The venerable KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer is a favorite in commercial and home kitchens all over the world for a reason: Since 1919, it's gained a reputation for robust reliability, and has attachments that can turn it into anything from a meat grinder to an ice cream maker.
But that doesn’t mean it’s the right mixer for everyone. So, we looked at five other high-end mixers, and found some surprisingly unique, powerful, and attractive offerings.
Here are five other high-end stand mixers you should check out before you buy the same KitchenAid everyone else has.
Updated March 10, 2016
Ankarsrum AKM 6220
This is our favorite KitchenAid alternative. Because its motor is located in the base of the mixer, not the head, this Swedish-made mixer looks like it came from an alternate reality. It’s also a lot easier to use.
Making bread? The Anakrsrum spins the metal bowl while the dough hooks remain fixed. There’s no head to tilt out of the way, so you can easily add ingredients while mixing. For other recipes, wire whips attach to a pole that extends up through the center of a plastic bowl. Some of the 18 other attachments require you to put the machine on its side, which also helps with stability.
Yes, it’s $699—but all-metal construction, worm-gear drive, and 5-year warranty mean it’s a good investment. If you’re serious about baking—and especially if you love to make bread—the Ankarsrum Original is worth checking out.
Bosch Universal Plus
Using a similar design to the Ankarsrum, Bosch’s Universal Plus mixer has a motor in its base that spins dough hooks and wire whips that hang from the top of the bowl. Its flexible bowl can hold up to 14 lbs. of dough, it can also take numerous attachments, and there’s even the option to add a blender on top.
The Bosch is designed in Germany and built in Slovenia. Though it's popular in Europe, in the U.S. it's sold mostly through a few specialty retailers. Unlike the Ankarsrum, it has a belt drive mechanism and its exterior is mostly made of lightweight plastic. But a $389 price tag makes it more affordable than most of its competitors.
With its curvaceous, art deco-inspired look, Smeg’s stand mixer goes beyond traditional—it’s a master class on industrial design. Attachments include a pasta roller, tortellini and ravioli makers, a meat grinder, and multi slicer.
It’s more expensive than many of its competitors, and we’re still waiting to see more user reviews before we can judge its reliability, but it’s safe to say that few other small appliances can class up your kitchen like this Smeg.
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For a modern take on a traditional stand mixer, this short and stout Cuisinart is also a popular choice. It comes with a 5.5-quart bowl, costs $350, and gets great user reviews online. It comes in white, black, and brushed chrome, and has a more subdued look than many of its competitors.
Like the KitchenAid, it has 12 speeds and can accept a multitude of attachments. Unlike the KitchenAid, it has electronic controls with a 15-minute automatic shut-off timer.
KitchenAid Artisan Mini
If the classic KitchenAid stand mixer leaves you cold, perhaps you’ll find room in your heart—or on your countertop—for a version that’s 25 percent smaller and lighter. The Artisan Mini has a 3.5-quart bowl, but it can fit all the same attachments as larger KitchenAids, and is even made in the same factory in Greenville, OH.
About the only thing that’s different is the motor, which was specially designed for the compact model. A $399 price tag isn’t small, either, so folks without size constraints may still want a machine that’s larger and less expensive.
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