The Hamilton Beach Eclectrics Stand Mixer is a good budget option for bakers, although it isn't the best choice if you bake a lot of bread. It has a 400-watt motor and a 4.5-quart mixing bowl. The mixer comes with three dishwasher-safe attachments -- a flat beater, whisk and dough hook. It has a three-year warranty.
Budget option for light-duty mixing. Experts at Good Housekeeping say the Hamilton Beach Eclectrics offers the "biggest bang for the buck among stand mixers." Editors say it's a good option for anyone who doesn't bake bread frequently. One leading cooking magazine praises the mixer for creaming butter and sugar "effortlessly" and says it excels at whipping cream but doesn't handle heavy mixes as well as other stand mixers.
This mixer earns a high overall rating from nearly 200 owners at Amazon.com. For the most part, user comments echo those of professionals. The Hamilton Beach Eclectrics makes easy work of light mixing jobs, but it bogs down under heavy loads like bread dough and thick cookie batter.
Needs a little help. Owners particularly like the Hamilton Beach Eclectrics Stand Mixer's tilting head, which locks in the upright position; but editors at Good Housekeeping say the release button is awkwardly placed. Reviewers say the speed settings are easy to see, however, and the handle on the mixing bowl is a nice touch. Several complain that cleanup is a chore, because the mixer splatters a lot on high speeds and there are a lot of crevices to clean.
Owners, for the most part, say the mixer is a handy and easy-to-use tool. Their main complaints: The mixer doesn't accept power attachments like KitchenAid stand mixers (think ice cream maker and pasta roller), and the Hamilton Beach doesn't mix ingredients evenly unless you stop it occasionally to scrape the sides of the bowl.
Stylish but large. Owners like the styling of the Hamilton Beach Eclectrics. Although it doesn't weigh as much as KitchenAid stand mixers, the Hamilton Beach Eclectrics Stand Mixer still takes up a lot of space on the countertop. The mixer is available in four colors: silver, red, black and white.
Pleasantly quiet. The Hamilton Beach stand mixer earns high scores for its quiet, smooth operation in one professional test. Users at Amazon.com agree that the appliance is relatively quiet.
Although the Hamilton Beach Eclectrics Stand Mixer can't compete with top-ranked models like the KitchenAid Classic Series Stand Mixer (*Est. $250) it makes easy work of everything from cake batters to whipped cream and meringues. It tends to splatter on high speeds, however, and requires occasional scraping of the bowl by hand. But it's quieter than other models and its three-year warranty is longer than other brands'.
Excellent In this roundup of 30 stand mixers, including the Hamilton Beach Eclectrics Stand Mixer, editors at ConsumerReports.org provide ratings in five separate categories: whipping time, mixing, kneading, convenience and noise.
Review: Stand Mixer Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, June 2012
2. Good Housekeeping
Excellent Editors at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute put a dozen stand mixers through rigorous laboratory testing. Detailed pros and cons of each model are presented in a slideshow. The Hamilton Beach Eclectrics Stand Mixer places seventh overall because it underperformed at kneading bread dough, although it excelled at beating and whipping. Testers like that all the attachments are dishwasher-safe, but the "button for raising and lowering [the] head is awkwardly placed."
Review: Stand Mixer Reviews, Editors of the Good Housekeeping Research Institute
3. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
Very Good Cook's Illustrated magazine asks the question, "Can you buy a solid mixer for under $200?" These less expensive mixers have a smaller-sized mixing bowl (under 5 quarts). The Hamilton Beach Eclectrics Stand Mixer and seven other models are tested with mixing cookie dough, kneading pizza dough, creaming butter with sugar and whipping cream.
Review: Stand Mixers (Inexpensive), Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine, December 2007
Good Amazon.com has separate listings of the Hamilton Beach Eclectrics Stand Mixer for each color. These give it an overall rating of 4.3 stars out of 5 from nearly 200 owners. Reviewers say that this mixer is powerful and easy to use, but its attachments aren't adjustable, so it tends to leave some ingredients unmixed at the bottom of the bowl.
Review: Hamilton Beach Eclectrics All-Metal Stand Mixer, Contributors to Amazon.com