The stylish Dualit 88860 hand blender is powerful enough to crush frozen fruit for smoothies and purée big batches of soups and sauces, reviewers say. But there are some drawbacks you won't find on the top-rated Breville Control Grip BSB510XL (*Est. $70 to $100).
Plenty of frozen-berry-crushing power, but attachments will cost you extra. Like the Breville hand blender, reviewers unanimously agree the Dualit 88860 packs plenty of power -- "more than enough to plow through big chunks of frozen fruit for the smoothest smoothies I have ever made," reports one Amazon.com owner. Another Amazon.com customer concludes that the Dualit is better than her KitchenAid blender for blending very thick homemade lotions and conditioners, and crushing ice for frozen drinks.
Good Housekeeping testers agree the Dualit 88860 "fully puréed a thick soup in two minutes" and "can crush frozen fruit to make a thick smoothie." But the Dualit didn't perform as well in another professional test: It pulverized large chunks of food quickly but never quite blended them until they were completely smooth resulting in "grainy" soups and smoothies.
Unlike other high-end hand blenders, the Dualit doesn't include whisk or chopper attachments, or even a mixing cup. You can buy an accessory kit (*Est. $45) that includes a 16.9-ounce blending beaker with a storage lid, 16.9-ounce chopper bowl with blade, a balloon whisk and an attachment with two hand-mixer-style beaters. However, since these aren't included, we found no expert tests of the attachments -- and only one owner review at Amazon.com, simply saying the chopper bowl is handy.
Heavy, uncomfortable and loud. At 4.4 pounds, the Dualit 88860 weighs a lot for a home hand blender (2.15 pounds more than the Breville Control Grip BSB510XL). Although some owners say it feels fine, a few Amazon.com users say they need both hands to operate it.
Experts agree. Good Housekeeping testers call the Dualit "heavy" and "uncomfortable to hold." In Food & Wine's test, the model's "power combined with its heavy build sometimes makes it unwieldy." Another expert finds the small buttons "painful to use." After testing eight hand blenders -- including the Dualit 88860 -- Cook's Illustrated editors conclude that holding "models that weighed more than 3 pounds became agonizing" while slowly drizzling oil into egg yolks for homemade mayonnaise.
Another problem: It's loud. Good Housekeeping editors complain about the racket that another expert source describes as a "loud shrieking noise." The Wall Street Journal confirms these sentiments saying, "It would create a clamor in an eat-in kitchen."
On the plus side, we found no assembly or cleaning complaints. The blending shaft twists off and is dishwasher-safe. The shaft is long enough for use with deep pots, say owners at Amazon.com: One professional cook used it to purée 2-gallon batches of sauce at home. Owners say it will suction itself to the bottom of the pot (a common hand-blender problem that the Breville is designed to avoid), but holding it at an angle solves this problem.
Stylish but not always sturdy. "Looking for an immersion blender with the look of a high-end auto? You'll like this model's European styling," Good Housekeeping says of the Dualit 8860. The British company designed the hand blender with "high-end plastic that mimics the look of chrome." It's entirely silver except for a black grip that houses the power and turbo buttons and the speed dial.
Almost one-third of owners at Amazon.com lodge durability complaints. A few had overheating issues with the motor housing becoming hot to the touch. Another reviewer says the motor burned up within a few months, and "the cost of returning it to England for repair or replacement made that an unattractive option." One user -- a pro chef who bought the Dualit for home use -- says after a year of working well, the hand-blender's rotating mechanism froze. Another user griped that water got trapped in the shaft while washing, creating a mess during future use.
Although it looks pretty and blends nicely, professional testers find the Dualit 88860 hand blender heavy, hard to handle and loud. Some users report that the burly motor overheats or the blade mechanism seizes up. And Dualit makes you pay extra for accessories and attachments that come standard with other models.
1. Good Housekeeping
Good Housekeeping tests 17 hand blenders, puréeing soup and frozen-fruit smoothies as well as judging usability and cleanup. The Dualit 88860 earns a grade of A-; editors say it blends well and its polished body looks upscale, but it's loud, heavy and uncomfortable to hold, and accessories cost extra.
Review: Dualit Hand Blender 88860 Immersion Blender, Editors of Good Housekeeping, As of Oct. 2010
2. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
Cook's Illustrated tests eight hand blenders (including the Dualit 88860) by blending frozen fruit, pesto, nuts and veggies, making mayonnaise and broccoli soup, and whipping cream.. Testers also consider durability, ease of use and cleanup.
Review: Dualit Immersion Hand Blender, Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine, Updated Sept. 2012
3. Food & Wine Magazine
The Dualit 88860 receives an honorable mention in Food & Wine magazine's hand-blender ratings. It's powerful, but heavy and sometimes unwieldy.
Review: The Best Immersion Blenders, Kristin Donnelly, March 2008
4. The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal tests hand blenders and names five top performers. Aleksandra Crapanzano likes the Dualit 88860's turbo button and mixer-type beaters, an extra-cost accessory. She recommends this British immersion blender for "the Anglophile," but she warns that it's loud.
Review: The Best Immersion Blenders, Aleksandra Crapanzano, Oct. 30, 2010
The Dualit 88860 gets mixed reviews here from 17 owners. Most say it works well, but several complaints include overheating and issues with the rotating mechanism.
Review: Dualit 88860 500-Watt Immersion Hand Blender with Pulse, Chrome, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of Sept. 2012