If you’re in the market for a new stand mixer, then I am willing to bet there are more than a couple of KitchenAid’s amazing range of stand mixers that have caught your eye. You’re cerintly not the only one, every baker dreams of owning a KitchenAid stand mixer at one time or another. It’s not just the amazing array of colors and sleek aesthetics that turn so many heads either. With their robust American-made build-quality and amazing multifunctional design, these mixers will tackle all your tedious baking tasks for years – even decades – to come.
Two of their most popular mixers, especially for bakers on a budget, are the Classic and Artisan models. These tilt-head mixers represent the entry-level KitchenAid machines that are ideal for the avid baking enthusiast. At a quick glance, both mixers seem to share a lot of similarities, but there are some pretty important differences between these mixers that you will want to learn about before splashing your cash.
So, if you have found yourself wondering which mixer is better between the KitchenAid Artisan vs Classic, you have landed in the right place. On this page, I will compare both two mixers, highlight some of the biggest differences, and offer my personal opinion to help you discover the perfect mixer for you!
The KitchenAid Classic vs Artisan Showdown
The Quick Summary
If you want to cut straight to the chase, here’s my quick comparison of both mixer and their features.
Artisan 5 Series
- Mixer Type: Tilt-Head
- Bowl Size: 5-Quart
- Bowl Material: Stainless Steel (with handle)
- Bowl Finish: Polished Steel
- Soft Start: No
- Motor: 325 Watts (AC)
- Mixing Speeds: 10
- Colors: 40+
- Pouring Shield: Yes
- Dimensions: H14″, W8.7″, D14″
- Weight: 23lb
- Mixer Type: Tilt-Head
- Bowl Size: 4.5-Quart
- Bowl Material: Stainless Steel (no handle)
- Bowl Finish: Brushed Steel
- Soft Start: Yes
- Motor: 275 Watts (AC)
- Mixing Speeds: 10
- Colors: 2
- Pouring Shield: No
- Dimensions: H14″, W8.7″, D14″
- Weight: 22lb
If you are interested in learning a little more about the differences and similarities between the KitchenAid Classic and Artisan, then sink your teeth into my full breakdown below.
Allow me to kick off this head-to-head comparison by highlighting some of the most important similarities these two mixers share.
Perhaps the most obvious similarity between the Classic and the Artisan is the tilt-head mechanism. This design allows the head of the mixer to tilt back when you want to add ingredients or attach the bowl. This is a pretty common design for stand mixers and is so popular due to its ease of use.
You’ll find that the tilt-head is most commonly used on smaller KitchenAid stand mixers. With a bowl-lift mixer, as the name suggests, the bowl is lifted up into its mixing position. This design is found on KitchenAid’s largest mixers and it helps when you’re mixing large quantities or thick batters as it offers additional stability. Take a look at my KitchenAid bowl-lift vs tilt-head comparison for more on this bowl-lift business.
Another important mechanical design both mixers share is the planetary mixing action. This dual-mixing mechanism, first popularized by KitchenAid, allows the attachment to rotate anticlockwise whilst the mixer head spins clockwise. The planetary mixing action is very efficient, as it both mixes and folds ingredients, allowing for a well-incorporated batter.
The outer shell of both the Classic and Artisan stand mixers are made from a zinc die-cast alloy. This is a very strong and durable metal that will help protect your mixer for many years to come. While this means that your KitchenAid won’t be as light as some of the other stand mixers that opt for a plastic case, it will certainly be more durable. There is also an important reason why KitchenAid uses this material in all their stand mixers. The heavy die cast metal provides stability and prevents the mixer from vibrating and walking off your counter whilst in use.
The Zinc die-casting also plays a role in enhancing the external looking of the stand mixer as it provides a smooth and rich finish.
If you thought that both the Classic and Artisan are exactly the same size, then you are correct. Both machines share the exact same dimensions with a height of 14″, a width of 8.7″, and a depth of 14.1″.
These dimensions make both stand mixers the ideal size for most home kitchen countertops. In my opinion, the size of these tilt-head mixers strikes a perfect balance between a mixer that is big enough to offer a substantial mixing capacity and one that is not completely taking over your whole kitchen countertop or in a cabinet.
As with every KitchenAid stand mixer, the Classic and the Artisan have 10 variable speeds. This means that you can mix ingredients at a slow speed for delicate tasks or at a high speed for a more vigorous beating.
The speeds are controlled by a lever on the side of the machine making it very easy to adjust the mixer speed on the fly. You’ll find that the slower speeds are great for tasks such as kneading dough or folding in batter, while the higher speeds are better for tasks such as whipping egg whites or heavy cream.
The final similarity between the Classic and Artisan I want to talk about is the universal hub on the front of the machine. Every KitchenAid stand mixer ever created has had this attachment hub, allowing you to attach any of the 40 different KitchenAid attachments. Some of the most popular attachments include the pasta roller, meat grinder, and ice cream maker.
Classic vs Artisan: The Differences
Know we know the similarities between the mixers but what about some of the differences? Let’s take a look.
Within the Classic and Artisan range, there are a variety of different models.
