer gradually works up to higher speeds, which might be nice for baking cakes, cookies, and pies.
The KitchenAid is relatively quiet compared to other models, and if custom design matters to you, then KitchenAid is famous for offering multiple fun colors.
It’s still only 150-watt machine, so if you’re a serious baker you may need a stand mixer to handle massive quantities of dough. But for the casual baker, this is a powerful model.
Pros and Cons
- Handles Dough Well
- Slow-Start Feature
- Swivel and Lock Cord
- Multiple Colors Available
- Accessories Sold Separately
3. Best High-Speed Hand Mixer
Aicok Hand Mixer 6 Speed
If you have a confectionary flair and like to make merengues, candy, whipped cream, or pudding frequently, then a high-speed mixer like the Aicok Hand Mixer might be a good pick for you. It’s 250-watt motor makes it the most powerful hand mixer we reviewed and while that may be too much power for the average user, it’s great if you need to beat ingredients at a very high speed consistently.
The stainless steel body of the Aicok makes it relatively lightweight for moving around the bowl and mixing, and it comes with regular beaters and dough hooks.
There isn’t really a “slow” setting on the Aicok – it attacks everything with enthusiasm. If you’re interested in a lightweight hand mixer that’s still a powerhouse AND you don’t mind stirring with a spoon first, then this might be a good pick for you.
It lacks some of the convenient storage features of the higher-end models we reviewed, but for the price point, the Aicok is a strong hand mixer for the average baker who isn’t handling massive batches.
Pros and Cons
- Super Fast
- 250-Watt Motor
- No Storage Options
- Lowest Speed Still Fast
4. Best Quiet Hand Mixer
KRUPS GN4928 Quiet 10 Speed
Hand mixers are notoriously loud. If you’re tired of drowning out the Thanksgiving conversation every time you mash the potatoes, then you might want to take a look at the KRUPS GN4928 Hand Mixer.
Even though the KRUPS has a 200-watt motor, it’s exceptionally quiet for a hand mixer. Part of that is due to the silicon coating on the attachments, which make less noise than standard metal beaters.
The KRUPS comes with regular beaters, dough hooks, and a whisk, and we liked that they’re all top-rack machine washable. It has a plastic storage case that snaps onto the bottom of the mixer to hold all of your attachments plus the power cord, which is great for saving space.
Okay, so we’re not quite sure why you need 10 speed settings, but the lowest speed setting is actually quite low on the KRUPS and each number increase adds to the power incrementally, which is hard to come by in hand mixers.
We were impressed by the built-in timer, which is something that we don’t normally see in hand mixers. There’s also a pause function that freezes the timer along with stopping the beaters, which might be great for you if you mix recipes that have very specific beat times.
It’s relatively heavy, so keep that in mind, but overall this was the quietest hand mixer we tested and shared many of the features of our top pick, too.
Pros and Cons
- 200-Watt Motor
- Dishwasher Safe Attachments
- Built-In Storage Compartment
- Pause Function
- 10 Speeds Might Be More Than Needed
5. Best Budget Hand Mixer
Hamilton Beach 62620 6-Speed
The thing about electric hand mixers is that you need to have one, even if you only bake a few times a year. You just can’t get a fluffy cake, smooth brownies, or perfect cookies mixing by hand.
If you only bake on special occasions and want an affordable option, the Hamilton Beach 6-Speed might be a good pick for you. This model will get bogged down with really dense batters, like zucchini bread, but can handle a bowl of chocolate chip cookie batter just fine.
For the occasional baker, we liked that the Hamilton Beach 6-Speed came with beaters, dough hooks, a wire whisk, and a milkshake mixer, which are all top-rack dishwasher safe. You probably won’t need more attachments than that, and they all store compactly in the attached plastic case.
The 6-Speed has a Pulse button, which is nice if you want to gently mix ingredients together before you get to the serious mixing. There’s also a Burst button which gives you a moment of high speed- probably not enough to do a thick merengue, but good for quickly mixing together cake batter.
Overall, Hamilton Beach is a good pick if you want an electric hand mixer for occasional use.
Pros and Cons
- Easy to Store
- Dishwasher Safe Attachments
- Pulse and Burst Buttons
- Struggles with Very Large or Thick Batter
- Shorter-Lived Appliance
Hand Mixer, Stand Mixer – What’s the Difference?
All of the different tools and gadgets are one of the most intimidating things for new bakers and cooks. Just wandering through an aisle at Macy’s, let alone a cooking specialty store, is enough to get you to throw in the apron.
Thankfully, mixers are really pretty simple to understand. They’re one of the most fundamental pieces of cooking and baking equipment out there and they do exactly what they say they do – they mix things up.
You’ve probably seen the freestanding mixers advertised or used on cooking shows. Hand mixers do basically the same thing, but they are more portable, easier to store, handheld, and generally less powerful than their tall cousins. And oh yeah, they’re a lot less expensive too.
So if you’re not whipping up ginormous batches of bread dough or zucchini cake on the regular, an electric hand mixer is probably more than enough to meet your needs.
A hand mixer takes a bit more arm strength, since you have to hold the unit up and move it around the bowl as the beater attachments rotate. It’s a lot easier than doing everything by hand, though.
Lest you think that a hand mixer is just the poor cousin of the super-powerful stand mixer, you should keep in mind that some recipes are actually better when a smaller mixer is used.
For example, frosting and whipped cream are usually made in small batches, so small mixer attachments that can fit in a smaller bowl are typically preferred. Although if you generally mix up gallons of whipped cream at a time, who are we to judge?
