What is the deal with hand mixers?

I bought a hand mixer the other day. It looked nice and shiny, and it came with several attachments, including dough hooks, which come in handy.

Then I turned it on…the low speed is well…not low. It is very fast. I can’t imagine what, short of making meringue, the high speed is for. so I go out to look at reviews on hand mixers…nearly all of them have complaints that the low speed isn’t low.

What the hell, people? For those of us who don’t have room on our counter for a big honking stand mixer, where are the quality hand mixers? Even KitchenAid gets bad reviews for their $50 hand mixer because of this.

We’ve got through three or four hand mixers within the last two years that have all broken during before they’d been used ten times. They suck.

This is definitely common on hand mixers.

I’m no engineer, but I believe the answer is that small, cheap electric motors have a limited range of RPMs, and so it would increase the cost and/or size to make them operate all the way from slow to very fast. But hand mixers NEED to go very fast, since they’re probably most commonly used for whipping cream and foaming egg whites, both of which need speed. So you wind up with mixers that tend to range from “pretty fast” to “VERY fast.”

But, at the end of the day, that works okay for me. I don’t find myself needing a “slow” setting all that often. On those occasions I do, my stand mixer suffices.

I was shocked at how fast the lowest speed on my cheap-ass Walmart hand mixer was the first time I used it.

I was also shocked at how easy it is to slosh egg whites all over the counter if you’re ignorantly using a serving bowl as a mixing bowl.

I suspect the small motors would burn out from the strain of low RPMs, they would lack the torque to pull through thick doughs and batters.

I have the exact same complaint as you. The low speed on my hand mixer is still ridiculously fast, and very inconvenient.

Strange you should post this, I was just doing the same shopping this weekend.

I bought a cheapie Black and Decker, I think, from BB and B for like $20 on a whim. When I got home, before I opened the box, I decided to check the reviews and found almost unanimous complaint about the ridiculously high speed of the lowest setting.

So I returned it and exchanged it for a 6-speed Kitchen Aid model for $50 that appears to be a figment of my imagination because I can’t find a single review on it or a store that carries it online. One of these days I’ll use it and find out of I spent an extra $30 for nothing!

Just out of curiosity, what would you use an electric hand mixer for, on slow setting? I ask because I find I can adequately mix most things without any kind of electric mixer. I do use an electric hand mixer to whip cream or beat egg whites, though I could use a whisk. My mother also had a hand-cranked mixer, for very slow beatings (of food, not us kids). Those are still sold. I see some on Amazon. That might be what you’re looking for—go as fast or slow as your hands can crank.

Yeah, the only reason I bought a hand mixer is because my arm would fall before the egg whites stiffened. Most of my mixing I do by hand.

Our Sunbeam hand mixer has been used more to mix paint than dough.

Still works after 16 years.

whenever you are adding flour to wet ingredients, it would be incredibly convenient to be able to slowly pour it in while using a mixer. For example, when making cookies, etc. Otherwise you end up with flour all over the place.

I finally found a refurbished KitchenAid Pro 5 speed model that has a slow start according to reviews. Hopefully it will work.