This review was last updated in September 2020.
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 mixer 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
KitchenAid nine-speed hand mixer review
The classic KitchenAid nine-speed hand mixer is a sturdy, light whisk that comes in gloriously glossy colours. Included is a range of four different accessories in high-quality stainless steel, including beaters, dough hooks, a whisk and stick blender. These come stored in a neat little canvas bag. The whisk is well-balanced, lightweight, and has a state-of-the-art electronic speed switch that’s effortless to use. It performed exceptionally well in all the tests we set it. This is the most expensive whisk in our selection, but it delivers by the bucketload, and is well worth the price. Read our full KitchenAid nine-speed hand mixer review.
Breville hand mixer with HeatSoft technology review
The Breville hand mixer with HeatSoft technology, though large, is surprisingly light to hold with a comfortable handle. The motor is small compared to some, but is extremely efficient and stood up well to all the tests, only struggling a little with the bread dough. HeatSoft is a neat addition to this mixer – it’s a small heater located in the front that blows out warm air as you use the whisk, which helps soften butter, meaning there’s no wait to bake. This function alone may make it worth buying this whisk, but it also comes with a clever storage box to hold the whisk, cord and all the attachments. Read our full Breville hand mixer with HeatSoft technology review.
Lakeland hand mixer
This well-built, black-and-chrome mixer from Lakeland is heavier than others in our test, but is still lovely to hold, with good balance and an extremely efficient 400w motor that whizzes through all mixes, including bread dough. But beware: the power of the motor also means that ingredients can sometimes fly around, especially icing sugar. Once we learned to tame the speed, starting slow and easing off before it got too fast, the Lakeland whisk performed as well as those at almost twice the price. Read our full Lakeland hand mixer review.
Dualit hand mixer
The Dualit whisk has delightful sleek lines and curves, and is all shiny chrome and black, making it a handsome, sturdy machine. With a 400W motor, it’s also a little heavy, which may be a problem for some. There are only four speed settings, but each packs a punch – at the top speed, this mixer flies. The efficient motor performed exceptionally well in all our tests, including the bread dough, though it did start to struggle after a couple of minutes. We love the retractable cable storage that tucks the cord neatly away inside the machine. Though one of the more expensive hand mixers on test, it’s justified thanks to the excellent results it produces. Read our full Dualit hand mixer review.
Russell Hobbs Desire hand mixer
The five-speed Russell Hobbs is a good-looking whisk, with a black matte and shiny finish. The whisk comes with impressive accessories made of good-quality stainless steel, with an unusual but efficient cross between a beater and whisk that performed extremely well in our test. The large, comfortable handle and great balance make this an easy whisk to use, though there is some vibration and noise at the top speed. The Russell Hobbs is an excellent whisk that, despite feeling a little flimsy at first, is, in fact, a sturdy little workhorse with excellent accessories at an affordable price. Read our full Russell Hobbs Desire hand mixer review.
Tower hand mixer
The Tower hand mixer is a good-looking machine, with a robust, stainless-steel body and accessories that contradict its low price. The 300W motor brings great power to the whisk, but this also creates a little vibration, and, at high speed, it becomes a little noisy. The only downside we found during our test was that the front of the whisk can be a little heavy, which throws off the balance when the beaters or dough hooks are in place. If you can look past this, this is a sturdy whisk that delivers well across almost all functions and is super-easy to use, making it a good buy for the price. Read our full Tower hand mixer review.
Kenwood Handmix Lite
If you want a no-frills, unfussy, clean-looking whisk, the Kenwood Lite could be the one for you. From the hard glossy shell that stays surprisingly clean, to an impressive 450W motor, we love how well this whisk performs. There’s a small problem with balance and a slippery handle, which means extra grip is required to keep it steady. Otherwise, this is an easy to use, unfussy and powerful little whisk at a very affordable price. Read our full Kenwood Handmix Lite review.
Judge Twin Blade hand mixer
Don’t be put off by the Judge’s lightness (it only weighs 800g) – this is a well-built whisk. The impressive stainless steel body and good-quality accessories make it look far more expensive than it is. The 300W motor is punchy and efficient, but this also means that even at low speeds, ingredients are thrown around, which can get messy. The whisk is a tad heavy towards the front, which tips it forward slightly. That aside, with the reasonable price and its efficiency, there’s a lot to like about the Judge hand mixer. Read our full Judge Twin Blade hand mixer.
Morphy Richards hand mixer
Though the Morphy Richards was the cheapest whisk we tested, we were impressed by the robust build and shiny, easy-to-clean, plastic casing. This is a lovely, light machine , that’s well-balanced and comfortable to hold, even if the handle may be a little small for some. At its staggeringly low price, this is a great machine for new bakers, though with only beaters, its repertoire is a little limited. Read our full Morphy Richards hand mixer review.
VonShef hand mixer
The VonShef is a well-built and super-stylish whisk, with a lovely retro shape and cream-and-silver colours. It’s a light 800g, and though not overly large, performed extremely well during our test, thanks to a robust five-speed 300W motor and good-quality accessories. We especially like the generous curved handle with two finger grips. We’d like a firmer, more reassuring click when inserting the accessories and a firmer push needed to eject them, but despite this, the attachments stayed in during our test. We highly recommend this affordable, robust whisk not just for the great results it produces, but also its stylish good looks and great handling. Read our full VonShef 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 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 the glossiness of the whites.
The second test was whipping 200ml double cream with beaters, then balloon whisks. Cream is easy to over-beat, 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.
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This review was last updated in September 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.