Essential Tools

The Most Reliable Hand Mixers, According to Bakers

For kneading bread dough, whipping eggs, creaming butter and sugar, and so much more.

March  9, 2022
Photo by Rocky Luten

I learned how to bake before I even knew how to cook properly. I've had jobs where I garnished cream cakes with shiny fruit, shaped hundreds of baguettes, pan-banged dozens of cookies various closet-sized kitchens. Despite all this, I’d never picked up a hand mixer until a few months ago when I was spending a month away from my home, away from my trusty stand mixer, and had to bake for a few winter festivities. My Cuisinart workhorse mixed, creamed, whipped, and emulsified everything I needed without tiring out my poor arms. My appreciation for this compact kitchen essential is going strong, but I’m still no expert on the matter.

So, to learn a little bit more, I turned to my fellow bakers for everything you need to know about hand mixers, from its many uses to the exact ones to shop.

1. KitchenAid Cordless Hand Mixer, $99.99

Photo by Rocky Luten

Los Angeles-based baker and recipe developer Alex Roberts is a huge fan of his cordless KitchenAid hand mixer despite the fact “handheld mixers are often overlooked by professionals.” He reaches for it in place of his stand mixer when he needs to complete smaller tasks like whipping a cup of cream. Roberts knows that any KitchenAid hand mixer would work well because of the brand’s quality, but he prefers the version with a rechargeable lithium ion battery. “I just love not having a cord attached!”

2. Lord Eagle 400W Electric Hand Mixer, $49.99 $37.77

Photo by Amazon

Home baker and blogger Abi Balingit swears by her powerful Lord Eagle hand mixer. “It has saved me from busting out my stand mixer when I need to do a menial task like whip cream.” The five attachments (two dough hooks, two beaters, and one balloon whisk) store easily in the snap-on storage container so they don't get lost in the dark depths of a kitchen cabinet. It also makes carrying the hand mixer and all of its attachments around on the subway infinitely easier when Balingit has to bake somewhere else besides her home kitchen.

3. KitchenAid 5-Speed Ultra Power Hand Mixer, $54.99

Photo by Wayfair

Kristina Cho of Eat Cho Food and Mooncakes and Milk Bread is also on Team Hand Mixer. “My mom gifted me this KitchenAid hand mixer more than eight years ago right before I moved to San Francisco, so I could continue baking no matter what kind of Craigslist kitchen I ended up in.” Even now, Cho and her apple green mixer remain partners in crime—especially when the mission is to whip egg whites. “Even though it takes a little longer than a stand mixer would, I love it because I can manually work around the bowl,” she says. In turn (pun intended), that type of control helps Cho incorporate every last bit of egg white. Even though it doesn’t come with a storage case like the Lord Eagle, it’s still compact enough for traveling. “I find myself packing it into my luggage on work trips or trips up to a cabin in Tahoe because I never know if I'll go into baking mode.”

4. Breville Handy Mix Scraper Hand Mixer, $209.95 $139.95

Photo by Sur La Table

Similar to Cho, baker Tiffany Kim uses her hand mixer to get batter and dough to that “just combined” stage that just about every cookie and cake recipe calls for—and the Breville Handy Mix gets her there. True to its name, it has a built-in light to help you see what you’re mixing (hello, nocturnal bakers!), as well as a timer to keep track of mixing time. Kim also appreciates the rubber-coated beater heads that scrape down the sides of a bowl while simultaneously mixing them into the batter that always gathers toward the center. And in a move that would make any of us nighttime bakers proud (hi again), Kim says this mixer is so quiet to the point that she will never have to worry about waking up her family when she's baking in the middle of the night.

Rebecca Firth, recipe developer and author of The Cake Book and The Cookie Book has an old-school electric stand mixer that she’s in love with, but still never ceases to find plenty of opportunities in which her Breville Handy Mix Scraper, well, comes in handy. Firth appreciates how this mixer has nine different speed settings. “You can pick the perfect one for your baking project—faster for meringues, slower for cookies.” Adding to the versatility, the Breville Handy Mixer comes equipped with multiple attachments for beating, whisking, and even kneading bread dough.

5. Cuisinart HM-90S Power Advantage Plus 9-Speed Handheld Mixer, $79.95

Photo by Cuisinart

Almost immediately, I appreciated how the comfortable grip on this Cuisinart hand mixer gave me confidence that I wouldn’t knock over my mixing bowl full of cake batter. The beater attachments looked like they wouldn't hold up against thick emulsions but they had no trouble when I put them to the test, blitzing right through sour cream cake batter, brownie batter, and buttercream frosting without popping off or beating out of control. The storage case is also much appreciated. Much like how I prefer having one storage compartment to hold small containers of baking ingredients, I love having a separate home base to tuck away the attachments. No wonder why a happy reviewer on Amazon called it “the Mary Poppins of hand mixers.”


What is a hand mixer?

Like what you'd expect from the name, think of a hand mixer as an extension of your hand when combining batter, dough, or even more delicate cream and meringue with ease and comfort—and zero hand cramps. They’re versatile, compact, and portable. Most usually have multiple settings, a diverse set of beater and whisk attachments, and in some cases, even a snap-on container to store them.

How do I use a hand mixer?

The hand mixer is often used to whip single ingredients like cream and egg whites, cream together butter and sugar for cake batter or cookie dough, and blend simple icings and frostings. But it’s equally useful for kneading bread dough and emulsifying salad dressings, sauces, and dips. And should you need to shred rotisserie chicken or mash potatoes, you can call on your hand mixer, too. Truly, the possibilities are endless.

Do I need both a hand mixer and a stand mixer?

This depends on the type of baker you are. Maybe you’re an enthusiast building your kitchen arsenal from the ground up, or you’re only baking a few times a year for special occasions like the holidays, or you’re just a mix of the two and are short on space. Most of the bakers we spoke to have both appliances as a hand mixer offers a certain level of ergonomic precision and control they’re unable to get with a stand mixer.

From a space and budget perspective, a hand mixer is compact and easier on the wallet. A stand mixer usually has a larger range of speed settings and attachments, but it’s also usually more expensive and takes up more room.

If you're on Team Hand Mixer, do you have a favorite? Let us know below!

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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  • Liz Summers
    Liz Summers
Food writer, late-night baker, year-round iced coffee drinker.


74a*-WzVmEB_BbG October 3, 2022
I have read your article where you described the Hand Mixer beautifully. After reading I think it has something new that no one else has.
Thank you.
cyanpineapple March 10, 2022
I adore that cordless kitchenaid mixer. It's not as powerful as the corded ones I've had in the past, but it's strong enough for pretty much anything I'd use a handheld mixer for anyway. Being cordless is such a luxury when baking, and I just really love it.
Liz S. March 10, 2022
I have the older style KitchenAid hand mixer, but I have been gradually replacing what I can with USB rechargeable (lithium-ion battery) ... most recently the KitchenAid cordless immersion blender which comes with a whisk attachment as well as a chopper and blender jar. I find it just as powerful as my corded Cuisinart immersion blender and we'll see ... it might replace my hand mixer as well. But, I make small batches of things and have a stand mixer (smallish 5 qt) ... still I like both the cordless rechargeable options as well as possibly reducing the amount of "things"!

I do love the idea of the rubber ended beaters, light and quiet of that Breville.