I do like my Kitchenaid mixer, but there’s a part of me that feels a little guilty for having spent the money on one. I use it almost exclusively for making sourdough bread, but it is almost entirely unnecessary for this purpose. You can easily mix the dough by hand and get equally good results.
What I like about it, though, is that it is big and solid and I can put my ingredients in the bowl at let it run while I’m working on other things. I typically mix my dough in the evening while I’m preparing diner and the Kitchenaid allows be to focus on other things while the dough is mixing. Because I measure by weight, I put the mixer’s bowl on my scale, put the ingredients in, and then let it mix while I’m chopping onions or stirring sauce or doing something else. The dough autolyzed while I finish fixing diner. As I’m putting the final touches on diner, I add the salt and turn the mixer on again. When that’s mixed in, I’m ready for the stretch and fold, which I do throughout the evening before bed (and then bulk proof it overnight). With the Kitchenaid, the actual time spent on making bread is only a few minutes. I have it down to a routine and barely notice I’m making it. From this perspective, the mixer is a convenience item and not a necessity.
I did run into one problem when the mixer was just a few years old. The planetary, which causes the dough hook to rotate, broke. I was a little disappointed, but I was able to order replacement parts from Amazon and fix it myself. This could be problematic if you’re not mechanical. I’m expecting it to happen again because I mix a lot of dough.
It is also very heavy. I’m a fairly big guy and sometimes I struggle to get it out and put it away. If you leave it on the counter all the time, this won’t be a problem.
Sometimes I browse Amazon and wonder if other mixers would not have been better, but you never know. All in all, I’m pretty happy with the Kitchenaid.