Mixer: KitchenAid vs Bosch Universal vs Ankarsrum/Electrolux magic mill

Hi all, our parents wanting to give us a mixer as wedding gift with me being able to choose which one. I have heard about KitchenAid for years but from what I read on the internet, the current ones is not as strong/durable as the older ones (motor burnt in 5 years, plastic gears, clicky sound, etc.). Another contender is Bosch Universal Plus Kitchen Machine, different built, but seems to be smaller and less problems. But I never used/seeing it in action, so I can't say much about this.
The last option is Ankarsrum/Electrolux magic mill, Swedish made, all metal, last very long, very good built, but 2x the price of the other 2 and I never used/seeing it in action.

Has anyone has experience with these machines, especially the Bosch and Electrolux, or how they compare with KitchenAid?

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41 Comments

Windischgirl March 7, 2019
Ankarsrum also has scratch-and-dent and refurbished machines available at reduced cost (between $500-575) with full warranty. Availability varies over time. Search for “open box” on their website.
Machines are also available occasionally on www.thefreshloaf.com
 
MacGuffin March 7, 2019
I realize this is 'way after the fact but I'd like to weigh in for the benefit of those coming to this board for the first time.
A year or so ago, I was finally able to not only afford an Ankarsrum (after many years of wanting one), but to gift them to family and a friend (I think six mixers, besides mine). We ALL love it. The Ankarsrum's concept seems very counter-intuitive to anyone who has used pretty much any other stand mixer but once you master it, it's a genius machine. The instructions that ship with the machine are from hunger but fortunately, there are excellent demo videos online. The ones you want are from The Bread Beckers, AnkarsrumUSA, and Lynn Junk (the Canadian distributor). Put the time into watching them a few times and you'll be a pro before you ever click the power dial.

The Bosch Universal Plus is also a fine machine but, if you think about it, the price differential between it and the Ankarsrum isn't all that much. The basic machine is $399; however, if you want to make cakes and cookies, the necessary Baker's Pack brings the cost up to $455, unless you catch a sale that throws them in for free (usually Mothers Day and Black Friday). If you want to extend the warranty from three years to five, that's another $50 and you're still coming in two years below the Ankarsrum's 7-year warranty. If you want a stainless bowl (standard with the Ankarsrum), that's another $100 - $145 (depending on if it's purchased with the base or as an add-on), plus the Baker's Pack is going to cost you $62 because you can't get bundle it--or any other accessory--with the stainless bowl. Ankarsrums usually go on sale for $50 less in December, so you're looking at $610 (or more) with a shorter warranty vs. $650 for, if truth be told, a much better machine that will last for decades, takes up less space with similar capacity, and comes in a choice of sexy colors.

Don't get me wrong--the BUP is an excellent machine and is a beloved choice among members (quite a few of whom also own Ankarsrums) of the online mixer owners group on which I'm a monitor. Some people, including our members, prefer the Bosch but if you're leaning towards an Ankarsrum and can wait for the December sale, don't let price be a consideration because, all things considered, the difference is negligible.

Either machine is excellent and will out-perform and out-last a Kitchen-Aid.
 
Barbara December 20, 2017
I have a Viking and it is so powerful that it walked off the counter and the lock doesn't work at high speeds. Also, the cover over the attachment area won't stay on so often when I lift the top, it falls off. I'm now considering a Kitchenaid again, I just can't decide on a model.
 
Barbara December 20, 2017
I have a Viking and it is so powerful that it walked off the counter and the lock doesn't work at high speeds. Also, the cover over the attachment area won't stay on so often when I lift the top, it falls off. I'm now considering a Kitchenaid again, I just can't decide on a model.
 
foofaraw April 29, 2016
This is a long due answer, in case anyone interested. After mulling over about this so much, I took the plunge and get Ankarsrum. So far, the cake (https://food52.com/recipes/37307-1-2-3-4-cake-with-raspberry-buttercream), shortbread cookies (http://www.closetcooking.com/2011/12/gorgonzola-and-pistachio-shortbread.html), and whipped cream (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/140837/sturdy-whipped-cream-frosting/) I tried has come out beautifully. I used roller and scraper for cake batter, plastic bowl+wire whip beater for whipped cream, and bowl+cookie beater for the cookies. I didn't have problem creaming sugar and butter with roller+scraper when making the cake. I think the shortbread can also use the roller too, I just didn't realize it earlier.

