Soups, smoothies, sauces - there's a lot you can do with a hand blender. And compared to a traditional jug blender, they can be a lot more convenient too: simply stick it into your pan and away you go.
Hand blenders take up less space in your kitchen, create less washing up and mean there's no food wastage – it's always a pain not being able to get the final dregs out of a jug blender.
But a lot of today's hand blenders are much more than just a stick. Lots come with mini food processor and whisk attachments too, which while giving you multiple appliances in one, are also not as dinky as you might want. A decent blender should be powerful, not too loud and tidy too – a lot of the ones out there spray food and drink up the walls of your kitchen and are so loud they’d wake your neighbours, let alone your family and housemates.
By making endless soups, smoothies, dips and sauces, we tested over a dozen hand blenders to find the very best of the bunch.
1. Kenwood Triblade System Pro Hand Blender: £129.99, John Lewis
With six different attachments, there’s very little this blender can’t do. It can also be a masher, a whisk, a chopper and a grinder. It’s incredibly versatile but also easy to use – all you have to do is switch attachments, which is a simple procedure. The blender is also really powerful and had no problems powering through frozen fruit to make a smoothie or chunky veg to create a velvety soup. As you’d expect from the price and its 1000W motor, it’s one of the most powerful and efficient on the market.
2. Philips Daily Collection Hand Blender HR1604/01: £28, Amazon
This blender is simple in every sense – there’s only one attachment and speed, and it’s very easy to use. Although it doesn’t come with many extra parts, it does come with a small blending jug. It’s big enough to make a smoothie for one so would be great for someone on a budget who wants to make a liquid breakfast in the morning – the blender whizzed up a banana milkshake effortlessly. Unfortunately however, it’s not the most stable – we don’t recommend leaving the blender standing up in the jug as you're likely to end up with spilt milkshake (which is almost definitely worth crying over).
3. KitchenAid Artisan Cordless Hand Blender: £199, John Lewis
This is part of the Artisan range which is best known for its stylish, retro-inspired stand mixer. This cordless hand blender stands out from the pack as you’re free to blend away from an electric socket. It has a little removable charger but you do have to wait a little while for it to charge up though, which could be annoying if you want soup and you want it now. To fully charge the battery takes three hours, but that then lasts just as long without recharging. Available in three colours – red, cream or silver – the design is stylish and sleek. It has five different speeds and comes with three interchangeable stainless steel blades, a whisk and a mini food-chopper. Easy to use, it blended chunky soup without a problem, which you’d expect from the price. The blender itself may be on the heavy side but it comes with a handy case for keeping all the parts together.
4. Lakeland Stainless Steel Stick Hand Blender: £58.49, Lakeland
With a handy bag to keep all the parts together and a slick stainless steel design, this is a practical option. With various attachments allowing you to blend, chop and whisk, you get a lot for your money and can use this for the likes of soups and cake mixes. It’s powerful with its 800W motor and will whizz up a soup in no time (quicker than some of the less powerful blenders), just make sure you have enough in the pan as we get some splashing. The speed is changed with a dial which allows you to control the power easily. It also comes with a blending jug, mini food processor and whisk.
5. Dualit 700W Hand Blender: £79.95, Amazon
This sleek, modern-looking blender comes with measuring jugs, a chopper bowl and whisk attachment too, allowing you to puree baby food and whip up meringues as well as blend smoothies and soups. With a dial to increase the power, this one effectively blended up both chunky apple and frozen banana, creating a perfectly smooth smoothie. It looks more expensive compared to others of a similar price, and despite being one of the least powerful at 700W, worked effectively.
6. Morphy Richards Total Control Hand Blender Collection: £38, Amazon
What’s unique about this blender is its precision control trigger – the harder you press the button, the faster it goes, which makes it easy to increase power and speed. What’s more, it also has eight speeds and a turbo boost, which seemed powerful despite its relatively low 650W. Another distinguishing feature of this blender is its anti-splash head – we were impressed to find it really didn’t splatter at all. As part of a set with attachments that allow you to mash and chop too, it’s good value for money. Unfortunately it’s not particularly stylish.
7. Braun Multiquick Apertive MQ745 Hand Blender with Three Accessories: £74, AO.com
Slightly different to the other blenders in the list, this one can be a little fiddly as it requires pressing two buttons at once, though it does allow you to increase the speed by squeezing the handle. It’s relatively quiet for a blender and has a simple but pleasing design. Another one with various attachments, the chopper and blending tools are easily interchanged – it made light work of hummus and crushed ice when we tested it.
8. Stellar 750W Stick Blender: £36, Amazon
This is a stripped-back blender – no jug, no different attachments, just a very effective stick blender which is priced accordingly. Even on its lowest setting, the 750W blender is very powerful – it has a turbo setting, but we didn’t need to use it to whip up smoothies or soups. You turn the dial on the top to increase and decrease the power, which is simple to do mid-blend. It’s not up there in the looks stakes, but the stainless steel casing wouldn’t look offensive in most kitchens. It does the job and it does it well.
The Verdict: Hand blenders
Largely for its incredible versatility, the Kenwood blender gets our vote. Considering it’s effectively six appliances in one, it works out as great value. That said, if all you really want is a hand blender, the Stellar may be the way to go.
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