Get whizzy with it and invest in a stick blender to make soups, smoothies, sauces and much more. We put them to the test and picked our favourite versions.
Best bits: Works as a comprehensive food processor as well as a blender.
Comments: This set allows you to grate, chop, whisk and mash using the attachments and most of them fit neatly on a stand, although you’ll need a reasonable amount of shelf height for this. The sheer number of pieces is a little overwhelming at first but they proved very straightforward to attach and use, and everything had a practical use. The food processor was surprisingly effective and it was great to dispense with the usual heavy motor unit base. The hand blender with basic blade attached is heavier than many.
Buy from Sage
Best bits: Handy bowl and beaker for storage, plus plenty of attachments.
Comments: Paying slightly more proves worth it when it comes to this blender. The standard blade slots on easily, blends well, is smooth and quiet. The soup attachment created super-smooth soup quickly, and there are also attachments for chopping, whisking and mashing. The non-slip rubber bases on the chopping bowl and blending beaker felt secure, and both have plastic lids too which is a nice touch if you want to pop whatever you’re preparing in the fridge. The speed control on the top was a little stiff but gave good speed variation.
Buy from John Lewis
Best... cordless model
KitchenAid Artisan cordless hand blender
Best bits: A multi-tasker, plus you're free to move around the kitchen when using it.
Comments: While this is undoubtedly an investment purchase, its cordless functionality is worth the money alone. The visible LED display means you can clearly see which one of the five speed settings you're on, and it tackled everything thrown at it, from thick curry pastes to iced smoothies. It comes with 20cm and 33cm stainless steel arms and has a guard to protect your pan bases while blending. It doubles up as a jug blender and electric whisk, so really earns its keep in the kitchen.
Buy from John Lewis
Best.. to clean
Bodum Bistro blender stick with accessories
Best bits: Comfy, tactile handle and really easy to clean.
Comments: Easy to assemble, this blender had a sturdy feel, but it might be a little heavy for some to use comfortably. I found the soft-touch silicone coating of the motor unit (the part you hold when blending) really easy to grip, even with greasy hands. It made light work of chopping carrots and the whisk attachment made fluffy meringues and to my surprise airy mashed potato too! It does have two speed settings but to be honest I couldn’t find much difference between the two. Its best feature though is its easy cleaning option – if you’re using it for more than one job, simply let it run in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes and then use again.
Buy from Tesco
Best... heavy duty model
Bamix De Luxe blender
Best bits: It makes light work of trickier, harder ingredients.
Comments: I loved the all-metal construction and the speed of this model; I managed to whip cream in less than a minute. If you’re after a blender that can do everything from crush ice to whip mayo, this is the best choice. The mincer attachment is really a small food processor and is very useful for everything from mincing a single garlic clove to breaking down lumps in icing sugar to a fine powder.
Buy from Lakeland
Best... budget buy
Sabichi essentials hand blender
Best bits: Easy to use and good price point.
Comments: This doesn’t have any fancy features or attachments, but it's good at basic blending tasks. It has a simple one-button control, although you need to press down quite hard while blending. It puréed root veg well and crushed herbs pretty consistently. It’s fast but noisy and, with no speed settings, almost impossible to make mayonnaise with. The plastic bottom end isn’t detachable, but I found I could clean it quickly and easily.
Buy from Sabichi
Reviewed by Sarah Sysum and Caroline Hire.
You could use a jug blender but they can be cumbersome and noisy. A hand blender (a small spinning blade mounted on the end of a rod, shielded by a plastic or metal skirt) allows you to purée quickly without the need to transfer into a separate blender or pan. For example, if you want to purée soup, you can blend in a saucepan, rather than tipping hot liquid into a jug blender.
What should I buy?
It might seem obvious but consider what you’ll use it for. For example, if you’re only going to be churning out soups every now and then, you could opt for a cheaper model. Also consider how fast the hand blender is and what attachments it comes with. And if you’re going to use it to blend high coloured fruit and veg (like tomatoes) you might want to go for a stainless steel model as plastic can stain easily.
What we looked for
1. Weight: Nothing too heavy or large. Hand blenders are about as long as a ruler and some weigh nearly as much as a bag of sugar, so they can be exhausting to control and hard to get a good grip.
2. Easily controllable: You want the blender to be able to blitz a thick soup. Too fast and if you are doing delicate jobs like mayonnaise the mixture will curdle. So sensible speeds and easy to reach speed controls.
3. Cleaning: A model that cleaned quickly and didn’t have too many nooks or crannies for food to linger making it unhygienic.
This review was last updated in June 2016. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have any recommendations for top hand blenders?