Budget is Best: Cuisinart 12-Speed Stand Mixers

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Cuisinart 5-1/2-Quart 12-Speed Stand Mixer, White

Twirling its way onto the top spot is the second mixer on our featured list: Cuisinart SM-55 5.5 Qt. 12-Speed Stand Mixer in white.

There is no denying that this mixer makes a noticeable level of noise – plus, it may well decide to dance a little while demolishing your dough. Moreover, the attachment mechanics and the returns process for this model could both do with an overhaul. Notwithstanding the negatives, however, this model still out-classes its competitors for the combination of its smart design, slick operation, simple clean-up, and superb mixing skills.

This is an appliance that can withstand the most brutal blitzing challenges from even the most ardent and adventurous kitchen kings. Its thorough mixing action minimizes the need for user interference, and what’s more, it can consistently churn out even, quick results even in larger quantities.

Moreover, as the most modestly priced of our mixers, this appliance is accessible to a broader range of buyers – and offers impressive value for money as the cherry on the cake.

1. Cuisinart SM-50BC 5.5Qt. Stand Mixer

Cuisinart SM-50BC 5.5-Quart Stand Mixer, Brushed Chrome, Silver Lining
  • Large 5.5 quart capacity, polished stainless steel bowl
  • Powerful 500 watt motor, Die cast metal construction
  • 12 speeds for precision mixing & tilt back head allows easy access to bowl

Main Positives

Buyers vouch for the blitzing brawn of this model, with many attesting to its ability to withstand bread and pasta doughs as well as lighter kitchen tasks. Users are also fans of its solid construction: the mixer stays cool and still under pressure, whilst its bowl allows bigger batches of baking delights to be prepared with ease.

Consumers also confirm that this model is simple to operate. Its motor is smooth and composed and makes barely a sound when in use. The versatile attachment feature also received a thumbs-up for its interchangeability with a multitude of attachments, including some from the KitchenAid range.

Reviewers also rate this mixer for its attractive and attuned design. Attachments are easy to install and remove, with the bare connection blending in discreetly beneath the machine’s logo. It also comes in a choice of colors to suit different kitchen decors, and it is compact enough to be stored beneath the countertop. The low-drama clean-up of this model has also impressed users, with parts that can be polished up with ease.

Main Negatives

Much less love is shown, however, for the limited length of this model’s attachments. Purchasers have frequently voiced problems with mixing results due to the inability of the beaters to reach the bottom of the bowl (a problem also noted with the Hamilton Beach 64651 Classic Hand and Stand Mixer) – an issue only further frustrated with shallow or denser ingredient doses, and which can persist even when an adjustment of the head is attempted.

Perhaps in part due to the petite attachments, another common complaint is the gathering of mixture goo on the sides of the bowl – which makes it necessary to repeatedly stop the mixer and scrape the sides to get an even blend. Moreover, as the lifting of the mixer head has to be done with both hands, this can be a rather awkward process.

A more minor issue mentioned is the accessories this model comes with – which, as well as being too short, have also been occasionally assessed as too flimsy or few in number, and the spout on the splash guard as too narrow for tidy pouring.

Design & Features

The Cuisinart SM-50BC 5.5Qt. Stand Mixer comes in a super modern, silver lining shade. Made from die-cast metal with a 500-watt motor, its features include a tilt-back head, 12-speed settings, and a single multi-option power outlet.

This mixer comes with a 5.5qt. capacity stainless steel mixing bowl and an array of dishwasher-safe attachments, including a dough hook, flat mixing paddle, chef’s whisk, and a splash guard with a pouring spout.


When it comes to larger and lighter quantities, the overall opinion is that this model can handle most mixing jobs reasonably well. However: with smaller portions of mixture, the shorter attachment length can make thorough mixing difficult to achieve – plus the 500-watt motor does not always stand up to the test of the tougher tasks.

Maintenance & Ease of Use

Customer consensus confirms that clean-up is pretty straightforward, and its user-friendly design makes it easy for users to operate. Nonetheless, as most of the machine’s mixing action is concentrated in the center of the bowl, manual scraping of the sides is required to assist in mixing.

Worth a Buy?

Possibly. For those who enjoy an occasional, basic baking endeavor, this could be a handy appliance to assist in the prep process; however, for the more committed cooks amongst us, this model would not be the most practical option.

2. Cuisinart SM-55 5.5 Qt. 12-Speed Stand Mixer

BEST Cuisinart Stand Mixer
Cuisinart 5-1/2-Quart 12-Speed Stand Mixer, White
  • 800-watt stand mixer housed in durable die-cast metal
  • 12 speeds; 5-1/2-quart stainless-steel bowl; slow-start and gentle-fold functions
  • 15-minute countdown timer; 3 power outlets; auto shutoff; tilt-back head

Main Positives

A big slice of buyers rate this mixer as one of the best on the market. It’s 800-watt motor – which users have noted provides over 200 watts more power than its closest KitchenAid equivalent for a much more palatable price – is acclaimed for its ability to demolish even the heftiest doughs and batches. Furthermore, this model is also described as one with the durability to withstand daily usage.

The timer feature of this model was also awarded a resounding thumbs-up. Purchasers praise the countdown clock and the automatic shut-off function for adding accuracy and convenience to cooking and for cutting down on recipe prep time, with a clear digital indicator display.

This machine has also received rave reviews for being easy to use and clean. Customers have commended the no-drama dismantling process, disability-friendly usability, super-tidy splash guard, and adjustable, dishwasher-safe accessories as fab features. Moreover, unlike many similar models, bowl scraping has barely been mentioned.

