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Selection of hand blenders against a green background

The best hand blenders for making soup and more

Published: June 13, 2022 at 3:20 pm
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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.

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.

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When buying a hand blender, consider what you’ll use it for – 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.

For more unbiased expert buyer's guides, visit our reviews section to find 400+ round-ups of everything from slow cookers to soup makers. If you're looking for a more heavy-duty jug blender, then read our comprehensive review of the best blenders.

Best hand blenders at a glance

  • Best for smooth blending: Tefal Optichef hand blender, £56.90
  • Best for occasional use: Salter Cosmos 3 in 1 blender set, £24.89
  • Best for families: Braun Multiquick 5 Vario hand blender, £69
  • Best for design quality: Bamix Classic hand blender, £109.99
  • Best for versatility: Cuisinart 3 in 1 cordless hand blender, £99
  • Best for meal prep: Bosch ErgoMixx Style, £119.99
  • Best mid-range hand blender: Russell Hobbs Desire 3-in-1 hand blender set, £44.99
  • Most efficient hand blender: Smeg 50s-style hand blender, £139
  • Best affordable cordless hand blender: Cuisinart Cordless Pro hand blender, £99.99
  • Best budget hand blender set: Cookworks stainless steel hand blender set, £28
  • Best for accessories: Kenwood Triblade hand blender £94.77
  • Best cordless hand blender: KitchenAid Artisan cordless hand blender, £103.20
  • Best for practicality: Dualit 700W hand blender, £95.98

Best hand blenders to buy

Tefal Optichef hand blender

hand blender in white with gold badge

Best for smooth blending

Pros:

  • Quick blending
  • Easy to alter the blending speeds
  • Minimal splashing when blending

Cons:

  • Noisier than we’d like
  • Complicated instruction sheets
  • Blender doesn’t feel securely locked to mini chopper bowl

Star rating: 4/5

We liked the feel of this chunky Tefal blender, which has a soft grip and controls that kept slippy fingers on the button. It was easy to manage the speed as the dial for changing the strength of the chop is right on top of the main blender. Some people may need to use both hands but in tests, we were able to hold the 'on' button with one finger while rotating the control with another.

With four blades, the Tefal made light work of even the toughest chunks of veg, smoothies with oatmeal and even pulses. The mini chopper attachment was successful at chopping onions and blending spice mixes, but we’d have liked the main body of the chopper to lock into place securely over the bowl. It took a few attempts to get right, but mayonnaise was a splash-free experience, with the deep 800ml (and BPA-free) beaker a generous size for a family portion.

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In a light, bright white and grey colour, this is a great addition to any worktop and a good all-rounder you can rely on to get the job done quickly with its super-sharp, quadruple-pronged blades.

Salter Cosmos 3 in 1 blender set

salter cosmos blender

Best for occasional use

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Useful storage stand

Cons:

  • Cheaper plastic parts may not stand the test of time
  • Short cable length
  • Whisk feels flimsy

Star rating: 3.5/5

With only two speed settings – 'on' and ‘turbo’ – there’s not a lot of choice in terms of control with this model, but you do get attachments to blend, chop and whisk, with the addition of a lidded chopping bowl.
We found this model more than capable when making smoothies and mayonnaise, but we’re not sure how long it would last with constant use. There were no lumps in our smoothies and nothing got caught up in the wide mouth of the blender attachment, but we had less success with the small chopping bowl accessory.

This blender’s motor parts are plastic and we think these might wear down faster than the other, more robust models we looked at. The plastic also means it was louder in use than other models tested, especially on the faster speed setting. However, if a hand blender only gets occasional light use in your kitchen, then this budget choice may just fit the bill. And when it’s stashed away in a cupboard, the different components won’t go missing as a handy plastic stand can be placed on top of the mixing beaker to keep everything together. Just slot all the components on there to keep everything in one place.

Braun Multiquick 5 Vario hand blender

white blender set with gold badge

Best for families

Pros:

  • Food processor has non-slip grip
  • Chunky and easy to hold
  • Easy-use variable speed control

Cons:

  • No eco-friendly packaging
  • Confusing instructions
  • No lid or non-slip rubber bottom for the beaker

Star rating: 4/5
This is a great choice if you’re dealing with larger capacities. The 600ml beaker was one of the most generous we tested and it meant there was more than enough smoothie for a couple of generous breakfast servings, and lashings of silky gravy for all the family’s roast.

We have to give minus points for the fact this model came packed in non-biodegradable polystyrene. Once unpacked, everything felt well-constructed and of good quality when it clicked together. The main blending stick twisted tightly onto the food processor unit, whereas some lesser models just hover. The rubber ring on the base meant the unit held firmly in place on the work surface as we whizzed up a batch of chopped onion portions for the freezer.

