I'm contemplating taking the plunge and buying a Kitchenaid stand mixer (never been that much of a baker, but I'm getting there). At my local WalMart, they have a Kitchenaid for $150, and a Kitchenaid Classic for $199. I cannot see any difference in the two, except the $150 one does not have the dough hook or the whisk attachment, just the paddle. I know I'm going to want a dough hook, as the big thing I want the mixer for is bread. Can anyone enlighten me as to the differences in these two machines? It appears I can order a dough hook on Amazon for $15 or so.

  • Posted by: Kayb
  • February 11, 2011


ChefDaddy February 14, 2011
Kayb-Wow, about it looks really nice in red! Coupled with lots of power I guess that makes it a hot rod mixer!
Kayb February 14, 2011
OK, folks, based on all this excellent advice, for which I thank y'all deeply, I have ordered the KA Pro 500 from the shopkitchenaid.com site. The refurbished model, in bright red, with a matching bright red cover! Can't wait to get it (in time to bake more bread this weekend). I hope you'll all come visit me in Hot Springs and let me make bread for you!
innoabrd February 13, 2011
I've got an old KSM90 Ultra Power. It's 300w, but only a 4.5qt bowl. It's a thing of beauty, and has been going for about 20 years with minimal service (had to replace the seals once...), but I do kind of wish I had a bigger one....
Sam1148 February 11, 2011
If you have a Sam Club, or CostCo. The model they sell is specially made for their stores.
With a more powerful motor, and metal gearing. The link posted previously about motor power is good. But also, the "Club" stores do have models with better interior gears and motors--which are called by the same name as other sources, but a slightly different model code.
Kayb February 11, 2011
Thanks, friends, and particularly, thanks, Eliana60, for the shopkitchenaid.com link. Better prices there than anywhere! I'll be ordering myself a Pro, I think; if I'm gonna do it, might as well do it right.
spiffypaws February 11, 2011
Wattage is key. If you're focusing on breads, you need to buy the most powerful mixer you can afford. For home use, I used to use a Kitchenaid Artisan, but it wasn't powerful enough (in my opinion) for stiffer doughs. In a previous baking job, we had a Kitchenaid Pro for smaller batches that didn't fit in the Hobart, and it was OK. For home use now I use a DeLonghi 700 watt that my boyfriend found on Ebay for $250, and it is fabulous. It actually fell off the counter once, and we found it still mixing while laying sideways on the floor.
nutcakes February 11, 2011
If I ever win a Viking hand mixer I will try it out, but I don't like hand mixers much--maybe because I have a cheapo. I have a huge KA Pro in Copper that a friend bought and was going to return because it was too big and heavy for her individual use. It was $300, I don't have the HP or model number at hand. It has it's own cart to sit on. I love it. I need to get a smaller bowl for smaller projects, but I can do 3 batches of cookies at a time in this one. I agree to check the HP and get the most powerful one you can afford. I do use both the dough hook and the whisk. You can do mashed potatoes in large batch with the whisk, without it getting gummy.
MaryMaryCulinary February 11, 2011
I'm definitely the odd one out here, but I didn't even bother to bring my stand mixer with me when I moved! I left it in storage. I had only used it for two things in the previous 2 years (one thing being a wedding cake).
Yes, I bake, every day. I also make bread, but I find I prefer doing things by hand or with a hand mixer. Guess I'm just old-fashioned that way! So, think about whether you will really use it, or will it just take up space? And if you are going to buy one, get the highest power you can afford and definitely a dough hook!
Hilarybee February 11, 2011
I have an Artisan and it works fine. I also have my mom's classic (from 1981), and a hobart industrial that I use for my shop. I like my mom's and the hobart the best. If you can find a used (1990 or older) Kitchenaid classic with the hobart motor, that is what I would recommend. I have extra paddles, hooks, and whisks as well as a few extra bowls, both glass and metal. I would not buy a model without the hook.
Nora February 11, 2011
Get a hook! Get as much of a machine as you can afford. It'll last at least 20 years. Mine is that old and counting...getting a little creaky but still chugging. I listed it as my favorite kitchen thingie on my profile.
pierino February 11, 2011
No hook? That's wierd. The whisk is kind of extaneous but the paddle and hook are essential. I'm almost ashamed to say that I have both the "classic" and the "artisan" and they both get a workout. Either is a good investment but make sure you have those essential attachments.
Eliana60 February 11, 2011
Shop Kitchenaid has a refurbished Pro500 lift-stand5 qt. model for $189. I'm a big fan of refurbished appliances generally. Kitchenaid only offers a 6 month warranty on refurbished models but that should be enough time to put it through its paces an see if there are any problems.
Soozll February 11, 2011
I have the Classic Kitchen Aid stand mixer, I suppose. Mine was purchased when Hobart had the Kitchen Aid line of products. It's 4.5 quarts, 250 watts of power and is a tilt head. They say that the mixer is made the same now as it was when Hobart had the line as it's made in the same old factory in Troy, Ohio. I could use probably use a larger mixer at this point and probably a higher wattage but only because I've really gotten into bread making and a larger volume of dough would need the bigger size and stiffer, longer kneaded doughs, more wattage. Otherwise, I can mix dough for two loaves of regular bread easily in my mixer. It doesn't seem to strain at the task and the head doesn't even get warm. Do yourself a favor and get the most upgraded one you can afford so that you will have a machine able to take on any task you may want to tackle at some point. Unlike the iphone, these won't be getting any cheaper.
nannydeb February 11, 2011
Definitely go for the bowl lift instead of the head lift. I splurged and bought the "professional" since I thought and still think that I'll have it a very long time.
foongfest February 11, 2011
I just had a big headache with buying a Kitchenaid mixer.

