The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

New Mixer advice

Andreas.anansi's picture

New Mixer advice


I'm looking for advice on buying a mixer. I want a good quality one (one that won't break) but I'm really only baking for myself. I'm a college student, who happens to like cooking. Once I got to use a KitchenAid pro 600 and that was great but I don't really need that much power.

I like pizza, breadsticks, and the rare cake.

Also what's the difference between a tilt-head and a bowl-lift. I've never used a tilt-head before. Is there a quality dfference?


Thanks in advance!

swtgran's picture

Bosch Compact mixer would be ideal for a college student.  It would be great for years beyond.  It is extremely light weight and powerful.  There are also several attachments that work well and would keep you from having lots of individual job oriented appliances taking up space.  Terry R.

thomaschacon75's picture

Almost any mixer will do for those tasks, but if you're looking to save money, go with a small tilt-head from Kitchenaid. 

Small Kitchenaids are not meant for mixing dough (and even the larger ones should be used sparingly re: dough), so if you think you might start making bread, don't buy a small one. In fact, don't buy a Kitchenaid at all if bread is in your plans.

Re: What's the difference between tilt-head and bowl-lift mixer? (see.

Tilt-Head mixers allow easy access to the bowl and the beaters since the motor head tilts back. It's lighter than a bowl-lift mixer, so it can be moved around your kitchen if necessary, making storage easier. If you intend to use your KitchenAid stand mixer under a cabinet, be sure you have clearance to raise the head.

Bowl-Lift mixers raise the bowl and ingredients to the beaters. Since the bowl sits on 2 metal pins and locks into place in the back, the machine is extremely stable. They are heavier than tilt-head models, so it would need a place to stay in your kitchen rather than being moved about.

The bowl-lift mixers have stronger motors enabling them to power through larger batches. They also have a much more rigid design making them better with stiffer batters and doughs.

Of the 3 bowl-lift models, the KitchenAid Professional 5 Plus Series and the KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixers have wide-mouth bowls and the PowerKnead dough hook enabling them to handle larger batches easily.

chetc's picture

If you left out the rare cake, you can save a ton of money, go to a Thrift store and look for a 2lb model bread machine, they are very versatile, will surprise you, I have about 8 of them around, good models, most like new and the most they cost were about $2 to $7



LindyD's picture

I'll heartily ditto Terry's recommendation about the Bosch Compact.    It has a small footprint (10.5" tall, 9" wide, 9.25" deep) but is powerful enough to easily mix two pounds of high gluten flour at 58% hydration.   You can also lift and hold it with one hand.  The German engineering is excellent.  

Pleasant Hill Grain normally sells them for around $140, but they are out of stock at present (new stock expected in October)

I have a KitchenAid Artisan which does a nice job of mixing higher hydration dough, but just can't handle the bagel dough which I mix just about weekly. The KA now is a dust collector because the Bosch Compact is simply a better mixer at half the cost and more than half the weight and space.

BTW, that KA Pro 600 wattage is the input wattage, not the output and really means nothing in terms of how powerful the mixer is.

Janetcook's picture

I am a third behind LindaD and Terry on the Bosch compact.  

I have had a KA and the compact Bosch wins hand down over the KA.  

I second what Linda said about Pleasant Hill Grain Co.  Germany has not imported any for awhile but they are expected in Oct as she stated.  It will be well worth your wait.


Andreas.anansi's picture

I would like to thank you all for your input! I'm impressed by the thoroughness!

The Bosch Compact sounds very nice!