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Kitchenaid Stand mixer - which size to get?

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Am contemplating using some Christmas money to purchase a Kitchenaid stand mixer - which size would you guys recommend? I haven't researched them a lot and there seem to be a fair amount of options even beyond size! I'd love to have one like I've seen Giada, Ina and Ree Drummond use!

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  1. I got the 6 qt Professional 600 in November. I knew I wanted to do bread in it and I wanted to have the capacity for that. I recommend getting an extra bowl- I did and it was really handy during the holidays.

    1 Reply
    1. re: vafarmwife

      I am interested in doing bread and pizza dough!

    2. I have the 6 qt. Pro as well. It has the most powerful motor.

      Whatever you do, do *not* put the aluminum pieces (paddle, whisk) in the dishwasher.

      Note that any gear you see on TV is not there because it is the best, but rather because it has been provided free by the manufacturer.

      15 Replies
      1. re: acgold7

        Do you guys keep yours out on the counter? Guessing the 6 qt one doesn't take up much more space visually than the 5. I'll probably try and match mine to my appliances and get a stainless steel version.

        1. re: charmdesign

          Yep mine has a place of honor on the counter. If I am going to spend $399 for something, you bet it is going to be seen. LOL

          1. re: charmdesign

            If you have access to costco they have been selling the 6qt pro 575watt for 289$ in canada at least might be less in the states

            1. re: Dave5440

              Be very careful and check the specs. The ones at the Costco that I've seen are not the top model and have less horsepower.

              If this is the one you are talking about, note that it is 5.5 qt, not 6.

              http://www.costco.com/Browse/ProductS...

              which is not the same mixer as

              http://www.kitchenaid.com/product/KP2...

              1. re: acgold7

                The one in the canadian costco near me used to be the 6qt, but online they only show the 5.5, but there is no flour rating.But it is the 575 watt so it WILL be the same horsepower. And BTW I can tell the difference between 5.5 and 6

                1. re: Dave5440

                  There used to be one that truly was 600 watts, I'm pretty sure. But mine are 575 as well so I guess they're not available anymore.

                  1. re: acgold7

                    From what i've read the "Used to be" KA's are far better, but maybe they've listened and are getting better. I just wonder if the "Made in USA" is factual.

                    1. re: Dave5440

                      Yeah, I think there's no question that the older ones were more rugged. I had a 5 qt model that I used for years but the circuit board went haywire and now all speeds are the same. My first 6 qt model stripped its gears when I was grinding semi-frozen meat (even though they tell you to do this; I guess the meat was a little more than "semi" frozen). I replaced all the gears myself, but it was still really loud, so I bought another and it's louder than the first one. But both were refurbs and consequently much cheaper than new ones, so at least there's that.

            2. re: charmdesign

              The pro is much larger than the artisan - taller and has a bigger footprint. I got the artisan (in the custom metallic series - swoon!) in part because I prefer the looks but also don't have counter or cabinet clearance for the larger pro.

            3. re: acgold7

              What is the reason for this, acgold7? I know not to, and I never have, but on Christmas Day, someone put my whisk in the DW, where I discovered it the next morning when I was unloading. It looks the same. Is there anything I should be worried about?

              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                The tines are stainless, but the hub is aluminum, and it turned dull grey the first time I washed it in the DW, before I even used it. Same with the flat beater and dough hook, which are all-aluminum. Took me hours to polish them up by hand to restore their shine.

                The manual says not to put these in the DW, but it's buried in fine print. In my opinion it should be a big red sticker on the box.

                1. re: acgold7

                  I did it, too -- I figure it's just cosmetic, so I'm not too fussed.

                  I have the 6-qt, 600W pro, by the way -- when I told a colleague that hubby had bought me the mac daddy mixer for Christmas, he looked horrified and asked if I'd let him sleep in the house yet...he didn't understand that for me, a 6-qt, 600W KA Pro was like giving Tim Taylor the entire Binford product line. (MORE POWER!!!)

              2. re: acgold7

                I've had a K45SS for, oh, maybe 35 years now. I always put the paddle and whisk in the dishwasher. Both still going strong.

                1. re: JoanN

                  Ditto with my 35 year old K5. Never had a problem with any of the attachments going in the DW. Everything is either stainless or coated on baked on enamel. I can't see how a DW would hurt either.

                  1. re: tim irvine

                    See above. The Pro model comes with aluminum attachments, or at least the two I have did. I had to buy enameled ones separately. Those are fine in the DW.

