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.
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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, which while robust can be bulky and noisy.
Though it might seem obvious, when buying a hand blender 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.
Best hand blenders to buy
Sage by Heston Blumenthal Control grip all-in-one
Best multi-tasking hand blender
Top features: Works as a comprehensive food processor as well as a blender.
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, so worth noting if you're not able to work with heavier appliances.
Kenwood Triblade HDP406WH hand blender
Best hand blender for accessories
Top features: Handy bowl and beaker for storage, plus plenty of attachments.
Paying slightly more proves worth it when it comes to this particular blender. The standard blade slots on easily, blends well, is smooth and fairly 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. It's worth noting that the speed control on the top was a little stiff but gave good speed variation when we took it for a test drive.
KitchenAid Artisan cordless hand blender
Best cordless hand blender
Top features: A multi-tasker, plus you're free to move around the kitchen when using it.
While this is undoubtedly an investment purchase, its cordless functionality is worth the money alone – meaning no more dangling cords near your chopping device. 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. With a large toolbox of attachments plus a mini chopper, jug and battery charger, its versatility does require some storage space. The design is unique and the weight of the handle is well balanced, but for some, the length may be a little unwieldy. On the plus side, it’s easy to clean with a number of dishwasher safe parts.
Buy from John Lewis (£229.95)
Dualit 700W hand blender
Best hand blender for practicality
Top features: Ergonomic hooked handle and minimal suction
This high-gloss silver blender is hooked at the top so it rests on your hand, making it feel more secure during use. At low and medium speeds there is very little suction to the saucepan base making it easy to move the blender around. It comes with a solidly-built 1-litre jug with helpful volume markings on the side. The mini chopper is efficient and has a useful feeding spout, but it does slip around a bit so needs to be held during use. The whisk attachment feels sturdy and makes gently whipped cream on the low speed. It comes with a detailed manual with helpful troubleshooting tips. The attachments are dishwasher safe too – a bonus.
How we tested hand blenders
We scored a range of hand models against the following criteria on our testing matrix:
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're doing delicate jobs like making 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 January 2020. 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.
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