The control on top of the main unit was easy to operate while holding down the rubber ‘on’ button, so it was possible to wheel our way through 21 speeds to get exactly the right blend for each dish. There was no splashing while using thanks to the deep bell-shaped head on the blender, which helped to keep mess to a minimum.

Bamix Classic hand blender

hand blender with gold badge

Best for design quality

Pros:

  • Powerful
  • Long cord
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • Unclear instructions

Star rating: 4.5/5

This is a design classic that’s been around, pretty much unchanged, since 1954. No fancy bells and whistles here, just a sturdy hand unit with three stainless-steel discs to chop, whisk or blend.

The Classic model comes with the basic stainless-steel attachments but with interesting designs. Instead of the usual balloon whisk, we made whipped cream using the flat whisk ‘disc’ with perfect results. These small additions could be easy to mislay in the kitchen drawer though, and although this set comes with a basic stand for the main unit, it could do with somewhere to stash those precious blades. There are lots of extra accessories available to buy for your Bamix, like mincer blades, shredders, jugs and beakers and a processor for grinding spices. There’s also a deluxe stand with those all-important cubby holes for the attachments if you’d like to upgrade.

We liked the simple black casing of this model, which was easy to clean and didn’t require too much effort to remove the end pieces as we moved from recipe to recipe.

Cuisinart 3 in 1 cordless hand blender

cuisinart hand blender in silver

Best hand blender for versatility
Pros:

  • Versatile cordless option
  • Masher attachment
  • Long blending shaft

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • 2.5 hour charge time
  • Larger and heavier than most

Star rating: 4/5

Busy kitchen? Big space? Then you’d appreciate a blender that isn't tied to a plug socket, so you’re not constrained by the length of its cable. This fabulous cordless Cuisinart model charges in its dock in just over two hours, allowing you to take it from worktop to table or anywhere you need to whizz up ingredients. Make fresh smoothies on the patio, pulp baby food at the table or just grab it from the other end of the worktop to finish off gravy on the hob.

The Cuisinart 3 in 1 is a versatile kitchen helper that we loved using – its masher attachment came close to rivalling the cordless function as our favourite attribute. Smoothing out boiled spuds effortlessly, we added butter and milk for the perfect creamy mash. We also used this attachment on veggie soups, knowing that larger pieces would be pulped with ease. This well-designed model also looks great left in its dock on the worktop, which is a plus if you have the space.

Bosch ErgoMixx Style

black hand blender and parts with gold badge

Best for meal prep
Pros:

  • High quality
  • Good range of accessories
  • Easy-to-handle twist speed control

Cons:

  • Heavier than some other models
  • Whisk needs its own ‘gearbox’ attached
  • A little noisy on high-speed settings

Star rating: 4.5/5

Bosch use ‘anti-suction technology’ with this model and it proved useful, with pieces of food staying in the whirl of blending rather than being drawn up under the blade cover. The blender blades have four extra sharp prongs which were simple to remove for cleaning after use. We found this hand blender to be pretty good on the splash-o-meter, with a minimum of mess on the worktop as we worked.

Spud lovers will approve of the results. The ErgoMixx’s stainless-steel head was easy to push down over halved and boiled potatoes, carrots and swede, giving lush, puréed results at just the right consistency.
This hand blender is almost like a mini food processor as it comes with so many options to chop, beat, slice and shred. If space is at a minimum, it can be stashed away in a cupboard corner and be a real kitchen helper on batch cooking and baking days. A versatile gadget that’s good quality, too.

Russell Hobbs Desire 3-in-1 hand blender set

Russell Hobbs Desire Matte Black 3 in 1 Hand Blender review

Best mid-range hand blender set

Pros:

  • Dishwasher-safe detachable components
  • Really quiet
  • Simple two speed settings

Cons:

  • Backwards locking system
  • Narrow 700ml beaker

Sleek with a matte-black finish design, this hand blender set felt more powerful than its 500 watt motor and was notably quiet during use. It's covered by a three-year manufacturer's guarantee which indicates the brand’s confidence in its performance.

Additional accessories include a 700ml beaker, which is tall with a sturdy base but it's also quite narrow and could be broader. It was fine for smoothies and lumpy soups, but whipping cream with the whisk attachment would be better done in a large mixing bowl than in the beaker. The long, stainless-steel blender arm was easy to clean and allows for plenty of height if batch-cooking large quantities of soups. Plus, there are smart design sections, like the 500ml chopper, which has a silicone lid that doubles up as a non-slip base during chopping.

All the components except the motor unit are dishwasher-safe on the top shelf. All the attachments are compact enough to be simply stored in a cupboard, while the blades have blade guards, so the blender arm and whisks could also be put in a utensils drawer.

