What should you look for in a hand blender? That’s a really good question, and it’s also the right question.
The most expensive hand blenders aren’t always the best hand blenders on the market, so you’d be much better off doing proper research and understanding your needs before picking the most recommended or most popular model.
Serious Eats puts it this way: “The most important quality of an immersion blender is its ability to blend things.”. And that’s basically true. They all do the same, most of them do it quite well, with only minor differences when it comes to performance, versatility, and so on.
However, if you’re like us, you don’t just go with whatever hand blender is cheapest. Instead you’ll do a bit of research, in order to understand the differences and features of a given product.
For this purpose, we’ve mapped out the most important factors of hand blenders, based on our own experience with both budget-friendly and premium models.
Hand blenders come with various attachments, that enable you to do things like mixing, whisking, chopping, and crushing.
If you think a chopper attachment is a great idea, make sure you get a hand blender with that attachment. It can save you a decent chunk of money when getting the right attachments with your kitchen appliances, and a chopper is actually a really nice thing to have.
Make sure you read carefully what attachments are included, but also check if spare parts are easy to get (and reasonably priced). You may lose a blade or break a lid once in a while, so it’s nice to know that you can get a spare part instead of throwing it all away.
Most hand blenders come with more than one speed. What’s important to highlight, is that multiple speed levels means easier handling.
If you’ve used a hand blender before, you know that most of them have a tendency to create suction towards the bottom of the container you’re using it in, and if you can’t hold it, it may end up scratching the bottom of the container.
This is why you want a hand blender that enables you to gradually increase the speed, without going from one extreme to another.
I’ve only come across one hand blender that didn’t create the said suction towards the bottom of the container, and that’s the amazing hand blenders from Bamix.
For most parts, this isn’t an issue at all. Hand blenders aren’t designed to be used for longer periods at a time, but you may have one or more reasons to wanting a lightweight hand blender, so make sure you check its weight before buying.
I’ll add that hand blenders are a bit heavy in general, and if you pick a lightweight model you may end up compromising its power. The lighter models usually have a smaller motor, which results in a less powerful output, which again results in you having to run it for longer periods at a time.
You want a hand blender of a proper build quality, because it is going to take a few beatings once in a while.
While it’s difficult to assess the build quality through the screen, there are a few things to look for:
The blending arm should be of stainless steel rather than plastic, in order to prevent discoloring from various ingredients (like carrots, tomatoes, and beetroots), but also to ensure that it won’t break or get scratched during regular use.
Buttons shouldn’t have any edges, and of a rubbery material to prevent your fingers from slipping.
Finally, the power cord should be of a reasonable thickness and quality, so it won’t break easily.
Hand blenders can be quite dangerous little machines, if they aren’t handled properly.
One important thing to consider, is the grip. You need a proper grip to secure the hand blender while operating it, because you don’t want it to slip out of your hands or turn it on by accident.
Basically, your hand should be able to rest in a comfortable position, with your fingers being able to reach all the way around the blender. You should be able to comfortably use it with one hand only.
If you’re in doubt, make sure you read the user reviews to get a better idea of what other users think.
Cord or no cord
While most hand blenders are corded, some models are actually cordless.
Most people seem to prefer the corded models over the cordless ones, mainly because of the price gap between them, but perhaps most importantly, they don’t want to bother recharging it ever so often.
However, cordless hand blenders are actually quite practical, because you don’t have to untangle a long power cord and have it dangling over your countertop while using it, instead you simply place the battery in a docking station and recharge it once needed.
Do have in mind that most cordless hand blenders are rather bulky and a bit heavier, because the upper part of the handle holds the battery pack.