Does sifting flour or confectioners' sugar make a difference? Yes. It adds air to make bread and cakes fluffier, does a good job of mixing dry ingredients together, loosens tightly packed flour and gets rid of lumps. Sifters are also very useful for extracting weevils from flour, although that has become a far less common problem since our grandmothers were baking (and you might be best off throwing out that bag of flour entirely). A basic sifter can be bought so cheaply that even occasional bakers will find them a good investment. And an additional bonus for really picky bakers: one cup of sifted flour and one cup of unsifted flour aren't the same, so a sifter will allow you to be extra-precise in your measurements!
If you're churning out cakes and breads like you're a one-man/woman bake shop, a battery operated sifter makes sense. Many battery-operated sifters have a large capacity, meaning you can effortlessly get all of your flour sifting out of the way in one batch and move on to the next step. Then again, you might see it as a little too much technology invested in a task like sifting flour.
There are three types of hand-operated sifters: rotary crank, squeeze handle , or flour shakers that simply rely on a side-to-side shake to sieve the flour through the can.
It comes down to personal preference, although each type has its advantages and disadvantages. Sifters with a rotary crank handle require both hands to use, while a squeeze handle allows you to pour more flour into the sifter while sifting. However, some people find squeeze handle sifters to be uncomfortable, especially when sifting large batches. You generally can't go wrong with a can or simple pan sifter .