A stand mixer can easily be one of the most exciting purchases you ever make for your kitchen, especially if you bake a lot. Since this is such an investment piece, most people really want to make sure they have the space, money, and need for such a machine before taking the plunge.
Although finally deciding to make the purchase can feel like a big decision in and of itself, the real decision comes when picking the one that will be right for your home and cooking needs.
If you choose wisely and buy the best stand mixer that you can afford, this small appliance can last you decades, ensuring that you really do get your money’s worth, not to mention that it will add so much to what you can do at home.
Some top rated models have attachments that you can purchase, ranging from sausage stuffers to pasta makers. This article goes over some of the best options on the market today to help you make the right decision for your kitchen.
Our Stand Mixer Top Picks
To help you best fit the particular model to your needs, we’ve broken our list down into three performance categories: light duty for the occasional baker, medium duty for the folks that bake on consistent basis but not every day, and heavy duty for those who bake more frequently.
There is also a bonus category for the “no-holds-barred” shopper, for those who need or want the very best and aren’t afraid to pay for it – however, there is only one product (the Hobart N50) that we’ve listed in this section that could reasonably fit into a home kitchen.
We’ve been fairly tough in our selection criteria, and not all of it is quantifiable due to differences in build quality of motors and other components.
The appliance industry’s habit of using wattage as a measurement of power is also a factor that is hard to translate into a review. 400 watts is not 400 watts when comparing different makers.
Although not 100% correlated, the mixing ability, power, and build quality of each stand mixer is normally directly associated with its price point. With stand mixers, you generally get what you pay for.
Best Light Duty Stand Mixer
If you need an occasional helper for baking cookies, cakes, and other lighter dough items or whipping up a nice cream, you can’t go wrong with the Breville BEM800XL Scraper Mixer Pro 5-Quart Die-Cast Stand Mixer.
Although we would not recommend it for more than occasional bread kneading, this machine will perform very well for the average home chef, as long as he or she doesn’t have a bread baking obsession. Its scraping function is unique among its peers.
Although priced higher than many of the other lighter duty models, its auto load sensing and auto timer features give you more for your money than many other comparable examples (i.e. the KitchenAid) in this price range. Click here to jump down to our mini review.
Best Medium Duty Stand Mixer
This category represented a difficult choice, and it came down to the Cuisinart SM-55 5 1/2-Quart 12-Speed Stand Mixer and the KitchenAid 5-Quart Artisan Series Mixer. In the end, we awarded the medium category to the KitchenAid. Although the Cuisinart’s motor is rated much higher on paper than that of the KitchenAid, we felt they have similar power capabilities in the real world.
While we appreciated Cuisinart’s three-year warranty versus KitchenAid’s one-year, reviewers indicated that the Cuisinart’s customer service was sometime difficult to deal with, and that they had to pay shipping both ways to have their machine serviced or replaced.
KitchenAid’s warranty service seems to have none of these issues.
We also appreciated the massive variety of different colors in which the KitchenAid KSM150 5-Quart Artisan Series is offered, and the many different attachments that are available. Although we gave our nod towards the KitchenAid, we are sure that you’d be happy with either model.
Click here to skip down to our mini review of the Kitchen Aid KSM150 Artisan.
Best Heavy Duty Stand Mixer
This was by far the hardest category in which to decide our top pick. Much debate and teeth gnashing occurred, and you will not go wrong with choosing any of the various offerings. But in the end, we had to choose just one.
The Verona / Magic Mill DLX Mixer / Electrolux Assistant / Ankarsrum Original (don’t say that too fast) is by far our favorite stand mixer for baking a copious amount of bread. Have a huge family with a bunch of mouths to feed and make most of your food from scratch? If so, this is THE mixer for you.
With nearly 12 pounds of dough capacity, which can be tapped into on a daily basis without fear of burning the motor up, this is the best mixer for bread baking by far, without breaking the bank. The next step up, which would be the Hobart N50-60 5-Quart 3-Speed All Purpose Bench Mixer, costs significantly more, and most folks aren’t prepared to pay this much for a home machine.
Our other favorite option was the KitchenAid Proline 7-Quart. This one is especially helpful if you want to use KitchenAid’s full line of accessory attachments such as the grain mils, meat grinders, food processors, and so on.
Click here to scoot down this page to read our mini review of the Ankarsrum.
How We Rated
You’ll probably want to buy the highest powered unit that you can afford – especially if you are working with lots of heavy or dry dough. There is, however, a catch: the appliance industry generally likes to obscure their power ratings through the use of “watts.”
Watts (or Amps in other appliance lines such as vacuums) really tell you nothing about the power available, either at the motor itself or at the mixer head. Watts (in this case) can be defined by the amount of power or current that is drawn from the electrical grid.
