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A beater is the normal mixer attachment, typically somewhat whisk-like in shape. It can also be a hand-powered tool, usually called an egg beater, as shown at right.
Beaters are used with foods that do not require great force to mix. Example usages:
Beaters are not suitable for mixing thick cookie dough, pizza dough, or bread dough. The beaters might stall the motor of the mixer or bend. Beaters are also difficult to clean dough from. You should use dough hooks for such tasks.