If there is any problem, I'll post an update later on. But so far, I love the machine and plan to keep it for a long term. Thank you everyone for your inputs!
 
barb48 December 29, 2015
I have a KitchenAid Artisan mixer that I bought about three years ago. As I don't do a lot of baking and have never made bread with it, it has served me well. I think the biggest question is how much baking/bread making you plan to do, and how much your parents are willing to spend. I'd also make sure that your machine can be serviced in your country and that replacement parts are easily accessible without costing a fortune. Good luck.
 
Smaug December 28, 2015
My old (35 years or so) Kitchenaid is so apparently indestructible that I've never had occasion to look into others. I learned to make bread on it, but seldom do anymore- other than a couple of doughs too sticky to handle, I find it easier and more satisfying to do by hand. Most of this discussion has focused on bread; one thing that hasn't been mentioned much is accessories, for which Kitchenaid has a vast array, from pasta makers to sausage stuffers. I personally find the meat grinder indispensable. A lot of the more modern ones- the ice cream maker, food processor attachment etc. I haven't tried, but I think they should be considered when looking into machines.
 
foofaraw December 28, 2015
That's because yours is old that it has no problem. I read that the newer KA is built with less quality than when they are still made by Hobart, which is the 30+ years ago batches.
 
Smaug December 28, 2015
So I've read too, though it doesn't apply to all models. Anyway, the point was that you don't just need to look at buying a machine; existence, availability and price of accessories, as well as access to repair stations, availability of parts etc. should be a consideration, particularly on imported tools.
 
vicki December 27, 2015
I hate my ankarsrum mixer, I blew up my kitchen aid that I bought at Costco. They are not the same Kitchen aid that you pay full price. I bout the Ankarsrum because I bake a lot of bread, but I find it very difficult to make bread dough. I inherited my mothers Kitchen Aid, which is a workhorse but not big enough for my bread dough, plus it is from the Hobart era so it is very well made. I am thinking of buying a Kitchen Aid Pro6500 and I am wondering if any one has experience using this model. My Anakarsrum is like brand new if someone would like to make me an offer. It is orange. Happy baking.
 
Susan W. December 27, 2015
Just in case you want to be a little more undecided, my favorite mixer was a tabletop Hobart that I bought at a restaurant supply store. It was gently used. I believe it was a 7 qt. I used it in a commercial setting and it was an amazing workhorse. I sold it when I sold my business. I'd love to have it back.
 
Windischgirl December 27, 2015
Vicki, you can get a good offer on that Ankarsrum at www.thefreshloaf.com. Heck, I would take it off your hands if I didn't have to pay for three college tuitions and a new stove...
 
foofaraw December 28, 2015
Vicky, what makes it hard for you to make bread dough with it?
 
Spring September 10, 2016
Vicki, do you still have your ankarsrum?
 
Windischgirl November 17, 2015
lleello, what city do you live near?
www.ankarsrumoriginalusa.com has a list of dealers across the US; however, some of the links are old or info is out of date. But this is how I found a dealer for accessories near my home.
Second idea: I am active on a baking forum ("The Fresh Loaf", like Food 52 but focused on bread) and am wondering if anyone on that forum who has an Ankarsrum lives near you and can give info on where they bought it. Some of the members own commercial bakeries and they may be willing to give a demo.
And as I said, if you find yourself near Philadelphia, I would be happy to show you my machine...I bake every weekend!
Good luck on your quest!
 
Windischgirl November 10, 2015
I just realized you can probably watch some YouTube videos to see the different machines in action, since that's how I learned how to use the Ankarsrum (because it was used it didn't have an instruction book). I watched videos from Pleasant Hill Grain Company.
The videos might give you an idea of which machine seems easiest to use for what you like to do. The other option might be to find a retail vendor for these mixers and have them give you a demonstration. Pleasant Hill (in Nebraska) carries the Bosch and Ankarsrum and some other models. Williams-Sonoma and Sur la Table carry the Kitchen Aid and will do a demo (a department store will not).

