Comparison of 5 Hand Blender Sticks

Cuisinart Hand BlenderIf you've ever tried pureeing hot soup by putting it in a traditional blender, only to have the blender's lid burst off and send burning liquid shooting all over kitchen, you know how valuable a good hand blender can be.

While a hand blender, also known as a stick or immersion blender, probably won't replace your countertop blender, they are useful tools with a variety of applications, like blending soups, mixing sauces, whipping up vinaigrettes, and making a quick smoothie.

Choosing a stick blender can be daunting due to the sheer number of choices. This review provides a virtual side-by-side comparison of the most popular models by Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, KitchenAid, and Viking.

Stick Blenders: Overview

Stick blenders come in two basic versions: corded models that plug into an outlet, or battery powered, non-corded models. All the blenders in this review are corded models, which are generally considered more powerful than battery operated units.

Each of the five stick blenders reviewed here is designed for one-handed operation. They separate into two or more pieces: a base which contains the motor and power controls, and the actual blending or whipping attachment(s).

Beyond these basics, each blender has its own set of distinctive features which are listed below.

Cuisinart CSB-76 Smart Stick Hand Blender

Cuisinart CSB-76Priced at $55, the CSB-76 Smart Stick Hand Blender is Cuisinart's mid-range model. The CSB-76 has one speed, push button controls. The blending wand with its stainless steel blade easily detaches and is dishwasher safe. It does a good job of smoothly blending soups and smoothies, and feels solid in your hand.

At three feet, its cord is on the shorter side, but should be long enough for most uses. It also comes with a 16-oz measure and mixing beaker, which is great for whipping up salad dressing or mayonnaise.

Lightweight and ergonomically designed, it's a good choice if you're in the market for a no-frills hand blender for occasional to moderate use.

  • Motor: 200-watts
  • Speeds: 1
  • Weight: 3 lbs
  • Dimensions: 3" x 3" x 14 1/8th"
  • Warranty: 3-year limited
  • Comes in: White or Brushed Chrome

Cuisinart CSB-77 Smart Stick Hand Blender

Cuisinart CSB-77 Hand BlenderThe Cuisinart CSB-77 has all the base features of its less expensive little brother, the CSB-76, but at $90, adds a specialized whisk attachment as well as a 2-cup chopping cup attachment useful for quick food processing jobs like chopping herbs or nuts.

Like the CSB-76, this blender feels solid in your hand and has no trouble pureeing soups or sauces. Construction seems sturdy, and the stainless steel blending wand is dishwasher safe.

If you're looking for a stick blender that can double as a food processor for small tasks, or find yourself doing a lot of whisking, the bump in price from the CSB-76 to the CSB-77 might be a good choice for you.

  • Motor: 200-watts
  • Speeds: 1
  • Weight: 3 lbs
  • Dimensions: 1.3" x 4.5" x 14"
  • Warranty: 3-year limited
  • Comes in: Brushed Chrome only

Hamilton Beach 59770 Turbo-Twister 2-speed Hand Blender

Hamilton Beach Hand BlenderAt $29.99, the Hamilton Beach Turbo-Twister is the least expensive of the stick blenders reviewed. It comes with a 7.25" whisk attachment, and has two speed settings: high and low.

Buttons to control blender speed are located on the top end of the base, and must be held down continuously or the blender will turn off. This is a safety feature, but can make using the blender a little unwieldy, especially if you have small hands.

With its five-foot cord, the Hamilton Beach offers a bit more room to move than the Cuisinarts. However, its blending and whisk attachments are not dishwasher safe, and cleaning can be an issue when food sometimes gets stuck up inside the protective sleeve around the blade.

The main drawback of the Hamilton Beach is its low blade placement relative to the blade guard. While this makes it great for blending smaller quantities of foods, you must be careful to avoid scratching the bottoms of pots and pans.

Another drawback is the blade guard itself, which is plastic and prone to cracking.

  • Motor: 200-watts
  • Speeds: 2
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs
  • Dimensions: 3.1" x 5.2" x 14.7"
  • Warranty: 3-year limited
  • Comes in: Brushed Chrome only

KitchenAid KHB300 Immersion Blender with Whisk and Chopping Attachment

KitchenAid Hand Blender StickKitchenAid as a brand known for its durability and this unit measures up. The KitchenAid KHB300 is more powerful (300-watts) than the Cuisinarts and Hamilton Beach. With nine speed settings chosen by dial at the top of the base, it's also more versatile.

Thick soups with meats and beans are no problem for the motor and blending wand. The KitchenAid also comes with a dedicated whisk attachment for things like batters or creams, a four-piece chopper attachment that serves as a mini food processor, and a four cup mixing beaker with snap-on lid to store leftovers. There is also a draw-string bag to keep all the blender's attachments safely in one place.

The KitchenAid's additional power, extra attachments and bonus items may or may not make up for its higher price tag (MSRP: $129.99), depending on whether you find yourself needing these features or not. If you do need a more powerful immersion blender, feel comfortable in considering the KitchenAid.

  • Motor: 300-watts
  • Speeds: 9
  • Weight: 2.9 lbs
  • Dimensions: 3" x 6" x 17"
  • Warranty: 1-year limited
  • Comes in: Red, Black, and White

Viking Black and Stainless Professional Hand Blender

Viking Hand Blender StickRetailing for $120, Viking Professional Hand Blender is one of the most expensive blender reviewed here. It boasts a 300-watt motor with two speed power and pulse control. The unit also comes with a stainless steel (dishwasher-safe) blending wand, stainless steel whisk attachment, and a 35-oz blending cup. Its five-foot cord gives you plenty of freedom to move around.

If you're blending soup, the Viking is fast. It will create a vortex in the cooking vessel that pulls all the soon-to-be-liquid into the blades for consistently creamy soups and sauces.

Like the Hamilton Beach, the Viking has a built in safety feature that shuts it off if you're not actively touching the power buttons, but unlike the Hamilton Beach, the grip design of the Viking is well thought out, which makes this a true feature.

  • Motor: 300-watts
  • Speeds: 2 (+ pulse control)
  • Weight: 2.9 lbs
  • Dimensions: 1.5" x 15"
  • Warranty: 1-year limited
  • Comes in: Black and Stainless

Choosing the Best Stick Blender

Cuisinart Stick BlenderIt's really hard to go wrong with any of the above blenders. They're made by big companies with a long history of producing high-quality kitchen appliances.

The best-rated and best-selling is the CSB-76 and it's reasonably priced at $55. Amazon usually sells it for just $30 though. That's the one I recommend because of its good value.

Click here for the best sellers

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