A compact food processor can provide convenience without requiring a large amount of counter space or creating the need to move a large, heavy machine around the kitchen. There are so many different designs for a compact food processor that the first consideration in choosing the best should be the size of the bowl, mostly because the idea of what defines "compact" can vary widely. The footprint of the device is another feature to look at, because different models take up different amounts and types of space, both while in use and while being stored. The versatility of a compact food processor might be important in a busy kitchen, making models that have different blades and attachments a better choice than static models. The processor should be easy to use and clean but still have some options to allow for more or less processing power.
The bowl that holds the food to be chopped can vary greatly in size, depending on the specific compact food processor. The smallest models can have as little as a single cup capacity, while larger models might hold several times more. When choosing a compact food processor, it is important to choose one that has a sufficient capacity to be useful in a kitchen, despite possibly having to deal with a larger footprint.
The capacity of the chopping bowl contributes to the overall footprint of the compact food processor. Some models are designed to have a narrow base so they can be easily stored alongside other machines, although these types tend to have higher tops, more like a blender. Other models are wide but flat, making it easy to store one against the back wall of a counter. A few very compact models are quite small and take up no more space than a large glass, although they tend to have limited food capacities and running times. The best choice will be one that goes well with both the design of the kitchen and the cooking techniques employed.
Depending on how it is used, a compact food processor can come with some features that might be very valuable. These include extra blades that can perform different types of chopping or grating, attachments such as a chute that directs food into a separate bowl, or a machine that can be inverted and stored in its own bowl for convenience. A very useful feature that some compact food processor designs might overlook is a way to adjust the speed of the cutting blade. Without being able to adjust the speed, some foods might quickly puree, while others could be cut in a very irregular fashion.