Thread Number: 73940  /  Tag: Small Appliances
Vintage Handheld Electric Mixers - Which one??
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Post# 976848   1/4/2018 at 14:24 (290 days old) by friscosudz (Kirkland, WA)        

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Hi all. I need a new handheld mixer, and am interested in switching to a vintage model. I know a lot of you out there have them, and some have very extensive collections. Which are your favorites, and why? I have a large KitchenAid stand mixer, and a couple of vintage stand mixers, including one that can double as a hand mixer, but I tend to use both of the vintage mixers gently and sparingly. My KA is an 8-qt commercial model, and I'm finding that smaller loads just disappear at the bottom of the bowl or smeared around the edges, and don't really mix well in that setup. I'd like to find something that I can use as a daily driver for small batch jobs.

I've seen plenty of them listed on eBay, Craigslist, and other sites. Many appear to be in pretty good shape cosmetically. I just don't have the background knowledge to understand which ones are more durable, reliable, what they require for maintenance (oiling and such), etc. Would love to hear your perspectives and experiences before I commit to one.

Post# 976857 , Reply# 1   1/4/2018 at 15:51 (289 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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You can't go wrong with a vintage mixer from the Sunbeam, Dormeyer, or Hamilton Beach. These were well-built models and parts can still be found if you need them.  There are likely to be a number from the 70s and 80s in thrift stores; models from the 50s and 60s may turn up in vintage stores.  3 speeds are usually enough for most mixing.  If you are looking for a specific colour, it may take you some time but you will find 'the' mixer for you!

If possible, try to find something locally so that you can try the mixer before you buy it.  The mixer should run smoothly on all speeds and not have an ozone smell. Beware of mixers which barely run or don't run at all on lower speeds - they probably need an overhaul. Also, if you find a mixer that is missing its detachable cord and it is priced attractively, don't pass on it. Someone here will know what kind of cord you need. I have bought a good number of mixers without a cord that worked perfectly once I found one.  Goid luck with your search!!

Post# 976858 , Reply# 2   1/4/2018 at 16:07 (289 days old) by Xraytech (S.W. Pennsylvania, near Pittsb)        

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The hand mixer I use the most and is my favorite to use is the GE hand mixer pictured. It is model M-68
It has 10 speeds and I really like the thumb wheel speed control.

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Post# 976859 , Reply# 3   1/4/2018 at 16:09 (289 days old) by Xraytech (S.W. Pennsylvania, near Pittsb)        

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This Sunbeam is the other hand mixer I use and really like.
It is a 5 speed with a Power Burst

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Post# 976883 , Reply# 4   1/4/2018 at 19:36 (289 days old) by Norgeway (mocksville n c )        
As one

Who only owns vintage stuff. The ones from the 60s and before tend to hold up better but any name brand is good. I use a Westinghouse a lot and a vintage kitchen aid

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Post# 976910 , Reply# 5   1/4/2018 at 21:32 (289 days old) by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

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That's neat, I never knew that Kitchenaid had a hand mixer back then. I thought the first one came out in the late 80s.

Personally I like the old Sunbeam 3 speed Mixmasters with the front eject as far as looks. But the old hand mixers are all great.

Post# 976930 , Reply# 6   1/5/2018 at 00:39 (289 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
The KA

Is just a souped up Hamilton Beach...

Post# 976932 , Reply# 7   1/5/2018 at 01:03 (289 days old) by abcomatic (Bradford, Illinois)        

My mom, in 1958 bought a Mixmaster junior. She was making whipped potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner. Some asked her a question, and not being very familiar with the new mixer, tilted it up and everyone standing close to her got a nice ring of mashed potatoes on them. We all laughed and had a great time anyway. Gary

Post# 976940 , Reply# 8   1/5/2018 at 05:45 (289 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
I have my Grandmothers

Mixmaster Junior and I think it was a gift from my uncle Christmas of 58, its chrome and still in its box where She always kept it, the only mixer She ever had.

Post# 976942 , Reply# 9   1/5/2018 at 05:50 (289 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
The old Sunbeams

Have a tendency to be sluggish when first turned on, but they spped up in a minute or so and then run fine.I have every color they made in the model J Mixmaster Junior and I think in the HM models as well.My Maternal Grandmother had a Dormeyer Dormey, the Dormeyers run faster than many of the others.

Post# 976958 , Reply# 10   1/5/2018 at 09:29 (289 days old) by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
The prettiest are, hands down,

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The GE M-47s. At least, the pre-avocado ones are stunningly beautiful.

I have used the same ones for decades (on a transformer in Germany) and was very, very happy. They are not the most powerful of the vintage mixers, though - the Sunbeam 'Mixmasters' with 'Turbo-Boost' are enormously more powerful, if ugly as sin.

The early KA handhelds are great, the stuff Whirlpool sells today was ripped to pieces be Ave on his website - for good reason. It's pure trash. Whirlpool re-upped the transmission quality of their stand mixers (while doing nothing for the horrendously bad electronic components in their pro- series) but their handhelds, some of which are now in the 'vintage' age range, are to be avoided like the plague. Pure trash.

The governor controlled 10 speed GE handhelds have power to spare, as did the built-by-a-committee of fashion challenged blind people Westinghouse handhelds of the late '50s.

