Three Different Types of Commercial Dough Mixers

Every bakery regardless of volume needs a commercial dough mixer. Choosing the right one to suit your needs can be a confusing process, but it doesn’t have to be. There are three different types of commercial dough mixers, and each has specific benefits that meet specific bakery needs. We’ve assembled this guide to help you make an informed choice and get the best value for your investment. Check out what we’ve got for you.

Types of Commercial Dough Mixers

When planning equipment purchases for your bakery, you will choose from one or more of the three types of commercial dough mixers. Here they are, along with the pros and cons of each mixer type.

Vertical/Planetary Mixer

The mixing mechanism for this type of mixer derives its name from its orbital movement. The bowl of the mixer is held static while the agitator moves the mixing rod and stirs the contents. These mixers are excellent for doughs, pudding, meringue and icing, especially when used with the interchangeable locking attachments.

Planetary mixers come in all sizes, from the classic countertop KitchenAid to massive, free-standing mixers that can hold gallons of ingredients. Most bakeries will need at least one planetary mixer for small batches and ingredient prep. Whether or not you get a large planetary dough mixer for large batches will be determined by your daily product volume.



  • Excellent versatility
  • Handles the majority of dough mixing jobs with ease
  • Available in multiple sizes from countertop to free-standing models.
  • Cleaning and maintenance can be time-consuming
  • Bowl size selection can be limited for countertop models.

Spiral Mixer

Designed specifically for mixing dough, spiral mixers use a very different mechanism compared to planetary mixers. Instead of rotating the mixing arm, the spiral-shaped rod is static in the middle of a rotating bowl. This allows for significantly faster mixing of dough ingredients, and it is ideal for large batches. 

There are, however, a couple caveats for investing in a spiral mixer. First, there is no way to whip ingredients: this is a straight-up dough mixer. Additionally, there are no interchangeable attachments for the spiral arm. Spiral mixers can mix large batches of dough very quickly, but they are otherwise very limited in their versatility.



  • Rapidly mixes large quantities of dough
  • Unique design prevents dough from sticking to the sides of the mixing bowl.
  • Easier to clean and maintain
  • Not suitable for non-dough mixing
  • No interchangeable attachments

Horizontal Mixer

A hybrid type, horizontal mixers tilt the mixing bowl or use a large drum during operation. In large commercial bakery models, the mixing arm has multiple mixing bars along its length to increase mixing speed. Actual operation speed is determined by the cut of the dough being mixed and how much it has been stretched. Countertop models can also be used for smaller volumes, but they still offer the more efficient dough mixing speed in a compact package.



  • Ideal for high volume dough mixing where space is limited.
  • Significantly easier to clean and maintain.
  • Can be mounted freestanding or kept on caters for better mobility.
  • Not a multi-purpose mixer
  • Cut and size of the dough determines the mixing speed.

Final Thoughts

Buying the right type of dough mixer for your bakery is going to be a significant contributor to your success. That being said, take the time to do your homework and run the numbers for daily dough volume and baking times. The data you collect and the research you do in advance can make all the difference in making the right choice for your commercial dough mixer.

Is your bakery local to the Irving, TX area? Need the perfect commercial dough mixer? Texas Restaurant Supply has a vast selection of like-new used commercial dough mixers. Contact us today for more information, or visit one of our locations near you.