If you’re a smoothie or juicing fan, the right stick blender can whip up a flavorful drink without dirtying your countertop.
A good quality immersion blender can also tackle thick soups, salsa, ice, sauces – pretty much anything you can dream up.
Our top pick is the powerful Mueller Ultra-Stick 500 Watt 9-Speed Immersion Hand Blender. It’s exceptionally well designed and does purely what it’s meant to: blend anything you throw at it with ease, without any extraneous bells and whistles.
Stick blenders are easy to use and clean and minimize the number of dishes you need to wash after use; you can blend most things right in the container they are being cooked or served in.
In this guide, we will look at a variety of stick or hand blenders in our immersion blender reviews and model comparison chart to help you find the best immersion blender for you and your kitchen.
Top 7: Best Hand Blenders
Immersion blenders are called by many names – including hand, stick, submersible, emulsion, or wand blenders.
Whether you’re looking for a kitchen power-house that can blend frozen items and ice with ease or a versatile unit that can perform a wide range of kitchen tasks, your perfect immersion blender is waiting to be discovered.
1. KitchenAid 5-Speed Hand Blender
KitchenAid has thoughtfully included blending stems of various lengths to help you work with both shallow and deep containers more easily in their 5-speed immersion blender.
It’s got multiple stem heads for ice crushing, chopping, and frothing.
There’s a 2.5 cup food processing bowl included for things like pesto, salsa, and ice.
While the attachments clean easily, they’re not completely sealed. You’ll want to thoroughly rinse them out with water after each use and let them dry before storage.
The speed control is tough to operate with one hand. You’ll probably have to stop blending and get a good grip on the unit while you twist it.
There are plastic gears in this unit; it makes sense that they may wear down and slip after several months of use.
Perhaps KitchenAid’s customer service department could send replacement parts, but you might want to read the warranty to see what exactly is covered with the unit you intend to purchase.
Despite those shortcomings, the KitchenAid KHB2571SX appears to be an excellent blender. It’s light, ergonomic, and functional. The frothing stem head and variable stem length are stand-out features that would be popular with home baristas or cooks with deep pots.
2. Breville All In One Processing Station
The Breville BSB530XL has a fancy ergonomic grip and a dizzying range of attachments that allow it to julienne vegetables, fluff up mashed potatoes or create dough.
Most impressive is the sheer volume of the 6-cup food processing bowl, which allows you to make enough pesto for a party or to freeze in a single go.
As an immersion blender, the Breville seems adequate. It has a 280-watt motor, which is slightly less than the Epica 4-in-1.
The “15” speeds this blender boasts wind up being a bit too similar to each other. It’s not a problem, because you’ll likely only use two or three settings anyway.
While the unit itself is comfortable to hold, it’s heavier than it looks and you have to continually hold the “on” button while you operate it. For blending and food processing, this is fine, but if you want to whisk or knead for any length of time, you may experience some finger fatigue.
The range of functions that the Breville can accomplish within your kitchen is impressive, but it comes at the cost of added complexity and parts.
You have to store multiple blades for the food processor, the bowl itself, and three “stick” attachments for whisking, blending and kneading.
If you think you’ll regularly use the attachments (for slicing vegetables evenly for a ratatouille, for example) this isn’t too bad. If you just want an immersion blender, you might want to skip the hassle.
SEE ALSO: Best Vegetable Spiralizers
As a multi-tool, the Breville BSB530XL is unrivaled. If you can take advantage of all the features it offers, it might be the perfect addition to your kitchen. If you’re looking for a simple immersion blender, there may be other models better suited to your needs.
3. All-Clad Immersion Blender with Detachable Shaft
All-Clad’s immersion blender offers an incredibly powerful motor in lieu of attachments and options. It has speed controls, an on button, a stem that separates for cleaning – and not much else.
This unit really shines when it comes to prolonged operation.
While other models will get warm to the touch after about a minute of use, this blender can keep chugging for quite a while with no signs of heat accumulation. Less heat is ideal for the longevity of any plastic parts involved.
