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Cuisinart Precision Master SM-50 Review

This inexpensive tilt-head mixer struggles to perform basic tasks without input from the user
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Price:   $200 List | $182 at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, easy to clean, powerful motor
Cons:  Large bowl/ attachment gap, so-so mixing action
Manufacturer:   Cuisinart
By Nick Miley and Michelle Powell  ⋅  Nov 12, 2019
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59
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 11
  • Mixing - 30% 4
  • Ease of Use - 30% 7
  • Whipping - 25% 6
  • Kneading - 15% 7

Our Verdict

While the Cuisinart Precision Master looks the part of a high-performance standing mixer, it delivers relatively lackluster outcomes. In our evaluations we pay close attention to how often the user has to get involved with a task to compensate for a machine's deficiencies. In nearly every test we ran, we would have to use our hands or the spatula to mitigate the substantial gap between this model's bowl and attachment. By some estimations, constant user involvement defeats the reason for buying a mixer in the first place.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award  
Price $200 List
$181.90 at Amazon
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$300 List
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Star Rating
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Pros Inexpensive, easy to clean, powerful motorPowerful motor, simplistic design, large capacity bowl, planetary mixingPowerful motor, simplistic design, sturdy platformPowerful, affordable, easy to useCompact, ample power, good kneading action
Cons Large bowl/ attachment gap, so-so mixing actionBulky, heavy, expensiveTilt-head impeeds bowl access, Medicore whipping actionPoor whipping action, requires bowl scrapingLimited volume, so-so whipping action
Bottom Line This inexpensive tilt-head mixer struggles to perform basic tasks without input from the userSimply the best all-around stand mixer on the marketA do-it-all standing mixer with a bowl capacity and price suited to most householdsA standing mixer that punches above its weight-classThis miniature mixer is great for small-batch recipes though the compact design comes at a premium
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Rating Categories Precision Master... 6-Qt. Professional... Artisan Classic Plus KSM75WH KitchenAid Artisan...
Mixing (30%)
10
0
4
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
Ease Of Use (30%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
Whipping (25%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
5
10
0
6
Kneading (15%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
Specs Precision Master... 6-Qt. Professional... Artisan Classic Plus KSM75WH KitchenAid Artisan...
Head Type Tilt Fixed Tilt Tilt Tilt
Bowl Capacity 5.5 quart 6 quart 5 quart 4.5 quart 3.5 quart
Standard Attachments Whisk, dough hook, and flat mixing paddle Wire whip, flat beater, spiral dough hook Wire whip, dough hook, flat beater Wire whip, dough hook, flat beater, Wire whip, flat beater, dough hook
Motor (watts) 500-watt 575-watt 325-watt 275-watt 250-watt
Mixing Action Planetary Planetary Planetary Planetary Planetary
Number of Speeds 6 10 10 10 10
Attachment Port yes yes yes yes yes
Timer no no no no no
Measured Dimensions (L x W x H) 14.25" x 8.75" x 14" 14.5" x 11.25" x 16" 13.25" x 8.75" x 13.5" 14.5" x 10.75" x 14.25" 12.25" x 7.75" x 12"
Measured Weight 18lbs. 2oz. 26lbs. 1oz. 22lbs. 13oz. 22lbs. 13oz. 17lbs. 1oz.
Warranty limited 3-year 1-year 1-year 1-year 1-year
Color Options 8 22 46 2 10

Our Analysis and Test Results

By our estimation, the Cuisinart Precision Master does not live up to its name. This machine has all of the standard mixer accouterments that suggest a quality, high-performance product. However, the machine lacks the precision that its name proclaims. Most notably, there is a large gap between the bowl and the mixing attachment. The result is ingredients being unmixed or smeared around the bowl. On the bright side, this model is priced to move.

Tilt-head design and a medium capacity bowl. The Cuisinart looks the part.
Tilt-head design and a medium capacity bowl. The Cuisinart looks the part.

Performance Comparison



Likes


In comparison to many of its peers, there is not a lot about the Precision Master's performance to praise. However, it does have a powerful 500-watt motor, all the standard attachments (dough hook, paddle mixer, whisk), and an accessory port. However, it should be noted there are few aftermarket options available.

Standard flat beater attachment.
Standard flat beater attachment.

As far as food outcomes are concerned, if you give this machine enough time the flat beater can mix frosting to a relatively high standard. The whisk attachment also produces decent results whipping both egg whites and cream. Additionally, we found this model to have an intuitive operation interface and a design that is easy to clean.


While we have several critiques of this machine (we'll get to those below), we will say that this machine offers a reasonable starting point for those new to stand mixers. At the very least, this machine will teach the user why it's worth spending a bit more money to get a machine that doesn't need to be monitored and helped along the way. In the meantime, one will learn the skills required to make these machines work for the user and not the other way around.

Dislikes


If we were to talk in terms of food outcomes, there are many points of concern regarding the Cuisinart Precision Master's performance in our series of tests. However, with few exceptions these poor outcomes are a result of the substantial gap between the mixing attachment and the bowl. Despite boasting a planetary mixing action, a bowl/ mixer gap of the magnitude of the Master's produces substantial consequences. Frequently, the ingredients are inadequately incorporated or incompletely worked. As a result, the user has to aid the mixer, which is the opposite of what one wants from a machine that is supposed to take work off the cook's plate.


To put this bowl/ mixer gap in context, take our dough kneading evaluation as an example. The dough hook does not reach down low enough into the bowl to engage the dough. As such, it does not work the dough in a coherent mass. Instead, the hook affects a division of the dough requiring the user to manually reincorporate it before the rise.

Value


Despite the Cuisinart Precision Master's low price, we do not find this model to be a very good value. There are two reasons for this assessment. One, the machine fails to perform many basic tasks that will leave many consumers frustrated with their purchase. Perhaps more importantly, the Precision Master is far outperformed by similarly priced mixers in the class.

This machine requires two hands to tilt the head.
This machine requires two hands to tilt the head.

Conclusion


The Cuisinart Precision Master certainly has a competitive price point. However, our testing revealed a machine with considerable design flaws that limit its performance. Of particular concern is the abnormally wide gap between the bowl and the mixer attachment. This oversight requires the user to manually bridge the cam with spatula or hand to ensure proper mixing and kneading. Accordingly, we suggest looking to other models in our review that are a better value.


Nick Miley and Michelle Powell