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KitchenAid Classic vs. Artisan: What’s the Difference?

Are you shopping for a new stand mixer but can’t decide between the KitchenAid Classic and Artisan?

At a glance, it’s difficult to tell the two apart. But when you look closer, you’ll find significant differences.

In this comparison of KitchenAid Classic vs. Artisan mixers (including Artisan Mini), you’ll learn how they compare in terms of size, power, accessories, colors, price, and more.

By the end, you’ll know their differences, similarities, and all of the important considerations you should keep in mind when choosing between the two.


Use the links below to navigate the comparison:


KitchenAid Classic vs. Artisan: Comparison Chart

If you’re in a hurry, this chart shows how KitchenAid Classic and Artisan mixers compare across key categories. 

Note: The Artisan Mini is a smaller, less powerful version of the standard Artisan mixer.

 Classic & Classic PlusArtisanArtisan Mini
Mixer TypeTilt-headTilt-headTilt-head
Soft StartYesNoYes
Bowl Size4.5-quart5-quart3.5-quart
Bowl MaterialsStainless steelStainless steelStainless steel
Bowl HandleNoYesYes
Bowl FinishBrushed (matte)Polished (shiny)Polished (shiny)
Pour ShieldNoYesNo
Color Options3 options40 options11 options
Motor275-watt325-watt250-watt
Speeds101010
Height14 inches 14 inches 12.5 inches
Width8.7 inches8.7 inches7.75 inches
Depth14 inches14 inches12.5 inches
Weight22 lb.23 lb.16.5 lb.
Price$$$$ (view on Walmart.com)$$$$$ (view on Amazon)$$$ (view on Amazon)

Similarities Between KitchenAid Classic and Artisan Mixers

The KitchenAid Classic and Artisan mixers share plenty of similarities. Here’s a brief look at what they have in common.

Tilt-Head

KitchenAid offers both bowl-lift or tilt-head mixers, and both the Classic and Artisan are tilt-head versions.

KitchenAid Tilt-Head Mixer
KitchenAid Tilt-Head Mixer

The main difference between tilt-head and bowl-lift mixers is in the way you access the bowl.

With tilt-head mixers like the KitchenAid Classic and Artisan, the head unlocks and tilts back, giving you plenty of room to add ingredients or scrape the bowl.

With bowl-lift mixers, the head is stationary, and you can lower and raise the bowl using a lever.

Learn more in my in-depth comparison of KitchenAid tilt-head vs. bowl-lift mixers.

Power Hub and Attachments

The Classic and Artisan series share the same power hub, which is the part of the mixer that you affix attachments to. Each series comes with a coated flat beater, dough hook, and 6-wire whisk — and the Artisan series also includes a pouring shield.

Speeds

Both Artisan and Classic stand mixers have ten speeds, which maximize the potential kinds of food preparation they can handle.

KitchenAid Mixer Speed Settings
KitchenAid Mixer Speed Settings

Unit Size

The two series share the same dimensions: a height of 14 inches, a width of 8.7 inches, and a depth of 14.1 inches. These dimensions were specifically chosen for easy, under-the-cabinet storage.

Cleaning and Care

All bowls and attachments for both the Classic and Artisan series are dishwasher-safe and easily detachable. You’ll need to periodically wipe the power hub down with warm, soapy water.

Materials

KitchenAid Classic and Artisan mixers are both made from zinc die castings, which are durable and heavy. The solid construction and weight dampen vibrations, so your mixer stays in place and doesn’t scoot off your counter. The bowls are stainless steel, although the finish varies by model (more on that in a minute).

Where It’s Made

All KitchenAid mixers are made in Greenville, Ohio, in the same factory they’ve been producing these iconic appliances since 1941.

Learn more about how a KitchenAid mixer is made in this quick behind-the-scenes video.

Differences Between KitchenAid Classic and Artisan Mixers

Now that you’re familiar with the similarities between the KitchenAid Classic and Artisan mixers, it’s time to review the important differences.

Difference 1: Number of Models

KitchenAid Classic mixers come in two varieties: the Classic (standard) and the Classic Plus.

Although marketed separately, these models are nearly identical, with the only difference being in the colors available.

Classic Plus mixers are available in silver or white, and the regular Classic mixers are offered in white or black.

If you search for “KitchenAid Classic vs. Classic Plus,” you’ll find articles that claim the Classic Plus mixer has a more powerful motor, but that is completely false.

Not only does this product comparison guide on KitchenAid.com show that the only difference is the color options, but I also verified this fact with a KitchenAid customer service rep.

The Artisan series has more product variation than the Classic series, with both a standard 5-quart model and an Artisan Mini 3.5-quart option. As its name suggests, Artisan Mini mixers are a smaller, lighter, less powerful, and less expensive version of the standard Artisan.

Difference 2: Soft Start

The soft-start feature is a built-in setting that comes with all KitchenAid Classic mixers. It automatically starts all mixer settings slowly to reduce splashing or spills.

The 5-quart Artisan mixer doesn’t have the soft-start feature, but the Artisan Mini does.

Difference 3: Bowl Size

KitchenAid Classic mixers include a 4.5-quart bowl, the Artisan has a 5-quart bowl, and the Artisan Mini has a 3.5-quart bowl.

