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Stand Mixer - Cuisinart or Kitchenaid?

Santa wants to get me one for Christmas. Which do you recommend? I've been looking at the Artisan by KA but the Cuisinart has also caught my eye. I'm not a huge baker but it would be nice to have. I don't really care about all the attachments that go with it since I have a number of other gadgets already. But which one??

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  1. Fair warning: this is like the "Mac or PC?" of the kitchen. Most folks tend to be highly partisan towards one or the other.

    My own experience says that if you don't do a lot of baking, the KitchenAid may be your better bet, because there's so many attachments that at least some of them will be incredibly useful to you. I'm personally extremely fond of the food grinder, for example.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

      the cuisinart has attachments too - grinder, pasta maker, blender...

      oh, and it's mac all the way, baby. pc's are for squares ;)

    2. I love my Kitchenaid mixer. It seems to have set the standard for generations -- reliable and solid.

      1 Reply
      1. re: NYchowcook

        Which one do you have, is it the Professional or Artisan series? Any idea?

      2. I have the KA pro 600. I love it.

        1. Amazon.com had the Kitchen Aid Professionals on sale yesterday for 200 dollars. I almost whipped out the credit card and bought one. It was really tempting.

          I remember from a Cook's Illustraited test, the Kitchen Aid professional came out tops, and they rated the Artisan as a best buy, but the motor wasn't quite up to snuff for mixing bread dough.

          1 Reply
          1. re: adventuresinbaking

            This is how I got my KA mixer.. Found a professional series on sale for under $200 at amazon.. bought it from the office..came home and told my SO "Soo I accidentally did something today.. please don't hate me!"

          2. oh... that would be tough choice If I were you .
            Cuisinart's looking cool. I like Kitchen Aid's authentic look,too.
            Have you thought about VIKING's too ?
            I'm sorry, more confusion.

            I have Kitchen Aid professional.I absolutely love it.
            I do bake a lot. this mixer helping me a lot.

            I'm not interesting about attachment so much.
            but It's good to know I can get lot of deferent attachment If I want.

            I'm sure both works great & makes your life easier.
            I guess It's just which is your favorite...

            up to your feeling.you won't disappoint which ever you get.

            happy shopping !

            1. millygirl, neither! The Bosch mixer is the dream machine.

              1. I can't speak to Cuisinart, but I love my 15-year old Kitchenaid, which has never failed me. Never a single repair. When I got mine, they only made 4 1/2 quart with a tilt-head and 5 quart with the lift-head. I do not know if they even had official names back then.

                Now it seems they still make a 4 1/2 quart and 5 quart with tilt head and also 5 quart and 6 quart with a lift-head. I have never used one with the tilt-head, so I don't have an opinion on that. However, as to the size of the bowl, 4 1/2 quart is a little small sometimes and 6 quart is a bit big when you are starting out with a small amount of something. I really like the 5 quart size. Before I had ever used a 6 quart, I was told by a well-reputed professional baker that (at least when they first came out) the 6 quart were much noisier than the 5 quart and indeed my mother's 6 quart is a bit noisier. Don't know if that's changed in the years since the 6 quart first came out.

                I bought the grinder attachment when a local kitchen store went out of business and it does come in handy once in awhile. (I know that some will say you can make do with using a food processor, but the texture from a grinder is different...) Also, if you can pick up a second bowl and second beater for a good price, that's helpful for some recipes when you are doing two different colors/types of batter, or when you have to do eggwhites and then a batter and then fold the eggwhites back into the batter.

                Hope Santa is good to you, whichever one you pick.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Shayna Madel

                  Same with mine which I've had since 1974 or '75. I had it in the shop once about 10 years ago to replace a seal or gasket or something like that (cost about $5). It's been an incredible work horse making bread, sausage & everything in between. I frankly wouldn't take 10 Cuisinarts for it.

                  1. re: rfneid

                    On the other hand, the 14-cup Cuisinart food processor I have is also a workhorse. I've had it about 10-12 years and my sister has had the same model for 18 years. The true test of how long something will last, however is to put it into the hands of my mother. If she can't destroy it, it can't be destroyed. Her Kitchenaid, over 20 years old, is still working. She passed it down to my sister-in-law when she decided to treat herself to one in a color that better matches her kitchen.

                2. I love my 6 qt. KA Professional. It's a bit noisy at higher speeds, but it's not something that would keep me from buying it. I know a lot of people don't like the bowl-lift feature as opposed to the tilt-head on the smaller sizes, but it works well in my kitchen. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend KA. I agree with Shayna Madel's comment about getting an extra bowl and beater.

