Classic Vs Artisan Kitchenaid – Complete Comparison

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With the rise in popularity of television programs like the Great British Baking Show (and all its spin-offs), many home bakers are starting to experiment in their own kitchens.

If you’re looking to get serious with your baking, then you probably want to invest in a stand mixer.

If you’ve ever watched one of these baking shows, then you know that the KitchenAid stand mixer is basically another cast member. Each workstation is adorned with a cheerful-looking KitchenAid Artisan model in a variety of colors.

But, how can you decide which stand mixer is the best choice for you? Is there really that much of a difference between the KitchenAid Classic and KitchenAid Artisan models?

And if there is, how do you choose the one that is going to work best for your needs?

So, what’s the difference between the Classic and Artisan KitchenAid models? It comes down to a few things such as motor power, bowl size, bowl handle, color choices, a soft-start setting, a pouring shield, and finally the price point.

Read on to discover more about the similarities between these two stand mixers and the differences that set them apart so you can choose the best model for your home baking needs!

What Are The Similarities Between A Classic And Artisan KitchenAid Stand Mixer?

When you’re deciding which model to choose, understanding the similarities between the Classic and Artisan KitchenAid stand mixers can help. While there are some key differences, which I’ll outline below, the similarities are important.

Where It’s Made

When you’re investing in an expensive piece of kitchen equipment, like a stand mixer, you want to make sure you’re getting the highest possible quality.

All KitchenAid mixers are made in Greenville, Ohio right in the United States.

They have been manufacturing these mixers in the same factory since 1941 and have a load of knowledge and tradition behind their process.

As a bonus, buying products made in the United States provides jobs for local economies and lowers the carbon footprint for shipping.

Whether you choose an Artisan or Classic model, you can feel confident knowing that they were both made in the same factory by folks who know the process.

Attachments And Power Hub

One of the great things about a stand mixer is all the attachments that come with it. Both models include a coated flat beater, a dough hook, and a 6-wire whisk for all your mixing and baking needs.

They also share the same power hub, which is the base that you attach your attachments to.

When looking at the models, you can see that the main difference in the power hub comes down to the color, which we’ll talk about below.


In terms of the size of the Artisan and Classic KitchenAid stand mixers, they are identical in terms of measurements. Both models are 14 inches tall, 8.7 inches wide, and 14 inches deep.

There is a slight difference in terms of weight, with the Classic weighing 22 pounds to the Artisans 23 pounds.

This slight difference in weight is likely due to the motor, which we’ll get into below. It’s slightly bigger in the Artisan, so a little heavier as well.

They’re not the smallest kitchen appliances, but they look pretty on the counter so you don’t have to worry about moving them around if you have the space.

Speed Options

Another similarity between the Classic and Artisan KitchenAid stand mixers is the speed options.

Both models offer 10 different speeds, which gives you a wide range of foods you can prepare. It’s always nice to start slow and work up to speed regardless of what you’re making.

To help you choose the right speed to use, I’ve shared some tips:

  • Speed 1 is best for slowly combining ingredients together.
  • Speed 2 or 3 is perfect for mixing heavy batters and cutting butter into flour or dough.
  • Speed 4 or 5 is defined as a medium-low speed, so it’s best for whipping egg whites or making cookie dough. This speed is the one you’ll choose when a recipe says medium-low.
  • Speed 6 is classified as a medium speed, so it’s the one you’ll use when that speed is indicated in a recipe. It’s great for creaming butter or making delicious frostings.
  • Speed 8 is classified as a medium-high speed. It’s great for making meringues and whipped cream.
  • Speed 10 is high-high and one that you probably won’t use super often, since it can overwhip things quickly. You might use it when you have to whip small amounts of ingredients like cream and eggs.

Remember when you’re mixing your ingredients that heavy doughs and batters cannot be whipped at high speeds.

If you try to do this, you run the risk of burning out the motor on your very expensive stand mixer. So if it’s thick, stick to speed 4 or lower to err on the side of caution.

Tilt-Head Bowl Access

Tilt-head mixers refer to the way that you get into the bowl. While KitchenAid sells both tilt-head and bowl-lift models, the Artisan and Classic models are both tilt-head.

This style means that you will tilt the head of the mixer (where the attachment is located) backward in order to remove the bowl or access the ingredients inside.

You can easily unlock the head, tilt it back, and scrape down the sides of your bowl.

I love a tilt-head mixer because it’s super easy to use. Sometimes the bowl-lift models can be finicky with their lever and it can be a little trickier to add attachments, so this is a great feature that both models have.


