The Best Immersion Blender

After spending nearly 30 hours researching immersion blenders, considering 57 models, interviewing two soup-making pros, and then testing some of the blenders over two years (including pureeing gallons of soup, smoothies, salsa, and mayonnaise), we’re confident that you can’t buy a better immersion blender than the Breville Control Grip. It produces smoother textures than any other model we tried. Smart design features, such as a grippy handle, no-suction gasket, and a wider range of speeds, make it far easier to use than the competition.

Last Updated: March 1, 2016
After testing three more immersion blenders for this update, our top pick remains the same. Because it is easy to use and makes the smoothest purees, we’re confident that the Breville Control Grip is still the best for most people. Our runner-up pick is the OXO On Illuminating Digital Immersion Blender, which does a decent job of pureeing soups and smoothies. If you don’t puree foods very often and prefer a cheaper option, we suggest the Cuisinart CSB-75BC Smart Stick Immersion Blender.
Expand Most Recent Updates
December 11, 2015: Recently, All Clad, OXO and Vremi were selected by seriouseats.com as their top three immersion blenders after three months of testing. While these models weren’t available during our original testing, we’re eager to follow up on Serious Eats’ testing with our own. Though they did confirm our also great pick, the Cuisinart CSB-75, as “a surprisingly solid budget option...this entry-level model did remarkably well in almost every trial—even besting the big guns in one of several whipped-cream tests.”
November 25, 2015: Cuisinart added a new, more powerful blender, the CSB-100, to its line of immersion blenders. We’re currently looking for trusted reviews of this new model and plan on testing it during our next update.
Breville BSB510XL Control Grip Immersion Blender
Its overall ease of use and ability to create silky-smooth purees make this immersion blender worth its steep price.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $100.

In addition to making the smoothest textures and being the overall easiest to use, the Breville excelled at tougher tasks that the other immersion blenders just couldn’t handle. Its 42-ounce blending jar was also the only one big enough to fit the ingredients for two smoothies. It’s one of the pricier hand blenders out there, but we think the Breville Control Grip is far less likely to languish in a junk drawer or at the back of a cupboard than other, inconvenient offerings.

Also Great
OXO On Illuminating Digital Immersion Blender
This doesn’t blend as smoothly as our main pick, but it’s comfortable to use and makes decent (if slightly chunky) soups and smoothies in an impressively short amount of time.

If the Breville sells out, we’d opt for the OXO On Illuminating Digital Immersion Blender. This came in second overall. It’s not as good at processing fibrous ingredients, such as ginger, but it makes reasonably smooth textures. The heat-resistant nylon cage that houses the blade and the silicone-coated stainless steel shaft prevent the OXO from scratching delicate cookware. This model doesn’t come with any attachments besides a cup, so we recommend it for the minimalist who doesn’t want to clutter up their kitchen with a lot of accessories.

Also Great
Cuisinart CSB-75BC Smart Stick Immersion Blender
Get this over our main pick only if you don't think you'll use it that often. It’s less powerful and feels cheaper overall, but it outperforms its $35 price.

When it comes to blenders (upright and immersion), we’ve found that you really do get what you pay for. The Cuisinart CSB-75BC Smart Stick Immersion Blender makes thicker textures than the Breville, its handle feels much cheaper, and overall it has a flimsier build. But for its price, it’s surprisingly powerful—especially compared with other models in this price category. We think this is a good buy if you plan on using an immersion blender only a couple of times a month, or if you don’t mind using a lower-quality machine. This doesn’t come with any attachments, such as a chopper or whisk, so it’s really only good for pureeing soups, smoothies, or sauces.

Table of contents

Why you should trust us

Over the past two years, Christine Cyr Clisset, who wrote our original guide, has spent close to 200 hours researching and testing, and writing about kitchen gadgets that whirl, cut, and chop, for The Sweethome. That includes guides about food processors and blenders. Before that, she spent a few years skulking (as a cookbook editor) around the test kitchens at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, where she once got an in-depth tutorial from Martha’s onetime private chef, Pierre Schaedelin, on how to make the perfect strained French puree (which she’s way too lazy to do herself!). Michael Sullivan, who contributed to our 2016 update, has reviewed can openers and cookbook stands as well as other kitchen gadgets for The Sweethome. He is a graduate of The International Culinary Center, where he also worked as an editor. He previously worked as a recipe tester for the cookbook Meat: Everything You Need to Know.

