Blender vs. Immersion Blender: Find the Right Gadget for Your Kitchen

Want to add a new kitchen appliance to your roster? Immersion blender vs. blender may be the matchup on your mind. Find out which model you'll want based on your cooking style.

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Shopping for a new blender? Don’t rush to the traditional blender models. Instead, learn about all the options out there. You might just find that a smaller model better fits your needs.

Learn the difference between types of blenders, the best blenders and when you should use each.

Different Blender Advantages By Type Graphic 1200x1200sydney watson/taste of home

What Is a Countertop Blender?

When you think blender, your mind probably goes to a classic countertop model. That’s a lidded pitcher mounted on a motorized base which makes the blades spin inside the pitcher.

These larger blenders often have many settings including puree, blend, chop and even crush ice for frozen drinks. Features like these make countertop blenders the go-to tool for creating homemade smoothies, purees and smooth soups.

Contrary to popular belief, cleaning a blender is easy, so don’t hesitate to plug yours in whenever you need it.


  • Powerful
  • Versatile, thanks to multiple speeds and features
  • Splash-free blending
  • Super smooth results


  • Take up valuable kitchen space
  • Pricey

What Is an Immersion Blender?

Buying an immersion blender—also known as a stick or hand blender—is another option. These gadgets are much smaller than their countertop counterparts. They consist of a motorized handle with an easy-to-clean, detachable blending mechanism. Some models include extra attachments like whisks or even small food processors.

Immersion blenders are better suited to different tasks than traditional blenders. Because they’re compact, they’re ideal for making small-batch recipes like vinaigrettes and homemade whipped cream.

Stick blenders also work well to smooth out sauces and soups. With this gadget, there’s no need to transfer the recipe to a pitcher or bowl; you can blend right in your saucepan. In general, handheld blenders work best with softer ingredients (don’t try to crush ice with one of these!).


  • Affordable
  • Compact and easy to store
  • Easy to clean
  • Ideal for small jobs
  • Can blend right in your cooking vessel—no need to transfer to a pitcher


  • Can’t chop, crush, etc.
  • Not as powerful as countertop models

Consider our Test Kitchen’s top immersion blenders.

Which Type of Blender Is Right for You?

Consider your cooking habits. If you make lots of smoothies, baby food, frozen drinks or big batches of soup, we recommend a powerful countertop model.

If you don’t reach for a blender very often, we recommend picking up a less expensive immersion blender. You can still blend ingredients in soups and sauces, but you won’t need to sacrifice a lot of storage space.

This being said, the right solution for you might be to have one of each type! Both are incredibly useful gadgets—not to mention they can be awfully fun to use.

Put Your Blender to Good Use
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Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa is also dedicated to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.