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There used to be two kinds of cooks in the kitchen, those who swore by stand mixers and those who loved their hand mixers, and never the twain shall meet. But not anymore! Home cooking has become more inclusive, and home cooks are open to any and all great tools that can help them make the best meals in the easiest way possible.
The question must be asked: Do you really need a hand mixer if you already have a stand mixer? Our answer is a resounding “Yes!” Having a handheld beater as well as a stand mixer means making whipped cream to top a tres leches cake at the same time as the batter was being slowly mixed in the stand mixer, or to work together in the kitchen as one blends a quick bread dough for breakfast and the other a pizza dough for dinner.
"Hand mixers are useful kitchen tools for whipping foods like egg whites, meringues, icing, cream, or whipped cream," says Megan Meyer, PhD, Senior Director of Science Communications at the International Food Information Council. "They are also helpful for mixing cake batters, blending salad dressings and marinades, and beating cookie dough—essentially incorporating a variety of ingredients."
Meyer warns that "some ingredients, such as chocolate chips, nuts, and some fruits, shouldn’t be incorporated using a hand mixer since they can interfere with the mixer’s motor. When choosing between a hand mixer and stand mixer, hand mixers are more affordable, compact, and lightweight."
As with all tools, think of how you’ll be using the handheld mixer in your own kitchen, and how often. This list is a pretty serious collection of the best hand mixers. One of them will be just right for you!
Best Overall: Breville Handy Mix Scraper Hand Mixer
Dimensions (LxWxH): 9 x 3.7 x 10 inches | Weight: 4 pounds | Wattage: 250 W
The Breville hand mixer really does do more than other hand mixers. The two most outstanding differences are that it’s ergonomically intuitive with reactive no-touch speed settings depending on which attachment you’re using, and the beaters have been reinvented for quiet performance and to work as bowl scrapers by the addition of a coating of rubber on the blades.
There’s a really great range of power with its total of nine different speed settings to handle any job, and the entire mixer and cord fit neatly into the detachable storage compartment provided. Accessories included are two scraper beaters, two dough hooks, and two balloon whisks. There’s even a built-in light to aid with seeing the ingredients as you work!
Best Overall, Runner-Up: KitchenAid KHM926CU 9-Speed Hand Mixer
Dimensions (LxWxH): 7.5 x 3.5 x 6.4 inches | Weight: 2.5 pounds | Wattage: 220 W
KitchenAid has put the same great performance level as its iconic stand mixers into this hard-working hand mixer. Its nine speeds cover all the tasks you’ll need to do, from stirring batter to whipping egg whites and everything in between. There’s a good selection of accessories that come with this mixer: two stainless steel turbo beaters, one pro whisk, two dough hooks, and one blending rod, all of which fit into the included storage bag.
Easy to handle, it has a soft-grip handle and a heel rest that prevents tipping when resting between use and an angled cord lock that works on both left and right sides. It also comes in classic KitchenAid colors if you’re looking to match your other kitchen appliances.
Best Budget: Mainstays 5-Speed Corded Hand Mixer
Dimensions (LxWxH): 8 x 7 x 4 inches | Weight: 2 pounds | Wattage: 150 W
Part of the Mainstays line of affordable kitchenware, this mixer is great for the basics. Its five settings allow you to blend, stir, mix, and whip at moderate or high speed. The two beater attachments can handle a light batter, whipped cream or meringue, but will not work for heavier doughs like pizza dough or other yeast bread.
Weighing only 2 pounds, this a great option for anyone who experiences arm fatigue with heavier mixers, and lightweight enough for kids to use. It’s also nice for cleanup since the two tapered beaters can be thrown in the dishwasher. This hand mixer could definitely make a thoughtful gift item to send to a friend along with a jar cookie mix or to give to a young person as they’re first learning to cook.
Related: The Best Kitchen Scales
Best with Storage Case: Hamilton Beach 6-Speed Electric Hand Mixer with Snap-On Storage Case
Dimensions (LxWxH): 8.3 x 5.7 x 9.2 inches | Weight: 2.8 pounds | Wattage: 250 W
This Hamilton Beach 250-watt handheld mixer leads with practicality and follows with functionality. The design, which includes a built-in storage case, makes it easy to store in a kitchen cupboard or on your countertop. The six speeds range from a low stir to a high whip so most mixing jobs will be accomplished with ease.
Included in this set are two different attachments, a whisk, and two traditional beaters. The built-in groove that lets you rest the mixer on a bowl while adding ingredients is a helpful feature that adds pleasure to the work! It’s available in black and white with the standard storage case, or in red with an upgraded storage case with an easy-access door and two added dough whisks.
