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Stand Mixers 2002 – 2011


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My 350 watt old timer KA is infinitely more powerful than my jazzy muckety muck higher power new KA. Now my old one has bust a bauble in there somewhere but since my husband can fix anything he knows it's a bladeebladeebla part so I'll be fine. But it's not generally the motors that wear out in my experience it's the gears and this other little deal that broke on mine.

I got my kid a new KA for a wedding present but she has all my mixers to fall back on too so she'll be fine since cookies & cake are as much action as hers has seen. Chef-boy dropped off an old incontinent Hobart five quart that I'm looking forward to restoring to good health. I keep it 'Pampered' in the corner. :laugh:

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I wouldn't get seduced by wattage. The Hobart N5 is significantly lower wattage than the top end Kithchenaids, Vikings, and Delonghis, but is effectively much more powerful and will outlast all of them, especially with pro level use.

It will also cost much more. If you really need professional quality, you need to shell out the dollars.

For anything less than continuous heavy use (like making multiple batches of dough back to back every day) my money is on the top end kitchenaid. There are some nice things about the Delonghi, but the trouble is that service is nonexistant, at least in the U.S.. If it breaks (and they do break ... delonghi has its quality control issues just like KA), you're in for an epic. I know less about Viking ... they seem to have less of a track record than the others. I'm skeptical of them in general, based on the price/performance of their other products. KA has the best service service network and policies of all of them.

Remember that you'll have an easy time breaking ANY mixer, even a floor-standing hobart that's as big as a hot tub. You have to pay attention to capacities, to how the motor sounds, and to common sense. Most mixers will also benefit from a gentle break-in period, that lets you warm the grease in the transmission and get it flowing everywhere it needs to go, before you really crank on the thing. Kitchenaid doesn't acknowledge this (they don't want to scare you away) but if you check out the forums at kitchenaid.com you'll find some engineering types who give their educated opinions.

Notes from the underbelly

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k8, i've definitely seen your hobart on the floor in some of your photos!! :laugh: , pampered indeed.

My 350 watt old timer KA is infinitely more powerful than my jazzy muckety muck higher power new KA. Now my old one has bust a bauble in there somewhere but since my husband can fix anything he knows it's a bladeebladeebla part so I'll be fine. But it's not generally the motors that wear out in my experience it's the gears and this other little deal that broke on mine.

I got my kid a new KA for a wedding present but she has all my mixers to fall back on too so she'll be fine since cookies & cake are as much action as hers has seen. Chef-boy dropped off an old incontinent Hobart five quart that I'm looking forward to restoring to good health. I keep it 'Pampered' in the corner.  :laugh:

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Learned something about wattage today -- was asking a dealer about the wattage on Bamix hand mixers, because they go by a bazillion revolutions per minute or somesuch. At any rate, he gave me a long explanation on how that's figured and how companies fake their wattage rate (like giving you the wattage number that actually started the machine to smoke) because they know consumers look for it.

The Bamix has 150 to 200 watts and is apparently twice as strong as the Braun, which claims 280.

I would never buy an off brand anything major. Too hard to get parts and service.

If anyone's interested, I just impulse bought a Kitchen Aid food processor, 12 cups, as a Christmas present. Then I researched it.

It absolutely rocks and is the quietest appliance I own. Except maybe the toaster.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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Wattage tells you how much power the machine draws from the wall. It tells you nothing about about the durability, the heat diispersion, or the ability to generate torque at the low speeds you need for kneading dough. Pro machines are rated in horsepower, which is about the actual output power. This makes much more sense, but still tells you nothing about torque or durability or cooling.

The main reasons the pro machines like the Hobarts kick ass is that they have a geared transmission. Like a car. At low speeds you use a low gear, which gives you more torque. You can run the engine at high speed (where it actually generates the most power) while the beater turns slowly.

It makes little difference to have a 700 watt mixer if has electronic spped control (no gears), if it's nowhere near 700 watts at kneading speeds, if it has very little low-speed torque, and if it has poor heat dissipation under load.

FWIW, here's a pretty good review at consumersearch.com...

http://www.consumersearch.com/www/kitchen/mixers/index.html

Notes from the underbelly

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Mind you, China is not known for its baking.

not necessarily true :hmmm: , but then again a thousand+ year cooking (and baking) history doesn't necessarily include the use of electric mixers :wink:

from what i understand, newer model kitchen aids are made with plastic parts in the motor and that is why they break down. if you are lucky enough to have an older model kitchen aid that was made when hobart was making the mixers, you'll have a machine that will last forever. however, i have two kitchen aid stand mixers and have been pleased with both (the older one really is better than my newer one and they are only about 6 years apart in age but slightly different models).

vanessa, i wouldn't get it. you definitely get what you pay for in mixers. also, don't get a viking. they stink.

The new 600 Pro machines - beginning in April of this year, have all metal gears - they received many complaints about the gear failure and fixed it. Which is the reason I bought one.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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The new 600 Pro machines - beginning in April of this year, have all metal gears - they received many complaints about the gear failure and fixed it.  Which is the reason I bought one.

i wish i had known that before i bought my second which is a "professional 5 plus" which just means that my older model five quart bowl lift bowls and attachments aren't compatible. but it came with a free extra bowl and was on sale cheap, so i had to get it :wink: . again, the "5 plus" doesn't seem to like the heavy work as much as my older model standard 5 quart bowl lift...darn it.

it's good to know they updated the gears on the 600 Pros...maybe there will be one of those in my future!