This does not take into account – at all – the build quality, design, or efficiencies of the motors themselves. Without getting too techie, a high quality fixed speed induction motor driving a high quality set of gears can use this 400 watts much more effectively and for a longer period than a cheap high speed motor.
A more fair measurement of power would be a horsepower rating at continuous use, but this measurement is much harder to obtain, so it is highly unlikely that it will ever be adopted by home consumer brands (although it is used by commercial equipment makers such as Hobart).
This means that the beaters rotate on their axis similarly to the way the Earth rotates. Like a planetary system, the whole mixer head then rotates the opposite way, similar to the way the Earth rotates around the sun. This ensures that the sides of the bowl are scraped by the beater rather than having to do it by hand, and that the ingredients become fully mixed.
All Metal Gearing
Although a bit noisier than other models with quieter nylon gears (sometimes referred to as “plastic” gears in various reviews), models with metal gears tend to last much longer.
That being said, there are obvious differences in quality between various brands in their manufacturing process, with some lower priced models opting for pot metal gears, while better models offer brass or steel gears with tighter tolerances.
The all metal gear equipped examples are normally kitted out with electronic sensors, which shut off the machine prior to the motor damaging itself in the event of an overload.
It should be pointed out that KitchenAid uses ONE Kevlar-reinforced nylon gear in their lower-price tilt head designs that is engineered as a fail safe in the event of motor overload, and breaks up into pieces in the event of a jam. Their upper-end models use the electronic overload sensors, and all metal gears.
Slow Start Feature
Any decent stand mixer will have this option. This basically slowly spins the motor up for the first several seconds, so that the ingredients do not fly into the air and create a flour cloud, or splatter your walls.
Generally, the more speed options available the better, as this allows you to perform any task that you set out to do, including whipping cream at a higher speed and kneading dough at lower speeds.
This speed control also allows you to maximize the torque being produced by the motor with the stiffness of the ingredients. We like to see at least 6-7 speed options. It should be pointed out that the uber-expensive Hobart N50 only has three speeds, as the motor is so powerful it can plow through almost anything in any gear.
At Foodal, we are more into Function over Form. But we realize some folks value the ability to match their decor, so we’ve included this as a small metric.
However, you may value this more, and thus it may affect your selection criteria more so than it does ours – it just happened by coincidence that two of our top picks are available in a plethora of colors.
A heavy stand mixer has much less of tendency to “walk” around your countertops when mixing heavy bread dough. You’ll generally want a mixer that weighs at least 20 pounds, though heavier is generally better.
In the good old days of USA manufacturing, many of these appliances got this weight from their heavy duty motors (usually tagged with Emerson or Baldor) that contained lots of costly copper wiring and lasted nearly forever.
Unfortunately, in these years of making products cheaper and cheaper, many manufacturers have outsourced their motor supply to China (even if they are “made” elsewhere) and include smaller, less efficient, and much cheaper units. These manufacturers have beefed up the weight through other means.
It should be noted that the Bosch Universal Plus Kitchen Machine (which has a killer motor that can tackle nearly anything you want to do), originally designed for the European market where space is at a premium, has eschewed the weight in favor of suction cups on the feet to “glue” itself to your countertops.
This in no way takes away from the versatility of this incredible machine, and it could be considered the best light weight stand mixer on the market today (light weight referring to mass, not power or capability).
The Bosch Universal Plus Stand Mixer is one of the few mixers on the market that doesn’t depend on mass to keep in in place.
Tilt Head vs. Bowl Lift
Before looking at individual models, you should consider which of two basic types of stand mixers are right for you: tilt head or bowl lift. With the tilt head model, you insert and remove the bowl by lifting the head of the mixer.
Once the head is lifted, you can securely twist the bowl into place in the base of the mixer. Then just pull the tilt head down and use a small lever on the side of the machine to lock it into place, so it doesn’t wobble while you use it.
These models tend to be a little less bulky, so consider the space you have for storing when making your decision.
This KitchenAid KSM150 5-Qt. Artisan Series in Persimmon is a superb example of a tilt head model
To insert and remove the bowl on the bowl lift models, the bowl hooks onto arms that extend from the machine, and the arms raise and lift to make removal easier.
More advanced home cooks like this model because bowls of warm or cold water can be placed beneath it for added temperature control. Some users complain that it’s more difficult to add ingredients to the bowl lift model, and don’t like that attachments have to be removed from the machine in order to remove the bowl.
The KitchenAid KP26M1X 6-Qt. Professional 600 Series in Green Apple is a great example of a bowl lift model
You’ll find bowl lift models to be more common in the higher end and more powerful mixers – this is because the heavy motors in the these products are not easily supported by the single hinge found in the tilt head models.
