There’s a new sheriff in town, and his name is Ankarsrum. Okay, maybe not so new, as this bad boy has been around since 1930, but it has recently taken the baking world by storm with its unusual yet intriguing appearance. Not to mention people are going nuts about how this spiral stand mixer makes the best bread dough than any other stand mixer.
A name that I still can’t pronounce and have given up doing so, the Ankarsrum spiral stand mixer is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. With its unique yet minimalistic design, this stand mixer is a total game changer when it comes to making dough from scratch.
Now, I wouldn’t trade my KitchenAid stand mixer for the world. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been tempted to try out this bad boy, which I have, and I have a lot to say about it.
It couldn’t be a proper review without comparing Ankarsrum to the defending champion, KitchenAid. So let’s take a look at how these two stand mixers stack up against each other in terms of performance, design, and price.
- Stand Mixer Range: 10
- Mixing Motion: Planetary
- Motor: 250W – 1.3bhp
- Bowl Capacity: 3.5qt – 8qt
- Speed Settings: 10
- Accessories: 80+
- Standard Attachments: Bowl, Flat Beater, Wire Whip, Dough Hook, Splash Guard
- Colors: 100+
- Warranty: Check Link
- Price: $350-$800 (sale dependent)
- Stand Mixer Range: 1
- Mixing Motion: Spiral
- Motor: 1500W
- Bowl Capacity: 7.4qt and 3.7qt
- Speed Settings: 8
- Accessories: 16
- Standard Attachments: Two Bowls, Dough Roller, Dough Scraper, Spatula, Balloon Whisk, Paddle, Dough Hooks, Lid and Recipe Book
- Colors: 14
- Warranty: 7 Years
- Price: $750
Ankarsrum: Who are they?
Ankarsrum has a long and storied history, much like KitchenAid. The Ankarsrum Assistent (meaning assistant in Swedish) has been a loyal companion to Swedish home bakers since the 1940s, dutifully whipping, kneading and mixing countless batches of dough and cake batters for around 80 years.
Originally designed for commercial use and deemed too big for household baking, the Ankarsrum was given a redesign by engineer Alvar Lenning who created a mixer that could be used in ordinary homes for people who loved to bake.
Today, the Ankarsum Assistent has remained pretty much untouched, boasting a similar design dating from the 1940s. This unusual mixer is still considered one of the top choices for home bakers who want a stand mixer that can handle any baking task with ease and finesse – no matter how tough or tricky.
KitchenAid: Who are they?
KitchenAid needs no introduction. As the reigning king of stand mixers, KitchenAid is known for its high quality and durability, not to mention the iconic retro design that has remained the same for almost 100 years. With a wide range of mixers to choose from, with varying features and price points, KitchenAid has become one of the most popular brands in the world among those who love to bake.
KitchenAid has been around since the 1920s, a time when stand mixers were still in their infancy. KitchenAid was the first company to introduce an electric mixer with all the features and accessories that are now considered standard – tilt-head design, interchangeable attachments, planetary motion, and more.
This much loved mixer is still hand made and hand assembled in Ohio, much like Ankarsrum. And while the old-school design hasn’t changed much over the years, KitchenAid continues to innovate with some of its other products, such as high-tech blenders and stand mixers for smaller kitchens.
Stand Mixer Range
It doesn’t take a stand mixer expert to know that KitchenAid has the biggest range of mixers on the market. From the Artisan Mini, to the Classic, to the Artisan 5, the Pro Line and the Commercial, just to name a few. There is a KitchenAid stand mixer to suit all needs and budgets.
Ankarsrum, though, only has one. The Ankarsrum Assistent Original. Don’t be fooled, they might only have one thing, but that one thing, they do it very well, as you are just about to find out.
Planetary vs Spiral
I have already touched on the subject of planetary vs spiral, so take a look at that article if you want to find out a bit more on the different stand mixer motions.
One of the biggest differences between Ankarsrum and KitchenAid, aside from appearance, is the motion.
KitchenAid, like most stand mixers out there, has a planetary motion. Planetary motion means that the mixer head runs in two orbital directions. The head of the mixer spins in one direction and the attachment spins in the opposite direction. KitchenAid’s planetary motion point of contact varies between 59 and 69 depending on the model. This means that the attachment spins around the bowl on 59 or 69 different points, allowing for superior mixing and folding.
A spiral stand mixer, which is what the Ankarsrum is, has a completely different motion. Made to withstand much tougher ingredients, a spiral mixer spins not just the attachment, but also the bowl. This type of motion allows for consistently kneaded dough that is not overworked and not overheated.
Let’s address the elephant in the room: the Ankarsrum looks strange. Most of us, including me, are used to a more traditional-looking stand mixer, with either a tilt head or a bowl lift mechanism.
Spiral stand mixers have been around for decades, but it seems like most of us haven’t given them much thought. I know they exist, but until the Ankarsrum, I dismissed them as outdated and kind of hideous.