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Post# 977013 , Reply# 11   1/5/2018 at 17:48 (288 days old) by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

My mom got one of the 10 speed governor GEs in about 1980 (clearly remember purchasing it for $19.99 at Central Hardware in St. Louis--they got a special deal, as I recall) to go along with her KA. I would like to find was very pleasant to use. I've got a Cuisinart I got online about 10 years ago-it's an interesting design with 3 different beaters (all wire, a standard beater, a balloon whip beater and dough hooks) but not nearly as pleasant to use as hers.

Post# 977047 , Reply# 12   1/5/2018 at 21:00 (288 days old) by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

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Here are my two Sunbeam handhelds. The 10 speed I am told is one of the best models they made before the Power Boost. Unfotunately I believe its brushes are done for because it doesn't like to work sometimes. The three speed is my favorite handheld Sunbeam because of the simple look it has. My grandmother had it in white. Unfortunately I don't have beaters for mine, but it was at Goodwill for weeks if not months so I decided to give it a home.

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Post# 977048 , Reply# 13   1/5/2018 at 21:03 (288 days old) by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

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I like the look of those GE M-47s too. I saw a yellow one at the flea market, they wanted like $25 for. One in white was at Goodwill last week with the beaters and drink attachment. Also at another thrift store I have seen three of them but they are always in avocado, in fact once there were two there at the same time. lol

Post# 977126 , Reply# 14   1/6/2018 at 10:19 (288 days old) by MixGuy (St. Martinville, Louisiana)        
Best vintage portable

I have one of all the models discussed and each takes a turn in being used:

GE Speed Control Model M 68 is noisy & handles small batches of cookie dough best

Sunbeam 12 speed is a good mixer too, try it before you buy it as many are sold being worn to death, needing replacement parts (motor brushes, governor resistor, condenser) Quieter than the GE and almost as powerful. Whips faster than the GE.

Hamilton Beach portables having 130 and 150 watt motors are good mixers too but the struggle with handling cookie dough. Choose one with the larger tear-drop shaped beaters.

Sunbeam "Burst of Power" 5 speed models are as good at the stronger HB portables.

GE, HB, and Sunbeam 3 speed portables having 100 watt motors are not recommended for mixing cookie dough, but are good for light, small jobs like cake mixes, whipping a meringue, or cream. They tend to have smaller beaters and take longer to get the job done.

Post# 977133 , Reply# 15   1/6/2018 at 11:16 (288 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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I have used and owned many of the now vintage handmixers, back when they were new on the market and my recollection is that they all had problems with anything stiff or heavy like cookie dough or cream cheese. I once watched a fairly new Sunbeam 5 speed Hand mixer that I bought in about 83í literally die in my hand while I was trying to mix a cheese cake recipe that used three 8 oz, packages of cream cheese. Poor little devil just couldnít take the stress.

I have been using a Kitchen Aid 5 speed Ultra handmixer for several years and there is just about nothing that this little powerhouse canít handle. I own a newer Sunbeam Mixmaster and a Kitchen Aid Classic Stand Mixer, both great machines. But you know what, for the past year I have been using my 5 Speed KA handmixer almost exclusively. It is more handy, less work to take out and put away, easier to clean and just all around does a great job. In fact, if I was going to downsize and only keep one mixer, the 5 Speed KA would be the keeper.

I use it to make pie crust, cookies, cakes, mashed potatoes, whipped cream, I use it several times a week and if it broke, I would drive directly to the nearest store that sold them and buy a new one.

Vintage handmixers are fun, some of them really beautiful and a joy to collect, but for me, I want a hand mixer that I can always depend on, and the KA 5 speed is dependable.

Just my two cents worth.

Post# 977154 , Reply# 16   1/6/2018 at 14:27 (288 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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My mother had a GE mixer that was probably a M-68 or at the least something that looked similar to the M-68 pictured above. I can't remember personally using it for anything very demanding--I was not much of a cook or baker at the time--but my mother had it for about 20 years, and used it regularly. It was certainly a much better mixer than the late 80s replacement--but my mother bought the cheapest choice in the store that day... ($13 IIRC--fitting it was 13 dollars, given what a disaster that 80s mixer was!)




I have been using a Kitchen Aid 5 speed Ultra handmixer


I know I've used a KA hand mixer (5 speed, too, IIRC) made maybe in early 1990s, and I remember being impressed by it. It's been years since I used one...but, based on my memories, if it weren't for bread dough, that mixer would probably be all I'd ever have wanted or needed.

Post# 977171 , Reply# 17   1/6/2018 at 16:33 (287 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

My mom used a HB Mixette from the early 50's until I was out of school. One Christmas in the late 70's I got her a new HB hand mixer. It worked OK, but was annoying to use as the detachable cord didn't want to stay fastened. It also got a crack in the plastic housing at some point. It just wasn't made as well as the old one, which was cast metal.

Post# 977177 , Reply# 18   1/6/2018 at 17:14 (287 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

Hey Sam, I have that same mixer in white. Its a countertop decoration right now, but I absolutely love the styling of it.

Post# 977259 , Reply# 19   1/7/2018 at 01:58 (287 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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HANS, I see you have your Braun stand mixer out.. what do you think of it ?

Post# 977510 , Reply# 20   1/8/2018 at 18:09 (285 days old) by Norgeway (mocksville n c )        
It's pretty darn good

I switch around a lot but my favorite European machine is the 50s kenwood chef

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Post# 977512 , Reply# 21   1/8/2018 at 18:40 (285 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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I've got one of those old yellow Kenwoods as well. I should dig it out because it hasn't run in a few years. And having the handle on top is a bonus for carrying, they're heavy

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