                  The only other stand mixer I have experience with is my mother's 30+ year old Sunbeam, which keeps chugging away.

                  1. I have had my Artisan Kitchenaid for 3 years, and I love it so much. This is my best companion for baking. I don't know about Cuisinart mixer, but in terms of bread-maker, my Cuisinart is just a so-so product, aside from its cool looks.

                    1. I've had a KA for years. If I were to replace it now I'd probably go for the Viking. That is one gorgeous and powerful mixer.

                      1. Kitchenaid has been making their professional mixers for decades. Cuisinart is known for their food processors. Enough said.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: chocchipcookie

                          exactly. i have a kitchenaid mixer and a cuisinart food processor. love both of them. wouldn't change them at all!

                        2. this is another one of those topics that has been debated ad nauseum in the boards. here are a few of the threads if you want to see what everyone's been saying. you can also do a search to pull up many more.

                          btw, although a couple of them have title/subject lines asking about blenders, they're actually discussions about mixers - error on the op's part.

                          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/424196
                          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/439186
                          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/450673
                          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/450786
                          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/326713

                          p.s. personally i vote for the cuisinart. i've used both, and i love mine. it's much better than the KA.

                          9 Replies
                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            What do you prefer about the Cuisinart?

                            I have a KA Professional KA but mine is from the years they were using plastic parts in the gears so i'm doubtful it will hold up for ages...so far so good though. Hoping by the time mine goes my mom will be willing to part with her very old made by Hobart KA....talk about a work horse!

                            1. re: ziggylu

                              Thanks goodhealth....and sorry to beat a dead horse. I suppose I should have done a search beforehand but didn't think of it. Not only that but I was under the impression that the Cuisinart hasn't been out all that long.

                              1. re: ziggylu

                                the design of the cuisinart is just more comfortable. sleeker, less cumbersome, not as bulky. don't get me wrong, the thing is huge, and heavy...but it FEELS better to use. plus, the retractable head is amazing - i always hated the mechanism of raising & lowering the bowl on the KA. and speaking of bowls, even though the cuisinart 7-quart bowl is narrow and deep, the attachments [paddle, whisk, etc] reach all the way to the bottom and very close to the sides, so you don't end up with pockets of orphaned, unmixed ingredients clinging to the bottom or the sides. it also comes with a built-in digitial timer [very handy for things like 7-minute icing/meringues, etc], and a plastic splash guard so you can pour ingredients in while it's running without running the risk of everything splashing out or flying all over the place.

                                i think it's a terrific machine, and it's not a brand loyalty issue for me. in fact, i replaced my old cuisinart food processor with the KA, and i like the KA processor much better!

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  KA is the standard which all others are measured by. My Mom has had an Artisan for well over 20yrs and she uses it constantly and has never had a problem. My sister ditto.
                                  I have the Pro 600 and am not easy on it, meat grinding, dough mixing etc. It is priceless to me. You can not go wrong with the Pro 600. The argument for the Artisan can be made but you don't want to wish you had more capacity when it is too late. Let us know what you end up with.

                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    Thanks goodhealthgourmet. I work in a kitchen store and sell both machines but have not yet myself had a chance to use the Cuisinart so it's nice to have some feedback from someone that has actually used it.

                                    The shape of the bowl is appealing to me...that's one thing about the KA I have that I don't like. I do a lot of small batches since there we're just two at home and the wide bowl can be a problem for smaller batches. I really like the countdown timer on the Cuisinart.

                                    I find the Cuisinart to be really light however when I handle it, especially when compared with the KA.

                                    we've sold a few and so far our customers seemed really pleased with them...

                                2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  I'd put money on my 30 something year old KA to still be going strong when your Cuisinart is on the scrap heap.

                                  1. re: rfneid

                                    i wouldn't be so sure...you never know with these appliances. i had problems with leakage and motor burnout in my KA blender long before it happened with the cuisinart blender.

                                      1. re: Winer

                                        i like the cuisinart stand mixer better than the KA artisan, the KA food processor better than the cuisinart, and the cuisinart blender better than the KA blender :)

                                        confusing, i know...i was trying to explain that it's not about brand loyalty for me, and there are inconsistencies in terms of quality and/or my preference even within manufacturers. it all depends on the particular appliance.

                                3. Lots of talk here about how long the units will last, which ones break and why... etc. Compare the warranties on the 2 machines and make some assessments there. Hint: Cuisinart beats the pants off KitchenAid in the warranty category.

                                  11 Replies
                                  1. re: HaagenDazs

                                    Ah, but if it never breaks, the warranty doesn't matter!

