* Prices may differ from that shown
I bought this Kenwood hand mixer from Debenhams for £24.99. as I have had nothing but problems with another Kenwood mixer I bought. (I will do a review on that mixer as well at a later date).
I do a lot of cake baking and have been using my hand whisk because my old mixer wasn't much cop, using this mixer makes it a breeze. I also make frosting to put on cupcakes and this mixer is just amazing for this. There are three speed settings, which can be changed by the switch at the top; the settings however are not much different to each other. I have found that if you are going to mix ingredients that are quite powdery (icing sugar, flour etc) giving the ingredients a quick mix together before turning on the beaters stops plumes of powder taking over your kitchen. It comes with two sets of implements, 2 beaters for cake mixes etc, and 2 kneaders for bread and dough mixes. They both work equally as well.
Volume wise it isn't that loud while in use, it is easy to clean and the storage of the beaters on the underside is a very clever idea. It saves your cutlery drawer from being overrun by random implements. It isn't an unpleasant mixer to look at although I store mine in my cupboard rather than for all to see. The weight of it is ok, so you can use it for reasonable periods without it being a struggle. I would recommend this mixer, without a second thought.
I've had two of these now; the first broke last January after just over a year, the replacement - an identical model - broke yesterday after 7 months, and both with the same problem of the motor failing. Neither were used excessively or for things they shouldn't have been and I'd expect a gadget like this to last at least for a couple of years - not 7 - 12 months! Went shopping today for a replacement - difficult, as Kenwood seem to have cornered this market - but have bought a Dualit. Kenwood - never again!!
Growing up I spent a lot of time baking with my mum and sisters, we had a large family and liked to throw tea parties or Birthday celebrations, marking most celebrations in this way. I learnt the joys of baking my own cakes from a very young age and decided that when I was older and had my own family I would carry on the tradition and hopefully teach my own children just like my mum taught me. When I moved into my own home with my husband we were inundated with various household items as housewarming gifts and one of those items was the Kenwood HM320 Hand Mixer, one of the few items I had specifically requested. As my children have grown old enough to understand the concept of making cakes I have begun to bake regularly for them, especially now Christopher is in full time school and has school events to supply food for, they may not be big enough to make the cakes themselves yet but they do enjoy helping mummy cook and obviously enjoy the results!
The Kenwood HM320 is a 250watt 3 speed hand mixer that comes with 2 different style stainless steel mixing tools, you have the traditional beaters and you also have the spiral shaped kneaders, 2 of each are supplied and click into holes on the underside of the mixer when in use, to release the tools for cleaning you simply press the circular button on the top of the mixer and they pop out, after all you wouldn't want to be plunging the whole device into your washing up bowl! The mixer also comes with an ingenious "tool rack" made of flexible plastic which fits over the holes usually used for holding the beaters while in use, this allows you to store all 4 tools on the mixer ensuring that they are all in the same place and easily found when it comes to using the mixer next, there's nothing worse then spending an hour rummaging in the bottom of the odds and sods drawer trying to find a missing beater.
Another great feature of the mixer is that the cord can be wrapped around the blender and clipped into place keeping it neat during storage, this combined with it's clip on tool holder makes it the perfect self contained utensil that will keep your kitchen neat and tidy instead of messed up with trailing wires and scattered tools.
The mixer itself has a comfortable handle built into the main body which is large enough for larger built people to use with ease, it isn't the lightest of mixers and you do need a strong hand to control the mixer as it works through your ingredients (although I am a huge weedling so that might just be my problem!) I often find it easier just to hold the mixer lightly and allow it to take its own course through the ingredients. The 3 speeds allow you to tackle different thicknesses of mixture, I usually use the 2nd speed as this is ideal for most sponge mixtures, however if you're making something with added ingredients such as fruit or chocolate chips, or a thick gooey mixture like Brownies then speed 3 is better, I tend to only use the first speed for batter mix or for spinning the excess mixture from the beaters with which makes them easier to clean when you're finished and stops wasting mixture which could otherwise make up an extra cake. If you're making up a whipped cream, meringue or Angel Delight style pudding then speed 3 is great for whisking the mixture making it light and fluffy. On speed 2 the average cake mix requires around 2 minutes of beating to get the lightest consistency and the best texture for your cake.
I don't often use the Kneaders as I don't make bread however I have a issue with having messy, sticky hands which verges on obsessive compulsive and so when I'm making up pastry I can't bear putting my hands in the initial mix of ingredients to begin the kneading process. I'll use the kneaders to bring all the ingredients together to begin forming the dough and at that point I can just about handle kneading the rest of the mixture myself as I'm less likely to end up with goo all over my hands. I always start out on speed 2 for this but as the mix thickens up I'll up it to speed 3 as it needs a little more power at this point. How quickly the dough comes together will depend on how much I'm making but it's usually no more then 2 or 3 minutes before I can handle the dough myself.
