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I have misplaced the dough hook attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer, and I'm debating what type of dough hook attachment to purchase to replace it, and specifically if there are performance tradeoffs between the two common types. I usually knead by hand but I lean on the mixer for higher-hydration dough or just when I'm feeling lazy.

I'm aware of two dough-hook types for home mixers:

Is there an objective advantage of one style over the other? I assume there is some difference in performance.

My experience: The latter (spiral-shaped) dough attachment is what originally came with my "professional" (in name only) KitchenAid model. I find that it really only seems to perform well for medium-hydration dough (lower and higher don't work as well), and for a medium amount of dough (too much or too little doesn't seem to work as well). Perhaps I'm just having too-high hopes for this attachment in the first place, or I'm missing something else.

Some examples that would be most helpful to me: Does the spiral version simply work better in all cases if it's compatible with the machine and bowl? Is there any benefit to the C shape? Are there reasons to have both types? Does one work better with lower/higher hydration or more/less dough?

Other research: I haven't found anything satisfying...

I see just a couple questions on SA about dough hooks, but they're really about how to prevent dough walking up and wrapping, like this one and this one. Sounds like the C-shape tends to hold onto the dough too much (dough wraps and climbs) and that the two styles put different wear on the mixers.

A bunch of other sites have some comment about this, but I only found a few that have helpful tidbits:

  • If your mixer came with it, it's designed to take the loads applied by it (per some discussion on the potential downsides of moving from a C or spade hook to a spiral on "non-approved" models, which supposedly have bearings that cannot take the loads.) – Ecnerwal Apr 28 '15 at 2:18
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    For higher hydration dough, turn up the mixer speed some... that makes it work much better. Lower hydration, I have no answer :-( Oh, and the coated one does work (a little) better than the plain aluminum one in my experience. – derobert Apr 28 '15 at 15:34
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    A spiral unscrews itself from the dough. I enjoy not having to scrape down the "C" hook. KA don't have a good rep for long mixing times of heavy loads. When mixing, hold out some of the flour, mix the thinner batter to your desired consistency, add the remaining flour for a short mix with the heavier load. – Optionparty Apr 29 '15 at 0:02
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The C, J or spade hook is a dismal excuse, having an older "professional" (as you say, in name only) 5-quart Kitchen-Aid mixer that came with one. Per comment above one evidently cannot just swap to the spiral hook on that era of mixer due to the bearings being different. The C hook works against the sides of the bowl, while the spiral works against the bottom, so it pushes up on the shaft.

Of course, I'm comparing against the way that a 30 quart real commercial unit works, with its spiral hook. I wanted a mixer for my kitchen that worked just the same, but smaller, and it's not...

So while you may find the faux-commercial spiral disappointing, you may not have plumbed the depths of the well of disappointment; unless you really want to go there, stick with the spiral, bad as it may be, it's probably better than the C.

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    "... the depths ... of disappointment..." Yikes! I assumed that the C-shaped hook could be useful or even superior in some circumstances, but perhaps it's simply just an older, and entirely inferior, shape... only used if the bearings of the bearer can't bear the load of the spiral. – hoc_age Apr 30 '15 at 2:02
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    I bought a "C"-shape hook anyway to try it out first-hand: It is indeed terrible in performance compared to the spiral (which I have also found). I was going to do a self-answer with pictures of the dismal performance but I got depressed just looking at the thing flailing about that I couldn't even bring myself to do so. So, I wish I could give you another +1 to save anyone else similar misery. Thank you for your attempt to save me from plumbing... the disappointment; please accept my "accept" and hope that you/we serve as a warning to others. – hoc_age Aug 9 '15 at 18:32
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For dough the spiral hook definitely works better. I have a 6 quart Professional 5 Plus with the spiral hook and it will do one (.45Kg) loaf or two perfectly.

My 5 quart Artisan came with the C hook and barely mixes at all on a single loaf. When doubled up the dough crawls up the C hook even more than the single loaf, beating against the sides if you try higher than 2 speed and the mixer gets hot fast.

I'm trying to find a spiral hook for the Artisan but they are all out of stock (and we know why). Google for videos on Youtube to see clearly which hook works best.

  • I know this was an old comment you wrote, but you said "but they are all out of stock (and we know why)" I was wondering why they are out of stock. I am not in the know – Kevin M Nov 8 at 15:59

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