                                    1. re: Shayna Madel

                                      You guys are killing me :) What to do? I'm going to have to take a few minutes and tally up the votes. When I do I'll report back. For now, out running around trying to beat the impending storm.

                                      1. re: millygirl

                                        Take a look at the first line of the first post--that probably says it all. Good luck in the storm. At least you will have something to do if you are stuck indoors!

                                      2. re: Shayna Madel

                                        You're missing an important point in my statement and how warranties work...

                                        Let's say it DOES break after 1.5 years, and it has a 1 year warranty (like KitchenAid); the manufacturer doesn't have to do a damn thing. Or, let's say it has a three-year limited product warranty and a five-year motor warranty (like Cuisinart). The manufacturer will of course have to replace it. KitchenAid essentially only has to make sure their product lasts 1 year for them to be "clear". Cuisinart has to make sure that the most important part, the motor, lasts 5 years. Which makes me feel confident? Cuisinart, obviosuly.

                                        There's always a situation in consumerism where a name brand carries a product farther than its quality. This is one of those situations. KitchenAid simply has a name brand that people have purchased for years. It makes them feel better about a purchase because they are familiar with it. People here and elsewhere have most certainly pointed out that today's KitchenAid products aren't the same quality that their mothers and grandmothers purchased decades ago. Cuisinart is the way to go, trust me :-)

                                        1. re: HaagenDazs

                                          I've gotten over five years' worth of heavy use -- primarily doing high-strain tasks like kneading whole-grain bread doughs and grinding beef -- out of my KitchenAid. So you'll forgive me if I don't buy your implication that it's a shoddy piece of crap: no one seems to have told this particular machine that it should have blown up four years ago.

                                          1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                            Same here. My KA has been going strong for over 6 years now and I use it regularly. It doesn't even flinch at powering through the stiffest doughs. It is definitely a quality piece of equipment.

                                            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                              And the story that I did not complete in one of my earlier posts is that the Kitchenaid that my mother bought about 4 years ago, when she decided she wanted one that matched her renovated kitchen, is working just fine, thank you. As I said, if my mother cannot kill a product, it cannot be killed and she has managed not to kill either one from 20 years ago and one of more recent vintage. And as far as Kitchenaids not being what they used to be, it is my understanding that there may have some problems a few years ago with regard to the materials used to make parts of the motor, but that situation has been dealt with. Perhaps the situation with the lengthier warranty on the Cuisinart is smoke and mirrors. Perhaps it is neither "better" or "worse" than the Kitchenaid and they are just offering a lengthier warranty as a selling point that they most likely will not have to pay up on too many times.

                                              By the way, warranties are tricky. I had a GE microwave oven with a 10-year warranty on some major part. It crapped out at 9 1/2 years. GE told me sure, the part is covered, but the labor is not and we cannot guarantee that what we strongly suspect is wrong is actually the problem and it does not pay for you to invest in paying for the labor, given what a new microwave oven would cost nowadays. New microwave. And that Taylor bathroom scale with the limited lifetime warranty? I would have had to mail it to Mexico in order for it to be serviced.

                                              1. re: Shayna Madel

                                                The second paragraph of your post really spoke to me because I find this to be true of a lot of warranties - the legal eagles who write these things make sure to leave lots of wiggle room so that the company rarely, if ever, has to actually make good on a claim. Infuriating. But it is why I rarely pay attention to warranties when shopping for an item and instead focus on track record, features and price.

                                                (This was supposed to be a reply to Shayna's post - I don't know why it didn't appear that way. Hate when that happens...)

                                              2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                I didn't mean to say that KA is crap, sorry. I do own a Cuisinart, but the reason it was purchased was because of the strength of the warranty over KitchenAid. I have no preference over either one as far as loyalty goes. All I meant was there are numerous, numerous posts to this board that have mentioned something to the effect of, "it's not the same as my mom's KitchenAid made by Hobart". Think about it though, what other high-end mixers have been readily available to the mass market over the years? KitchenAid is all I can think of... Just because Cuisinart is new to the game of mixers doesn't mean they are any less capable; I'm just suggesting you look at some of the extras (like warranties) as opposed to making a decision based on a name brand. Motor wattage isn't the end-all-be-all, but I do suggest you look there too.

                                          2. re: HaagenDazs

                                            If the length of the warranty is the measure of quality, Kia makes the best cars sold in America.