The bowl lift models are also more stable, as the vibrations from the mixing action vibrate through heavier and thicker construction, meaning there is more mass to distribute the mechanical energy from the vibrating parts and motor. These mixers are the best choice for those who like to make thick doughs like bread dough often.
Build quality is fairly self explanatory and can include some of the other metrics already mentioned, as well as other variables. Does the machine have adequate power (or even better – surplus power) to accomplish the task at hand?
Are good quality parts and pieces used in the construction? Will the motor and electronic bits last for a long while? Are details an important part of the assembly and engineering process? Are tolerances tight, or was the product quickly slapped together?
Manufacturers generally have the ability to pick two out of the three performance goals when producing products: fast, cheap, or well built. At Foodal, we’d rather see well built than cheap for the products that we recommend.
Not only is the length of the warranty important, you must examine what exactly is covered, and most importantly, how good is the service?
Do they pick up the tab for shipping? Is support knowledgeable, and easy to communicate with?
Value is really a combination of price and build quality. At Foodal, we don’t focus on price alone as a determining factor in rating a product. Instead, we utilize our concept of Value.
Does the product, when one considers the build quality and all of the other metrics in comparison to the price, provide value to the customer? And if so, what is the quantifiable number or star rating that we assign, based on our observations?
Need more information, or want some better visuals? Check out this video courtesy of Dede Wilson at Bakepedia.com. It’s a great introduction to these marvelous machines.
Light Duty Stand Mixers
This one is ideal for the occasional baker, someone who bakes a couple of times a month but not in huge batches, or for those with a smaller budget. If you ever like to bake bread or make pizzas, we can’t recommend any of the light duty machines for these purposes in good conscience. Move on to a better medium or heavy duty machine if you can afford to.
The Sunbeam MixMaster Stand Mixer differs from others in that it’s built very similarly to a handheld mixer, and it does not offer planetary action. Instead, double beaters rotate the ingredients – expect some bowl scraping to be required with this design.
The top of the machine features a handle with a boost button, which can be operated with your thumb.
Unlike other stand mixers, the bowl faces away from you when operating it. If this will be your first stand mixer and you’ve used handhelds in the past, this could be a good option for you if you have any reservations about making the switch.
Sunbeam 2594 350-Watt MixMaster Stand Mixer with Dough Hooks and Beaters, Black available from Amazon
Unlike a handheld mixer, however, this is easier to operate, and you won’t find that your arm is getting tired after fifteen minutes of use. It’s also more powerful than many of its handheld counterparts: it features a 350-watt motor, and 12 different speed settings.
You don’t need to hold the handle to operate this setting – there’s a dial on the back with the 12 speeds that features a slow startup, so you won’t find yourself covered in flour.
In addition to rotating attachments, the bowl also rotates in the opposite direction from the attachments, to ensure that all ingredients are picked up and thoroughly mixed into the batter or dough.
The 4-quart stainless bowl is on the smaller end of the spectrum for mixer bowls. Sunbeam provides two attachments: beaters and dough hooks.
Although this appliance seems to handle lighter dough and batters well, many users wrote that regular use to make bread dough wore this machine out rather quickly. If you are hoping to use this to make a lot of bread, look at a more durable option instead.
This Sunbeam MixMaster comes with a 2-year warranty, so if something does go wrong with your product, you’ll have ample time to replace it. This is a great option for beginners or those who aren’t sure they want or need such a machine, and aren’t quite ready to commit the cash to more durable, multipurpose options.
This one is, by far, the best stand mixer in terms of value at this price point.
KitchenAid Ultra Power 4 1/2-Quart
KitchenAid mixers are the quintessential stand mixer option for many home cooks, and for good reason: they’re known for durability, have several attachment options, and are easy to use.
Although many users have speculated that their quality declined in the late 2000s, KitchenAid reports that changes have been made over the last several years to get the mixers back to their former, decade-lasting selves. And this seems to have been confirmed by customer reviews.
When choosing a KitchenAid, look for a new model, as users report these tend to have a more solid construction. Of course, models from the 1990s and earlier have also been known to last for decades when cared for properly. This kind of durability does come with a caveat: these appliances are fairly heavy at 22-30 pounds, so be sure to store them in an easy to reach place.
Although the 4.5-quart bowl is on the smaller side, this is by no means limiting. Theoretically, you can mix together almost seven dozen cookies or four loaves of lighter bread dough at once, but we wouldn’t recommend attempting that much on a regular basis. It weighs 26 pounds and measures in at 14 1/8 x 13 15/16 x 8 3/4 inches.
With ten speeds and 300 watts of power, this machine can handle most dough with no problem. And it gives you several dimensions of control, so you can whip egg whites or slowly beat in butter.
