KitchenAid 9-Speed Professional ($90)
Feels as powerful and as easy to control as a stand mixer. Folded flour into dough on low speed without spraying ingredients out of the bowl. The keypad is smooth, so there’s no cleaning between buttons.
Braun M880 3-Speed ($60)
It’s nicely balanced and comfortable to hold. The beaters are extralong, so they work well in deep bowls but are harder to maneuver. Just three speeds, so it keeps things simple.
Cuisinart 7-Speed PowerSelect ($50)
The thin blades are sturdy enough to handle thick dough and are easy to clean. Machine has a lot of power; slowest speed is still relatively fast. LED display and buttons are small yet readable.
Dualit 5-Speed ($80) Chrome Hand Mixer
Beautiful retro-chrome design with a retractable cord for easy storage. The lowest speed is still quite fast, making it tricky to use with thick doughs (www.target.com).