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Kitchenaid Pro or Kitchenaid Artisan Mixer?

Hi there--so my husband's birthday is coming up, and since he's our devoted home chef, I thought I'd get him a refurbished kitchenaid (he's also really into style and design, so it's a great little piece for him. He's really into bread baking,but also into experimenting with desserts, etc.

Anyway, there is the very stylish Artisan but there is of course, also the pro. Anyone out there have any advice about which one is better? Esp keeping in mind the bread dough etc. Cheers!

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  1. The bread dough is probably the kicker here. Although either of the two should be able to handle most kneeding jobs, the Pro has the most power and would be best suited to bread dough. If that ends up being a relatively small percentage of the use of the mixer, then the next big difference is the Artisan has a tilt head (which many including my wife prefer) and the Pro has the lift bowl. The only other difference is the bowl size, the Artisan is 5qt and the Pro is 6qt, this only makes a difference when you start doubeling up on cakes and such.

    If the bread making is a regular task and he doesn't object to the lift bowl, then the Pro is probably your better investment.

    I'm compelled to give you my personal experience with the refurbished Kitchenaid mixers. We bought our first daughter one as a weeding shower gift, by the time our second daughter got married a couple of years later, we bought her a regular (first, unrefurbished, whatever you want to call it) because we were not happy with the quality of the refurbished mixer. There were little things like the trim not staying on and my wife thinks it doesn't runs as smooth. Actually, she doesn't believe either of the new mixers are as good as the Clasic, she bought 25 years ago.

    1. The spiral dough hook on the pro is a great improvement over the old C shaped dough hook, which I believe is the one included with the artisan. Since your husband bakes bread, the speed and efficiency of the spiral hook would be the deciding factor. (You can only use the spiral hook on those models that come with it as original equipment - they exert too much force on the other models that were not designed to handle it.)

      That said - I am on my 2nd Pro 600, having burned out the first after a couple of years. (I do bake a lot of bread.) I have to agree with mikie's wife that none of the newer models are as well built as my 25 year old classic one either, which is still sitting on my counter getting plenty of use!

      4 Replies
      1. re: nutmegr

        I've read somewhere that the machines with the spiral dough hook have metal gears and the C shaped ones have the plastic gears

        1. re: scubadoo97

          I'm sure you did read that somewhere. Doesn't make it true.

          KitchenAid did, for a while, use a plastic gearbox in some models. No plastic gears. Whoever designed it (or perhaps, built it) chose an suitable plastic, and they had a tendency to deform when hot, and cause failure. They stopped doing that some years ago.

            1. re: dscheidt

              Actually they did use one plastic gear. It was a break-away gear, intended to, well, break away and save the motor should things bind up. They apparently stopped using it because so many people who didn't understand how a motor works and what a breakaway gear is for got up in arms about "plastic gears" in their KAs. I forget what they replaced it with - I think an electronic cut off switch. Much less efficient and far more likely to fail when needed. The breakaway gear had been there since Hobart days, it was effective and cheap and easy to replace should the worst happen.

        2. For bread and pizza dough I would go with a Bosch Universal Plus. Home bread and pizza bakers in general seem to constantly have problems with KA mixers.

          1 Reply
          1. re: roadfix

            That said, I ended up ordering the 600 pro for my pizza dough. I should get it within the week.,

          2. "He's really into bread baking..."

            The Pro.

            Definitely.

            1. Not having the tilt head like the Artisan model, you can not remove the bowl on the Pro model without first removing the paddle/hook/whisk. That makes for a big mess and is a royal pain.
              Get the Artisan.

              5 Replies
              1. re: CharlieKilo

                I've always thought I'd HATE the lift-head (since my classic was tilt) but, really, you get used to it very quickly. I don't find there's a "big mess" if I just let the beater/whip *drop* right down into my dough, then remove the bowl, and THEN extract the hook/beater.

                And, really, you can't do much in the way of bread with the Artisan.

                That said, I'm not exactly expecting my new Pro to last very long. The track record is just dismal on all the newer KA mixers, alas. I've kept my little, old Classic just in case...

                1. re: Beckyleach

                  I agree. I never have any mess, and I much prefer my Pro 5 to my sister's Artisan. My KA has survived heavy near daily baking/bread making for over 8-9 years now with 0 issues.

                  1. re: Becca Porter

                    No mess here either. I love my Pro. Great for bread. The only thing it's not good for is small jobs

                    1. re: C. Hamster

                      The Pro! A couple of years ago I got a smaller bowl with it's own mixing attachment called a "combi" for smaller jobs - at the time only Williams Sonoma carried it - and that makes the Pro more versatile. I bake bread weekly and the KA Pro makes it so easy... I'd also suggest looking around for a sale rather than getting a refurbished mixer.

                      1. re: janeh

                        Good point - I bought the small mixing bowl & combi-whip set for my wife's Pro. She uses it about 1/2 the time now!