For this guide, we spoke with Rudy Speckamp, a former restaurateur who has logged countless hours using immersion blenders as an instructor at the Culinary Institute of America, as well as Volker Frick, who worked with immersion blenders for 20 years as the executive chef at the soup manufacturer Kettle Cuisine. To decide which models to bring in, we read reviews in Cook’s Illustrated and Consumer Reports, and looked closely at user ratings on sites such as Amazon and Macy’s.

Who should get this

It’s worth investing in an immersion blender if you make pureed soups.

It’s worth investing in an immersion blender if you make pureed soups. “If you’re pureeing a soup, you could use a blender or a food processor, but an immersion blender just makes it one pot cookery,” the Culinary Institute’s Speckamp told us, since it’s easy to puree soup directly in the stockpot. Immersion blenders also work well for small batches of mayonnaise, smoothies, pesto, or even baby food.

An immersion blender won’t work for heavier tasks or make the smoothest texture. A food processor, with its various blades and disks, works best for most chopping, dicing, or shredding, and a full-size blender makes much smoother purees and smoothies. (If you want more details on the differences between blenders, processors, and mixers, we’ve covered the subject in some depth.)

We recommend upgrading from an old immersion blender only if your current model takes a long time to blend smooth textures or if you want more attachments, such as a mini chopper or whisk.

How we picked and tested

immersion blender

For our 2016 update, we looked at three new models: the OXO On Illuminating Digital, Cuisinart CSB-100, and All-Clad KZ750D. We tested these against our previous picks: the Breville Control Grip, KitchenAid 3-Speed, and Cuisinart Smart Stick. Photo: Michael Hession

An immersion blender’s motor needs to have enough torque to create a vigorous vortex so that food circulates in the mixing vessel and passes through the rotary blade multiple times. “If there’s a lot of movement, that’s good,” said Volker Frick, the former executive chef at Kettle Cuisine. “How deep does [the vortex] go? And how quickly does it spit it back up?” An effective vortex will create a smooth puree, while a subpar one will leave stringy or chunky bits in soup or smoothies.

Because these machines are designed to be used one-handed (you’ll likely hold a pot or mixing cup with your other hand), the best ones are comfortable to hold. That means the buttons should be easy to press, the handle should feel good, and the machine should be light enough to hold comfortably for up to a minute. (Most non-commercial immersion blenders shouldn’t be used for longer than a minute at a time or they’ll overheat.)

Nicer consumer immersion blenders have removable blending wands.

Nicer consumer immersion blenders have removable blending wands. For some, this allows you to put the wand in the dishwasher for easy cleanup and to connect different attachments (such as a food chopper or whisk). Higher-end models (such as those by Bamix) and those made for commercial use tend to have wands that don’t come off. In part, the fixed wand may be why these pro-grade blenders tend to be more durable than consumer ones; there are simply less pieces that can break. (We couldn’t find an official appliance engineer to confirm this, but we spoke with a process engineer who agreed with this assessment.) That said, in our testing we found fixed wands cumbersome to wash, and we haven’t had any durability problems with the detachable wand of our main pick during more than three years of testing.

The wand and the cage housing the blade are both stainless steel, offering greater durability than cheap plastic components that may not be heat resistant and potentially warp in a batch of hot soup (or if they touch the hot side of a pot). We read at least one Amazon review and a mention in the comments of this Kitchn piece complaining about just this problem with cheaper, all-plastic models.

immersion blender

In our tests, we found that cages containing a gasket (like with the Breville Control Grip) or those made from nylon (like with the OXO On Illuminating Digital) helped prevent scratching the bottom of pots and other, more delicate cookware. Photo: Michael Hession

Although many higher-end immersion blenders come with multiple speeds, we found that you really only need two of them—low and high. America’s Test Kitchen/Cook’s also found this to be true in their reviews.

