History of the Hand Mixer
If you’re like me, you remember what it was like to have a powerhouse hand mixer growing up. I still have fond memories of the family gathered around the Duncan Hines cake mix, that unmistakeable smell of cake mix, egg, and milk with a slight smell of metal from the American-made motor in the hand mixer, and the sounds the mixer made when mom would scrape the sides of the bowl for every last bit of cake. And of course the best part of all–when mom would take the paddles off and we’d get to lick the batter off.
The first handheld electric mixer was patented by Sunbeam Corporation in 1961. Many of you who like me grew up in the 1970s and 1980s probably had Sunbeam mixers in your homes and ate many a cake mixed by them. Sadly, in the 1990s–before companies could ‘legally’ pad their balance sheets by outsourcing to cheap overseas labor, Sunbeam got into big trouble for massive accounting fraud and went bankrupt. It still exists today as a brand, but of course is a shadow of what it once was.
Are any Hand Mixers not made in China?
I have to admit, this was one category where I was sure I wouldn’t find any examples of products not made in China. The price point of hand mixers is so low that it’s hard to imagine a manufacturing plant outside of China that can produce parts so cheaply. And sure enough, visit Amazon’s page and you’ll find “fake brands” like LILPARTNER, ON2NO, AXUF, SUNDUO, SHARDOR, MIGVELA, AICOK, Elechomes, and a myriad of other Chinese companies masquerading as time-tested kitchen product brands. And speaking of time-tested kitchen brands, forget about Black and Decker, Hamilton Beach, Proctor Silex, Oster, and even Cuisinart and Breville.
However, a few brands surprisingly stood out. One was KitchenAid, which had evidently sent all of its hand mixer manufacturing to China from 2006-2012 before bringing it back to Greenville, Ohio (at least the corded versions–the cordless version look like they’re all made in China). Their stand mixers have always been made in the US, and because the stand mixers ARE what what made KitchenAid, they’re wise to keep manufacturing of their crown jewels stateside, and closely-related devices like hand mixers are probably a natural fit in their manufacturing plant (let’s just hope and pray that clueless consumers aren’t foolish enough to buy knock-offs like KUCCU and COOKLEE even with their fake Amazon reviews).
Another standout was Braun, who manufactures its products in Romania.
Best Hand Mixers Not Made in China – Quick Ranking
|1||KitchenAid 7-Speed Hand Mixer||4.7||View on Amazon|
|2||Braun MultiMix Hand Mixer||4.5||View on Amazon|
1. KitchenAid 7-Speed Hand Mixer – Best Overall
Just to be clear, KitchenAid is careful to use the phrasing “assembled in the United States” and not “manufactured in the United States”, which implies that most of the parts come from overseas. But that’s pretty much unavoidable these days–when China started to take over the manufacturing sector, it started with the “cheap parts” and then once it dominated those, it started taking over manufacturing of bigger and bigger things. I give points to KitchenAid for at least keeping some American manufacturing jobs (and quality) alive.
This mixer, along with its 6-speed and 5-speed counterparts, really is a throwback to the “indestructible” appliances of yore. I chose the 7-speed as the best because it has a reasonable price point at $59.99 and it has the highest overall reviews. It comes with both whisk and beater attachments for mixing, whipping, creaming, beating, mashing, and all other baking gerunds that sound slightly naughty. If you have a KitchenAid stand mixer, you’ll know how indestructible it is, and you’ll see similar design elements in this design.
Once again on Amazon I see very suspicious review behavior. There are two one-star reviews (which make up 2% of all reviews) that have mysteriously been voted to the point where they show up #1 and #2. The four- and five-star reviews (which make up 92%) don’t show up until way down on the page. Review rankings are definitely being manipulated, likely by shills who work for those “fake” companies trying break into the market (in a future blog post, I’ll explain how).
So do yourself a favor and ignore the poor reviews–most of the low reviews are one-off cases that KitchenAid’s a “no hassle” warranty policy and Amazon’s free returns policy. I’d like see the same from those fake made-in-China brands.
- NOT made in China
- Heavy duty; able to mix heavy cookie dough, mash potatoes
- Very quiet
- Lightweight, easy to use
- “Soft start” feature designed to prevent splattering annoying to some
- Some complaints of inadequate power
Okay, this is an explanation where you’ll need to fasten your seatbelts.
Braun makes great razors, and amazingly they continue to manufacture them in Germany. If and when I create a “best shavers not made in China” page, Braun will likely dominate.
In the strange world of brand licensing, Braun actually does not make kitchen appliances–it (or more accurately, its parent company Proctor and Gamble) sold the license to its brand name. So every Braun-branded small appliance actually made by De’Longhi.
Even though De’Longhi is an Italian company, most of its products (including its iconic coffee makers) are manufactured in China. Which is why I was surprised to find that this mixer is actually made in Romania. It’s not Germany, but it’s in Europe.
This mixer gets rave reviews for its power (at 350W, it’s at least 100W more powerful than most of its competitors). It also comes with multiple attachments, including dough hooks for kneading. The controls are definitely German engineered–without changing your grip you can use your thumb to adjust the mixing speed. It also claims to require “half the mixing effort”, as measured by tests against competitors when mixing cake batter. Aside from its standard use as a mixer, creamer, whipper, and folder, you can use other included attachments to knead dough (it looks like the only difference with the pricier version is that it contains a 2-cup chopper).
- NOT made in China
- Powerful 350W motor
- Solidly built
- Comes with dough hooks to knead
- “Smartmix” technology makes mixing less effort
- Easy to clean with dishwasher safe parts
- Isolated complaints that beaters were not durable or arrived defective
- Some complaints about noise
Do you know of other hand mixers that have avoided the China trap? Let us know in the comments!