Creating in the kitchen lets you explore new ways of making. When inspiration strikes, you reach for the right appliance to help turn your vision into reality. You may wonder whether you need a hand mixer or a stand mixer. In truth, the answer is often: why not both? Choose a link below to jump to a topic and learn more.

Stand mixer and hand mixer on counter with ice cream cones

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HAND MIXERS AND STAND MIXERS?

Hand mixers and stand mixers handle some of the same functions, but there are key differences between them. Knowing which mixer is best for each task makes things easier as you create and clean up.

In basic terms, a hand mixer is an electric mixer that you hold in your hand over a bowl. They’re great for small jobs, but your hand and arm can get tired if you need to mix for a long time, or have a larger or stiffer batch of dough. A stand mixer is a heavy-duty electric mixer attached to a stand that sits on a countertop. Stand mixers can also have various attachments that make them a versatile appliance, doing everything from making and cutting pasta to spiraling vegetables or grinding meat.

There are advantages to using each of these appliances in any kitchen. Amateur and professional chefs alike use both hand mixers and stand mixers, depending on which will create the best results for their task.

Silver KitchenAid® stand mixer with spiralizer attachment

The Benefits of a Stand Mixer

A stand mixer is a powerful and versatile mixing tool. If you plan to make bread, large batches of cookies, or any type of dough recipes that require longer mix times, a stand mixer will be your go-to. KitchenAid® stand mixers also have a variety of accessories and attachments to help you expand your culinary aspirations.

1. STAND MIXERS ARE VERSATILE

One of the main differences between a hand mixer and stand mixer is versatility. KitchenAid® stand mixers have a power hub that allows it to become a multi-use kitchen appliance that does everything from grinding meat to making fresh pasta and even ice cream. Check out the Stand Mixer Attachments Guide to see all the ways you can adapt your KitchenAid® stand mixer and turn it into a juicer, spiralizer and more.

2. STAND MIXERS CAN HANDLE LARGER BATCHES

Stand mixers are made to handle larger tasks and bigger batches. KitchenAid brand makes stand mixers that have bowl capacities up to 7 quarts for making dozens of cookies or multiple loaves of bread.

3. STAND MIXERS ARE GREAT FOR HEAVIER DOUGHS

By holding the bowl in place, a stand mixer delivers thorough mixing on dense, heavy doughs, batters and other mixtures. If you’re planning to make multi-grain bread, rolls, pasta or homemade pretzels, you’ll appreciate the capacity and stability offered by a stand mixer.

4. STAND MIXERS ARE POWERFUL

With motors that are typically bigger and more powerful than hand mixers, stand mixers are able to churn through thicker doughs and handle longer mixing times. KitchenAid® stand mixers can power attachments such as a food grinder or pasta roller.

5. STAND MIXERS HAVE MORE SPEEDS

Most hand mixers have 5 to 9 speeds, while with a stand mixer, you’re likely to find 10. This range of speeds allows for precision in mixing, whisking or kneading dough. The higher speeds are great for saving time when whisking together egg whites for meringue or making whipped cream or frosting.

6. STAND MIXERS REQUIRE LESS ATTENTION

A stand mixer is able to run on its own without being held or supported, which takes some of the physical strain out of cooking and baking. A stand mixer can also allow you to multitask while it churns through ingredients, whereas both hands are required when using a hand mixer.

7. STAND MIXERS LOOK GREAT ON YOUR COUNTERTOP

An iconic KitchenAid® stand mixer on your countertop helps you express your inner Maker. With an array of bold chrome stand mixers, calm black stand mixers, classic red stand mixers, and bright colors to choose from, you can find a stand mixer that perfectly matches your style. With a place on your countertop, your stand mixer will quickly become the culinary center of your kitchen – ready to help you explore your culinary passions, wherever they lead you.

Stand mixers from KitchenAid brand let you mix and match features to find the right size, bowl capacity, color and design that suit your cooking style and preferred aesthetic. Plus, stand mixers grow with you as you explore new techniques with more than 10 possible attachments.

