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Kitchen Aid Mixer - which size to buy?

I'm about to make a purchase but am confused on the best size to purchase - I make bread on accasion but would love to make my own fresh pastas - I'm leaning toward the pro 6 but the Artisan model is less expensive(heard it has plastic gears???) Any help out there???

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  1. Get the big one. It is absolutely worth the extra. You will have this mixer all your life, don't skimp. I'm a pastry chef, and I bought my home use Kitchenaid right before they came out with the larger model. I'm tempted to replace it. I use the large one at work, and it has one feature that is worth its weight in gold--it starts mixing a little bit slowly, for just a second, so flour doesn't go flying out of the bowl with the initial agitation. I'm telling you, this is genius.

    1. I like the Artisan model for the tilting head (as opposed to the bowl moving up and down), it makes it easier to get into the bowl to scrape it down or add large quantities of ingredients.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Buckethead

        I have the opposite point of view, and I've had this conversation with other chefs. Don't get any model where the bowl screws in at the bottom. If you ever ding the threads of the bowl (common over the years), you're out. Far more durable and less troublesome is the model in which the bowl sits on prongs, and you use the level to life the bowl up and down. Good buys on Ebay.

        1. re: maria lorraine

          I've never had that problem in the 3 or 4 years I've had mine, but I'm not a professional baker so mine probably doesn't receive the amount of use and abuse that it would in a commercial kitchen. Of course, there are also tilt-head models that are not made by Kitchenaid, I don't know what method they use to secure the bowl to the mixer but it may be worth looking into if the OP would prefer the tilting head to the up-and-down bowl.

          1. re: maria lorraine

            We have one that's 20+ years old. Bowl screws in without a problem.

            1. re: Terrieltr

              I have the Artisan and sometimes have problems with it screwing in properly and mine is not even 4 years old yet. Maybe I tighten it too much as then when I go to unscrew it, it's even harder to get it unscrewed.

        2. By all means get the Pro 6, you won't be sorry especially for mixing stiff pasta dough you need all the oomph you can get.

          If I had it to do over I would get the Hobart N50.

          1. There's a compromise between the Artisan and the Pro 6--the Pro 5 Plus--wattage is between artisan and pro 6 (450, iirc), spiral dough hook, 5 qt capacity. Definitely cheaper than the Pro 6. It's worked wonderfully for me.

            2 Replies
            1. re: debbiel

              I love my Pro 6, but it's noisy with the metal gears. I use it quite often for grinding meat for sausage and it doesn't bog down at all. The Artisan is so much quieter though. The Pro 6 is best used with ear plugs.

              1. re: Calamityville

                I thought I was the only one with the whiny, 6 quart... love it though, make those
                double volume batters and doughs with ease. strong, resilient machine.

            2. another comment re: tilt head v bowl lift (disclosure: I have the pro 6 and looooove it for big jobs and small). Although the height of the artisan is shorter than the pro 6, keep in mind that you'll need a taller space to tilt up the head to scrape. meaning if you put it under a cabinet, you'll most likely have to move it to tilt the head. not so with the bowl lift. my cabinets have a 17 inch clearance from the counter, and i don't have to move the mixer at all to do my work. and i find if i have to move things a lot i don't use them. if this bad boy were in a cabinet i'd never use it.

              one suggestion, though, if you do get the tilt head and are going to be sliding it from underneath your cabinets to get the clearance you need, a pretty tray to put the mixer on helps a lot in sliding (and in cleaning).

              1. I have the Accolade, which has a little more oomph than an Artisan (400W vs. 325W), metal gears, and an all-metal body. However, it looks exactly like the Artisan with the tilt head and the screw-in bowl. I think the color choices are much more limited (black or white), if that's a concern at all.

                http://www.kitchenaid.com/catalog/pro...

                The Kitchen Aid website lists them as cheaper than the Artisan, so that might be a plus. My BF picked ours up when Robinsons-May was going out of business and all the mixers were deeply discounted. I haven't see much of them around, so they might be a little harder to find.

                1. I have the smaller size which is with the screw in bottom and tilt head. I believe it's the Artisan. I've made bread dough in it, plus cookie doughs, and many cakes with it. However, if I want to do a double batch of chocolate chip cookies I am hard pressed to get all the ingredients in to the bowl. I find it hard to stop the mixer & tilt the head every time I want to scrap the ingredients down. However, I do like the mixer, it is sturdy and does the job. But it was a Christmas present from my daughter from the commissary out of state. So...if I had to do it over again and purchase it for myself, I would buy the much larger size which lifts up and down, and also hopefully comes with a spout for pouring, like what Ina Garten has. Since even the smaller one is heavy, I keep it out on my counter all the time as the only place I could keep it would be on the lower shelf in the bottom cabinet near the floor. Can't see breaking my back getting it out and putting it back in again. I worked in a school kitchen for two years with a huge on the floor mixer with the lift to bring it up & down and it was awesome. I loved it to be able to lift and scrape down the sides and then put it back up with the handle. It wasn't that hard to do, so a larger Kitchen Aid mixer with the same capability but on a much smaller scale would be so worth it, especially if you are a young lady with a growing family and kids. Well worth the money and a little more effort. You won't regret it.

                  1. If you can afford it and you like to bake then get the 8 quart commercial mixer. It seems expensive but it is abuse proof. I have had mine for 20 years and except for a new cord and fresh grease it has never been touched.