As for attachments, many models come with a food chopper and whisk. Both Volker Frick and Rudy Speckamp agreed that these attachments are really just gravy, since the main task is to blend. In our own testing, we’ve found the chopper attachment, in particular, useful for grinding small batches of bread crumbs, making a quick vinaigrette, or even filling for ravioli (but not always great for chopping things like onions, which tend to get pulverized). However, more often than not, we found dirtying the mini chopper attachment to be more trouble than it’s worth.

Some brands make models with taller wands, advertising these as better for blending in deep pots. Rudy Speckamp agreed: “It’s important, especially for quantity cooking, because you want it to go to the bottom of the pot for pureeing. If the shaft only goes to the middle of the pot, I don’t think it’s as successful.” The flip side is that if it’s too tall, the immersion blender can become more cumbersome to maneuver, which we experienced during testing.

A couple of other nice features to look for: a guard for the rotary blade and a wall-mounted holder for the blender. Both of these features will help keep your immersion blender from dangerously lurking in a drawer, waiting to slice you.

There are a variety of cordless immersion blenders on the market. Like many cordless tools, these tend not to be as powerful as their corded counterparts. We didn’t find any that topped editorial or user reviews.

There’s not much consensus—at least in editorial reviews—about who makes the best.

Nearly every major brand that makes small kitchen appliances makes an immersion blender, but there’s not much consensus—at least in editorial reviews—about who makes the best. America’s Test Kitchen/Cook’s, Consumer Reports, Good Housekeeping, and Serious Eats tested different models, and we didn’t find any agreement in the smaller reviews we read, so it was difficult to compare results. Because of this, we looked at Amazon reviews more closely than we would usually.

For this update, we looked for new editorial reviews and again looked at user reviews, settling on three newer models—the All-Clad KZ750D Stainless Steel Immersion Blender, the OXO On Illuminating Digital Immersion Blender with Headlight, and the Cuisinart CSB-100 Smart Stick Variable Speed Hand Blender—to pit against our former winner, the Breville Control Grip; our runner-up, the KitchenAid 3-Speed Hand Blender; and our budget pick, the Cuisinart CSB-75BC Smart Stick Immersion Blender. We wanted to test the Vremi 3-in-1 Pro Hand Blender, which was a top pick in the Serious Eats roundup, but unfortunately it was out of stock on the company’s website and on Amazon.

immersion blender mayonnaise

We made small batches of mayonnaise to judge how efficiently the immersion blenders could emulsify. Photo: Lesley Stockton

For our 2016 update, we tested each immersion blender by pureeing kale and almonds with frozen raspberries and peaches to make smoothies in the blending cups (or in plastic deli quart containers if they didn’t come with one). We also pureed batches of fibrous parsnip-ginger-almond soup directly in a pot and timed approximately how long it took to reach a smooth consistency. We strained both the smoothie and soup through a fine-mesh sieve to see how much pulp was left over. We also made small batches of mayonnaise to judge how efficiently the immersion blenders could emulsify, noting how easy they were to hold with one hand while pouring oil with the other (or whether they were capable of making mayonnaise in a blending cup with all of the ingredients combined). We also wanted to see if the casings around the blades would suction to the bottom of the blending cups. In the chopper attachment (if the blender came with one), we diced a single onion to judge whether the machines could make an even chop without pulverizing the alliums.

immersion blender sieve results

Our results after pureeing fibrous parsnip-ginger-almond soup with each immersion blender and straining through a fine-mesh sieve (clockwise from top left ): the Breville Control Grip, the KitchenAid 3-Speed, the OXO On Illuminating Digital, the All-Clad KZ750D, the Cuisinart CSB-100, and the Cuisinart Smart Stick. Photo: Michael Hession

Our pick

Breville BSB510XL Control Grip Immersion Blender
Its overall ease of use and ability to create silky-smooth purees make this immersion blender worth its steep price.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $100.

