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VINE VOICEon September 29, 2011
Color: Red|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have a Kitchen Aid already. I got this because we had one when I was a kid and this was kind of nostalgic. There has been no significant change in the design of the Sunbeam since I was a kid, at least as far as I can remember. I don't remember the head locking either up or down, but maybe it did, I don't know. More on that later... I think you are already familiar with the mechanics of how the Kitchen Aid mixes things (the planetary motion) vs how the Sunbeam mixes things (a hand mixer on a stand) so I won't go into detail on that, other than to express my preferences between the two.

Round 1: overall mixing ability
Today I was trying to make banana bread. First I have to cream some butter with eggs and sugar. After this was complete, I threw in some bananas and had the mixer mash them up. It appears that when you have semi-solid things (like butter or bananas) that you are trying to incorporate into a batter, the free-spinning bowl tends to spin the item right up to the beater, but then at first it doesn't want to go any further. After doing a little convincing, the beaters just buzz right through it and the bowl spins around until it reaches the obstacle again. This time there is less resistance and better mixing. On the 3rd go around, it's even better, and so on. I've made this same recipe dozens of times on the Kitchen Aid and this process goes a little faster and with less intervention. Don't get me wrong--the Sunbeam does just fine with this sort of task, it's just that the Kitchen Aid does it better. I'm going to say that Kitchen Aid is the clear winner here.
WINNER: Kitchen Aid.

Round 2: bowl scraping
Both mixers are very good at getting right up next to the edge of the bowl so that minimal bowl scraping is required, however neither is perfect and both will need a scrape or two during your food prep (NOTE: for either model, the paddles should not actually touch the bowl. If they are, you need to make an adjustment). You cannot scrape the Kitchen Aid bowel while it is running (well, at least not without a very high risk of damaging your mixer, the spoon and/or your hand). The Sunbeam, however, allows you to not only easily scrape the bowl while it is on, but it will even spin the bowl for you so you can just stick a rubber spatula in and hold it in place and the mixer will (sometimes) do the rest for you. I was even able to hold the spatula up to the beaters and thus wipe the spatula clean while it was on. NOTE: the very center of the bowl may sometimes appear to need a good scraping during mixing, but if you just adjust the bowl position using the bowl size lever, it will take care of it for you. It's manual, but easy. This is only sometimes necessary and I suspect if I ignored the problem, the mixer would eventually get everything in the middle, anyway.
WINNER: Sunbeam

Round 3: power
I'm afraid I haven't exercised to its full ability yet, but trying to run bread dough through 2 hooks feels a little awkward. I have made bread in this (and it came out great) but it sure sounded like it was struggling. On the other hand, the Kitchen Aid boasts a lot of power... HOWEVER, it has an intentionally engineered weak point--a gear that will break if it sees too much of a load. I've had to replace this gear twice on my Kitchen Aid. It costs about $100 to have a pro replace the gear for you, or if you are not too timid to open up the device and get grease all over, you can do it yourself for about $10-$20. Let's just say I'm not terribly impressed with the whole "power" aspect of Kitchen Aid's offering.

Round 4: ease of use
* Both are very easy to use, although if you have ever tried to add ingredients to a Kitchen Aid while it is on, you know that you need some sort of device to assist, or you will make quite a mess. That isn't a problem with the Sunbeam--there's plenty of room on one side of the bowl to add whatever you need.
* On the other hand, the head-locking mechanism on the Sunbeam is a little awkward. One of my Kitchen Aids is a tilt head (like the Sunbeam) and the other is a bowl lift mechanism. The tilting Kitchen Aid's head is much easier to deal with than the Sunbeam because it locks down with a simple lever and then there is no need to lock at the top. The Sunbeam, by contrast, has a button you have to press to lift and then press again to lower and it's awkward to press in either case. I much prefer the Kitchen Aid's approach here.
* The Kitchen Aid has a handle on the bowl that makes it MUCH easier to hold while scraping. The Sunbeam cannot have a handle since the bowl spins.
* Some of the Kitchen Aid models come with implements that are not dishwasher safe (My Artisan series implements are all dishwasher safe, but my pro-series model made it very clear that I should not be putting it in the dishwasher--if I wanted to wash in the dishwasher, I should buy the coated version. That was a turn off!). All of the Sunbeam's implements ARE dishwasher safe (no extra purchases required).
I think that adding ingredients during mixing and easy clean up are of greater importance than holding the bowl or putting it in place, so I'll say the Sunbeam wins, but only by a little.
WINNER: Sunbeam

