Detailed hand blender buying guide

Last updated Jun 11, 2024 at 3:53PM | Published on Nov 15, 2018

7 point buying checklist

Reader’s comments, questions & answers

Affiliate Disclosure : As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I may earn a commission.

How to compare hand blenders 

Ok, it’s easy to see all the benefits of having one of these hand blenders, but you need to compare apples with apples when you are comparing sticks!

There are so many out there and the price range is huge. So, first of all, focus on what you want it to do.

Focus on your needs 

Before you start comparing, we would advise you to think about these two important points.

1. what you need it to do for you.

2. how much you want to spend.

Which of these is the higher priority for you? Unless you are going for the top grade and top price blenders that do everything, then it’s all about compromise. Isn’t everything in life!

To get yourself started, just decide what you need it for right now, and don´t worry about how long it will last, or everything it could do for you in the future.

For example, we have been seeing more and more people recently go for the Masha Immersion Hand Blender, so we’re keeping an eye on it. It’s a very well-rated 3-in-1 set that blends & purees baby food perfectly – great for vegetables and potatoes. Looking at its reviews, it certainly seems to be well-loved by users for these tasks.

Maybe the plastic blades also appeal to young mums… or maybe it’s the perfect potato mashing that appeals to seniors or those with arthritic hands… or maybe it’s the oh-so reasonable pricing and the 90-day no-questions-asked guarantee to show how confident they are in its abilities!

Your main buying decisions

Below we have outlined the 7 main criteria to help you narrow down your choices. Once you have been through these, we hope you find a match between your needs, from one of the most awarded hand blender brands/models,  or a match with one of our own top picks for best in 2021 (based on awards, reviews, tests, and experiences from 2016 up to today)

1. Power, speed, and control

power Wattage

For light infrequent things you don’t need much power / speed. For thicker heavier harder things you need more, and better, power and control. Judging only on the number of watts though can be a bit of a red herring (see FAQs) . Most sellers and mini – reviewers tout that over 200W is good, or that the higher you go and the more speeds you can have, the better the blender is. It certainly seems to mean that the price goes up. This is probably why you will the majority in the 400W – 800W range, and this works for most designs.


Build quality

However, just because one blender has a higher wattage number, it doesn’t mean it is necessary,  or that it will guarantee better results, or even that it will last longer.  So it´s not just about the horsepower !  It´s more about the type of and quality of the design, and speeds combined with power to deliver the results you need.  Of course, if you don’t need it to do much volume,  or  if you are only blending soft or cooked foods anyway, for example pureeing for baby foods, creaming soup, or simple smoothies (check out our recipes here) then you would probably be happy with a blender under 200 Watts.



Speed is very important, and you need to be able to control it. It´s important to have a high and a low speed, or a range where you can vary the speed for different uses. You need a fast speed to be able to pulverise or blitz things, but a nice slow one for more delicate jobs like whisking, emulsifying sauces and mayonnaise. Check if it’s easy to reach and change the speeds whilst blending. Is it easy to reach the controls with buttons, or dials? Is it easy to press the buttons..some have a soft-touch design. We have evaluated this aspect by trawling through all the customer reviews we can find !

2. Quality and Durability

Material – plastic or metal?

What is the material the hand blender is made up of and is it the same for each of its parts? ( the blades, their protectors, and the shaft, the handle, main motor body part too). What is the warranty and repair service?

Think of how often you might want to use your little blender. Will it last? We looked at metal vs plastic. Some customers report leakage… of both liquids and parts! These are the things you need to watch out for.

If you’re using your blender to make soap for example, then you need to make sure the LYE (caustic soda) isn’t going to ruin the blender. So make sure the parts are compatible. Apparently the cheaper all in one plastic are the ones to go for (Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach…but not Bamix etc.)



People also seem to ask if the blades will scratch their non-stick pots and pans. I have never known anyone to have problems with scratching and I think this comes down to how you use it, so do read the manufacturer’s guide when you buy it. You will find the main materials are generally plastic and/or steel.

You usually get what you pay for and stainless steel or brushed chrome hand blenders naturally will cost more. Costs can be saved, or quality can go up, depending on how you look at it if the shaft,  ( the end with the blades in it  – which can be called the wand, arm, or leg)  is made of a different material to the main ‘engine’ part. The engine part is usually at the top of the blender – the part where you wrap your hand around.

So it goes without saying that the more plastic used, the cheaper it should be. Bear in mind also that the more plastic used, the less durable it can be, and it will get stained more easily. So if you use Turmeric a lot then be prepared to own a yellow-stained plastic blender shaft! ( See how to clean that off in our FAQs section. )

Metal blender shafts are less likely to strain under pressure than plastic ones ..this is where I have heard of bits cracking off some plastic ones. So its worth deciding on how much you will use your stick blender and what you need to use it for.

