A stand mixer is a multi-functional, practical kitchen appliance that can do a number of different jobs for you. Most can blend, mix, whip and knead, and based on the design and additional features, some stand mixers come with attachments that allow you to grind meat as well.
While some name brands such as KitchenAid are the go-to for loyal customers, they often come with a hefty price tag. There have also been occasional concerns raised over the brand’s durability, certain design features and the plastic body Food Grinder attachment, which though sturdy enough, won’t last forever. But the biggest factor seems to be the cost associated with purchasing a KitchenAid unit, especially for novice bakers.
So what other options do home bakers have which are affordable and can offer reliable performance? Here we will attempt to look at some of the best stand mixers that are not KitchenAid but still offer the same on-par utility as America’s favorite brand.
Though some models can be fairly pricey, you can also find others without breaking the bank among our suggestions. So for all you avid home bakers, we recommend getting a stand mixer that will let you enjoy you time in the kitchen with this hands-free, versatile and efficient kitchen tool.
Go straight to our recommendations, or keep reading for some pointers on what to look for before making a purchase.
Among the things you should consider when choosing a mixer, how you intend to use it should ideally be the first one. If you bake often and in large batches, then look for a mixer with a substantial capacity bowl and powerful motor.
Considering capacity is crucial. If your tasks are small and you get a larger mixer, you will find it awkward for making smaller batches. However, if you bake big batches and you end up with a somewhat undersized unit, you will need to divide your recipe and process it in batches.
Conventional wisdom dictates that the higher the wattage, the better the power performance in terms of kneading and mixing. Yet, this is not always the case.
Mixers may, on occasion, engage more wattage than competitor models, but the output may be lower than stated. In other words, it is an indicator of the motor’s power but the indicated wattage is actually what the mixer consumes and not what the motor produces when in use.
So from two motors with different motor wattages that perform at the same level, it may be wiser to choose the one with the lower wattage as it yields equal results with lower power consumption.
This is kind of an important one as you would want your stand mixer to be able to handle your mixing/kneading needs efficiently. In terms of durability and performance, stand mixers are typically divided into three categories ranging between light and medium-duty to heavy-duty machines.
Of the three, the first is a good option for people who only bake occasionally and nothing denser than cakes and cookies. Medium-duty stand mixers are better suited for bakers who bake more often, while heavy-duty stand mixers are ideal for regular bakers who like to tackle tougher and denser doughs.
As there is a wide price range for stand mixers, you need to know what influences the price tag. For instance, a base model may only come with a single mixing action but a high priced unit may feature a spiral or rotating action.
As a general rule of the thumb, light duty stand mixers may be more suitable for those on a budget, with medium duty mixers better suited for people who enjoy frequent baking and are not shy to spend on the right product.
Heavy duty stand mixers will of course cost more than their two lighter duty appliances but will also come with the benefits of better durability, more features and a promise of longevity.
Stand mixers with special features are always nice. For instance, a tilt head mechanism that locks, overload protection and all-metal gears and construction are features to look for. Most stand mixers come with multiple speed settings making it easier to work on different tasks and the standard attachments for most models include a dough hook, whisk and beater.
While there can be a number of smaller attachments with many different stand mixer models, some brands will also offer larger attachments such as a meat grinder, sausage or pasta maker and ice cream bowl. These are typically high-end products that will transform your standard stand mixer into a versatile piece of machinery.
If your mixer comes with these accessories, the unit will yield more functionality while reducing the number of appliances you use. Let’s tie this point back to the power performance one as you will need to make sure that your appliance has adequate power to run these features.
Not all stand mixers are designed to deal with every type of dough. When buying a new stand mixer, do keep in mind the type of utility you need it to yield. If you like to work with denser or stiffer doughs, make sure that the motor on the unit is very strong.
Since not every stand mixer can work with tougher doughs, it may cause the motor to overheat and stall. To avoid motor burnout, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully on how long it is recommended to run the mixer in one go. It is important to remember that not every mixer will come with built-in overload protection and is not designed to run perpetually for a long period.
After keeping these considerations in mind, here are our top recommendations for the best stand mixer that’s not a KitchenAid.
1 – Cuisinart SM 55 Stand Mixer (Top Pick )
This Cuisinart model (click the image to view on Amazon) offers durable construction among medium-duty stand mixers. Constructed of heavy-duty die cast metal, this unit comes with a powerful 800 watt sturdy motor that can handle most jobs well. The unit features a 12 speed option including a slow start function for mess-free handling.
Considered a “smart” mixer by many, the Cuisinart SM 55 comes with a timer that counts down, three different power outlets, along with an auto shutoff feature. The countdown timer is a useful feature for recipes that come with instructions about kneading dough for specific timings.
The three power outlets feature high, mid and low speed options. Of these the high speed option is for using the food processor and blender attachments, the mid speed for the citrus juicer, and the low speed outlet is for the pasta maker attachment and meat grinder. Together these multi-functional features make this stand mixer your all-in-one powerhouse tool for the kitchen.
The amply sized 5 ½ quart bowl is good enough to hold bigger batches and comes with handles for easy removal and insertion. There is also a splash guard included to minimize messes in the kitchen.
You can choose from three available colors to match your kitchen decor.