I've had my mixer for a few years now and it's still in great condition despite all the use and abuse it's seen, there's no a single spot if rust on the tools and the main body of the mixer itself is still fresh and clean as I make sure I wipe it over after each use. It's quite a noisy mixer especially on speed 3 but it's always been that way, in fact I don't think I've ever used a quiet mixer of this sort. The motor still works perfectly making the little beaters spin wildly through the cake mix and I've yet to smell that tell tale burning which says the mixer should go into retirement.
For £19.99 this is a really good hand mixer, with luck and care you'll get many years out of the mixer making it great value for money. You can still pick the mixer up from electrical suppliers and it's even available on Amazon currently at £16.75, a real bargain price for such a good device, it is however only available (to my knowledge) in white.
I have searched all prevous reviews (2) to find info about the speed settings on my new Kenwood HD 320. Even at the slowest speed it is much too fast to begin beating anything! The walls of my kitchen bear testament to this. Can anyone tell me if this is normal or do I need to contact the manufacturer? Its a lovely design and Which magazine does give it best buy status but I shall need to buy another if this is normal. I just couldn't live without one of these in my kitchen and can imagaine having to ask for each model to be switched on so that I can measure the speed at the slowest setting. Both previous reviewers alude in different ways to the speed and yet I can't see any reference to this in the instruction book which I have read from end to end. Can someone Help?
Way back in April 2004 I bought a second hand mixer for my mum. What appealed to me despite its lack of Brand cache was the fact that it also came with a motor at the back so that an additional hand blender shaft foot could be screwed in and the machine had the capability of being used as a liquidiser as well as a general kitchen mixer. One day it fell off mid reach, crashing to the floor and breaking a crack right across the handle which revealed the motor and it's casing in bits. Onto purchase 2, to find the nearest shop who could sell me a kitchen hand mixer.
At first my mum wasn't bothered what she wanted; but she wanted something that she could rely on and with our new tin opener, food processor and water jug all carrying the Kenwood name, and being in our household for a couple of years since all were purchased new it made sense to consider a hand mixer by Kenwood.
** Kenwood As A Brand **
Kenwood have been making kitchen food preparation machines for about 40 years when their first Chef design came onto the market in the 1950's and followed by the "Cheffette," which was a smaller, compact kitchen hand mixer on a stand with a geared moving bowl. This model, though absent by the geared bowl and stand is in someway a sister to the old Cheffette.
These days hand mixers in terms of availability are also becoming scarce and before I put my money down I was very tempted to buy a new family of hand stick blender, since some models by Kenwood also come with a balloon whisk, but as the sales lady (a good friend) at my local Scottish Power shop informed me, the cheaper Kenwood although 100 watts down from this more uniform and more traditional "hand blender," this Kenwood would cope better with heavier cake mixes in general. And I can see where she was coming from, as the hand blender only supports one balloon whisk tool, whereas this older style of kitchen "hand" mixer comes with two whisks, regardless of the non balloon style, you get more uniform results with 2 beaters as opposed to just one.
** Many Models - But Go White If The Price Is Right **
In terms of models, the HM series from Kenwood sometimes lead to motor wattage but don't go thinking that the HM320 comes with 320 watts. The maximum wattage that this kitchen mixer is equipped with is 250 watts maximum. Other models in Kenwood's range differ from wattage and some power options.
My model however appears to be the top of the range, only made cheaper because it's white and not the more expensive same model in a chrome body.
Kenwood have a habit of doing this; they do it with their food processors and their can openers - you pay more for the plasticky chrome version, whereas I find their white models tend to actually hide the dirt better unlike finger marked chrome. Why bother paying any more than you have to unless there's an abundance of added features?
** Quick Skip Review Product Features **
250 Max wattage.
Hand held only, no stand equipped.
2 Types of beaters supplied, stainless steel and both dishwasher safe.
Storage insert supplied for tools.
Neat, compact design with added handle bend for cord wrap.
Can stand on its own.
Thermal cut out (10-15 minute waiting time)
Just under 1kg weight for the main machine body.
3 speeds of power.
Priced around £14-99 and upwards.
** Using It **
Firstly compared to the Bush hand mixer we had, I can say that the first and second speeds of power are a lot more noticeable, particularly if making a heavy cake mix. The whisks and dough beaters are individually made from stainless steel which is better than silver coated beaters which flake after a couple of years, but from the start the dough beaters have an unusual design to them - one beater in particular has a metal ring set half way up its spindle, whereas the other one doesn't - this means that there is only way the beaters can enter the channels on the motor. Luckily the steel whisks don't have this additional ring, and you can add any of the whisk beaters into any of the two holes on the machine below the motor.
