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Stand Mixer Smackdown! KitchenAid vs. The Competition

Whether I’m in the mood for chocolate chip cookies, brownies or a birthday cake, I never make a move without my stand mixer. The KitchenAid is the gold standard among many home chefs, and every baker seems to want one (I bought mine in my 20s when I worshiped at the altar of Martha Stewart). But at about […]

kitchenaid stand mixer smackdown

Whether I’m in the mood for chocolate chip cookies, brownies or a birthday cake, I never make a move without my stand mixer. The KitchenAid is the gold standard among many home chefs, and every baker seems to want one (I bought mine in my 20s when I worshiped at the altar of Martha Stewart). But at about $300 (more for special editions), they are pricey for the infrequent baker. Major brands including Hamilton Beach, Breville, Bosch, Cuisinart and Sunbeam offer similar-looking competitors. How do they stack up? We took a look — get ready for a stand mixer smackdown!

A note on wattage: some bakers comment that wattage doesn’t necessarily equate with power. Any mixer needs to be able to efficiently utilize those watts in order to function well.

KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart

kitchenaid artisan stand mixer smackdown

Created in 1919, the iconic mixer is so beloved that it’s considered a must-have in any serious baker’s kitchen. The Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer ($279) is a mid-range pick and the most popular model. It has a funky, retro look and lots of fun, super-glossy color finishes, from electric “Watermelon” and soft, creamy “Meringue” to limited-edition colors and finishes (crushing on this copper one, personally). It comes with a shiny, stainless steel mixing bowl, and for an extra $79.99, you could swap it out for a hammered glass, clear glass or frosted glass bowl.

The not-so-positive: some recent reviewers mourn the “old” mixers of the 1980s when Hobart was the manufacturer for KitchenAid (today, it’s owned by Whirlpool). These fans of yesteryear say that the newer mixers wear out quickly, contain plastic gears instead of metal ones, and that attachments can flake. Important note: many reviewers say that this is a cake-baker’s mixer, not a bread-baker’s mixer. So if you’re planning to mix a lot of heavy, dense dough, this might not be your machine. The Pro-Line 7-Quart model, however ($539), has metal gears, a higher flour capacity and more power for dough-kneading.

  • Model: Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer
  • Bowl capacity: 5 quarts
  • Flour power: just under 12 cups
  • Speeds: 10
  • Watts: 325
  • Dimensions: 13.97 ” h x 8.75 ” w x 14.13” d
  • Includes: stainless steel mixing bowl, wire whip, dough hook, flat beater, pouring shield
  • Warranty: 1 year

Bosch Styline

bosch styline kitchen stand mixers

Bosch’s new Styline is getting attention from the baking community: Its tilt head and retro lines, the Styline could be mistaken for a KitchenAid at a glance, and it can handle bread dough with ease. It also has a continuous shredder attachment, which means it can double as a food processor. It doesn’t come in fashion colors—white only—but it comes with more accessories, and it’s a bit cheaper ($199).

  • Model: Styline Stand Mixer with Continuous Shredding
  • Bowl capacity: 4 quarts
  • Flour power: up to 8 cups
  • Speeds: 4, including a pulse function
  • Watts: 450
  • Dimensions: 11” h x 12.25” w x 12” d
  • Includes: brushed stainless steel mixing bowl, beating whisk, dough hook, stirring whisk, motor drive covers, accessory bag, transparent lid with filler hole and continuous shredder
  • Warranty: 1 year

Cuisinart Stand Mixer

cuisinart stand mixer smackdown

Cuisinart’s stand mixer ($249) may look like a cross between a sewing machine and a blender, but it gets attention for its power: it can handle bread and has the biggest bowl so far. It has “slow-start” function to reduce splashing, a “gentle-fold” function to integrate ingredients, and a pulse function. There’s also an integrated 15-minute countdown timer with automatic shutoff. Now that’s fancy. Like the KitchenAid, this machine has a tilt head. Its price is comparable to the KitchenAid Artisan, but again, if you’re primarily a bread baker (or often double cookie dough recipes), this may be a better fit for you. Finally, it has an impressive three-year warranty. Style mavens, take note—it only comes in black, brushed chrome and white.

