A common question that would come up from our customers is do we sell stick blenders for soap making. Unfortunately we do not sell many tools for candle and soap making but we can help you find the right tool for the job. How to choose a stick blender for soap making is a better question to ask and this will be the focus of this article.
Ascertain how often and how large of a batch of soap you may be planing to making. This frequency of use and amount will help you determine the best blender for your needs. A few points to help you choose are;
- Power button location
- Power cord location
- Speed control Dial
- Attachment options
- Product Reviews
Another way is to learn a bit about the various types of blenders that can be used and then find one that will suit your skill level and usage level. This way you can work your way up the ladder to bigger and better blenders and not spend too much in the beginning. It may be a large investment and not worth it if you only make soap once every 4 months.
What is a stick blender
Stick blender may be a common name for some persons but for others there are different names for the same item. Here are some common names you may have heard when referring to a stick blender.
- Stick blender
- Immersion blender
- Hand mixer
These are the names that describe this soap making tool. Although it is not unique to soap making the sick blender is used in many different ways and in many other genres but mainly in cooking.
What to look for before purchasing a stick blender
Its easy to step into a store and pick up the first blender that you see on the shelf unfortunately, this my friend can be an issue for you sooner than later.
There are a few things to consider when choosing your first blender or even upgrading to a new stick blender. These points will help you find the right tool for the job and or artwork you are planning to make and not break the bank at the same time.
To get started lets get familiar with this tool and how knowing what they are and where they are will impact your decision.
Parts of a stick blender
- Power Button
- Motor and motor body
- Power cord
- Speed Control dial
- Blending Attachment
- Additional Attachments
The placement of the power button is essential to how you will use the stick blender. The button should be in a position that makes it easy to hold the blender at the same time depress the power button to start or to stop.
I have seen blenders with buttons on the top of the body and I have seen some with buttons near the top but along the side. More recently I have seen one that was on the side but instead of a button it was a switch.
The type and location of the button is very important to its usage. When holding the blender the button should be easy to access and easy to start and stop the blades. This comes in handy if you get distracted you dont want to have your blades sniping and you accidentally lift it up out your mixture.
I personally prefer a button that starts the blade when i press it and stops when i relieve the pressure. This way i don't make mistakes as without me depressing the button the blades will not spin. I also prefer a button that is placed a bit higher to the top that my thumb can reach.
Motor and motor body
The motor of course will do most of the work of the blending. The motor should be encased in the body but also you have to pay attention to long usage and how hot the motor will become. A hot motor can burn out leaving you in the middle of a good soap making batch with no way to finish.
The motor in actually is one of the most important parts of the blender. This is harder to judge without actually testing the blender but you can use the information from the manufacture to help.
Take note if the motor has more than one speed. Usually a good stick blender with have atleast two speeds. More advanced blenders with have various speeds and capabilities. Cheaper blenders will have only one speed. This is not a hard and fast rule but its good to keep the speed settings in mind.
The speed of the blade is usually determined by a second button, a switch or sometimes a dial. All this will help you in your decision, for example a button is usually easier to use by moving your finger from one to the other. A switch takes a little effort to click it in place while a dial will require both hands.
If you want ease of use then look for a blender that has either two buttons or a switch.
Stick blender power cord
The location of the power cord is something that many would not pay any attention to. It should be at the top of the body of the stick blender and have extra plastic at the base of the blender body to prevent wire fraying from usage.
You will use your blender in a standing position as it should be however when not in use you will most likely lay it down. This movement up and down around and around can put some wear and tear on the wire. This is what causes wires to fray and sometime have issues operating the blender.
Make sure that the blender has that thicker plastic at where the wire goes into the body of the blender. This will protect that vulnerable part and ensure that your blender doesn't have electrical issues
Speed control dial
I mentioned before about blenders having at least two speeds. The way the dial can be placed will be either a separate switch or usually a separate button near the power button and is some cases a dial. Most blenders come in two speeds a few can be found with 3 speeds.
The variable speed comes handy for different types of soap making. A faster speed can help you incorporate additives in you soap quickly by using a faster speed but for a shorter time period.
This is where all the magic happens. What you are you looking for is the type of covering of the blade at the end of the attachment along with other attachments such as a whisk or other blending tool. At the same time you have to consider a few other matters.
- Blending attachment length
- Blade configuration
- blade covering
- ease to clean
The length of your blender will dictate how deep of a mixing bowl you can use. The blade configuration affects how well the batter will be mixed and how fast. Two blade vs four blade. The covering of the blade is very important as you do not want to accidentally get your finder or other items in the blades.
Most importantly of all especially when considering the covering of the blade is how easy will it be to clean the blade attachment. Deeper coverings make it harder to clean while shallow coverings are easier but a bit more dangerous.
Find a covering that is a few cm longer than the blade with openings in the cover to allow for burping the blender and avoid bubbles in your mixture.
Other attachment to the body can be a whisk attachment or sometimes a plastic mixer. These are more used in cooking but there may be a time when you want to stir and not mix your batter such as when making a swirl soap.
These other attachments can come in handy and should be easy to remove and add to the body. In many cases attachments require a bit of a counter clockwise turn to lock it in while in some cases a tab is used.
Ergonomics of your stick blender
Ergonomics is a fancy word for how well does the blender fit in your hand. You should have a good grip and it should not seem overly bulky for your hand size. nor should it be to small either. The height with the attachment matters to the bowl you you will use as you do not want to get your motor wet or filled with soap batter.
The motor should feel comfortable in your hand and all button and switches should be easy to reach with your fingers. The shape of the blender will dictate this but at the same time you should consider the fattest part of the blender which is where the motor is.
How close to your hand is the motor? is there all plastic or a bit of rubber. This is essential if you will be using your blender for long periods of time. Stick blender motors to get hot and if its all plastic you are holding you can burn your hand.
Yes you should be wearing gloves but unless you are using thick gloves that heat will penetrate your gloves and holding the blender will be come uncomfortable and dangerous.
Before buying check reviews on line. Amazon is great place to check the reviews of a stick blender. Often many of the questions you will have will have an answer. Also you can tick off the information in this article based on reviews.
Whether you purchase in store or online its a good practice to know a bit about a brand before you buy. You can also ask questions on some websites to have persons who have used a particular brand.
Take reviews with a grain of salt. There are times that persons may be using the blender for a function not like what you will be doing and there for their review may not be relent to your question.
Take notes of your usage.
Once you have made you purchase keep notes on the amount and length of time that you use your blender. Any quirks or holdups or how hot does the motor perform and does it to hot. Take note if it is manageable and of course if it does break take note of what may have caused it.
All this will give you valuable information for your next purchase. This goes without saying however extremely cheap products often give the worse results but if you are on a budget simply do more research on you price point blender.