If you’ve ever used a KitchenAid stand mixer, then you know they are made from solid materials. In particular, both the Classic and Artisan models are made from die-cast zinc, which is super durable and incredibly sturdy.

The weight of these models prevents your stand mixer from vibrating all over the counter as you’re mixing, which keeps things safe and tidy. Both bowls are made from stainless steel, but the finish on the models varies slightly.

The Classic model is a brushed matte stainless steel, while the Artisan model is polished stainless steel that’s super shiny. As I’ll mention below, this is one thing to consider when choosing the model you prefer.

Care And Cleaning

While you can’t pop the power hub in the dishwasher without destroying the electrical components, the rest of your Artisan or Classic stand mixer is totally dishwasher safe.

That means the bowls and attachments can all be run through the dishwasher without being ruined.

The power hub is easy to keep clean too. Just give it a wipe with a cloth dipped in warm soapy water to remove any flour, batter, or dough that splashes onto it.

I like to dry it with a tea towel afterward so it stays bright and shiny.

What Are The Main Differences Between A Classic And Artisan KitchenAid Stand Mixer?

Now that we’ve outlined all the similarities between the Classic and Artisan KitchenAid stand mixers, it’s time to take a look at what sets them apart.

These qualities are what will help you decide which model is better for your needs and budget.

Motor Power

The biggest and most important difference between the two stand mixers, in my opinion, is the power of the motor since this drives the higher price for the Artisan model.

The Classic model has 275 watts while the Artisan has a whopping 325-watt motor.

While both models will be able to make cookies, meringues, cakes, frostings, and other softer batters and doughs without issue, heavier kneading like bread doughs or enriched doughs is done better with a higher wattage.

These heavier doughs require more effort to knead and move around, so if you plan on making a lot of bread dough or heavy batters, then you will probably want to invest in the more powerful motor.

While the Classic can handle these mixes, it will take longer and use more energy.

Over the long term that could cause the motor to wear out and need replacing. That’s a lot more expensive than investing the extra $160 upfront to get the extra power.

That extra wattage will knead and mix your doughs without breaking a sweat (or the motor!).

Soft Start Option

Another difference between the models is the soft start that comes with the Classic model.

This setting is awesome because it starts off really slowly in order to prevent the flour and other ingredients from splashing all over the place and making a big mess.

I’m not entirely sure why the Artisan model doesn’t come with this feature, since it does seem incredibly helpful regardless of what you’re making or your skill level in the kitchen, but I suppose they have their reasons.

I don’t think it’s anything to base your decision on, but this feature is a nice bonus if you do weigh the other differences and decide to choose the Classic stand mixer.

Model Variations

I’m mostly focusing this article on the standard Classic and standard Artisan models, but there are some variations that are worth mentioning.

The Artisan model does come in a smaller Artisan Mini version that has a 3.5-quart bowl and a 250-watt motor.

It also comes with the soft-start feature, which is worth considering if you’re looking for a smaller, lighter, and less powerful mixer.

It comes in 11 different colors (we’ll see more about color variations below) weighs only 16.5 pounds and is cheaper than both the Classic and Artisan models.

The Classic version does come in a Classic plus, but as far as I can tell based on the specs on the KitchenAid website, the only difference between the two are some color options.

The regular Classic comes in black or white, while the Classic plus comes in silver or white.

I think if you’re looking for major differences, the only really big one is the mini Artisan.

It’s less powerful and cheaper than both the Classic and Artisan mixers, so if you aren’t making large batches and mostly focus on soft doughs and batters, it could be a nice option.

Color Choices

Ah, the color choices. This is where the Artisan mixer really shines. Now that we’re all posting and sharing everything on social media, a beautiful kitchen and cool appliances are all the rage.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a foodie baking influencer who does have a gorgeous colored Artisan mixer.

While the Classic and Classic plus options are pretty limited, coming in only silver, white, or black, the Artisan choices are almost endless.

There are 40 different colors to choose from including a gorgeous light green called Pistachio, pale pinks, vibrant aquas, classic reds, and everything in between.

These color choices are definitely something that should carry some weight in your decision.

The mixers are so heavy that they often stay on the countertop even when not in use, so why not invest a little more to have something beautiful to look at?

The colors also give you a chance to let your personality and style shine through since you can find choices to complement your kitchen design aesthetic.

Whether that’s warm and neutral or a bright burst of color, getting to choose what works for you is a huge bonus.

If you’re choosing between the stand mixers and your heart is really pulling you to the jazzy colors, I say invest the extra money for something that you’re really going to love.