If you are a regular bread baker, meaning more than twice a month, I’d recommend looking at a more powerful option, although many users report that they use this model to make bread frequently.
This machine comes with the three basic attachments – a flat beater, wire whip, and dough hook – and is compatible with the other attachments that KitchenAid offers.
See Foodal’s detailed review of this fine machine, or check out prices and customer comments on Amazon now.
KitchenAid 4 1/2-Quart Classic Plus
This model is very similar to the Ultra Power, but it’s a little more affordable. And it has a 275-watt motor instead of the 300-watt version.
Both models have 59-point planetary action, which means it has 59 touch points through the bowl when mixing, to get ingredients thoroughly incorporated. Also, both models have a tilt head, and ten speeds for precision control.
This model is an excellent choice for the occasional user. It will easily mix together cookie dough and cake batter or beat mashed potatoes. It’ll also do just fine making thicker dough occasionally, but if you know you’ll be using this to bake frequently, get a more powerful machine.
Even so, some users report using it often to make thick pizza dough with no problems, except that the head will jump up and down a bit.
Hamilton Beach Electrics All-Metal
The Hamilton Beach Electrics All-Metal Stand Mixer is a good mid-range option, and is the best budget stand mixer we looked at. It features a 4.5-quart mixing bowl, which is a little on the smaller side, but it will be able to handle nearly any recipe for cookie dough, bread dough, or cakes.
You may not be able to do anything larger than a single batch at once, but that’s not going to be a problem for most home cooks. The bowl locks into place to help give you more control over tougher jobs, although some users report that it doesn’t always lock very securely.
Hamilton Beach Electrics 63227 All-Metal Stand Mixer, available in 3 colors from Amazon (“Licorice” shown)
This model features entirely metal construction except for the pour shield, making it a very durable small appliance. It has a 400-watt motor that can handle thicker dough, including cookie and bread dough. There are twelve different speed settings to give you more precision, and greater control than others that often feature only ten.
The Hamilton is slightly bulkier than some of its competitors: it measures 9 x 14 x 14 inches and weighs 21 pounds. If you don’t intend to store it on your countertop, make sure it’s not put away in a place too low or too high, so you can access it safely. Although it does have “feet” to help keep it still on the counter, when preparing thick dough, you may find that it bounces a bit if you don’t hold it to keep it steady.
In addition to the stand and bowl, you’ll receive the pouring shield and three attachments: paddle, whisk, and dough hook. With this set, you’ll be able to use your mixer for any baking project, in addition to prepping dishes like mashed potatoes or whipped cream.
Despite it being on the lower end price-wise, it features a 3-year warranty, much longer than the standard 1-year warranty. However, some users report that their machines didn’t last more than a year, and when they tried to get them replaced, the process was difficult and expensive.
Overall, the Hamilton Beach Electrics All-Metal is a good option if you’re working with a limited budget, or aren’t quite sure if a stand mixer is a piece you need to invest in.
However, if you plan to use your mixer regularly and want something that will stand the test of time, I recommend looking at another.
Breville Scraper Mixer Pro
The Breville Scraper Mixer Pro’s claim to fame is that it features an attachment no other competitors have yet: a flat beater that scrapes the bowl as it mixes. It’s slightly less expensive than its high-end competitors.
At 8.7 x 14.6 x 13.7 inches, this appliance is a little smaller and lighter than others. It also offers internal cord storage, making this a convenient choice when it comes time to put it away. Like the Cuisinart model, this Breville is also constructed from die-cast metal that’s known for its durability.
It comes with a 550-watt motor with 12 speeds, including an auto-shutoff that deploys if the mixer is overloaded. Like the Cuisinart, the Breville has a countdown timer for up to ten minutes, to babysit your dough for you.
The stainless steel bowl has 5 quarts of capacity, which is on the larger end for mixer bowls. Also included are a two-piece pour shield, scraper beater, flat beater, wire whip, and dough hook, giving you a wide range of variation in what you can use this mixer to prepare.
The scraper beater saves you time that would otherwise be spent stopping the machine, lifting the head, and scraping down the edges of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
This is especially useful with thinner batters that tend to build up along the side of the bowl, like cake batter. The head employs planetary action, meaning it spins clockwise while the beaters spin counter-clockwise, giving the machine ample opportunity to pick up all the ingredients.
Although we found the Breville Scraper Mixer Pro to be an excellent product compared to other offerings in this price range, it does have a few drawbacks.
It is clearly a great choice for those who enjoy light baking, like cookies and cakes. But many users who bake bread frequently found that it wasn’t up to the challenge of repeated uses to make bread dough.
Although the machine is supposed to shut off automatically if it’s carrying too heavy of a load, this function doesn’t always work. And it ends up smoking and breaking down.
