Great power for a handheld mixer
******See the end of this review for a 4 year update.******
I was in the market for a new hand held mixer after the KitchenAid that I got for Christmas a couple of years back died an ignominious death while making a simple batch of chocolate chip cookies. I have a twenty year old, Heavy Duty, 325 watt KitchenAid stand mixer that has never let me down and I expected better from their hand held mixer. I could go on, but that's another story.
I had my search narrowed down to this seven speed Cuisinart and the Dualit (made in England) hand mixers and decided to go with the Cuisinart partly because it was lower in cost and partly because I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to get parts or repair support for the Dualit in case it ever needed it. Cuisinart is a major supplier of kitchen electrics in the USA and service centers are nearly everywhere.
The Cuisinart boasts 7 speeds, and there are truly 7 different speeds. The first speed is quite slow, unlike the low speed of the Dualit, while the highest speed is quite brisk. All of the different speeds are achieved electronically through an electronic control circuit contained within the handle of the appliance.
Initially, I was concerned about this. Old fashioned appliances, like my KitchenAid stand mixer, achieve different speeds by analog means in which a series of resistors (actually, a variable resistive coil) is used to control the voltage to the motor and, thereby, control the motors speed. This is a very simple and effective means of controlling no load speeds. However, the downside is that as the mixture that you are mixing becomes thicker, the machine will slow down as the amount of energy going to the motor stays constant unless you turn up the speed control.
In an electronic control, the amount of energy going to the motor is changed not by changing the voltage to the motor but by changing the width of the energy pulse to the motor. As the load on the motor increases because of a thicker mixture, a feedback sensor detects the slowdown in the motor speed and adds more energy automatically to the motor in an attempt to keep the speed constant.
(At this point in my attempt to describe how this thing works, my wife's eyes have now fully glazed over and she has transitioned into a catatonic state. No worries. What this mumbo-jumbo means is that if you want medium speed and your mixture is thin whipping cream, you get medium speed. Likewise, if you want medium speed and you have a thick refrigerator cookie dough, you get medium speed.)
Another neat trick with electronic speed control is that you can control how fast the start up of the beaters are. In an old fashioned mixer, as soon as you turn on the switch, full power for that speed is delivered to the motor. In this electronic Cuisinart, the power is increased slowly until you get to the selected speed. This is the so-called "soft start" that the company advertises. And it really works, if imperfectly.
I say imperfectly because the power up actually overshoots slightly the target speed before it slows down and stabilizes. This is not a big problem because the extra speed is only for a fraction of a second and, truth be told, most users won't notice this. The fact that it starts up slowly is a real advantage for not blowing around your ingredients when you first turn it on.
The controls themselves are quite clean and elegant. There is a tall, push button on/off switch that is easily pressed and two push button membrane switches to adjust the speed up and down. All the switches are easily activated with your thumb without loss of control of the mixer. A single digit LED display tells you what speed you are in. When you turn it on, it automatically starts off in the slowest speed.
The beater release is an index finger operated trigger instead of the more typical button on the top or lever on the bottom. The beater release works extremely well. So well, in fact, that I've accidentally ejected the beaters while trying to get a stronger grip on the handle when beating a thick cookie dough. I'm a fairly big guy with meaty hands and I have no trouble getting a good grip on the mixer. For those of smaller stature, just be aware that this is a beefy mixer and is definitely larger than the GE mixer that I had handed down to me by my mom over thirty years ago.
The beater ejection trigger seems somewhat soft as it has some give on it before the beaters eject. However, I've given it a good pull with far more force than is needed to eject the beaters and don't believe that it will break without obvious abuse. The trigger itself bottoms out solidly in the opening of the mixer housing, so there is no reason to pull on it with more force once it has bottomed out.
There are other nice touches on the mixer that shows that the designer of this appliance knew what he was doing. The cord is on a swivel so that it can be positioned out of the way for right or left handed users. The back is flat so that you can easily rest it on its end with the beaters above the bowl. All exterior surfaces are rounded off so that the mixer is easy to wipe clean without any crevices for splash-off to collect and slowly harden over the years.
Even the beaters are designed so that there is no center post to complicate cleaning. The beaters work well as does the included whisk. I was actually kind of leery of the usefulness of the whisk at first because it seems so thin and flimsy compared to my hand held whisks. However, I whipped up two cups of heavy cream to stiff peaks in about two minutes. I started off at the lowest speed until the mixture thickened slightly and then gradually cranked up the speed until maximum. No muss, no fuss, and no drops of cream sprayed all over the table. The whisk looks flimsy but works well.
As far as power goes, the mixer is listed at 225 watts, the same as some low end KitchenAid stand mixers. I mixed up a batch of stone cookies, my stiffest cookie dough recipe, with the hand mixer in order to test its power. (My thinking was that it was better to break it now and return it under warranty rather than find out later that it couldn't handle the dough.) It did an admirable job of handling the double recipe. I don't think I would use the hand mixer again, though, as it was too hard to hold the bowl steady with one hand and the mixer with the other. The dough was so stiff that I had a hard time controlling the mixer as it pushed its way through the dough and cut it into small pieces. The motor slowed down from its top speed (and full power) but it never bogged down completely. I had the mixer on at full power for about a minute and didn't notice any burning smell from an overheated motor. The engineers did a good job on this one.
