The award for “kitchen doodad of the decade that actually has made life easier rather than collecting dust at the back of the pantry” is going to have to go to the modern stick blender.
While conventional blenders, food processors, and electric beaters are the needed tools for tough kitchen jobs, it just doesn’t seem worth it to haul out all the pieces to make a little hollandaise for breakfast, only to have to wash them all up afterwards.
With a compact and cheaper stick blender, cooking suddenly becomes far less effort, opening the door to experimentation and having fun with the experience.
For one thing, the convenience encourages you to cook more, and you’ll quickly find so many uses for a stick blender that you hadn’t thought of until you got one. Why not fix yourself a healthy smoothie after your run? Do you fancy a creamy soup for lunch? Wouldn’t you like a little pesto on this spaghetti? After a while, your culinary imagination can start to run wild with tantalising potential mini projects.
And importantly, you can make your sauces, soups, and batters in far smaller quantities, so you won’t have to race to use up leftovers from the fridge. It’s less wasteful, and gives you more opportunities to perfect your recipe and technique, because with less effort there's less risk in preparing the classics in a new way.
Mums at home will also appreciate the ability to instantly purée meals for babies without worrying about suspect ingredients and nasty additives, with the attractive side option of experimental margaritas with the girls when bub visits the grandparents!
That said, some stick blenders are definitely better than others. Within the market there’s a wide variety of functionality, features, attachments, and prices, and it’s hard to know what you’re looking for until you’ve become accustomed to using one.
We’ve researched and found the best stick blenders on the market and put together this nifty list of top 10, followed by what to look for in the best stick blender for your needs.
1. Smeg 50s Style Hand Blender
Both a beauty and beast, this simple blender is the best hand held blender of the bunch
Winner of the 2017 Good Design Awards, the Smeg 50s is a retro style 700w hand blender and it is as attractive as it is functional.
The 700 watt motor is a true powerhouse with the guts to blend, emulsify, chop, and mash your way through tougher ingredients. A variable speed dial control moves through four speeds for precision control over your blending game, plus turbo mode for when you need to push the higher power.
Smeg promotes the chopping head in marketing for its “revolutionary FlowBend system” design, but we haven’t noticed anything wildly remarkable about the shape compared to competing brands. It’s a tough and sturdier structure, but harder to clean out.
And finally, it’s very easy on the eye. That’s not necessarily the top priority in a stick blender for many people, but once you start playing around and come to find you’re using it daily, this is one that stands freely to take up almost no room on your countertop, without looking like clutter.
The bottom line is that this is a simple but excellent quality hand mixer. Tough and durable materials paired with good looks and functionality make this hand blender a gorgeous piece of kitchen equipment that will last years of daily use.
Best For Baby Food
2. Braun MultiQuick 9
A durable and versatile blender with the power to keep up with busy families
The Braun MultiQuick 9 is a great family-oriented machine that combines the convenience of a stick blender, the higher power of a light food processor, and the versatility to make favourites for family members of all ages, and even sneak in some veggies!
The MultiQuick 9 is a great compromise for all cooks because it includes a stainless steel multi purpose food processor attachment, as well as julienne blades, kneading hook, and whisk attachments. A 1000 watt motor hosts a massive power capacity to run quickly and evenly for best results in all modes, and stay durable for years.
This is a machine that’s been designed with durability for daily use in mind. The highlight here is the design of the blades that move up and down as you work, to cover a wider range of space. A comfortable large trigger switch sits under your finger and adjusts the speed of the blades to the pressure of your squeeze.
The movement of these blades results in twice as fine blending in half the time, but also lets you get closer to the base, meaning puréeing tiny portions of baby food will be smooth and lump-free without needing to make too much and keep the leftovers in the fridge.
As a bonus, we love the masher attachment, that makes the creamiest and smoothest mash that kids love! Our only gripe is that all these pieces could really use a storage case, but considering all this blender comes with, we can’t deny we’re getting our money’s worth.
3. Bamix Mono Immersion Blender
The best immersion blender for smooth and even consistency
Price AUD: $259.95
This Swiss handbuilt immersion blender is a beautiful stainless steel machine with 3 blades to cover a versatile range of food projects, best used for whipping up light and airy milks, smoothies, sorbets and purées.
The heat resistant chromated brass casing is sleek and comfortable, housing an AC motor that churns with consistency when handling tougher ingredients. An easy switch controls low and high speeds at 8,000 and 12,000 RPM respectively, and a push button controls continuous or pulsing action.
The head is our favourite design for beating liquids and light ingredients, they’ve allowed a large open area to allow the blades to easily hit all that comes near, with only three short safety stems to avoid damaging the blade on the bottom of the two included beakers.
The Bamix Mono immersion blender comes with three easily swappable blades: an aerating blade for beating eggs and foaming milk, a blending blade for whisking, and a multi-purpose chopping blade for heavier ingredients.