In everyday kitchen operations, it might be overkill. The 600-watt motor and long operation times are nice, sure, but the blending head may be too big to fit inside regular drinking glasses – you’ll have to make margaritas in a pitcher.
This isn’t too much added hassle, but it does mean you’ll have to wash an extra dish for that one serving of milkshake you make.
All-Clad sells a whisk and food processing attachment as a bundle to expand the capabilities of this unit. As we mentioned earlier, a whisk is largely unnecessary for these types of machines. You can perform most tasks with the blade end without any problems at all.
For households where an immersion blender sees lengthy use in tough tasks, the All-Clad KZ750D may be a perfect fit.
4. Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender
The Cuisinart Smart Stick is a basic immersion blender. The blade housing detaches easily from the motor for simple cleaning.
Controls are limited to two-speed settings (you have to hold while you blend) and a lock button on some newer models.
The blade is narrow enough to get to the bottom of a coffee mug easily, but you might have problems with some tapered glasses.
The 200-watt motor is more than adequate for practical operation in many kitchens.
You won’t be overwhelmed by the options and parts presented by other models. If you’re replacing your old immersion blender, however, you may want to choose something a bit fancier or sturdier.
The Smart Stick is a clear budget option, so even if you have to replace it in a year or two, you’re not spending a whole lot of money. If you’ve never used an immersion blender, this might be a great entry-level option.
5. Epica Heavy Duty Immersion Hand Blender
The 350-watt motor in the Epica 4-in-1 makes it a bit heavier than some competing models.
It has a fully controllable blade speed that you can adjust with a dial and comes with three attachments, which can be switched with a simple button press.
Like its competitors, Epica advertises the attachments as being totally dishwasher safe. In practice, you’ll probably just give them a quick rinse after each use.
The blade seems a bit tougher and better able to handle tough blending tasks like ice. So, the addition of a processing bowl is extremely convenient; however, it only has a two-cup capacity.
The whisk attachment is a neat inclusion, but frankly unnecessary. It’s easy enough to whip cream to stiff peaks in a few seconds with the regular blender stem.
Perhaps the biggest downside to the Epica is the lack of variation in blade speeds. The lowest available speed is too vigorous for some delicate situations. For most chopping, blending and food processing, this isn’t a big deal.
Epica’s Immersion Hand Blender seems like a solid option to consider overall. The powerful motor and processing bowl make it a small workhorse in the kitchen.
6. Mueller Ultra-Stick 500 Watt 9-Speed Immersion Hand Blender
The Mueller Ultra-Stick is a kitchen dream, offering no extra bells and whistles, just straight-forward, seamless blending.
Boasting 500 watts, it’s powerful enough to crush ice quickly and effortlessly, resulting in super-smooth soups, sauces, and smoothies.
There’s a whisk attachment included.
Although the price tag on this unit might have you expecting a lower quality build, the opposite is true; the motor is constructed from copper, which is long lasting and durable.
It’s made of stainless steel, with no cheap plastic components, and feels like a professional-grade blender.
Because of the quality build, it may be a little heavier than units that feature plastic in the body, but it’s still relatively lightweight and the ergonomic grip makes it comfortable to handle.
Operation is quiet, it’s dishwasher safe, easy to use, take apart, and clean.
We really tried to find a downside to this model, but other than reports of a high-pitched whining noise from a handful of users, there doesn’t seem to be one.
If you need a straight-up, heavy-duty immersion blender that can handle tough nuts, frozen fruits, and ice, this is our top pick. For the price, you can’t go wrong. There’s also a 100% two-year warranty.
7. Braun Multiquick Hand Blender
Braun has produced a quality, versatile blender with some unique features. They’ve clearly put some thought into this model.
The standout feature is their exclusive “PowerBell” technology. This describes the bell-shaped end of the blender, specifically designed to reduce splashing.
While it does do this well, there are one or two issues with the bell shape. Firstly, with larger frozen fruits, it can be hard to capture them within the end.
Secondly, it doesn’t aerate food as well, so things like eggs will not be quite as fluffy.
