Creating in the kitchen is a passion and an art. 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?
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.
The Benefits of a Hand Mixer
There are times when your hand mixer is the perfect choice. Quickly whisk ingredients for a vanilla bean crème brûlée or assemble an imaginative pavlova. Making a batch of saffron mashed potatoes or meringue for your signature pie? Hand mixers handle these smaller, lighter tasks quickly and superbly—and you only need to rinse off the beaters when you’re finished. Here are the many benefits of a hand mixer:
- Hand mixers are great for everyday use – With a variety of speeds and its compact, lightweight design, a hand mixer is an asset in any kitchen. Because they are so easy to use, they’re great for all kinds of quick, light-duty tasks like whipping up some eggs for a French omelet or mixing a pancake batter.
- Hand mixers are perfect for aeration – Looking to make a cake, icing, or whipped cream and mousse for a light and airy parfait? Your electric hand mixer is ideal for whipping egg whites and adding more air into a mix quickly. Getting the right texture is easier with an electric hand mixer than trying to do it by hand with a whisk.
- Hand mixers are easy to store – A hand mixer fits comfortably in a drawer or cabinet without taking up much real estate in your kitchen. It can also be nestled inside a bowl for those especially tight on space.
- Hand mixers are quick to set-up and clean – In a matter of minutes, you can assemble your hand mixer, beat your eggs, detach the beaters, wash them and stow the hand mixer for the next use. You can set it up in seconds and not lose precious time while cooking.
- Hand mixers are portable – Need to take your mixer on the go or simply want more freedom to move around the kitchen? A hand mixer is lightweight and easy to take with you. The new KitchenAid® Cordless 7-Speed Hand Mixer gives you even more freedom without the limitations of a cord.
- Hand mixers are flexible – Since they’re not limited to a specific mixing bowl, a hand mixer can handle a variety of batch sizes and consistencies. Whether you’re folding in chocolate chips to make dozens of your famous cookies, experimenting with sweet or savory hand pie fillings, or making a personal portion of whipped cream after a trip to the farmer’s market, your hand mixer is ready to help.
The Benefits of a Stand Mixer
For even greater versatility, a stand mixer can be a great choice. 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 for gourmet kitchens and the creative home cooks alike. KitchenAid® stand mixers also have a variety of accessories and attachments to help you expand your culinary aspirations.
- 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 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.
- Stand mixers can handle larger batches – Stand mixers are made to handle larger tasks and bigger batches. KitchenAid makes stand mixers that have bowl capacities up to 7 quarts for making dozens of cookies or multiple loaves of bread.
- Stand mixers are great for heavier doughs – By holding the bowl in place, a stand mixer delivers a more even mix for consistent results. If you’re planning to make cookies, bread, rolls, pasta or homemade pretzels, you’ll appreciate the capacity, stability and power of a stand mixer.
- 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, longer mixing times, or power attachments such as a food grinder or pasta roller.
- 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 more 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.
- 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.
- 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, calm, classic, 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.
Color: Avocado Cream
Color: Aqua Sky
Color: Misty Blue
Hand Mixers vs. Stand Mixers: 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 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 our collection of 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 our collection of stand mixers to find the perfect one for your kitchen.
Learn more about mixing and more
How to Use a Stand Mixer in 9 Easy Steps
This step-by-step guide from KitchenAid will teach you how to use a stand mixer like a pro. Explore new techniques and recipes with these helpful tips.
Stand Mixer Attachment Buying Guide
Learn about the many KitchenAid® stand mixer accessories and attachments so you can dream up your ideal stand mixer and expand your culinary explorations
Blender vs Food Processor
Learn how a food processor is different from a blender and which one is best for each type of kitchen task from making salsa and dips, to icy drinks, soups and smoothies.