Tilt-head vs Bowl-lift Stand Mixer Comparison

There are mainly 2 types of Stand Mixers

Tilt-head stand mixers Bowl-lift stand mixers
Tilt-head Kitchenaid Stand Mixer Bowl-lift Stand Mixer
Different models of Tilt-head mixers

  1. KitchenAid Classic Stand Mixer, White
  2. KitchenAid Classic Plus Stand Mixer, White
  3. KitchenAid Artisan Series Mixer, Pistachio
  4. KitchenAid Artisan Design Series, Candy Apple
  5. KitchenAid Custom Metallic Series, Brushed Nickel
Different models of Tilt-head mixers

  1. KitchenAid Pro 450 Series, Empire Red
  2. KitchenAid Pro 500 Series, Onyx Black
  3. KitchenAid Professional 5 Plus, Cobalt Blue
  4. KitchenAid Professional 600 Series, Copper Pearl
  5. KitchenAid 8-Qt Commercial Mixer, Onyx Black
Motor Power 250, 275, 300, or 325 watt motor depending on the model 300, 325, 450, or 575 watt motor depending on the model
Gears/Speeds All KitchenAid models have 10 speeds
Bowl size 4.5 – 5 quarts depending on the model 4.5 – 8 quarts depending on the model
Flour Power 8 – 9 cups depending on the model 8 – 14 cups depending on the model
Bread Power Dough of 4 – 4.5 loaves of bread can be mixed at once Dough of 4.5 – 8 loaves of bread can be mixed at once
Pros & Cons
  1. Cheaper
  2. Lighter in weight ~ 25 pounds
  3. Shorter in height ~ 14 inches when the head is not tilted backwards. Therefore, fits between the shelf/cabinet and counter on most kitchens. However, you need clearance above the mixer to tilt the head back/open. Generally, you can’t operate a tilt-head mixer in the space between the counter top and the cabinet. You either need to pull it out from under the cabinet, or keep it in a cabinetless-spot on your counter top!
  4. You can tilt the head back and let the icing/batter ‘drip’ in to the bowl. Cleaning the beater/whisk with a rubber spatula is less of a hassle
  5. You can tilt the head back and scrape the bowl easily. You don’t have to worry about removing the attachments or removing the bowl out of the mixer
  6. You can tilt the head back and remove the bowl without having to remove the beater/whisk. Tilting the head back is not something difficult to do.
  7. When you tilt the head back, the attachments (whisk/beater) are kind of ‘in your face’. Some people find this annoying. But those who are used to tilt-head mixers don’t even notice this!
  8. These are generally less powerful. Ideal for a small family.
  9. Works great for small quantities – up to 4.5 loaves of bread, 9 dozens of cookies etc. Well… those are not so small quantities are they? Not many of us need bigger mixers!
  10. Gears are NOT all steel
  11. Some models come with nylon coated beaters and dough looks while other models come with burnished metal beaters and dough looks.
  12. Does not come with an electronic speed sensor
  1. Generally more expensive
  2. Heavier ~ 30 pounds
  3. Taller in height ~ 16.5 inches. Sometimes, this is too tall to fit in between the counter top and the cabinet above it. However, you don’t need extra clearance space above the mixer. The height of the mixer is the total height you need. If it fits in the space between the counter top and the cabinet, you’re good to go!
  4. Getting the batter off the whisk/beater while it’s still attached to the mixer head is more difficult than on a tilt-head model. You can lower the bowl and use a spatula to clean the beater, but more often than not, the bowl still gets in the way. However, those who are used to bowl-lift models will tell you that it doesn’t bother them at all
  5. You can’t tilt the head back. So you can sometimes be a little pressed for room when you have to scrape the sides of the bowl if you want to do it without taking the attachments off
  6. You need to first lower the bowl and then loosen the attachments, and then remove them through that gap between the head and the bowl. You need to do all that before you remove the bowl. Removing or fixing the attachments, or removing the bowl takes a little bit more effort than with a tilt-head model.
  7. You don’t tilt the head backwards (you can’t, there’s no hinge). So the attachments won’t be in your face! This is a good thing!
  8. More powerful – if you will be kneading bread/pizza dough regularly, instead of baking cakes and whipping up cream, you need one of these. Some models are also approved for commercial use.
  9. Too big for small quantities like to beat a few egg whites, a half a cup of cream etc. Can handle up to 8 loaves of bread, 13 dozen cookies or 8 pounds of mashed potatoes!
  10. ALL steel gears transmission
  11. Only one model comes with a nylon coated beater and dough hook. All others come with burnished metal beaters and dough looks.
  12. Comes with a built-in electronic speed sensor
Bottomline
  • The inconveniences of scraping the beater and the bowl or removing the bowl in a bowl-lift mixer OR the extra height of a tilt-head when you tilt the head back are relatively minor problems. With time, you get used to these ‘inconveniences’.
  • The deciding factors are ‘power’ and ‘volume’. If you knead bread frequently and in relatively large quantities, you need a powerful bowl-lift model. If you don’t need that much power, a tilting model will do just fine! It’s really that simple. Choosing the right color is a lot more difficult :)

 Watch the following two videos and you’ll get an idea about how tilt-head mixers and bowl-lift mixers work


Here’s the second video

9 comments… add one

  • Barb

    What is the capacity (dozens of cupcakes, dozens of cookies) of the Artisan, the Classic and the Classic plus ?

  • Jennie

    Thanks so much for this very helpful and clear video comparison!

  • harvey kountz

    I laid my artisan on its side in my trunk of the car, so that it wouldn’t tip over while I was driving. The next day a heavey dark transmission oil had run all over the trunk of my car. Help!!!!!

  • harvey kountz

    My Artisan is much more noisy than my classic. Is this normal?

  • Does the pro fit on the counter under the cabinets. How tall is it?

  • I have The 5plus Bowl lift. Please show video of the steps when making a box cake mix. What goes first and how. Bowl and ingredients?or mixer blades ? Finding this difficult. Think I should have bought a tilt. HELP
    Kathy C

  • Andrew A

    I do bake frequently – mixer used 3+ times weekly – had a lift-bowl Kitchenaid for 15 years and loved it! Was time to replace and I bought tilt-head Kitchenaid. Big mistake for me. Because tilt-head has weaker motor, the lowest speed is much faster than lift-bowl models. That means flour, especially cake flour and cocoa powder, gets thrown out of bowl. If you’re serious and you expect to use mixer frequently, only consider lift-bowl.

    • Ashley

      @ Andrew, can you please tell us which exact KitchenAid mixer models you’re referring to? When you say lift bowl models have lower speeds, you’re probably referring to the soft-start feature of the Professional series that we refer to on http://trendy-kitchen.com/kitchenaid-artisan-vs-professional-mixer-comparison/. Yes, the soft start feature indeed minimizes splatter of dry ingredients like flour all over the bowl and even our of the bowl as you say! But, don’t think of it as a mistake, did you ever try a pouring shield? That’s something that can definitely help minimize flour getting thrown out of the bowl on to the kitchen counter top!

  • Suzanne

    I my professional model kitchen aide mixer but now the my family is all grow up I would love to trade in my professional mixer and get Kitchen Aide with the tilt stand. Please Help or advise.
    Thanks, suzanneoconnor 508@gmail.com

Leave a Comment

Are you machine or animal? *