Hand blenders, also known as “immersion blenders” or more simply “stick blenders,” are a wonderful tool for those who enjoy creating a variety of restaurant-quality dishes in the home – without the fuss of using bulky and hard to clean blenders or food processors. Indeed, while their application is limited only by one’s imagination, for making velvety smooth soups, sauces, dips, dressings and drinks there is really nothing better in our view. Have you ever gone through the trouble of transferring hot soup or sauce to a blender? Many blenders cannot even accept hot liquids, but even when they do, the hassle of using them and the laborious cleanup afterwards is enough to make one forgo the exercise altogether.
What Makes an Immersion Blender So Useful?
Simply put, an immersion blender is a wonderful device that allows for in-pot/cup food preparation for both hot and cold liquids, and is also blessed by being particularly easy to clean. Most hand blenders can be rinsed off in the sink or feature machine-washable blades. In addition, hand blenders are infinitely more compact than traditional blenders or food processors. In fact, most of the better counter top blenders are truly massive, heavy things. If you’ve every witnessed a Vitamix or Blendtec up close, you’ll understand what we mean. Unlike these large appliances, you won’t have to struggle to find a cabinet tall enough to accept your hand blender. Further, many come with convenient wall mounted brackets that avoid taking up any counter/cabinet space at all.
Here is just a short list of the things you can make with an immersion blender:
- salad dressing
- coolers/mixed drinks
- baby food
- milk shakes
- whipped cream
- mashed potatoes
- dessert frosting
- pancake/baking batters
- frothed milk/coffee drinks
Before we regale you with the many other virtues of immersion blenders, here is a table comparing our favorite models, which we’ve selected based on their quality, performance, and long track records of outstanding satisfaction ratings as reported by amazon.com. Each of these stick blenders currently hold an average 4.0 out of 5.0 star rating, or higher. For immersion blender reviews, click on the “Read Review” button to learn more about each hand blender or click on the “Buy Now” cart to check current pricing and availability.
|Model & Image||Speed|
|Price Class||Buy Now!|
Bamix Deluxe M150
|2 speeds||150 watts||5.0 / 5.0 stars||$$$|
Bamix Gastro GL200
|2 speeds||200 watts||4.5 / 5.0 stars||$$$|
|variable speed||280 watts||4.3 / 5.0 stars||$$|
|2 speeds||200 watts||4.6 / 5.0 stars||$|
|2 speeds||200 watts||4.3 / 5.0 stars||$$|
|variable speed||200 watts||4.3 / 5.0 stars||$|
|variable speed||200 watts||4.4 / 5.0 stars||$$|
|3 speeds||216 watts||4.4 / 5.0 stars||$$|
|5 speeds||216 watts||4.3 / 5.0 stars||$$|
|variable speed||220 watts||5.0 / 5.0 stars||$$|
|2 speeds||100 watts||4.7 / 5.0 stars||$$|
|2 speeds||350 watts||5.0 / 5.0 stars||$$$|
Choosing the Best Immersion Blender
Not everyone can afford a sophisticated commercial-grade hand blender, but the good news is that you don’t need to. Stick blenders come in a variety of price points, with most being very affordable, especially compared to traditional blenders. Nevertheless, you should first consider how often (and hard) you intend to use the blender, and which accessories are important to you before going about your research. For instance, do you need or want a good chopper attachment? While most come with a wire whisk and a mixing beaker, a high-quality chopping attachment will usually fetch higher prices. Likewise, are you planning on using it for a wide range of tasks? The majority of immersion blenders come with general, multi-purpose blades that handle most tasks well, but if you have some special need, there are models that come with additional blades dedicated to grinding, emulsifying/aeration, blending etc., although this will certainly add to the sticker price.
What about durability?
This is a big consideration – indeed, an overriding one in our opinion. While there is nothing wrong with purchasing an inexpensive hand blender for very light, infrequent use, keep in mind that opting for models in the budget-oriented range typically results in a blender that is not built to withstand the rigors of routine, heavy use. For example, while many people become fixated on motor wattage, it’s usually the quality of the motor that determines how long it will last. Cheap motors that draw a lot of power can produce great results due to their fast rotational speed, but this is little consolation when they burn out. Similarly, a powerful motor couple to a flimsy drive shaft assembly (which is fairly typical, unfortunately) can quickly result in stripped gearing, which then reduces the unit to nothing more than an expensive noisemaker.
Consequently, we always caution that one take reported “performance tests” with a grain of salt. For the vast majority of users, it does not matter if one blender can puree soup or whip cream 10 seconds faster or slower than the other. In our opinion, the better approach is to look at the track record of the unit over time, paying attention to user reviews noting incidents of early burn out, gear wearing, electrical failures, etc., to help ensure a healthy lifetime of use.
Cordless Immersion Blenders?
