What a great machine for the price! I didn't think I'd ever own a stand mixer based on the $400 price tag that they all have (even at Christmas!) but then I read about this machine and I'm soo glad I got it for myself as an early Christmas present. It made cookie making 5x easier! I use it very often now and have very few complaints (that I can live with for under $20)... The base doesn't sit high enough for the beaters to hit the very bottom, so if you're making something like whipped cream you have to keep lifting the bowl up or use it by hand (I did manage to get it to whip by propping it up with a towel but it won't spin). That and the bowl scratching easily are really it, but considering how much I use the bowl I wouldn't expect it to look new forever.
I was excited when I first saw this mixer and the store because I thought that if I purchased the Hamilton Beach Mixer I wouldn't have to buy a hand mixer as well as a stand mixer. I bought it the day before Thanksgiving in order to do some last minute holiday baking and while I was mixing the cookie dough on a med-low setting, the motor started having trouble and a funny smell began to emit. The 290 watt motor is definitely not up to par and can in no way be described as 'powerful'. I was intensely disappointed to say the least.