If you want the ultimate in convenience in a hand blender, you may be happies with the cordless immersion blender. Many folks who like to cook outside their kitchen, either because they're involved in cooking demonstrations or because they like to step up their cooking game when camping, picnicking or in a boat or RV. However, keep in mind that, in general, cordless stick blenders will not be quite as powerful as a corded blender, and they are limited in run time by their battery.
The KitchenAid Pro Line 5-Speed Cordless Hand Blender (Est. $240) isn't cheap, but it's a top performer when it comes to battery-operated immersion blenders. Users say its 12V rechargeable lithium-ion battery delivers the kind of power you'd expect from a corded model, and that this is what makes it worth the high price tag. It's also a highly versatile blender, with five speeds and interchangeable blades that allow you to blend, mix, whisk, beat, froth, shred, chop, liquefy, crush and puree as you please. This product also comes with interchangeable 8 and 13-inch arms, allowing you to lengthen your wand to reach into deep bowls and pots. Although no users commented on the KitchenAid Pro Line cordless blender's actual running time, the manufacturer claims that it lasts for hours, and we found almost no complaints about the battery's robustness.
Most reviewers say this immersion blender is easy to use one-handed, as the wand has large, easily accessible buttons, rubber stops for comfort and a curved, ergonomic shape. The unit features a control lock button, so you'll be unlikely to accidentally turn it on again when you pick it back up.
The KitchenAid Pro Line Cordless comes in four colors: Frosted Pearl, Onyx Black, Medallion Silver and Candy Apple Red. Users note that a few of the plastic components could spell poor durability, but ultimately, the jury is still out on the product's longevity, as there are virtually no reviews by users who have owned it for a long time. However, the manufacturer does provide a five-year warranty.
If you prefer Cuisinart products and you're searching for a cordless option, consider the Cuisinart CSB-300 (Est. $145), a versatile 5-speed blender. It features a 7.4 Amp lithium ion battery that gets 20 minutes of run time from a single charge -- it's also equipped with a "quick charge" feature. This all-in-one kit comes with an electric knife for carving meats or bread; a three-cup chopper for nuts, cheese and garlic; and an electric whisk for making meringue or whipped cream.
Users do note that this immersion blender requires two hands for operation, because to turn it on you simultaneously have to press two buttons: an on switch and a lock release button. Once the unit is on, however, you can take your finger off the lock release button, but you'll have to use both hands once you start again. Most reviewers were pleased with the battery's run time and said that the attachments come off and reattach easily, and that the vinyl case makes for easy storage of all the attachments. Reviewers also love the elegant look of the stainless steel finish.
The Braun MR 740cc Multiquick 7 (Est. $140) is a basic cordless hand blender that manages to deliver a robust performance. It's not officially distributed in the USA -- Proctor & Gamble discontinued sales of Braun kitchen appliances in the North American market in 2008; however, we found multiple retailers that do offer them in the U.S.
Because the German-made Braun hand blenders are intended to be sold in the European market, most of the company's appliances are only suitable to be used with 220-volt outlets. However, this hand blender uses a 110-220 dual-voltage charger and the retailers we saw also include the necessary adapter to convert its European-style plug to fit the outlet style used in the U.S. and Canada; if not, a Euro to USA adapter plugs are very cheap and widely available.
Electricity considerations now safely out of the way, how does the Braun MR 740cc perform? Very well, users say, almost as well as a corded blender even for heavy-duty tasks like crushing ice. Users also say it makes silky soups and is great for other pureeing and chopping tasks, although they note that it's not good for chopping nuts. It includes a chopper (also referred to by some as an ice crusher) and a tall mixing container. Owners say it's very attractive and holds a charge well, making it a great tool to leave out on the counter and grab when you need it.
So, while a corded hand blender should be your top choice if you use it a lot, a cordless hand blender might be the right appliance if you have circumstances under which you don't have constant access to power or your immersion blender gets light use.