Who doesn’t want a stand mixer with more power? Nowadays, a lot of us don’t just prepare cakes and cookies for our families but also breads and pizzas and pastas. Making them ourselves gives us control over what goes in the food we give our families.
Even though, wattage is not everything, it gives a good indication of what a table top mixer can handle. But, if you want a powerful mixer, you’ve got to be prepared to shell out more dollars. No less than $300, perhaps?
We sure want power, performance and functionality, but can’t we have it at a lesser price? If we can save more than a hundred dollars, think about what it can buy. That is why the Hamilton Beach Eclectrics 63220 stand mixer can either be a pleasant surprise or fall short of expectations.
Its wattage is higher than the best selling stand mixer , yet, it costs less than half. But wait, can it deliver? That is what I set out to find out in my research and review. So, let’s probe claims and delve into reviews of this stand mixer.
Let’s Peek in the Box…
When you receive the box you’ll get the following:
- 1 unit Hamilton Beach Eclectrics all-metal stand mixer
- 1 piece coated flat beater
- 1 piece coated dough hook
- 1 piece wire whip
- 2 pieces plastic pouring shield
- 3-year replacement warranty
Power of the Hamilton Beach Eclectrics Stand Mixer
Although it carries 400 watts, there’s not much torque at low speeds. As an example, it stalls if butter is used right out of the fridge. At higher speeds, though, that power is very evident.
Some mixers slows down with tough dough. This one is equipped with an electronically controlled motor which senses the load and adjusts accordingly to maintain consistent speed. We know that uniform speed is important to producing good dough.
Is It A Tilt-Head or Bowl Lift?
You have to lift the head of this table top mixer to access the attachments and accessories. Pressing a button at the back of the motor head releases it so you can tilt it. When you release the button the head locks in the up position. You repeat the process to put the head down…press button, slowly lower the mixer head and release the button to lock.
There are some advantages of locking the head both ways. One, when in the up position, you can use both hands to remove dough that clings on the attachment without fear that the head will go crashing down. You usually do this because you wouldn’t want to grab and remove the hook with sticky dough on it.
Another is keeping the head locked when running the machine will prevent head bobbing and minimize vibration, thus, protecting the motor. It also keeps the beater, whip or hook closer to the bottom of the bowl for better mixing.
The head of some tilt-head stand mixers, notably the KitchenAids, do not lock when they’re raised. You will have to support it with one hand while scraping-off thick dough. You might not have to do it with thinner batters because it’s easier to scrape them from the beater and there’s not much that sticks.
Now, the drawbacks…
In some instances, you will have to lift the head to scrape content and to get to the bottom of the bowl. To do that, you would first have to locate the release button on the rear which is flushed to the surface. Once you’ve pushed it, you’d have to hold it while raising the head with your other hand. Then, when you’re done manually scraping and mixing, you have to push that button again and hold it while lowering the mixer head with your other hand. Definitely a two-hand maneuver. Also, a bit of strength is required to push the button; a gentle push won’t quite nail it.
Compare that with the tilt head mechanism of a KitchenAid where you just have to release the lock and then lift or lower the head with one hand. It’s faster and convenient, especially, if you have to do it several times.
It’s a matter, then, of weighing the pros and cons of the tilt-head mechanism of the Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer 63220.
What Are The Speed Settings?
This stand mixer is advertised as having 12 speeds. But, there are only 6 real speeds and that is what you see on the side of the mixer head. The speed settings are 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12. Hamilton Beach says that moving the mixer a notch takes it two speeds higher or lower. Huh? I don’t see the purpose of moving two speeds each time I move that speed control. What’s the use of supposedly having 12 speeds when you can only ever use 6?
I think it’s more of a marketing strategy because, say, a KitchenAid has 10 speed settings which are also in increments of 2. However, you can access the speeds in between for finer controls. But, there’s not much difference really, especially with denser mixtures like cookie dough.
The lowest setting of the Eclectrics stand mixer, which is “2”, is really slow and is great for when starting to mix. At the very least it significantly reduces ingredients flying into the air. On the opposite end, the highest speed is fast enough to properly whisk egg whites.
Adjusting the speed control lever is tricky. It is easy to overshoot your desired speed. You then have to backtrack. Or, you may have to use both hands for more control. If there are loose ingredients in the bowl and you overshoot, you’ll have to deal with some of them in the air. Not a big deal. Just make sure ingredients are incorporated before switching to a higher speed.
Speed settings vary from mixer to mixer. Speed 2 in a Hamilton Beach is different from Speed 2 in a Bosch. Here is your speed guide for the Hamilton Beach Eclectrics All-Metal stand mixer 63220. This is not a rigid guide because much will depend on your recipes. However, stick to the recommended speed for heavy dough.
