What’s the Difference Between All the KitchenAid Stand Mixers?
Here's a breakdown of every KitchenAid stand mixer so you can decide which model is right for you.
Chances are you either own or have seriously thought about buying a KitchenAid stand mixer — five are sold every minute! At this point, the KitchenAid name is practically synonymous with "stand mixer." And while KitchenAid has been around for more than century, a lot has changed in 100 years. For one thing, when KitchenAid launched the stand mixer in 1955, it only came in five colors. Now, KitchenAid offers 15 different mixers in 80 colors, including limited editions like Color of the Year and Queen of Hearts, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of the brand. You can now go beyond baking with the 14 mixer attachments the brand offers. And if that's not enough, KitchenAid also launched a new line of ceramic mixing bowls, which fit perfectly into any 4.5- or 5-quart mixer.
With so many customization opportunities available, it can be tough to figure out which mixer best suits your lifestyle. Size, price, attachments, colors — it's a lot to consider! That's why we broke down all the lines, so you can find the perfect KitchenAid stand mixer for you.
The Classic is the least expensive line of the three full-size models, and with that comes the least powerful motor. If you’re happy whipping cream and making cakes this machine works well. We wouldn’t recommend it for beating stiff cookie batter or kneading heavy dough. Mixers in this line have 10 speeds, come with a 4.5-quart mixing bowl and three standard attachments (whisk, beater and dough hook). These models have a tilt-head design, meaning you tilt the head back to insert or remove the mixing bowl and attachments.
Of all the stand mixers we've tested, we believe the KitchenAid Artisan Series is the best for most people. For one thing, the Artisan line has the widest range of colors and finishes, including limited edition colors like the Color of the Year and the 100th anniversary color. Everyday tasks like creaming butter and sugar, whipping up cookie dough and mixing cake batter are a breeze, but the machine struggled with heavier bread doughs during our test. Like other KitchenAid models, this series has 10 speeds and comes with three standard attachments. Unique to the Artisan line are a 5-quart mixing bowl in either stainless steel or glass (your choice), and a pouring spout. These models also have a tilt-head design.
If you like to make dense breads and lots of cookies at one time, this is the line for you. The Pro Line's Soft Start feature, which automatically starts the mixer at a lower speed to help avoid ingredient splash-out and "flour puff," is a real asset when making larger batches of batter. Instead of a tilt-head, this line comes with a bowl-lift, which can sometimes present a challenge when removing any of the three standard attachments. Like the Artisan and Classic, the Pro Line mixer has 10 speeds. The biggest draw, we think, is that the Pro Line offers the option of a bigger mixing bowl (either 6- or 7-quart). However, it lacks a pour spout. What it lacks in a pour spout, though, it makes up for in power. The 1.3 horsepower motor, which is the most powerful of all the models, gets the job done without strain.
KitchenAid's lastest stand mixer line is a bit of an outlier, as it's designed for smaller kitchens and lower baking volumes — the mixing bowl clocks in at 3.5 quarts. But don't let its size fool you. The KitchenAid Mini series is built with the same motor power as the Artisan, while taking up 20% less space on the countertop, according to the brand website. The Mini models all come with the standard three attachments and have 10 speeds. The models come in a variety of colors and mixing bowl styles. Anyone with small kitchen or occassional baking needs would do well to consider this line.
Should You Go Refurbished?
Everything old is new again! Don't shy away from KitchenAid's Certified Refurbished models. These models can end up in the KitchenAid warehouse just because they have minor scratches or dents, acted as a demo unit, or have a defective part that has since been repaired. If you buy from KitchenAid directly, your Certified Refurbished product will have a 6-month warranty. This will give you a chance to test out the model to make sure it's up to snuff before you decide to stick with it for life (or, you know, hopefully at least the next decade). If you're looking for a way to save on a KitchenAid, this is a good option.