Read our full review of the Russell Hobbs 3-in-1 hand blender set

Smeg 50s-style hand blender

Smeg 50s HBF02CRUK hand blender review

Most efficient hand blender

Pros:

  • 1.7-litre Tritan measuring jug
  • 500ml chopper with anti-slip base
  • Masher
  • Five speeds and turbo function

Cons:

  • Pricy
  • Bulky to store

Compared to the others tested, this Smeg hand blender sits towards the top of the price spectrum, but you get what you pay for in quality. Rather than a beaker, it comes with a 1.7-litre jug made of clear plastic and designed more like a retro milkshake jug, featuring both a sturdy plastic handle and pouring spout. Its lid means it can be popped straight in the fridge for decanting later.

This five-speed hand blender with additional turbo function was fun to use because, thanks to the power of its settings, even large lumps of frozen fruit were ploughed through, fuss-free, on the lowest speed. The size, power and practicality of this gadget makes it a genuine investment purchase and negates the need to invest in other large appliances like bullet blenders or hand mixers. In that way, you could save space and money. A Smeg food processor attachment (£137.51) is also available.

Read our full review of the Smeg 50s-style hand blender

Cuisinart Cordless Pro hand blender

Cuisinart Cordless Pro Hand Blender review

Best affordable cordless hand blender

Pros:

  • Cordless
  • BPA-free 800ml blending jug
  • Dishwasher-safe attachments
  • Two year manufacturer's guarantee
  • Plastic-free packaging

Cons:

  • No storage/charging stand
  • Single speed

If you’re lacking plug sockets in your kitchen, a cordless hand blender is an excellent solution. The downside is that generally they’re less powerful and more expensive than traditional models, but the convenience they offer can be well worth it.

At just under £100, this Cuisinart hand blender is a relatively affordable step-up from your traditional hand blender set with the added versatility of not being tethered to a cord. The brand recommends you charge the lithium battery fully before use and this is done using a USB charging cable with a micro USB charging port. Three digital lights indicate its battery level.

The addition of a safety lock is an essential for any cordless kitchen appliance with blades. This hand blender auto-locks after 1.5 seconds of inactive use and requires the safety button to be held down to unlock.

A downside is that the mini chopper is very mini, just 250ml in capacity. However, this does mean it stacks neatly into the beaker, making for a much easier set to store away. The balloon whisk attachment is much larger than standard, which made it particularly efficient when whipping cream.

Read our full review of the Cuisinart Cordless Pro hand blender

Cookworks stainless-steel hand blender set

Cookworks Hand Blender set review, best hand blenders

Best budget hand blender set

Pros:

  • Large 1-litre beaker
  • 600 watt motor

Cons:

  • Whisk would struggle with thick cake batter
  • Noisy

The Cookworks hand blender set offers three key functions, plus a 600 watt motor for just over £20 – an attractive offering. But what matters is how well it works and when put to the test against other top models, it competed confidently. If you’re looking for a versatile but affordable hand blender, this is a good one to consider.

Its limits lie in the white plastic design and quality of some components. For example, the whisk attachment whipped cream with ease but would not handle heavy cake batters like fruitcake. However, the 500ml chopper attachment is an efficient size, particularly if you’re looking to batch-cook soups or make spice rubs and pesto. All the blades come with reusable safety guards, which are important for safe storage. Both the blender and the whisk fit upright within the large-litre beaker, which reduces its footprint for storing inside a cupboard. This set offers versatility at an affordable price and for that reason, it should be one to consider for your home.

Read our full review of the Cookworks hand blender set

Kenwood Triblade hand blender

Best for accessories

Pros:

  • Handy bowl and beaker for storage
  • Plenty of attachments

Cons:

  • Stiff speed control

Paying slightly more is 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.

KitchenAid Artisan cordless hand blender

Best cordless hand blender

Pros:

  • Multi-tasker
  • You can move around the kitchen when using it

Cons:

  • Long length of handle

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.

Available from KitchenAid (£103.20)

Dualit 700W hand blender

Best for practicality

Pros:

  • Ergonomic hooked handle
  • Minimal suction

Cons:

  • Slippery feeding spout

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 was 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 was efficient and has a useful feeding spout, but it did slip around a bit so it needs to be held during use. The whisk attachment felt sturdy and made gently whipped cream on the low speed. It also comes with a detailed manual with helpful troubleshooting tips. The attachments are dishwasher-safe, too.

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, especially if you're doing delicate jobs like making mayonnaise, the mixture will curdle. So sensible speeds and easy-to-reach speed controls are a must.

3. Cleaning: you want a model that cleans quickly and doesn't have too many nooks or crannies for food to linger in, making it unhygienic.

4. Versatility: with good quality attachments and accessories, hand blenders can perform multiple kitchen tasks saving you cupboard space and money on separate appliances.

This review was last updated in June 2022. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk.

Put those hand blenders to good use with our soup and smoothie recipes.

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