There’s no question that cordless hand blenders are extremely convenient to use. However, we normally hesitate to recommend them simply because their lifespan is normally limited by the longevity of their battery. And while battery packs have come a long way, most still give out much sooner than the units do, especially if you are using the blender infrequently, thus requiring costly replacement or disposing of the blender altogether.
Some Highly-Rated Suggestions
There are many models available today that will get the job done. And manufacturers continue to offer better and more versatile blending/chopping attachments to attract buyers. Still, there is no substitute for doing your homework; many that seem to “have it all” at budget prices may also tend to cut corners on key components, leading to premature breakage.
This is where we come in. We’ve compared features, prices and poured over hundreds of real immersion blender reviews to come up with a shortlist of some of the best stick blenders available. Here is a quick summary of the models we like – and that we think are all great choices in their respective classes.
Cuisinart Immersion Blenders – Affordable & Attractive
Cuisinart “Smart Stick” hand blenders are nearly always among the best-selling, and it’s no surprise why. This line combines youthful, vibrant colors, a powerful motor, and decent accessories, all for a relative bargain.
The Cuisinart CSB-75 Smart Stick 2-speed hand blender (which replaces the earlier version, the CSB-76) is the least expensive – and most colorful – of the models we’ve reviewed here, and it’s a wonderful choice for light duty applications. However, for people looking for a more “grown up” option, there is the Cuisinart HB-155PC, which comes in a lustrous polished chrome. Another great choice is the Cuisinart CSB-79, which has a brushed steel finish and comes with a nice chopper/grinder attachment, in addition the standard whisk and mixing beaker.
KitchenAid Immersion Blenders – Great Value & Accessories
Like Cuisinart, KitchenAid is continually producing relatively affordable hand blenders that perform. Among those currently available, we like two in particular. The first, the KitchenAid KHB2351CU, is a very solid all-purpose hand blender that consistently earns outstanding reviews for reliability and the quality of the included attachments.
The second, the KitchenAid KHB2561 5-speed immersion blender, is easily one of our favorites. Not only does this stick blender come with plenty of power and lots of speeds, but it comes with first-rate attachments and interchangeable blades – something that is virtually unheard of, especially at its aggressive price point.
KRUPS Immersion Blenders – Quality & Sophistication
Although there is only one on our list currently, it’s a good one – the KRUPS GPA10142. This is a powerful, lightweight hand blender that features variable speed control and an easy to use design. It’s also one of the few to feature an LED speed indicator, which is a nice feature, but still secondary to its outstanding performance. We are confident that this new model will continue to grow in popularity as more consumers give it a try.
Breville Immersion Blenders – The Extraordinary BSB510XL
The Breville BSB510XL is not the most affordable or expensive model we’ve featured, but it just may be the most impressive in its price class. This hand blender combines a powerful 280 watt motor, variable speed control, a great chopping attachment, and a unique bell-shaped blade shroud that greatly minimizes annoying splatter. But more than this, it’s just a great quality blender – quality you can feel and that will allow you to work on more challenging foods. An easy choice for those seeking a higher-caliber option that is still quite affordable.
Frigidaire Professional Hand Blenders – Undeniable Style & Performance
The Frigidaire Professional FPIB10B7NS is one of the most attractive we’ve seen in quite some time. However, it’s not just nice to look at; this is a workhorse immersion blender that brings variable speed control, high quality steel components, a long shaft, great accessories, and a wall mount that provides easy access and storage. This is definitely a model to watch for.
Bamix Immersion Blenders – Legendary Swiss Quality and Design
In case you don’t already know, Bamix literally invented the modern inversion blender over 50 years ago and is easily one of the most renown for producing the highest-quality models available. It’s for this reason that they are often considered to be the only choice for serious chefs, including Gordon Ramsay, who is a staunch supporter of Bamix stick blenders. And who can blame him for such fidelity? Among all of the brands we typically see, there are none that combine professional-level performance with such legendary durability. Indeed, we often hear of people using their Bamix blenders for decades – something to keep in mind when considering their relatively higher prices. Two great choices are the Bamix Deluxe M150 and the Bamix Gastro GL200.
Waring Immersion Blenders – Tough As Nails
Waring is most known for producing some of the most durable and top-quality commercial-grade traditional counter top blenders available – a reputation that was earned in the trenches of restaurants and smoothie shops across the nation. However, you may not know that Waring has applied the same focus on performance and near bulletproof design to their hand blenders. The only thing we’d advise is to make sure you don’t buy something too big and powerful for your needs. For instance, the Waring WSB33 Light-Duty Quik Stik is powerful enough for typical consumer use and uses commercial-grade parts that will outlast most other light-duty options; whereas the Waring Commercial WSB40 is a 350 watt powerhouse with a 6-gallon capacity that is best suited for making very large batches of food – or even mixing soap for commercial soap-makers as we’ve discovered!