Both hand mixers and stand mixers are excellent appliances that have earned their space on any kitchen shelf or counter. But do you know which one you should use in lieu of the other?
Hand mixers are perfect for everyday use, while stand mixers are more suited towards heavy-duty usage, which means that the one you should use is dependent on your usage requirements. Budget, available space, and specific application are also important factors.
To make the choice between a hand mixer and a stand mixer, you’ll need to know the pros and cons of each, their individual uses, the similarities and differences between the two, and how much they’ll set you back. Fortunately, this post covers all of that – and more!
- Hand Mixer Vs Stand Mixer: The Pros And Cons
- When To Use What – And Why
- The Differences Between Hand Mixers And Stand Mixers
- Understanding The Hand Mixer And Stand Mixer Market
- Final Thoughts
Hand Mixer Vs Stand Mixer: The Pros And Cons
As is the case with all kitchen products – as well as all things in life, really – hand mixers and stand mixers have their fair share of pros and cons. To decide which one deserves its spot on your counter, you need to be fully aware of the strengths and weaknesses of each.
Hand Mixer Pros And Cons
|Hand Mixer Pros
|Hand Mixer Cons
|Easy to use, transport, and store
|Nowhere near as powerful as a stand mixer
|Compact and doesn’t take up much counter space
|Requires hands-on operation, which can result in sore or tired arms
|Typically lightweight, which makes transporting them or maneuvering them around the kitchen very easy
|Not appropriate for heavy-duty usage
|More affordable compared to a stand mixer
|Not appropriate for more intensive tasks
|Easy to clean
|Not as durable as a stand mixer
|Can be used with any mixing bowl, cup, or dish
Stand Mixer Pros And Cons
|Stand Mixer Pros
|Stand Mixer Cons
|Makes takes that are usually difficult and time-consuming quick and easy
|Much more expensive than a hand mixer
|Perfect for multi-taskers
|Typically take up plenty of counter space
|Can be used for a bunch of different kitchen tasks
|Can be tricky to clean
|Strong motor that can go for hours
|Heavier than hand mixers, so lugging them around can be difficult
|Minimizes or eliminates mess while mixing
|Not all models are suitable for light-duty usage
|Compatible with various mixer attachments and accessories
|Only compatible with the mixing bowl that comes with it
|Allows for completely hands-free mixing
See more: our guide to the best stand mixers on the market today.
When To Use What – And Why
Hand mixers and stand mixers have both earned their spot on the list of essential kitchen appliances. When you’re trying to decide whether to opt for a hand mixer or a stand mixer, a good look at your intended use of the tool will almost always answer this question.
You see, though they are both types of mixers, hand mixers and stand mixers are used for different purposes or in different situations. Generally speaking, hand mixers are used for casual everyday kitchen tasks, while stand mixers are for batch baking or intensive tasks.
Hand mixers are perfect for small jobs. They’re great for tasks like mixing ‘light’ doughs and batters or whipping egg whites and cream. They can also be fantastic tools for making milkshakes or smoothies or smoothing out soup mixes with the right attachments.
Stand mixers are ideal for jobs that are too big for hand mixers to, well, handle.
Think kneading dough, mixing large quantities of batter, churning homemade ice cream, and working ‘heavy’ batters. With the right attachments, they can also be used to grind meat, juice fruit, spiralize veggies, cut pasta, and do everything a hand mixer can.
The Differences Between Hand Mixers And Stand Mixers
In terms of the bigger picture, hand mixers and stand mixers are both kitchen appliances that meet the same need. But they have different purposes and are designed with different users in mind.
One of the biggest differences between these two types of mixers is their appearance. Hand mixers are typically compact, lightweight, and easily stored, while stand mixers are always bulkier, heavier, and more difficult to transport.
Speed Setting Differences
Hand mixers generally have between five and seven different speed settings for the user to choose from. Stand mixers, on the other hand, usually have between five and twelve different speed settings to choose from.
Both hand mixers and stand mixers are compatible with an array of attachments. For hand mixers, these attachments can be used for jobs like smoothing sauces and soups. In a stand mixer’s case, these attachments can be used for all sorts of tasks ranging from grinding meat to spiralling veggies.
Differences In Usability
Hands down, stand mixers are the easier of the two to use as you simply switch it on and go about other kitchen tasks. With hand mixers, you need to physically do the mixing with one hand while holding the mixing bowl steady with the other.
But, aside from this, hand mixers are less complicated in design which means they’re significantly easier to maintain and clean.
Stand mixers are considered more of a ‘luxury’ purchase.
Understanding The Hand Mixer And Stand Mixer Market
Now that the nitty-gritty has been handled, it’s time to get down to business: what difference in price are we looking at between the two types of mixers?
Generally speaking, hand mixers and stand mixers can be categorized into budget, mid-range, and top-tier price brackets.
|Top Tier Pricing
|$ 12.00 – $25.00
|$32.00 – $70.00
|$80.00 – $125.00
|$ 50.00 – $80.00
|$100.00 – $150.00
|$200.00 and up
Let’s take a look at three of the best-selling hand and stand mixers available online today. You will be presented with a budget option, a mid-range option, and a top-tier option for both product types.
