What Are the Differences Between Handheld and Countertop Blenders?

Handheld and countertop blenders are two distinct types of kitchen appliances, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Handheld blenders, also known as immersion or stick blenders, are compact, lightweight devices that offer versatility and convenience. Countertop blenders are larger, more powerful machines designed for heavy-duty blending tasks..

Size and Portability

What Are the Benefits of a High-Speed Blender

When considering size and portability, handheld blenders are compact and lightweight, making them easy to store and use on the go. Their slim design allows them to fit into a drawer or cabinet, freeing up valuable counter space. This makes these handy machines ideal for small kitchens or for those who prefer a clutter-free cooking area.

In contrast, countertop blenders are larger and heavier, requiring a dedicated spot on your kitchen counter. Although they offer more power and capacity, they’re less suitable for those with limited space. Their bulkiness can be inconvenient if you need to move them frequently or lack ample storage.

Handheld blenders excel in portability. Many models are cordless, allowing you to move freely around your kitchen or even take them to a friend’s house for a cooking session. Countertop blenders, however, need to be plugged in, limiting their use to areas with electrical outlets. If you enjoy making small-batch recipes or need a blending tool on the go, handheld blenders are an excellent choice.

Motor Strength Comparison

When comparing motor strength, countertop blenders surpass handheld blenders with their powerful motors and superior performance. Countertop blenders generally feature motors ranging from 500 to 1500 watts, making them suitable for heavy-duty tasks like crushing ice, making smoothies, and preparing nut butters. These machines handle tough ingredients effortlessly.

Conversely, hand blenders usually come with motors between 200 to 500 watts, making them better suited for lighter tasks such as pureeing soups, mixing batters, and whipping cream. 

Blending Efficiency Factors

Blending Efficiency Factors

Countertop blenders offer multiple speed settings and specialized functions, including thermal control jars for blending hot soups, significantly enhancing their efficiency. Handheld blenders are generally more compact and can be stowed away easily, making them convenient for small-batch recipes. They often come with attachments to cater to various blending needs, adding to their functional efficiency.

Here’s a quick comparison for clarity:

Feature Countertop Blender Handheld Blender
Motor Power High Moderate
Blending Capacity Large Small
Best For Heavy-duty tasks Quick, light tasks

Ultimately, the right choice depends on your specific blending requirements and the types of recipes you’ll be preparing.

Versatility and Capabilities

Both countertop and handheld blenders offer distinct versatility and capabilities tailored to various culinary tasks.

Handheld Blenders

Convenience: Perfect for quick blending tasks such as smoothies and shakes.

Simple Design: Fewer speed settings, making them user-friendly.

Portability: Easy to clean and store, though less effective with harder ingredients.

Capacity and Servings

Capacity and Servings

Ever wondered how the capacity of your blender affects your meal prep? Let’s explore how portion size and the number of servings are influenced by the type of blender you choose.

Handheld blenders typically have smaller capacities, ranging from 8 to 20 ounces. These are perfect if you’re making 1-2 servings at a time, such as a quick smoothie or a small batch of soup.

In contrast, countertop blenders come with larger capacities, from 32 to 64 ounces or more, making them ideal for multiple servings or larger recipes. If you’re preparing meals for the family or blending large quantities, a countertop blender is your go-to appliance.

Versatility and Functions

Versatility and Functions

Countertop blenders excel in handling a wide variety of blending tasks with numerous settings, equipped with powerful motors and multiple speed options. 

In contrast, handheld blenders are perfect for smaller, quick blending tasks. 

Ease of Cleaning

Cleaning your blender can be either easy or demanding, depending on whether you’re using a handheld or countertop model. Handheld blenders excel in ease of cleaning due to their simple design and detachable parts. A quick rinse or a cycle through the dishwasher is usually enough to clean the blending wand and attachments, making them ideal for quick clean-ups after blending small batches of ingredients.

In contrast, countertop blenders require more effort. Cleaning the pitcher, lid, and blade assembly can sometimes feel cumbersome. However, many countertop blenders feature dishwasher-safe parts, which can simplify the process. Just place the components in the dishwasher to clean them.

Nonetheless, the more extensive cleaning required mightn’t be appealing, particularly if you’re short on time.

Price Range

When evaluating blenders, you’ll find handheld models generally more affordable than their countertop counterparts. Handheld blenders typically range from $25 to $250, making them a budget-friendly option for small kitchen tasks.

In contrast, countertop blenders can cost anywhere from $30 to over $500. The price difference stems from various factors like motor power, capacity, and additional features.

Here are some key points to consider:

Cost: Handheld blenders usually cost less because they’re compact and have simpler designs. Countertop models are more expensive due to their larger size and powerful motors.

Features: Countertop blenders often come with multiple functions and settings, which can drive up the price. Handheld blenders tend to have fewer features, contributing to their lower cost.

Power: Countertop models generally offer higher wattage, which is reflected in their price.

Capacity: Traditional blenders usually have larger containers, suitable for making bigger batches, while handheld blenders are designed for smaller quantities, keeping costs down.

When examining the price range, weigh the features and capabilities of both types to determine the best fit for your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Difference Between a Blender and a Hand Blender?

A blender, also known as a countertop blender, has a motorized base and is suitable for larger batches and versatile tasks. In contrast, a hand blender, or immersion blender, is compact, handheld, and blends directly in pots, making it suitable for small-batch recipes and convenient use.

Should I Get a Hand Blender or Personal Blender?

Choosing between a hand blender and a personal blender depends on your specific needs. A hand blender is more versatile and can handle various tasks like blending soups, sauces, and purees directly in the pot. On the other hand, a personal blender is ideal for making quick, single-serve smoothies and shakes, especially if you need something portable for on-the-go convenience.

What Are the Disadvantages of Hand Blender?

Hand blenders have limited capacity and may struggle with hard ingredients like ice. They can be more challenging to clean and generally lack advanced features. Additionally, they are not ideal for larger recipes and tend to be less powerful and versatile compared to other types of blenders.

Do I Need a Blender if I Have a Hand Blender?

Even with a hand blender, you might still want a countertop blender. Hand blenders are excellent for small tasks, but countertop blenders are better suited for larger quantities and tougher jobs like crushing ice and making smoothies.


The main differences between handheld and countertop blenders boil down to convenience and versatility. Handheld blenders are more portable and suitable for daily cooking tasks like making sauces or soups directly in the pot. Countertop blenders, on the other hand, offer more power and capacity, making them ideal for larger batches and a wider range of recipes, such as smoothies or crushing ice. Ultimately, your choice depends on your specific needs and kitchen space. Happy blending!