Mixing anything, from meatloaf to cookie batter, in a bowl that is too big for it also means that you can’t scrape the sides of the bowl as easily and unmixed ingredients stick to the sides. A hand mixer has more versatility, so you can move it to different sections of the bowl as you blend, whereas a stand mixer is fixed.
Different Kinds of Mixing
There is some lingo to learn when it comes to mixing. Some common terms you might run into:
These all have different meanings, though some of them are similar. Most of these baking/cooking functions can be handled by a hand mixer, especially a more powerful model.
Basically, stirring, folding, combining, and incorporating are all low-speed actions that basically mean you need to mix all of your ingredients together gently. This is very important for some recipes, like homemade whipped cream, since mixing them too vigorously can break down the ingredients too quickly and mess up your final result.
Blending, beating, pulsing, and creaming are typically higher-speed functions, whereas whipping usually indicates very fast motion.
Kneading is all about bread, and indicates a smooth, steady motion – though keep in mind that kneading is typically beyond most hand mixers.
You’ll see these terms mentioned when shopping for an electric hand mixer, so it’s a good idea to know generally what they indicate so you don’t buy a tricked-out model if you just make brownies occasionally, but you’re not disappointed when you really thought you could whip it good with your hand blender only to find out it only works at low speeds.
What Are All of These Attachments For?
With bakers’ love of specialty gadgets, it shouldn’t be surprising that there are specific attachments to perform almost all of the functions that we listed above. Some attachments you might see for hand mixers are:
- Dough Hooks
- Milkshake Blender
- Silicone-Coated Beaters
Luckily, beaters and dough hooks are pretty much all that you’re going to need, other than a spoon or spatula and maybe a whisk.
These two attachments can handle most baking jobs that the average cook with encounter.
Beaters typically handle lightweight items, like cookie and cake batter, mashing up fruit and vegetables, or making icing.
Dough hooks are mostly used with anything that is bread-like, so rolls, pizza dough, and bread are what these guys are made for. Keep in mind that if you want to handle a really thick or sticky dough, you’ll need one of the more powerful hand mixers, and even then you’ll still probably have to do some hand kneading.
Some people like bringing out the dough hooks whenever they have a tougher batch to work through, since they don’t have the thin, whisk-like wires of the regular beaters to get gummed up.
How Many Speeds Do I Need?
Unfortunately, there’s really no standard measurements when it comes to electric hand mixer speeds. Some folks will measure the RPM (rotations per minute) of elite blenders, but its not the norm to see them advertised this way.
Essentially, hand mixers accelerate incrementally, with 1 being the lowest setting and 10 the highest. Low-end models sometimes have as few as three speed settings – slow, medium, and fast.
The tricky part is that speed is relative. A 3 on a KitchenAid probably won’t correspond to a 3 on a Cusinart, and so on. You can usually depend on a bit more continuity within the brand, so upgrading from a 5-speed to a 9-speed should, theoretically, just give you four more faster settings.
This isn’t always the case, because brands improve their technology over time and the exact same model might have different motor, making its speed settings different.
The bottom line: read as many product reviews as you can to make sure that the speeds correspond to your preferences for a blender that runs on the slow or fast side.
How Do I Use an Electric Hand Mixer?
One nice thing about electric hand mixers is there usually aren’t too many buttons to worry about.
There will be an on/off button, along with a speed control function. This is usually a wheel-style button that you can swivel to different speed settings.
All hand mixers have detachable beaters, so there’s an ejection button that makes the beaters pop out so you can wash them.
Some models have extra features, like a timer or a “boost” function that gives you short bursts of intense speed, but since these are non-standard, they tend to be well marked and you shouldn’t have trouble figuring out what each part does.
What Can I Make with a Hand Mixer?
Honestly, just about anything you want. While a handheld electric mixer won’t be as strong as the freestanding models, a good one can handle most of the casual bakers’ needs.
Here are some of the most common recipes that are a lot easier with an electric hand mixer:
- Homemade Whipping Cream
- Mashed Potatoes
You can even make smoothies and milkshakes with the proper attachment, but we would probably recommend an immersion hand mixer or a blender for that.
A lot of people think that electric hand mixers are just for baking, but as you can see from our list, there are a lot of cooking tasks that are a lot easier with a blender.
While most of these dishes can be mixed by hand, you typically get better consistency and evenly distributed ingredients when you use an electric blender. This is important if you prioritize smooth dips or non-lumpy potatoes when cooking.
Anytime you need to mash up a whole bunch of food, whether it be for mashed potatoes or your famous homemade guacamole, you should be using some kind of mixer. Seriously, why give yourself carpal tunnel syndrome when a simple kitchen gadget saves you so much work?
Do I Have Space for a Hand Mixer?
Hand mixers are specifically designed for small space use. The best models do most of what a full-size stand mixer can do, just with a smaller motor and mixer body.
That said, there are some additional features that will help you out if you’re extremely tight on space. Look for electric hand mixers with retractable cords, carrying cases, or attached compartments for mixer accessories.
Also keep an eye out for models that stand easily on their sides, because this means they can be stored upright. This might be a useful feature if you only have a small sliver of cabinet space or if you travel a lot and want to bring your hand mixer with you.
Overall, we liked the speed, storage features, and power of the Cuisinart 9-speed, though any of the mixers that made our Top 5 list would be a great choice for the casual user.
While a stand mixer is great for heavy-duty, frequent use, most of us don’t need that kind of power for our normal cooking routine.
An electric hand mixer is a must-have for anybody’s kitchen, whether you bake every weekend or just some cookies a couple times a year. Hand mixers also make a lot of ordinary cooking tasks, like mashing avocados or potatoes, a whole lot faster.
And, let’s face it, a kitchen where stuff is baking is a good place to be.