Round 5: versatility
The Kitchen Aid has the ability to use dozens of attachments. The Sunbeam just mixes. I only use my Kitchen Aid for mixing, so it's a draw for me, but if I wanted to do more, I could, but only with the Kitchen Aid
WINNER: Kitchen Aid

Round 6: aesthetics, overall impression
This has a lot more to do with personal preference than the other categories, but here's what I'm considering...
a) Volume/loudness. Neither mixer is terribly loud. The Sunbeam may be slightly quieter... maybe?
b) Size/Weight. The Sunbeam is lighter than it looks. My wife hates hefting the Kitchen Aid around, so for her, this is a win for the Sunbeam. For others, the weight gives an impression of quality, so it's a win for the Kitchen Aid. Once again, this is preference. Both take up comparable amounts of space.

So that's 2 wins for Kitchen Aid, 2 wins for Sunbeam, and 2 draws. To me, the most important category is "Round 1: overall mixing ability" and Kitchen Aid wins that one, so if I had to choose between a Kitchen Aid and a Sunbeam and all other factors (such as price) were the same, I'd go with the Kitchen Aid every time. HOWEVER, the fact of the matter is that the Kitchen Aid is roughly 2x-3x the price of the Sunbeam and if I had to live the rest of my life with just the Sunbeam, I could be perfectly happy. If cost is an issue for you, and if you don't want to use any fancy attachments, I'd recommend the Sunbeam. If you have money to throw around, the Kitchen Aid may be a better appliance. Either one will serve you well.
3434 comments| 865 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on April 12, 2015
I love my new Sunbeam mixer, I got it in the seafoam green color and it looks gorgeous in my red, yellow, white and orange kitchen. The color is exactly as seen in the online photo. I have used it to make pizza dough three times now. The dough hooks are strong and knead very well. So thankful I don't have to use my hands anymore. The first time I made the dough the bowl wasn't spinning and I had to turn it a few times myself until the dough was moistened enough to adhere to the dough hooks. I have found a trick though that helps it to spin on its own. There is a little lever on the bottom where you can move the mixing bowl from left, center or right. The dough cycle works very well when the bowl is placed all the way to the right. I have made vegan danish using the beaters and they also worked very well. I am happy with my purchase. There is one downside and I am hoping there is a fix. The day I received my mixer I made pizza dough and danish and used all the hooks and beaters. When everything was finished I ran hot soapy water into the mixing bowl and placed the beaters and hooks inside to soak while I finished cooking. A few hours later I washed dishes and placed everything on my drying rack. Today when I went to make pizza dough I noticed the beaters which I have only used one time had a bit of rust on them. So you must completely towel dry these. I really wish they were better quality and that I would have known they were going to rust after first washing and I would have taken extra precaution. This is a five star machine but 4 stars because the beaters need to be better quality metal. I hope they sell rust free beaters and dough hook attachments.
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on August 20, 2015
I purchased this item because I'd owned a Heritage Series model previously for over 12 years and it finally saw it's better days and died. I wasn't ready to take the $$ plunge on it's competitor so I thought purchasing the same product again would be in my best favor. And the fact that it was a pretty shade of pink was a bonus. I can't even explain my disappointment this time around. It was delivered in a timely manner, packaging was great, no damages at all, but I had to set it aside due to a family emergency in another state. In my mind, this would be my prize to use when I returned back home. I noticed immediatly getting it out of the box that it wasn't near as heavy as my other mixer was, but hoped that was just a bonus for my old arms.Turns out its just basically all plastic. I used it regardless and I can't tell you enough about how it couldn't even mix up a batch of buttercream. It was simply annoying. The bowl is free standing on the wrack and the machine does not control it in any way, so I was assuming it would go around with the beaters anyway but it does not. Overall, this just isn't worth the money spent, no matter how pretty it is. I'd send it back, but it's my fault that my life is busy and I hadn't gotten around to it. I'll chuck it up to a waste of my money and my time, and either pack it away and eventually find someone unsuspecting to gift it to or sell it at my next yard sale. Blah.
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on February 16, 2013
I've had this item for a little over a year and have used it enough to know what I think of it. I chose this item because I am not a serious baker and the price was very good at the time, I've never had an electric mixer before and didn't want to risk a large investment to find out I wouldn't use the item much, and there were reviews that had detailed comparisons between this and the Kitchen Aid mixer that convinced me this was worthwhile.
