Mixer Reviews

Editor's note:
A KitchenAid stand mixer and Cuisinart hand mixer reign supreme in our most recent update to our mixers report, while Hamilton Beach is an inexpensive standout. We've also added an intriguing new contender, the OXO On Digital Hand Mixer, to our hand-mixer recommendations -- it features a headlight to illuminate your mixing bowl. 
 
KitchenAid Artisan Review
Specs that Matter
Wattage: 325Weight: 26 lbs.Attachments: flat beater, dough hook, wire whip
Best Reviewed

Best stand mixer

KitchenAid Artisan

Reviewers continue to sing the praises of the KitchenAid Artisan, long a juggernaut in the stand-mixer market. The Artisan is able to handle thick bread dough or whip delicate frosting with equal ease, and owners say its tilt-head design makes accessing ingredients a cinch. Durability is fantastic, with models going strong for years; reviewers unlucky enough to have a problem report attentive customer service. And if you're picky about kitchen décor, the Artisan comes in nearly three dozen colors.

Hamilton Beach Electrics All-Metal Stand Mixer
Specs that Matter
Wattage: 400Weight: 21 lbs.Attachments: flat beater, dough hook, wire whip
Runner Up

Best cheap stand mixer

Hamilton Beach Electrics All-Metal Stand Mixer

If you're a baker on a budget, reviewers say it's hard to find a better value stand mixer than the Hamilton Beach Eclectrics All-Metal Stand Mixer. At roughly half the price of many competitors, the Eclectrics excels at common tasks such as whipping and mixing, according to experts. The head lock, handled bowl and pour shield add to ease of use, owners report. Its three-year warranty is also more generous than the one-year warranties common on other stand mixers.

Cuisinart Power Advantage Plus 9-Speed Hand Mixer
Specs that Matter
Wattage: 220Weight: 4 lbs.Attachments: wire beaters, whisk, dough hooks, spatula
Best Reviewed

Best hand mixer

Cuisinart Power Advantage Plus 9-Speed Hand Mixer

Hand mixers can't fully replace heavy-duty stand mixers, but reviewers say the Cuisinart Power Advantage Plus 9-Speed Hand Mixer is mighty close. Unlike many of its competitors, the mixer can handle occasional thick cookie and bread dough, but still does a good job with easier jobs such as mixing batter, beating eggs and whipping butter or cream. The included beaters, whisk, dough hooks and spatula can be kept in an included snap-on case and clean up easily in the dishwasher.

Hamilton Beach 6-Speed Classic Hand Mixer
Specs that Matter
Wattage: 290Weight: 4.3 lbs.Attachments: traditional beaters, wire beaters, whisk
Runner Up

Best cheap hand mixer

Hamilton Beach 6-Speed Classic Hand Mixer

If you're short on space and money, reviewers say the compact Hamilton Beach 6-Speed Classic Hand Mixer is more than adept with occasional baking tasks at a price that won't break the bank. The mixer handles eggs, cream, cake batter and even smaller batches of thick dough with ease, owners say. A whisk and two beaters -- classic, not wire-style, which some bakers prefer -- come with the mixer can be stored in a snap-on case.

Types of Mixers
Stand Mixers

Stand mixers excel at demanding jobs like mixing thick dough, and serious cooks say they're a must if you bake regularly or in large quantities. Most stand mixers come with three attachments: a flat beater for mixing batter; a dough hook for kneading; and a wire whisk for whipping cream, etc. Specialized attachments, ranging from enameled beaters to pasta makers, are also available for some models. Most top-rated stand mixers have a single beater mounted on a disc that rotates around a stationary bowl. Experts say this process, called "planetary action," is the most efficient means of blending ingredients because the beater can reach the sides of the bowl, reducing the need to stop the machine and scrape the sides. On cheaper stand mixers, the beaters (usually two, like those found on a hand mixer) are stationary; the bowl, mounted on a turntable, revolves around them. Some experts turn up their nose at these less-expensive units, but they suit some people just fine.

Hand Mixers

A hand mixer may be all you need if you bake only occasionally or just need a mixer for lighter tasks, such as whipping cream, mixing cake batter or beating eggs. Many also come with a good array of accessories, for whipping, kneading and mixing. The best come with snap-on bins where you can store the accessories to make a neat, compact footprint. You can use a hand mixer in any kind of bowl or even in a pan. Some hand mixers are powerful enough for jobs like kneading dough and combining thick cookie ingredients, but don't expect a hand mixer to perform those tasks as quickly and easily as a stand mixer. A lot of people own both a stand mixer and a hand mixer so they don't have to dirty their larger stand mixer for smaller jobs.

KitchenAid and Cuisinart rule the mixer world

Consider yourself warned: This report may seem like a KitchenAid and Cuisinart love fest. But that's because those two manufacturers rise far above most others when it comes to stand mixer and hand mixer reviews. That said, Hamilton Beach's affordable mixers are also piling up some pretty good ratings.

Also keep in mind that a mixer may not always be the best option for the job you need to do. If you like to make a lot of bread, a bread machine can make quicker, easier work of that task and churn out more consistent loaves. In addition, plenty of bakers find that their food processor works well for kneading dough, and they tend to be more versatile than mixers. We have a separate report on those as well.

Finding The Best Mixers
Our Sources1. TheSweethome.com
The Best Stand Mixer2. ConsumerReports.org
Mixers3. Reviewed.com
Best Stand MixersSee All

There are plenty of sites that test and rank both stand and hand mixers, since they're such a popular home appliance. We analyzed professional tests and in-depth reviews by experts at TheSweethome.com, ConsumerReports.org, Cooks Illustrated, TopTenReviews.com and Reviewed.com. Many of those also come to the same consensus on the top-tested mixers that makes it easy for us to narrow down those that test out well.

We then compared those results and recommendations to long-term, real-world experiences as reported by hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of owners at sites such as Amazon.com, Walmart.com and BedBathandBeyond.com. The result of that research is our recommendations for stand mixers and hand mixers with the best combination of performance, durability and ease of use.

Elsewhere in This Report