Though it’s on the pricier side (it’s about $100), we think that because the Breville Control Grip Immersion Blender is so much easier and pleasant to use than other hand blenders, it’s more likely to get regular play in the kitchen. It processed the smoothest texture of all the blenders we tried and did it quickly. Rubber grips on the handle and a control button make it more comfortable to hold. It’s one of the only models we tried that didn’t suction to the bottom of a pot or mixing cup. The Breville’s 1,250-milliliter (42-ounce) cup is more than double the volume of cups from the other blenders we tested—enough for two smoothies. Its wider range of speeds and well thought out attachments also elevate it above the competition.

In our latest round of testing, the Breville was better at pureeing smoothies and soups than all of the other models we tried. In our original 2013 tests, the Breville made the smoothest pureed carrot-tomato-ginger soup and left almost zero food waste behind when strained through a sieve (impressively, it even ground peanuts into a smooth peanut butter). This year’s test played out much the same, even when pureeing a fibrous parsnip-ginger-almond soup. Besides the Breville, none of the other immersion blenders we tested this year made a perfect puree. It was one of the quickest to blend the soup, achieving a smooth, silky texture in about 2 minutes, 49 seconds, and didn’t splatter in the process. While the OXO was a bit faster at 2 minutes, 3 seconds, its texture wasn’t quite as smooth as the Breville, and left behind some almond and ginger pieces when strained. By contrast, the Breville left behind only finely pureed pieces of almond skin.

None of the blenders we tested in 2013 or this year excelled at green smoothies, but the Breville was best. It managed to make slightly smoother textures than most, leaving only raspberry seeds behind. Nearly all of the other models we tested left behind confetti bits of kale, raspberry seeds, and/or tiny pieces of nuts. In our tests last year, the Dualit Immersion Blender was about on a par with the Breville, even though it’s a much more powerful immersion blender (400 watts versus the Breville’s 280 watts). When we strained the smoothies, the Breville and Dualit mixtures left about the same amount of pulp in the sieve.

In addition to blending well, the Breville was the most comfortable to use, so it was easier to process things that took a few minutes (like a pot of soup or mayo). The Breville’s pulse button and parts of the handle are covered in rubber, so they’re easy to grip. Some models we tested got slippery with oil and were more difficult to hold. The Breville seemed to require less torque when moving around a pot of soup (thus, saving strain on the wrist) compared with the action of both the KitchenAid 3-Speed and the Cuisinart Smart Stick. The Breville’s buttons were also among the easiest to push.

Unlike some models we tested, the gasket at the base of the metal cage prevented the blender from suctioning to the bottom of the mixing cup or pot. The gasket also protects the cage from scratching the bottom and sides of your pots. Some, like the Cuisinart Smart Stick, don’t have a protective gasket. Our testers felt like they had to be more cautious while moving the immersion blender around the pot in order to prevent it from scratching.

After long-term testing for more than two years, we haven’t used the Breville’s mixing cup all that often, but we do appreciate that it’s bigger than the cups that come with other models. At 1,250 milliliters (or 42 ounces) to the top fill line, it’s more than twice the size . It was the only one in this past round of testing that comfortably fit the ingredients for two smoothies. The Breville’s mini chopper also fits directly into the cup for tidy storage.

The Breville’s low and high speeds were more extreme than the other models we tested, and it’s noticeably higher high may be why it blends more efficiently. Although we found the 15 speeds mostly overkill, it was helpful for when we needed to start slow and gradually increase the speed to prevent ingredients from splattering. A small dial at the top of the blender controls the speeds, and it’s easy to adjust as you blend.

While not a necessity, the Breville comes with a selection of high-quality attachments, including a mini chopper, whisk attachment, and a guard for the blade. We’ve appreciated that guard over the past few years, as it makes it easy to stow the blender in a utensil drawer without risking slicing a hand.

Consumer Reports also likes the Breville Control Grip. Its editors chose it as their top pick with a score of a 92 out of 100 points. The Breville has an average warranty, only a year limited (we hoped it would be more, considering that the motor on the company’s food processor has a 25-year warranty).

