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Old 02-20-2012, 12:21 AM   #1
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Choosing a KitchenAid mixer... for myself...

I am looking to pick up a stand mixer. The Pro 600 would be ~$100+tax more...

My things are:

- I don't cook/bake much, but want to get into baking more
- EVERYONE seems to blindly suggest the more powerful 575 watts Pro 600
- I've never made my own loaf of bread, but COULD see myself doing it down the road...
- I'm interested in trying to make my own ice cream
- I've heard adding ingredients is much easier in the Pro 600
- I feel like the head-tilt is nicer, yet everyone seems to recommend bowl lift. I felt like I could easily+quickly get the tilt-head bowl in and screwed in, but the bowl-lift was a little bit of an annoying two-hand process and the crank is on the opposite side of the power setting...
- I FEEL like the Artisan should be fine for me, but worry I'll find limits or wish I had the Pro 600 sooner rather than later...
- People have said the power combined with better dough hook alone is easily worth it
- I do like the smaller physical footprint of the Artisan, and worry I might have some trouble storing the Pro 600 (mainly due to height...)

I'm sure there's more... but, ya. I'm going back and forth constantly and just going crazy. I have no idea what to do!

I appreciate all comments given my situation! I'm definitely new to this...

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Old 02-20-2012, 07:13 AM   #2
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I have a Professional HD mixer, so I can just tell you my experience with mine. I don't have a problem with the bowl lift. I actually prefer this. I had a hand mixer before this which was similar to the tilt-head and I didn't like it nearly as much.
I think you might want to consider what you will be able to do with the 600 that you can't do with the Artisan.
My husband bought this for me as a gift and I had no idea what he was getting me. I lucked out because it does have the ability to add attachments to the front where the Artisan doesn't.
As far as space, most people I have spoken to about a mixer said it really needs its own permanent counter space. I have mine on a microwave cart (without the microwave).
I use mine a lot. It is surprising all the things you can make with it. It makes kneading dough much easier.
I hope this helps some. Like I said, I can only speak on what I have and I love my mixer :) Good luck!
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:22 AM   #3
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First, I look to Amazon for pricing, and the Pro 600 and Artisan 5 are both within $5-$20 of $275. I checked strictly those sold directly by Amazon, for the 30-day free return.

I use the Pro. I find the bowl lift to be quick and easy. Yes, it's a trade-off both ways, but when you're dealing with a powerful motor, the tilt head hinge is where it must be, and that is in the worst place mechanically. That is really the reason, I think, for the bowl lift, the heavier and more powerful motor. Adding ingredients to the 600 is easier, because there's a little more space between the power head and the bowl, and the larger capacity bowl gives you more clearance to the side. When you hear a mixer work hard, doing something like a stiff bread dough, you realize why the larger motor is worth it. There's a modest weight difference, one shipping weight being 27 and the other 31, as would be expected. Both they're both large mixers, and if one would be trouble, so would the other.

I believe the best bargain in tools is the best you can afford, and pro-sized motors is always the better way, both in terms of longevity and of working ability. In the end, the difference between the mixers comes down to power. All the other differences grow out of that requirement. If you're making cakes and pies and such, I don't think you'll miss the Pro 600 power. If you begin doing a lot of bread, such as doing all you own bread, I think you'll wish you had it.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:07 AM   #4
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I bought the Pro 6, when I got mine, specifically because of the bowl-lift feature. I have an antipathy to tilt-head mixers.

What's important about that is it represents my feelings and comfort level. But not necessarily yours, Kaitlyn.

I would suggest that if you're not comfortable with the idea of it, as you seem to suggest, then you won't be comfortable with it in reality.

More important is how, and how much, you use a stand mixer. The large capacity bowl of the Pro 6 (and, probably, the 5 as well) is really great, when it's called for. But it can make processing small amounts difficult. You're not making bread, and might only occasioally do so. So you don't need the power of the Pro series.

Adding up all you've said, I believe the Artisan is all you need. Make sure that's what you are getting. There is a really cheaply made model, that looks just like it, they call Classic.

And before buying any stand mixer I'd explore options other than KitchenAide.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsBlueEyzz View Post
I lucked out because it does have the ability to add attachments to the front where the Artisan doesn't.
This is incorrect. Just yesterday I used the meat grinder attachment on the front of my Artisan.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:24 AM   #6
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One other difference that could be critical. The Pro600 uses all metal gears, the Artisan does not. It has a nylon worm gear (the main drive) and those do wear out faster, especially with heavier loads.

If the price is this close I think it is a no brainer. The Pro600 is a mean machine and will handle all you toss at it. If it can't then you likely need to move up to a floor Hobart.

Mine lives on the counter. Initially I had the thought that I might put it in the basement and move it when needed. I think it would see far less use if I did it that way. They are heavy.

Since it lives on the counter cabinet clearance is important. The Pro600 sits a little taller, but the Artisan is taller open. That may make a difference for you as well.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:03 AM   #7
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And before buying any stand mixer I'd explore options other than KitchenAide.
The stainless steel dough hooks and beaters available as standard with some other counter top mixers would appear to be preferable to the burnished aluminum or nylon coated ones provided with the KA models.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:23 AM   #8
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Don't be turned off by the bowl lift. You get used to it very quickly. I chose the bowl lift so I wouldn't have to worry about clearance under the cabinets.

I have a 5-quart Pro with a 350 watt motor. It has served me well for about ten years. The nylon worm gear just failed and it's being replaced. The repair should come in under $100. I have to admit I may have contributed to its early failure.

Whichever you choose, you will be pleased with its performance. It sounds like you don't need the bigger one based on what you've told us. Of course, this can change over time and you will curse yourself for not getting the other.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:25 AM   #9
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The repair should come in under $100. I have to admit I may have contributed to its early failure.
Do you count the cost of a new toilet in the cost of ownership?
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:30 AM   #10
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The Pro600 uses all metal gears, the Artisan does not. It has a nylon worm gear (the main drive) and those do wear out faster, especially with heavier loads.

I considered that, Frank. But laid against the OPs described usage did not see it as a real problem. She's talking about a C-note difference in the mixers she's examined. And for a hundred bucks the benefits of a heavy-duty machine just don't accrue.

Now, if she intended to get involved making bread on a regular basis, that would be something else.
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