What makes the appearance of the Ankarsrum unique is that the large 7.4qt stainless steel bowl is positioned on the base which houses the motor. This is the complete opposite of a tilt head or a bowl lift where the motor is in the head of the mixer and the bowl underneath it.
The Ankarsrum mixer is controlled from the two dials, located under the bowl. The left dial turns the mixer on or off, and when twisted around even further it acts as a timer which can be set to up to 12 minutes. The right-hand dial is used to control the speed of the motor.
As for the body of the mixer, it is made from strong, die-cast Swedish aluminium and the main bowl is made from stainless steel. The spring-loaded arm, which is used to attach accessories, is also made from stainless steel. The two control knobs are chrome-plated zinc. True to their sustainability mission, Ankarsrum mixers are made from 100% recycled material.
KitchenAid on the other hand is probably one of the most beautiful stand mixers out there; it’s retro, it’s nostalgic, it’s sleek, it’s sensual.
KitchenAid has captured the hearts of millions with their mixers and we all know why – they don’t try to reinvent the wheel and instead stay true to their classic design that has remained unchanged for almost 100 years!
KitchenAid’s appearance is a classic tilt head or bowl lift. The speed is controlled by a lever on the side of the head of the mixer and the motor is located at the top, inside the head. All KitchenAid stand mixers are made from die-cast.
While the Ankarsrum looks like something straight out of a 1950s sci-fi film, it’s clear that this machine was designed by engineers who were thinking outside the box – not just from a design perspective, but also from a functional one.
But appearance isn’t everything. This bad boy has a, wait for it, 1500-watt motor. At the risk of blowing your mind, even more, it’s a 1500-watt Direct Current (DC) motor. If you know anything about AC/DC motors, you will be thunderstruck (pun intended). The DC motor allows the Ankarsrum to produce a steady and continuous flow of current and produces a great amount of torque, giving it the ability to handle the toughest doughs even in large quantities.
Compare this to an Alternating Current (AC) motor, which continuously changes the flow, supplying a varied rate of current.
KitchenAid, has a selection of both AC and DC mixers with various wattages. The smallest mixer, the Artisan Mini has a 250-watt DC motor, while the Artisan 5 which is their most popular stand mixer, has a 325-watt AC motor. This suggests that the Mini isn’t actually as weak as you might think it is, and the Artisan isn’t as powerful as you would expect. The most powerful KitchenAid stand mixer is the Pro Line and the Commercial with a 1.3 BHP.
The multiple worm gear drive motor also means the Ankarsrum can run continuously for a very long time compared to KitchenAid which can sometimes require a 30-minute cooldown if used continuously for longer than 10 minutes. The motor on the Ankarsrum is surprisingly quiet compared to the KitchenAid. To see for yourself, just look at the video below.
Points to Ankarsrum for their technologically advanced, high-powered, DC motor on their one and only stand mixer.
KitchenAid has a wide range of bowl sizes, from 3.5qt for the Mini all the way to 8qt for the Commercial stand mixer. You also have the option to replace or purchase additional bowl sizes and bowl materials.
The further up the line you go, the bigger the bowl gets. The Artisan has a 5qt bowl which can accommodate both smaller batches and larger ones, and anything beyond the 5qt mark you are looking at making a cake for the masses.
The Ankarsrum mixer comes with two bowls. It has a huge 7.4qt stainless steel bowl and a 3.7qt Tritan plastic bowl. The 7.4qt bowl is one of the largest home mixing bowls on the market. Each bowl comes with its accompanying attachments, which I will talk about in more detail below.
The stainless steel bowl is almost exclusively used for making bread dough and can mix up to 5 kilos (around 11lbs) of dough without so much as breaking a sweat. The plastic bowl is used for your general baking tasks like making cake batter or cookie dough.
I love that Ankarsrum gives its customers two bowl options. You are not always going to be making bread and you are not always going to be baking for a village. So the fact that they give you two bowls with completely different bowl capacities really tells you a lot about what Ankarsrum prioritises.
With KitchenAid on the other hand, you are restricted by the size of the bowl that comes with the mixer. If you get the 7qt mixer and want to whisk one egg white, well you can’t. You need to go out and get a smaller bowl that will fit that specific model.
Every KitchenAid stand mixer comes with 10 different speed settings. Some also come with a soft start feature.
The Ankarsrum has 8 different speed settings with the ability to set a timer for up to 12 minutes. Adding a timer dial is such a clever feature. While with most stand mixers you need to babysit your food while it’s getting mixed, the Ankarsrum is able to mix for you while you put your feet up for 12 minutes. And the best part? The Anakrsrum stops mixing once the timer is up.
KitchenAid has really embraced the ‘Not Just A Mixer’ marketing campaign. They have expanded their accessories list to include juicing, pasta making and meat grinding attachments. They even have an ice cream maker and an ice shaver attachment. And that’s not it. They have a range of over 80 attachments and accessories which is bigger than any other stand mixer brand out there.
