Stand mixers are an institution of the kitchen. They help us bake cakes, mashed potatoes, and more delicious dishes for every occasion.
However, there is often a heated debate about which stand mixer is better and for what. KitchenAid is one of those brands with devoted followers, but even they can’t decide whether the KitchenAid Classic or Artisan is the best model.
We’re here to smash that debate. We’ll compare the Classic and Artisan stand mixers, so you don’t have to. By the end, you’ll know which model is the best option for you, and spoiler alert, the answer might surprise you.
Wattage: Does it Matter?
Watts are how stand mixers measure their power, and how many watts you have will affect what you can do with your machine.
Wattage is one of the key differences between the KitchenAid Classic and Artisan models. The Classic comes with a standard 250 watts, enough to power through most baking tasks with ease. On the other hand, the Artisan model comes with 325 watts, 75 watts more than the Classic.
You may be wondering, “If 250 watts is enough for other stand mixers, why would I need 325?” The answer lies in how often you’ll use the mixer and what exactly you plan on making with it.
For example, a cake mix doesn’t need more than 250 watts to whip effectively. You could use the Classic and never wonder what life would be like with a more powerful stand mixer. However, bread dough is much tougher. The 250 watts won’t be enough to make bread as often as you might like, so you may want the extra power provided by the Artisan.
Is Bigger Better?
Bowl size is an essential feature to consider before you decide on the Classic or Artisan KitchenAid model. Many people see a larger bowl and think that the choice is obvious, thinking that bigger means better. However, you might not actually need that large of a mixing bowl. It all comes down to how many people you plan on baking for.
If you’re single or you don’t entertain guests all that often, you may find that a smaller stand mixing bowl is perfect. The KitchenAid Classic has a bowl size of 4.5 quarts, enough for two box cake mixes or two full custom baking recipes. That’s a lot of cake.
The KitchenAid Artisan comes with a 5-quart bowl. While that extra ½ quart might not seem too significant to you, it can really make a huge difference when you’re baking specialty cakes that require extra ingredients.
Things like fruit, nuts, and chocolate chips won’t fit in the 4.5-quart bowl without scooping out some of the cake mix. With the Artisan, you can make any specialty cakes you’d like without having to separate the mixes into different batches.
You should also keep in mind that the Artisan is a bigger, heavier machine than the Classic and takes up more room on your kitchen counter. If you have a small kitchen, it might not be worth bringing the Artisan out from storage every time you use it. The Classic may be the better option if you’re short on space.
Let’s Talk About Bread
As we’ve briefly discussed earlier, if you mix bread dough, it can make or break your decision for a stand mixer. The problem with bread dough over something like cake mix is that it’s so much tougher to fold and stir properly. The stand mixer needs to have enough power so it won’t break, and the bowl needs to be big enough to accommodate the dough rising.
There’s a clear winner in the bread-making category when it comes down to the KitchenAid Classic vs Artisan. The Artisan has the power and bowl size necessary to make any type of bread one to two times per week. However, any more than that, and you may run into problems with the machinery breaking down or decreasing in speed and power.
While you could potentially use the Classic to knead bread dough, you won’t be able to do it regularly. The stand mixer doesn’t have the size or power for intensive bread making, and you could damage the machinery by testing its limits.
What Accessories Do They Come With?
The KitchenAid Classic and Artisan come with many of the same accessories and features. They both come with a stainless steel bowl (the Artisan’s is a ½ quart bigger), ten mixing speeds, and a power hub, and both have dishwasher safe parts.
The Artisan does have a convenient bowl handle that the Classic does not, which will help you carry the heavier mixing bowl when you have it filled to the brim with chocolate cake mix. Some people prefer this feature, while others don’t have much of a need for it. For us, it was definitely useful when we needed an extra hand free.
While the Classic comes in two colors, white and onyx black, the Artisan has 34 colors to choose from. If you’re looking for a stand mixer that also compliments your personal aesthetic, then the Artisan is the better choice. However, this is purely for appearances and doesn’t impact performance in any way.
One other accessory that the Artisan comes with is a super convenient splash guard that will protect you from ingredient overflow. When you’re whipping cream at high speed, you might not want it all over your apron. With the splash guard, you won’t need to worry about that happening.
If you’re looking for a stand mixer with the most extra features, then the Artisan wins hands down. The bowl handle and splash guard are super useful, and the wide color range offers more customization than the Classic. However, the Classic still has all the staples that you might expect from a stand mixer, so these extra features might not factor into your final decision.
Which Is the Cheapest?
From the name, you may already know that the Artisan model is the more expensive stand mixer. It retails at $429.99 and sits in the middle of the stand mixer price range. The price isn’t unjustified; you get a larger bowl and heavier equipment for the extra $80.
As we’ve mentioned, though, the bigger size might not be the best fit for your kitchen. While you’re able to do some more stuff with the Artisan, the Classic is still an excellent stand-mixer for its $349.99 price tag.
Which One Has a Better Warranty?
Both the Classic and Artisan stand mixer models come with a limited one-year warranty, regardless of where you purchase it from. The warranty covers full replacement or repair parts for manufacturer defects but doesn’t account for normal wear and tear.
If your stand mixer breaks down from standard use, meaning not in a commercial or multi-family setting, then KitchenAid will replace or repair the parts as necessary. However, you have to make the repairs at an Authorized KitchenAid Service Center. If you have your friend or another mechanic tinker around with the parts, you might find that you’ve made the product warranty void.
The retailer may offer other warranties as well. Since the standard KitchenAid warranty is the same for both products, it’s worthwhile to check with the website or store you buy one from before making your decision.
KitchenAid Classic vs Artisan: Which Is the Best?
In the end, the KitchenAid Classic and Artisan stand mixers both have their pros and cons. There is no clear-cut winner, and which model is best for you will depend on what you plan to use it for, your kitchen size, and how often you bake. They are both pretty expensive, so if you’re not sold then try out guide to budget stand mixers!
If you have a small kitchen or don’t entertain guests or bake all that often, then the KitchenAid Classic is the best stand mixer for quality and price. While it isn’t great for bread-making, it’s an exceptional piece of equipment that comes with all the standard fixings KitchenAid offers. It’s also the best budget option and gives you the most bang for your buck in this price range.
For the baking guru who makes bread weekly and a cake for every occasion, the KitchenAid Artisan may be the best option. It’s got the power and size necessary to handle tough baking projects and the professional look that screams “I love baking!” to everyone who sees it.
Bake Confidently with the KitchenAid Classic or Artisan
The Classic is a fantastic stand mixer for those of you on a budget, offering unparalleled performance and quality for the price range. The Artisan is the perfect tool for those of us looking to make a statement. It has a few extra features, but its size and color variety, along with its mixing power, are what make it stand out from the competition.
No matter which product you choose, we’re sure that you’ll get the baking fulfillment you’ve been looking for in the kitchen. Kitchenaid Classic or Artisan, you’ll fall in love with your stand mixer in no time!