Since the early 1900's both hand and stand mixers have become a vital appliance for the kitchen. Most time spent in the kitchen is in the preparation of food, and this is where owning a quality mixer can make a big difference. Good quality mixers are designed to allow even the novice cook prepare delicious homemade meals with minimal work.
Choosing the proper mixer whether it is a portable hand mixer or a deluxe stand mixer really depends on how much you're going to use it. These practical kitchen appliances come in many varieties, and some even boast very high-tech features. Our lists are dedicated to simplifying the process of choosing a stand or hand mixer for your kitchen.
Best Hand Mixer:
For light and medium duty tasks on the fly, it’s hard to beat a hand mixer. While stand mixers are designed to tackle large cooking tasks in the kitchen, a hand mixer is likely to be used more for most day tasks because of its simplicity and ease of use. If you're simply whipping cream or egg whites, you can just grab a hand mixer and your stand mixer at attention for intensive tasks such as making heavy cookie dough or large quantities of mashed potatoes for a holiday meal.
As with all mixers, the higher the wattage on the motor, the less stress on the drive train which means the unit will last longer. Although some of these hand mixers come with dough hooks, don’t attempt mixing heavy duty bread or pasta dough, as you'll potentially burn out the mixer in a short time. Stay with lighter fare like pancake and waffle batter or cookie dough, and you'll be doing all right. If you understand the limits of a hand mixer you'll get years of use out of one of these useful appliances.
Each of these hand mixers we’ve chosen will have multiple speeds so you'll always have the setting you need but keep in mind they just don't have the mechanical complexity required for exacting speed control. As a general rule of thumb, a simpler mixer makes an easier mixer, and easier is what it is all about in this category. If you are looking for something more complex, use a stand mixer that also converts to hand use.
All of these mixers will have a bowl support edge so that you can rest it on the lip of your mixing bowl while it is beating and they all have an ergonomic hand grip for operator comfort. All of them will come with mixing attachments for all your basic cooking tasks and unless stated in the description, each of these hand mixers will be covered by a manufacturer’s one year limited warranty.
The Hamilton Beach 6 Speed Hand Mixer comes with a 275 watt motor and a "Quick Burst" turbo button for extra oomph when you need it. The included storage case means you have safe place to store beaters and whisks, while the cord wraps neatly over the back to keep it out of the way. Read Full Review
The Proctor Silex 62509RY 5-Speed Hand Mixer is rough and ready to mix lightweight sauces, frostings and eggs. The cord is 4 feet long, and that means you'll never have a problem mixing anywhere in the kitchen. It features a 100 watt motor and is the least expensive hand mixer on this list. Read Full Review
The Dualit 4-Speed Professional Hand Mixer has a unique cord retraction system and with 300 generous watts of power, it even rivals some stand mixers. Although not considered a heavy-duty unit, it will enable you to mix things like mashed potatoes and heavier cookie dough. Read Full Review
The KitchenAid KHM512ER 5-Speed Ultra Power Hand Mixer is a solid choice for lighter and medium mixing tasks. Rated at 275 watts by the factory, the actual calculated wattage is about 75, and while that sounds puny, KitchenAid mentions that their motors are more efficient and therefore equal in power to the others. Read Full Review
Best Stand Mixer:
Stand mixers quickly became one of the most popular kitchen appliances when they were introduced in the early 1920's as they took the drudgery out of baking by mix batter automatically while you tended to other kitchen tasks. They mixed ingredients so completely that lumps, chunks and grit became a inconvenience of the past.
Since then, the basic concept of a stand mixer hasn't changed much. A mixer is mounted on a stand high enough so that a bowl can be placed beneath the beater(s). The beaters thoroughly mix the ingredients like cake batter, bread and cookie dough, frostings, homemade butters and other delicious delights. Because these appliances are mounted on a stand, you can turn them on and let them mix while you are preparing other things. Although they can be a bit bulky, the convenience stand mixers offer makes them well worth the investment.
There are two types of mixing styles available with the most common being a twin beater set-up. Each beater spins and meshes with the beater next to it for through and complete beating as the bowl rotates beneath them through the beater action alone. The other style is a planetary motion mixer where bowl stays still and the beater moves around inside of it. There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these, specifically, planetary mixers are a bit more difficult to clean although they are slightly better mixers overall, particularly for dough. Conversely, twin beater mixers are easier to clean and less complex, so technically they’ll last longer and better at mixing lightweight treats like frosting and meringue.
Each best stand mixer we’ve chosen for this list will have a minimum of a 300 watt motor, a wattage that’s heavy duty enough to mix bread doughs and other stiff batters; however, the more wattage, the easier it will be on the appliances motor. If you regularly plan on mixing stiffer doughs, look for higher wattage motors.