Moving on to more positive offerings: attachments are easy to remove using a one-click system. This unit comes with a whisk attachment (and 20-ounce beaker), but you can purchase other attachments such as a masher, ice crusher or mini food processor.
At 350 watts of power, there are only two speed settings, but there is a turbo boost option for times when you need a bit of extra oomph.
The blender shaft and blades are stainless steel and the whole blender is comfortable to use and easy to control using only one hand, with all control buttons within easy reach.
While this is a well-designed blender, it may not perform as well as you’d like for things like ice, large chunks of frozen fruit, or hard nuts.
Having said that, this is still a great model. If you’re looking for something with a good amount of power and the option to include lots of different attachments for almost any kitchen task, this is a solid choice.
Why Buy An Immersion Blender?
Making creamy blended soups used to be a messy challenge. You needed to cook your ingredients, remove the larger chunks, run them through your food processor or blender, return them to the pot, and reheat.
Then some clever person came up with the idea of an immersion blender! Now, we can safely blend hot soup right in the pot.
Immersion blenders are great for reducing clean up time. You can blend anything right in the cup, bowl, or container that you are cooking or serving in, reducing the number of items requiring washing.
Once you’re done, all you have to do is clean up any drips, disassemble the food processor or blender, and wash the necessary parts – usually just a quick rinse.
What To Look For
Early stick blenders were just that: a stick with a rocker on-off switch and a power cord at one end. At the other end was a wicked blade in a plastic housing that would chop whatever you got it close to.
It was easy to use, easy to clean, and if it started to slow down or got dull, you could use it to mix grout until it died altogether.
Some modern stick blenders have become a tad more advanced, with extra bells and whistles or design components to consider.
Here’s what you should look at when selecting the perfect immersion blender for your kitchen:
Grip & Blade Housing
Grip is an important feature to consider; not only for ergonomics but for safety as well.
For example, you should make sure the unit you purchase will not become slippery from steam when blending soups. You also want something that is going to feel comfortable and not fall out of your hand easily.
Blade housing is critical to the success of the blender. With the right design, the blade housing draws in a steady stream of product via the pull of the spinning blades without overloading the ability of the wand blender to:
- Effectively chop all the product in the vicinity of the blade, and
- Not jam up the gaps in the housing with poorly chopped food.
Other considerations should include comfort and placement of power buttons and overall unit weight for blending projects that may last more than five minutes.
More wattage does not always equal more blending power. Some cheaper models offer high wattage but their efficiency is lacking. If anything, they tend to get hot quickly.
Anything around the 200-watt mark should be adequate for most blending tasks. For tougher foods or ice, you may need to pulse the unit until the food or ice has broken down.
Of course, your manual will tell you the best way to tackle different types of foods.
While some units offer up to 15 speed settings, we’ve found that in general, you may only use two or three settings. The option for more speeds is nice, but shouldn’t be the main decider for your purchase.
In addition to speed controls, pulsing the power button offers a way to reduce strong speeds.
New immersion blenders offer additional tools that can be easily attached to serve as a small food processor or a tiny, very powerful whisk.
However, in some cases, removing the blade attachment turns out to be cumbersome and messy if the manufacturer expects the user to twist the blade attachment off.
Some models have added eject buttons to make it easy to take the unit apart, saving spatter and drips.
By now, you should have a good idea of exactly what your ideal immersion blender looks like. If you’re simply wanting to make a smoothie or puree soups, a straight-forward model will fit the bill.
However, if you’d like to have a bit more versatility, go for a blender that has a wide variety of attachment options.
In addition to your new immersion blender, check out the attachments available. Some units come with their own smoothie glasses. High-powered whisks and chopping bowls may also be great additions to your kitchen arsenal.
Review the capabilities of each immersion blender to make sure that your needs will be ideally met with this new tool. There are many stick blender units available so you needn’t be limited in your selection.
Once you’ve selected your new immersion blender, you’re ready to start making smoothies, blended soups, and delicious sauces.