4.5- vs. 5- vs. 6-Quart? Which KitchenAid Stand Mixer Is Right for Me? Size Does Matter!

Updated on October 30, 2018
Tall Clovers profile image

Tall Clovers is a former legal and finance professional and small business owner.

6 Quart KitchenAid Stand Mixer...in Empire Red
6 Quart KitchenAid Stand Mixer...in Empire Red

Which KitchenAid Is Right for Me?

I had always wanted a KitchenAid Stand Mixer, but when I purchased it, I wasn't very familiar with the product so I picked the red one (not very scientific, I know). It happened to be a 6-quart mixer. If I had a time machine, I wish I would've picked a 5-quart. I believe I would have used the mixer more often and have been more satisfied with the results.

The KitchenAid 4.5- or 5-Quart Stand Mixer

There are basically three big differences between the 4.5- or 5-quart KitchenAid Stand Mixer and the 6-quart KitchenAid Stand Mixer: size, power, and style.

  • Size: It's... well... a lot... smaller. Nothing technical, or scientific here. It's just not as big. Which, in this case, I found to be a good thing. Unless I was making huge batches of biscotti, pizza dough, or the like, I found the 6-quart bowl to be too big, thus allowing and my batter to flop and spatter about instead of mixing with ease.
  • Power: The 4.5-quart KitchenAid Stand Mixer provides you with 275W of mixing power, and a bowl large enough to mix dough for up to six dozen cookies, and dough for three loaves of bread. This size model is ideal for making cakes, cookies, homemade pasta dough, and light breads. The same model's 5-quart version provides 325 watts of mixing power and effortlessly tackles thick brownie batter and bread dough. The bowl is large enough to mix dough for up to nine dozen cookies and dough for four loaves of bread.
  • Style: The 4.5- and 5-quart mixers feature a tilt-back mixer head, which allows for easy access to the beaters and bowl. A lock lever holds the mixer head securely in place when lowered, and the base of the bowl twists and locks to the base of the Stand Mixer.

KitchenAid Professional Series 6-Quart Stand Mixer

The 6-quart KitchenAid Stand Mixer is much more powerful than the 4.5- or 5-qt. model, as it comes with a 575W motor with a direct-drive, all-steel gear transmission, allowing you to whip up huge, dense batches of goodies. The 6-qt. model also features a larger bowl with a "lift out design" vs. the smaller twist on bowl attachment. In this model, the mixer assembly is moved into an upward position when placing the bowl into position (by rotating the side crank), then lowered with a lever on the side when mixing is set to occur.

Features Common to All KitchenAid Stand Mixers

There are many features common to every KitchenAid Stand Mixer, regardless of the size. The mixing process is one - ingredients are thoroughly combined as the beater spins clockwise as the shaft spins counterclockwise; moving the beater around the bowl, eliminating the need to manually rotate the bowl. All KitchenAid Stand Mixers offer 10 speeds, and all models come with a pouring splash shield, that sits around the top of the bowl and prevents ingredient splash-out. There's a chute that makes it convenient and easy to add ingredients.

Finally, three attachments are typically included with all models: a flat beater, a wire whip and a kneading hook. All three attachments are easily secured to the beater shaft with a simple lift and twist, and add to the versatility of the mixer. The flat beater is the ideal accessory for mixing normal to heavy batters. The dough hook mixes and kneads heavier yeast doughs, eliminating the need of hand-kneading. The wire whip incorporates the air required for creating delicious whipped cream and yummy fluffy cakes.

And the Winner Is...

Unless you are a professional baker and are "whipping up" copious amounts of batters and doughs, the 6-quart KitchenAid Stand Mixer is probably too large for you. It is for me. Sure, it looks gorgeous sitting on my counter, but so would the smaller 4.5-quart or 5-quart model.

All things considered, the 5-quart KitchenAid Stand Mixer wins. It's powerful enough to mix bread doughs and stiff batters, and large enough to meet holiday baking demands, yet not so large that my everyday family recipes get lost in the mix (get it?)!

Optional Attachments

No matter which size model best fits your needs, there are numerous attachments that can be added, allowing you to make pasta, sausage, and juices with ease. Of course, these attachments are sold separately.

Questions & Answers

© 2014 T Clovers


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    • profile image


      7 months ago

      Thank you! I have an Artisan 5qt and is looking to purchase another one, but wanted to know if i should buy the architect or stay with Artisan?

    • profile image


      14 months ago

      Ok, I am not interested at in the kitchen aid Professional mixer. I am wanting the Artisan mixer but how can I get one for 6 quart?

    • Tall Clovers profile imageAUTHOR

      T Clovers 

      15 months ago from Southern California

      Hi Katherine-

      Thank you for your question. My personal experience is that when I am making large batches of something yummy, especially during the holiday season, the power and size of my large 6 quart KitchenAid mixer makes my life soooo much easier. However, for my everyday mixing needs (a pizza crust or two), my smaller 4.5 quart mixer fits my needs. If you're mixing large batches regularly, the 6 quart KitchenAid might be a good fit.

      As an aside, I love the look of my large red KitchenAid, and love to display it on my counter. Hope that helps. Happy Mixing!!

    • profile image


      15 months ago

      I have a family of 7. I make recipes with between 4-6 cups of flour so that the food I bake lasts two days. I always have to double or triple recipes. I can't find any stores in my area in rural Alaska that carry them to compare them in person. Do you think I can get away with the 5 quart or should I get the 6 quart?

    • profile image


      17 months ago

      Thanks for the information. I received my mixer as a gift when I graduated college 13 years ago, and didn't know what size I have, so I could get and additional scraping paddle and some bowl covers. The combination of information was just what I needed to know: Artisan, 325 watt. Now I'm off to make pies. ;-)

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Thank you. This was just the info I was looking for in making my decision

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Thank you, this helped!

    • Tall Clovers profile imageAUTHOR

      T Clovers 

      2 years ago from Southern California

      That's wonderful! Thank you for the comment. Have a wonderful holiday season!!

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Thank you ! This is exactly the information I was looking for and will help me decide on the size

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Thank you for the detailed review. Great points that you mention that made it easy for me to make my choice.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Very helpful, thank you

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Helpful info


    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Great info on deciding which one to get. Thanks

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Thanks - took your advice & just bought the 5 qt! :)

    • profile image

      Penny O 

      2 years ago

      Thanks, that's exactly the information I was looking for!


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