These selections will also come equipped with all standard accessories you need to get started, like bread dough hooks and various whisks for whipping. If you want more versatility, look for the picks with a power take off or a low gear port accessory feature (such as the KitchenAid Pro 600) as you'll be able to add additional accessories like a meat grinder, a juicer and others, depending on the make and model. Also, these mixers feature variable speeds which allows you to select the perfect speed for your mixing duties and you'll be able to use various sized mixing bowls too. Additionally, all of the mixers here will come with a limited one year manufacturer’s warranty unless otherwise stated in the description.
The Sunbeam Heritage Series Mixmaster Stand Mixer is one of the most effective and durable mixers around. The twin beater design mixes thoroughly, the unit features 12 speeds powered by a 350 watt motor, and it comes with a two year warranty. Read Full Review
The Bodum 11381-01US Bistro Electric Stand Mixer is the lightest mixer on this list, but it isn't short on power with its 700 watt motor. It's a bit nosier than any of the others, but it has features that others don't, like a top-mounted accessory holder and suction cup feet. The included splash guards are a nice addition, there are seven speeds, and it comes with a two year warranty. Read Full Review
The KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6 Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer is the heaviest and most expensive mixer on this list with incredible versatility. Optional accessories such as a grinder, sausage stuffer, and citrus juicer are powered by a power take-off port on the front. If you want the best planetary mixer available, this is the one to get. Read Full Review
The Bosch Compact Mixer Model 4405 is the smallest mixer on this list. The 450 watt motor is powerful, and the planetary beater system mixes like the best of them. There are many optional accessories to choose from, like a grain mill, shredder and grinder, among others. If you like unique and different, this is a good choice. Read Full Review
The Breville USA BEM600XL Handy Stand Mixer is a two speed unit which is simple to use yet has the power and utility of much more expensive units. The twin beater lay out is powered by a 380 watt motor, and it can be taken off the stand to be used as a hand mixer. Both the beaters and the bowl platform are powered by separate motors, and that makes it very capable when it comes to kneading dough of any sort.
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Best Budget Stand Mixer:
With budget stand mixers, you'll get a very useful machine that won't be as fully loaded with extra features so don't expect to find any power take-off ports or stainless steel components. You should expect to find a lot of plastic (even the bowls) and every one of them will feature a twin beater arrangement. Also, they are best intended for lighter jobs like mixing batter or whipping eggs, so don't expect something that is going to be kneading bread dough on a regular basis.
All of these beaters are going to be miniature versions of larger, advanced mixing units because they use smaller components. Basic accessories may include dough hooks, but using them is going to be pushing a lightweight machine like these to their limit. If you plan on kneading bread or pasta dough, make sure the batches are very small as it will save strain on the machine and increase motor longevity.
As with the "Best" stand mixers, the ones with the highest wattage motors will generally last longer because there will be less stress on the drive train, and none of these units will be particularly quiet. Thicker housings and insulation only come with higher priced models, so if noise is a factor, you'll have to up your budget a bit.
Fortunately all of these best budget mixers we've chosen will cost less than 50 dollars, so you won't break the bank getting one. Each one will be damp wipe clean and the accessories will be dishwasher safe, they will all have multiple speeds as well as equipped with all the basic accessories you'll need to get started like beaters and bowls; if you're impartial to plastic, we've featured picks with glass or stainless steel bowls. Also, all of these mixers will come with a minimum limited one year manufacturers warranty unless otherwise noted in the description.
All said, there are some reasonably high quality mixers here, and if you are just looking for a no muss and no fuss light to medium weight mixer, you've come to the right place.
The Sunbeam Hand and Stand 250-Watt 5-Speed Mixer comes with a 250 watt motor and a stainless steel bowl that automatically rotates while beating. This unit converts to a hand mixer and features a turbo button for a bit of extra power when desired. The offset bowl means adding ingredients is easy, and it comes in both black and white colors to fit in with virtually any kitchen decor. Read Full Review
The Hamilton Beach 64695 Power Deluxe Hand/Stand Mixer is one of the few mixers in this price range that comes with a glass bowl. This unit features 6 speeds, is detachable to be used as a hand mixer, and it has a "quick burst" button for extra power when you need it. The 225 watt motor is perfect for light to medium duty mixing chores. Read Full Review
The 5 Speed with 2 Beaters Electric Kitchen Hand Stand Mixer is entirely made of plastic except for the motor. It's a light duty mixer that actually works quite well for things like beating eggs or making frosting, and the bowl is self rotating as you mix. Read Full Review
Although the Dash Go Everyday Mixer cannot be used as a hand mixer, it does have one of the most powerful motors in this product category. There are 6 speeds to select from and the stainless steel bowl automatically rotates when in use.
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The Brentwood 5 Speed Stand Mixer with Stainless Steel Bowl will give a good account of itself for lighter and medium mixing tasks. The bowl does not auto rotate, so you'll have to spin it by hand. Even though it only comes with a 30 day warranty, it can be upgraded for a two year period, depending upon where it has been purchased.
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