Capacity and Power
A mixer's capacity and power can cater to specific cooking/baking demands. People who frequently cook larger batches should opt for a machine with more power and space. Cooking.com recommends a bowl capacity of at least 4.5 quarts, which is large enough to make a batch of bread dough or batter for a multi-layer cake. Regarding power: higher wattage does not always mean a better performance. Most machines offer ample power for their capacity, such as a 6-quart or larger bowl with 600 watts of power.
The top stand mixers on the market typically come with a flat beater or paddle (for basic tasks such as mixing batter) along with a dough hook and wire whip. The dough hook mixes and kneads yeast bread dough, and the wire whip helps to beat air into egg whites or cream. Some machines offer a pair of modified whisk beaters.
One feature to watch for is whether a mixer uses "planetary action." This technique allows the beater to rotate around its own axis, similar to how the earth spins, while the beater orbits the bowl in the same way the earth revolves around the sun. This unique action creates better contact between the beater and ingredients and reduces the need for scraping the sides of the bowl. Other considerations may include weight, speeds offered, construction, and splash guards.
Prices often fall between $100 and $200 in the world of stand mixers. However, some models can cost less than $50 or more than $200. Mixers with a lower capacity and fewer features tend to cost less. Higher-quality mixers, sometimes constructed with stainless steel material, tend to cost more. Prices vary between general home models and models for serious household cooks or industrial use.
Hamilton Beach 64650
The Hamilton Beach 64650 6-Speed Classic Stand Mixer comes with a four-quart, stainless steel mixing bowl. The machine features 290 watts of peak power. This combination of capacity and power is enough for basic cooking needs, such as kneading a batch of dough or making a dressing. We like the machine's peak power of 290 watts, which is enough to power through even the stickiest of doughs. Although the four-quart capacity satisfies most cooking needs, a slightly larger bowl -- even by half a quart -- would be preferable. A few users told us they experienced problems with the attachments not adequately reaching the bottom of the bowl, leaving some material unmixed.
The KitchenAid KSM150PSER 5-Qt. Artisan Series has a 5-quart bowl and 325 watts of mixing power. We enjoy the extra bowl capacity, which is optimal for most home cooking demands. The generous 325 watts of mixing power make it easy to cream butter, knead dough, and whip cream, among other tasks. We rarely noticed the machine struggling to keep up with larger and heavier items, such as dough. Some owners we surveyed tell us that the beater is a bit too high or low for the bottom of the bowl. In most cases, a simple adjustment brought the beater to the right height.
The Sunbeam FPSBHS0302 250-Watt 5-Speed Stand Mixer features a 250-watt motor and a 3-quart stainless steel bowl. This mixer functions as a stand and hand mixer and is designed to prepare everything from pizza dough to mashed potatoes to cookie dough. Although we find the power and capacity suitable for easier recipes, this machine's small bowl capacity makes it harder to mix larger amounts of ingredients without leaving a mess. A handful of owners tell us that they wish the mixers reached the bottom and sides of the bowl a bit better. Some users mention that the low speed on this machine seems too fast.
The Breville BEM800XL Scraper Mixer Pro 5-Quart Die-Cast Stand Mixer offers a 5-quart mixing bowl and 550 watts of power. The 5-quart capacity offers plenty of space for most cooking needs, but we really like how it also easily handles extra ingredients for larger recipes and batches. Despite its relatively high power -- especially when compared to other machines on our list -- this stand mixer does a good job of mixing together lighter ingredients without creating a mess. Satisfied owners tell us they can easily make anything from whipped egg whites to a large amount of bread dough. A few owners note that the power and capacity combination on this machine works well even on higher settings, when there is just a hint of a vibration.
The BODUM 11381-01US Bistro Electric Stand Mixer has a 5-quart bowl and a 4.7-liter mixing capacity. This machine also features 700 watts of power. We had to scrape the sides of the bowl several times during cooking, as the bowl is quite wide on the bottom. Several owners tell us that the wattage provides ample power for larger batches and stickier recipes, such as dough. Many satisfied customers note that they can add several cups of lighter-weight ingredients without worrying about cleaning up a mess.