Using speeds 2 and 3 are the best selections for cake mix, whereas speed 1 is ideal for whisking eggs. Kneading is very easy even with the strange twisted dough hooks, speed 1 being the best for slow, continuous progress. Speed 3 was too high simply for whisking and beating up egg yolks, but this was probably the way I was holding the bowl.
In any event the beating and whisking action is a lot better than the motor geared whisk attachment on my mum's Kenwood Gourmet food processor.
Heat wise, after continual whisking for about 10 to 15 minutes, the machine starts to get warm but not enough to put the mixer down. The handle isn't rubber coated at all, but it curves into the machine which allows it to be held comfortably and thanks to the controls being set in the middle, you can use this on either hand, if you are left or right handed - whereas the Bush model had a left to right speed selector, the Kenwood has a horizontal slider and the numbers for each speed is clearly marked.
Noise wise, this mixer is a smidge noisier than our Bush but the Bush was latterly less powerful, so it's no surprise with an added oomph of power, this mixer is slightly more noisy, but not disruptive or whiney like some mixers I have tried (My Hinari springs to mind here and it only sports 120 watts)
** Controls **
Simplicity is the key here, and as I've mentioned already, the main speed control is a slider located at the top of the handle, which has a window just above the main slide button to indicate which speeds are obtainable. Speed 1 is quite slow, speed 2 fast and speed 3 quite brisk. These speeds importantly are different from one another and are precise whenever each power level is selected.
It's just a shame that it takes a hefty push of the finger to select the next speed and it does it with a nasty sounding "click" which is something I don't personally like on any kitchen mixer. The last thing you need is to forget what you are doing when you're mixing and folding in a cake mix. There is no instant pulse button however which limits instant whisking and mixing when required.
One other button is located at the top of the machine above the slider power button and this is the lock to release the beaters. Now I must stress here that this lock is quite ingenious, because it fits flush seated within the plastic of the main handle when the beaters are taken out, and pops up a little when the beaters are installed. If however you switch on the machine without the beaters, the mixer cannot be used unless the beaters have been installed. This button completely locks up the mixer incase it falls into younger inexperienced hands!
** Safety **
This leads me onto the next aspect of the mixer. Whereas our Bush mixer (and when I come to think about it, my own cheap Hinari kitchen mixer, going on 8 years this year!) has motor ventilation holes on either side of the models we've had, the Kenwood only has a circular design of motor ventilation at the front. Past experience has shown that cake mix and other food particles can gunge up the rear, but on this model this will not be a problem - the holes at the rear of this Kenwood have been suitably designed to be put away from the least eventuality that food could gunge up the ventilation, thus lessening the chance of burning out the motor. The holes are located on the base of the mixer where it can stand up on its side, rather like the design of many a dry or steam iron.
This product is also BEAB approved and it comes with a fitted fused plug.
** General Design **
There is only one aspect which I don't like about this mixer and that is the additional storage insert which holds the beaters together. Whilst this is a good idea in general, the insert is made of white rubber and fits into the channels where the beaters go into the machine. More often than not, the beaters won't actually sit on the rubber connections unless you press firmly into the rubber. And, just like the dough beaters, this rubber insert which can helpfully be prised off the base gently, has nibs which can only take one part of each beater at a time. Already we have discarded the use of putting the beaters into this storage insert, and use the storage insert to cover up the channels so that dirt can't enter.
The power cord, all 1.5 metres of it is enough for me or any other family member using the appliance and the excess cord can wrap itself around the base of the handle when not required. At least the cord is a lot longer than our Bush model ever was!!
Kenwood have also included a small clip onto the cord where the plug can be clipped - again like many a dry or steam iron. Again past experience has shown me that these clips can get brittle with age and snap off. Still as this mixer is new, we are taking every part of care with it incase it falls off the worktop just like the Bush did!
The weight of the main machine (I weighed it) is just below a single kilogram. Although this sounds heavy, I prefer the slightly heavier weight as it ensures that the beaters don't escape with intended food mixing and it means that as a cook, you are in control of the power in your hands.
** General Fit & Finish **
The Kenwood is very soft and smooth, even if it is still a month old but at the same time, what is more appealing is that it actually does what it says on the tin. The manual for the mixer is informative too, with basic key points to let consumers know which part goes where and general maintenance. Kenwood also include a parts guide for any future purchase if anything gets lost. The buttons aren't particularly smooth but they do move with precision and if that's all that matters to the main cook in the house, who am I to argue?
** Dishwasher Safe or Not? **
A word to the wise; other reviews of this product online seems to indicate that the plastic beaters on this model cracks in the dishwasher. The beaters on this model do not have any plastic contained on the stainless steel beaters or dough hooks. However the connections to the main beater bars have a rubber insert which by my reckoning since been put in the dishwasher many times, have yet to crack. The manual for the product does state that the beaters and dough hooks are dishwasher safe. Anything else which gets onto the motor (which obviously isn't dishwasher safe) must be wiped down with a damp clean cloth.
