KitchenAid Classic vs Artisan vs Professional

Kitchenaid has been THE go-to brand for standing mixers since its conception in the early 20th century.

Now they're hard to miss, we see them on sitcoms, baking competitions, and every cooking show. It's not surprising, as Kitchenaid has developed an international reputation for quality and design. 

Who wouldn't want to use the same brand as Ginger Rogers and Henry Ford? 

However, when it comes to picking out your first Kitchenaid mixer, it can be overwhelming as they have so many options. That's why we've put together this article. 

In this article, we'll be looking at three of Kitchenaid's top options. We'll be breaking down their highlights and their flaws, and looking at which of the three is the standout star. Keep reading to find out who will win the battle of Kitchenaid Classic vs Artisan Vs Professional. 

Why Kitchenaid? 

If you're a baking fan it's almost impossible to avoid Kitchenaid and their products.

They've been spotted on the sets of almost every cooking and baking show, they're used in every baking competition, you'll spot them on Youtube shows and in the background of sitcoms… So, what's the big deal? 

The Brand

Kitchenaid began in 1919, after inventing America's first automatic egg-beater. They got their name from a wife of one the directors, who claimed it was the 'best kitchen aid' she'd ever used. By the 1930s, Kitchenaid had already established itself as a luxury kitchen staple, with superstars like Henry Ford and Ginger Rogers being some if its early fans, 

Over the following decades, Kitchenaid went from strength to strength, without changing much of their icon design. By the early 21st century their range included almost every kitchen accessory one could want. 

In 2007 Kitchenaid launched a uniquely pink colorway of some of their most iconic designs. This was the beginning of their partnerships with Breast Cancer charities, which still continue to this day. 

Since the beginning Kitchenaid has been recognized by professional and amateur bakers as one of the titans in the industry. Their name has become synonymous with quality and timeless designs. 

The Look

In 1936, Egmont Arens began working with Kitchenaid and came up with their now-iconic standing mixer shape. Very little about the outward appearance has changed since their work with Arens. The design won dozens of awards, and the Kitchenaid standing mixer has been displayed in design museums since its release. 

The icon range of shades that Kitchenaid is now famous for was launched in 1994. Since then Kitchenaid has continued to expand this color range, as well as offering limited edition patterns, and a shade of pink whose profits go to support women with Breast Cancer. 

The Power

Finally, let's talk about what has kept Kitchenaid so relevant and popular for over 100 years - the power and quality of its machines. 

One of the drivers of Kitchenaid's early success was how well its products worked. It truly was a kitchen aid that took a lot of the physical struggle out of baking. Nowadays, small Kitchenaid standing mixers can beat over  4.5 L of cake batter at once without a struggle. That's roughly 2 full cakes in one go. It can fully beat up to 12 eggs in under a minute. Kitchenaid standing mixers really are leagues ahead of other mixers on the market. 

Kitchenaid products are famous for their reliability. They even offer a 6-year warranty on some of their products. 

More Than Cake 

When you look at the price of a Kitchenaid (before having used one), you might be thinking… 'all that to make cake?!' However, there's more to a Kitchenaid Standing Mixer than meets the eye. The motor is powerful enough to mix up more than cake batter. The standard mixing appliances that come with these models include a dough hook for making bread and a flat mixer that is perfect for making more savory dishes. 

However, the input socket on the Standing Mixer is universal to many of Kitchenaid's appliance additions. These additions include a meat mincer, vegetable chopper, pasta maker, fruit juicer, and more. With these additions, your Kitchenaid can take the manual labor out of a lot of cooking's most laborious tasks. 

The Reviews  

So now that you understand the appeal of a Kitchenaid stand mixer (or maybe you already knew you wanted one), now it's time to look at the different models available from the company. 

We will be looking at Kitchenaid three main stand mixer ranges, taking a deep dive into what makes each one of these so special. 

OUR TOP PICK

Let's begin with the Kitchenaid Classic Standing Mixer.

The Classic Standing Mixer comes in three sizes (small, medium, large), and is the original standing mixer offered by Kitchenaid. There is a Classic option, as well as a Classic Plus option in these sizes. Kitchenaid pitch this mixer as the perfect machine for entry-level cooks.

