Spiral mixers are named after their spiral-shaped dough agitator. The bowl revolves during mixing while the agitator stays in place. Commissaries and bakeries most often use spiral mixers, but medium to large volume pizza operations can also find a spiral mixer useful.
- Spiral mixers have a sturdy spiral dough agitator that is more effective than traditional beaters or dough hooks when mixing heavy, stiff dough.
- The dough is mixed into a superior mass than planetary mixers.
- Lower resistance on the spirals helps control the temperature of the dough to ensure proper rising and easier kneading.
- Very small batches can be mixed, unlike Planetary Mixers who need downsized bowls and agitators for small batches.
- Spiral Mixers can only mix dough and is ineffective for mixing or whipping.
- These mixers are considered specialized pieces of equipment which will not mix anything but dough.
Spiral Mixers are sized according to their maximum flour or dough capacities. Some large bakeries will refer to their spiral mixers by the amount of 100-pound bags they can hold, such as a “one-bagger” or a “three-bagger.”
Planetary Mixers (also called Vertical Mixers) are named after the orbital motion of the dough agitator. The agitator travels in circular orbits along the inside wall surfaces of the mixing bowl while the mixing bowl stays in place. Planetary Mixers are useful to any business which requires versatility from their mixer or will only need to mix dough in smaller batches.
- Planetary mixers use a variety of mixing attachments which turn on an offset shaft while the shaft rotates around the bowl.
- The broad range of attachments make these mixers highly versatile.
- They can mix, blend, whip and stir all types of mixtures whereas Spiral Mixers can only mix dough.
- Most planetary mixers are supplied with a dough hook, wire whisk, beater blade and stainless steel bowl.
- Planetary Mixers have smaller capacities and cannot mix as much dough as Spiral Mixers.
- The speed of a Planetary Mixer can be 1/4 to 1/2 slower than a Spiral Mixer.
- Planetary Mixers must use downsized bowls and agitators for smaller batches of dough.
Planetary Mixers must use downsized bowls and agitators for smaller batches of dough.