AC vs DC Stand Mixer confused over which type of mixer you actually need?
Stand mixers are on the list of essential kitchen equipment for avid bakers and anybody who totally overestimates his or her arm strength when mixing by hand.
Apart from the hands-free help, stand mixers are more powerful, create less of a mess, and more quickly get you that homogenous mixture while limiting the risk of over-mixing.
But as with anything else, there are a lot of options when it comes to choosing a stand mixture and one of the things to consider is AC or DC power.
The problem that most people have is that this information isn’t usually easy to find on the mixer itself. You may have to do some deep searching on the back of the box and an online search to be sure, and you certainly want to be sure because the difference between AC and DC stand mixers is quite dramatic.
AC vs DC Stand Mixer
The terms AC (alternating current) and DC (direct current) refer to the way the motor is powered, one of the major differences between the two being consistency.
In an AC motor, the alternating current means that the voltage fluctuates so energy being generated isn’t exactly steady whereas in a DC motor, the current is direct and energy is constant.
In the United States, for example, power outlets in the home are typically AC powered and usually you would need some sort of adapter to operate DC equipment.
Luckily, DC stand mixers convert the power on their own so you won’t need to buy any additional equipment.
AC vs. DC Stand Mixers: Power and Torque
What is torque? Torque is the twisting force that typically causes objects to rotate or move around and it’s one of the key specs of your stand mixer.
DC stand mixers kind of dominate over AC mixers in both power and torque as the characteristics of a DC motor allow for exceptional mixing capabilities.
Power characteristics of a DC stand mixer include all of the following:
- Better control of torque and speed
- Power consistency
- Lower wattage requirements
- Less energy consumption
- Smoother and quieter
At all angles, DC stand mixers beat out the AC, which requires more energy to do the same amount of work, uses energy less efficiently, may have an inconsistent speed, and is more likely to become bogged down over time or by stiffer doughs.
AC stand mixers are also louder. If you compare, for example, the KitchenAid 6500, a DC motor, and the KitchenAid 600, an AC motor, you find that the former is considerably more powerful, delivering 1.3 hp to the 600’s 575 watts.
While DC motors require more power on start, they use energy better during use.
AC vs. DC: Cost
AC stand mixers are typically going to out-price their DC counterparts. Given the extra power requirements and the overall strength of DC mixers, they will usually cost more.
When you are being faced with the decision, it will usually come down to how often you are going to use the machine.
How Often Do You Mix?
This is the ultimate question. Just because DC stand mixers may be more powerful doesn’t always mean that power is necessary. If you are a frequent baker or even a professional baker, you would most certainly want the DC mixer as it can better handle the workload.
However, those who don’t bake or mix nearly as often should easily get by with an AC mixer.
Summary of AC and DC Stand Mixers
Regardless of how often you bake, investing in a mixer can be an excellent decision as they are extremely useful. Your baking frequency, however, should affect which of those stand mixers you choose.
DC mixers are significantly more powerful, consistent, and efficient but have all of the following cons:
- Usually bigger and heavier
- Require more starting energy
AC mixers, on the other hand, are typically lighter and are perfect for mild and even heavy use, though you are more likely to see the machine struggle with firm dough and after constant use.
If you are looking for a stand mixer for casual use, an AC motor is absolutely perfect but if you are looking for something a little heavier duty to handle a bulk of baking projects, you may consider the DC motor instead.