An electric hand mixer is a useful piece of kitchen equipment that is especially good for cake, batter and meringue recipes, thanks to the speedy whisk attachment. Read our review to find our best hand mixers.
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Electric hand mixers – sometimes called beaters – really speed up whisking egg whites, creaming butter with sugar and whipping cream. They are a worthwhile investment for occasional bakers and essential for frequent bakers. In comparison to stand mixers, hand mixers are compact to store and inexpensive. They are less powerful than stand mixers, so are perfect for mixing small quantities and for when you want more direct control over the mixture.
Hand mixers can be used in short bursts for kneading soft doughs. Nearly all the models in our test, however, struggled to incorporate flour from the edges of bowls. Additionally, heavy doughs or long kneading can damage the alignment of the gears and put the motor under strain, so a stand mix may be a better investment for regular bread bakers.
Thanks to their functions, you may also find these products referred to as hand whisks or hand beaters. Read on to discover our pick of the best products.
Best hand mixers to buy
Kenwood HM535 hand mixer
Best all-round hand mixer
This lightweight mixer has a rounded handle that is very comfortable to hold, with limited vibrations coming from the motor. There is a sliding switch for the speeds that is easy to operate with one thumb. Though not as powerful as some other models, the Kenwood performed well in all our tests. It doesn’t come with a balloon whisk attachment, but the low speed setting is gentle enough to softly whip cream with the twin beaters. The mixer quickly whisked egg whites into a thick foam with lots of small, stable air bubbles. Read our full Kenwood HM535 hand mixer review.
Dualit hand mixer
Best hand mixer design
With its retractable electric cable, the Dualit offered the neatest storage solution of the mixers we tested. At 400W it has decent power and its extra-long beaters are ideal for reaching to the bottom of deep bowls and jugs. The heavier weight and broad handle may not be ideal for all users, but the mixer is well balanced and rests easily in the hand with no tilting. The manual has a useful table recommending appropriate uses and speeds for the different attachments. Read our full Dualit hand mixer review.
Fearne by Swan 5 Speed hand mixer
Best hand mixer for attachments
A big pro for the Swan is its balloon whisk attachment. During our egg white test, the whites whipped by the balloon whisk were noticeably larger in volume than those mixed by the beaters. The Swan also performed very well in the dough test – the kneading attachments were sturdy and coped well with the thickness and weight of the dough.
The hand mixer feels solid and is well balanced. While there is no turbo or pulse button, the mixer is powerful enough at 400W and has five distinct speeds. However, the casing of the mixer is a bit plasticky looking compared to others we tested. Read our full Fearne by Swan 5 Speed hand mixer review.
Morphy Richards Total Control hand mixer
Best hand mixer for control
The Morphy Richards Total Control is solidly built, and powerful for its price bracket. The mixer is on the heavier side and the handle is a little short in length, but it has a rubber strip on top to prevent the hand from slipping. The sliding speed control is within easy reach of the thumb, so the mixer can be held and operated with one hand. In addition to five speed settings, there is a turbo button for extra bursts of power. The attachments slot in easily and can be detached quickly with the eject button. The beaters have rounded edges that reach well into the curves of bowls. Read our full Morphy Richards Total Control hand mixer review.
Which hand mixer to buy
Hand mixers are straightforward machines. Nearly all models come with twin beater and twin kneader attachments. Balloon whisk attachments can be very useful, so look out for these.
Some models come with a bowl and stand that the hand mixer clips onto. This will not be as powerful or large as a purpose-built stand mixer. But these accessories are particularly helpful for those who struggle to hold a hand whisk or don’t have the storage space for a full-blown stand mixer.
What we looked for in hand mixers
Weight and balance: We looked for mixers that were easy to hold for several minutes of whisking, that didn’t tilt up and weren’t too heavy.
Handle: This needed to be comfortable, not too broad or sharp edged. We favoured those that were non-slip.
Ease of operating: It should be possible to both hold the mixer and change the speed setting with only one hand. This leaves the other hand free to steady the mixing bowl or add ingredients while mixing.
Speed: The speed settings should be distinctly different with gentle speeds for softly whipping cream and faster settings for tackling buttercreams and thick batters.
Quality of build: We looked for sturdy attachments that clip easily into the mixer.
Vibrations: We rejected mixers that vibrated too much in the hand as this can be very uncomfortable.
Storage: We looked for clever storage solutions for attachments and cords.
How we tested hand mixers
Each mixer was used to whisk 100g egg whites to stiff peaks using the beater attachments and again with the balloon whisk attachment. We noted how fast the eggs whipped, what the final volume was, the thickness of the foam, size and regularity of bubbles and glossiness of the whites.
The second test was whipping 200ml double cream with beaters and then balloon whisks. Cream is easy to overbeat, so this was to test that the lowest speed setting was gentle enough.
This was to test the speed and power of the hand mixers. Achieving soft, fluffy buttercream takes a lot of beating. We looked out for overheating, dragging of the beaters and unhealthy motor sounds.
Each mixer was used to knead a dough made with 250g flour. Again we were looking at power, sturdiness of the attachments and ease of control.
The best baking kit, on test
This review was last updated in February 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.