It might seem silly, but you’re also getting a more powerful motor, a bigger bowl, and a couple of other great features.

Bowl Sizes

While it might not seem like a huge difference, the Artisan stand mixer comes with a 5-quart mixing bowl versus the 4.5-quart bowl that comes with the Classic and Classic Plus model.

That means the Artisan mixer can make 9 dozen cookies at once compared to the 6 dozen made in the Classic bowl.

If you have a large family or love to bake for your friends, coworkers, or events, then the larger bowl can save you a lot of time since you can make much larger batches at once.

Bowl Finish

While this feature is purely aesthetic and not something I would base my entire choice on, it is worth mentioning.

The Classic model comes with a brushed matte stainless steel mixing bowl. This finish is great because it doesn’t show nicks or fingerprints very easily.

The Artisan model comes with a shiny stainless steel finish, which can look a little more polished and luxurious.

However, it does show fingerprints, scratches, and nicks a lot more clearly. With that being said, there are other bowl options you can buy online to replace the one it comes with.

Bowl Handles

The Artisan model comes with a bowl that includes a handle. While it might seem like a relatively small feature in the grand scheme of things, this one little handle can make moving and using your bowl a lot easier.

And you’ll be a lot less likely to drop it with slippery fingers and spill the contents of your bowl all over the floor. You can easily remove it from the base, move it around the kitchen, and steady it to scrape the sides with a handle.

Again, I wouldn’t base my entire decision around whether the bowl has a handle, especially since you can buy other bowls for your base, but it is definitely a nice bonus for the Artisan stand mixer.

Extra Attachment: Pouring Shield

You know how I mentioned the soft start feature above? Well, the Artisan doesn’t need that feature because it comes with a pouring shield.

This handy little attachment is a piece of plastic that fits over the top of the bowl with an opening for you to pour your ingredients into.

It prevents your flour, batter, dough, etc. from splashing up and making a big mess all over your kitchen counter.


Based on the features that come with the Artisan model, it shouldn’t be surprising that there is about a $160ish dollar price difference between it and the Classic model.

The price difference depends on where you buy it and it can be even bigger if you add other attachments like a meat grinder or spiralizer.

The reason for the difference in price comes down to a few key elements:

  • A more powerful motor: 325 watts VS 275 watts.
  • A larger bowl: 5 quarts versus 4.5 quarts
  • A handle on the bowl for easier maneuvering
  • The pouring shield, which can keep things tidier in the kitchen as you bake
  • More color options: 40 VS 3
  • A shinier bowl

I think these extra features are certainly worth the higher price point, especially if you’re planning on making a lot of bread of thick batters, which require a studier motor.

I’m also a sucker for all the colors to choose from. They’re just so pretty and fun!

How Do You Choose The Best KitchenAid Stand Mixer?

Now that you’ve learned all about the differences between the Classic and Artisan KitchenAid stand mixers, it’s time to decide which model is going to be the best choice for you. There are a few things to consider when making your choice.


There is a roughly $160 price difference between the models depending on where you buy it from.

The Classic stand mixer is going to be cheaper because it has a smaller bowl, a less powerful motor, doesn’t come with the pouring shield, and has fewer colors to choose from.

With that being said, it is still quite a powerful machine that should be up to the task of most home baking requirements.

So if budget is of foremost concern, go with the Classic model. You’ll still be able to bake up a storm and your wallet will thank you.

What Do You Use It For?

The biggest difference between the models is the power of the motor. The Artisan has a 325 watt compared to the 275 watt motor in the Classic stand mixer.

The more powerful motors are great for folks who plan to make a lot of bread and heavy doughs.

The lower watt motors can certainly still knead the doughs and beat the heavier batters, but it will take longer and the motor will have to work harder.

If you are consistently making these heavier doughs and batters, it could wear your motor out faster.

So if you plan to make a lot of bread or enriched doughs, you will likely want to go with the Artisan model, since the higher wattage will get the job done faster and save the motor from burning out.

Do You Want A Colorful Appliance?

One of the things I love most about the Artisan KitchenAid stand mixer line is the incredible variety of colors that it comes in. There are about 40 to choose from, so you are guaranteed to find one you love that suits your kitchen decor.

Since these stand mixers are pretty heavy, they often get left on the counter, which means they can be a part of your kitchen design.

If you want to add a pop of cheerful color to your countertop, then the Artisan model is definitely the one you want to choose.

However, if you’re not too particular about the color or your kitchen vibes go well with white, grey, or black, then the Classic model is a good choice too.

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