Smeg hand blender full review
Price & availability
The hand blender itself (HBF01) has an RRP of £99.95. It only comes with the standard blending head (as pictured above and below).
You can also buy it with a full accessory set (HBF02), which we discuss later on. This has an RRP of £129.95.
If you opt for the standard blender and decide later on that you want to buy the accessories, you’ll have to spend an additional £49.95. So, it’s well worth making your mind up before purchasing. Buying the full package straight off will save you £19.95 and some hassle as well: it’s quite difficult to find online stockists that are selling the accessories without the blender.
The hand blender is available from online shops including AO.com, John Lewis and Amazon.
The best price we can currently find is £65 for the blender (without accessories). AO.com is selling it in black and pastel blue. The best price for the blender plus accessories is on Amazon, where there’s currently a discount of £10 on the set (it’s selling for £120). Amazon also has the second-best price for the hand blender: £79.95.
Design & performance
Smeg’s hand blender has a 700W motor, with variable speed settings. This is a pretty powerful motor for a hand blender. I've got an older Braun model that's 300W and I've recently been testing the Russell Hobbs Horizon 3-in-1 hand blender, which is 500W. Both of these get the job done. Still, the newer, multi-function blenders from Bosch and Braun are 750W and 1000W respectively, and also have a choice of speed settings, so the Smeg is not singular in this respect.
However, it also features a turbo button for extra oomph. This kind of power is not really needed with the blender function, unless you wanted to make a smoothie out of a bucket of rocks. As it is, it made a smooth, creamy batter from our ingredients in seconds. It was equally effective in making soup.
The blender head is detachable for cleaning and can be swapped out for other accessories, but they don’t come with the standard item so we didn't get the opportunity to test them. However, our guess is that if you were moving from an older model to the Smeg, and used some of the other attachments, your problem would likely be pureeing everything to the consistency of baby food before you knew what you'd done.
Its blending wand is stainless steel, with scratch-resistant blades. Smeg credits its blending power to its FlowBlend system: the dome and shape of the blades apparently create a super-smooth consistency in food. However, if you’ve ever seen a blender blade, this one will look extremely familiar and we think that the motor is more likely to be responsible.
The blender comes in four recognisable Smeg colours: black, cream, red and pastel blue. If colour is important to you – and we imagine it would be, with such a design-led item – have a good look around online to find the best price on the colour you want.
Does a hand blender need to be a thing of beauty? Obviously not. Its design should incorporate a decent grip, its parts should be easily fitted together. The whole should function well. Those are the necessities.
But – this blender is gorgeous as well. It’s weighty without being heavy, solid and comfortable to hold. It also looks like a retro sci-fi rocket. It’s impossible not to want one.
A word on the packaging: there is something a little bit over the top about it. The blender comes in a huge presentation box, the kind of thing you'd expect to contain a very good bottle of wine. But, unless you're buying it as a present, it's going to be disposed of right away. Are you really going to store your hand blender in it forever, reverently removing it from its perfectly shaped foam bed in order to blend some veg? Seems unlikely. Companies, take note: less wasteful packaging please.
The extra accessories comprise a whisk, a 1.4 litre jug, a chopper in a sealed container and a potato masher. We can’t comment on the quality of these as we’ve only tested the blender.
This is a very good hand blender. But at £129.95, the Smeg hand blender with the full accessory set is more than three times the price of the very similar Russell Hobbs Desire 3-in-1 blender set, which is currently on sale for £39.99. This contains all the same accessories that the Smeg set has, apart from the masher. It only has two speed settings and is just 500W but it's a good quality set at a great price point.
A closer equivalent (that we haven't tested), the Braun Multiquick, which is 700W, has variable speed settings and a variety of accessories. It's on sale on John Lewis for £70.
However, the competitors' designs are just not as aesthetically appealing as the Smeg. So, it’s up to you to decide what value you place on form. A hand blender is not really a counter top item the way that a kettle, toaster or kitchen mixer is. With a cord that’s just as untidy as any appliance's – and a bunch of accessories, if you get those – your hand blender is probably going to spend most of its time in the clutter of the cupboard. But it would be very attractive clutter, we guess.