KitchenAid Artisan 5-quart bowl
KitchenAid Artisan 5-quart bowl

To put this into perspective, the Classic bowl can make up to six dozen cookies in a single batch, the Artisan bowl can handle nine dozen, and the Artisan Mini can produce five dozen.

Difference 4: Bowl Handle

The Artisan series comes with a built-in ergonomic bowl handle that makes it easier to remove it from the base, scrape the sides of the bowl, and transport it from one workstation to another.

KitchenAid Artisan bowl with handle
KitchenAid Artisan bowl with handle

The Classic mixer doesn’t include a bowl handle, which saves space but makes it more difficult to maneuver. 

KitchenAid Classic bowl without handle
KitchenAid Classic bowl without handle

Difference 5: Bowl Material and Finish

KitchenAid Classic mixers come with a sleek, brushed stainless steel bowl. Its matte finish hides scratches and smudges.

By comparison, KitchenAid Artisan mixers come with a shiny, polished stainless steel bowl. This mirror-like finish adds a dose of elegance to the overall appearance but shows fingerprints and smudges if you don’t clean it frequently.

In addition to these two options, KitchenAid offers a ceramic mermaid lace bowl, a glass bowl, and a ceramic hobnail bowl that can all be purchased separately. Check out all the options on KitchenAid.com or Amazon.

Difference 6: Pouring Shield

A pouring shield is a tailored plastic piece that “hugs” the mixing bowl’s lip and prevents splashing. The shield is funneled, which is helpful when you’re adding ingredients to the bowl.

KitchenAid Artisan pouring shield
KitchenAid Artisan pouring shield

The KitchenAid Classic does not come with a pouring shield, but the Artisan series does.

Difference 7: Color Options

One of the most significant differences between KitchenAid Classic and Artisan mixers is the number of color options available.

The Classic series only comes in black, white, and silver. In contrast, the Artisan series comes in over 40 different colors, including neutral tones like white, cream, and silver, and more bold options like cobalt blue, orange sorbet, and aqua sky (pictured below).

KitchenAid Artisan aqua sky
KitchenAid Artisan aqua sky

Artisan Mini mixers don’t have as many colors as the standard Artisan, but with 11 different hues to choose from, you still get more options than you do with Classic mixers.

All the color options are listed on KitchenAid.com. Keep in mind, the colors frequently change, with new options cycling in each year. Whatever your color preferences, there’s likely to be a match within the Artisan series.

Difference 8: Motor Power

The Artisan mixers are packed with a 325-watt motor, which is more powerful than the Classic mixer’s 275-watt motor. The Artisan Mini has a 250 Watt motor, making it the least powerful of all.

If you’re baking cookies, cakes, pancakes, and other sweet treats with soft batters, you’re unlikely to notice any difference in power. However, if you plan to use your mixer for bread and thick dough, the Artisan’s more powerful motor is the best option.

Ultimately, all three have enough power to get the job done, but motors with lower wattage need to work harder and, over a long period, will break down quicker.

Difference 9: Price

As far as mixers go, both the KitchenAid Classic and Artisan series are very expensive.

Artisan mixers are the most expensive models in KitchenAid’s tilt-head mixer category. The Classic and Artisan Mini are a bit cheaper. 

KitchenAid Mixer Price Tag

If you’re on a budget, consider a certified refurbished model. These units are lightly used but restored to their original condition and sold for a steep discount.

Price varies by retailer, and it pays to shop around and compare before you buy.

Check the current prices of Classic, Artisan, and Artisan Mini mixers at the links below:

Bottom Line: Should You Buy a KitchenAid Classic or Artisan Mixer?

Both the KitchenAid Classic and the KitchenAid Artisan mixers share several similarities and quite a few differences.

To recap the main differences:

  • Classic mixers come in one size, and Artisan mixers come in two (5-quart and the 3.5-quart Artisan Mini).
  • Classic and Artisan Mini mixers have a built-in soft start feature; 5-quart Artisan mixers do not.
  • Artisan mixer bowls have a convenient handle, while Classic mixers do not.
  • Classic mixers come with a brushed (matte) stainless steel bowl, while Artisan mixers come with a polished (shiny) stainless steel bowl.
  • Artisan mixers feature a pouring shield, and Classic mixers do not.
  • Artisan mixers are available in over 40 colors, while the only options with Classic mixers are black, white, and silver.
  • Artisan mixers have a more powerful 325-watt motor. Classic mixers feature a 275-watt motor.
  • Artisan mixers are more expensive than Classic, but the Artisan Mini is the most affordable due to its smaller size. 

If the design extras, more powerful motor, and larger bowl size are important to you, a KitchenAid Artisan mixer may be worth the extra money.

If you place more value in a lower price point, the Classic mixer or Artisan Mini are still excellent options that will get the job done.

Whatever you decide, you now have all the essential details to make your purchase confidently.

If you’re ready to buy, or just want to read more reviews, check out KitchenAid Classic and Artisan mixers at the links below:

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He’s been studying consumer buying behavior for 10+ years and has managed marketing campaigns for over a dozen Fortune 500 brands. When he’s not testing the latest home products, he’s spending time with his family, cooking, and doing house projects. Connect with Andrew on LinkedIn or via email.

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