Choosing the Right Stand Mixer: Types, Sizes, and Your Options

Choosing the Right Stand Mixer: Types, Sizes, and Your Options

If you've been searching online for information about stand mixers, you might think these machines are primarily for bakers. But that is not the case. For reasons we will discuss shortly, people often talk about baking because of the need for these machines for dough. That said, the benefits a stand mixer offers include whipping dips and salad dressings for nutritious salads, mixing patties, mashing potatoes, and more. So if baking isn't on your list, that's fine as well.

As mentioned earlier, mixing and kneading dough is the toughest task these machines can handle. The density of the dough puts a lot of stress on the motors, gears and components that drive the dough hooks or paddles. The motor has to be stronger and the gears and components are more durable, especially with the larger bowl capacity. That's why stand mixers that can handle kneading on a regular basis are the most expensive. With this understanding, let's take a look at the different types and styles of stand mixers.

Most stand mixers come with a dough hook, a wire whip, and a flat beater. However, how these machines use these attachments can make a big difference. There are three main ways to achieve this. The first and most common is planetary mixing, in which the stand mixer attachment spins around its axis in one direction while rotating around the bowl in the opposite direction. This is very effective.

Next up is the triple whip - a method used by an open-top mixer with a central drive shaft. The mixing action is triple when the central shaft is fitted with dual wire whips that rotate on their shafts while revolving around the bowl. This is an effective hybrid approach for some missions, but is more limited than the planetary approach.

Lastly, there is the beater mixing method. You may recall hand mixers that use dual four-wire beaters mounted on shafts that rotate relative to each other. For many, licking the batter from these is a childhood treat. The beater mixer is considered to be a stand-mounted version of the classic hand-held kitchen tool.

Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

No matter how the mixing occurs, tilt-head is the most common body design. As the name suggests, the "head" of the motor-equipped machine tilts back to the neck, lifting the whisk attachment out of the bowl. We've heard some complaints that when you want to add ingredients to the bowl, you have to stop stirring and tilt your head back to get in. While this makes some sense when adding a lot of dry ingredients, we've found that slowing down the machine can greatly alleviate the problem. Also some stand mixers on the market like Kitchenin KM50 Stand Mixer provide you with the pouring shield to solve this problem perfectly.

Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer

Bowl-lift is the gold standard for mixers. These machines are modeled after the professional high-capacity mixers found in many restaurant kitchens. As with the tilt-head, place the beater head down into the bowl instead of cranking the bowl up into contact with the beater attachment. Like the tilt-head, the motor is mounted on the head of the machine, so bowl-lift mixers also obstruct access to the bowl when in operation. If you see a mixer being a bowl-lift, you can bet it means business. This style offers a lot of adjustability so the mixing process can be controlled. For example, the bowl can be heated or cooled from below while mixing.

Open-Top Stand Mixer

Open-top machines are different from other stand mixers on the market. Not only do they look different, but their operation is also unique. These machines mount the motor in the base of the machine, and another auxiliary motor is mounted on the side of the base for aftermarket accessories. Some have a fixed mixing bowl in which mixing is done, while others have a rotating mixing bowl and a fixed roller arm. Regardless of the mixing method, these mixers have an open top that seems to solve the problem of adding ingredients while the mixer is running. However, we found that the central driveshaft and roller arm model partially obstruct the bowl. This problem increases with splash guards. That said, an open-top mixer certainly offers the best line of sight, if not physical access, when actively blending. Generally speaking, open-top mixers are among the largest volume and necessarily the most powerful.

If you have further questions about stand mixers, feel free to leave a comment or reach out to us directly at We might explore this topic further in our upcoming blog posts.

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