I have used it a lot for cookies, bars, and quick breads. I wasn't impressed with its ability to mix thicker ingredients without a lot of help on my part. I use my scraper A LOT. The bowl will even bounce around if it gets hung up on thicker items. I find I'm moving the bowl around myself to help the mixing.
Shortly after having it one of the beaters welding spots came apart. I'm not even sure when it happened - it wasn't during mixing because it was impossible to use the beater like this. I also hand wash them so I can only guess it was a weak spot that just eventually loosened up. Sunbeam customer service did replace the beater at no cost which I thought was great considering the beaters are not covered by the warranty.
I'm left wondering if I would enjoy the Kitchen Aid more with the paddle style beater. Would it be stronger and require less work on my part?
Aside from the reasons above I started to consider an electric mixer because my fingers over-bend and when I stir a lot by hand and my finger joints will aches for days. I'm sure arthritis will be in my future and I'm trying to minimize that. Because I'm still so actively involved in the mixing with the Sunbeam I'm not sure this mixer is helping me use my hand less.
I do use it and keep experimenting with how I add items to see if I can get it to work more smoothly. Yesterday I mixed meatloaf in it. I had to move the bowl at the beginning because it couldn't reach the eggs to whip them before I added the rest, but after I got more items in the bowl it went well. I'd use it again for this recipe and possibly consider the smaller bowl (which I don't have now).
Overall, I'll continue to use it but I don't know if I'd tell someone else to buy it. I'd like to try a Kitchen Aid myself for comparison. Then I'd know for sure!
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on December 11, 2013
I returned my KitchenAid mixer because I hated the way it worked. I couldn't add anything while it was mixing, and the beaters never got the lumps out of my mashed potatoes. Years ago, I had a lasted 20 years. So, I decided to give this model a try. I couldn't be MORE PLEASED!!!! It is awesome. I can lift the top with the beaters on.... I can slide the bowl to the side to use my spoon if I want to scrape the bowl, I can also add ingredients while it is mixing. The beaters get the lumps out! They are high quality stainless, the bowl is high quality, and the mixer is awesome! I highly recommend this mixer to anyone who needs one.
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on December 11, 2016
This is a Christmas gift and as such it has not been used yet. I did open and inspect. No missing, used or damaged parts ergo: No Problems from this supplier. We are pleased to have other sunbeam products in our kitchen so the quality is not in question. What truly impressed me about this supplier is the delivery. I was told to expect delivery between the 19th and 28th of December. Anything beyond the 24th of course would have been disappointing but acceptable. Sunday, 12/11/2016, it was delivered. I was overjoyed and “She who Must Be pleased” will receive the present she has been nagging me about for years. One more thing; I was very, very pleased with the price.
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this is such a powerful and quiet mixer. I love the offset of the ingredients making it simple to add, scrape the bowl etc while the mixer is turning. I love having more of a hands on to my mixing then just letting a machine do it, I want to be part of it, thats the fun...I had some problems with the machine. The bowl wouldn't turn as it should, and there was a scraping noise. Sunbeam customer service was fantastic. They shipped me out a brand new mixer, and didn't want the old one back. so that left me with extra bowls, beaters etc. You have to watch it on bread dough, kind of be there and guide it,but its totally worth it, it makes the lightest fluffiest dough. I have a kitchenaid and use this one more. The dough is made quicker and lighter in this then the kitchenaid. At least I have never been able to do it in the kitchenaid. The review of Kitchenaid versus sunbeam is what sold me, and I already had a kitchenaid. VERY VERY glad to use this more. I dont' know on longevity as someone said, you can replace a lot of these before even getting up to one kitchenaid price. so only time will tell, but I love this machine. The pink is gorgeous and makes me happy when I look at it, even though its the only pink thing in my kitchen.
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on January 7, 2013
I purchased this Sunbeam mainly for mixing bread dough after my old pro KA (Hobart) gave out. I'm thrilled with the Sunbeam's power and performance so far, not to mention the drastic savings over KA and others' price points. That I did not order it sooner is my only regret.