The Hamilton Beach stand mixer has a versatile attachment set that includes traditional dough hooks, beaters, and a whisk. This machine can also be used as a hand mixer. We find that the included attachments satisfy most basic cooking demands, whether it's creaming butter or mixing bread dough. Some users tell us that the dough hook does not seem durable enough for making larger quantities of bread dough. Additionally, a few owners we surveyed mentioned that the machine doesn't always mix doughs evenly.
The KitchenAid stand mixer comes with a coated flat beater, coated dough hook, and wire whip. Coated coverings allow the beaters to get to work without wearing down or damaging the mixing bowl; they also help mix ingredients smoothly and evenly. We appreciate the solid construction of each attachment; a simple twist easily secures or removes each of them. Satisfied owners tell us that the attachments work well for their designated purposes and that they are very easy to clean.
This Sunbeam mixer comes with chrome beaters and dough hooks. This two-in-one product functions as both a stand mixer and a handheld mixer. Although we like how easily the chrome beaters mix lighter ingredients, we found that the dough hooks do not always mix larger amounts of dough together. Some users we surveyed mentioned using this machine to start heavier recipes, such as dough, then finishing by hand. At least one owner cautioned that the attachments often create a trough in the middle, causing uneven mixing.
The Breville stand mixer comes with a scraper beater, flat beater, wire whip, and dough hook. We especially like the scraper beater, which gets all the leftovers from the edges and bottom of the bowl, eliminating the need for constant scraping. The dough hook easily handles larger and smaller batches while the wire whip quickly but efficiently whips together egg whites, cream, and other ingredients. Satisfied owners tell us that their baked goods frequently turn out fluffier and lighter with this stand mixer.
This BODUM stand mixer has a beater, whisk, and non-stick dough hook. However, it is possible to purchase additional attachments for this machine (sold separately). Initially, we found it hard to open the machine's attachment access, but later discovered that you need to press hard to achieve this. Several customers tell us that it can be hard to get the right consistency, especially when baking, due to the machine's five-minute mixing limit. In the time it takes for the mixer to cool down enough to be re-started, whipped cream and butter cream recipes can become quite dense.
Nina is a longtime gourmet chef, interior designer/decorator, and events planner. She has accomplished all of this in addition to maintaining a stellar career as a healthcare executive, where she helps alter the course of people’s lives via preventive care and healthy living. Nina’s hobbies include learning new recipes, planning and executing amazing dinners to impress local chefs, and hiking around the world.
Hamilton Beach 64650
A total of six speeds and a QuickBurst button are some of this machine's most notable features. The QuickBurst button tailors beating and mixing to a specified level. The stand mixer also has a bowl rest mixer stabilizer to keep it from shifting when in use, along with a shift-and-stir bowl. Occasionally we had to hold the bowl steady when mixing larger loads or heavier ingredients. Some customers mentioned that the rotating and tilting arm feels a bit cheap and that some of the plastic tabs and brackets holding the machine together seem flimsy.
This stand mixer has a multipurpose attachment hub with over 15 optional attachments. Other features include a tilt-head design and a two-piece pouring shield with a large chute for adding ingredients. We really enjoy the 10 mixing speeds, which make it easy to warm up the machine and achieve the desired consistency. The stainless steel bowl has a comfortable handle for easy removal and replacement. A unique mixing action thoroughly blends ingredients as the beater moves to 67 different points around the bowl. Several users caution potential buyers that speed matters with this highly rated product. Speeds "8-10" should be used only for whipping cream or egg whites; using a setting faster than "2" for kneading dough often produces poor results.