Best Compact: Dash Smart Store Compact Hand Mixer
Dimensions (LxWxH): 7.3 x 2.5 x 4.5 inches | Weight: 1.8 pounds | Wattage: 150 W
This tough little mixer from Dash performs as well as any of its multi-speed competitors while taking up approximately only half the space. It’s got a classic look and is available in four colors: aqua, gray, red, or white.
So compact it weighs less than two pounds, it’s fantastic if you have limited kitchen storage. The attachments are designed to fit into a clip under the handle to make the mixer very easy to store in small places, it even fits flat into some kitchen drawers! Included in this set are two beaters, a recipe book, and access to a recipe database.
Best High-Power: Dualit 88520 Professional Chrome Hand Mixer
Dimensions (LxWxH): 8.5 x 4.5 x 9.5 inches | Weight: 2.9 pounds | Wattage: 300 W
The closest thing to pro, this Dualit hand mixer can meet the expectations of serious home bakers (and the numbers of serious home bakers are growing each day!). Whether you’re baking at home daily or just want a mixer that can handle whatever you throw at it, Dualit placed all the know-how it brings from designing for professional kitchens into this sleek chrome machine with quiet, high-torque performance.
The 300-watt handheld mixer comes with traditional rectangular beaters, dough hooks, and a whisk. The four-speed settings accommodate any recipe mixing needs, and the bonus of a retractable power cord and integral plug housing makes storage neat and easy.
Related: The Best Stand Mixers
Best Cordless: KitchenAid KHMB732 7-Speed Cordless Hand Mixer
Dimensions (LxWxH): 7.5 x 3.5 x 11.7 inches | Weight: 2 pounds
This KitchenAid hand mixer works on a rechargeable battery, so there's no need for messy cords trailing over the countertops. It takes 2 hours for a full charge that lasts through about four batches of cookies. But it can also quickly charge in 10 minutes for small batches, perfect timing for throwing your ingredients together.
Just because this is rechargeable, it doesn’t skimp on power. It has seven speeds to allow you a lot of control, and can easily stand on its own as you add more ingredients. The set includes two stainless-steel turbo beaters and a charger.
Related: The Best KitchenAid Stand Mixers
If you truly want to have the best hand mixer available, the Breville Handy Mix Scraper Hand Mixer (view at Amazon) has to be the one. The easy-to-store and handle Dash Smart Store Compact Hand Mixer (view at Amazon) is great for small spaces and most mixing jobs.
What to Look for in a Hand Mixer
When purchasing a kitchen appliance, wattage is generally used as a measurement of power. Hand mixers aren’t as powerful as stand mixers, but some models have more wattage than a small stand mixer. The wattage of a hand mixer can range between 150 and 300 watts. For more intense jobs, opt for a model with a higher wattage. Most hand mixers have around 250 watts, which is plenty of power for most jobs.
More speeds usually indicate more versatility. Hand mixers can have as few as three speeds and as many as nine speeds, though most have 5 or 6 speed settings. You may need to go back and forth between lower and higher speed settings depending on the recipe, and having a variety of speed settings gives you the flexibility to do so.
Traditional beaters are the standard attachments that come with all hand mixers, though some also include whisks and bread hooks. Like speed settings, having a variety of attachments increases the versatility of your hand mixer. Unlike a stand mixer, purchasing separate attachments later on is difficult for hand mixers, so make sure you get them up front.
What are the different types of beaters for?
The main attachments that come with a hand mixer include traditional beaters, whisks, and bread hooks. Beaters incorporate air into a mixer, making them suitable for mixing cake batter, muffin batter, and mashed potatoes. They are the most versatile and might be the attachment you reach for the most. Whisks are great for fluffy mixtures like meringues, egg whites, and frostings. As the name suggests, dough hooks are used to knead dough and are likely the most time-saving attachment.
How do you avoid a mess when using a hand mixer?
Anyone who has used a hand mixer has likely experienced the splatter and mess from ingredients flying out of the bowl. To minimize the mess, start on a low speed setting and gradually work your way up to the right speed. Make sure you are using a large enough bowl — using a bowl that is too small may result in the contents spilling over. When the ingredients are incorporated, gradually return to the slowest speed setting and turn off the mixer before removing it from the bowl.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Karen Resta is a NYC-based writer specializing in food culture and history, cooking, pastries, and restaurants. A former executive chef who began her professional journey as a pastry chef, she travels around the globe as a photographer and writer, always finding the best authentic food and pastries along the way. She spends a lot of her free time in her kitchen and is passionate about finding quality within your given budget. Having the right tools and knowing how to use them makes all the difference in baking and cooking, and she curated this list with that in mind.
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