- 5 ½ quart bowl
- Three speed outlets
- Planetary action
- Countdown timer, a very helpful feature
- 3 year limited warranty for unit
- Motor has a 5 year full warranty
- Slightly heavy to handle on a frequent basis- may need a permanent spot instead
- Tad bit more expensive than other similar models
2 – Hamilton Beach Electrics 63227 All Metal Stand Mixer (Budget Pick )
This stand mixer (click the image to view on Amazon) is a medium-duty, fairly budget-friendly appliance that can handle most mixing jobs, except for the toughest ones, such as bread or pizza doughs.
The model features a sleek, minimalist design which makes for a good sized kitchen appliance. The unit features metal construction on most parts, except for the pour shield, giving it more durability. It also features a bowl that locks into place to give you more control over how you handle your recipe.
There is a 400 watt motor with 12 different speeds to allow for more precision during use.
Designed for hands-free mixing, this appliance comes with a paddle, whisk and dough hook, allowing it to work well with most mixing jobs. All attachments are dishwasher safe for easy cleanup, as is the bowl. The orbiting attachment head provides planetary mixing action for complete bowl coverage.
This model features tilt head mechanism with the motor head lifting up and away for easy bowl access. There are also non-slip feet beneath the unit keeping it in place when in use.
You can easily enjoy your seasonal or holiday baking with this stylish stand mixer.
- Planetary mixing action
- Non-slip feet
- Comes with splatter shield
- 12 speed settings
- 3 year warranty
- Decent performance for its price tag
- May not always lock securely
- Slightly heavier than other similar models
- Not too many additional attachments
3 – Cheftronic SM 986 Stand Mixer
The Cheftronic Stand Mixer (click the image to view on Amazon) offers all the right features to get your kitchen started. It comes with a 5.5 quart stainless bowl paired with a powerful motor that has six speeds. There is also a pulse function included to give you the flexibility to whip, beat, knead or mix.
The unit features a tilt-head design to facilitate adding in ingredients. Silicone suction cups on the base keep the unit secure even when using high speeds. There is also a useful, transparent, detachable splash guard that keeps counter space clean while letting you see the progress on your mix.
The unit comes with multiple accessories such as the standard whip, hook and beater. Plus, the flex edge beater can also double up as a spatula to scrape the bowl when you are done.
The unit cleverly features built-in safety protection, should the motor heat up. This feature automatically shuts off the machine preventing smoking or blown circuits.
Regarding functionality, the Cheftronic Stand Mixer attachments conveniently reach to the bottom of the bowl, eliminating the need for excessive scraping and saving time on cleaning.
At its very competitive price point, this stand mixer is definitely worth a try.
- Built-in safety protection
- Suction cups to hold unit in place
- User friendly and lightweight making it easy to store
- Good functionality
- Quiet motor
- 2 year warranty
- 30 day return policy, no questions asked
- A fairly decent basic machine
- Accompanying instructions are not very well-written
- Splash guard may be a tight fit and difficult to remove
- Mixing bowl has no handle, making it awkward to take out
- Not too many versatile features
4 – KitchenWare Station M-B7
Perhaps the underdog on this list, the KitchenWare Station stand mix (click the image to view on Amazon) comes with 620 watts of motor power, making it suitable to work with large batches. The unit comes with a stainless steel bowl and the 3 standard blending tools including a hook, whip and beater.
The body is made from anodized aluminum making it a sturdy piece of machinery. There are 20 mixing speeds to work with and 4 built-in stainless steel gears.
There is also a transparent pouring shield for easy and mess free pouring. The base has an iron plate to hold the mixer in place and make it steadier.
- Transparent pouring shield
- Large capacity bowl
- Durable and powerful unit
- Sturdy iron base
- User friendly, easy operation
- Tilt head feature
- Only one color available
- Not much brand recognition
- May be too heavy for some users
5 – Kenmore Elite 6 Quart Stand Mixer
This Kenmore model (click the image to view on Amazon) delivers powerful mixing potential and ample capacity to work with. It is a suitable kitchen appliance for the frequent baker who likes to try out a variety of recipes.
The unit comes with a 6 quart stainless steel bowl in a lift stand design. The unit is powered by a 600 watt motor and offers 10 different speed settings. The speed versatility allows you to work on recipes with on-point precision.
This stand mixer is large enough to accommodate bigger batches of dough without any problem. The mixer also comes with dishwasher-safe attachments like a detachable pouring shield, wire whip, flat beater and much more.
The bowl lift stand mixer uses a crank to lower and raise the bowl with precision to prevent tipping. The unit also features an LED screen for better display and comes with a 5 year warranty. The timer counts up or down, depending on what you need. Recommended for baking enthusiasts who do not shy away from tricky or innovative recipes.
- 6 quart stainless steel bowl
- LED panel- timer counts up or down
- 10 speed option
- 600 watt motor
- Impressive aesthetics
- Dishwasher safe attachments
- Comes with a 5 year warranty
- Difficult to store because of size
- May not work well for smaller batches
- Scraping needed to clean bowl after use
Whether you aspire to be a master chef or prefer to bake for an occasional holiday, the right stand mixer can make life so much easier for you. Choosing the right mixer will lend creative versatility to your baking skills and become your ultimate solution for everyday needs.
So consider our recommendations before you decide to settle for a stand mixer. After all, these appliances should be a wise investment if they are to last you a long time.