3. Design

Here we looked at ergonomics, leg length and blade height. Is it easy to hold,  and use,  and clean? Do you have small or arthritic hands and need a nice slim neckline. Is it easy to switch on and off? Can you get your fingers or thumb on the buttons or dials easily.


Colours and image

Do you need it to look good ! Do the colours need to match a kitchen theme you have… red, white, silver, black, green or blue ? Vintage looking or modern and sleek/ or does that not matter. If you are swayed by what your favourite celebrities and chefs are using, we have trawled through the gossip pages and found which hand blenders the celebrities have chosen – including the Kardashians, Gordon Ramsay, and many more.


Noise levels

Does it overheat, and will it be too noisy or start vibrating in your hand? It seems that the cheaper the model, usually the noisier it is, but that’s not always the case. So look out for this in our review summaries.


Blade design

For small quantities such as baby food, be sure that you have a blender that will reach the food and not splash ! Make sure you have a beaker or small, slender enough jug to blend into. Also, check that the blades aren’t too raised up to be effective with small quantities, or getting to the bottom of the beaker. You will find some brands have unique trademarked patented blade technologies to increase speed, power, or make a better purée.


Power cord

There is nothing more annoying than the power cord not reaching your pot, and an extra-long cable is a real luxury. A neat curly one is also much easier to use than a long dangly straight one that can get the way. For me, no wire at all is also most appealing in a cordless blender. We’re going to look at this in more detail in a blog article on battery operated blenders vs electric blenders. Leg length – just like us humans perhaps, the longer the easier it can be ! But then, it easier it can be to fall over ;)

4. Ease of Use

Size and weight

First of all is it easy to control, comfortable to hold, not too heavy or awkward? Is the weight nicely balanced? Is it small enough, and is it light or heavy to hold – does that matter to you? I read a great description somewhere that they should be no longer than an (A4) sheet of paper, and about as heavy as a (2 lb) bag of sugar.


Finger trouble!

Do you think you would mind having to hold a button in for a while, or do you prefer clicking power and speeds on / off , up/ down?  Or what about having to turn a dial like in some Braun models?

You’ll find that, for safety reasons ( for you and the blender!), you will still have to hold a button down when using a hand blender. But the good news is that you will mostly be doing that for a just a few seconds at a time.  Some blenders have a pulse mode which could be helpful, and some have different buttons or a dial for different speeds aka power. So you can maximise the power and minimize the time spent holding the device.
If you can’t hold a button down even for a few seconds, then perhaps consider a quality mini chopper type of device (like this for example) instead.


Secondly, is it easy to clean? Everyone seems to be most concerned about how to clean a handblender... is your immersion blender dishwasher safe? For me I find it´s not that important. It´s so easy to just run the blade end under the tap for a few seconds as soon as I turn the blender off. For stubborn food, about 20 seconds under warm soapy water does the trick, or, turn the stick blender on for a few seconds when it´s under soapy water and that should get rid of everything. A simple design is best so food doesn’t linger in little nooks. You should be able to just wipe the leg and motor end clean.

Some stick blenders have attached blades ( i.e. they don’t come apart from the shaft), others have interchangeable blade ends. If you can change them, is it easy to take them off and on? If you really like to use the dishwasher, just check which parts of the blender are dishwasher safe. Usually some are, some aren’t. One final point to consider is if the blender gets very hot with use, if this is the case, then let it cool down a bit before washing.

5. Functionality

Kitchen tasks to be done

What can the hand blender do and how good is it? Will it blend, emulsify, whip and puree, crush etc. Is it suitable for thick mayonnaise, chunky dips, salsa and pesto, smoothies, whipped cream, baby food and creamy soup….and what about hard nuts and ice !?!?

Really this is the most important part isn’t it. The problem is the manufacturers use one term to describe their tools, and the cooks and chefs can use a completely different term to describe the technique you need, or the resulting food ( e.g. whisk, whip, froth). This is a topic I really want to master so watch out for our new blog article on how to use your hand blender !


Attachments and accessories

This is where the  attachments come into their own.most blenders have a whole host of bits & bobs that come with the basic blender.

A simple stick blender should come with a blade that blends, or mixes.  They can also come with a few extra blades to a better chopping or whisking job. Some hand blenders come with bowls, beakers, jugs, or little processing units as extra attachments. Some beakers come with handy lips for pouring and lids for storing food. You can get carrying bags and wall mounts for some. Really the more attachments you have the more you are building up into a food processor so think about how you will use this machine and if a more sturdy processor is what you want on the counter top anyway !

We looked at the the attachments and accessories for the Bamix blender in another post, where we also researched the favourite high quality accessories we would choose if we were configuring our own immersion blender from scratch.

6. Reputation


This is where the brand, after sales service, and customer reviews come in. If you are in the UK you may prefer to buy a UK brand (e.g. Kenwood), and, if you are in the U.S., an American brand (e.g. Cuisinart). If you associate the Swiss with high quality you may prefer to go with Bamix. A huge majority are loyal to brands like Braun who have been making gadgets for years.

