KitchenAid Mini vs Regular: 20 Specs of the Mini Compared to Artisan and Classic Mixers

KitchenAid Classic KitchenAid Artisan Mini KitchenAid Artisan – Designer Series with Glass Bowl
1. Motor 250 watts 250 watts 325 watts
2. Bowl size 4.5 quarts 3.5 quarts 5 quarts
Artisan mini 3.5 quart bowl narrow space

The narrow space around the mixer head can be a challenge when adding ingredients. (image credits: youtube.com)

You need to realize that the “Mini” really is miniature in size. 3.5 quarts may not sound too small, but look at the image on the right hand side and you’ll see that it is indeed tiny. We all know that the whole idea behind the KA Artisan Mini is to have a KitchenAid stand mixer that’ll suit the modern ‘mini’ lifestyle. Have no doubt; the mini will look great on those small, modern kitchen counter-tops. But, know that ‘space’ is really tight in all departments. Pouring in ingredients (sugar, flour, milk, eggs etc.) through that relatively narrow gap in to the bowl can be a little challenging and annoying at times. However, the limited space wouldn’t be a big deal if you’re not a frequent user of the mini mixer. However, if this is your ONLY stand mixer and you intend to use it at least every 1-2 weeks, the limited room can become really frustrating!

3. Bowl has handle No Yes
4. Bowl finish Brushed Stainless Steel Polished Stainless Steel or Glass

Brushed vs Polished Stainless Steel – Pros and Cons

polished-vs-brushed-stainless-steel-bowls-of-ka-artisan-and-mini

  • Polished SS is easier to clean and shine up. Cleaning brushed SS surfaces is a tad-bit harder due to its rougher surface
  • Maintenance of polished SS can be challenging. Scratches, scuffs and finger prints show more easily on polished SS surfaces
  • If brushed SS gets a scratch, you can use a Scotch-Brite pad to make it scratch-free again! Using Scotch-Brite on polished stainless steel will only make the scratches worse!
  • Caustic detergents of dishwasher liquids can make polished SS look dull!
  • The ‘mirror-bright’ polished SS can definitely brighten up your kitchen though
  • Bottom-line: At the end of the day, it’s not a HUGE deal whether you go with brushed or polished SS. Both of them have their own pluses and minuses. It’s more a thing of personal preference than anything else. Don’t let this be the decisive factor in your choice for which mixer to go with!
5. Bread power 3.75 loaves with a single mix
1 loaf with a single mix 4.5 loaves
6. Cookie power 6.75 dozens with a single mix
5 dozens with a single mix 9 dozens
The book says that the mini can make 5 dozens of cookies. Sure, it ACTUALLY can make 5 dozens of cookies. However, for the mini, it’s not a cake walk! When mixing up thick and ‘difficult’ batter/dough, the mini will at times make a lot of noise or even make gasping sounds like an old train engine struggling up a steep hill. Will the old engine climb the steep hill eventually? Sure it will, but the journey wouldn’t be a pleasant one for the engine or the passengers!

This is why we don’t/can’t recommend the KitchenAid Mini for mid to heavy users. If you’re a light user that will bake the odd pound cake, beat up a few eggs, make guacamole by mashing avocados, mash up a few potatoes, whisk up mini meringues, and make cake frosting, the KitchenAid Artisan Mini will be more than enough. However, if you will use it to make artisan bread dough, pizza dough etc. on a regular basis, do yourself a favor and grab this model or this model of stand mixer.

Here is a Must Read Customer Review that critically analyzes his/her experience with the KitchenAid Mini.

7. Planetary Mixing Action

Yes, 59 point planetary mixing action

8. Pouring shield Need to buy separately Not included, has to buy separately 1-piece pouring shield included in the Artisan purchase
9. It can be locked in the ‘up’ and ‘down’ positions Can be locked only when the mixer is running (‘down’ position)  Can be locked when the mixer is running (‘down’ position) as well as when the head is tilted back (‘up’ position)

Artisan Mini lock-unlock mechanism

Notice that the lock is in the ‘locked’ position. When it’s locked, the head won’t dance/gets thrown up when kneading tough bread dough etc.