While extremely comfortable and smooth to run, we wouldn’t recommend this one if you plan to do a lot of potato mash or other recipes with heavy ingredients. The design of the open blade means the tool is a bit too flexible to easily power through a whole beaker of chopped potato, but is perfect for sauces, batters, and soups.
Blending liquids is where this immersion blender truly shines. On hot summer afternoons the blending blade is your best friend for beautifully smooth and effortless frappes, juices and cocktails.
Best For Soups
4. Kenwood Triblade
popular all-rounder that’s easy to hold, use, clean and store
Simple design with updated quality materials go a long way to make the Kenwood Triblade the best hand held blender for daily quick cooking of light meals like soups and mash, and the Good Guys’ top best selling stick mixer.
The 800 watt electric motor makes pureeing fast and efficient with a three arm angled blade to reach food all throughout the roomy bell chamber. The contoured handle feels great to hold for large and small hands, and with a non-slip grip that allows excellent control and natural movement. The speed is adjusted with a comfortable dial, a rare blessing for anyone suffering arthritis or other motor issues.
This model of stick mixer has attachments that increase versatility, but in basic design is more about simplicity and intuitive efficient use, rather than expensive and complicated features. Attachments include a half litre chopper, metal balloon whisk, and specialty attachments for potato mash and soup, along with a beaker designed to provide ideal space to blend.
With so many parts, we really wish it would come with a storage solution, but we appreciate at least all these parts are free standing and have a visually clean white-kitchen finish, so they can at least be stored together neatly without clutter.
Best For Smoothies
5. Breville Control Grip
The ultimate stick blender for making the morning brekkie and smoothies
The Control Grip from Breville is a lightweight hand blender with an antisplash design, perfect for light tasks such as drinks and ice, whisking eggs and pancake batter. This super popular blender is neat and reliable, and won’t take up too much storage space.
The 300 watt motor gives decent enough power through a stable bell base that melts through liquids on high without ever splashing. This is perfect for quiet operation preparing batters, soups, sauces, juices and smoothies, but the lower power does make it tricky to get through tougher ingredients like dates.
The soft touch grip is comfy to hold and places your fingers securely bunched at the trigger switch controls, although the hold will be less comfy for those with much larger hands.
While using the blender is quite smooth and intuitive, removing the blender leg for washing requires quite a bit of hand strength to simultaneously press the eject buttons, and a few customers have reported needing to wait for a stronger family member.
This blender comes with a 750mL chopping bowl and a 1.25L jug that neatly fit inside each other for storage in minimal space. The storage lid also cleverly doubles as a non slip base while you blend, which will allow far better control on most kitchen countertops.
6. KitchenAid Artisan Deluxe Hand Blender
A versatile blender that stores well and chops ultra fine
This premium five speed stick blender powers through a wide variety of culinary endeavours, from pureeing, to mincing, to frothing, and whipping. The 5 attachments are easy to click in and out, making this multi tool a truly versatile kitchen help.
Interchangeable stainless steel bell covered “S” blades, star blades and frothing blades are well designed to be sharp, thin and light, with enough negative space to allow food in, and enough coverage to reduce splashing whilst providing structure to tackle tougher ingredients.
The splash proof design is partly to avoid liquids entering the unit, which will not drain easily and can cause problems with the internal mechanisms. This is a design flaw we want to see fixed in future models. While you won’t be submerging the blender in water in regular use, it does seem unwise to not ensure waterproofing on an appliance designed for kitchen use.
As well as the three blades and their bell covers, this set includes a whisk attachment, a 1 litre beaker, and a 600mL BPA-free chopper. The 20cm chopping arm for this chopper is part of where this set gets its higher cost, but this long blade makes the attachment unfortunately delicate. This deluxe blender is in many ways a marvel, but hard to justify the cost at full price.
As a unique addition, it also comes with a clever pan guard so you can catch that last batter lump in the pan without scratching the top coat. And we truly appreciate that all the parts and blender accessories fit neatly into the included storage case so you won’t have to worry about finding a home for all these shiny new tools.
7. Braun MultiQuick 5 Vario
A tough blender that makes superb veggie noodles without hurting your hands
This handheld food prep system is a unique take on the stick blender concept, offering a specialised spiralizing attachment that makes noodles out of vegetables, a timesaving godsend for anyone on keto and low carb diets.
The spiralizer accessory is similar to your standard chopper accessory, but instead of chopping inside the canister, the veggies are spun into one of three attachments to match your pasta width preference: linguine, tagliatelle, or pappardelle. The functionality of this accessory works surprisingly well, reliably creating veggie noodles quickly and without jamming. The spiralizing blade inserts are easier to clean than manual spiralizers, and a stiff brush has been thoughtfully included to get the last remnants off the blades.
