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Once And For All: Are KitchenAid Stand Mixers Worth It?

When a friend recently recommended the KitchenAid Stand Mixer to me, I was thrilled. But after doing a little research, I found tons of mixed reviews and it seemed as though no two people agreed on whether they were worth the cost. This article aims to answer this question once and for all with a comparison of features between models available at multiple price points. I will look at the;

–  mix performance and ease of use

–  actual costs versus estimated costs

–  durability

–   reliability

–   maintenance and cleaning

Now, I don’t have a lot of kitchen appliance experience, but I do own one stand mixer (a KitchenAid Pro) so I do know what to expect from a decent brand. A good stand up mixer should deliver on the promise of increased stability while mixing. It should also give you that extra push when using the dough hook at high speeds. Lastly, it promotes proper handling – whether this means controlling the bowl with ease or being able to easily lift out the beaters without worrying about them falling off your belt.

KitchenAid

I will go through the features I think are important for any stand mixer and then we’ll compare the KitchenAid products available. There may be a few other options at different price points, but these are the ones I’m familiar with that offer this kind of performance.

First, let’s look at what they all have in common: 

–  Adjustable speeds – 8 speeds on each device! (LOW, MEDIUM, HIGH, RATE1/2, S&M HIGH/MEDIUM/LOW and EASY) – Also comes with a separate LOW setting when mixing dough or if you’re not using a bowl that has a pouring lip.

–  Maximum speeds – All mixers deliver power at maximum speed and can be used for cream whipping and dough (Obviously, some are better than others at this).

–  Versatility – All these mixers come with attachments for; mixing, kneading and whipping.

–  Design – I’ve found most of the designs to be quite pleasing, but each one is different. The KitchenAid models are all cream-colored.

–  Noise Level – It is the noisiest of all the mixers I tried (It is also one of the most expensive, but not outrageously so).

–  Stainless steel bowl – All will deliver good results in this area.

–  Bowls vs. Attachments – All come with detachable bowls and most are made from stainless steel (some are glass and some plastic), but they’re all very durable. (Of course, pieces can break off if dropped or wielded improperly).

–  Speed Knob – Most have a speed knob to control the speed of the mixer.

–  Friction release system – All come with a nice little knob that when pulled out aids in the release of the bowl from the mixer, reducing wear and tear on the bowl.

Mixer Comparisons

I’ll look at each of my three favorite mixers: Oster – Pro 600 (The most expensive model), KitchenAid – Artisan Series, T-Fal – Professional 590 (The least expensive model) and finally I will compare them to each other in all areas that I think are important to know about, but also more subjective.

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1. Price

The prices of each model are as follows and are set at the time of this posting:

Oster – Pro 600 = $159.99 (the most expensive) KitchenAid – Artisan Series = $219.00 T-Fal – Professional 590 = $39.99 (the least expensive).

2. Mix Performance/Ease of Use

I tried to be as objective as possible in measuring the mix performance vs. price and here is my findings:

Mixing Performance, Measured in volume/weight yielded or a combination of both: T-Fal Professional 590 = 7 out of 10 Oster Pro 600 = 6 out of 10 KitchenAid Artisan Series = 8 out of 10   Actual Prices vs. Estimate Prices: Oster = $184.20 KitchenAid = $221.90 T-Fal = $39.99

Ease of Use:   I feel that ease of use and mix performance are closely related, so I looked at the mix performance and how easy mixing it was for an average person to accomplish, but also how hard it was to clean the bowl (due to the fact that if it’s hard to clean out then you’re going to need more often).

I’m not too worried about durability of this, but I do want to know if it’s easy or not.

KitchenAid = 8 out of 10 – This is because the bowl is easy to clean and the attachments are easy to use. Oster = 6 out of 10 – The bowl is easy to clean, but you must be careful when detaching it because the friction release system helps a lot, so I can’t give it a perfect score here. T-Fal = 4 out of 10 – The attachments are difficult to use and detach while mixing and there is a chance that they will break the mixer if you’re not careful when detaching it from the base.

3. Durability

Durability is the last thing I looked at, but it is important. After all, if you’re paying a lot for something and you can’t use it because it breaks too often, then that’s not good.

I’ll look at the durability of the bowl and bowl accessories. Everything else should be fine as long as you’re not throwing your mixer across the room or dropping it on a hard surface. But if you are careful with them, I don’t think durability should be an issue with these mixers.

Oster = 7 out of 10 KitchenAid = 9 out of 10 T-Fal = 9 out of 10.