Main Negatives

The chief complaint customers express with this model is concerning its accessories. The splash guard and beater attachments can be awkward to attach and detach, with the locking mechanism either too tight or too loose to begin with. Paint flaking is also not unheard of – and, as the user is required to pay shipping costs, returns and replacements can be a problematic and costly process.

A sizeable proportion of purchasers also note that this machine is a noisy one when operating at anything above a medium speed setting. The piercing cacophony it emits has been estimated as loud enough to wake upstairs sleepers and has even prompted some users to acquire hearing protection while utilizing it.

Another bugbear quoted by buyers is that this can be a mover when mixing. This is particularly noticeable when tackling thicker doughs, where the head mechanism has been known to jump and shake – plus the speed settings and splash guard can be less than stable when fixed in position.

Rarer gripes have also been raised in regards to oil leaks and residue on this machine, primarily in and around the attachment area.

Design & Features

The Cuisinart SM-55 5.5 Qt. 12-Speed Stand Mixer comes in a clean, contemporary white design. It boasts a die-cast metal body, an 800-watt motor, and a variety of features including 12-speed settings, a 15-minute countdown timer, a tilt-back head, slow-start, and gentle-fold functions, and 3 power outlets.

The mixer is accompanied by a 5.5qt. stainless steel mixing bowl with handles, a splash-guard with a pouring spout, and a spiral dough hook, chef’s whisk, and flat mixing paddle attachments, which are all dishwasher safe. The mixer also comes with a 3-year warranty and the motor a 5-year warranty.


Users are in unison that this is a marvelous mixer, with both the robustness to handle heavier mixing challenges and the resilience to hold up to frequent, regular usage. Nonetheless, it does make quite a noise – and can wobble when faced with the weightier tasks!

Maintenance & Ease of Use

A substantial slice of home bakers vouch for the virtually hassle-free cleaning and operation of this model, with an array of convenient features which help to streamline and simplify the mixing process even for less able-bodied bakers. Moreover, side scraping is not reported to be an issue with this model, which further reduces the need for manual input.

Worth a Buy?

Yes. This model covers the crucial bases of major mixing muscle, easy clean-up, and simple operation, whilst not featuring the more debilitating design drawback of stumpy attachments – minimizing issues with mixing results and the hassle of bowl scraping.

3. Cuisinart SM-70 7-Quart 12-Speed Stand Mixer

Cuisinart SM-70 7-Quart 12-Speed Stand Mixer, White
  • 1,000-watt stand mixer housed in durable die-cast metal
  • 12 speeds; 7-quart stainless-steel bowl; slow-start and gentle-fold functions
  • 15-minute countdown timer; 3 power outlets; auto shutoff; tilt-back head

Main Positives

Users have recommended this model for its function and features. They applaud the svelte design, which allows it to be stored in smaller spaces whilst its light frame enables easy lifting and transportation.

Customers also dig the deep, tapered, super-size 7qt. bowl, tidy splatter shield, lifting leverage, and the monster 1000 watt motor which come with this model, which they say makes mixing miles easier – with much less mess. The complimentary operating DVD and booklet have also been appreciated by buyers as helpful extras.

The common consensus is that this mixer is also easy to operate. There is ample space to add and remove accessories, with the attachment and detachment process for parts almost hassle-free. The digital timer was also awarded a firm thumbs up, as has the removable rubber mat which prevents sticking of the mixing bowl.

Main Negatives

Purchasers however have not been so positive on other design points. A solid slice of users have quoted issues with aspects such as the dough hook not connecting with the mixture properly, the 7-quart bowl only being practically usable for a capacity of up to 5 quarts, and the numbers on the speed settings dial are hard to read.

Another noted negative with this model is a tendency to shut down when handling harder loads. Despite its high power motor, it has been known to cease working with slightly denser and drier mixtures or more taxing motion (e.g. grating cheese) – and it has also been known to overheat and even emit smoke.

Customers have also complained about shaking, rocking, and vibrating with this machine during use, especially at the higher speed settings of 6 and above. The mixer is also classed as a clumsy one to shift back into position and awkward for adding additional ingredients during the mixing process. Moreover, there is reported to be a lot of loudness – a level which can increase with time.

Design & Features

The Cuisinart SM-70 7-Quart 12-Speed Stand Mixer in White comes in a classic, die-cast metal design with a range of functions such as auto shut-off, slow start, and gentle fold feature, a tilt-back head, and a 15-minute countdown timer.

With 3 power outlets, 12-speed settings, and a whopping 1000 watts of whipping power, this mixer comes with a 3-year mixer warranty and 5-year motor warranty and is accompanied by a 7-qt. Stainless steel mixing bowl with handles, a chef’s whisk, a flat mixing paddle, a dough hook, and a splash guard with a pour spout.


When operating as intended, the mighty motor of this model can certainly make a mark in most mixing tasks – unfortunately though, shutting down when faced with heavy duty jobs is a disappointingly common occurrence. Moreover, this one can also wobble at higher whizz settings, and it is quoted as being far from quiet.

Maintenance & Ease of Use

The added adornments which come with this higher-end model – such as a tall, tapered mixing bowl, DVD and booklet, and extra freedom with space and head movement – aid in the easy operation and low level of maintenance which many consumers have confirmed. Notwithstanding this, there have still been noted issues with some of these fancier features which tend to make themselves obvious further down the line.

Worth a Buy?

Probably not. Despite having one hell of a motor and this appearing to be quite a sophisticated appliance on the surface, it still suffers from several issues which are common in cheaper models, including a struggle with substantial loads. As the most expensive model in our line-up, there appears to be limited justification for the price difference.

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