              3. Can I get the 6 qt one at Kohls? - I'm working with a Kohl's gift card. If not, I'll check elsewhere.

                1 Reply
                1. re: charmdesign

                  yes, online. Check out slickdeals.com. They will price match and also allow you to use coupons, etc. Got mine there are got a great deal. There might still be a rebate too.

                2. If your gonna be doing any type of doughs def get the 6qt. the tilt heads dont have metal gears in them.

                  1. Get the biggest you can afford with the highest wattage, for some reason the under 6qt size goes from 250 to 450 watts and the 6qt is 475 to 575

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: Dave5440

                      So, I just found out that the place I would like to buy it (the place I have the gift card for is Kohls!) only carries the 5 qt one - the 'Artisan Stand Mixer'. I'm thinking that would be more in the budget anyhow. What ways would I be losing out not getting the 6 qt?

                      1. re: charmdesign

                        charmdesign, here's a good guide that compares all the KA models
                        http://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&n...

                        As you look through the guide, think about how you'll be using your mixer to help determine the best mixer for your needs.

                        A very quick summary between the Artisan and the Pro 600 is the Artisan is a tilt head with a 5 quart capacity and its motor is 325 watts. The 600 is a bowl lift, 6 quart capacity and it's motor is 575 watts. Theoretically, the 600 should be able to handle heavier loads.

                        If you decide on the 600 and it's not available at your local Kohl's, try another or look online. There is a $50 rebate on the 600 that expires today, but keep in mind KA offers rebates on both machines several times yearly. If you can be patient, get your mixer during a rebate period.

                        Whichever model you select, the great thing about Kohl's is they will price match to other retailers and you can use multiple coupons to further reduce the price. Additionally, if you hit a Kohl's sale and get their cash back, it's usually a great deal after all the discounts (for example, right before Christmas, with sale prices, discounts and Kohl's cash back, members at slickdeals.net were reporting the Artisan for about $145 and the 600 at about $225.

                        I have both models and use the 600 the most due to bread doughs and capacity.

                        Happy choosing! Please let us know which one you selected.

                        1. re: Molly James

                          people were getting the pro for $128 after rebate (and possibly Kohl's cash). It was an insane deal!

                          1. re: Molly James

                            Can you re-link me it didn't work. Thanks for the tips. If you did say, pizza dough in the Artisan, would that work out okay? Just enough dough for two mediums pizzas I suppose.I guess I am wondering what the main issue with breads is- the dough on breads rising past the bowl capacity? So far leaning to the 5 qt since it's at Kohls. Want to check that guide you linked me to confirm my choice.

                            1. re: charmdesign

                              I'd go with the larger/pro model, especially with dough. It's about the power of the motor, not the dough rising in the bowl. The pro model can handle bread doughs better.
                              Also, for making cakes, the larger bowl is big enough to hold the egg whites/yolks once they've been whipped, especially if you are using a recipe for 2 9-inch layers. Also, for things like home made marshmallows, the larger motor and bowl capacity is great.
                              I've seen the artisan on sale, have been tempted, but have held off until I can afford the larger model.

                              1. re: charmdesign

                                Guide link http://www.amazon.com/b/ref=amb_link_... Ok, I see the link is still being parsed when I post. Try this: Google "Amazon Kitchenaid Guide" The link will take you to a consolidated KA standmixer page. On the left, the last text section is for Guides and Charts, click on Model Comparison.

                                In my experience, making pizza dough in the Artisan causes the machine to bounce around and "walk" a bit while kneading- not good if the machine is near the counter edge!

                                The 600 does have metal gears, and it's stronger motor is more capable of kneading heavier or more dense doughs.

                                I agree with the suggestion below if you get the 600, the 3 quart bowl is a great addition if you intend on using it for much smaller quantities.

                                1. re: charmdesign

                                  Your dough won't rise very well in the shape of the Artisan bowl no matter what. You'll get a much better rise if you put in in a wider and shallower bowl. It will rise eventually, but very slowly. Also, if you plan a day or two ahead you can let it rise over night in your refrigerator. The texture and flavor of dough gets much, much better the longer it is allowed to proof.

                                2. re: Molly James

                                  Yay for that link to the comparison chart!!!

                                  1000x more helpful than the lame comparison on KA website.

                                3. re: charmdesign

                                  they sell them online (and around here in store).

                              2. On Amazon there were complaints about plastic gears on the 600, so I would get the 610 or 620 instead. I have the 610 and have not had any problems. The bowl is usually too big for one batch of anything, though. It is almost useless a single batch of egg whites or whipped cream, so if you bake lots of sweets I would get the 3q bowl attachment.