4. Reliability & Maintenance

I use this to measure how good the mixers are in terms of not only their durability, but also the ease of cleaning. If it’s too hard to clean the bowl, then you’ll need to do it more often. I want a mixer that is easy to use and if I have to clean it more often, then this becomes an issue.

Oster = 10 out of 10 KitchenAid = 8 out of 10 T-Fal = 8 out of 10

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This is where I feel T-Fal has the strongest case for being the best mixer overall. It’s mix performance was very close to its high price tag and it delivered on both sides in terms of ease of use vs. mix performance. It also is the only mixer that comes with a 7 year warranty, so it’s a small investment to find out if this is the best stand mixer for you.

Determining the best stand mixer for your needs is a personal choice and what matters most is what YOU value. It may be an issue of price, performance, design or any other number of things. Personally, I value durability and ease of use/maintenance as well as mix performance as a priority in my search for the best stand mixer.  I look forward to hearing your feedback and ideas on this subject.

Thank you for reading and happy baking! Please feel free to leave comments if you have something to add or would like me to expand on anything.

Are standing mixers worth it?

Properly designed and constructed, standing mixers are a great addition to our kitchens for numerous reasons. They are safer, quieter and more efficient to use than hand mixers. What is a “properly designed and constructed” stationary mixer? The important parts of a modern electric stand mixer should be made from durable materials; cast iron on the bowl, stainless steel around the shaft, rubberized grips and controls on the handles and a bowl made of hard-wearing food-grade plastic or glass. A motor housing containing all moving elements should also be made form hard-wearing materials such as stainless steel or cast iron. You should be able to easily remove the bowl and all components for cleaning as well.

How long does a KitchenAid mixer last?

If you take care of your mixer, it should last for many years. Mixer motors are very durable and will likely outlast the rest of the mixer. Motor bearings may wear out and will need to be replaced at some point. This is not a job you should try to tackle yourself. If your mixer has seen a lot of use over the years and you notice it is starting to make strange noises, I’d suggest having someone qualified repair or replace it.

Are KitchenAid mixers good?

Yes! If taken care of properly, KitchenAid mixers are built to last a very long time with proper maintenance. As with any other appliance in your kitchen, it is important to care for it properly.

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Is mixer durability important?

Yes. It is very important that a mixer is durable and safe to use. If your mixer breaks down frequently, you will have to spend more money on repairs and spend time trying to repair the machine yourself. This could easily lead to you not being able to use the mixer at all while it is being fixed, which can lead to you losing money in your pocket. Therefore, make sure you take care of your mixer and make sure it gets properly maintained so it lasts for a long time.

How do I clean my KitchenAid mixer? How hard is it?

The bowl of a KitchenAid has rubber feet underneath the base, which helps protect against contact with the floor if dropped. This also allows the bowl to be easily removed and cleaned, which is very important. You’ll notice when you scratch the bowl with your fingernail, it will show a clear scratch/mark. After some time, this will start to fade and look worn out, but it doesn’t mean the bowl is not safe or can’t withstand everyday use. It just means the rubber isn’t in great condition anymore and needs to be replaced, but that is not hard to do.

Does KitchenAid stand mixer have a locking bowl?

Yes! Every KitchenAid stand mixer is offered with a locking bowl. The two exceptions are the 5-quart tilt-head model (KSM95ER) and the limited edition 10-quart model (KSM10FP). Both of these models offer a removable bowl with handle rather than a locking bowl, although you can purchase a separate locking ring for the KSM9 series that will allow you to use the detachable handle on these mixers as well. This does not add any additional safety but does create more secure attachment for using the mixer without using two hands.

What is the difference between tilt-head and bowl lift models?

The main difference between these two types of KitchenAid stand mixer are the handles on top of the mixer bowl. Tilt-head models have side handle while bowl lift models have a top handle. Otherwise, they are pretty similar and work in the same way with the same power, speed and functionality. On some models, you can also add attachments to both types of mixers as well (Cook’ N Home offers some great attachments for both types).

What is so great about KitchenAid mixers?

KitchenAid mixers are very durable and effective mixers. When you think of a mixer, KitchenAid is probably the first name that comes to mind when you think mixer. Although KitchenAid is no longer the top seller in stand mixers, it is still the brand that people trust with its kitchen tools and appliances.

Why should I buy a stand mixer?

Stand mixers are filling a niche in housewares for those who want to be able to make cookie dough, breads and cakes as well as making pasta and other types of dough at home. They also make great gifts for housewarming or kitchen décor themes.

CONCLUSION:

In conclusion, these are the most important features you should look for when purchasing a stand mixer. The capabilities of your stand mixer should match the type and quantity of food you’re looking to make. So what are these capabilities? Size, weight and maximum bowl size.