Braun doesn’t just make shavers you know. This keenly-priced Teutonic model is equipped for a range of preparation tasks and features a standard hand-held star-blade whizzer, a balloon whisk, a small chopping vessel for herbs, spices and nuts and a larger 400g container fitted with a choice of two lethal-looking blades for crushing ice, mincing meat and whipping up fruit smoothies, though preferably not all at once. Unfortunately the star blade unit’s sharp metal base will almost certainly scratch coated saucepans if used too vigorously and the whisk is pretty feeble, but these small niggles are easily countered by the unit’s excellent variable speed control button, an especially useful feature for anyone who’s ever ended up with a faceful of soup or liquidised baby food.
Braun Multiquick 7
Swiss company Bamix specialises in hand blenders but we found a couple of niggling issues during our test. The De Luxe model is quite heavy and large for a start, which isn’t great for small hands. But it is quiet, well balanced, incredibly powerful – up to a whopping 16,000rpm – and the two speed buttons are very easy to hold in during use. The Bamix De Luxe comes with its own stand, a trio of blades – mincer, beater, flat-bladed whisk – and a chopper with integral bowl. However, the three blade attachments are small and tricky to get off the shaft, especially when covered in slippery food. Just make sure it’s not plugged in when attaching or removing the blades or you might inadvertently touch a button and mince a finger in the process. Ouch!
Bamix De Luxe
Although this model feels quite heavy in the hand, the shiny Dualit is superbly balanced and thoughtfully designed with two easy-to-press speed buttons and a bit of overhang that pivots gently from the web between the thumb and index finger. It doesn’t come with many attachments, mind – just a star blade with a plastic base to protect pans, a balloon whisk and a handy chopper bowl with integral blade. The main power unit’s patented anti-suction system is a useful design flourish as it prevents the blade housing from gripping the base of the pan or bowl, allowing it to be moved around with ease. However, the biggest accolade we can give this trusty blender is that it made the smoothest hummus of the lot. Pass the pitta.
Dualit 700w Hand Blender
This powerful 5-speed hand blender comes in a very cool plastic carry case and includes attachments for blending, shredding, frothing and whipping along with two extension arms, one 33cm long for deep pan use. The included blending pitcher and chopping bowl – replete with its own twin blade – is an extra bonus. This is the most comprehensively equipped blender here but the stiff nature of the rubberised on/off button requires a little too much finger pressure, making it quite tiring to use. The cable’s a bit too thick and cumbersome, too. Nevertheless, this blender performs any mixing task with aplomb. And it’s a pretty thing to boot.