10. Soft-start® feature No YES No
Whatever you speed you set on the mini, it will  automatically start at a lower speed. This ‘slowness’ helps avoid dry, dusty ingredients splashing (flour puff) all over the kitchen. Once the ingredients get mixed and moist, the mini automatically increases its speed to the speed you originally selected.
This was previously only available on the Professional and Pro Line series
11. All-steel gear transmission

Not available on any of these three models

Only available on this range of KA stand mixers

12. Electronic speed sensor
13. Commercial style motor protection
14. Flat beater and dough hook Both the flat beater and dough hook that come with these 3 models are nylon coated.

Here are the PROS and CONS of nylon coated attachments compared to burnished metal attachments.

  • The burnished metal attachments cannot go in the dishwasher. Washing them in the dishwasher will make them turn a dark grey and shed gunpowder-like dust on hands and food! You need to wash them by hand in hot soapy water and if that doesn’t take away the oil, you should scrub them with a plastic scrubber.
  • On the other hand, nylon coated attachments are ‘top-rack dishwasher safe’
  • Unfortunately, with time, the nylon coating on the metal attachments can come off/chip away. There have been instances where the coating has started coming off as early as the first use
  • In contrast, there will be no chipping on burnished metal attachments!

KitchenAid Flex Edge Beater for Classic and Artisan Series

As you can see, both metal and nylon-coated attachments have their own pluses and minuses.

15. C-shaped vs S-shaped dough hook The Classic, Artisan and Artisan Mini come with a nylon-coated, C-shaped dough hook. There’s nothing wrong with it, however, S-shaped dough hooks that come with the professional series are generally more efficient when it comes to kneading bread dough.
16. Wire whip/whisk All of them come with a 6 wire-whip

KA 6 wire whip beater

17. Optional attachments

The attachment hub of the Artisan Mini will accommodate most attachments like the spiralizer, pasta extruder, pasta roller, ravioli maker, sausage stuffer, slicer shredder, fruit and vegetable strainer, food processor, juicer, food grinder, grain mill, citrus juicer and the food grinder. However, it cannot accommodate the ice-cream maker. So, if you’re planing on making ice-cream on your stand mixer, you’re gonna have to skip the mini 😥

Given below is a list of the KitchenAid attachments available for stand mixers. The awesome image was originally published on www.kitchenaid.ca

various-attachments-for-kitchenaid-standmixers

18. Speed control  

Artisan Mini 10 speeds

All of these three models come with 10 speeds

Note that even though all 3 of them have 10 speeds, only the Artisan Mini has the “Soft-start® feature”. So, for example if you set the KA Classic to speed 5 setting, the mixer will straightaway raise to speed 5; if you happened to have dry powdery ingredients in there (like flour), it may splatter all over the bowl and even on to the counter top. But, on the Artisan Mini, thanks to the built in Soft-start® feature, even if you set the speed to ’10’, it won’t raise to speed 10 right off the bat. If will start off slow and then gradually increase speed. This ‘slow or soft start’ lets the dry ingredients to mix with the rest (e.g. eggs, butter) and become moist before the speed increases.

This shouldn’t be a deal breaker for those of you that are interested in the Classic series or full-size Artisan because all you need to do is start off slow, stay there for 30-60 seconds until the flour is nicely mixed-up and moist, ramp up the speed, and walk away! That cannot be too big of a deal to most of us!

19. Color options 2 colors 10 colors >30 colors
10-colours-of-the-artisan-mini-mixer

The 10 different colors that the Artisan Mini comes in

kitchenaid-artisan-mixer-colors

The 30+ colors the Full-Size Artisan comes in

20. Warranty 1 Year (this has a 5-Year Warranty)

You’ve seen how 20 specs of the Artisan Mini compare to the regular, full-sized Artisan and Classic

“What’s the bottom line?” you ask :roll: 

Major PROS of the Artisan Mini compared to the Classic and Artisan big sister

It’s cute, it’s cuddlable, and even the smallest of modern kitchen countertops can make room for it

