Let's just get this out of the way: hand mixers aren't for everyone, and the best hand mixer is really a stand mixer. If you're investing a lot of time into baking; if frosting cupcakes is your life's passion; if you one day hope to own a well-lit, expensively decorated bakery where you'll roll out laminated dough and make a post-date croissant for a shy, newly divorced Steve Martin—you need a stand mixer. Alas, we can't all be Meryl Streep in It's Complicated. Maybe you live in a tiny apartment and have a limited budget (same) but still get the urge to make cookies from scratch. In that case, you need a hand mixer, and in our original 2018 review, we tested seven to find the best one.
To update this guide in 2019, we tested 4 more hand mixers—either new to the market or models we’d missed the first time around—against last year’s winner, the Breville Handy Mix Scraper. Read on to find out the winners. For details about the testing process and what to look for in a hand mixer, scroll to the bottom of the page.
Our Favorite Hand Mixer: Krups 10-Speed Digital Hand Mixer
One of the new hand mixers we tried, the Krups 10-Speed Digital Hand Mixer, performed just as well as last year's winning model, the Breville Handy Mix Scraper. It was sturdy and effective but still relatively lightweight, making it easy to maneuver through dense oatmeal cookie dough. In fact, at 2.2 pounds, it's almost half the weight of the Breville, so it's much less likely to tire your arm out as you're holding it up to whip cream. And its beaters were even more efficient at beating egg whites than Breville’s were.
The Krups shares many of the same features as the Breville (an LED interface, a storage case for attachments, a handy “pause” button, 10 speeds, a “turbo” feature, and silicone-tipped beaters that don’t clank against the bowl as you mix). But the Krups also had a few pros that edged it past the Breville: a straightforward “eject” button, rather than the Breville’s awkwardly placed trigger-like finger-pull; and a slow-start feature that keeps dry ingredients from poofing out of the bowl. Even better, at $45, it’s about a third of the price of the Breville (and it's actually even less expensive than our former pick for the best budget option, the Cuisinart Power Advantage Handheld Mixer). We have a new favorite.
A Luxury Pick (And Our 2018 Winner): Breville Handy Mix Scraper
When we first tested hand mixers in 2018, the Breville outstripped its competitors by a long shot. First, it was the only hand mixer that could cream butter and sugar in a reasonable amount of time (3-5 minutes). It was also the quietest machine as its 240-watt motor is designed for near-silent operation at both high and low speeds. Plus, its beaters are coated in rubber so they're non-scrape and don't make a clanging sound when they hit the sides of the bowl.
The mixer also has more features than its competitors, including a screen that indicates the speed level and shows how long you've been mixing (you know when a recipe says to beat the butter and sugar for 3–5 minutes, and you just sort of fudge it? No more.). Plus, the Breville is the only mixer we tested that came with not one, but two whisk attachments (in addition to regular beaters and a bread hook), which makes whipping cream and egg whites speedier processes. The machine has a plastic storage container that attaches to the body of the mixer where you can store the extra attachments—a huge bonus since mixers come with small accessories that are easy to lose. It even has a light that automatically turns on when you mix, illuminating your mixing bowl as you work—a largely unnecessary feature that we found hilarious.
The Breville has 9 speed options, all of which are noticeably different from each other. It mixes at both low and high speeds effectively. You change the speed via a scroll, and the new level will appear on the digital screen. At high speeds, the mixer remains steady and doesn't fly out of your hand around the bowl. It even has the ability to sense the specific attachment you're using (whisk, beater, hook) and calibrates its speed settings to fit the specific task. The Breville is on the heavy side—it weights 4 pounds—and your arm can get tired holding it up. However, the body of the machine rests against the edge of a standard mixing bowl easily, effectively relieving the weight you'll hold.
Again, the Krups machine has all of these features, minus three: it doesn't have a light to illuminate your bowl and it doesn't come with multiple whisk attachments. It also doesn't have the ability to sense the attachment you're using and adjust its speed automatically. Generally, we don't think these three additional features make the Breville worth selecting over the inexpensive Krups—especially since mixers are a less expensive alternative to stand mixers and therefore aren't necessarily a splurge item. Still, if you're looking for a luxury option, this mixer is extremely effective and has features that go above and beyond. It has a design finish-quality that's high above the rest. It's still well under the price you'll pay for a stand mixer, and it takes up far less space.
How We Tested
For our initial 2018 product review of the best hand mixer, we performed two rounds of testing. In the first round, we whipped egg whites with the mixers to see how they held up to the task, and how easy and comfortable they were to use. After this round, we narrowed our choices down from seven to four. With the remaining four mixers, we made salted-butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. We looked at how well the mixers creamed butter and sugar together, incorporated eggs and dry ingredients like flour and baking powder, and finally blended in oatmeal and chocolate chunks. For our 2019 update, we performed the same test and added four mixers, which we tested against last year's winners.Emily Johnson
Factors We Evaluated
How Many Speeds Does the Mixer Have? Do they work?