Flaws but not dealbreakers

The Breville, like the All-Clad, can’t make super-speedy mayo by combining all of the ingredients in the cup and pureeing together. We weren’t able to confirm with experts as to why some immersion blenders can or cannot make speedy mayo, but it most likely has to do with the way in which the vortex is created. That said, the recipe for basic mayonnaise included in the Breville instruction booklet says to “gradually drizzle oil into [the] egg mixture.” Using this more traditional method, the Breville can still make mayonnaise effectively, and it took only about a minute or two longer than the speedy method. We don’t feel this is a dealbreaker because most people don’t make homemade mayo on a regular basis anyway, if at all.

immersion blender breville control grip

The Breville can’t make “speedy mayo” (when all of the ingredients are combined and blended in the cup together), but it does a great job when the oil is slowly drizzled into the egg mixture. Photo: Lesley Stockton

The blending wand has an opening at the top that can fill with water when washing. You have to be careful to dump out the water and air-dry the wand upside down. Many of the other models with removable wands are totally enclosed, which we like better. Just be careful when washing and drying.

immersion blender breville control grip design

An opening lets water into the Breville’s blending wand; take care not to submerge when washing. Photo: Christine Cyr Clisset

Also, if you’re not careful, the Breville will totally pulverize an onion in its chopper attachment. We suggest pulsing judiciously and checking the consistency of items in the chopper attachment often to keep from over-processing.

Long-term test notes

After more than two years of testing, we’ve used the Breville Control Grip and its attachments almost weekly to make smoothies, puree soups, and create fillings for recipes like ravioli. We’ve even used the whisk attachment to whip up batches of egg whites. The model we have performs as well as it did when we got it. Some of the printing on the side of the handle has worn, but that hasn’t affected its performance.

The blender is a little tricky to clean under the blades, particularly when used for thick purees or mayo, which can get caught in the casing that surrounds the blades. But this is a problem with all immersion blenders. Sometimes it requires a little prodding with a utensil to get the gunk out (never, never do this while the blender is plugged in!). Running the immersion blender in a cup of soapy water also makes for easier cleanup.

Runner-up

Also Great
OXO On Illuminating Digital Immersion Blender
This doesn’t blend as smoothly as our main pick, but it’s comfortable to use and makes decent (if slightly chunky) soups and smoothies in an impressively short amount of time.

We think that the Breville is much easier to use and that it will make you a happier cook in the long run, but we recommend the OXO On Illuminating Digital Immersion Blender as a decent runner-up. It doesn’t blend quite as smoothly as the Breville and it has trouble with fibrous ingredients like ginger, but it makes decently smooth purees quickly. Like the Breville, it’s also comfortable to hold.

Since this model doesn’t come with attachments besides a 700-milliliter (24-ounce) cup, we recommend it for the minimalist who’ll use it mainly for pureeing soups and smoothies or making mayo. Its nylon cage can withstand high heat and won’t scratch delicate cooking surfaces. The silicone coating on the stick allows you to tap off excess food on the side of a pot without creating nicks and dings. It even comes with a two-year warranty.

immersion blender oxo on digital

The OXO On Illuminating Digital Immersion Blender was one of the fastest models we tested. Photo: Michael Hession

It was a Serious Eats pick in 2015. The editors found that “the anti-vortex design of the blade guard kept saucepan suction at bay, yet didn’t sap its efficiency to an annoying degree in aeration-driven tasks (like making mayo and whipped cream).” In our tests, it successfully made mayonnaise in under a minute.

This model comes with an LED light located at the top of the shaft, which we initially thought was gimmicky. The light is intended to illuminate the area where you’re pureeing, but we found it wasn’t bright enough to be useful in this way. However, it turned out to be a nice safety precaution (it automatically illuminates when plugged in). It’s a nice reminder to handle it with caution while it’s plugged in, especially if you have young kids in the house.

Budget pick

Also Great
Cuisinart CSB-75BC Smart Stick Immersion Blender
Get this over our main pick only if you don't think you'll use it that often. It’s less powerful and feels cheaper overall, but it outperforms its $35 price.