I understand what you mean about eBay. If I buy something there, I always have a problem, but my husband never does...so I had him buy it for me. Somehow he has the magic! He got me a nice souvenir if Sweden...
 
foofaraw November 14, 2015
I have watched most of the youtube videos that compares the magic mill with other (bosch/kitchenaid), but not sure about what to do. Too many information and opinions out there, I guess. I didn't know that Sur la Table and Williams Sonoma do a demo. That sounds nice. Will definitely check them out! Thanks!
 
foofaraw November 17, 2015
Apparently William Sonoma doesn't carry the Magic Mill, and the Sur La Table only have it online but will not ship to store/give demo at store. I am at lost =/. Compared to Bosch or KA, Magic Mill is the only one eludes Google search of any machine problem. But not being able to see it before buying is a bit much for such amount of purchase =/.
 
MacGuffin March 7, 2019
What did you finally decide to do?
 
foofaraw March 11, 2019
Ankarsrum, see my answer above dated April 29, 2016.
 
Windischgirl November 9, 2015
I would go with the Ankarsrum, in a heartbeat. If $800 seems too steep for an item that will last generations, consider a gently used one for about half the cost. It's not difficult to use but the approach is different from any other mixer--there are some great YouTube videos which demonstrate how, and once you've got it, You'll see how the design is really intuitive.

I had a 5 qt Kitchen Aid, 20+ years old, that did a great job. Gave it to my niece when I received the 6 qt Artisan as a gift. Sent that one back while under warantee because it was missing the top speed. The replacement they sent is so noisy (95 dB!) I need ear protection. Does a good job with egg whites and whipping cream, as well as batter and cookie dough, but struggles with heavier bread doughs, and when I get up to 4 lbs dough, forget it.

And then I went to visit Sweden, and my hosts had an Ankarsrum. And I was sold. Quiet, sturdy, easy to use, easy to clean. Built-in timer and shuts itself off! Even though it claims to have a 6 qt bowl like the Kitchen Aid, it can handle twice as much dough without a problem. I got it for about $450 on eBay. And when I bake, which is weekly, I reach for the Ankarsrum first.
Gosh, if you lived in my neighborhood (Philly), I'd invite you over to compare for yourself!
 
foofaraw November 10, 2015
You sounded like having a delight with the Ankarsrum. I do wish I could visit you to see how it works. I have been hearing good stuff from Ankarsrum user on the net, but I never seen it on action on real life, nor can I ask about the user's specific experiences on different types of batter/dough.
I am also not brave enough to buy $500 used machine on eBay from strangers because I don't know if it has been mistreated or not too =/.
 
MacGuffin March 11, 2019
They're $700 now, often $650 for the month of December.
 
Sam1148 November 8, 2015
Get a Costco membership.
Costco....has it own version of the kitchenaid that's exclusive to the Costco that does't use the plastic gears.
 
foofaraw November 9, 2015
Is that Costco brand or KitchenAid brand? Which one would you recommend, of Artisan/Pro/other?
 
Sam1148 November 9, 2015
It's a Kitchen Aid expressly produced for Costco. This was a few years ago since I looked into it, I don't remember the model but it was top of the line with the 'arms' and lift lever.
 
AntoniaJames November 9, 2015
Sam1148, you always deliver the goods. Thank you for sharing your amazing wealth of knowledge. ;o)
 
Thomas L. November 8, 2015
I think it may decide on what you would use it for. Bosch is great for making bread as I use it every week using normal bread recipes, but clean up is a pain, and the dough rises up the center spindle. You can now buy a very cheap piece of plastic that stops this. It's also great for meringues. But for cakes I'd look elsewhere, it didn't do a good job of creaming butter/sugar and then eggs. The problem with center spindle machines, is you have to scrape the sides and the center spindle, although I see Bosch now has an attachment for the sides to help this. The kitchen Aid pro lines, with metal gears might be the best compromise for cakes and bread for the price.
 
foofaraw November 9, 2015
The big chunks of my baking rotates around cake and cookies because my bread turn out still pretty bad (I only have hand mixer), but that might change to be more balanced between the three if I get a better tool. So do you think that for everything, kitchen Aid pro with metal gears is better than Ankarsrum, Breville, or Bosch (or anything)?
 
foofaraw April 30, 2016
I creamed butter and sugar using roller and scraper, with medium-medium high speed (based on recommendation on photo on https://forums.egullet.org/topic/151681-large-home-mixers-ankarsrum-kitchenaid-other/), and it works really well.
 