Best Budget Hand Mixer
The bestselling hand mixer weighs a mere 2.80 lbs, measures in at 8.3 x 5.7 x 9.2 inches, and boasts a 250 wattage. It has six speed settings to choose from and is compatible with whisks and beaters alike.
Some impressive features of the Hamilton 6-Speed Electric Hand Mixer include:
- 6 speed settings
- Snap-on storage case
- Innovative groove that acts as a built-in bowl rest
- QuickBurst button
- 5-year warranty for customers in the US and Canada
It doesn’t have the bells and whistles of other designs, but it get the job done. The Hamilton 6-Speed Electric Hand Mixer is a great option for the majority of simple kitchen tasks.
Best Budget Stand Mixer
If you’re looking for an inexpensive stand mixer, you won’t find many better options than the Dash Stand Mixer. Not only is this a fantastic option for those who are short on cash, but it’s also a decent option for those who are short on counter space.
This helpful machine has 250 watts, clocks in at around 4.5 lbs, and has dimensions of 13.2 x 9.4 x 6.7 inches. It has six speed settings to choose from and is compatible with whisks, beaters, and dough hooks.
The Dash Stand Mixer has plenty to offer its users, including:
- 6 speeds
- 1-year warranty
- Available in many different colors (including aqua, pink, black, graphite, red, yellow, white, copper, and cream) to match your kitchen’s aesthetic
The Dash Stand Mixer is an affordable option for those who are looking to dip their toes in the stand mixer pool without investing hundreds upfront. Highly recommended!
See our full Dash Stand Mixer review.
Best Mid-Range Hand Mixer
As far as mid-range hand mixers go, we can’t look past the KitchenAid KHM5120B 5-Speed Hand Mixer. It has enough features that it is considered a better investment than budget options but comes with a small enough price tag that it’s easier on the wallet than top-tier options.
This helpful hand mixer has 170 watts, weighs 2 lbs, and will only take up 8 x 3.5 x 6 inches of space. It has five speed settings that users can choose from, and it is compatible with whisks, beaters, and dough hooks.
In terms of features, the KitchenAid KHM5120B 5-Speed Hand Mixer has a lot to offer:
- 5 speeds
- Soft start feature
- Turbo Beat setting
- 1-year warranty
- Available in many different colors (from Green Apple to Onyx Black and from Majestic Yellow to Empire Red) to match your kitchen’s aesthetic
The KitchenAid KHM5120B is a wonderful middle-of-the-spending range option for savvy consumers.
Best Mid-Range Stand Mixer
Next, let’s check out the Hamilton Beach Electric Stand Mixer. This stand mixer represents the ideal middle ground between budget-friendly and feature-rich.
The 300-watt stand mixer weighs a whopping 13 lbs and has dimensions of 13.1 x 8.5 x 13 inches. It has seven speed settings to choose from and is compatible with whisks, beaters, and dough hooks.
The Hamilton Beach Electric Stand Mixer has many impressive features and it looks greater on the counter:
- 7 speed settings
- Splash guard
- Available in many different colors (including black, blue, red, and silver) to match your kitchen’s aesthetic
See our full Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer review.
Best Top Tier Hand Mixer
The Breville BHM800SIL Handy Mix Scraper Hand Mixer is one of the more high-end hand mixer options available. It’s on the pricy side, but it delivers with an abundance of features that you won’t find in the lower priced models – including additional speed settings.
This top-tier hand mixer weighs 4 lbs and has dimensions of 8.5 x 3.5 x 10.25 inches. It has nine speed settings to choose from and is compatible with whisks, beaters, dough hooks, and scrapers.
The Breville BHM800SIL boasts some nice additional features over its rivals:
- 9 speed settings
- Detachable storage compartment
- Ergonomic natural hand position design
- Speed Boost setting
- Rubber attachments for quiet operation
Best Top Tier Hand Mixer
Now let’s take a look at the Cuisinart SM-50G 5.5 Quart Stand Mixer – while it’s on the top tier side of the (kitchen) scale, it’s far from the most expensive option available in this price bracket.
This aesthetically pleasing stand mixer is 500 watts, weighs 20 lbs, and measures in at 14.17 x 7.87 x 14.13 inches. It has a dozen speed settings to choose from and is compatible with whisks, dough hooks, and paddles. It looks fabulous on the counter, and it’s really going to make your baking projects a whole lot easier.
It comes with:
- 12 speed settings
- 3-year warranty
- Available in many different colors (from Agave Green Apple to Arctic Blue and from Blushing Coral to Silver Lining) to match your kitchen’s aesthetic
While the Cuisinart SM-50G is one of the more affordable top-tier models, everything about it oozes quality and reliability – right down to the die-cast metal construction.
Lots of power, lots of capacity – this is a fantastic stand mixer if you are a serious baker looking for one of the best-in-class stand mixers.
So, when it comes down to it: should you pick a hand mixer or a stand mixer?
If you’re a casual baker or someone who has light-duty needs, a hand mixer will serve those needs well. If you’re a serious baker or someone whose needs stray on the heavy-duty side of things, a stand mixer will be a game-changer.