You’ve moved into a new place, love to cook and bake, but can’t quite justify stumping up the cash or cupboard space for a huge gadget like a KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer or a Kenwood food processor. Don’t worry, there’s a solution - the best hand mixers are great and don't cost the earth.
For small batch bakes, soups, purees, mashing potatoes and more, this kitchen dream team will cover your culinary bases and work as the perfect stop-gap until you’re ready to take the plunge and buy bigger, pricier gadgets down the line.
If you’re wondering why we would always recommend a hand mixer and blender, it’s because there’s a bit of overlap when it comes to aerating, but they also do totally different, complementary things, handing-off across recipes perfectly.
Take an apple and walnut cake; the hand blender can chop up the walnuts and puree apples, while the mixer creams the sugar and butter, then beats the cake mixture. What about something savoury? Hummus - chickpeas, tahini, garlic, oil, seasoning, lemon juice - all whizzed up with a hand blender, but if you want something a bit lighter, make it whipped hummus, add a bit of water and give it a few minutes with a hand mixer for a fluffier take on the Middle Eastern classic.
This shortlist is also about finding our favourite mixer, our favourite blender and putting you in the best position possible to mix and match your needs to pick your favourite kitchen cupboard combo.
- Best blender 2019: top jug blenders for smoothies, soups and juice
- Or, try one of our best food processors, all tried and tested
Best hand mixer: The Shortlist
1. Smeg Hand blender
The Smeg hand blender is all about the brand’s retro design. It may look like it fell off the set of I Love Lucy with its 1950’s aesthetic, but there’s 21st century power inside Smeg’s handsome hand blender, with a 700W motor and a beater, chopper, potato masher and whisk attachment included, as well as a beaker with a handle and a mini-blender too.
2. Fearne by Swan hand mixer
The most affordable mixer on-test might cost less, but you’ll find all the right attachments in the box - two dough hooks, beaters and a whisk. Available in four pastel colours, it may look soft and delicate, but in the kitchen, its rip-roaring 400W motor means business and will make short work of egg whites or whipping cream.
3. Dualit hand blender
You really can spot a Dualit product from a mile away - no one does a chrome finish quite like this iconic brand. Its hand-blender feels sensationally solid, features our favourite chopper bowl of the bunch with its handy feed tube, and includes a 1-litre jug, all the while being powered along by a 700W motor.
4. Kenwood Chefette
Kenwood’s Chefette is a hybrid hand and stand mixer. Need to knead bread dough? Set it to the task, walk away for five minutes, come back to worked gluten and a springy ball of soon-to-be yum. If, however, you’re whipping something more delicate, you can take the Chefette in-hand and fine-tune the beating.
5. KitchenAid 5-speed hand blender
Have your sights set on a KitchenAid stand mixer down the line? Want the complete, on-brand collection? If so, then this 5-speed hand blender comes in KitchenAid’s ubiquitous red colour, and includes a beautifully stowable storage case so you can keep all its bits by its side, something none of our other mixers or blenders do.
6. Dualit hand mixer
Dualit’s hand mixer is the most space saving product on-test, with its clever wind-up back-side, it stores its own chord, while the the plug portion slots right into the mixer’s body. It’s also a great looking, specced out mixer with a sensational chrome-finish and a powerful 400W motor to twirl the included dough hooks, beaters and whisk attachment into a flavourful frenzy.
7. KitchenAid 9-speed hand mixer
Promising slow starting speeds, the KitchenAid 9-speed hand mixer is the one you want if you’re fed up of splattering mix across your kitchen. With 9 speeds - more than any other mixer on test, it delivers the most control, includes beaters, dough hooks and a whisk too, not to mention a premium, classical KitchenAid look.
8. Kenwood 800W hand blender
Excellent for whipping up everything from cream to eggs or aquafaba, the Kenwood 800W blender is also a powerhouse, ideal for soups, purees and dips. Its stark, plastic white finish shouldn’t put you off, this blender feels very solid, and it packs all the attachments you’d expect.
Best hand mixer: test results
It’s great when almost every product on-test excels in its own way. The Swan hand mixer is a solid, affordable bit of kit with masses of power behind it, and while it sounds like a lawnmower, it does a decent job of mixing and whipping for the price.
Spend a little extra and the Chefette, our favourite mixer of the bunch adds stand mixer functionality with a bowl, splash guard and spatula to the mix. Get it fired up, walk away, come back, scrape the sides down, there’s no need to hang around when you could be getting on with something else with this in your kitchen.
The Dualit hand mixer is a beauty and masterfully combines design with power, but it’s a bit light on finesse, which is where KitchenAid’s 9-speed mixer wins out, even if it is a bit low on power by comparison.
As for the blenders, starting at the top of the price ladder, Smeg wins the aesthetics round, but its hand blender feels a touch plasticky given its £130 price. Meanwhile, the KitchenAid 5-speed blender looks and feels like a classic, and its carry case is an incredibly handy addition to keep all its bits in one place.
The Kenwood 800W blender is the most powerful product on-test and will make short work of, well, pretty much anything you put in front of it, but the Dualit hand mixer balanced looks with affordability, while also having our favourite set of accessories - specifically, that adorable little chopper.
Best hand blender overall
The Dualit hand blender looks industrial in all the right ways, and also feels much more premium than the fantastic looking, but plastic feeling Smeg hand blender. Its additional accessories are also incredibly handy, specifically the chopper bowl, which includes a spout in which you can feed ingredients while it’s whizzing away. The blades also cover more height, so we didn’t have to scrape down the sides as much. When fired up, Dualit’s blender is all about power and lacks finesse, but its design, price and utility come together to secure its victory nonetheless.
Best hand mixer overall
The Kenwood Chefette’s two-in-one styling makes it the perfect hand and stand mixer stop-gap solution for anyone who knows they’ll be upgrading in a year or two to a full-blown stand mixer. Its innovative design, brushed metal bowl and splash guard all add a level of utility that’s missing from all the other hand mixers on-test. Meanwhile, the Chefette still manages to be relatively compact. In turn, while we wish this excellent kitchen helper shipped with a whisk attachment, if you’re picking it up with a hand blender, you’ll be covered on that front, and it more than compensates with its hybrid appeal.