User reviews

What do hand blender reviews tell us? It seems that people are most concerned about the blender scratching pots and pans, but they shouldn’t. The suction action of any decent blender means that the power pulls the food up from the bottom of the pan so you don’t need to worry about moving it along the base of the pan. The blade is also protected with a guard so check that out, and also how low down the blade is.

Next, cleaning seems to be a main query. Again, these are so easy to clean that I don’t see the problem here. We’ve covered that above in our ease of use section.

How long will your hand blender last?

The more important issues in reviews are longevity. Will your hand blender last? Complaints about the ends shattering usually come from over use or misuse of plastic shafts. The better the material, the longer it will last. The stronger the material, the heavier jobs it can get though !  Plastic shafts can take on food colour but it´s easily shifted with some vinegar.

There are usually answers to everything, and compromise is the name of the game! You should find plenty of reviews on your buying website.


Now you know… check out our top picks for 2021


Click over for our in depth review of  a basic hand blender by Russell Hobbs  
Click over for  our in depth review of the best value mid range model hand blender sets  by Kenwood
Click over for our in depth review of  professional range model hand blender set by Bamix

7. Pricing

Value for money

What’s it worth to you, and what can you afford to spend now ? Usually we feel you get what you pay for, but the most important thing is to make sure your money is going on something that’s going to be most useful to you. So you really have to think about what you want to use it for, otherwise you will start the build a useless collection of kitchen gadgets you don’t need.

If you just want to try one out you can get basic starter models which will simply be a plastic, on/off, one speed, chop/blend a little type of gadget.  With mid range models you expand the functionality with accessories, the durability with perhaps a steel shaft, and the power with wattage or more speed (rpm) settings. Once you are going to the professional level , you are usually paying for quality, design, reputation, even more long lasting durability and of course better functionality.

Have a look at the search box below to get an idea of prices. It’s only for the UK, so if you want to check the price of different models, click over to the top 15 and click the buttons to check it out in your own country.

A quick and easy gift

As a gift, a hand blender is perfect for university students, ( don’t worry, it’s a cinch to clean !) a wedding gift, for having a new baby or new home, or even new kitchen. Why not just give a gift to the keen cooks that love to feed you !


  1. A Cook

    Hi— you’re the first person who has even mentioned the existence of handheld emulsion blenders that don’t require you to hold down a button continuously while blending, which is the main feature I am looking for! Can you please recommend a model or model of handheld blenders that don’t require the user to hold down a button continuously (as you mentioned under “Finger Trouble”)? Thank you so much!

    • aoibheann

      Hi there cook, yes I mentioned it because it’s something we all think about. Thanks for pointing that out because now I’ve added to the text to answer your question. Sadly, I don’t think there is a blender that exists with just an on/off switch – and I wouldn’t want there to be one either – now I think about it! It’s for the user’s safety that the blender is only on when the user is focused on holding the button in. It’s also for the safety of the blender itself, since they can’t really be on for too long or they will burn out! You’ll find that even some standalong blenders and mixers have a safety cutout after a few minutes for that same reason.

  2. Biddy Greene

    I’m 79 and need a blender with an easy-squeeze switch ant not too tall.
    My brilliant ancient Braun stick is on its last legs and I can’t use the replacement I bought – not Braun – mainly because it has knobs you need to press with separate fingers. It’s also very tall which is awkward on our nice and high working surface.
    I’m going to look for something closer to my old one.

    • aoibheann

      Hi Biddy, thanks for posting a question. I would love to know what blender you have now ( I learn a lot too from all my users :)), so do write to me with your thoughts on your current one, and I don´t have to post it online if you prefer ( just tell me).
      Ok for something new for you, the ones that spring to mind for me are the Braun MQ7 or 9 series if you want to stick with Braun, as these ones have one big button that you just squeeze to get more power. They´re top of the range for Braun so you´re getting a great hand blender here with lots of bells and whistles if you want to build up nice attachments. You can see the difference between all the different models in my post all about BRAUN hand blenders.
      Also, I love the new cordless KitchenAid ( see my post on the best cordless ones here )it´s not as high-end as the top Braun ones and comes simply as a blender stick but it´s brilliant and getting really popular. It´s so simple, and cordless too ( you can get it in a corded electric version too – check it out here).
      Finally, a 3rd option is something like the Masha by Dash which is a different style altogether but it´s lightweight and easy to use again with just one button operation. Great for smaller hands and well recommended – check out the in-depth review here.
      I hope that helps, and if you can go through my Amazon links you will find the products with more details and customer reviews too. Look out for weight as well as height. I would have loved to recommend a Bamix to you as I find it so easy to hold but it has 2 buttons and I think that the attachments can sometimes be fiddly or difficult to get on and off ( I have to have my glasses on and pull !) so maybe that wouldn´t be suitable for you.
      Best, Aoibheann


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