The modestly priced Hamilton Beach 6-Speed Stand Mixer is a good general use option if you're looking for the best stand mixer on a budget. It did well on our bread and cookie dough tests, though it faltered when put to the task of whipping egg whites.
Attachments don't lock on, which means there's some room for error, and the capacity of the bowl at 3.5 quarts is better for those who aren't planning on baking bigger batches.
Hamilton Beach 6-Speed stand mixer review: Features
This stand mixer comes with six speeds as well as an extra “fold” setting that you turn the control knob to and hold when you want to gently add delicate ingredients such as whipped cream. The 3.5-quart stainless steel bowl is one of the smaller ones we reviewed, but it functioned well in our tests and is durable; we just had to make smaller batches. With the Hamilton Beach mixer, you get the standard beater, whisk and dough hook, and the attachments and bowl are dishwasher safe.
Unlike all the other mixers we reviewed, the Hamilton Beach’s attachments simply went straight into the sockets where they were supposed to go, and you pull them straight out to remove them. With other mixers, we always had to turn an attachment either to the left or right to just the right alignment to unlock it and then pull it out. The lack of locking attachments isn’t a big deal, but in our opinion isn’t as safe.
This stand mixer comes with a one-year warranty, which is standard in the business. If you have questions, you can ask the manufacturer through email or by calling, and you can download a user manual from the website if yours gets lost. The website also offers a wide variety of recipes.
Hamilton Beach 6-Speed stand mixer review: Performance
We brought 4 ounces of egg whites to room temperature and tried to beat them to the stiff peak stage with the Hamilton Beach’s whisk, but this electric mixer didn’t measure up to our other models. We ended up with soft peaks at the point when other mixers would have finished the job. In addition, the machine was quite noisy and vibrated a bit. However, the very powerful suction feet on the bottom of the Hamilton Beach held it firmly in place on the kitchen counter.
When we tried making cookie dough, this mixer worked reasonably well, leaving only a small amount of dough on the side of the bowl that we scraped down with a rubber spatula. This mixer struggled a bit when we added chocolate chips to the mixture, but in the end, the chips got well incorporated into the dough.
When we got to our bread dough test, it was clear the small bowl would not accommodate dough for two loaves of bread, so we cut the recipe in half. The Hamilton Beach has some nice touches – a big, heavy-duty dough hook and a pulse function to help mix dry and wet ingredients. However, the space between the bowl and the attachment is rather tight, and with no splash guard provided, you can still end up with some flour escaping onto the counter.
As for kneading with the dough hook, the Hamilton Beach did all right – but of course, this was with dough for just one loaf of bread. Once the kneading process was finished after 10 minutes, we ended up with dough that was reasonably smooth and elastic, and ready to make great bread. However, it did feel considerably stickier than dough kneaded by some other mixers we tested. If you make bread often and use a mixer on a regular basis for other foods, you might consider the more expensive but bigger and more versatile KitchenAid Classic Plus.
Should you buy the Hamilton Beach 6-Speed stand mixer?
The Hamilton Beach 6-Speed stand mixer is a great budget option if you're looking for a stand mixer for less. It comes with 3 attachments, which is standard for stand mixers, but doesn't have any extra attachment options like the KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer does. With 6 speeds and a special fold setting, it comes with less functions than some stand mixers. That being said, you really get what you pay for with this stand mixer, and it's a good option for those looking to make smaller batches and without a large budget.