The warranty is just for a year, so if you know you’re going to be using it frequently and for heavy duty jobs, consider a sturdier option. However, if you only plan to use it occasionally for mixing lighter dough and you enjoy the functionality it offers, this could be the right choice for you.
Medium Duty Stand Mixers
For those expecting to use their machine once or twice a week to make fairly large batches of food and the occasional breads and pizzas, these are the best offerings, comparable in terms of price and available features.
KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart
With many reviews and an excellent rating on Amazon, this is one of KitchenAid’s most popular models. The price and capabilities fit the needs of almost any home cook.
Although it has the same ten speeds, this model is more powerful than the previous two mentioned, with a 325-watt motor. It also has a larger bowl at 5 quarts, allowing you to stir together up to 9 dozen cookies or 4 ½ loaves of bread (if it’s a lighter dough) in one batch.
For those who plan to display their stand mixers, this model comes in over twenty different colors, so it can be selected to match just about any kitchen! The bowl is a shiny stainless steel with a handle, to make removing and use easier.
A 5-quart mixing bowl is great for those that are cooking and baking for a family of six or fewer. You can make double batches of most cake and cookie recipes, but if you plan to make triple batches or more, you’ll want to look for something with a larger bowl. In addition to the bowl, KitchenAid includes three attachments: a flat beater, wire whisk, and dough hook.
In addition to the three attachments, KitchenAid includes a pouring shield to help keep your kitchen a little more mess free. The pouring shield has a chute to make adding ingredients easier and, if you’re anything like me, you won’t find yourself covered in flour after baking anymore thanks to this tool!
Sold separately are a huge range of additional attachments, such as an ice cream maker, pasta maker, and sausage stuffer. This one small appliance can become an incredibly multipurpose tool in your home with this kind of variety.
The bowl and attachments are all dishwasher safe, and the outside is easy to clean with just a quick rubdown with a wet washcloth.
The motor offers 325 watts of power, which is plenty for your basic recipes and most bread or pizza dough – but be careful with large batches of dough or when you’re making a particularly thick dough, like whole wheat. With ten speeds, you have precision control when whipping egg whites or slowly kneading dough.
The KitchenAid Artisan Series Mixer is an excellent choice for home cooks who spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and want a tool that they can grow with and add attachments to as they go.
It’s a simple machine that doesn’t have the smart functionality of other models, but many home cooks find they don’t need this kind of tools, and appreciate the simplicity of the KitchenAid.
Although this machine does great with bread dough, if you plan to make it more than once weekly or are making heavy dough, you might consider going with an option that is built for that purpose, such as the Bosch Universal Plus Kitchen Machine. Or, a more powerful KitchenAid version is a good option if you want the ability to use the amazing array of attachments that are available.
KitchenAid 5-Quart Artisan Design Series
As the name implies, the Artisan Design Series is very similar to the Artisan Series. It also has a 325-watt motor and 10 speeds, giving you the same capabilities when it comes to power.
However, there was some backlash with KitchenAid in the mid 2000s because they began using plastic parts to construct the motors and gears of their machines, resulting in a product that didn’t have the same durability customers had come to expect from the company.
In 2007, they went back to the original construction. And although nearly all of the plastic-construction models have since been sold or disposed of, people are still concerned about this when considering their purchase.
The Artisan Design series never wavered from the original all-metal construction, so those with this concern can rest assured when purchasing this model.
The Artisan Design Series also features a glass bowl with measurement markings, something a little different from the other mixers discussed so far. Although the standard attachments are included, the pour shield is not.
Cuisinart SM-55 5 1/2-Quart 12-Speed
The Cuisinart SM-55 5 1/2-Quart 12-Speed Stand Mixer is definitely considered a high-end small appliance. Although this means it comes with a higher price tag, it also comes with far more durable construction, and it’s an overall better machine.
It’s constructed of heavy-duty die-cast metal: you won’t find any plastic here. Many users report that their Cuisinart mixers have lasted them years and years, passing the durability test as well as some of its better-known competitors.
At 800 watts, this machine comes with a powerful motor that can handle thick dough. The motor can operate at 12 different speeds, and includes a slow-start function to ensure that you don’t cover your kitchen in flour by blasting it up to full speed too quickly.
In addition to the different speed settings, it has features that few other models do: a countdown timer, three power outlets, and an auto shutoff. In many ways, it’s a “smart” mixer.
The timer is very useful for recipes that include instructions for how long to knead dough, as it allows you to complete other prep work at the same time without having to watch the dough too closely.
The three power outlets include high-speed, mid-speed, and low-speed outlets. The high-speed outlet is used for the blender and food processor attachments that are sold separately, giving this small appliance the potential to be an all-in-one powerhouse for your kitchen.
