If there’s one thing in our kitchen tech lineup that we’d struggle to live without, it’d be the humble best hand blender.
The best blenders can whizz up sauces, soups, smoothies (if you don’t have a separate blender for smoothies those), batter, dressings and even finely chop herbs and vegetables and crush ice. Honestly, hand blenders have the capacity to do almost everything in the kitchen… if only they could make a cup of tea, we’d be set for life!
If you want a don’t already own a hand blender, or are looking to replace an old one, here’s what you should look for when buying (and we really recommend that you do – it’s a game-changer).
How to figure out the best hand blender for you
Hand blenders – also commonly known as immersion or stick blenders – are supposed to be portable and easy to use, while also being sturdy and powerful. The trick is to find one that’s a nice balance of all these attributes. If a hand blender is too heavy it’ll not only make your arm and hand ache very quickly but also be trickier to manoeuvre as you’re blending.
Pay attention to the size of the features; if the handle is too chunky you’ll find it harder to grip, while the end that actually blends the food (known as the guard over the blade) shouldn’t be too wide or it’ll be difficult to fit inside small bowls and jugs to blend effectively. Finally, look at the length of the blender; if it seems overly long it’s likely your arm will be in an awkward position while you’re using it which, again, will be uncomfortable.
Hand blenders tend to have one or two power buttons built into the handle – a sensible position for easy use. In an ideal world you’d be able to pick up the blender to see how it feels in your hand but, if you’re buying online, be wary of too many buttons and where they’re positioned – too far from the top of the handle is a no-no. Another feature to look out for is a rubber grip on the handle. While you won’t be blending something continuously for 15 minutes, opting for anything that makes using a hand blender more comfortable is a no-brainer.
Hand blenders are one of the few kitchen gadgets that can fit in a drawer, so look for compact ones if that’s where you plan to store it. If they have a removable blender attachment for easier storage and cleaning, so much the better.
Some of the more expensive hand blenders come with jugs, different blades, masher and whisk attachments and are definitely worth considering if you don’t have – or don’t want – additional electrical whisks or processors taking up space in your cupboards. But, if you already have those gadgets and don’t want to double up, a no-frills model is ideal and can be picked up for less than £15.
This 500W hand blender spins at 12,000rpm, so its stainless-steel blades have no problem crushing ice in seconds. It has two speeds, comes with a mini chopper, whisk and a 700ml beaker, plus a detachable blending arm, all of which are dishwasher-safe. We also like that it’s black, rather than the more common white and metal finishes.
As well as being nice and powerful, we love that this design has six speeds rather than the more common two, meaning it’s easier to keep the texture in your food if you don’t want everything blitzed to a pulp. It’s a no-frills option as there are no attachments, but what it lacks in extras it more than makes up for in power and professional good looks.
If you like mashed potato as much as we do, this is almost worth buying for the masher attachment alone – you’ll never have to use a potato ricer or traditional masher ever again! This design has two speeds (if you count the pulse function) as well as three blades for blending food more quickly, a 750ml beaker with a lid, is dishwasher-safe and has a rubber grip on the handle.
Considering this hand blender costs less than £15, we’re surprised it packs a powerful 600W punch, which is why it's included on our list of best hand blenders. We also like the unusual grey colour and the fact that it’s so compact (less than 40cm). It has two speeds but doesn’t come with any attachments. However, this isn’t a deal-breaker; if you don’t actually want or need any extras, it’s a very good entry-level model that does exactly what it says on the tin.
Yes, we know it’s not cheap, but if you think of it as an investment and as several small appliances in one, its overall value for money is difficult to argue with. At 700W this model is among the most powerful hand blenders on our list, has dishwasher-safe parts and comes with lots of extras including a generous 1-litre jug, 600ml chopping bowl and a whisk. It’s also really sturdy, sleek and professional-looking.
This 200W design is ideal if you want control over the speed that you blend – simply twist the top of the handle until you have the desired speed and press ‘go’. There is also a pulse function for chopping rather than pureéing. While it has a detachable blending arm and blades for easy cleaning, this particular stick blender doesn’t come with any additional attachments.