The Classic has 10 mixing speeds, that will help you mix up everything from cakes, to ice cream, to salsa. Kitchenaid currently offers 10 attachments that fix onto The Classic mixer, including a pasta roller and vegetable slicer. It comes with a handless bowl, wire whisk, dough hook, and flat beater as standard. Other accessories can be purchased separately.

All Kitchenaid mixers use planetary action, where the beater and the whisk turn in opposite directions. This pulls the mixture into the center of the bowl and allows for more thorough mixing. The Classic is fitted with a powerful drive motor that can efficiently mix up to 4.5L of the mixture at a time. The motor runs at 275 watts.

One of the major user complaints about the Classic Mixer, particularly the medium and small models is that it can't cope with making bread. The Kitchenaid website advertises differently, but we're more inclined to believe the many, many reviews and our own experience.

The Classic mixer can cope with making a VERY small loaf of bread, or a few baps. However, anything more and it struggles. If you have no intention of making your own bread then you can gloss over that point.

Who is it for?

This is a great model for beginners, as it is easy to use and can do all the basics with no issue at all.

This is a great model if you want to bake and cook with your family.

Bread makers will want to skip over the classic.

If you are looking to explore the Kitchenaid brand without having to spend a crazy amount of money, then the classic is a good place to start your exploration. 

Pros:

  • 10-speed settings
  • Can use over 10 different attachments
  • 4-5L bowls
  • Different colors available
  • Different bowl finishes available
  • Great for beginners and families
  • The lowest Price of the three choices 

Cons:

  • No handle on the bowl
  • Less powerful than the Artisan and the Professional
  • No splash guard
  • Can't make bread in this 

EDITORS CHOICE

Next, let's look at the Kitchenaid Artisan range.

The Artisan standing mixer comes in Mini, Medium, and Large. Kitchenaid offers the Artisan range in Mini Artisan, Artisan, and Design Artisan.

The difference between Artisan and Artisan Design is that the Design comes with a glass bowl as standard, and the finishes on its standard accessories are more rustic. They come with burnished finishes instead of stainless steel.

The Artisan range comes with four accessories as standard, as well as including an extra bowl, so you can keep cooking without breaking for the washing up. The four included accessories are a dough hook, wire whisk, flat beater, and a flat edge beater (this has a rubber extension that scrapes excess off the side of the bowl as it mixes).

The Artisan range comes equipped with the universal port that allows you to attach other Kitchenaid extensions like a meat grinder and vegetable slicer. These are powered by the Artisan's mortar and allow you to offload some of the most tedious cooking jobs to your Kitchenaid. Now if only we could get it to do the washing up…

The bowls on the Artisan range all come with a handle, which the Classic range's bowls do not. The extra bowl you get with your Artisan mixer does not have a handle.

The Mini Artisan has a 3.5L bowl, and the rest of the Artisan range can hold up to 5L when mixing, without struggling. The Artisan range also comes with a splash guard to help keep your kitchen tidy whilst you're cooking.

All Kitchenaid mixers use planetary action, where the beater and the whisk turn in opposite directions. This pulls the mixture into the center of the bowl and allows for more thorough mixing. The motor on the Artisan runs at 325 watts - that's 50 extra watts on top of what the Classic offers.

Unlike the classic, this is a great machine for making bread. The extra 50 watts of power makes breadmaking a breeze in fact (or as much as baking can be, we've all had our fair share of bread making nightmares...).

Interestingly, the Mini Artisan offers the highest points of planetary mixing, offering 69 points - the Classic and Artisan offer 59 points and the Professional offer 67 points.

Who is it for?

This is a great machine for people who want to make bread at home.

If you are prepared to invest in your standing mixer then this machine will be a great choice for you. As it offers a lot more power for your money, compared to the Classic.

If you are looking to regularly use their machines and want the benefit of the splash guard.

Any level of at-home baker, from beginners to baking competition champions. 