Woman using hand mixer to mix recipe

THE BENEFITS OF A HAND MIXER

Hand mixers can be a convenient go-to as you whip, beat or mix the ingredients of your favorite creations. Some hand mixers, like the KitchenAid® Cordless 7 Speed Hand Mixer, offer even more convenience and flexibility with no cord tethering you to one spot. Most hand mixers come in 5-speed to 9-speed options, giving you plenty of power to mix up batters and whip stiff peaks.

1. HAND MIXERS TAKE UP LESS SPACE

When countertop and storage space in the kitchen is in short supply, a hand mixer can be easier to tuck away and retrieve than its stand mixer counterpart. Most hand mixers are compact enough to fit in small kitchen cabinets or drawers.

2. HAND MIXERS ARE MANEUVERABLE

Lots of helping hands in the kitchen or competing for counter space? Hand mixers easily follow your favorite dishes in the making anywhere there's a plug in your kitchen. For even more flexibility, cordless hand mixers can follow you anywhere in the kitchen.

3. HAND MIXERS WORK IN MOST BOWLS

Whether you’re creating small portions or mixing in large pots or pans, hand mixers allow you to mix directly in most containers without transferring to a stand mixer bowl. This can help streamline both your making and cleanup process.

Whip, knead and mix with lightweight hand mixers from KitchenAid brand. With cordless options for more flexibility, anywhere from five to nine speed settings and versatile accessory packs to choose from, you’re sure to find the right tool to match the way you make.

Buttermilk yellow stand mixer and hand mixer on counter with ice cream cones

Hand Mixer vs. Stand Mixer: Why Not Both?

Both hand mixers and stand mixers have their place in every kitchen and excel at certain tasks. Consider your cooking style and kitchen space, then choose a mixer that best suits your needs and enables your particular passions. Many people have both a hand mixer for ease and convenience as well as a stand mixer for versatility and larger batches in their kitchens. Whichever mixer you choose, you’re sure to discover new possibilities.

If a hand mixer is the perfect option to tackle your culinary endeavors, shop the collection of KitchenAid® hand mixers which includes models that feature high-speed options or come with multiple accessories.

Or, if you are looking to expand your cooking and baking repertoire with a more versatile appliance, shop the collection of KitchenAid® stand mixers to find the perfect one for your kitchen. 

If you’re still trying to decide which type of mixer can best keep up with you in the kitchen, read through the frequently asked questions below to learn more about the strengths of each mixer type and find out when to use a hand mixer vs a stand mixer.

Stand mixer vs hand mixer side-by-side comparison

STAND MIXER VS. HAND MIXER FAQS

IS A HAND MIXER AS GOOD AS A STAND MIXER?

Hand mixers are great for quickly mixing smaller, lighter batches and are more compact and portable, but stand mixers are best for long mixing times and large or heavy mixtures. Stand mixers also generally offer more versatility with a wider range of attachments and accessories and offer hands-free mixing.

CAN YOU USE A HAND MIXER INSTEAD OF A STAND MIXER?

Hand mixers and stand mixers can take on many of the same dishes, but some types of recipes are better suited for a stand mixer. Use a stand mixer for large batches and thick mixtures or for specialty tasks like cutting butter into flour.

WHAT IS A HAND MIXER USED FOR?

You can create a wide variety of cuisines using a hand mixer. Whip up icings or dressings, mix your favorite cookie recipe or scramble eggs in a snap. Best for small to medium-sized batches, beat potatoes into a creamy mash or create a mouth-watering chocolate mousse. 


Whether a hand mixer or stand mixer seems best suited to your next endeavor, find the right fit with countertop appliances from KitchenAid brand. Browse popular KitchenAid® hand mixers and stand mixers below, or shop all countertop appliances from KitchenAid brand.

Woman with KitchenAid® Artisan® Series Stand Mixer and fresh vegetabes

Stand Mixer Upgrade

Is it time for
a new stand mixer?

Discover powerful models in a range of capacities and fresh, statement making colors to keep up with your culinary evolution.

 

 

Learn more about mixing and more