                                          3. Count me in as another vote for the KA pro 600 - I love my machine!

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: flourgirl

                                              As I noted earlier, if you go the KA route spend the extra $$ for the Pro 600. It has metal gears and the extra capacity is helpful. It is a beast. This thread is making me think of some breads, better fire up the KA 600

                                              1. re: Winer

                                                I've had a KA pro for 5 years and it works like a charm. HOWEVER, there's a few things that have been nagging at me about it. It is so big that if I'm trying to beat 2 egg whites, they get lost. I like the Cuisinart's narrow bowl. If I'm switching from whippping to folding with the ingredients that are already in the bowl, it is a pain to have to drop the bowl and try to get the whip off without dragging it through the mix- I like that the Cuisinart's head lifts up, which also means that you can use a spatula to wipe the whip (or paddle) over the bowl with having to remove the piece and the bowl from the stand to use a spatula. Finally, I often have orphaned ingredients (as mentioned above) which means I frequently have to drop the bowl and try to reach around the attached paddle or whip with the spatula to get the sides of the bowl scraped. Being able to raise the head makes scraping the bowl easier. I think it may ultimately boil down to style.
                                                I'm moving to a new house with a sparkling new kitchen, so I'm going to go with the Cuisinart's bold looks (though I may also check out the Viking)- I like the idea of the extra power, the look (who says you can't have style and power), the built in timer (what a great idea) and taking care of the nags I just mentioned. I've had KA and Cuisinart products for years, and I'm sure either will outlive me.

                                            2. So, millygirl, what did you end up with?

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Shayna Madel

                                                Hi Shayna madel, well like last year, and the year before that....I told him not to get me either. For a couple of reasons: 1. I don't like having 'stuff' on my counters (I know some of them are beautiful to look at) but even so I would want it tucked away and I think they are too heavy to be lifting in and out. 2. Couldn't make up my mind which one to get and finally 3. between my food processor (Cuisinart) and my hand mixer I seem to manage okay so figured what the hell - maybe next year I will finally break down!!! Happy new year S.M.

                                                1. re: millygirl

                                                  Thanks--some day you will cave. And you will love the stand mixer. Hope you got something else great instead. Happy New Year to you, too.

                                              2. The 600 series KA has some 550 watts v the cuisinarts 1000 watts...besides the obvious numeral difference, will I notice it in my kitchen? Most interested in the meat grinder for home made sausage and the pasta maker as well. Any feed back would be nice....

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: gdicio

                                                  I have the KA professional 350 watts and I love it. 12 years old and I have processed a lot of wild game and sausage with it. Unless you grind an awefull lot of meat I can't see how there would be any improvement. I processes my own deer every year and the 350 watt model has always been fine.
                                                  I think a lot of people would be suprised to know how many KA are in use in professional kitchens.
                                                  Bottom line is that they are both very good products. If you are a Costco member I've seen some killer prices on the KA mixers there. You might check Costco on line.

                                                2. I have owned 4 kitchenaid mixers in my baking history, ranging from the cheapest to the industrial....they have all been given away....the cuisinart wins hands down....it is lighter to lift (the kitchenaid giving you a hernia) - it has a stronger motor, wonderful balloon whisk...and would someone, anyone, please explain to me why you would pay to have a mixer whose blades NEVER reach the bottom of the bowl....ridiculous...
                                                  I took a class with Carole Walter and asked her that question, she said she has to detach the blade to make it low enough to do the job...
                                                  The answer for me, as to why the kitchenaid is so popular is that it was first - the cooking schools are locked into that brand and cannot switch due to cost and therefore unless you really investigate you go with the most widely used...also the cuisinart is more expensive-but well worth it..

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: fire island

                                                    If the blades on a KitchenAid aren't reaching the bottom of the bowl, it needs to be adjusted. Takes about 30 seconds. RTFM.

                                                    And never mind cooking schools, look in professional kitchens. You're unlikely to find a Cuisinart mixer, but there's a fair bet that there will be KitchenAid and/or its big brother, a Hobart, somewhere around.

                                                    That's not to say the Cuisinart isn't a good mixer. Heck, it may even be better than a KitchenAid - I can't venture an opinion since I've never used a Cuisinart. But the notion that a KitchenAid is anything other than a fine piece of equipment is simply incorrect.

                                                    1. re: fire island

                                                      The blade on my KA reaches the bottom of the bowl just fine.

                                                      1. re: flourgirl

                                                        Same here. It didn't reach the bottom when I bought it. But I read the manual and there were instructions. So easy to do

                                                    2. We have been loyal Kitchenaid fans for many years. However, our Kitchenaid Pro 600 just died after only 5 years. We did a ton of research prior to purchasing it, and we *thought* that we had something with all metal gears that would last decades. We have never made a batch of bread in it. It seemed to strain recently while making buttercream frosting, and would get very hot after just a couple of minutes of mixing cake batter.

