If you need an electric mixing appliance at home but can’t decide between a stand and a hand-held mixer, then read on! I’ll be listing down various factors that make them distinct and ideal for specific cooks and tasks. Make sure to match your mixing needs with these features to know which of these two is perfect for your household.
Footprint and Storage Needs
A hand-held mixer is best if you’re a flexible cook who likes to move around and do various tasks at different spots. This compact appliance is easy to fit in a small storage space or deep kitchen drawer. It is not heavy either, so you can pack and carry it anywhere if you have to. If you have a tiny kitchen, this is the mixing appliance for you.
A stand mixer, on the other hand, is the extreme opposite. It is bulky, heavy and not very portable. You will need a cabinet space big enough for it or perhaps two separate storage areas for the body and attachments. But as either takes effort to do, especially if you plan to use your electric mixer often, most likely you’ll need permanent counter space for it. Still, pick this appliance if you have the room and require large mixing bowl capacities.
Design and Appeal
Although hand mixers come in attractive colours, design and appeal are undoubtedly a stand mixer’s strong point. Some baking aficionados even turned into collectors and would deck their counter space with vibrant and shiny mixers. Intricately designed mixer bowls are worth collecting, too.
While aesthetic may not be a crucial deciding factor, the kitchen mixer’s functional design should still match your requirements. Specifically, you need to know whether to go for a tilt-head or bowl-lift type. You can learn more about these design options in our stand mixer buying guide.
Motor and Mixing Power
A stand mixer naturally has a higher mixing power and a more robust motor than the compact hand-held mixer. However, more power does not mean a better mixer. For instance, a trusty hand mixer is ideal for aerating icings, mousses, egg whites and heavy cream. If you often work with light mixtures and prefer to consume less energy, then choose this option.
However, if bread baking is your purpose for getting a mixing appliance, a stand mixer’s 300W to 1000W power fits the bill. It can give you the proper mixture consistency way faster than its hand-held counterpart, too. With its wide range of speed levels plus planetary mixing action, it can easily tackle even your thin pancake batter. While it may consume more energy, this one can cut time and effort whenever you feel like batch baking.
Construction and Durability
Hand mixers are your go-to for light-duty tasks such as beating cake batters or whipping egg whites. It’s perfect for everyday use. But, as it is lightweight with a low-power motor, these appliances do not last for a long time. The plastic-covered body and thinner attachments are more prone to breakage as well. Over time, you’ll need to purchase replacement parts or a new appliance altogether.
So, if you want something that can withstand heavy use, variable speeds and flexible mixing, the stand mixer wins hands down. The best stand mixers often come with all-metal construction, making them very heavy but stable. The extended warranty of these appliances is another stamp of their durable quality and long-lasting performance. It should top your list if you’re looking for a type of mixer that you can pass down to future cooks and bakers in the family!
Cost and Value for Money
Most buyers consider price as the most important deciding factor when buying a mixer. Like most appliances, brands and features often dictate the cost of electric mixers. But if you want a budget-friendly option for basic mixing, then consider getting a quality hand-held mixer.
A stand mixer is practically a kitchen investment, considering its significantly higher cost and equally expensive additional attachments. However, if you’re after high-quality construction and versatility, a kitchen stand mixer will not disappoint. No matter how much you spend on a mixer, though, it’s well worth it if you use it often for lots of delicious recipes.
Clean-Up and Maintenance
One of the best things about an electric hand mixer is it cleans up in no time, thanks to its small size. Its compact motor body only takes a few seconds to wipe clean. But if there’s one disadvantage about hand mixers, is that they can fill your benchtop with splatters.
You won’t encounter this problem with stand mixers, though. Also, some models even have a slow-start feature to reduce the amount of flour or splashes that end up on your benchtop. Most stand mixers include a removable splash guard, too. But then again, it is a heavier machine, and cleaning time can take longer. Also, some of their detachable parts may not be dishwasher-safe.
Ease of Use and Functionality
Of course, both types of mixer let us do away with strained hands and arms from manual mixing. Buttons to switch mixing speeds are also easily accessible. But what makes a stand mixer better is that it allows us to multitask. If you’re the type who likes to prep things while mixing, then a stand mixer suits you. This machine is also excellent when you need to mix and add ingredients at the same time. Using a hand mixer, however, can be tiring, especially if you’re mixing in batches. The electric cord can at times get in the way, too.
When it comes to functionality, the stand mixer’s power hub can turn your machine into a food processor, pasta roller or ice cream maker. All-around cooks and bakers would surely benefit from having this appliance that gives more room for kitchen creativity!
Stand Mixer VS Hand-Held Mixer: The Verdict
Both mixing appliances deserve a spot in your kitchen. But the best choice would have to be the one that complements your kitchen space and cooking needs. If you prefer light mixing with easy clean-up in a tiny kitchen, a hand mixer is a practical choice. For busier cooks who love durable and multipurpose machines, make sure to study your stand mixer options. Don’t forget to compare features and price ranges to find your best match!