The 1.25L jug blender handles soups, drinks and dips with angled chopping blades to process large quantities. The jug blender can also be fitted with included ice crushing blades for chopped ice on hot days.
Another star feature of the Braun MultiQuick 5 Vario is the controls, which use an easy wheel under the thumb to smoothly dial through 21 speeds without triggers or buttons, making it friendly to arthritic hands and RSI sufferers.
8. Sunbeam StickMaster Plus
A value buy that’s effective, easy to use, and easy to wash
Price AUD: $79.00
The StickMaster Plus is the best value stick blender that uses a unique blade design to break up food faster for smoother chopping. This is an easy to wash and easy to use blender that offers high power for an attractive price.
The settings control two modes, normal and turbo, and 600 watts gives decent power to both, possibly a little louder than we might like. This may also be a bit much power for the whisk attachment without the included beaker: attempting to whisk in any large bowl is going to result in an egg glaze for your walls.
The 3-by-3 blade system uses vertical stabbing blades that extend from the horizontal arms, to slice through food rather than mash, making blending faster and more efficient. The immediate concern with this blade system might have been in washing, but in fact washing is a breeze, as food easily falls straight out of the bell foot and all attachments are dishwasher safe.
Attachments include a stainless steel whisk, a 1.5L beaker and 750mL chopper with a non-slip mat that doubles as a storage lid. The attachments twist and lock on and off very intuitively, but may be a little awkward on the wrists.
9. Kambrook X Blade Food Prep System
A four-armed blade to chop light ingredients finer and faster
Using their unique “X” shaped stainless steel blade system, this Kambrook stick blender is a precision blender for quick results of liquids and fine ingredients.
The ergonomic handle is light plastic that will suit most people, keeping your hand in a comfortable position either sideways hooked over the fingers, or forwards nestled between the thumb and palm. Variable speed ensures good control over blending and processing, while a turbo boost button can kick up the power when you really need it.
The blender comes with mash attachment, 800mL blending jug, and 500mL chopping bowl, complete with chopping blade attachment and lid, although this is definitely more designed for herbs and other light ingredients. While the 4 armed “X” blade is faster and more efficient, it also needs to move more blades through each revolution, meaning ingredients that are too tough may jam the parts.
10. Kambrook Power Drive
An affordable hand blender that’s simple and durable
For people looking to try their first stick blender, this simple handheld with chopper and beaker is a neat entry level machine that gives you all the power of larger machines, without the bulk of extra attachments.
The plastic handle can be tough on your hands if you really need to use it for twenty minutes in and out of egg whites for meringues, but on the plus side it’s more manoeuvrable at all angles and less likely to degrade over the years.
Variable speed controls and a narrow measuring jug bring ideal control for mixing and blending tasks that normally splash, and a boost button is also available for extra power when ingredients need a little extra help to break up.
Durable stainless steel is used for the blades and blending shaft, making the blender longer lasting and a cinch to clean.
How to choose a stick blender
Stick blenders vary so wildly in features, price and design it can be hard to know what you’re looking for until you’ve used one for a while and learn what’s most important to you. Here are a few things to consider before picking out your new kitchen buddy:
- Grip - Stick blenders usually have a moulded space where your hand will sit, and here you need to consider whose hands are being catered for. A non-slip grip is great for comfort and control, but usually forces your hand into a certain position to be comfortable. Be sure the holding position isn’t going to be awkward for moving up and down in a beaker or bowl. Those with larger hands also need more space, so check the moulding won’t bunch and cramp your fingers together.
- Settings - The speed settings should be intuitive and difficult to accidentally bump into the highest setting. A turbo boost button is useful for extra push when needed, but shouldn’t activate unless already blending. If anyone in your family has weak hands, arthritis or RSI, you will also want to consider controls that are on dials and binary click buttons, rather than trigger squeezes or responsive pressure buttons.
- Food processing attachments - Many of the newest stick blenders come with food processing attachments, but these rarely function as well one hopes. They’re great for herbs, nuts, fruits and liquids (as long as you have enough power from the motor), because they contain those ingredients in a confined space. For anything heavier, you may need a proper food processor.
- Measuring jugs and beakers - Stick blenders often come with a beaker to use your stick blender in, to avoid you splashing your ingredients out of a bowl. A good beaker is as narrow as the blending bell head at the bottom, and slightly wider at the top. Bonus points if it comes with a lid, and double bonus points if it has a measuring print down the side for liquids. A tall measuring beaker is so handy you’ll end up using it twice as often as you blend in it.
- Other attachments - Other specialty attachments often included may be for mashed potato, immersion blending, or whisking, among others. These tend to be quite good at what they’re designed for, but only as long as the power is appropriate for the job. Mash potato needs a lot of strength, and without the wattage, the attachment is useless. Whisking conversely needs a light touch, and if the speed doesn’t go low enough, you’ll overbeat and most likely splash eggs everywhere.