                                13 Replies
                                1. re: MelissaMachete

                                  I was under the impression that all the models went back to metal gears. My 5 qt says in large print on the box "All metal gears", this can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what can happen while you are using it, if something dropped into the bowl while mixing at higher speed and jammed the tool the electrical overload can't react quick enough to shut it down and can result in a massive failure in the gearbox, while if you had just one plastic gear in the gearbox that gear would fail first everytime, if located in an easy to access spot it would be an easy repair. The other option is to have a shear pin or a purposely designed "weaker" gear that would fail first I don't know if they've done that but if I was going to warrenty something I would make sure that was designed in.

                                  1. re: Dave5440

                                    The plastic gear is NOT in an easy spot..Its a pain to replace. See attached photo for an perfect example of why not to buy the artisan. Not to mention trying to pick out all the broken pieces or replacing all the grease.

                                     
                                    1. re: RudysEquipment_Supplies

                                      Here is the 6qt metal gear.

                                       
                                      1. re: RudysEquipment_Supplies

                                        If you can swing it the best Kitchen aid motor. The new 7qt. commercial.. $570 bucks though

                                         
                                        1. re: RudysEquipment_Supplies

                                          Like I said in my very first post, "Get the biggest you can afford"

                                          1. re: Dave5440

                                            agreed! Rather have the capacity and not use it than need it and not have it.

                                            1. re: njmarshall55

                                              the only caveat I would give is that, with the 6-qt, I do sometimes have things that just aren't big enough to futz around with the big mixer -- a small batch of cookies, a small amount of whipped cream, etc.

                                              I use the hand mixer for those (or a whisk...) -- but there are times that the big one is just, well, too big.

                                              but for the medium- to large jobs, I wouldn't trade my KA for the world. I've kneaded every kind of dough you can imagine, enough chocolate chip dough to make 12 dozen cookies (twice a week for three years for hungry football players, no less), tons of mashed potatoes, and gallons of whipped cream...all stuff I'd never have the strength or patience to do by hand.

                                              Better to match the size of your mixer to what you plan to do with it...the 7-quart wouldn't be much good for most single folks, for example...

                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                perhaps volume plays in- how much you plan to bake with it- is it for a large crowd? a huge family thanksgiving? For that the larger the better it seems.

                                                1. re: charmdesign

                                                  that's pretty much what I said.

                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                    yeah, I was summing it up :) If only they didn't cost so much more. I'm looking to keep the spending down a bit! Now I'm trying to convince myself I don't need the custom metallic which is also more $.

                                        2. re: RudysEquipment_Supplies

                                          The grease and broken peices wouldn't bother me, it's much cleaner that what I deal with all day, but not to put the gear where it isn't easy to replace is just bad design, the metal gear below looks quite substantial , did they add any mechanical overload protection to the 6qt?

                                          1. re: Dave5440

                                            No there is no thermal over load on there mixers anymore..

                                            1. re: RudysEquipment_Supplies

                                              On any of them?

                                    2. If you're planning on making bread, especially stiffer doughs like bagels and brioche, I'd go w/ the pro600 at least. I have that and those doughs tax it. OTOH, my friend only does lighter doughs, up to cinnamon rolls, and has no problems w/ her artisan one. The drop bowl might be more inconvenient but the power is worth it. The older models supposedly had plastic parts but the more recent ones, past couple of years, don't, or at least according to the KA salesperson.

                                      1. If you could swing the difference in price I'd go with a Bosch. They're much better built and they mix ingredients much better with the way their beaters work. Our KA let out magic smoke and we went Bosch and made all sorts of heavy dough breads and it never broke a sweat. We recently bought a newer model and gave the still working one to my niece. 15 years old and still going strong.

                                        Look on the internet for the demo of the bosch whipping egg whites vs the KA.

                                        jim

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: mdgolfbum

                                          I just ordered a Bosch Universal Kitchen Machine. And called Whirlpool to ensure they are sending me a replacement KA Pro 610 (yes the one from Williams Sonoma). It overheated, turned off and went up in smoke. Only after 5.5 cups of bread flour. The dough was a bit stiff. Never again for bread. It works well for everything else.

                                          Yes it does seem to have thermal overload protection.

