KitchenAid Classic Plus 4.5-qt. Stand Mixer Review

Are you a practical consumer? Then, this stand mixer may just be what you are looking for. It has a smaller price tag, but, it’s not mediocre in performance (as you’ll learn later in this review).

You might think of the KitchenAid Classic Plus stand mixer as the little sibling of the more popular Artisan Series stand mixer. It has a smaller capacity (half a quart less) and may not be as eye-catching as big sibling,  but big surprises can spring from smaller and seemingly less powerful models.

Let’s explore how this model measures up to most mixing jobs.

Table of Contents
Click ahead!
1. Power2. Tilt Head or Bowl Lift 3. Features
4. Speed Control5. Types of Mixture6. Mixing Action
7. Attachments & Accessories 8. Material & Make 9. Dimensions
10. Care & Cleaning11. Pros12. Cons
13. Price14. Consumer Reviews15. Overall Review

A Peek Inside the Box…

A bundle of this KitchenAid mixer arrives with the following:

  • I unit KitchenAid Classic Plus KSM75 Stand Mixer
  • 4-1/2 quart Stainless Steel Bowl
  • 1 pc. Nylon –coated flat beater
  • 1 pc. Nylon-coated dough hook
  • 1 pc. 6-wire whip
  • 1 year Total Replacement Warranty
  • Use and Care Manual

Power of the KitchenAid Classic Plus 4.5-qt. Stand Mixer

The motor is rated at 275 watts. It stands on the lower end when compared to other powerful models. However, in this case, wattage is not the best gauge to size-up this stand mixer.

That power is enough for making cakes, cookies, muffins and most pastries, for whipping cream and even for mixing and kneading pizza and bread dough. But, with thick dough it does have its limitations.

The direct drive motor is more efficient because power is transferred directly to the bowl, thus, reducing power consumption.

This appliance should be plugged into a grounded 3-prong outlet. For safety, adapters should not be used. It is not recommended to use an extension cord. However, if it can’t be avoided, make sure that the wire is of the same size and rating. Ask someone knowledgeable or you may call the manufacturer if you’re not sure. Extension cords are also available on Amazon.

Is It A Tilt-Head or A Bowl Lift?

The KitchenAid Classic Plus series stand mixer is a tilt-head model. This feature is used when attaching or detaching accessories, adjusting beater height or when scraping and manually mixing the contents. A motor head locking lever locks the head on the base. It should be unlocked before tilting.

Unlocking and lifting the head is easy and can be done with one hand despite it being quite heavy.  Just, unlock the lever and tilt the head. This is helpful if you only have one clean hand, and it frees one hand to do something else.

It is more convenient to access the bowl and attach or remove accessories with the tilt-head model. On the other hand, it requires more vertical space which should be considered if it will be operated under a cabinet.

What Are Its Features?

The features of the KitchenAid Classic Plus mixer are designed to make mixing jobs convenient. It has rubber feet to prevent “walking” on the counter top.

The beater shaft holds the beater or dough hook or wire whip. It’s quite simple to attach. Just push and turn right. To remove, push again, turn left and pull.

The bowl does not rotate during operation. It locks into a bowl clamping plate. You don’t have to expend all of your strength to secure the bowl on the plate with a clockwise turn and to release it with a counter clockwise turn. It’s very manageable.

Beater speed is controlled by a sliding lever located on the side of the motor head. The speed control lever is easy to operate and very accessible.

A sliding locking lever on the left side locks the motor head unto the stand. The head should always be kept locked when the mixer is running.  Some users don’t do so if the mixture is light. However, there are two important reasons for doing so.  Firstly, it keeps the beater to bowl clearance close. Secondly, the motor head always have a tendency to move or vibrate when the machine runs, and it will vibrate more if it’s not locked. This will add more stress to the motor and parts, more so if this occurs regularly. Some users, though, say that the pin that locks the head has a tendency to loosen itself out of position.

The beater can be adjusted (raised or lowered) by turning the beater head adjustment screw on the underside of the motor head near the top of the stand. Here is how to determine the right beater to bowl clearance:

  • Check the original beater height to ascertain whether to raise or lower it
  • Make adjustment if necessary by manipulating the screw
  • To test, place a dime on the bowl
  • Turn the mixer on. The beater should be able to move the coin ¼ -½ inch at each sweep. If not, adjust again.

Don’t assume the mixer has the right beater to bowl clearance when it arrives. Always check because efficient mixing will depend a lot on the correct beater height.

CAUTION: Turn the mixer off and unplug the unit before attaching or removing the bowl and accessories, and before adjusting the beater height.