The standard attachments that come with every stand mixer include a bowl, a flat beater, a dough hook and a wire whip. Some models also include a splash guard. The flat beater, dough hook and wire whip are all attached by locking the attachment into place underneath the head of the mixer.
Any other attachments like the meat grinder, blender and juice press all attach in the universal hub located at the top of the stand mixer. For the most part, the standard attachments and the bowls are not interchangeable as their size and fit depend on the mixer model. The rest of the attachments and accessories fit on the universal hub regardless of the model.
With the Ankarsrum you get a 7.4qt stainless steel bowl, dough roller, dough knife, spatula, dough hook and lid (the lid can be used on both bowls). You also get a 3.7qt Tritan plastic whisking bowl, balloon whisks and paddle attachments. As an added bonus, you also get a recipe book. In terms of their additional attachments, there are 16 attachments overall, including a coffee grinder, cookie extruder and juicer.
The dough roller is especially unique and something that I have never seen before. Its purpose is to mimic kneading by hand and slowly knead and stretch the dough, resulting in the most supple bread dough. Traditional dough hooks, like the one KitchenAid provides, can tear the dough and risk overworking it.
The way in which you attach accessories on the Ankarsrum is also strange. At the top of the mixer is a spring-loaded arm that can be used loose or can be fixed into place. To insert an attachment, pull the pin-up, insert your attachment and pull the pin back down.
What’s even stranger is the way additional attachments are inserted. To attach a grinder, for example, you need to flip the Ankarsrum on its side. You then attach whatever attachment you’re using where you’d place the bowl. Not the most traditional way to attach accessories, but considering the motor is on the base and there is no ‘head’ I guess tilting the mixer on its side makes sense.
Overall, the KitchenAid stand mixer is certainly more accessible and user-friendly when it comes to accessories. But the innovative attachments that can only be attached to the Ankarsrum add a level of fun and practicality that you just don’t get with other mixers.
Take a look at the Ankarsrum dough roller in action!
You don’t even need to own a KitchenAid mixer to know it offers so many more color options than Ankarsrum. We’re talking every single color of the rainbow here and every shade and hue in between. KitchenAid has colors you didn’t even know existed, colors you didn’t even think were possible.
Ankarsrum offers a modest 14 colors. Not a lot, but still enough that you’re bound to find one that suits your kitchen aesthetic.
Weight and Size
With a wide variety of stand mixer models, KitchenAid has a range of small stand mixers to large ones. The Artisan Mini comes in at around 18lbs and is around 25% lighter than all the other KitchenAid models. Surprisingly, their heaviest stand mixer is the Professional 6500, weighing 37lbs, compared to the Commercial which comes in at 31lbs.
For the KitchenAid stand mixer dimensions and size, take a look at the separate article I wrote on that.
The Ankarsrum comes in at around 29lbs (13kg) which makes it heavier than the Artisan. In terms of its dimensions, it is 18.5 x 13.2 x 17.7 inches (47 x 33.7 x 45 cm). It’s actually quite a big machine and heavy. This might not suit everyone’s needs or kitchen space, so KitchenAid takes this round as it offers a larger range of stand mixers to suit people’s needs.
A warranty gives you peace of mind and reassurance that you are buying a product that will stand the test of time.
KitchenAid stand mixers and accessories come with a 1-year warranty. But this depends on where you are. In the USA it’s one year, in the UK it’s six months and in Australia it’s 5 years.
Ankarsrum is so sure about its mixer and its ability to withstand the test of time that they offer a 7 year warranty. Not only that, each Ankarsrum stand mixer is individually tested before it leaves the factory to ensure that it is fully functional before being shipped. This gives you peace of mind in knowing that you have a product that will last you a long time. That just goes to show how confident Ankarsrum are in their product.
Price is a big deciding factor for many people, so how do these two stand mixers compare in this regard?
KitchenAid stand mixers can be found from anything between $350 to $800, depending on the deals and sales at the time and of course the model. The Artisan comes in at around $500 while the larger bowl lift stand mixers are priced at around $600 to $800 depending on the model.
The Ankarsrum stand mixer comes in at around $750, so it’s more expensive than the KitchenAid Artisan and is more in line with the price of the KitchenAid Commercial mixers.
Both stand mixers aren’t exactly budget-friendly, to begin with unless you get a banging deal. But, you get what you pay for, and with both of these mixers, you get durability, quality and performance.
Ankarsrum Stand Mixer vs KitchenAid: Is there a new winner?
I am KitchenAid’s biggest fan but I must say that this review was very difficult. There are so many great stand mixer brands out there, but this is the first time that I have been torn between two appliances.
KitchenAid is a classic. It’s beautiful, it’s well-crafted and it’s reliable. However, I have to give Ankarsrum a chance here. It’s heavy-duty, has great accessories, and comes with a 7-year warranty, albeit it’s a little on the uglier side, but, it is great at making bread dough.
So here’s my thoughts. If you are a big bread maker, go for Ankarsrum. If you are more of an all-rounded baker who likes to dip their toes in all sorts of baking treats, KitchenAid is probably your best bet.