In this review we’re going to look at another piece of Americana, the Sunbeam MixMaster.
Another well-known kitchen classic that many of us grew up with, the MixMaster was introduced to North American households in 1930 and became Sunbeam’s signature product.
With the design and rotating beaters similar to that of a handheld mixer, this model makes an easy transition from handheld to stand style. And it’s great for saving time and effort on daily tasks, such as mixing batter or soft dough.
Sunbeam 2594 350-Watt MixMaster Stand Mixer with Dough Hooks and Beaters available on Amazon
So let’s have a look at the details of the 4-Quart Sunbeam MixMaster 2594 Stand Mixer and see what kind of value it brings to the kitchen.
This is a basic machine in the tilt-head style that easily handles everyday kitchen tasks like stirring baking mixes, mashing potatoes, or whipping cream.
It’s not fancy, nothing flashy, comes in black only, but it’s very user friendly and gets the job done. And the simple design is at home on any countertop.
If you have taken a look at our Stand Mixer Buying Guide or any of our other guides, you know that we seek to identify those products that are the best quality along with value (i.e. quality with the price factored in).
Up Front: This is NOT one of those products. This machine is designed for those whose budgets can’t stretch to a better model OR who have no need for a better stand mixer (i.e. those who need it for only occasional use).
Unlike most of its contemporaries in the stand mixer world, the beaters do not rotate in an orbital fashion. Instead, each beater rotates independently as the mixing bowl free-spins, resulting in a synchronized three-way mixing action to blend ingredients.
This model is designed for use with a 4-quart bowl, but the adjustable turntable can also easily be used with an optional 2-quart bowl. A handy feature for those quick, small tasks, a simple switch of a lever on the base adjusts the turntable to the appropriate size.
The Nuts and Bolts
The MixMaster features a 4-quart stainless steel bowl that sits on a turntable in an off-center position, making the addition of ingredients easy when the machine is in use.
With an adequate motor, this machine can handle lighter chores such as mixing a single or double batch of cookies, mixing up pancake and cake batters, and blending gravies. It is not a bread dough churning machine (despite the inclusion of chrome-plated dough hooks) and shouldn’t be treated as one.
Made mainly of durable, heavy-duty plastic components, it’s light enough to be moved with ease, but still has the heft to power through thicker mixes.
And the tilt-head style and off-center bowl make adding ingredients, switching attachments, and loading or removing the bowl a simple process – it’s much easier to get into a tilt-head style than heavier duty “lift bowl” models.
The handle on the top makes the tilt and lift motion a breeze, and it has two user-friendly buttons for easy operation – the one on the top ejects the attachments, while the one on the side provides a power burst when needed, to work through thicker batters.
Sunbeam’s soft start technology minimizes splatter with a slow, gentle acceleration, which eliminates the “snowstorm” effect when adding dry ingredients like flour.
While it does have limitations in its functionality, this model is a great little unit for occasional bakers. It’s a very nice introductory stand mixer, and is particularly well-suited for novices, or those who are unsure about switching from handheld models.
The Sunbeam MixMaster 2594 comes with a sturdy 4-quart stainless steel bowl, and can hold an optional 2-quart bowl for smaller mixes. The bowl sits in an off-center position on the turntable, and the beaters are off center in the bowl, which provides ample room to easily add ingredients while mixing.
It comes with two sets of solidly constructed standard attachments that are easy to insert, and release with the push of a button.
One set is a pair of chrome beaters for mixing everything from cake batter through to a thicker meatloaf. And a pair of chrome dough hooks are included for kneading soft dough.
This model is also compatible with any other MixMaster attachments, expanding its capabilities.
Equipped with an adequate 350-watt motor, it provides enough oomph when needed for light batter. But, tripling a cookie recipe in one go or using it for a heavy bread dough is not a good idea. This is a light duty machine designed for light duty tasks.
The 12 speed selectors allow for a variety of stirring, mixing, and whipping techniques.
It also has a delicate touch with the slow start acceleration to keep spatters to a minimum, and provides an extra “burst of power” function for when a bit of extra elbow grease is needed for tough mixes. (But, as stated, I wouldn’t recommend getting too carried away with your “tough mixes”).
Synchronized 3-way mixing action stirs, blends, and whips to an even consistency as each beater rotates independently of one another. The bowl enters a free-spinning third rotation by friction from the extended tip on the left beaters, completing the action.
The MixMaster 2594 measures approximately 15 x 14 x 12” and weighs in at a bit over 10 pounds, making it comfortable to move between uses if you don’t have the counter space to store it.
This is one advantage it has over the competition – it’s lighter. Due to its mostly plastic construction, it weighs significantly less than most other comparable models, which may make it handy for older or disabled people who can’t lug around the weight of a KitchenAid to use.
It also has a removable mixing head, as the entire motor unit can be removed from the stand, making thorough cleaning possible.
The Sunbeam 1-year limited warranty is also standard issue, and it comes with a clear instruction manual. Made in China.
What Others Are Saying
The following is a compilation of the most common positive and critical reviews from verified purchasers on Amazon:
- From those that are happy with the MixMaster 2594, the most repeated comments reflect satisfaction with the performance for the level of tasks it was given, and that it had plenty of power for the job at hand.
- Most were also fine with having to use a spatula to scrape the bowl edges while mixing. Again, the overall sentiment was that, for their uses, scraping was no big deal.
- The overall ease of use is another favorable point. Easy to assemble with smooth shifting components that make operation effortless and fun.
- The color coded indicators for correct beater placement are also appreciated, as this makes changing attachments quick and easy.
- Another welcome feature is the weight. Light enough to move easily, it still feels sturdy enough for most tasks.
- Of the substantial number of negative comments, about half were loyal Sunbeam customers who were disappointed with the drop in quality of the new model.
- Common complaints are that a plastic stand mixer has replaced what was previously a metal one, the new plastic gears strip easily causing the machine to skip, and that components were cheap.
- And there’s a number of complaints about the machine quitting mid-mix. Some instances seem due to overtaxing the unit’s capabilities (i.e. heavy bread making), while others quit with moderate or light mixtures.
- The Sunbeam customer services seems a bit dodgy as well, with lackadaisical effort. Shipping incorrect replacement parts is a disturbing pattern…
There’s no question that the Sunbeam quality has taken a nosedive since its heyday in the early to mid-1900s, with mismanagement, fraud, and scandal in the ’80s and ’90s undermining its position as a leader in small appliance manufacturing.
This is not your mother’s MixMaster, and if you expect the same product, you’re in for a disappointment.
Still, for those without the old associations, it can be a very adequate mixer at a very reasonable price.
- Available Accessories
- Build Quality
The MixMaster 2594 is best suited for what I would call “moderate” usage – like baking family cookies once month, Friday night pizza, seasonal and holiday baking, the occasional entree. But it is not designed for heavy mixtures or constant usage, and leaves bread making an iffy endeavor.
A reasonable performer for its price point, for a just little more money you may consider looking at the KitchenAid 4.5-Quart Ultra Power, or at the next level up, the better equipped KitchenAid 5-Quart Artisan model. Both are made in the USA with a 1-year no-hassle warranty.
About Lorna Kring
Recently retired as a costume specialist in the TV and film industry, Lorna now enjoys blogging on contemporary lifestyle themes. A bit daft about the garden, she’s particularly obsessed with organic tomatoes and herbs, and delights in breaking bread with family and friends.