- Speed 2 for instant pudding
- Speed 2-4 for bread dough
- Speed 4-6 for cookie dough and cakes made from scratch
- Speed 6-8 for frostings
- Speed 10-12 for meringues
- Speed 12 for whipping creaming
For boxed cakes use this guide:
- Low Speed – Speed 2
- Medium Speed – Speed 4
- High Speed – Speed 6
Accessories and Attachments
Standard accessories…bowl, flat beater, whip, dough hook, plus a plastic pouring shield, are included.
The stainless steel 4.5 quart bowl’s handle makes it easy for you to transfer contents and to attach and remove it from the mixer’s base. You lock it in place on the bowl plate with a clockwise turn and remove it by turning counter clockwise.
I don’t really get why there is a small concave portion on the bowl’s bottom. It makes it even harder for the beater to reach the bottom content.
You can get a 3-quart bowl from Hamilton Beach (Part No. 990004500).
The flat beater is coated. It does come close to the edge of the bowl while it rotates but not closer enough to scrape everything on the side.
The coated dough hook is C-shaped. It’s curved in a way that follows the bowl’s slanted curved side. The whip has two pairs of wires angled out to catch content on the side.
Beater, whip or hook attaches and detaches from the attachment shaft with a push and a turn.
Increase the speed if you sense that the mixer strains when using the flat beater. Use flat beater for cookie dough, cake batters, frostings and mashed potatoes. The wire whip is for whipping creams or egg whites into meringues. The dough hook is for making breads and pizzas and other dense mixtures.
The pouring shield is supposed to make adding ingredients easier and to reduce splashes and flour cloud. But it’s more a hassle. You’d have to align the indent on the attachment shaft to the opening when installing it. Not a simple process. Then, most often, you cannot raise the head without dislodging it. You cannot scrape well with it in place. It’s annoying if you have to remove it each time you need to access the bowl and then put it back again. But, you can actually use the mixer without it. It’s just a matter of weighing which situation makes your task simpler.
You can find replacements for all accessories and attachments from Hamilton Beach online store.
CAUTION: The mixer must be switched-off and unplugged before attaching or removing accessories and attachments.
What Types of Mixture Can The Hamilton Beach Eclectrics Handle?
You’d expect a stand mixer with a 400-watt motor to be able to power through heavy mixtures. This one can make your bread dough or pizza dough but like most non-commercial models, it has limitations.
The mixer’s head wiggles with large batches and thick mixtures. It can handle a recipe for one loaf of bread or a double batch of cookies well enough. It mixes and kneads a loaf of whole wheat bread although it wobbles a bit. It walks and dances on the counter at Speed 6 for thick dough. It doesn’t mean it can’t tackle a 2 loaf recipe or heavy mixtures. It can. But the more batches you load and the denser the dough is, the more it wobbles, shakes or walks.
There are some remedies you can take to cope with the drawbacks. If it walks, try a lower speed or reduce the content. Make sure that your counter is clean so that the rubber feet grip the counter. Or, place the unit on a cutting board and get some of those sticky silicon stuff and stick it on the edge of the board. It might shake but it won’t go anywhere in the counter.
If the wiggling and shaking gets bothersome, just hold the head pressing down. It won’t stop the wobbling, but it’ll at least lessen it. If it shakes and rattles a lot that it’s worrisome, it’s most likely overloaded.
Twelve (12) cups of ingredients (about 3 quarts) will fill the bowl to about an inch below the rim. Although it fits, it’s a bit risky, especially with thick dough as it will tend to go over the dough hook.
You should use not less than 3 cups of flour in your recipe for it to knead well. When using the wire whip, use a minimum of 1 cup of cream or 2 large egg whites The mixer can’t whisk anything lesser than that.
This is not a poor stand mixer. It has no problem with recipes for cakes, cookies, frosting, cream, egg whites, cheesecakes and all other mixtures. It’s just that stand mixers are always gauged by how well they tackle bread recipes.
You can use it for bread making, but not for large batches and very dense mixtures. But you can use it often for light and medium batters and cookie dough.
How Does It Mixes and Performs?
It’s a planetary action stand mixer. The attachment head moves around the bowl while the attachment spins in the opposite direction. That gives full bowl coverage to promote even mixing.
However, unmixed ingredients are left at the bottom because there is quite a gap between the beater and the bowl. And, you cannot adjust the beater height. There is also a small concave area at the base of the bowl that further hinders thorough mixing. So, you have to scrape the side and scoop content from the bottom of the bowl. You’d have to do it with most table top mixers including the pricier models, too.
