Cuisinart Precision Master SM-50 Review
Pros: Inexpensive, easy to clean, powerful motor
Cons: Large bowl/ attachment gap, so-so mixing action
Compare to Similar Products
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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