Five speeds and a heel-rest design are just some of this machine's features. The Sunbeam also quickly converts to a stand mixer. The machine's large, gently curved handle ensures a comfortable, secure grip that reduces hand fatigue and strain. Our favorite features include a thumb-accessible power switch and a five-speed control dial. Other highlights include a head that tilts back for easy access and an attachment-eject button to easily remove the beaters or dough hooks. Satisfied owners tell us that the stainless steel material looks great and wipes clean with a damp cloth. A few owners we surveyed caution that it can be hard to eject the beaters despite having an eject button.
The Breville's planetary mixing action scrapes together ingredients cleanly and easily. The mixer also boasts a load sensing technology with motor protection to keep the machine from overheating during heavy loads. Other features include a 12-speed electronic control for efficient mixing and a 10-minute timer with auto shut-off. Lift-assist handles on the mixer head and base allow for easy handling and maneuvering. We enjoy the LED screen, which comes equipped with a timer, and the two-piece pouring shield that minimizes splatters and spills. Satisfied customers tell us they appreciate the release button and the planetary action motion of this product, which can complete a lot of work in a short period of time.
Dishwasher-safe attachments make cleaning up easy after using the BODUM. On-board attachment storage keeps the accessories close by. The suction cup base captured our attention, holding the mixer stable and secure despite heavier loads. In fact, several customers happily told us that this base keeps the machine from "walking" as it stirs heavier ingredients -- a problem that occurs quite frequently among stand mixers. The seven-speed motor yields ample power, while the rubber-covered handle makes it easy to pour and scrape.
Hamilton Beach 64650
A price tag of just $29 makes the Hamilton Beach 64650 6-Speed Classic Stand Mixer our least expensive option. The mixer offers a respectable 4-quart stainless steel bowl and plenty of features, including six speeds and a QuickBurst button. We noted that at times the relatively small bowl and 290 watts of peak power aren't quite enough for larger loads. Most users we surveyed tell us that the mixer looks nice on the counter and takes care of most of their basic mixing needs. Some owners note that the beaters don't always reach the bottom or sides of the bowl, requiring continuous scraping.
This KitchenAid costs $349, making it one of the more expensive options on our list. We really like the tilt-head design and the generous, 5-quart stainless steel bowl. The mixer's durability and stability shows when baking, although it can feel heavy when trying to move it around the kitchen. The cleanup process is much easier thanks to the two-piece pouring shield. Satisfied owners really appreciate this machine's build quality and longevity, with several users telling us their machine is several years old. Potential consumers should note that there may have been a bad batch produced a few years ago which caused some machines to arrive broken or break shortly after arriving, but those quality issues have all been resolved.
A price tag of $28 makes the Sunbeam one of the least expensive machines on our shortlist. For this price, owners get five speeds, 250 watts of power, and chrome beaters and dough hooks. The 3-quart stainless steel bowl handles smaller loads well, but ingredients sometimes spill over the top when making larger batches. We also noted a lack of power when mixing heavier items, such as sticky dough. Users really like the dual-function hand and stand mixer. Some owners note that the mixers don't get close enough to the bottom of the bowl. A handful of users we surveyed recommend this machine for those who only bake occasionally.
A price tag of $281 makes the Breville the most expensive stand mixer on our list. For the steep price tag, however, the machine offers planetary mixing action, load sensing technology with motor protection, and other notable features. We found it hard to look away from the bright LED screen, which boasts a 10-minute timer with auto shut-off. Lift-assist handles on the top and mixing bowl promote fast and easy scraping and pouring. Many satisfied owners tell us they really like the 12-speed control dial with a pause function. Several users mention the eye-catching chrome finish and consistent overall quality when cooking or baking.
The BODUM electric stand mixer costs $220, placing it in the middle of our price range. The 5-quart bowl features on-board attachment storage and a suction cup base to keep it stable. We appreciate the space-saving low profile, which makes it easy to store this stand mixer on the counter or in a kitchen cabinet. Most owners tell us that although they don't necessarily need the full 700 watts of power, it comes in handy when making larger or heavier batches. Some users wish the machine didn't have a five-minute mixing limit because it can alter the outcome of a recipe.