Need a handmixer and don't want to spend a lot
So I've been looking at handmixers and seeing a lot of range in price, from $20 to some models to $80 for some kitchenaid. I know that KA has a good reputation with stand mixers but is it worth the extra $ for a handmixer, or could I get away with something around $30? Will be used for making cakes mostly.
your timing is impeccable - ATK *just* rated hand mixers. in fact, i just finished reading the report 10 minutes ago!
The Top 3:
- KitchenAid 7 Speed Mixer Model KHM7T ($67)
- Braun MultiMix 4-in-1 Model M880 ($48.77)
- Cuisinart PowerSelect 7-Speed Electronic Hand Mixer CHM-7 ($49.95)
they did also recommend the less expensive Black & Decker PowerPro 25-Watt Motor Model MX300 ($20.99), but with the following caveats: "This mixer struggled some when mixing peanut butter cookie dough. Increased speed helped, but mixer still had to be pushed through dough, as beaters didn't grab it. We don't recommend using the spatula attachment that inserts alongside beaters. Horizontal speed adjustment was awkward to adjust and mixer vibrated a lot during use."
hope that helps!
I love my Kitchenaid handmixer. It is a workhorse, and I always comment on how glad I am that I invested in it. It doesn't overheat, start to smell funky from overuse, or get mucked up too easily by dense stuff. While this is the only hand mixer I've ever owned, I've never had some of the problems that others complain of. Of course, it won't do some of the tasks of a stand mixer, but my apartment is too small for a stand mixer. With the kitchenaid handmixer, I get at least some of the functionality.
Consumer Reports also likes KA, the UltraPower 5, 7 and Pro 9 are all top-rated, as is the cheaper Braun M880.
I have had a Braun M880 for about 12 years or so and I love it! But I am not sure they are made any more (or maybe the US-compliant ones are no longer made). In that case, KA or Cuisinart sound like your best options (a friend of mine has a KA and likes it very much).
After having used all manner of kitchen appliances up and down the spectrum, I've found that it's much better to save up and get the nice one. A well-made kitchen appliance is an absolute joy to use. A cut-rate one will get the job done, but can be a lot more frustrating to work around its various quirks. Go for the KitchenAid. At the least, look at the beaters. You want two beaters that don't have center posts. They do a better job and are easier to clean.
re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester
I agree with this completely. I think that you end up spending less in the long run because you won't be looking to upgrade or replace a sub par piece of equipment.
I have the pro 9 KA which I bought when I replaced a cheaper model (can't remember what it was and I just sold it at a garage sale.) The cheapie did all the things others here said about such models - it overheated easily, and just couldn't power through very much at all. The KA on the other hand has been a real workhorse.
Another vote here for Kitchen Aid. My 7-speed model is a tough little machine that reliably gets the job done.
Back when I was shopping for a had mixer, I was also hoping not to spend too much money, and I found that the KA was pretty commonly discounted. I don't remember exactly what I paid for it, but the model I bought retailed for about $75 and I think I paid around $50.
I really like my Cuisinart. It comes with the beaters, a whisk and a dough spiral (not a hook) and it is amazing.
I use it to beat egg whites, make cookies, make frosting, brownies-and more!
The timer is a nice addition, although I wish it would have some sort of a "pause" if I need to put it down and get something or answer the phone.
It was a Wedding Shower present, so I don't know how much it cost.
Here's a consideration for you. Are you going to buy a hand mixer instead of buying a heavy duty stand mixer? If so, you would want "the best." But if you have or plan to get a stand mixer, and only want the hand mixer for small, light duty, and quick mixes, you can get away with a much less expensive item. I bot one of these 62515 mixers several years ago for $ 9 - 10 at a super market. I've gotten plenty of use out of it for egg whites, omelets, custards, and even mashed potatoes. It was not happy about the mashed potatoes, but it got it done. But I have the KA stand mixer in the cupboard, standing by.
I appreciate the fact that these days a lot of people are watching their spending carefully. It's too bad you don't have your sights set on a KitchenAid stand mixer. The whisk attachment is _perfect_ for stuff like cake batter that requires the maximum amount of air beaten in.
That being said, the reason some of the mixers are expensive is that they they vary the draw of electricity so that they keep rotating at the desired speed. It's kinda hard to explain - just think "no matter how thick/tough the stuff you're mixing, the speed stays the same. The Black and Decker model doesn't keep a steady speed because it's drawing maximum power available at all speeds. Ack. I'm not doing a great job describing this.
The Cuisinart mentioned by goodhealthgourmet is called an "electronic" hand mixer because it has the constant-speed-against-load feature. No need, apparently, to spend $16 more on the KitchenAid.
I'm glad I got these last 2 responses. In the near future, I will no doubt be purchasing a Kitchenaid artisan stand mixer. I think those run around $300, so I wanted to keep spending minimal on the handmixer. I've talked to some people that have a black and decker that was about $25 and they've said it handles everything they need. So, if I'm putting that much into the stand mixer, I was leaning toward spending less on a hand mixer.
For the stand mixer, if you're doing Kitchenaid go with either the Professional 6-quart, or find yourself a vintage K5A or K5SS on eBay. The old K5 line was made by Hobart, and they were small versions of the gargantuan stand mixers that they still sell to the restaurant trade. They're built like tanks.