Speed Settings

A 10-speed motor gives this model versatility for use with different mixture consistency.  The applications of the different speeds are described below:

  • The lowest speed is “Stir”. It is for gentle mixing and should be used at the start of any mixing task. Use this speed also when adding in more ingredients to minimize splatter and mess.
  • Speed 2 is for faster stirring but slow mixing. This is suitable for mixing and kneading bread dough, mashing potatoes and for very thin batters.
  • Speed 4 is medium speed. It is used for mixing and beating slightly heavy batters like cookie dough, for cakes that call for medium speed or for combining sugar and shortening.
  • Speed 6 is for creaming, beating or whipping. Use this for cake mixes that require high speed.
  • Whip egg whites and whipping cream with Speed 8. This is for mixtures that require fast beating.
  • Whip small amounts of egg whites or cream at Speed 10. This setting is for fast whipping.

Speeds 3, 5, 7 & 9 can be obtained by setting the control between the above mentioned speeds. This is used when finer adjustments are required. However, you might not notice much difference for smaller speed increments, especially at higher levels.

You might have to deal with splatters and flying flour and sugar even at “Stir”. Add ingredients slowly, or start by gently mixing the ingredients by hand.

The appropriate speed may differ from what is given above. It may vary for each recipe and the volume of mixture.

CAUTION: Always stick to Speed 2 when mixing and kneading bread dough or other dense mixtures. And, be keen for any signs that may signal that the mixer is overworked.

Types of Mixture and Volume

Let’s talk about bread, because if this can be used to make bread, it can be used for all other baking purposes.

It can mix heavy dough well enough although it may struggle a bit, or rock back and forth.  It can handle small batches pretty well but may get warm with prolonged kneading. Keep mixing times to 4-5 minutes per cycle and give it time to cool down.

If you make bread often or in big batches, either, finish kneading them by hand or with a bread machine. This model is not designed for such uses.

On the other hand, you may not get good dough with very small amounts.  Do not go below 1-1/2 cups of flour.

Having tackled bread, it can do cakes, cookies, muffins, pies, creams, butter, cream cheese, pizza dough, and other lighter mixes for you. But, even with light to medium batters, it is not for commercial quantities. This model is designed only for household use.

Mixing Action and Performance

This is a planetary action stand mixer. The beater spirals around the bowl making contact with the content at various points. The result is more thorough and uniform mixing. Mixing time is faster, thus, it is recommended to cut mixing time in half if your recipe is not adjusted to a KitchenAid mixer.

The planetary action doesn’t totally eliminate scraping. But, you may only need to do it once or twice. And, as long as the beater height is set right, the beater will mix the bottom content well enough.

With two-beater mixers where the beaters spin in the middle of the bowl, you can scrape the side while the mixer is running. Not so with planetary action stand mixers. You have to stop the machine and lift the head. I think this a small trade-off for a mixer that does the job in less time, is more efficient and frees you to do other things. See this stand mixer in action in the video below (she turns it on at around 1:15).

 

 

It seems to mix her cookie dough well. She didn’t pause to scrape. I did see some flour flying, but, I don’t think it’s an awful lot. I do note that it’s a small batch, and, of course it will vary from recipe to recipe.

Tough yeast dough may cling to the “C” hook when kneading. You will have to pause and push the dough down. Try spraying the hook with non- stick cooking spray or once mixing is done, brush the dough with a little amount of butter. The measures you may have to take to get around this hassle are a lot better than kneading by hand.

Classic Plus KitchenAid Mixer Accessories 

The 4-1/2 quart bowl included in the box is the tall and narrow type and doesn’t have a handle. A bowl with handle and the same capacity is available separately. I wish they could’ve just included the one with the handle. Any added cost for the handle will be lower than getting a separate bowl. A 3-quart bowl that fits this model is also available. It doesn’t have a handle, but, it’s very manageable because it’s small.

A burnished flat beater can be purchased separately. There are newer flat beaters with flexible scraper wings on the side. It’s really helpful because it’ll scrape the sides of the bowl as it goes around it. I would recommend getting one for any stand mixer if it’s available.

Another accessory that I wish is included in the box is the pouring shield. But, it can also be purchased separately on Amazon.

Are There Attachments for The KitchenAid Classic Plus?

A number of attachments make this stand mixer quite versatile. If you love to cook, not just bake, you’ll find these attachments very convenient. Think various shaped pasta or ice cream when you want some or fresh fruit juice.

Here is a post that describes in detail the various available attachments.

You don’t have to buy the separate machines to prepare them. It’s a real space saver. The drawback is: more attachments, more load on the motor.

Attachments are connected to the unit through the attachment hub located in front of the mixer. Connecting and disconnecting attachments are straightforward and easy.