With the Artisan line, there are currently two different models, the 5 Series and the Artisan Mini 3.5 quart model. As the name suggests, the Mini is the smaller, more compact version of the 5 Series. It is also less powerful, ideal for light mixing, and is a bit cheaper than its larger counterpart too.
The Classic also comes in two varieties, but their features don’t vary much at all. You can get the Classic and the Classic Plus. The only difference between the two types is the availability of colors.
Bowl (Capacity, material, and appearance)
While it might not be immediately obvious at a glance, the Classic has a bowl capacity of 4.5 quarts while the Artisan mixer has a slightly large bowl capacity of 5 quarts. The difference is not hugely significant, but if you find yourself baking for large groups often, the additional half quart could certainly come in handy.
To put this in perspective, the Classic can make 2 batches of cake batter while the Artisan can supposedly make 3 batches. With 3 batches, your Artisan will be full to the brim, so really, the difference in bowl capacity doesn’t make a huge difference.
Artisan 5 Series bowls come standard with an ergonomic handle. This makes it easier to pour out ingredients and makes it more comfortable to carry around. The Classic doesn’t have a handle which can make it harder to carry the bowl and transfer ingredients out of it, but it does save space.
The material of both the Classic and Artisan bowls are the same, stainless steel. This is a great material as it doesn’t absorb flavors or odors and it’s also very easy to clean.
The biggest difference between the appearance of both bowls is that the Classic has a matte, brushed finish whereas the Artisan has a shiny, mirror-like finish. While the Artisan bowl might look a little more impressive, it is also very prone to highlighting smudges and fingerprints which can ruin the aesthetics.
Motor & Gears
By far the most important difference between the KitchenAid Artisan and Classic mixers come down to the motor and gears.
The Classic and Artisan motor both run on alternating current (AC) motor. This is important because the motor torque can produce is directly proportional to the frequency of the current.
This is different from a direct current (DC) motor where the speed is proportional to the voltage applied. AC motors are more common in kitchen appliances as they are more efficient, durable, and cheaper.
Even though both stand mixers use the same type of motor, the Artisan packs has an input of 235 watts while the Classic has a slightly smaller 275 watts. You won’t see much of a difference in power if you are mixing light ingredients. If you are looking to make thick dough, the Classic will begin to struggle a little.
Another important difference to bear in mind is the worm gear used on
Soft Start Feature
The soft-start feature is a great setting to have as it prevents ingredients from flying out of the bowl when you first start mixing. This feature slowly ramps up to the desired speed, minimizing splatters and spills. It is a common feature in most modern stand mixers these days.
Out of the two stand mixers, The Classic is the only one that has this feature. Surprisingly, the Artisan Mini has this feature too, but the 5-quart Artisan doesn’t.
The weight between the two doesn’t vary by much, with the Artisan sitting at 23lb and the Classic at 22lb. When it comes to lifting and carrying the mixer, the weight difference is negligible.
The weight difference is more significant when you compare the Artisan Mini with the Artisan. The Artisan Mini weighs around 16lb, which is significantly lighter than its 5 quart counterpart.
Although both machines come with the standard flat beater, dough hook and wire whip, the Artisan also comes with a pouring shield. The pouring shield is a clear plastic shield that attaches to the rim of the bowl.
It is designed to help you add ingredients without making a mess. It also helps to keep light ingredients such as flour from flying out of the bowl while the mixer is on. The Classic doesn’t come with a pouring shield but one can be bought separately.
I don’t think any KitchenAid stand mixer can be classed as ‘budget-friendly! But, as far as KitchenAid stand mixers go, the Classic is around $100 cheaper than the Artisan and can be found anywhere around $300-$330. The Artisan mixer retails at around $400 to $450.
While this may seem expensive, KitchenAid stand mixers are built to last a lifetime.
If you are dying to get your hands on a KitchenAid stand mixer but don’t want to pay full price, take a look at their certified refurbished stand mixers on the KitchenAid website.
They might be second-hand, but they have been restored and are practically good as new.
The Artisan series is known to have the biggest and boldest selection of color choices. There are over 40 different colors to choose from! You will definitely have no issues finding a color that will make a statement in your kitchen with an Artisan stand mixer.
The Classic doesn’t quite have an impressive list of color choices. Currently, you can only find it in Black and White.
Which Mixer Will You Choose?
In the battle between the KitchenAid Classic vs Artisan, it’s fair to say that these stand mixers are brilliant machines that will definitely make your life in the kitchen a lot easier. They are both similar in many ways but as we can see, there are also a lot of features that separate them.
The KitchenAid Classic stand mixer stands out for its affordability, its timeless designs and ease of use. It’s a classic, it’s in the name.
The Artisan is everything you’ve ever dreamed of in a stand mixer, with colors you never knew existed that will bring a whole new personality to your kitchen. It’s the new and improved version of the Classic and these improvements are definitely reflected in the price.
If price is the be-all and end-all, go for the Classic, it’s a no brainer. But, if you personalise your kitchen with a stand mixer that is suitable for any task it is thrown with, then the Artisan is the one for you.