Pros:

  • Up to 5L of mixture held
  • Can come with bread dough
  • 325 Watt motor
  • Many colors available
  • Works with Kitchenaid's extensions
  • Comes with an extra bowl
  • Comes with 4 accessories
  • Choice in bowl finishes
  • 10 Speed settings
  • Great for bakers of all skill levels 

Cons:

  • More expensive than the Classic
  • Less power and capacity than the Professional

BEST VALUE

Finally, let's look at the Professional Standing Mixer from Kitchenaid.

The Professional Standing Mixer from Kitchenaid comes in the size Large and is also known as the 600 series. It is possible to get the Professional with a stainless steel or glass bowl. Most of the Professional range comes with a classic metallic finish, and the accessories are finished to industry standards.

The Professional Standard Mixer comes with a removable pouring shoot, 11 wire whisk (the Classic and Artisan come with a 6 wire whisk), a power knead spiral dough hook and a flat beater. It comes with a built-in wire guard and safety stop switch.

The Professional range comes equipped with the universal port that allows you to attach other Kitchenaid extensions (large model friendly, which is a smaller range of accessories) like a flour grinder and an ice cream maker.

With these accessories, you are able to make the most of the Professional's powerful motor to take care of some of the most energy-sapping jobs in the kitchen, and it will do it right every time without any supervision. If you do get the ice cream maker, don't forget to invite us over…

The Professional comes with an impressive 6.9L bowl. Both the stainless steel and glass versions come with a sturdy handle. One of the unique benefits of the Professional is that it comes with a built-in bowl lifting configuration that allows the user to add ingredients while the machine is running, without stopping it or tilting the machine's head.

This machine comes with an original planetary mixing level of 67 points and is only beaten in that respect by the Mini Artisan. The motor of the Professional runs at 575 watts. That is 300 watts higher than the Classic and 250 watts higher than the Artisan.

And the all-important question… Can it make bread? It absolutely can, on an industrial scale. There's not much you can't make in this bad boy.

The Professional is designed to be portable, meaning catering companies can travel with it if they are moving from location to location.

Who is it for?

This one will be pretty short and sweet - for professional bakers and chefs. 

The Winner?

So which is best?

Well unfortunately the answer to that question is not entirely simple. Each machine has different benefits but depending on what you need to use your machine for, there'll be a different winner. 

Where the Classic Wins

The main area of victory for the Classic is the price point. It is much cheaper than the Artisan, and the only real difference between the two is the levels of user comfort the Artisan can provide. 

If you're happy to spend a little less and can live without elements like a handle on your bowl, or a splash guard - then you may want to lean towards the Classic. However, if you're happy to pay a little extra for something a little more modern and easier to use, then we would recommend picking up the Artisan.   

Where the Professional Wins

Look, if you want to use a Kitchenaid Standing Mixer at work, if you're a chef or baker, there really is no other choice. 

You have to go with the Professional. None of the other models even come close to it in terms of power. 575 watts is a lot, there is very little that this thing won't be able to mix up.  

The hygienic finishes will be essential and so appreciated when you are cooking frequently for work. As will be the 6.9L capacity bowls. The bowls are specially shaped and coated to make them easy to clean by hand or in an industrial washing machine. 

This machine has been designed specifically for professionals, and it shows in use. 

The Overall Winner - The Artisan

In our opinion, the Artisan is the clear winner for an amateur baker. On paper, it is an updated version of the classic, which is still very close to Kitchenaid's K5 design that was developed in 1936. 

The Artisan on the other hand was developed and originally released in 2007. Every element of it is just a little bit easier to use and runs a little smoother. As a result, however, it is a little more expensive. You really do get what you pay for with Kitchenaid though. 

The Artisan comes with more accessories than the other two and includes an extra bowl.  Unlike the Classic it is able to make bread, due in part to its more powerful motor, which boasts an extra 50 watts on top of what the Classic offers. 

The Artisan range also offers a variety of sizes, so you are able to enjoy the benefits of its more modern design in smaller sizes as well. The Artisan Mini has the best rate of planetary mix action than any other Kitchenaid machine (69 points!)

We think it is really easy to underestimate how crucial having a splash guard can be when using a standing mixer. Particularly, when mixing at higher speeds (or with icing sugar… we've all been there). This is a huge plus for the Artisan Range.  

With the Artisan, you can mix more, mix harder, and you can mix without fear of getting flour everywhere. 

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