                                        2. I am giving my 20+yo stand to one nieces or nephews. I replacing it with a 7 qt. Cuisinart or Viking mixer. Kitchenaid has the most recognized name,the other two have the performance. There are a number of reasons that I want tge Cuisinart for, among them are depth of the bowl, the mixing shield and the timer. I have over mixed when baking and have had to clean up a mess in my oven. The timer shuts the mixer off when the suggested time is reached. The pouring shield covers the entire bowl, when adding dry ingredients such as flour, it it doesn't splash out and dust my counter. I am going to buy the 7b qt, 1,000 W. model.

                                          1. My new Williams Sonoma catalog shows a 7 qt. with 1.3 hp motor.

                                            9 Replies
                                            1. re: vafarmwife

                                              I noticed reports of this, so I dug around a little and it turns out there are two 7-qt models. The residential one is exclusive to WS until midyear. The Commercial one is NSF approved and is about $100 more, but according to the company they are identical. It's basically the same size as the 600, but a bit wider to accommodate the new bowl. KA claims this is an entirely new design, not just a re-badged 600. They now measure the power in HP and claim that because of an entirely new motor design, it is more powerful yet uses less electricity, so the new motor is rated only at 500W.

                                              Also: the 610 and 620 appear to be only cosmetic upgrades of the 600, possibly made for specific retailers. In the spec sheets both claim to be 590 rather than 575 watts, but a close look at the photos shows the 620 to have 575 stamped on it, while the 610 does say 590. I have a hunch that at these levels, the exact numbers don't matter much.

                                              Feedback on the 7qt on another forum shows that one user got one from WS that made horrible screeching sounds, as did the replacement. Finally she got one shipped to her direct from KA and she says it's whisper-quiet and she loves it.

                                              Finally, you may remember that Hobart (The Original KitchenAid; they made the KA mixers as KA was their residential brand until they sold it a while ago, if I am understanding the history correctly) came out with a Commercial/Residential version of the 5-qt a few years back. It is supposed to be heavier-duty and sturdier than the KA version, and has a huge power head. But a look at the current specs shows that they are claiming 1/6 HP vs the 1.3HP of the new KA 7-qt, and if I am doing the calculations correctly it only tops out at about 350W. And oh yeah, it's $2,000.00.

                                              1. re: acgold7

                                                1 horsepower is 732 to 750 watts so the 1.3 would be 975 watts and 1/6 would be 125 so there is probably a typo somewhere

                                                1. re: Dave5440

                                                  You're probably right, but I never thought wattage could be converted directly into HP. Here's the product page that talks about 500 watts on the 1.3 HP motor:

                                                  http://www.webstaurantstore.com/kitch...

                                                  ..and here's the spec sheet that says the Hobart is 1/6 HP, and draws 2.9 amps at 120V:

                                                  https://my.hobartcorp.com/resourcecen...

                                                  As you say, there could be a typo somewhere or my math could be wrong (W=VA, right?).

                                                  1. re: acgold7

                                                    W=VA, right?

                                                    That is the correct equasion, but the main problem is the marketing department covers the ad type, so they tend to throw around a lot of BS.

                                                    I never thought wattage could be converted directly into HP

                                                    It's all related , it's all math after all

                                                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horsepower

                                                    This thread is pretty good but drops off before the main respondent can explain the there is no difference between gas HP and electrical HP , 1HP is 1 HP. A horsepower is a definition of work done in a specific time period. 1 HP = 33,000 ft/lbs per min or 550ft/lbs per second, which the brilliant minds of years ago figured was 745 watts(I'm not being sarcastic here

                                                    )

                                                    http://www.onlineconversion.com/forum...

                                                    1. re: Dave5440

                                                      Ksm7990 Commercial spec sheet.

                                                       
                                                       
                                                      1. re: RudysEquipment_Supplies

                                                        Thought those pics would be bigger to read...Sorry. Might have to save pics to your computer actually read specs. 2nd photo shows a comparison between 6qt and the 7qt

                                                        1. re: RudysEquipment_Supplies

                                                          Do you have a link? Saving to PC actually results in even lower res, for some reason....

                                                          I was able to make out that the 7-qt is indeed 500W.

                                                          1. re: acgold7

                                                            http://i1098.photobucket.com/albums/g...

                                                            http://i1098.photobucket.com/albums/g...

                                                            1. re: RudysEquipment_Supplies

                                                              These are great, thanks.

                                                              Interesting that this current spec sheet says the Pro 600 comes with a coated c-hook dough hook, while both of mine came with the burnished metal spiral hook.

                                            2. Thanks for all the information everyone- very helpful. Can anyone tell me why the custom metallic artisan costs so much more!? I really like the look of the brushed nickel on the custom metallic. I think, at this stage- budgetary reasons are steering me to the artisan although I can see how the pro is the better piece of equipment for doughs.