Now, I'm sure that if I had kept on mixing the dough for about ten minutes I would have burned out the motor from overheating it under heavy load. But I would consider this blatant abuse and to be an unrealistic expectation. Likewise, I wouldn't consider mixing bread dough with a hand mixer when a heavy duty stand mixer is the more appropriate solution. (Though I am sure that there are those out there that would use a pocket knife to try and cut down a tree.)
The only negative that I will give this mixer is that it is somewhat noisy. The cooling fan is mounted on the motor shaft in the front of the mixer housing and lets out a high pitched whine when in the higher speeds. It sounds somewhat like a jet engine or a vacuum cleaner, but certainly much quieter than either. The fan does a good job of keeping the motor cool and long lived. Covering the air opening at the front of the mixer makes it almost silent but would, undoubtedly, cause the motor to overheat and shorten its life considerably.
Overall, I give this mixer a full five stars for meeting my expectations. Only time will tell if the electronics and motor will hold up over time. But for now, this mixer works very well for what it was intended for. I'm always wary of electronic items because, generally, when they go bad the device is generally a throw-a-way as it would cost too much to fix. Such is the nature of electronics.
FOUR YEAR UPDATE:
Well, it's been four years since I wrote this review and it's time for an update.
After living with this mixer for a while, I have some thoughts on improvements.
The power cord has a swivel that lets the cord point to the left or right when it is set to rest on the table. Every time I tried to set the mixer down on its end, the cord would get in my way, as the cord would hang straight down, and I would have to flip it to the side so that the mixer wouldn't fall over. To solve this problem, I just hot glued the cord in place so that it stayed out of my way. If I was the designer, I would put a detent on the cord swivel so that it would stay in place when rotated to the right or left.
Secondly, the cord does not stay wrapped around the body of the mixer when it is stored. I know that this is a nit, but I like to wrap my cord a couple of times around the mixer and somehow lock it in place. The current body design lets the cord slip off too easily when wrapped this way so I end of having to roll up the cord into a bundle and secure it with the cord tie. I don't have a quick fix for this.
Surprisingly, Cuisinart has not updated this hand mixer with a design change. Usually, consumer goods are "restyled" after a couple of years, but this mixer seems unchanged. Which is probably a good thing since there is a lot that is "right" with this mixer that a redesign might possibly screw up. But then, it wouldn't take much to make this mixer "perfect" in my eyes.
Aside from these nits, my mixer is still going strong with no problems. I would buy it again. Only time will tell if it will last as long as the hand me down GE hand mixer that my mom gave me when I went away to college. That mixer was probably 20 years old when she gave it to me and it lasted another twenty years before it died.
FINALLY, what's up with the OnlineShopDealer comments on reviews? There used to be over 40 comments on this review, some which had some very interesting information to add. All of a sudden, all the older reviews have disappeared. What's up with that?
I haven't enjoyed preparing baked items this much in years!! This mixer has performed beautifully so far. I've prepared lemon cakes, zucchini bread and chocolate cookies with great results that have made everyone happy. I found that it isn't noisy, starts gently, shifts speeds smoothly, no splashing, easy to hold, and splendid beater designs! The eject button works smoothly, and frankly, for the price, I suspect that this is the best choice for women who want to bake cakes and cookies without dealing with large and heavy mixers that are hard to store and awkward to lift.
love this product
love this hand mixer. I had one for many years but got a kitchen-aid hand mixer and got rid of my cuisinart. What a mistake !! the kitchen-aid can not hold a candle to the performance of the cuisinart.
I'm a personal chef and use this in my business. It is easy to carry along and has the power to perform in all situations. If is works this well in a professional environment just imagine how it will work in your home kitchen!
The best one I've ever had!
I recently bought the Cuisinart HM-70 7 power hand mixer. Paying more than double of what I've usually paid proves what is said: "you get what you pay for!" I love the low speed feature, and the ease of zooming to high. It has marvelous power! I like the way it balances when set down. I DO highly recommend this brand!
High Powered Mixer
Great mixer. Very strong, high-powered, EFFECTIVE! Wow! Easy to clean. We love it.
Hand Mixer Update
As always from OnlineShopDealer, I received my item promptly in the mail. The reason I ordered the Cuisinart HM-70 mixer is because the mixer I had finally broke after more than twenty years of faithful service. I have plugged in and turned on the mixer, but have not actually used it yet. It seems to have a good motor in it and I like the design of the beaters that come with it. I am a big stainless steel fan so that is one of the features that I like about it. Sorry that I don't have more to say but may update this review after I have had cause to use the mixer. I plan on making cheese cake in October which was a strain on my old mixer. We'll see how this one does.
Okay, I just finished making my cheese cakes and the mixer performed very well and was much better than the old one that I had been using. There was some sort of electrical oder coming from the unit as I used it but I will file this under normal for now. Works great and cleans up nicely. Very easy to use. Have no regrets or second thoughts about my purchase.
I think I've tried them all and been disappointed. This mixer is still meeting my expectations a full six months after purchasing it. I like the speeds, the ease of cleaning and the attachments. Only thing that disappoints me is getting it to stand on it's end while I add ingredients - it keeps wanting to fall over. Even with that minor irritation, it is a great mixer.
LITTLE BUT MIGHTY
This is by far the best mixer that I have ever used.I have a big base unit for dough but for the fillings I use a hand unit.This unit can handle heavy loads and the cord never get in your way. It perfect for right or left handed users.Easy 1 hand controls,allows you to mult-task. This is a value for your dollar product. I should know I am retired and on fix income, so I think twice before I buy.
Best mixer yet. Nice smooth start. A little heavier, but acceptable given added power.