With thicker mixtures you may need to scrape the side of the bowl at least once at the end. You may have to do it a couple of times with thinner batters. However, doing it with the motor head down is not as easy as you’d want it to be because there is very little wiggle room to maneuver the spatula. The best way is to lift the head. Or, if you find that cumbersome, you can use an angled stand mixer scraper which is available on Amazon.
If you use the splatter shield, you have to remove it before scraping. It’s not an issue if you only have to scrape once like in the end. However, without it, adding ingredients is not effortless because there is little space due to the bowl’s narrow design. You would have to raise the head if you want more room. Or, try using a half cup to add ingredients and always turn the mixer off to reduce splatters.
When whisking, you should start from a low speed and gradually increase it to avoid splashes.
Overall, it incorporates ingredients well enough despite some inconveniences and shortcomings like shaking and dancing with thick dough.
Construction and Durability
The mixer body is made of die cast metal. It comes in four shades. There are reports of uneven, rough or mottled finish.
It’s solid, but it’s top-heavy. You have to be careful when moving it on the counter as it can topple over.
There are several reports of this mixer lasting 3, 5 or even 8 years. That’s quite a surprise given the reports of shaking and walking and straining with dense mixtures. But then, Hamilton Beach is so confident with their product’s quality they backed it up with a 3-year replacement warranty.
If you want a quiet mixer, look no further. This one is so quiet it practically purrs.
Dimensions and Storage
The Hamilton Beach Electrics stand mixer stands 14.37 inches. Be sure to have enough vertical space if you’re going to place it under a cabinet. It’s almost 18 inches tall with its head raised. It is 9.44 inches wide and 13.79 inches deep.
It would be difficult to store on your cabinet because it’s heavy. It’s to be expected of a mixer with such apower rating. Have a permanent place for it your countertop; unless, you have strong arms and shoulders.
Remove attachments from its shaft when storing the unit.
Care and Cleaning of the Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer 63221
Bowl, pouring shield and attachments can be washed in a dishwasher. However, it would be better to wash the beater and dough hook by hand because frequently loading it on the dishwasher may cause the coating to chip-off sooner. If you prefer the dishwasher, do not set the temperature too high as it will cause damage to the coating.
A damp cloth is all that is needed to clean the stand mixer itself. Wipe it before storing. Lift the head and clean crevices where ingredients can lodge. Clean the attachment shaft of any residue that may have stuck onto it. Do not store dirty accessories and attachments. Dry everything before storing.
- 400-watt motor
- Very affordable compared to stand mixers in the same class
- Very quiet, it almost purrs
- 3-year replacement warranty
- Slowest speed is actually slow
- Incorporates ingredients well
- Electronic Speed sensor ensures consistent speed
- Bowl with comfort handle
- Easy to clean
- Wobbles with heavy dough
- “Walks” on the counter with heavy mixture at higher speeds
- Pouring shield is cumbersome
- Need two hands to lift and lower the mixer head
- Top-heavy design
- Speed lever is hard to control
- Beater does not reach bottom of bowl
Consumer Ratings and Reviews
There is substantial number of reviews on Amazon for the Eclectrics stand mixer. Although, some raving reviewers just gave general praises or overly positive praises like “perfect”, “made everything from frostings to bread dough without a problem”. I don’t bank on such reviews.
However, there is also a good number of high raters who took time to cite what they like and don’t like about the machine and why, how it performs, what they’ve done with it, etc. Their reviews are balanced.
There is a small minority of disappointed reviewers who say their units didn’t last long or worked poorly. But there are several who shared that theirs have worked for years.
Overall, positive reviews outnumbered the negative ones by a big difference even if you take out those that seem biased.
How Much Does It Costs
Cost is the strongest selling point of the Hamilton Beach Eclectrics. It’s almost half the price of popular stand mixers. Prices vary with color. Prices do change, sometimes quickly.
My Overall Take
The Hamilton Beach Eclectrics stand mixer is comparable to other more expensive stand mixers in the same power category. If you are going to make loaves and loaves of bread daily, it is not for you. If you need a mixer for baking pastries and bread for your family, then this is a wise option.
It has its drawbacks, but so do other more expensive table top mixers. And, the manufacturer is really standing behind it with its 3-year replacement warranty, whereas, most of its rivals only carry a 1-year replacement warranty. That means you can use it daily for almost 3 years and if it goes bust, you are going to get another unit.
If my $300 stand mixer with a 1-year replacement warranty dies on me after a year or two years that would make my head spin. Not saying that they can’t last three or more years. They can. But, you’ll never know what will happen.