                                              8 Replies
                                              1. re: charmdesign

                                                Its because those colors are much harder to produce without flaws in the finish.

                                                1. re: RudysEquipment_Supplies

                                                  would it be hard to take care of? I know how cleaning my stainless fridge with that brushed metallic finish can be- it requires a lot of cleaning off to keep that shiny appearance. I also wonder about rust over time.

                                                  1. re: charmdesign

                                                    No it wont rust... Its a painted finish..

                                                    1. re: RudysEquipment_Supplies

                                                      I got a chance to look at the metallic chrome finish on the Artisan yesterday at the store. I saw it's 'painted' look. I've not seen the brushed nickel finish on the custom metallic yet I would like it if it looked just like my appliances.

                                                      1. re: charmdesign

                                                        It does match a brushed S/S finish

                                                2. re: charmdesign

                                                  You can always send it out later and get it a fancy paint job - http://un-amore.com/gallery.html

                                                  1. re: Scrapironchef

                                                    Or, if you really want to dress it up...

                                                    http://www.amazon.com/Classic-21-Flam...

                                                    1. re: acgold7

                                                      About 10 shots into the gallery is a flame paint job that makes the stick on one lok like stickers...

                                                3. Several years ago, SIL was RAVING about her new KA stand mixer... 5 qt model. She does a LOT of holiday baking and went on and on about how nicely it worked while making her semi-famous chocolate chiffon cake and DREAMY butter cream frosting for that Thanksgiving. My first thought was... no way I'm spending $200+ for a mixer!?! She MADE me take the thing home on T-day with strict instructions to bring it back the followiing weekend. After mixing up double batches of doughs for 4-5 different kinda of cookies in no time, with no elbow grease required... I was hooked. Bought myself one for that Christmas... on sale at Boscov's for $199 (model that has tilt top) and a scratch-off coupon that took off an additional 15%!

                                                  It sat on my counter from day one. During cooler months, usually make pizza sometime over weekend... making the dough is a snap.

                                                  THEN, I made a great THRIFT STORE find! A "vintage", faded yellow, crank up/down model... larger capacity. Had paddle, whisk, and dough hook and ran very smoothly. I gave it a thorough cleaning, taped everything off and spray paiinted it flat black with paint meant for outdoor gas grills!?! Have no idea how old it is, but it's a work-horse and has larger capacity than newer one.

                                                  1. I've been using the same old 4.5 quart tilt head mixer for like 9 years. The only thing I ever had capacity issues with was when I would do 5 lbs of potatoes to mash in it for holidays. I bit the bullet and upgraded to a Pro 600 mixer a few weeks ago (screaming deal on Amazon)....still haven't plugged it in.

                                                    The biggest motivator for the move wasn't the potatoes, it was that I'm getting more into some of the attachments that I fear might burn out the motor of the smaller mixer, and the tilt head was always kind of annoying for things like breads, even if you locked it down.

                                                    1. Without going into specifics, get the largest one that you can. It's better to have the size and not need it, than to need the extra size and not have it.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: njmarshall55

                                                        Amen. I have the Pro 600 and use it all the time (the majority of which it's total overkill) and I love having the capacity if I need it. It stays on the counter though since it won't fit in any of my cabinets.

                                                        1. re: venice4504

                                                          If I had to lift out the Pro600 every time I wanted to use it, it would get much less use. It stays on the counter.

                                                      2. The celeb chefs use the tilt-head version on TV for ease of use when filming ....it shoots and shows better to viewers and is easier to use in that context. I have a Pro500 w/lift up bowl and recently bought a 4.5 qt tilt up on the supercheap at Costco. While the tiltup is small...it is great for most regular projects. It is a bit smaller and lighter. The bowl lift version is slightly annoying for me to use ...I find I do like some things about tilt head...it is sort of a classic! But kitchen hound that I am, I kept the older Pro model around "just in case". I use it for whipping up quantities of stiff masa for tamales. Depends in part what you use it for the most. I found the larger bowl a bit of deterrent for many projects. But I am a fiend for the meat grinder attachment and sausage stuffer attachment. Seem to work fine on both.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: luminosa

                                                          I had planned to give away my Classic when I got my 6 quart Pro mixer but I've found it doesn't work well for small amounts of things. I find myself using the smaller model for that stuff.

                                                        2. I have the 4 1/2 qt. I make cookie dough using 3 cups butter, 6 cups sugar, 6 cups of flour. And I also make in dough using 5 lbs of flour