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It may not seem like it, but the hand mixer is as valuable and versatile a kitchen tool as the stand mixer. The most capable hand mixers are able to handle tough doughs and thick batters almost as well as their larger cousins, but where these handheld gadgets really shine is in a wide range of quick, light-duty kitchen tasks, such as whipping cream, beating eggs, blending dressings, and more.
Hand mixers also come with a few bonuses for home cooks who only need mixers for quick tasks and special occasions: they're less expensive than hand mixers and they take up less room on the counter, for example. Plus, many models come with attachments (such as hooks and whisks) and storage compartments.
But with all of these models available on the market, how do you know which one's best for you? Here, we've compiled a list of the best hand mixers to help you choose.
Easy to attach and detach attachments
Good storage case
Works on thick doughs
Shakes with thick mixes
Loud on high speeds
This Cuisinart hand mixer includes the features you need, plus some extras—and a clip-on case to hold everything for storage. The powerful motor operates with a simple on/off switch and a one-touch speed control lets you select one of the nine speeds.
It comes with two beaters, one whisk, two dough hooks, and a spatula that all store in a clip-on case that you can also tuck the cord into. Rather than a button to release the beaters, this has a latch, so you’re less likely to accidentally release the beaters.
Our tester found the Cuisinart tackled all the tasks thrown its way: chocolate chip cookie dough, rice pudding, and bread dough. However, she warned it's louder than other models.
"This model has the features you need with the updates that make it simple to use." — Stacey L. Nash, Product Tester
Easy to attach and detach beaters
Convenient attachment options
Shakes with thick mixes
LCD speed display difficult to read
If you’re looking for a mixer that does more than just mix, the KitchenAid has a few extras that make it a little handier than the average mixer. It has nine speeds from a super-slow speed for stirring in ingredients all the way up to a high speed for whipping cream or making a fluffy meringue. Our tester reported that it "completed every mixing task we put it to," but noted that "it did shake, and the noise level increased when the mixer was at higher speeds."
The soft-start means that even if you choose a high speed, the mixer will start slow and build up, so you won’t fling ingredients out of the bowl. The cord locks into place on the left or right side of the mixer to keep it out of the way, no matter which way you face or where your outlets are.
This includes two turbo beaters, a stainless steel whisk, two stainless steel dough hooks, and a blending rod so you can use it like an immersion blender. It also includes a storage bag so you can keep all the parts neatly together when it’s not in use. It's available in five different colors that you can use to match or accent your kitchen.
"The KitchenAid's nine speeds provide great options, especially for devoted chefs who like precision when mixing." — Stacey L. Nash, Product Tester
Durability of scraper beaters could be an issue
Appliances are getting smarter, like this hand mixer that detects the attachment and adjusts the speed to the best range for that particular style of mixing. It offers higher torque at lower speeds and nine speeds so you can start slow and work your way up. Our tester loved the double-whisk design, which she said made it "incredibly easy to whip eggs."
The scraper beaters are coated so you can beat right against the side of the bowl with less noise. There’s a count-up timer so you can keep track of the mixing time for recipes that require a specific mixing length.
A mixing light makes it easier to see what’s in the bowl, and a power boost button lets you momentarily increase the speed to get past a lump in the batter, then resume mixing at normal speed. A pause button lets you stop mixing momentarily so you can add ingredients.
This comes with two scraper beaters, two dough hooks for denser doughs, and two balloon whisks for whipping cream or making other light, fluffy mixtures. All the parts store in a case that clips onto the bottom of the mixer, and the cord tucks in there as well.
"It makes cooking a joy." — Stacey L. Nash, Product Tester
Great color options
Snap-on storage case
Difficult to remove attachments
Requires high speeds for thick doughs
Loud on high speeds
If you’re looking for a faster, easier way to mix cake batter, whip cream, and soft doughs, but you don’t want to spend a lot for functions you’ll never use, this mixer fills the bill. It’s got an ergonomic design and nylon helix beaters that offer two times more surface area than your typical wire beater. Our tester highly recommended it for those "on a tight budget and looking to use it occasionally."
The Black+Decker Helix mixer is lightweight, so it’s not tiring to hold and it has five speeds, so you can start slow and work your way up to a faster speed for whipping or beating. The power boost button increases the power until you release it, so you can power through lumps and then continue mixing at the original speed. The beaters are dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. While it's not the best for egg yolks, our tester found it has "good power," particularly for the price.
The appliance comes with two helix beaters, two dough hooks, one wire whisk, and a storage case. It's available in a number of fun colors, including tangerine, teal, lime green, purple, red, black, gray, and white.
"It performs incredibly well at basic mixing." — Stacey L. Nash, Product Tester
Ideal for softening butter
Convenient storage case
Beaters are short
If you have a habit of eagerly whipping out your baking ingredients before realizing that the recipe calls for softened butter, this hand mixer is for you. Rather than risk melting it into a puddle in a microwave, reach for this hand mixer with heat technology. The Oster gently softens cold ingredients 12 times faster, and it does so while you mix—no need to wait until they reach room temperature.
Of course, you can use without the heat as a regular mixer as well. The mixer boasts a 270-watt motor and seven speeds, plus a power boost. Eject the included beaters, dough hooks, and whisk using the lever for easy cleanup; all are dishwasher safe, as is the magnetic nozzle. We love that it comes with a storage case to keep our baking drawer organized.
Easy, one-handed speed adjustments
Easy to clean
Not the best storage case
At 350 watts, this hand mixer blows the competition out of the batter. It uses something called "SmartMix" technology, which basically means the motor is aligned vertically for better weight distribution. This, plus a soft, slip-resistant handle makes for a comfortable grip.
Braun also did away with ventilation slots, so you can stop worrying about ingredients making their way inside the unit; simply wipe with a cloth to clean. It only comes with whisk and dough attachments, but that's because the whisks double as beaters depending on the speed setting. Speaking of speed settings, there are nine, not including a "Turbo" feature.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Donna Currie is a food writer and product tester for The Spruce Eats and she also has her own cookbook, Make Ahead Bread, a cookbook meant to simplify the bread-baking process.
Stacey L. Nash is a product tester for The Spruce Eats and personally put four of the hand mixers on this list to the test in her own kitchen, using them to whip up chocolate chip cookies, bread dough, and rice pudding, and evaluating factors like power, design, and features.
What to Look for in a Hand Mixer
Attachments: Every hand mixer will include basic beaters, but there's a variety of accessories that might be included, from whisks to dough hooks to stick blender attachments. If you’ll use those extras, they’re great to have. If you won’t use them, they’ll simply eat up storage space.
Unique features: All hand mixers will do a fine job mixing your cake batter, but just about every model has something that makes it different from the competition. You’ll find special dials, lights, coated whisks, and custom storage options, among other features. When you’re making your choice, those special features might be the difference between a mixer you love to use and one that’s functional but not fun.
Number of speeds: While you may never use all the speeds on your mixer, going from off to low and increasing the speed gradually can minimize the amount of splashing and spilling that can happen if you go directly to a fast speed. Meanwhile, some mixers have a turbo button that gives you a burst of extra speed when you need it.