Tilt-head or Bowl-lift KitchenAid mixer?

For many years now, KitchenAid mixers have been preferred as kitchen appliances both at home and professionally. However, when you are faced with the task of choosing between the Tilt Head mixers and the Bowl Lift mixers, you get confused. The best way you can do it is to have some specific considerations of your own. Note that, household appliances are not meant for commercial use. If you need a commercial appliance just buy a commercial appliance which is certified by NSF and UL.

KitchenAid doesn’t seem to offer any information on the differences between them other than what’s obvious: the bowl-lift one is taller with arms to hold the bowl, and the tilt-head one is shorter with a hinged head that tilts back. But the more expensive “Pro” models all feature the bowl-lift design, while the cheaper models are all tilt-head. So does this mean the bowl-lift is better?

Tilt head mixers (KitchenAid Artisan or KitchenAid Classic Plus..) require you to tilt or lift the hinged head of the mixer back to access the bowl, while the bowl lift mixers (KitchenAid Professional 600 or KitchenAid Professional 5 Plus..) uses a lever that smoothly raises the bowl up to meet the mixing attachment.

To help you decide which type is right for your needs, here is a comparison of tilt head versus bowl lift style mixers.

Bowl-Lift KitchenAid mixer

  • Initially, this mixer was designed for commercial purposes with a high horsepower to enable it work on large ingredient batches and make thick bread dough. It involves no tilt mechanism and therefore can better withstand torsional stresses. The mixer is made from 1/2 hp to 1.3 hp (~375-975 watts) and can mix a volume of 6 to 8 quarts. It is usually heavier to match its capabilities and is available with certification from NSF and UL.
  • When using it, it requires a different approach as the bowl lift impedes the complete separation of the implement from the mixed ingredients. You will need to remove the implement before you remove the bowl. This requires you to have some practical skill and strength.
  • The mixer has a 3 point bowl mounting position device which is different from the one found on the tilt head mixer. This is why it requires some skills on implement removal, positioning and bowl locking.
  • Because of its large volume holding capability, height and strength are important factors and therefore, you need to be at an advantage point while operating it. Either the mixer or you should be at a raised or lowered point.
  • This design also makes it easy to add ingredients without stopping the machine.
  • Preferred by people who make a lot of bread and by professionals, the bowl lift design was originally used mainly in commercial kitchens. The KitchenAid Pro 600 mixers are currently their most popular line of bowl-lift mixers.

Tilt-Head KitchenAid mixer

  • The mixer has power limitations due to the forces working on the tilt mechanism. It is usually less than 1/2 hp (~375 watts) and can only handle 3 to 5 quarts.
  • It is simple to work with as you can tilt the head to completely access the mixing bowl and the implement. The tilt head mechanism does need a lot of strength while operating. However, you have to ensure the mixer you choose has a locking feature which also doubles as an operational override.
  • When using the mixer, it is important that you allow for additional clearance, in order to allow for the working of the tilt mechanism.
  • Removing the bowl only requires you to twist. However, you can find one without a handle hence it becomes a challenge to operate. It is in your best interest to buy a mixer with a bowl that has a vertical handle.
  • Requiring less counter space, the tilt head mixer is short enough to fit underneath cabinets when sitting on your counter top.
  • The mixer is perfect for your household needs as compared to the Bowl lift mixer. It’s the best suited to people who like to bake for a small family semi-regularly. The KitchenAid Artisan series are currently their most popular line of tilt-head mixers.

Which Style of Stand Mixer is Best for your Kitchen?

Photo: kitchendict.com

An effective decision depends on your intended use for the mixer. This is because the mixers are designed for different purposes. Generally, if you want to choose either of the two, you need to have clear considerations depending on the intended use.