Should you get a stand mixer or hand mixer? Or, if you have a hand held mixer, should you upgrade to a stand mixer. Should you have both? Which one is better? These are questions some folks have when comparing these two types of mixer.
Looking at benefits and drawbacks is often a good starting point when comparing stuff. So, let’s first look at the pros and cons of each mixer.
A hand mixer is smaller and lighter, thus it requires minimal space and is easy to store. You don’t need to designate a permanent area for it. You can keep it on the cabinet or in a drawer.
Portability is another advantage of a hand held mixer. Move it to the stove top if you have to mix while something cooks, take it to another counter or to the sink. Clean up is also simple and fast.
It is easy to operate because there are fewer functions to remember and less buttons to manipulate. Because you can move it around, you don’t have to worry about scraping content. You can also use any bowl with it.
Most important, a hand mixer is far less expensive than a stand mixer.
On the flipside, a hand held mixer has lesser power and thus, can’t take on big jobs like kneading bread dough or even tough cookie dough. It would be a pain, literally, to take on holiday baking when you make several goodies if you only have a hand mixer.
It takes longer to mix and at times we are tempted to cut on mixing time. Lastly, you can’t do something else while it mixes.
The three most important reasons why people who bake fall in love with a stand mixer are: power, speed and hands-free. A decent stand mixer can take on bread dough. It mixes in less time than a hand mixer and you can leave it to do its job while you do other tasks. Especially, if you are making more than one recipe, it can considerably cut the time to finish the task.
Table top mixers can handle bigger volumes and several batches. Some can take on other functions with several attachments like pasta maker, food grinder, juicer, etc.
Price is the biggest factor that keeps some folks from getting a stand mixer. Those that can mix efficiently and are up to tough cookie dough or bread dough are quite expensive. You may find that the cheaper ones are just good for resting your arms.
Storage and space may be a problem if the work area is small. The powerful ones are also heavy.
What Are The Best Stand Mixers?
KitchenAid leads the pack when it comes to stand alone mixers. Currently, it is the most popular and best-selling brand, and it has the most number of models. It literally has other brands eating its dust.
KitchenAid has a wide array of models for both the beginner and the advanced baker.
Coming in close are Bosch and Hamilton Beach stand mixers. Then, there is the Sunbeam brand of small hand and stand mixers combo.
Let’s have a peek at some of the best models in each brand…
5 Best KitchenAid Stand Mixers
The Artisan series is hands down the best-selling stand mixer in the market today. After a decade of being on Amazon, it is selling more each year. It inspires discussion on Amazon with more than 5000 reviews to date. See our full review here.
Next in popularity is the Professional 600 bow lift stand mixer. It is more powerful and has a bigger capacity than the Artisan. Those who are starting to seriously bake bread often opt for this model. Read detailed review on this page.
The newest addition to KitchenAid’s line is the 7-qt. Pro Line. It is heftier, considerably more powerful and made for serious bread bakers. But, at the same time it works well with small quantities.
Then, there are other models in between…Heavy Duty, Ultra Power, Pro 500, Design Series, etc.
Hamilton Beach Stand Mixers
Hamilton Beach has smaller and less powerful stand mixers with a few hand and stand combination mixers like the 64650 6-speed mixer. Its most popular model is the Eclectrics. The HB 63325 6-speed model is an affordable stand alone mixer, but is less efficient and comparably less powerful than the ore expensive ones.
Best Bosch Stand Mixers
Bosch’s most popular models are the Bosch Compact mixer and the Bosch Universal Plus. The Compact is for small to medium sized volumes and the Universal Plus is for those who prepare dense mixtures and make bread regularly.
Bosch’s stand mixers are also known for quality.
Sunbeam Stand Mixer
Sunbeam has the smaller hand and stand mixer combos like the FPSBHS030 model. They are literally hand mixers with stands. You can detach the main unit from the stand and use it as a hand mixer. These type is only for small volumes and they are less efficient than a dedicated stand mixer.
What Are the Best Hand Mixers?
The Hamilton Beach 62695V Power Deluxe Hand Mixer is the No. 1 best seller on Amazon. Average customer reviews are positive. And, at less $20, it is a good buy.
Cuisinart have a number of models with a good number of reviews which are mostly favorable. Its hand mixers are also the most expensive.
KitchenAid also has a a few hand held mixers with great customer feedback. Go here to see more choices of electric hand mixers
Hand Mixer Vs Stand Mixer: Which One Wins?
I am a multi-tasker. I hate waiting. I like everything done quickly. Yeah, you guessed right. I’m for the hands-free mixer. I’m not into making bread that much, but time saved and relief for my arms sold me on a stand mixer.
However, if price is an issue, a hand held electric mixer can deliver the same results for cake batters, most cookie doughs, whipping creams and other light to medium tasks. If you are willing to watch over while the gadget mixes and you are not in a hurry, you’ll be fine with it. If you seldom make bread and have strong hands, you can always use them to knead. Me? Too lazy for that.
Some folks have both. Each one has its own purpose for them. For beating one egg or whipping half a cup of cream, a hand mixer can be more convenient rather than having to set up and later clean a stand mixer.
You see, choosing what to get or keep will depend upon your circumstances, needs and personality.
Whatever their pros and cons, electric mixers whether a hand mixer or stand mixer, have made baking and cooking so much easier and faster. Remember the rotary hand beater with a crank that you have to turn? You get the picture.