The mid-speed is used for a citrus juicer, also sold separately, that allows you to really get the most from your lemons, limes, and oranges.
The slow-speed outlet is designed for the meat grinder and pasta maker attachments, also sold separately, so you can start doing some new DIY cooking projects at home!
At 5 1/2 quarts, the bowl is large enough to handle double batches of your favorite recipes, making it the ideal size for those who cook for several people. The bowl has handles on it and it doesn’t lock too far into place, making it easy to remove and insert.
In addition to the bowl, Cuisinart includes a splash guard to help you limit the messes in your kitchen, a chef’s whisk, a flat mixing paddle, and a dough hook.
Cuisinart offers one of the best warranties around for stand mixers to give you peace of mind about this purchase. The product has a 3-year limited warranty, but the motor, which is usually the thing to go if the machine is going to break, has a 5-year full warranty.
The most common complaint from reviewers is that it’s heavy, so be careful when moving it, and store it in a place that’s easy to get to. If you plan to use your mixer frequently and want something with great functionality, the Cuisinart Stand Mixer could be the right choice.
Heavy Duty Stand Mixers
For someone who bakes three or more times a week or who is a serious home baker, investing in a heavy-duty stand mixer is the best way to churn out pizzas and bread. These machines are well worth their asking prices, and will save you money in the long run.
If you find yourself baking bread on a regular basis, especially if you’re baking large batches, a mixer to help you out with all of that kneading can be enormously helpful. As great as bread machines are, they often aren’t equipped to handle large batches, and give the baker less control over the product.
With a powerful stand mixer, you control what ingredients are added when, how long the dough is kneaded for, and can make adjustments during the process. Kneading batch after batch of bread dough by hand, however, can be a serious workout and incredibly time consuming, especially if you’re making whole wheat breads.
When choosing a mixer for a bread baker, there are several things to consider. Not all machines are created equal, even models available from trusted brands.
Thick dough like bread dough can be really hard on motors and gears, so it’s important to choose a product known for its durability, with a very powerful motor. In this section, we outline five top rated stand mixers that should suit the needs of most bread bakers.
KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart
This machine has a far more powerful motor than other KithenAid models discussed so far, with 575-watts of power. Like the others, it has ten speeds, which is more than enough precision for any cooking or baking job.
This motor is designed for repeated mixing of thick and heavy dough or sustained use, so if you know you’ll be using your machine frequently, this is the option to go with.
The Professional 600 Series has several other features not yet seen on any other models. These include an electronic speed sensor to help you determine the best setting for what you’re mixing, an auto shutoff, and a soft start so you don’t find yourself covered in splatter.
The dough hook attachment included with this model is slightly different than the others: instead of a hook, it has a spiral shape to help keep the dough in the bowl where it belongs (dough tends to climb up hooks). Also included are a flat beater, wire whip, and a pour shield for the bowl.
This model features all-metal brass gears with a Locked-Rotor Protection Device, which shuts down the motor if the machine becomes obstructed. This is different than the tilt machine protection system, which basically consists of a nylon gear that breaks apart when overloaded (which is a low cost fix if you’re mechanically savvy, but can get expensive if you have to pay someone to repair it).
With a 6-quart mixing bowl, you’ll be able to bake 13 dozen cookies or mix over 14 cups of flour for pizza or bread dough in a single batch, almost twice the capacity as the 4.5-quart bowls.
When reading other online reviews, you’ll likely see concerns about the construction of the gear box, namely whether it’s plastic or metal. Since 2007, KitchenAid has returned to all-metal construction, and that’s what you’ll be purchasing now.
Bosch Universal Plus Kitchen Machine
Although not a stand mixer in the traditional sense, the Bosch Universal Plus Kitchen Machine is a heavy-duty mixer, and the price tag reflects that. Consider this machine if you’re someone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen, especially baking bread.
Although mixing dough is not its only function (and this is alluded to by the “Universal” portion of its name) a series of included and optional attachments are available that turn this direct drive motor into a complete kitchen center, with plenty of power to back it up.
This Bosch model offers a high torque 800-watt motor, which is one of the most powerful wattage options available. It also has a 6.5-quart bowl, one of the largest bowl options available. These features together mean you can use this machine to make a large amount of dough without worrying about capacity or your motor giving out.
Despite all this power, the machine only weighs 12.3 pounds, making it much lighter than its competitors. And users report that it doesn’t rock on the countertop when in use, thanks to its suction cup feet.
The light weight makes it the best choice in stand mixers for those that live small apartments, who need to lift and put the machine away after each use.
It would also be a great choice for the elderly or those with injuries who still like to bake a lot, but have limited strength to lug a 25 to 30-pound stand mixers around their kitchens. It’s also a great option for those that like detailed and exacting German engineering, and who want a machine that will simply perform on demand, time after time.