It kneads dough quickly and easily without a hint of strain and with much less need for scraping than with the KA (and with a lot more room to do so when needed). Adding ingredients is also easier with its off-center bowl option. Being able to actually control the bowl by rotating it either direction or moving it sideways while it's mixing equates, to me, to better control of the dough and a lot less scraping. I haven't had any issue with dough crawling up the hooks. When mixing bread dough I skip the beaters and use the hooks from the start. The hooks do a fine job of mixing it with a little scraper help if needed initially.

After reading some reviews that stated it strains to mix or knead dough, I have to wonder if some have mistaken the machine's mixing method for "straining". There's been no straining whatsoever with my machine -- while mixing or kneading the bowl will pause or stop (which does not mean the machine is straining) while the beaters continue moving and then the bowl will begin moving again as it grabs another foothold. It's the machine's mixing style. After a few uses and getting used to a different method I actually have come to prefer this method of mixing over my KA's -- for me, easily adjusting the bowl position left or right with the lever beats babysitting a fixed bowl with a scraper.

2 dots placed about 4" apart on the base of the mixer indicate the range that the tab moves so that the bowl can be adjusted left or right. These 2 dots on the base were not mentioned in the instructions, so, at first, even though I thought I had adjusted the bowl edge to get as close to the beater as it could get, I actually hadn't -- instead of even noticing the lever slot, no less the dots, I had incorrectly used a painted stripe near the base as the adjustment range indicator. Yep, haha on me, operator error for sure, but the dots could be mentioned in the instructions.

The mixer fits under my upper cabinets even with the head lifted, and it stays in place on my marble counters during mixing and kneading. It doesn't walk or slide around. The bowl wobbles slightly when mixing some things. Adjusting the bowl position takes care of any major bowl wobble, although I do still get a slight bowl wobble (which has greatly decreased as I've gotten used to the mixer). No wobble at all would be fantastic but I can live with it at this price. It wobbles more when mixing a (heavy) small amount in the big bowl, and maybe the smaller bowl would remedy that all together.

The pause-and-grab mixing and kneading method takes a little getting used to as a (previous) strictly-KA-only family, but now I wish I would have purchased this sooner instead of holding out for another KA. Doing so has been my baking loss, for sure. Time will tell how it holds up, but for the price I figure I could replace it a few times and still be ahead dollar-wise. I really like the handle and the lighter weight, and the machine looks like it costs a lot more than it does. This one's easier to clean than my KA and the beaters eject smoothly and gently. Love the slow-mo start, and this mixer is incredibly quiet.
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on December 16, 2014
I fell in love with this mixer when I bought it.

-- Modernized Retro Design in gorgeous colors (I LOVED my red!!)
-- Easy to carry; it's light and the handle is brilliant (also adds edge to the design.)
-- Takes up less space than KitchenAid (see con below.)
-- Quality machine that I believe would hold up to daily usage.

-- This is not a 'set it and forget it' type of machine. You have to babysit it.
-- The bowl can be unstable and can even flip over in use.
-- The head is static and the bowl moves (opposite for KitchenAids.) You need to make counter room for the moving bowl which is a major pain in my SUPER tiny kitchen.
-- You will have to scrape the sides (which is normal for most mixers, but more so with this one.)

After a year, I decided it's more beauty than function and learned heavy duty hand mixer has more control than this machine. I've also used a KitchenAid long enough now to conclude it isn't comparable.
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on February 19, 2018
This was received quickly, but it was only used 5 times during the year - and then it quit. Sunbeam did not answer any of my 17 phone calls, except to say they were busy. I did take this mixer to a certified repair shop, but they said they would have to charge $40 just to look at it. They also said Sunbeam was very difficult for the to work with. This product had a two year warranty which I consider worthless.
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