MacGuffin March 7, 2019
That attachment fits both the older BU and the BUP. If reviewers are to be believed, it does a fantastic job.
 
Chocolate B. April 18, 2015
I have gone through 2 6-qt. KitchenAid Professionals in the last five years, wouldn't buy another, now use a Breville 5-qt. for lighter doughs and the Electrolux Assistent for the bread dough that I make about every other day. The Assistent definitely has a learning curve, but it makes unbeatable bread. I was astonished at the difference the Assistent made in the quality of my finished bread. But that learning curve… Took a while, much frustration.
 
PieceOfLayerCake April 17, 2015
I've had my Kitchen Aid for years and, while its probably not built for the abuse I put it through, its stuck through with me all this time. If I were to buy a stand mixer today, I would probably buy a Viking. Although its not one you were considering, I've heard from home bakers to industry chefs alike that its unsurpassable in function and durability.
 
foofaraw April 19, 2015
I have heard Viking before, but not so much (possibly because it is used more in industry?). I think Viking is a good brand, it is just their mixer is not known as much. What makes you like it compared to KitchenAid?
 
foofaraw April 19, 2015
Just found out that apparently Viking has discontinued their mixer line since 2011.
 
boulangere April 19, 2015
True, @lleello; Viking discontinued all its small electrics then. At the store where I worked, we went through 3 demo models in 2 years, and finally gave up on them.
 
PieceOfLayerCake April 19, 2015
Wow....News to me.
 
boulangere April 17, 2015
I've used all of them. I have 3 Kitchenaids I've had for 20, 15, and 5 years, respectively. All are still going strong. I also have a Magic Mill. I've had it for almost 20 years, and it's a perfect bridge in size between my Kitchenaids and my 20 quart Hobart. I used to teach classes for a cooking equipment store whose owner had drunk deeply of the koolaid of Bosch. I was constantly encouraged to use it, especially in bread baking classes. I've never used any kind of machine that I hated so strongly from the start. NO one in the store could stand the thing. It's difficult to use for any recipe other than those which come with the machine, more difficult to clean, and plastic throughout.
 
foofaraw April 19, 2015
So, no Bosch. Noted. Do you mind if I ask what makes it being so difficult to operate?
If I have to choose one, which one would you recommend between KitchenAid, Magic Mill, Hobart, or possibly other mixer?
 
boulangere April 19, 2015
The Bosch mixer comes with what is known as the "Bosch System" of making bread. It is difficult to operate in that both the bowl and lid are encircled with a series of small ridges so that they fit together well. When dough gets into them, both are a nightmare to clean. The Bosch System ensures that one's bread cannot fail. Sooooooo much stuff is added to it in the form of high quantities of dough conditioner (basically vital wheat gluten) and of soy protein, such that even if drastically under kneaded, the bread would still hold together. And the recipes are conveniently scaled so that the doughs just fit in the bowl. Try any other bread recipe, and you'll be digging dough out all those maddening little ridges.

It's true that the 6-quart Kitchenaid did not get great reviews. My sister had a lovely red one that failed within a matter of months. It was replaced under warranty, and its successor was a success. That said, we have one at work that has been on the job for 7 years. The only part we replace a couple of times a year is the whip, as tines tend to come loose from it. My 5-quarts have been workhorses for years and years.

Given a choice, I'd go with (another) Kitchenaid or the Magic Mill.
 
MacGuffin March 11, 2019
I have a Bosch Compact I bought used years ago on eBay and have always used any recipe I please in it. Maybe that's because it's more like a standard stand mixer than the BUP? I know a number of people who prefer their BUPs to their Ankarsrums but usually for cookies, frosting, and such. I only know one person who prefers his BU to his Magic Mill for bread (both older machines that he has had forever).
 
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