Bosch includes two attachments from the factory: the wire whips and a dough hook. Unfortunately flat paddles are not included, but you’ll likely want to buy them if you’re going to make this purchase. Or, you can look into a package deal that includes the flat paddles and a bowl scraper for a little more money.
If you want more variability with your machine, they do offer even more attachments sold separately, including a sausage stuffer, grain mill, juicer, and several others.
For those of you who love easy cleanup, beware that this machine requires some elbow grease when it comes to maintenance. The shape of the bowl means there are some nooks and crannies that can be difficult to reach, and food can get stuck in gear attachment areas that aren’t in use. You can put the bowl through the dishwasher, but you’ll need to hand wash the actual machine.
If you bake a lot of bread or other baked goods that have heavy dough, the Bosch Universal Plus Kitchen Machine is an excellent choice for you. It’s incredibly sturdy, and the powerful motor is built to deal with harder tasks like preparing thick dough.
However, if you only occasionally bake bread but plan to use your mixer for a variety of tasks, you might consider a less expensive option. Some users on Amazon report that they like to use their Bosch when making bread or pizza, but they switch to the KitchenAid when baking things like cookies and cakes.
This is a great machine, and was a serious contender for our top pick. Read our complete review of the Bosh Universal Plush Kitchen Machine now!
Kenwood Chef Major Titanium 7-Quart
Kenwood is a household name known throughout the UK, Europe, and many other parts of the world, but it is relatively unknown is the US. As the British equivalent of the KitchenAid, Kenwood has been manufacturing appliances and mixers since the end of WWII (unfortunately, most are now produced in Asia).
Although not as classic looking as the KitchenAid’s 1950s Oldsmobile look, the Kenwood Major’s utilitarian appearance underpins its “all business” design. This is the only heavy duty stand mixer that has a tilt mechanism.
Rated by the manufacturer at 800 watts, the Kenwood Major features heavy-duty metal casting and gears, and is one of the better choices on the market for the average homeowner who loves to bake heavy breads.
The power is unleashed through a selection of 8 different speeds, and an electronic control ensures that power remains constant no matter the load.
The Kenwood Major Titanium, like all of their models, incorporates planetary gearing, so the tool spins in one direction and its socket in the other. The machine ships with a whisk, dough hook, stainless bowl, and a beater, as well as a splash guard.
A bonus spatula and a short book with 75 recipes are also included in the box. Though the ingredients and measurements tend to be UK specific, it’s easy enough to adapt and use with a bit of conversion research online.
Like the KitchenAids, the Kenwood mixers have additional attachments available (25 or so) that you can buy to outfit your machine as a complete “do it all” kitchen device. Some of these attachments include a pasta maker, slicer and shredder, sausage maker, juicer, and potato peeler.
The attachments fits into one of four outlets – the main one that the beater and dough hook attach to, plus three others that are concealed until they are needed.
If you’ve not had good luck with the standard brand found in North America, this model may be one that you want to consider, and it would make a fine alternative to a KitchenAid stand mixer. Take a closer look on Amazon or read our complete review of the Kenwood Major Titanium.
KitchenAid 7-Quart Pro Line Stand Mixer
This is the most powerful, highest capacity mixer designed for home use available from KitchenAid. Like the Professional 600,the KitchenAid 7-Quart Pro Line Stand Mixer is also a bowl lift and comes with the same attachments, including the Powerknead spiral dough hook.
The motor differs from all the others listed so far in that it’s a 1.3 horsepower high efficiency DC motor, by far the most powerful option. It features a direct drive transmission, all-steel gears, and all-metal construction.
Not only is it the most powerful line, it’s also the quietest! Since you’re likely choosing this mixer because you bake often, that can be a huge bonus.
The 7-quart mixing bowl can handle 16 cups of flour, 14 dozen cookies, and 8 pounds of dough. That is a lot of food for any home cook to be making! Even with this type of capacity, it can also handle small jobs exceedingly well.
If you bake often, especially bread, this is the mixer you should choose if you’re set on KitchenAid. It will last you decades, and includes a five-year warranty in case you have any reservations over making a big purchase.
This motor and bowl can handle very large batches, so you’ll be able to bake for any function! It’s truly like having a commercial appliance in your own home that will still fit in your cupboard. You can read our full review of the Pro Line or check out customer reviews on Amazon.
|KitchenAid KSM7586PCA 7-Quart Pro Line Stand Mixer Candy Apple Red||Pro Line® 7 - Qt. Bowl - Lift Stand Mixer - Sugar Pearl Silver||KitchenAid KSM7586POB 7-Quart Pro Line Stand Mixer Onyx Black||Pro Line® 7 - Qt. Bowl - Lift Stand Mixer - Frosted Pearl|
Electrolux Assistent / Ankarsrum Original
Are you looking for a machine that will handle 10-12 pounds of bread dough, day in and day out, without breaking a sweat? Look no further than the Verona / Magic Mill DLX Mixer / Electrolux Assistent / Ankarsrum Original. Yes, it has gone by all of those names since it was first produced over 40 years ago, with the current incarnation being Ankarsrum.
