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It seemed to me that most hand mixers in the past used centre post beaters. They seemed more sturdy and durable, thicker construction. I saw one recently by Kitchen aid and the wire beaters seem very minimal, thin, with little surface area compared to the centre post beaters of the past.

However I was wondering why most are now moving towards wire beaters?

I don't know if this is a manufacturing issue - perhaps it is cheaper and easier to build the wire beaters. Perhaps it is a cost savings approach? Or is there some other reason like some benefit to mixing with the wire beaters?

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Different beaters are used to achieve distinct effects. We ask a lot of our electric home mixers: they have to aerate cream, knead dough, mix cakes, among many operations. Various forces and mixing patterns are needed for these operations. To aerate air needs to be mixed into a liquid. A fast moving, half immersed wire forms vortices that mix the air and the liquids. Thin blades, some parallel and others perpendicular to the beater's motion will break clumps of solids and disperse them among the mixing liquids. Dough needs to be stretched and folded and for that a single pole into the dough following some planetary motion seems to do the job.

When compared to wire beaters, those with a central post have larger surfaces demanding a stronger motor to rotate them. A wire beater, while not ideal to mix a cake batter, can get the job done given more time. The central post also collects material, so better designs have been developed for cake mixing.

The type of beaters sold with a mixer are more likely a function of the motor strength and the price category.

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These mixers advertise the lack of a center post as an explicit feature. One description says:

These stainless steel turbo beaters deliver extra mixing power as a result of the post-free design. Without a center post to hinder mixing within the beater, ingredients are blended more thoroughly.

Another one says:

Constructed with no center posts to promote thorough mixing and minimal batter buildup. The dishwasher-safe design simplifies cleanup.

A product manual reads:

The TurboBeater™ Accessories that come with your mixer have an open shape with no center post: this design permits thorough mixing with no clogging, little splashing, and minimal food collection.

So, it seems like this is at least marketed by KitchenAid as a feature with specific claimed benefits.

  • Not sure how deleting the post adds extra "mixing power" New ANSI standard I guess. – user36802 Sep 15 '15 at 18:31
  • One of the reasons why people buy these mixers is because they are perceived to be built like tanks and will last forever....and they come in lots of pretty colors. Quote of the day..."It's so pretty" - Martha Stewart. – user36802 Sep 15 '15 at 18:40
  • Bah. Underpowered AC motors and plastic worm gears. Look like late 80's tech inside. – Wayfaring Stranger Sep 15 '15 at 23:49
  • I wish I still had some of that old tech that my parents discarded. – user36802 Sep 17 '15 at 13:12
  • @ChefBrooksie My 70's era hand mixer is awesome. Metal gears, wouldn't trade it for the world. However, my modern KitchenAid uses an old design squirrel cage type motor instead of a modern brushless DC. That means I get far less torque per amp than seems reasonable in this millenium. – Wayfaring Stranger Sep 17 '15 at 15:40
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I looked at what I think is the mixer you're referring to. My thought was the wires look a bit flimsy. You couldn't use those beaters to knead bread, but then the motor in the mixer is not designed for that.

I am sure they would work just fine for things like cake batter.

From an engineering perspective, I would say the beaters are appropriate for the mixer and its anticipated usage.

Likewise, they probably are cheaper to build and not as sturdy...but still adequate.

I have often thought about buying a hand mixer just because it's quicker to whip out for small jobs. Then again, I don't need a mixer all that often. My big brute KitchenAid commercial mixer is good enough. To be honest, the main thing I would need that for is kneading bread but I always knead by hand anyway. I have a Vitamix too which is somewhat redundant.

Maybe I could use it for washing socks? ...The KitchenAid...not the Vitamix :)

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    In my searching I found that at least one such mixer also comes with dough hooks. – Random832 Sep 15 '15 at 17:32

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