Knead Times Hand Mixer Vs Stand Mixer

Within the long history of inventing kitchen tools, few have had such a far-reaching, immediate impact on cooking as the hand mixer. With its two beaters, two dough hooks, and a wire whisk, it’s capable of combining ingredients to create cakes, cookies, breads and more.

So how do you know if a hand mixer is right for you? The answer can depend on what kind of recipes you mostly make. Stand mixers are ideal for thick batters like cookie dough while hand mixers excel in thin ones like cakes or egg whites with stiff peaks. One other thing to consider is whether your mixer will be used mostly for cake batter or frosting. Full-size stand mixers generally have a lower number of bowl sizes than their smaller counterparts, so it’s a good idea to experiment with both until you find the right one for your needs.

Another important consideration—and perhaps the most important one—is the price. While some are available for as little as $30, most will cost you upwards of $150. It’s important to consider these differences when buying a hand mixer, especially if you make a lot of cakes and frosting.

In a sense, I suppose, you might say this piece was written out of frustration. After years of using either an inexpensive hand mixer or a stand mixer with its flat beater attachment, I’d been hearing rhapsodic tales of the superior performance of a true commercial-quality stand mixer. As the owner of one such model, I couldn’t help but wonder if there was anything to them. Could my trusty KitchenAid stand mixer really be that much better than my cheap old Sunbeam? I decided to find out.

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The Sunbeam is an inexpensive model, which explains the price. The KA, on the other hand, is a top-of-the-line model; it’s about twice as expensive as my old Sunbeam. As you might have guessed, I went to the Internet to get answers. I looked up reviews from Consumer Reports (“warning: there are lots of them”), as well as user reviews from Amazon and other sites like Good Housekeeping.

I read them all and read them again—and kept coming back to the same conclusion: It doesn’t matter what kind of mixer you buy; It matters how much time and effort you put into using it.

I have a KitchenAid mixer. Is it worth replacing the motor when it quits working?

Yes, as long as you’ve done some research first. KitchenAid doesn’t recommend disassembling and reassembling the motor, but they do sell replacement motors if your mixer is still under warranty.

I heard that KitchenAid makes some of their models with a steel-mesh coating on the beaters to prevent rusting or clogging them up. What does this really mean?

Some models come with a coating of a stainless-steel mesh on the beaters to prevent clogs, but it shouldn’t be confused with the Ultem attachments. These attachments have a solid construction and don’t have any rusting issues.

I noticed that some of these models have “ultra power”–Superba. Does this mean they’re more powerful than the standard ones?

Yes, but it doesn’t make that much difference for most recipes, especially since you can use the Superba attachments on standard models if you want to upgrade at some point.

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I heard that KitchenAid models come with a warranty of five years. Is that true?

Yes, but it’s not a very useful warranty. If your mixer fails within the first year, you’ll need to pay for shipping both ways and the parts. It seems more like an attempt by KitchenAid to intimidate customers into buying more expensive models than anything else. You can often buy a hand mixer cheaper than the cost of replacing it if you do decide to go ahead and replace it after your five years are up.

I hesitate to replace my mixer because I love my Sunbeam so much. What if a new mixer is no better?

If you really are happy with your Sunbeam, that’s a good point to consider. With a decent warranty, you may be able to get more life out of it, and it’s probably cheaper to replace. If you decided to buy one, go ahead and replace it after five years instead of spending a couple hundred dollars to buy another one. But if you love the mixer you have now—even if it has some minor problems—that’s your decision.

I read all those reviews on Amazon and Consumer Reports; Are they reliable?

Absolutely. No one has said that the reviews on Consumer Reports are biased, but I can say without a doubt that the reviews on Amazon are all reliable. The site “powers through” more than 200k reviews every day, so it’s unlikely that you would find so many fake ones. On the other hand, there’s no way to tell how reliable those forums are, or if they have been paid to write good things about a certain product.

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Is there any risk to buying an expensive hand mixer instead of a less expensive one?

Not really, especially if you have decent warranty coverage through Amazon or another vendor. If something goes wrong with your mixer, you can safely return it and get a full refund with no questions asked. As long as you have time to play around and test different models, you should have little risk of making a bad decision.

You’ve said that the number of beaters is important; Why is that?

The number of beaters on a hand mixer corresponds directly to the thickness of batter it can handle. The more beaters, the thicker the batter it can handle—and there’s less risk of splattering all over your countertop when mixing cakes or cookies.

Final Thoughts:

I’ve read a lot of reviews on Amazon and elsewhere, and almost all of them say the same thing. It really doesn’t matter what kind of hand mixer you get—it only matters how much time and effort you put into using it. The first place most people cut corners is with the accessories, but this is a big mistake. A lot of people use these things every day—and they should be comfortable to use.

Don’t forget: You don’t have to buy the most expensive hand mixer in order to get the best performance.