Major CONS of the Artisan Mini compared to the Classic and Artisan big sister

  1. Small Bowl: The 3.5 quart bowl is on the small side; pouring in ingredients through the narrow space between the mixer head and the edge/rim of the bowl can be challenging. Also, remember, “You can cook small in a big wok, but you can’t cook big in a small wok!” Making extra at a family/friend get together would be near-impossible with the Artisan Mini
  2. Insufficient Power: You might disagree if I say the Artisan Mini is not powerful enough because the Classic Series also has a 250 watt motor. But 250 watts is not the output. It’s the input! The output depends on the efficiency of the motor, the friction between different parts etc. etc. Similar to its bowl and the motor, the Mini has a 20% smaller body. KitchenAid has achieved this feat by compacting and rearranging certain parts of the motor, gears and other moving parts inside the body. May be as a result of all these things (small motor, small body, rearrangement of parts etc.) many users have reported that the Mini struggles when mixing relatively large quantities at high-speeds. If you will put the Mini through ‘mega’ quantities, we advise you to stay from the Mini and to go with a Classic Plus or an Artisan.
  3. Pouring shield: Given the narrow space available for pouring ingredients into the mixer bowl, a pouring shield is a must for the Mini. However, a pouring shield is NOT included in the purchase of a Mini Artisan. In fact, as of November 2016, pouring shields were near impossible to find online

The Artisan Mini is Suitable for the following types of users

  1. You have a small kitchen and you would rarely use your stand mixer. You might bake that pound cake and a couple dozen cookies once a week. You might even have to make 5 dozens of cookies when your grand kids visit you over summer. When your grand kids visit, you might even knead dough to bake a loaf of bread and some muffins. Rarely, your husband asks for homemade pasta and you’re compelled to make some because he gifted a pasta extruder for your last b’day. You hate bagels and you never knead pizza dough because, let’s face it, homemade pizza is not quite as ‘nourishing’ as pizza from Pizza Hut! In other words, you’re a very light user and the KitchenAid Artisan Mini stand mixer may suit you well.
  2. You have a chic kitchen, you hate cooking, but a KitchenAid Mini would look gorgeous on that corner
  3. You already have the KitchenAid Professional 600, the Artisan Designer Series and the Classic Plus you got from your mom. The Artisan Mini is all you need to complete your collection

The Artisan Mini is NOT Suitable for the following types of users

  1. You have a large kitchen. You’re a stay-at-home mom/dad. You love cooking, baking, frying, boiling… you name it! Not only do you bake cookies and chocolate cakes every weekend, but you also knead bread, bagel and pizza dough every fortnight. Sometimes it’s just for the two of you, but more often than not, you have to make extra for your family/friends/co-workers. Forget the Mini; go for a Professional series mixer or a full-size Artisan at the least.
  2. Your kitchen is small; there’s just enough room to fit a Mini Artisan on your Kitchen countertop. If you use the stand mixer, that’ll be for something really trivial like beating a couple of egg yolks or baking the rare marble cake. Because you’re such a light-user, you can’t justify buying a full-size Artisan or a Classic Plus mixer. You feel that the Mini was made just for you! WRONG! This is what you really need!

The woman in the video has to do 6 additional things because of the ‘lack’ of room on the small bowl of the Artisan Mini

The following is a video shot as a POSITIVE REVIEW for the Artisan Mini. At 2 minutes 55 seconds (2.55) of the video, the woman goes “Now, I’m going to just add in my flour” and tries to pour in the flour directly on to the bowl. But then she realizes that there isn’t enough space to do that; so she goes “You know what? I’m going to stop this” and then she stops the mixer, raises the mixer-head and pours in the flour. Then she lowers the mixer-head and restarts the Artisan Mini.

In contrast, if the bowl was big enough and there was enough room to pour in the flour, she wouldn’t have to (1) stop the mixer, (2) unlock the head, (3) raise the head, (4) lower the head, (5) lock the head and (6) turn it back on! Phew, SIX ADDITIONAL steps she could have saved had she used a full-sized Artisan. Actually, she could have saved those six steps on an Artisan Mini too, if she used a pouring shield!

