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Things to Think About When Selecting Small Appliances

A selection of color-coordinated small appliances

Courtesy of Hamilton Beach

The following questions provide some important food for thought when shopping for small appliances. We have more information on how to choose specific products throughout this section, but this list of factors to consider is a great place to start.


  1. Appearance: Are you likely to hide them in cabinets or in a pantry? Or will they spend most of their time on the counter? If the latter, do you want them to match your large appliances (which are likely to be in white, black or stainless steel)? Or do you want to add color or strengthen an existing color scheme by buying small appliances in a more adventurous shade?

  2. Capacity: What quantities of food and beverages do you plan to produce with these appliances? Enough for one or two people, family dinners, or large parties?

  3. Space: How much room do you have in your kitchen to store and to use these "small" appliances, some of which are actually rather big? Will they fit in the cabinets or underneath the cabinets? Do you have more wall space than counter space, in which case you might be better off choosing built-in instead of countertop models when possible (for example, with a microwave or a coffeemaker)? Can you save space by buying one appliance with multiple functions instead of multiple appliances with single functions?

  4. Frequency of use: Will you use a particular appliance on a daily, weekly or monthly basis? Or will you only pull it out for special, rare occasions? You may want to invest more in a machine that has to stand up to regular abuse.

  5. Ease of cleaning: Look for dishwasher-safe components unless you enjoy doing dishes by hand.

  6. Corded or cordless: How portable do you need your portable appliances to be? Do you like to set up at a table that happens to be a little too far from an electrical outlet? Are you concerned about blowing a fuse?