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A dough hook is a mixer attachment, typically shaped like a helix (corkscrew shape) or "C" looking hook. Beaters are used with foods which require great force to mix. Example usages:
Dough hooks are not very good for making whipped cream from cream, beating Eggs to make a meringue, or mixing thin cake batter. Normal beaters are much more efficient for these tasks.
Unlike most beaters, dough hooks are typically easy to clean.