On the following video is NOT a positive review of the Artisan Mini. The reviewer is a professional and she clearly downplays the KitchenAid Artisan Mini.

Now that you’ve seen our KitchenAid Mini vs Regular stand mixer (Classic Plus and Artisan) comparison, what are your thoughts? Do you agree with our views? Or do you disagree? Either way, we’d love to hear your point-of-view.

12 comments… add one

  • Leike

    Very useful comprehensive review. I don’t think you have missed a single point there! Thank you! I was planning on gifting myself a Kitchenaid Mini this Black Friday. You changed my mind; I’m not all that tight for room; I’ll gift myself the Artisan big sister this Black Friday (or Cyber Monday; whichever gives the better deal).

    Kinda disheartened that you changed my mind, but also (a teeny weeny bit) thankful you pointed me in the right direction :)

    Leike V

  • Ashley

    Hey Lieke V,

    Sorry we broke your heart; but we’re happy you feel that we pointed you in the right direction! If you still went ahead and bought a Mini, we would love to hear your thoughts.

    In fact, if any of our readers disagree, we would still love to hear your thoughts/experiences with the mini.

    Ashley

  • Katie J

    How come I didn’t see this before I served myself with a Kitchenaid mini just last weekend? I can’t see myself using it every week for the rest of my life, however, I will do so for the first few months at least. I’m also likely to bake considerably ‘big’ batches as my sister and her extended family lives just a few miles from us!

    Now it seriously looks like I’ve bought the wrong KitchenAid. Too bad I missed this Kitchenaid regular artisan vs mini mixer comparison :(

    Does everybody here agree with this mini review? Someone please tell me that the authors are wrong (Ashley, please don’t be offended by me saying that)

    KJ

    • Ashley

      Hey Katie, no not at all; we won’t be offended if anyone challenges our stand on the mini. The KitchenAid mini might be the dream stand mixer for those who are tight for space and will use it infrequently. On the other hand, those who plan on using it to mix large quantities of dough/batter (like yourself :) may find it just a tad bit too small for their liking. Nevertheless, we’re sure you’ll find your KA Artisan Mini extremely useful! Feel free to share some pics with us!

  • Colleen

    I’m sorry I want to disagree with this mini review. I bought one back in October and I’ve used it a lot without any problems, oil leaks, squeaking noises etc. etc. But I will be the first to admit that I always did small batches. I don’t know why anybody doing large batches would want a mini anyway.

    Colleen M; San Jose

    • Ashley

      @ Colleen, I think we’re on the same page! Can’t see where we’re disagreeing. Like you say, the Mini works just as well as its big sisters if you only use it on ‘mini’ batches! Again if I may quote your exact words “I don’t know why anybody doing large batches would want a mini anyway.” Well said :)

  • Joe

    Can you please elaborate a little on the brushed stainless steel vs polished stainless steel matter? I use the dishwasher for everything. Which type of Kitchenaid mini bowl would you recommend?
    Joe Willies, Bay Area

  • Ashley

    @ Joe. Unfortunately, burnished metal bowls can react with caustic detergents and you’d want to hand wash them. Generally, polished SS is considered dishwasher safe, however, the dishwasher can make them a little dull. Give it a good rub with a napkin and it’ll be nice and shiny again! Hope that helps!

  • Big Mo

    Are you saying that the tiny KA mini has 67 point planetary mixing action? Isn’t that what the Professional 600 has?

  • Aaron

    Do you know if the Ravioli maker attachment works with the KitchenAid Mini?

    BTW, this was an unbiased KitchenAid mini review. Tks

    Aaron M, MN

  • Susan Longridge

    Can the mixing attachments ( whisk, dough hook, flat beater, etc.) That work on classic and artisan also work on the mini?
    I know the mini comes with them but do I need to keep my classic beaters separate from my mini or are they interchangeable?

    • Ashley

      Hi Susan,
      Thank you for your question. I’m afraid they’re not interchangeable. Your Classic attachments will not work on the Mini and vice versa.
      Ashley

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