  • Model: 5.5 Quart Stand Mixer
  • Bowl capacity: 5.5 quarts
  • Flour power: up to 12 cups
  • Speeds: 12
  • Watts: 800
  • Dimensions: 10” h x 15.5” w x 12.52” d
  • Includes: two-handled stainless steel mixing bowl, splash guard, flat mixing paddle, whisk, dough hook
  • Warranty: 3 years (plus 5-year motor warranty)

Breville Scraper Mixer Pro

Breville Scraper Mixer Pro Stand Mixer Smackdown

Another tilt-head mixer, Breville’s Scraper Mixer Pro ($288) isn’t a bread baker’s machine. Like the KitchenAid Artisan, it’s strongest with cakes and cookies. In fact, if you’re kneading heavy dough, you’ll still have to hand-knead after mixing. But for those who aren’t in it for the bread, this mixer sets itself apart with its ease of use: its flexible beater scrapes the bowl as it turns (no more scraping down the bowl with a spatula!), and claims to reduce mixing time by up to 60 percent. Rather than listing speeds by number, its blue LED indicator names tasks—“fold,” “mix,” or “beat,” like you’d see them in a cookbook—and the blue lights frankly look very forward. Like the Cuisinart, this machine has a countdown timer (this one is ten minutes) with automatic shutoff. The machine comes in stainless, black sesame, and red cranberry.

  • Model: Scraper Mixer Pro
  • Bowl capacity: 5 quarts
  • Flour power: not listed              
  • Speeds: 12
  • Watts: 550
  • Dimensions: 13.97” h x 14.17” w x 7.87” d
  • Includes: brushed stainless steel mixing bowl, dough hook, whisk, splash guard, flat beater
  • Warranty: 1 year

Hamilton Beach Electrics Stand Mixer

hamilton beach electrics stand mixer smackdown

The Hamilton Beach Electrics Stand Mixer ($169) has the lowest price tag so far. It features a tilt head, strikingly similar accessories and functions to the KitchenAid Artisan’s, and an impressive three-year warranty. It also openly advertises that it’s comparable to KitchenAid’s machine. Eclectrics won’t give you the Artisan’s range of colors—it comes in shiny Sugar (white), Licorice (black), Stainless, and Carmine Red—but it has cool retro styling, complete with a sliding control with numbered settings just like the Artisan’s, and it is all metal. The bowl is half a quart smaller than the Artisan’s, but with it’s reduced price tag, that might be a small reduction for all the savings. Fans say the Eclectrics does a great job with cakes, cookies and icings. But can it make bread? Kinda. Reviewers say that it can handle lighter doughs, but heavy doughs make it “walk” and cause the motor to strain. No bueno.

  • Model: Eclectrics All-Metal Stand Mixer
  • Bowl capacity: 4.5 quarts
  • Flour power: about 12 cups
  • Speeds: 12
  • Watts: 400
  • Dimensions: 14.37” h x 9.44” w x 13.79” d
  • Includes: brushed stainless steel bowl, flat beater, dough hook, wire whip, pouring shield
  • Warranty: 3 years

Sunbeam Heritage Series

sunbeam heritage stand mixer smackdown

The Sunbeam Heritage Series Stand Mixer ($128) is a looker. With its WWII airplane styling (just add chrome propeller and a pinup girl!) and a range of vibrant colors, this tilt-head mixer is clearly aiming to challenge KitchenAid’s Artisan. (We’re partial to the Indigo blue.) It offers an off-center bowl position to allow the beater to scrape the sides, and it’s all die-cast metal. Plus it has a nice handle to make it more ergonomically correct to use. At 4.6 quarts, the bowl is smaller than the Artisan’s, but the price of this mixer is a show-stopper. A simple dial on the back adjusts the speeds—but does it mix? Yes to cakes, yes to cookies, but no to bread—this relatively lightweight mixer just can’t handle heavy dough. For the price, though, this would be a fabulous addition to your kitchen for the occasional cake or muffin mix.

  • Model: Heritage Series Stand Mixer
  • Bowl capacity: 4.6 quarts
  • Flour power: not listed, but about 1 loaf of bread
  • Speeds: 12
  • Watts: 350
  • Dimensions: 16.1” h x 14.7” w x 9.8” d
  • Includes: stainless steel bowl, 2 dough hook, 2 beaters
  • Warranty: 2 years

Which mixer is your favorite? Did I miss it here? Let me know in the comments!

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