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Best Hand Mixers

By: Kelly Burgess on June 06, 2018

Hand mixers are convenient, easy to store

If you need a mixer just for simpler, lighter use, a hand mixer may make more sense than a larger, more powerful stand mixer. Hand mixers don't hog counter space like stand mixers but can still make short work of smaller mixing tasks, like beating eggs, whipping cream or making frosting. Many people also love them for smoothing out the lumps in their mashed potatoes. Best of all, you can usually use a hand mixer with just about any type of bowl or pan.

While most hand mixers can't do the job of a stand mixer, the Cuisinart Power Advantage Plus 9-Speed Hand Mixer (Est. $70) comes pretty close, reviewers say. It's the top pick at Wirecutter and Reviewed, the budget pick at Epicurious, and is recommended by testers at Good Housekeeping. Reviewed calls it a "great mixer with all the attachments," something that other expert reviewers concur with. At Wirecutter, the Cuisinart Power Advantage, "powers through dense cookie doughs and makes billowy meringue." Testers at Epicurious note that, "The body of the machine is steady and does not fly around even at high speeds."

The Cuisinart Power Advantage Plus 9-Speed Hand Mixer includes an excellent array of attachments -- wire-style beaters, a whisk, dough hooks and a spatula -- and they all tuck away neatly in the included storage case. The hand mixer itself snaps onto the top of the case, making everything portable and compact for stowing in a cupboard or large drawer.

Users like the Power Advantage, too, giving it 4.4 stars in nearly 1,500 reviews at Amazon, even higher ratings elsewhere in hundreds more reviews we spotted. The storage case gets a lot of love, of course, but they also appreciate the great selection of accessories and the variety of speeds. Most say it works really well on all but the heaviest mixing jobs. We did spot some durability complaints, but no more than we see with any other mixer. And there are, of course, those who expect this small hand mixer to perform like a heavy-duty stand mixer (mixing multiple batches of dough for cookies or bread, for example), which it simply can't do. See our stand mixer section for the right tool for those jobs.

All of the reviews we evaluated say the Power Advantage Plus is easy to use, with a clearly marked digital display. There's a trigger on the chassis for popping attachments out with one pull, and all of the accessories are dishwasher safe. However, the slow-start function gets mixed reviews. It's supposed to slowly start mixing and then gradually increase the speed to prevent splatters. However, some reviewers say it actually starts fast, slows down, then speeds up again. Still, this is a minor issue for most.

Cuisinart backs the Power Advantage Plus with a generous three-year warranty. For the most part, owners are satisfied with durability, but those who had issues aren't thrilled with Cuisinart's customer service, which gets pretty poor reviews across the board. The mixer comes two finishes, chrome and white.

The top pick at Epicurious, the Breville the Handy Mix Scraper BHM800SIL (Est. $130) might be a better choice if you simply don't have the space for a stand mixer, yet want to do more heavy-duty mixing tasks. In testing there, it was much better than its competitors at effectively creaming butter and sugar, and blending heavier ingredients like oatmeal and chocolate chips in cookie dough.

Emily Johnson, who tested the Breville for Epicurious, also calls out this hand mixer's upscale convenience features, like the LED screen that indicates how long you've been mixing something (for those recipes that specify mixing lengths), and the coated beaters that not only scrape the bowl better, but also cut down on clatter. She also says the powerful motor results in a quieter operation overall. There's a light to illuminate the bowl as you mix, which Johnson notes is, " largely unnecessary feature, but definitely not unwelcome."

Users like the Breville BHM800SIL, too, giving it 4.5 stars at Amazon in just under 100 reviews. We actually spotted a number of positive comments about the light, from those with poorly-lit kitchens, apparently. Beyond that, they say, it's very powerful for a hand mixer and a welcome addition to a small kitchen with an avid baker. We also saw a lot of praise for how well the dough hooks work to knead bread dough.

The Breville BHM800SIL comes with two beaters, two dough hooks, two whisks and a storage container for the accessories. It has nine speed options. While it's relative heavy, at 4 pounds, it's also easy to rest it on the side of the bowl to ease the strain.

For a bit less money than either the Cuisinart or the Breville, the KitchenAid 7-Speed Digital Hand Mixer (Est. $60) offers two fewer speed settings, but it also comes with KitchenAid's reputation for ease of use and durability. This mixer includes beaters and a whisk. Dough hooks are included if you upgrade to the KitchenAid 9-Speed Digital Hand Mixer (Est. $75).

Both versions of these KitchenAid hand mixers earn recommendations at Consumer Reports. Interestingly, the seven-speed version actually does better in testing, with an Excellent for mixing, and Very Good scores for whipping, convenience and noise. The nine-speed version gets scores of just Very Good in all those categories, yet it earns an overall score of 74 to the seven speed's 71. They also note that the nine-speed model is noisier than the seven-speed one. The disconnects seems to be a bump for the included dough hooks, although that's not really well explained.

Regardless, owners like both of these KitchenAid hand mixers and we saw very high ratings for them at Amazon and elsewhere. They're basically identical except for the extra two speeds and dough hooks on the nine-speed model. Both have a "Soft Start" feature that gradually brings the beaters up to speed to prevent splatters, and reviews indicate that it works better than the similar feature on the Cuisinart Power Advantage Plus. A beater ejector button allows for easy removal of attachments, and a lockable swivel power cord lets users keep the cord out of the way while working.

Both mixers have KitchenAid's one-year warranty and come in several colors. There are very few durability or quality complaints, though some reviewers say they feel the mixer is underpowered. Again, we recommend a stand mixer or the Breville for those folks.

The best cheap hand mixers

If you just need a mixer for occasional use, the 290-watt Hamilton Beach 6-Speed Classic Hand Mixer (Est. $30) offers a good blend of power and convenience for a bottom-dollar price, reviewers say. This mixer also has a nifty storage case, similar to the one that comes with the Cuisinart Power Advantage Plus, and it includes two types of beaters, wire and traditional, as well as a whisk. Many people say they purchased this hand mixer because they much prefer traditional beaters to the wire-style beaters that most hand mixers now include.

Owners, give the Hamilton Beach 6-Speed Classic 4.1 stars in more than 1,200 reviews at Amazon and 4.4 stars in around 130 reviews at Walmart -- and it's just as highly rated elsewhere. Most say it's a great mixer for all but the heaviest mixing jobs -- although we did read some reviews that say it does very well on even thick dough as long as it's not too big of a batch -- and has enough power to quickly whip cream and meringues, cream eggs and sugar, mix cake batter and beat eggs.

At this price, durability might be the biggest concern. There are some complaints that this Hamilton Beach mixer died anywhere from six months to two years after purchase, but most say it's still going strong after several years. The mixer has a one-year warranty and comes only in brushed stainless steel with black accents.

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