The mixers we tested had a range of 3 to 10 speed options. More important than the number of speeds, though, is the discernible differences between them, and if the mixer can effectively operate both slowly and quickly (many mixers had a bunch of speed settings, but didn't actually operate at different speeds when you changed them). We also looked at how easy it was to switch between speed settings. Some mixers switch speeds when you move a lever, while others have a scrolling button or a press button. We found that some of the scrolling buttons made it too easy to switch from a fast to low speed and skipped the middle options.
How steady is the mixer?
A low-quality hand mixer is hard to control and often flings around the bowl, making your hand feel like it's riding a mechanical bull. We wanted a firm mixer that was easy to hold steady and didn't vibrate or move around too much while in use, especially at high speeds.
How comfortable is the mixer to hold?
And is the mixer heavy? Whipping egg whites and incorporating dense dry ingredients into a batter requires a surprising amount of arm strength. We wanted a light and comfortable option that didn't sacrifice quality or efficiency. We did take into consideration that a heavier hand mixer can get the job done faster than a less powerful and lighter one, eliminating some work for your arms.
What attachments does the mixer come with?
The best hand mixers come with a set of regular beaters, whisking beaters, and bread hooks. Even better? The mixer comes a storage compartment so you can keep the attachments together in your cabinet without losing them.
Can It: Whip egg whites? Cream butter and sugar? Mix a cookie batter?
Every mixer we tested was able to whip egg whites. But creaming butter and sugar together for cookies? Not so much. Only our top choice yielded a coherent, airy batter similar to what you'd get from a stand mixer. Some mixers struggled more than others with blending the oatmeal and chocolate chips into the cookie batter. We wanted a mixer that could handle all of these tasks with relative ease.
Other Hand Mixers We Tested
For our 2019 update, in addition to the winning Krups, we also tested the Braun MultiMix Hand Mixer, the Hamilton Beach 5-Speed Hand Mixer, and the Oster Inspire 5-Speed Hand Mixer up against last year's best hand mixer. Of those, the Hamilton Beach stood out. Its beaters might have strained ever so slightly against the oatmeal cookie dough, but for a budget-priced ($35) tool, it was powerful, comfortable to hold, and intuitive to use.
Before we found the Krups, which could perform at the level of the Breville at about half the price, we struggled to choose a clear inexpensive second place winner among the Cuisinart Power Advantage Handheld Mixer and two other less-expensive options from KitchenAid and VonShef.
All three hand mixers performed the above tasks (whipping egg whites, creaming butter and sugar, and mixing a full cookie batter) with more or less the same ability. Whipping was easy and effective; creaming butter and sugar fell short on all of the machines; and once we added eggs and other mix ins, the full batter came together well, with little difference in ability between the models. Cuisinart was ultimately chosen as a budget winner since it has 9 speeds, compared to 5 for the other two. It also comes with a plastic case for storing attachments and changes speed by button, which we found easier to operate than the lever and scroll buttons of the KitchenAid and VonShef.
Still, the VonShef hand mixer is only $20 and genuinely gets the job done. It whips egg whites well—and creams butter and sugar not particularly well. It is steady and not too loud. It's also lighter than the Cuisinart and the Breville (though not the winning Krups), coming in at 2.95 pounds. It lacks some of the features of the Cuisinart: it comes with a whisk attachment, two beaters, and a bread hook, but has no storage container for its extra parts. It has 5 distinct speeds plus a 'turbo' function (compared to the 9 speeds on the Breville and Cuisinart), but its speeds are distinct from each other and work well.
The KitchenAid 5-speed hand mixer ($40) performs at a similar level to the Cuisinart and VonShef models. It doesn't come with a whisk or bread hooks, while the Cuisinart and VonShef do, and is heavier than the VonShef.
The $90 Dualit 4-speed hand mixer has a high price tag and looks really sleek. However, its chrome exterior means that it appears messy immediately—not a good idea for a machine you'll use for baking with flour, sugar, and eggs. It also feels excessively heavy. It has a retractable cord—a good idea in theory, except that the cord isn't long enough! It's frustrating to use the machine because you have to find counter space right by an outlet, or else lack maneuverability. The Black & Decker hand mixer ($17) also only comes with standard beaters. It's loud and doesn't handle slow speeds well, and the speed is hard to change incrementally because its lever moves quickly between settings. There isn't much difference between speed settings, and it shakes unsteadily with blades that scrape loudly against the bottom of the bowl. The Vremi 3-speed hand mixer ($14) is lightweight, but it doesn't come with whisk or bread attachments. It only has three (unlabeled) speed settings. There isn't much difference between its speed settings, and it is loud and unsteady.
Buy the Krups for an economical but high-quality hand mixer that will handle tasks from whipping egg whites to creaming butter and sugar easily, but will take up less space than a stand mixer. For a luxurious, high-design pick that will still run you less than a stand mixer, choose the Breville Handy Mix.
Originally Appeared on Epicurious