At about a third of the price of the Breville, the Cuisinart Smart Stick CSB-75 is a surprisingly efficient blender if you don’t mind a slightly chunkier puree. To be clear, we’d still invest in the Breville for making daily smoothies or regularly pureeing soups or sauces. It might be three times as expensive, but it’s also three times the machine. But if you’re planning to use an immersion blender once a month or less, the Smart Stick makes a solid choice.

We were surprised by how well the Smart Stick performed given its low price. In previous tests, it blended soup on a par with the Cuisinart Smart Stick CSB-77, the KitchenAid 3-Speed, and the KitchenAid 5-Speed, which cost almost twice as much. And it makes a pretty good smoothie, though it left behind pieces of ginger and parsnip after pureeing soup. Still, this is the top-rated and top-selling hand blender on Amazon, receiving 4.5 stars out of five over 3,000 reviews. Consumer Reports chose this as its third top-rated immersion blender, giving it 76 points out of 100. The Cuisinart’s three-year limited warranty also beats out the two-year warranty of the OXO and the one-year warranty of the Breville.

immersion blender cuisinart smart stick

While the Cuisinart Smart Stick can’t achieve perfectly smooth purees, it does a decent job for a fraction of the price of the Breville or OXO. Photo: Michael Hession

This model comes with only a mixing cup and no attachments, but the wand is removable and easy to clean.

The Smart Stick CSB-75 does feel cheap compared with the other models we tested, and we found that its plastic casing trapped food in the seams. Like many other immersion blenders, there are also multiple Amazon reviews about this model breaking.

Overall though, it’s adequate. If you’re only planning to use an immersion blender on rare occasions or you’re not quite ready to commit to a more expensive model, we think this is a great choice.

Care and maintenance

If you’re used to the multitude of safety features on food processors, you might find immersion blenders a little less, well, idiot-proof. In January 2013, the New York Times published an article (“Bandages Not Included“) about how easy it is to hurt yourself with an immersion blender. The author mangled two fingers on her immersion blender and quotes multiple others who’ve cut themselves.

Like the author says, it’s apt that these machines are often called “hand blenders.” Unlike food processors, the only thing protecting you from the whirring blade of an immersion blender is the cage that surrounds it. Always be mindful of where you’re pointing the blade end of the blender, don’t put your free hand in its path, and unplug it when it’s not in use.

However, the experts we spoke with said the greater danger is actually splattering yourself with hot liquid. “The biggest thing is probably getting burnt,” culinary teacher Rudy Speckamp told me. To avoid this fate, soup pro Volker Frick says to always use the lower speed or pulse setting if working a smaller pot or saucepan.

Immersion blenders tend to have short duty cycles. Most of these machines should only ever be run for a maximum of one minute at a time, and then given a minute to three minutes before put to use again. It’s important to follow these directions or you may overheat the motor and ultimately break it. We accidentally did this with the Panasonic immersion blender we tested last year. (Though not recommended, we ran all of the models we tested this year for over a minute with no ill effect.)

According to its manual, the Breville Control Grip should be operated for only one minute at a time, with a one-minute cooling period. (When mixing super thick or heavy mixtures, the Breville manual says to operate the machine for only 15 seconds with one minute between each use.) The Cuisinart Smart Stick’s manual, on the other hand, says to operate it for 50 seconds at a time.

You can also burn out an immersion blender by using it for heavier tasks that it’s not suited to handle. Although we’ve found the whisk attachment on the Breville useful for whipping eggs or cream, avoid using it for something like a thick meringue. Opt for a hand or stand mixer instead.

Immersion blenders are generally easy to wash. Wipe the motor base with a damp cloth, and wash the wand with soap and water. Running the immersion blender in soapy warm water in the blending cup should loosen thick or sticky ingredients that lodge in the blade housing.