CAUTION: Turn the unit off and unplug it before connecting any attachment. Check that any attachment is connected properly and secure before running the machine.

Material and Make

The main unit is made of zinc and stainless steel. It is paint-finished in either white or silver. It has an all-metal gears system.

How long the mixer lasts will depend on usage. I found accounts of owners saying theirs lasted for 5-10 years. There is also a report of the gaskets wearing-out fast because the mixer is used to make bread daily.

To prevent oil leak don’t let your unit stay idle for long periods, run it even once a week for 2 minutes. But, overworking it will also cause the lubricant to separate into oil and water, that’s why it leaks. If the leak is substantial have it checked because it may mean that motor parts aren’t sufficiently lubricated.

Overall, the KitchenAid Classic Plus tilt head mixer is sturdy and stable. The sizes of the beater, hook and whip are sufficient for the tasks they’re meant for. The included beater and hook are coated with nylon.

Dimensions and Storage

Its size and weight (quite big and heavy), make the this kitchen stand mixer sturdy and stable, especially for heavy mixing. You’d have to permanently designate around one square foot of counter top space for it because it’s difficult to move around. Some owners put sliders on the base, but I would think that the reason the manufacturer did not put it is to prevent slipping. Remember it has rubber feet.

The tilt head requires around 3 -4 inches vertical space. Consider that if it’s to be placed under cabinets. Don’t think of putting it inside a cabinet. It’ll be a pain taking it out and putting it in.

The dimensions are:

  • Width:     8-3/4 inches
  • Depth:     14 inches
  • Height:    13.9 inches
  • Weight:   25 pounds

Accessories and attachments should be disconnected and stored separately. Do not leave beater, hook or whip attached to the shaft after use.

Care and Cleaning

There aren’t many pieces to clean with this stand mixer. A wet cloth is enough to clean the machine. Remove any residue from the beater shaft. Remember to keep everything clean and dry before storing.

You can put the coated dough hook, flat beater and bowl on the dishwasher, but not the wire whip and the burnished beater. All accessories are easy to wash by hand, too, if you choose to.

Pros

  • Well-built and sturdy
  • Sufficient power for all types of mixtures
  • Planetary mixing results in even mixing
  • More efficient direct drive motor
  • Easy tilt-head
  • Adjustable beater height
  • 10 speeds with easy speed control
  • Versatility with several available attachments
  • Not so expensive

Cons

  • Struggles with heavy dough
  • Locking pin can become loose
  • Bowl has no handle
  • No pouring shield
  • Not for frequent use on thick dough
  • Not for big volumes
  • Cannot scrape the bowl while running

Consumer Ratings and Reviews

A big majority of the KitchenAid Classic Plus reviews are positive. It has high ratings on Amazon and Walmart. This favourable feedback looks typical of KitchenAid stand mixers. Only a very small percentage of reviewers gave it the lowest rating.

I have listed what consumers like and don’t like about the product in the Pros and Cons sections of this review. Overall, reviews and ratings lean towards the positive.

What Is The Best Price For The KitchenAid Classic Plus, 4.5-qt?

The cost of this mixer varies significantly with color. The cheapest is white at under $200.

The silver Kitchenaid Classic Plus is the costliest at over $250. It costs roughly the same as the Classic model but has 25 watts more power. The price difference between it and the Artisan is about $30 if you consider the lowest-priced KitchenAid Artisan, that is, if you like its color. If you don’t, the difference will be higher depending on the colors.

The 4-1/2 quart bowl with handle costs almost $40 and the pouring shield is anywhere near $20. Total cost will almost be the same as the cheapest Artisan if you also buy them. This will be a big factor in your decision.

Flat beaters with scraper wings are about $18 – $30, while the burnished flat beater is a little over $10. Attachments  like pasta maker, ice cream maker, etc., cost from $30 – $200.

Overall Review

The KitchenAid Classic Plus 4.5 quart stand mixer seems like a scaled down version of the Artisan. Its power is reduced and bowl capacity cut by half a quart. However, the reduction in power does not make it less efficient. If used within it’s capacity and limit, it performs just as well.

If the only difference is power and capacity, it is a wise choice for a mid-sized stand mixer. But, if you like a bowl with handle and the pouring shield, that’d be approximately $60. The total cost of the unit and those additional accessories would almost add up to the cost of an Artisan in an attractive color. However, price changes always happen.

The Classic Plus is great value for money. It performs just as well as the more expensive KitchenAid Artisan. If you can live with a black stand mixer, you’d get even more value for your dollars.

 Go here for the best price on the KitchenAid Classic Plus.

In Category: KitchenAid
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