My old mixer packed 'er in. It was down from its original 5 speeds to just one....and that one speed worked only sporadically. It was not the kind of appliance you wanted to rely on to whip cream for a house full of dinner guests. I have company arriving tomorrow so I went out and bought this:
It's a Hamilton Beach model #62605, a small hand mixer that I can stuff into a drawer, but it has a powerful 200 watt motor that can handle thicker doughs with out going up in a puff of smoke.
This mixer has a retractable cord which is something I really like. A useless innovation listed as a "feature" on the box is the "bowl rest" which supposedly allows you to rest the mixer on the side of the bowl. I don't care too much about that, as long as the darn thing doesn't topple over when I put it down on the counter. Not listed as a "feature" but certainly a nice change from my old mixer, this one stands firmly on the counter on its flat base. The added weight of the more powerful motor may be a factor in its stability. My old one had a tendency to topple over when the beaters had dough clinging to them.
I was amazed at the power of this little mixer, but somewhat disappointed with its range of speeds. It is listed as a "6 speed", but in reality ALL the speeds are FAST. Low speed is what my old mixer would have listed as at least medium. When this new one is set to "high" you had better run for cover! I would list it as a FRAPPE. Unfortunately it would be more use to me to have what my old mixer called "fold". You know, the setting you would use to mix milk and pudding powder without redecorating your kitchen in that charming "speckled chocolate" finish.
UPDATE: The Hamilton Beach model # 62605 died an untimely death in December of 2012 while gallantly trying to cream butter and icing sugar in the preparation of the holiday shortbread. R.I.P. Hamilton Mixer.