Made in Sweden, the Ankarsrum Original is THE best home mixer for those who are serious about breads! This machine will even handle bagel dough without flinching and without stripping gears, as has been the case with some more well-known names in the recent past.
Ankarsrum Original’s 7.5-quart stainless bowl capacity of 18 cups of flour allows it to produce around 10.75 pounds of pizza or bread dough at a time, which is enough to make 5-7 loaves of bread.
The Ankarsum’s high quality, direct drive, high torque 600-watt motor allows it to knead an enormous amount of dough without straining, gear gnashing, or making you worry about seeing magic smoke rising from your motor. This mixer features adjustable speeds from 40-140 RPM, and an automatic sensor adjusts the motor’s torque to the workload.
The machine ships with two attachments – a dough scraper that folds the dough, and a roller that provides a traditional kneading/massaging action. Similar to the KitchenAids and the Bosh, the Ankarsum Original /Electolux Assistent has a wide assortment of attachments available, turning this machine into veritable kitchen center.
Folks, this is a fairly pricey machine. But if you want quality, you gotta step up to the plate and pay for it. “Buy once, cry once,” as Lynne says.
If you’re serious about bread, this is THE machine to buy – skip the Made in China, skip the Assembled in the USA. Buy the real deal from a small company in Europe where there is still some pride in manufacturing left, and decisions aren’t just made by the accountants, profit centers, and CEO bonuses.
For those worried about matching decor, the Ankarsrum is available in an enormous assortment of colors through Amazon.
For those pining for the days when the Hobart made KitchenAid (now made by Whirlpool), there is a solution besides eBay and 30-year-old KitchenAid K5s – albeit a very expensive option. Enter the Hobart N50-60 5-qt 3-Speed All-Purpose Bench Mixer.
Although really a commercial mixer designed for the small restaurant, the Hobart N50 is small enough to still fit in a larger home kitchen – but at 55 pounds, you’ll want to find a permanent home for it. The best part? Its KitchenAid roots allow it to use every single attachment made by KitchenAid.
Moreover, the 1/6 horsepower motor will handle any of them with ease. Yes, Hobart is one few manufacturers to give an accurate power measurement of its motor rather some ambiguous “wattage” measurement (horsepower being a function of RPM and feet per pounds of torque).
The motor is so powerful that this mixer is used to test concrete and mortar mixtures in labs and for other testing services. Having problems with low water percentage bread or bagel dough? No problem – this mixer will handle it.
If the Hobart N50 is so good, then why didn’t it get the best rating in the heavy duty class? Price. Although price is one of the least important metrics that we consider, this model is at the very high end of the range for mixers.
Unless you have to have the best of the best, have an extreme bread or pizza making hobby (i.e. 8-10 loaves a day, multiple times a week), or operate a business or non-profit that requires a huge amount of baked goods, the Verona / Magic Mill DLX Mixer / Electrolux Assistent / Ankarsrum will do everything you need to do, and more.
Putting it another way, the Ankarsrum should last you the rest of your life before needing to be replaced, while the Hobart N50 might just be one of the only stand mixers (still in production) for a home kitchen that may become a family heirloom.
We understand that facing this decision is incredibly difficult. A stand mixer is a huge purchase for the home cook, both financially and when considering the many options available. We hope this article has given you some direction in your purchase, whether you find yourself baking a batch of cookies twice a month or you are churning pizzas and bread out of your kitchen for dinner on a regular basis.
Although any of these mixers will do the job and do it well, for the frequent bread baker, if you know you’ll be putting your machine to the test, we would go with the excellent Ankarsrum Original / Electrolux Assistent.
This model is truly built for heavy dough, and will stand the test of time without disrepair or overheating. Its design makes it easy for bakers to watch the dough and add ingredients when necessary. Unlike some of the other models, it will look gorgeous sitting on your countertop.
However, if you plan to bake a wide variety of goods including lots of bread dough, you might consider going with the KitchenAid Pro Line. It can do small jobs just as well as the large batches and creates high quality cake batter just as well as a batch of pizza dough. It’s an incredibly multipurpose and durable machine.
No matter your choice, if you go with one of these options, you’ll be buying yourself a durable machine that can handle heavy use, even several batches of bread dough a week!
First published November 1st, 2014 and subsequently updated August 15th, 2015 and January 3rd, 2016. Last updated April 9th, 2017.