The competition

The new Cuisinart CSB-100 boasts 700 watts of power, which is about 300 more watts than our top pick. However, watts aren’t everything (which our new round of testing proved). It still left behind small bits of almonds after pureeing soup, which wasn’t the case with the Breville. While this model pureed soup more smoothly than the OXO, we found the safety lock feature incredibly irritating. You can’t start the blender unless you press the safety release button and the power button at the same time, making it a two-handed operation instead of one. While you can release the safety button once the machine is running, it’s an annoying, unnecessary step.

Our former runner-up pick last year, the KitchenAid KHB2351CU 3-Speed Hand Blender did not perform as well as the Breville or OXO in our tests this year. Even after nearly 5 minutes, 40 seconds, the KitchenAid left behind a chunky soup when strained. Our testers had issues with this model suctioning to the bottom of the pot and complained it splattered a lot. It also didn’t puree smoothies as well, leaving behind small nut pieces and raspberry seeds.

The All-Clad KZ750D left behind two large pieces of ginger that were virtually untouched after pureeing. This model doesn’t come with any accessories, even a cup, yet still costs around $100. This was one of the tallest and heaviest immersion blenders we tested, making it more cumbersome to maneuver compared with the Breville or OXO. The cage that houses the blade doesn’t have a gasket to protect against scratching delicate cookware.

Despite its obnoxiously large, vibrating handle, the Dualit Immersion Blender performed as well or came in second to the Breville in almost all the blending tests last year. It actually has a nicer chopper attachment (the only chopper attachment we’ve seen with a feed tube). But we couldn’t get past the uncomfortable handle. We also found it tricky to twist the blending wand on and off the handle, particularly if it was slicked with oily ingredients. We found the Breville’s snap-on handle a much better design. The Dualit is also expensive, and we don’t think it’s worth the extra money over the Breville.

The KitchenAid 5-Speed Hand Blender wasn’t reviewed in any major editorials, but at the time of our 2013 testing it was the fifth-rated immersion blender on Amazon (getting 4.4 out of five stars and 85 percent positive reviews) and actually had higher user ratings than the KitchenAid 3-Speed. It comes with a big box of attachments, including interchangeable blades, a chopper, and a whisk. We didn’t find that the 5-Speed performed any better than the KitchenAid 3-Speed, and we didn’t think we’d use all of the attachments.

Good Housekeeping chose the Cuisinart Smart Stick 2-Speed Hand Blender CSB-79 as one of its top picks, saying, “It offers excellent performance and it’s easy to use.” Food & Wine also recommended this model, saying, “The noticeably sharp blade purees beautifully, and the hood around the blade is extra-deep, which helps pull food through the blender.” In our 2013 testing, we found this model pureed on a par with the KitchenAid 3-Speed, KitchenAid 5-Speed, and the Cuisinart Smart Stick CSB-75, but was nowhere near as effective as the Breville Control Grip. It comes with whisk and chopper attachments, and has a three-year limited warranty. In testing, we didn’t find that this model did any better than the Cuisinart Smart Stick CBS-75, which you can pick up for nearly half the price.

We had high hopes for the the Bamix Mono. Bamix is basically the Swiss Army Knife of immersion blenders (in fact, the two are owned by the same parent company), and this Swiss manufacturer still makes its blenders in Switzerland (most of the contenders are all made in China). We steered toward this company not because of editorial reviews, which are actually pretty sparse, but because of user reviews. On message boards on Chowhound and eGullet (from the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters), we gathered that Bamix immersion blenders are often considered the best around. Many reviewers say the motors are built like tanks and that the machines last 20 years. The blending wands of all the Bamix models are permanently attached (although most come with interchangeable blades). We chose the Bamix Mono because it’s one of Bamix’s least expensive models and it had great reviews on Amazon. In testing, we found that it has a comfortable handle and easy-to-push buttons, but sadly the blender didn’t create a great vortex and therefore was super slow in blending soup and smoothies. Surprisingly, it was the worst in our puree test, leaving a ton of fiber in the sieve. The quality of this machine seems very high, and it very well might last decades, but we found it agonizingly slow after the speed and efficiency of the Breville Control Grip.