                                                      This mixer replaced a 10 year old Kitchenaid Ultra model, which started making grinding noises while making marshmallow fondant (the first and only time we ever used the bread dough hook). It lost the three highest gears, and started straining on the lower ones even when making just cake batter!

                                                      While we are still researching what to purchase, we are D O N E with Kitchenaid and considering a Cuisinart 7 quart, or a Waring. Either that, or we will try to find a 20 year old Hobart/Kitchenaid "workhorse". Kitchenaid mixers are not what they used to be.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: 4bugzinarug

                                                        Please let us know what you decide on.

                                                        1. re: 4bugzinarug

                                                          MY KA artisan just died after about ~3 1/2 years. I use it 3-5 x /month, usually 2x/ month on pizza dough. when I whipping cream last week, it made a funny noise and seems to run on half speed now. Am debating whether to spend $$ to fix (anyone have an idea what typical repair cost is?); buy the KA pro or get the cuisinart. It was a reward redemption and funny, my bank doesn't offer the artisan anymore, just the cuisinart, so to spend points vs $$$; I have a decision to make. That being said, I can redeem points for gift cards, so I still have a decision to make! Help!!

                                                          1. re: coolbreezebc

                                                            My KA K5A is still in tiptop shape after being used at least that much every month since I got it in 1987! You really got a bum machine. You might want to email the company and give them a hard time. ;-)

                                                            1. re: coolbreezebc

                                                              Say, I just read on the Williams-Sonoma returns thread, on a post by someone who worked for them, that KA is lifetime waranteed! You really should get in touch with them bfore replacing your machine.

                                                          2. My 4.5 quart tilt head is 25 years old and still doing bread dough.

                                                            1. THe KA artisan changed my life ( well the attachements really). The pasta roller and the grinder are used weekly if not more. I make all myown pasta now and always grind my own meat. I made burgers recently for friends and they said they were the best they have had, and it was just because it was fresh ground sirloin and chuck mixed together. THe pasta roller is a wonderful tool and once you get the hang of it you can have fresh pasta on the table in less than an hour.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: cassoulady

                                                                OK... now it's my turn lol. I was a KitchenAid lover for years, I've got my Pro KA 600 series at Costco... and I was lucky just because of that. Why? Let me tell... a very sincere opinion. KA gives you 1 year warranty, which is basically nothing and shame on them for that reason. I am a father who cooks every single day and I have to feed a small nation, so a mixer is a must. I think I had my KA for more than 4 years and one time boom, everything falls apart while mixing the same bread it was mixing for years... parts spread apart and cut my hand just because I was near by.... thanks God it was just my hand. I took the mixer back to Costco and they gave me full refund but just because it was Costco.... after more than 4 years with no box or receipt I've got the money back.... So the very next day I was out there to get another KA... yes just because I love it and I am comfortable with the brand? who knows.... maybe one of those things "every professional kitchen has one" or "every movie scene with a kitchen has a KA mixer".... so I've got the Classic and returned right away because was unable to handle bread and whole wheat bread dough... got the Artisan same thing and when I returned the last one I saw the Cusinart on sale... 800 Watts, fancy, nice, way better than KA.... the price was a great deal and you know what... 5 years warranty on the motor just got me....
                                                                Now, I truly don't think this mixers are for bread.... and this come from someone who bakes bread every day... 2 kinds of bread sometimes 3 or 4 and the quantity is way over 10 lbs of bread.... If you want something for bread the best would be a bread machine... a fancy powerful mixer is Cusinart, a more popular is KitchenAid.... but I have to admit the quality of KA is going downhill every day, and the fact every movie scene or kitchen has a KA.... you know why? Because of the price.... let's face it... Hobart is way better than any of those two... still you don't see a Hobart in every kitchen.... and just tell me the $3000 has nothing to do with it.... lol So those comments with the conclusion KA is better because it's more poplar or because your grandma has one since ever... makes me laugh and also the guys at KA are laughing on your expense because it's exactly the reason they are doing nothing to improve and they are counting on popularity and name.... Trust me, for whatever reason these brands are kind of the same... so whatever you choose functionality wise and everything else it's the same.... Cusinart or KA for your kitchen it's gonna make no difference.... but you may want to consider the warranty because sooner or later they will let you down and KA it's not gonna solve any of your problems, right? So go for the price and the budget and also for warranty those should be decisive factors! ...that's why I choose Cusinart.