The power, as stated and is useful when comparing across models of the same brand. (Don't even bother comparing power across a different brand such as Kitchenaid v Cuisineart. It's rather pointless unless you are concerned with energy consumption.)

Generally, I see three main differences between the different Kitchenaid models :power, capacity and head tilt/lift stand design. Power is how strong the motor is, which may be useful if you're mixing a lot of thick dough all the time. Capacity - smaller capacities will be useful for mixing up smaller batches faster. Head tilt/lift stand - really depends on your preference. I like the lift stand, but I know others who like the tilt design too. Just note that lift stand models are slightly taller.

Classic - 250 W - 4.5quartz, tilt head
Artisan - 325 W - 5 quartz, tilt head
Pro - 325W, 5 quartz, lift stand
Pro Plus - 450 W, 5 quartz, lift stand
Pro 600 - 575W, 6 quartz, lift stand

When getting the dough hook, note that Kitchenaid recommends the C hooks instead of the spiral hook unless using one Pro Plus series or higher. It has something to do with the type of load on the motor (lateral vs horizontal and things of that nature.) Maybe it's true, maybe it's marketing, I don't know. Using the spiral on a non-recommended machine could void your warranty.

I got a Pro and made some bread with the C hook the other day. It came out ok but it sounded like the motor was struggling at times. Maybe it's psychological. I didn't dig the way the C-hook kneaded the dough though. it tend to push things to the side. I don't think it's a huge deal but for only $25 more, I decided to swap it for a Pro Plus with a spiral hook.

Hope this kind of helps.
ChefDaddy February 11, 2011
Yes, what matters is power and the terms in which they describe power wattage. Anything less than 300 watts is frustrating for me. My 20 yr old Kitcheniad heavy duty bowl lift model (still running strong) is 325 watts and is adequite but not ideal and I will be looking for alot more wattage when I have to replace it. I have used the kitchenaid tilt heads and they are rated at 275 watts and they are underpowered for dough in my opinion. I bought it for baking but over the years I have collected just about every attachment available and use it alot. I hope this helps!
Tiger R. February 11, 2011
You definitely want the classic. My mother-in-law bought me one of these 30 years ago, with the Hobart motor. You might want to look for one at a flea market, as this is a real work horse and an excellent buy. I use all three attachments on my mixer and I have to say it is heaven for making bread! I usually mix it by hand, to get all the ingredients together, then pop on the dough hook, set it at 4, and let it knead away until the dough is (as my mother always told me) "like a baby's bottom."
Queen O. February 11, 2011
You should be able to find the motor strength on the box. This is especially important when you plan to use it for bread. Once I started using it for bread, I used my Classic so much for double recipes that I was beating it up and upgraded last year to the 6qt.

I also really fell in love with it because of the bread. It's so easy to make bread with it. Enjoy!
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