A mixer is a kitchen appliance for mixing, beating, kneading, and whipping.
Usually, a mixer is used with whisk-like beater attachments. These are usually removable from an electric mixer, but permanently attached to a hand-cranked mixer. For this reason hand mixers are sometimes simply called beaters.
A typical mixer is electric and has two removable beaters that spin in place. The mixer comes with an optional stand that holds the mixer and a purpose-made bowl, allowing the bowl to rotate. Helical (corkscrew-like) dough hook attachments are usually provided for working with moderately tough dough. Sometimes these mixers are sold cheaply without the stand and bowl.
A more effective and expensive design uses a stationary bowl and a single beater that moves in an orbital motion in addition to rotating. In this case the mixer can not be operated in a hand-held manner, but it is more likely to have a powerful motor and provide good support for unusual attachments like grinders. Mixers of this type can be very large. Sometimes the bowl is clamped at both sides rather than being held from the bottom.
A hand-cranked mixer can only perform the job of a whisk. Compared to a whisk, the advantage of a hand-cranked mixer is gearing that allows for high speed.