Chances are, you own (or have access to) a simple hand mixer. It’s light, easy to store, and doesn’t take up too much space on your countertop. But if you’re in the market for a stand mixer and can’t decide between an old hand mixer or one of KitchenAid’s Super-Powerful models…well, this post is for you.
My sister-in-law asked me for my comparison of KitchenAid’s stand mixers vs. a common sized hand mixer (both drum and blade), and I thought it would make a good post.
The Old Hand Mixer:
I’ve been curious about the old hand mixer that my parents have had at their house since it was brand new. I never knew they’d bought one, as they’re pretty inexpensive, but apparently they bought their first when my dad started his business. Now, the old hand mixer has seen better days, so when my sister-in-law asked me if we could compare it to a KitchenAid I didn’t hesitate to give in (even though I have no real interest in such things). I was curious to see how it would fair against a KitchenAid with all the bells and whistles, but I also wanted to see how it compared to a normal hand mixer (the type you’d use at home).
The Old Hand Mixer:
1. The dimensions are the same. The KitchenAid is slightly wider and taller, but that doesn’t detract from their ability to fit under smaller cabinets easily.
2. The handle is shorter, so wrists don’t have to be stretched out quite as much. It can stay in one’s grasp better. The knob is also easier to grab when mixing thick mixtures for more consistent speed control than on the drum of the old hand mixer.
3. I think the KitchenAid’s on/off switch is neater. It’s a little more enclosed, whereas you can see the wires in the old hand mixer. The off switch on the KitchenAid is also easier to activate with a foot.
4. The beaters do not lock into place on the old hand mixer. I think this makes it slightly more difficult than the KitchenAid if you’re looking to add ingredients while they’re mixing. There is no feature that allows for you to stop and take a break from mixing (other than manually removing them from their bowl in the old hand mixer).
The KitchenAid is wider, taller, and therefore takes up more space on a kitchen counter. This is why I think it’s easier to store when not in use (as you don’t have to unpack it all the way and storing it). The most noticeable difference is the beaters: they lock into place on the KitchenAid.
The drum of the hand mixer locks into place by turning the center knob–which takes a little getting used to and isn’t very easy to do while your hands are full (I think my parents have more dexterity than I do). This can be slightly inconvenient, but I can always just take them out of their bowl instead of taking out their beaters first.
1. The beaters are both wider and longer, allowing for thicker batters to be mixed evenly.
2. The KitchenAid has a variety of speeds (including one specifically for whipped cream) on two separate switches (so you don’t need to stop your timer to change speeds). The old hand mixer only has a knob that can quickly go from a high-power setting to a low-power setting…but it’s the same speed regardless. This can be slightly annoying, as you have to plan ahead when mixing ingredients like whipping cream or eggs.
3. The KitchenAid has a few more features, including a toaster-hook style attachment and an extra bowl.
4. The KitchenAid has a smooth handle that makes it easier to grip, use, and store than the old hand mixer. The old hand mixer’s handle is sort of chunkier and more flimsy, which makes it difficult to grip with two hands (which is pretty much all you could do with it).
Both of these stand mixers are powerful, but the KitchenAid has a few more features that make life easier in the kitchen (in my humble opinion). The feature that I would miss, however, if I didn’t have access to a KitchenAid is the beaters. The old hand mixer’s beaters can get gummed up with batter and become clogged in the center hole. This can be easily fixed by cleaning them out with a butter knife…but it takes more time and effort than simply taking off the beaters on the KitchenAid and cleaning them out easily with a brush.
I think I’d rather have to deal with the clogged beaters on the old hand mixer than having to clean out the KitchenAid’s beaters every so often. I can understand why my parents have kept this old hand mixer around for so long. Even though it’s difficult to clean, I think it makes food preparation easier and more efficient. But if I didn’t already have one, I’d definitely go with a KitchenAid due to its larger bowl and flip-down stainless-steel beater clips.
I’ve always had a hard time deciding between a hand mixer and a stand mixer. But I think the KitchenAid’s beaters are worth the price. The beaters on the KitchenAid are also easier to clean and less clogged than those on my old hand mixer.
Which stand mixer has the most power?
It’s important to consider how much power the mixer will need to mix thick and/or heavy batters without straining the motor. A stand mixer with too little power may not be able to adequately mix heavier mixtures, while one with too much power might struggle with lighter mixtures. In general, a 350-watt mixer will churn out enough power for most home recipes. If you’re only going to be baking once in a while, though, you could get away with a 250-watt model.
Which brand of stand mixer do you trust most?
We love the KitchenAid Artisan series, and trust that it will produce excellent results every time. A number of food bloggers we respect swear by their Bosch, but it’s not an as-widely used brand as KitchenAid and Bosch stand mixer reviews aren’t as readily available.
Which appliance is better: a hand mixer or a stand mixer?
If you’re just making cookies and cakes occasionally and don’t want to go with a costly stand mixer, then you’ll probably be happy with your hand mixer. For those who bake regularly, though, I’d recommend looking into a stand mixer instead.
What are some good features to look for in a stand mixer?
There are a few features that some people love having on their stand mixers, but they’re not necessary for producing excellent results. My favorite feature on a stand mixer is the timer function. This one is definitely a must-have if you don’t want to over-mix your ingredients (and, consequently, make your baked goods dense). Another handy feature is a pouring shield, which will keep ingredients from splattering out of the bowl as you mix. And, although it’s not completely necessary to have them on your stand mixer, some people swear by having beaters that can be removed for easy cleaning.
What do you store your stand mixer in?
As most models of stand mixers are quite large and bulky–even when they’re in storage mode–we recommend storing them on their side (either horizontally or vertically) rather than upright. This way, you’ll be able to save more space in your kitchen.
Is it really worth buying a stand mixer?
If you’re not sick of mixing with a spatula, then stick with it. But if you’re looking for a faster and easier way to mix things up in the kitchen, then definitely consider purchasing a stand mixer. You’ll get better results, and be able to mix things in less time than if you were mixing by hand. Plus, you’ll get better exercise because of all that stirring!
You can finally stop shaking that 1960s-era hand mixer again. I highly recommend getting a good stand mixer, especially if you have a large family or frequent guests. It makes everything so much easier and quicker–and you don’t have to worry about cleaning out the bowl between uses, which is one of my least favorite parts of using a hand mixer. In fact, I think it’s so important to get a good stand mixer that I wrote this entire blog post on that very subject. So check it out if you’re still stuck on whether or not to buy a stand mixer.