KitchenAid Artisan
KitchenAid Artisan

Best stand mixer

If you're a dedicated cook who needs a great stand mixer, look no further than the KitchenAid Artisan. Experts and owners can't heap enough praise on this workhorse; it kneads, mixes and whips with ease. The 5-quart bowl includes a pouring shield and it comes with a nice array of accessories, including a flat beater, dough hook and whisk. It's stylish, classic design comes in more than 30 colors.
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KitchenAid 7-Quart Pro Line Stand Mixer
KitchenAid 7-Quart Pro Line Stand Mixer

Professional-grade stand mixer

The KitchenAid KSM7586PSR 7-Quart Pro Line Stand Mixer is the stand mixer that serious cooks and bakers dream about. Many say it's the first, last and only mixer you'll ever need, and that it's a must if you cook or bake in very large quantities. One highly respected professional testing organization makes it their top pick, saying it's powerful and the bowl-lift is a smart design.

KitchenAid KFE5T Flex Edge Beater
KitchenAid KFE5T Flex Edge Beater

KitchenAid stand mixer attachment

KitchenAid lovers swoon over the wide variety of extras that make their KitchenAid stand mixers even more versatile. One of the most useful is the KitchenAid KFE5T Flex Edge Beater. This all-metal attachment has a flexible edge to act as a scraper while you're mixing and owners say it saves them much time and effort. It fits our Best Reviewed pick, the KitchenAid Artisan, as well as the KitchenAid Pro Line Stand Mixer.

Hamilton Beach Eclectrics 63221
Hamilton Beach Eclectrics 63221

Best basic stand mixer

Experts and owners say the Hamilton Beach Eclectrics 63221 is a great mixer for all but the heaviest jobs. It earns top marks for whipping and mixing, and gets a lot of praise for its ultra-quiet operation. The 4.5 quart bowl has a pouring shield and handle -- inclusions that make this stand mixer a great value. The Eclectrics also includes a flat beater, dough hook and whisk.
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Cuisinart HM-90S 9-Speed Handheld Mixer
Cuisinart HM-90S 9-Speed Handheld Mixer

Best hand mixer

Reviewers have nothing but love for the Cuisinart HM-90S 9-Speed Handheld Mixer. It performs well in a wide variety of tasks and includes a plethora of attachments. Most of all, they adore the handy storage case that holds all of the accessories -- the mixer snaps on the top for portability. Furthermore, the HM-90S gets kudos from cooks for its simple, intuitive operation.
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Sunbeam FPSBHS0302 Stand Mixer
Sunbeam FPSBHS0302 Stand Mixer

Hand and stand mixer

It's inexpensive, but not cheaply made, say reviewers about the Sunbeam FPSBHS0302 Stand Mixer. It converts quickly and easily from a stand mixer to a hand mixer, and casual cooks and bakers love having two units on one. Even avid bakers love this sweet deal, saying its 3-quart bowl is the perfect size for most jobs, and its light weight and small footprint make it easy to store.

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The best mixers will save you time and muscle

It's hard to imagine life in the kitchen without an electric mixer. Home cooks use them for everything from whipping cream into light, fluffy peaks to powering through the thickest cookie and bread doughs. The best mixers are powerful, easy to use and clean, feel sturdy and stable, and evenly mix ingredients without leaving lumps or unmixed areas. Experts say that regardless of the type of mixer, it should have at least three speeds.

There are two basic types of mixers:

Stand mixers: Stand mixers excel at demanding jobs like mixing thick dough, and serious cooks say they're a must if you bake regularly or need to produce large quantities of any type of mixture. Most stand mixers come with three attachments: a flat beater for mixing batter; a dough hook for kneading; and a wire whisk for whipping cream, etc. Specialized attachments, ranging from enameled beaters to pasta makers, are also available for some models. Most top-rated stand mixers have a single beater mounted on a disc that rotates around a stationary bowl. Experts say this process, called "planetary action," is the most efficient means of blending ingredients because the beater can reach the sides of the bowl, thus reducing the need to stop the machine and scrape the sides On cheaper stand mixers the beaters (usually two, like those found on a hand mixer) are stationary; the bowl, mounted on a turntable, revolves around them. Some experts turn up their nose at these less-expensive units, but, in fact, they suit some people just fine.

Hand mixers: A hand mixer may be all you need if you only bake occasionally or just need a mixer for lighter tasks, such as whipping cream, mixing cake batters or beating eggs. The nice thing about a hand mixer is that your can use it in any kind of bowl or even in a pan. Some hand mixers are powerful enough for jobs that are traditionally thought of as only suited to stand mixers, like kneading dough and combining thick cookie ingredients, but don't expect a hand mixer to perform those tasks as quickly and easily as a stand mixer. In researching this report, we learned that a lot of people own both a stand mixer and a hand mixer so they don't have to dirty their larger stand mixer for smaller jobs. With that in mind, we found a top-rated mixer that easily converts from stand mixer to hand mixer -- giving you the benefits of both in one appliance.

KitchenAid and Cuisinart rule the mixer world

Consider yourself warned: This report may seem like a KitchenAid and Cuisinart love fest. But that's because those two manufacturers rise far above any other when it comes to stand mixer and hand mixer reviews, respectively. In fact, KitchenAid stand mixers are so popular that we've even included a section dedicated to a discussion of KitchenAid stand mixer attachments and accessories. That said, we found that Hamilton Beach's mixers are also piling up some pretty good ratings, and people seem to love Sunbeam's versatile, affordable options.

Also keep in mind that a mixer may not always be the best option for the job you need to do. For mixing hot liquids on the stove, an immersion blender is much easier and safer than a hand mixer, so head over to our immersion blender report for our top picks in that category. In addition, plenty of bakers find that their food processor works well for kneading dough and they tend to be more versatile than mixers, and we have a separate report on those as well.

Finding the best mixers

There are some very good professional tests and roundups of both stand mixers and hand mixers. We analyzed professional tests performed by experts at TheSweetHome.com, ConsumerReports.org, Good Housekeeping and Cooks Illustrated. We then matched those results and recommendations to long-term, real-world experiences as reported by hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of owners at user-review sites such as Amazon.com, Macys.com, Viewpoints.com and others. The result of that research is our recommendations for the stand mixers and hand mixers with the best combination of performance, durability and ease of use.

Elsewhere in this Report:

Best Stand Mixers: Looking for a great stand mixer? We discuss the best stand mixers for heavy jobs like baking bread, and basic stand mixers for occasional or everyday general use.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer Attachments: Reviews tell us that KitchenAid is THE name in stand mixers, partly due to their extensive line of optional attachments. Editors look at the most popular KitchenAid accessories in this roundup.

Best Hand Mixers: These hand mixers are powerful, but not pricey. We even found a hand mixer that coverts to a stand mixer.

Buying Guide: What kind of mixer do you need? Here is your guide to determining if a stand mixer or a hand mixer is best for your cooking and baking needs.

Our Sources: We used these professional and user review sources to find the best mixers. They are ranked in order of their expertise and helpfulness.

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