As with Bamix, we were intrigued by Waring immersion blenders because they seem very durable. In fact, Waring makes only professional-grade immersion blenders. The company’s Quik Stik is the smallest model that Waring makes, and like the Bamix it has a fixed wand and no attachments. In its review, America’s Test Kitchen said, “This blender handled big chunks beautifully,” but that the “soup was grainy, and the smoothies and pesto were peppered with bits of unblended food.” We found that the Waring Quik Stik actually did a better job at pureeing than the Bamix or the Cuisinarts and KitchenAids we tested, and like the Bamix Mono, it feels very sturdy. But it doesn’t come with a blending cup and isn’t as convenient as the Breville Control Grip, with its removable shaft and attachments. If you were doing major quantity cooking and actually needed a pro-level tool at a moderate price, this would be one to consider, but most people would be better served by the power and speed of the Breville.

In our 2015 testing, we found that the Panasonic MX-SS1 Hand-Held Immersion Blender pureed decently, but was a bear on our wrists. It required a lot more maneuvering around the pot than the Breville or even the Cuisinart Smart Stick, which put a lot more strain on our wrists than any of the other blenders. The blending cup doesn’t come with a handle and was rather small, but the food chopper attachment worked nicely dicing onions. Unfortunately, the Panasonic died on us midway through testing, perhaps because we ran it past the duty cycle of one minute. To be fair, you should run most immersion blenders for only a maximum of one minute, and we ran the Panasonic for at least two on several occasions. Still, we did the same with all the other blenders and none of them died.

We found that many professional cooks (including The Sweethome’s Lesley Stockton) have long preferred immersion blenders made by Braun. But the company stopped making kitchen appliances for the US market.

Miallegro Professional MiTutto 9090: Although this was Consumer Reports’s best buy, it didn’t receive ratings as high as the other models we chose to test.

What to look forward to

Serious Eats recently published a three-month review of immersion blenders, selecting models from All-Clad, OXO, and Vremi as their top picks. We’ve since tested the All-Clad and OXO, but the Vremi 3-in-1 Pro Hand Blender is out of stock on the company’s website and on Amazon (only the less powerful eight-speed/350-watt model is in stock). The Vremi was selected for its wide array of useful attachments: “If you don’t have a good food processor—or ample room to have it out on the counter,” wrote Jolyon Helterman at Serious Eats, “the Vremi might be just what you’re looking for.” We hope to test this model once it becomes available.

Wrapping it up

If you puree soups and smoothies on a regular basis and want an immersion blender that’s comfortable to hold and easy to use, get the Breville Control Grip. If you want to spend a little less but still get an immersion blender with decent pureeing power, we suggest the OXO On Illuminating Digital Immersion Blender. If you plan to puree only occasionally, or prefer a cheaper option, we recommend the Cuisinart Smart Stick.

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Sources

  1. ChrisTaylor, Immersion blenders – Bamix vs Cuisinart, egForums, January 2, 2013
  2. Emma Christensen, Immersion Blenders: Should You Buy One?, The Kitchn, January 05, 2011
  3. Cook’s Country, Immersion Blenders, Cook’s Illustrated, September 2012
  4. Kristin Donnelly, The Best Immersion Blenders, Food & Wine
  5. Volker Frick, Executive Chef at Kettle Cuisine, Interview
  6. Jolyon Helterman, Equipment: The Best Hand Blender for the Home Cook, Serious Eats, December 9, 2015
  7. Alexandra Jacobs, Bandages Not Included, The New York Times, January 15, 2013
  8. Kangai, very disappointing, Amazon Customer Review, November 30, 2007
  9. The Good Housekeeping Institute, Cuisinart SmartStick Hand Blender CSB-77 Immersion Blender, Good Housekeeping, October 2010
  10. Ucdavis, Bamix Professional Immersion Blender, Chowhound, April 28, 2013
  11. Clutter-cutting blenders, Consumer Reports, September 2011
  12. Immersion Blenders, America’s Test Kitchen, September 2012
  13. Immersion Blenders, Good Housekeeping

Originally published: March 1, 2016

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