A stick, or immersion, blender is a handheld blender that is compact, easy to clean, and can be used for quick blending. It’s a simple, inexpensive device that takes up little storage space and works well for most smaller jobs.
What to Look for in a Useful Stick Blender
Stick blenders of yesterday were unsophisticated on/off devices that offered little in the way of enhanced features. These devices now offer many additional features beyond simple immersion blending. Here are the critical elements of a stick blender today:
- Motor Strength: These compact devices need to have a relatively strong motor to make up for their small size.
- Weight: Usually, the stronger the motor, the heavier the device. It is important to balance motor strength with overall weight, or the device may be challenging to use.
- Ergonomics: Easy, one-handed access to controls while also maintaining a good hand-fit is key to handling a stick blender during operation.
- Versatility: Many of these stick blenders are now modular, allowing you to purchase a single powerhead along with multiple attachments.
- Build Quality: Many cheap stick blenders are short-lived, almost disposable devices. Choosing better build quality can result in better blending experience while also resulting in fewer burned-out units in the local landfill.
The order of the importance of the features above will be different for everyone. Let’s take a look at the picks and see how these features stand out.
Best Overall: Braun MQ5025 Hand Blender Multiquick Vario
It’s hard to find flaws in this Braun MQ5025 stick blender system. It has a strong 400-watt, German-engineered motor. It is a bit on the heavier side, but a little heft can actually be helpful during blending. The powerhead provides 21 speeds plus a boost speed for a precise and variable power curve with a bit of extra kick when you need it. And managing that power is easy with an ergonomic, one-handed design that leaves your thumb in an ideal position to control the angled speed dial on top. It also saves a lot of storage space by replacing a hand mixer, chop processor, and a standard immersion blender with a single, multi-function device.
The immersion attachment has sharp, hardened steel blades and a unique floral bell shape that minimizes splashing. The whisk and chopper attachments are included for blending mayonnaise, whisking together your favorite pancake or brownie batter, or chopping up those salsa ingredients. It also comes with a 20-ounce, BPA-free mixing beaker that perfectly sized for use with the immersion blender attachment. The MQ5025 is intended to last a while with a strong 3-year warranty backing up the durable design.
Braun MQ5025 Hand Blender Multiquick Vario, Black
The Braun MQ5025 Blender Set combines extensive versatility, a strong powerhead, and excellent ergonomics with quality German engineering in our pick for the best overall immersion blender system.
Best Premium: Breville BSB510XL Control Grip Blender Set
The Breville BSB510XL goes the extra mile on ergonomics while also maintaining versatile features and dependable performance. The 280-watt motor provides enough power to crush ice while also minimizing weight. The powerhead features 15 different speeds that are controlled by a smooth operating knob on top. But the standout feature of the Breville is the trademarked Control Grip. This pistol-grip design can help those with less hand strength to stabilize the device during blending. While this means you will need a second hand to manage the blender speed dial on top, this will be an acceptable trade-off for people who need a little help with extra control during blending.
The attachments for the Breville are similar and equally functional to the Braun MQ5025 with the ability to whisk light batters, blend marinara sauces, or chop vegetables or nuts. The engineers at Breville worked in a couple more surprises to round out the premium feel of the set. For example, the immersion blender attachment has a soft base to prevent scratches when blending directly in a saucepan. It also comes with a large 42-ounce BPA-free blending jug that is big enough to house the chopper attachment for saving even more counter space. The chopper can also be placed inside of the blending jug during operation, effectively adding a handle on the chopper bowl, again for additional control. The Breville comes with an industry-standard one year warranty.
Even though the weaker (and lighter) motor seems inferior to the Braun MQ5025 at first glance, the engineering of this unit is very intentional to ensure great user experience. It earns our respect as the Best Premium stick blender.
Breville BSB510XL Control Grip Immersion Blender
The Breville BSB510XL provides a balanced power to weight ratio and an innovative pistol-grip control profile with unique engineering touches to earn our recommendation for the Best Premium pick.
Best Value: KOIOS OXA Smart Immersion Hand Blender Set
The KOIOS OXA brings similar features to the table as the Braun MQ5025 and Breville but at a very low price of entry. The OXA includes a variable 12-speed, 800-watt powerhead that is sure to have enough under the hood to blend or chop just about anything, but at the cost of a bit more weight. All of that torque can be potentially transmitted into your hand and wrist, so if you are a little light on hand strength, you will want to be careful. The on/off and turbo buttons can be accessed one-handed which is undoubtedly a plus, but you will need a second hand to help with the speed dial on top.
The OXA boasts the same immersion blender, whisk, and chopper attachments that are included with the Braun MQ5025 and Breville BSB510XL. The immersion blender attachment stands out with titanium coated blades that provide the extra durability needed to handle the stronger powerhead. If you chop a lot of ice in your smoothies, this powerful kit may be the best choice. Also included is a 20-ounce BPA-free mixing beaker. KOIOS backs the OXA with a better than average 2-year warranty and lifetime support, an indicator that this gadget is expected to last a while.
The Budget Pick: Braun MQ505 Multiquick Hand Blender
Interestingly, the budget pick is a few bucks more than the value pick. This is because not everyone can handle the power of the KOIOS OXA. Also, some prefer a two-speed blender as opposed to dealing with a variable speed dial on top. After all, there really isn’t much difference between all those tiny gradations of speed. In these cases, the Braun MQ505 is a no-brainer. This unit includes a reliable 350-watt powerhead that can be operated entirely one-handed.
The MQ505 system includes an immersion blender attachment that has all the same features as the one found in the more expensive MQ5025 kit. It also includes the whisk attachment to handle eggs, cream, and light batters easily. What it is missing is the chopper component. The kit does come with a 20-ounce BPA-free plastic beaker for blending. As with the MQ5025, Braun stands behind the well-built MQ505 with a 3-year warranty.