One of the most significant drawbacks to stand mixers is the high entry cost. If you buy the KitchenAid versions they can sell for $300, 500 or even up to $7-800 for special edition models. Recently I’ve been surfing Amazon to see if there are other options out there. The Acuma stand mixer claims to pack a lot of power into a relatively inexpensive unit ($149USD), between a quarter and half as much as what you’d pay for a high-end brand. But can something so inexpensive, really be any good at all. I’ll admit I was pretty skeptical. But I bought one to try out for myself so I can report back.
Acuma Stand Mixer: What’s in the Box?
The Acuma mixer comes with a 7.4-quart stainless steel mixing bowl, the mixer itself, a see-through splash guard, a whisk attachment, a batter beater, and a dough hook. In truth, this is really all you need for baking and mixing. While Kitchen Aid mixers also generally have a separate port for accessories like pasta rollers, this Acuma mixer does not.
Out of the box, the first thing I noticed was that this mixer is pretty light compared to my KitchenAid, and most notably that it’s completely made of plastic: the shell is plastic all around. That’s definitely something that makes this unit more affordable; they’re not using steel. But a hard knock with a heavy pot, or getting a bit too close to heat could be disaster for this mixer, so you’ll need to treat it with care.
Six suctions cups for feet actually do a surprisingly good job of holding it in place since its light weight probably wouldn’t otherwise. I can say even at top speed this mixer did not budge from my counter.
Acuma Stand Mixer: Features
One of the handiest features of the Acuma stand mixer is the tilt-head, which allows you to access the mixing bowl without having to struggle it past the mixing head, or without relying on a lift mechanism. There’s a tilt lock, which prevents the unit from tilting while running. The head does kind of snap open a bit vigorously, but after the first time, I just took a bit more care with it.
Speeds & power
The mixer has 6 speeds, using a dial and there’s also a pulse setting.
I will note one thing here since I’m on the topic of the dial: there’s a blue LED light built into it that flashes constantly and appears to have no way to turn off, so it is kind of maddening. When it bothered me I simply unplugged the machine.
The Acuma stand mixer has a 660-watt motor. In my opinion the speeds do not measure up to something like a KitchenAid, which does have a few much faster settings, but this isn’t pretending to be in competition with those mixers. In my uses, mixing different batters, a pie crust and even bread dough. The speeds and power was actually more than enough.
The splash guard will keep everything in the mixing bowl where you want it, with an opening for adding ingredients while the machine is running.
On the machine, there’s a stainless steel connector that allows you to change out the head from whisk to beater to dough hook, depending on your needs. I will note though there’s a small spring that looks a little concerning; like it could dislodge or get lost. At the very least get gummed up from spatter… and that with the Whisk, the attachment port is also made of plastic, though the tines are metal. While it worked fine for me in my testing I do have concerns about its future longevity. The dough hook and batter beater are full metal.
Should I choose a Stand Mixer or Hand Beaters?
One of the first improvements to the mixer was the electric hand beater, which allowed you to whip and beat things much more quickly than by manual power. This also made it possible for more air to be whipped into a batter or mix.
The hand beater has its advantages: It’s made to be used with any type or size of bowl, they’re great for smaller tasks, and as most children will tell you, you can lick the beaters when you’re done. They’re highly portable and easy to clean up when finished.
Their downsides include a lack of raw power, their inability to mix thicker materials like dough, and the fact that they generally only come with a set of beaters, though high-end hand beaters may have other attachments.
Stand mixers elevate your ability to mix. They can mix for an extended period of time without taxing the user, and they work at different speeds. The ability to leave the mixer running while adding in other ingredients slowly allows you to expand your dishes and create emulsifications.
The dough hook and whisk attachments allow you to match the perfect tool to the task at hand, and the ability to create a dough mixture without having to do it manually is worth the price alone for many.
The downsides to the stand mixer lie in its cost (relative to a hand mixer) and the tradeoff between losing counter real estate to the mixer or having to move a heavy piece of equipment every time you need it.
Overall review: Acuma Stand Mixer
Overall, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this mixer. Admittedly I was judgy, thinking that because it’s cheap it couldn’t possibly be any good. On the plus side, it was powerful enough for me and easily managed pie crust, bread dough and cake batter. I like the design; it’s not overly large and the colors are cute, the bowl seems solid and durable too. The attachments are all I need and seem to work well.
On the down sides, the plastic build gives me pause about its’ overall lifespan, I wasn’t crazy about the plastic and metal construction of the whisk attachment, and the flashing light was annoying.
Bottom line, this mixer is a wonderful balance between affordable and versatile, and I can recommend the Acuma Stand mixer to you.