** Conclusion **
Aside from the silly rubber storage insert which acts as a good cover for the internals of the machine (but takes time to install the beaters correctly in storage, so that they don't fall off) and a general sense of good design, here's one mixer that won't break the bank when it comes to buying. It has lasted three years since 2004 and still sparks into life whenever any food prep is needed.
The chrome versions of this product are too highly priced (aside from Tesco's price quote) to consider when the white body of this cleaner looks just as good. Kenwood have a wealth of experience when it comes to kitchen preparation machines, not essentially always providing the easiest and most versatile answer, but for the price, general power and good design here on this appliance, this gets a thumbs up from me and from my family who use it. Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2007.
When my birthday came round last year and friends asked me what I wanted as a gift I surprised the lot of them. I wanted a hand mixer, not a big food processor, not a blender, a cheap and cheerful, simple hand mixer. They fell about laughing. I cant blame them.
The reason behind my request was a simple one. On the odd occasion I actually cook or bake I used a whisk and I was getting tired (quite literally) of putting in the muscle-power.
The Kenwood HM320 (HM I guess stands for hand mixer) came in a neat box. I was surprised to find that only the minimum amount of cardboard box was used. Everything was tightly packed and there was no wastage. The actual mixer was wrapped in a bubble wrap bag; the whisks were at the bottom, stuck onto cardboard.
I was surprised to find that I got more than just the normal steel beaters with the mixer. I also found two kneaders, used mainly for heavy dough, i.e. when bread making. I have no intention of making my own bread so these kneaders will not be used but nice to know that I could if I wanted to.
The beaters and kneaders are attached to a neat little grip that clips into the holes on the mixer. Its so much easier to store and theres no rummaging around the kitchen drawers to find them when you need them. Something else I noticed was a clip that holds the cord in its place when you wrap it around the mixer when you store it away. No more mess in my cupboards.
The mixer itself comes with a 250W motor. In most cases you wont need more than 150W but if you are planning to do some heavy bread dough kneading, the extra power should come in handy.
Like most mixers, this one comes with three speeds. The button on top slides forward and swift thumb action will change speed, either faster or slower.
Using the hand mixer is easy. The beaters are attached to the mixer, you plug the whole lot in and slowly lower it into bowl and slide the knob forward to adjust your speed. Its always wise to start on the slowest speed and slowly increase to avoid spillage or setting off your smoke detector when adding flour into the mix. In no time at all you will have smooth batter, dough mix or perfectly stiff egg white. While it is possible to fold the egg white into any mix on the slowest setting, I find it easier to do it by hand. That way I can control the speed even better. Even the slowest setting I find a little too fast for delicate mixtures that must not be beaten too vigorously.
If you need to add to the bowl you can simply switch off the mixer, stand it on its end with the beaters over the bowl to avoid dripping on the worktop, add whatever you need and then start again, increasing the speed gradually. Of course you can leave the mixer running but you might end up with a big mess in kitchen when everything goes flying across the room.
To remove the beaters (or kneaders) you simply press the eject button on top of the mixer and they drop out. A little safety device prevents the button to be used when the mixer is on. The same safety feature prevents you from switching the mixer on without the beaters attached.
The weight of the mixer is a little over 1kg and it is comfortable to use. Even children can use it but I would suggest that smaller children are supervised when using the mixer. Although the machine will not start without the beaters attached, nor will they drop out while the machine is on, there is still the danger of little (and larger) fingers getting caught in the beater if not careful.
Cleaning the mixer is easy. Simply wipe off any drips and spots with a damp cloth, never submerge it into water. The beaters and kneaders clean easily and are dishwasher safe.
I am glad I got my little mixer, not that I use it that often but it makes life so much easier than it was before. And now that I have it, I am more inclined to actually start cooking and baking from scratch. Anything that makes life easier can only be good.
There are plenty of hand mixers on the market, some more expensive, some less, but in the end, they will all do the same job, whether they cost £10 or £50. If a cheaper item gets the job done, then why spend more money than necessary. This little beauty gets the job done and I can only recommend it.
An instruction leaflet in a variety of languages is enclosed in the box. It is short and to the point, repeating the most common safety instructions. The line remove all packaging before use made us laugh, though.
Price: from £15.95 depending on where you buy (even Amazon.co.uk stock this particular item)
Kenwood Hand Mixer / This Stylish Model Offers More Than The Traditional Hand Mixer / With The Inclusive Dough Kneaders You Can Bake Perfect Bread as Well / When Not in Use Kenwoods Beater Grip Clip Stores The Beaters on The Unit Without Taking up Any Extra Space / so Youll Never Lose Them in Your Kitchen Drawer Again / Short name: Kenwood HM320