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The plastic gear on the KA mixers is what's called a sacrificial gear ... it's designed to break if the machine is overloaded, to protect the much more expensive motor. Contrary to popular internet rumor, the KAs have used a sacrificial plastic gear singe hobart introduced them decades ago.

It's not the most elegant solution to the problem, but it's a cost effective one. They replaced the plastic gear with a metal one on the pro (bowl lift) models several years ago, and switched to a thermal shutoff to protect the motor. More elegant, but also more expensive.

Notes from the underbelly

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I know there are many other threads about this, but if those of you who have the Kitchen Aid Pro 600 could answer a question for me -- I'm getting one for Christmas -- and I'm worried that it might be the wrong mixer for me. I don't do large batches of bread dough.

I want a good mixer that will last forever, but I don't want it if it isn't appropriate for normal household use -- like making a batch of cookies or a cake . . .

The heaviest I get is the five fruitcake batter annually . . .

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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Linda, I think you'll be fine with that one. I got my daughter the 5 quart. Either one is fine for a home baker. Along the way you'll probably make some bread someday. The five quart bowl is narrower. The six quart bowl is wider.

I got a funny story about KA's & making bread.

23 years ago, I got bronchitis when I was carrying chef-boy. My husband made chicken soup, cleaned up the house and asked if there was anything else he could do for me. I said, no no no. He insisted, I said, well some cinnamon bread would be cool but that's ok don't bother. He said I'm happy too. I said it couldn't be easier KA spells it our for you.

So he got out the little KA cookbook that came with the mixer & he had to go to the store for salt. Of all things we were low on salt. He was busy with that. I was dozing all cozy in my clean little house. He made a beautiful little dough ball, I was admiring his work. He said, Why did it call for so much salt? How much did it call for? Three tablespoons he said. Oh no I'm thinking, he read it wrong it's supposed to be three teaspoons, but that can't be right either for two loaves of cinnamon bread.

Of all things it was a typo in the little cookbook :laugh: It really says three tablespoons of salt!!!

PS. It'll be 29 years on Dec 25 :biggrin: IF we make it 12 more days :raz:

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Lindacakes, I have a Pro 5, and while I usually don't fault it other than the occasionally worrisome sound that it's really having to work hard, there is one other small problem, and I don't know if it carries over to the larger Pro 6. The problem is that the whisk and the paddle attachments *very* barely reach the bottom of the bowl, so it's not easy to do, say, three egg whites or one stick of butter, or even one 8 oz. pkg. of cream cheese. I usually do small things like that by hand, because the mixer is just too big for those jobs. I've never had a serious problem wtih medium sized mix media; it's only the really small stuff that I've had to sweat.

K8, you tell the best stories. :) Happy anniversary!!

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Congratulations on your 29 years, K8! If you think you are not going to make it, go away for the weekend or something.

:biggrin:

Well, my eyes are spinning from reading Christmas purchase threads: Bamix, KA Food Processor and KA Stand Mixer! I'm about to small appliance puke.

I did learn this interesting tidbit that may help you, Sunny.

Put a dime on the bottom of your mixer. Using very small increments, work your screw on the height adjustment (I don't know anything about this, I never had a stand mixer before). The whisk should move the dime around a quarter, a half turn, but not move it in a full circle. If this is accomplished, then this is the right height.

If a mixer can't whip a stick of butter all by itself, then it's not worthy. 99 out of every hundred baking recipes start with that . . .

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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Public service announcement -- apparently KA has been, for some time, developing a smaller bowl that will fit on the 6quart machine. Supposed to be out by April.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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I did learn this interesting tidbit that may help you, Sunny.

Put a dime on the bottom of your mixer.  Using very small increments, work your screw on the height adjustment (I don't know anything about this, I never had a stand mixer before).  The whisk should move the dime around a quarter, a half turn, but not move it in a full circle.  If this is accomplished, then this is the right height.

If a mixer can't whip a stick of butter all by itself, then it's not worthy.  99 out of every hundred baking recipes start with that . . .

Ok, I'm going to try this today... thanks for the tip! I've never tried to adjust the thing before... I got a little skittish after a KA customer service rep made me feel like an idiot when I called just after getting mine. I'd only ever used the KA like my mom has (where the head tilts instead of the bowl lifting) and didn't know to click the bowl down *hard* to lock it in place... when I called to ask why my bowl was hopping around like crazy and making a racket, the lady asked how I was attaching the bowl, and she kept intoning, "The way that you're doing that is WRONG!" Sheesh.

I'll give this a try and see if it helps! Thanks again! This thread has been very illuminating.

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Put a dime on the bottom of your mixer.  Using very small increments, work your screw on the height adjustment (I don't know anything about this, I never had a stand mixer before).  The whisk should move the dime around a quarter, a half turn, but not move it in a full circle.  If this is accomplished, then this is the right height.

If a mixer can't whip a stick of butter all by itself, then it's not worthy.  99 out of every hundred baking recipes start with that . . .

Is this just for pivot head machines, or is there a similar fix for bowl-lift machines? I remember working in a pastry kitchen, and being taught to hold the bowl up to the whisk in order to get it to whip a stick up butter properly.

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I'm sorry, I don't know -- I picked it up off the King Arthur threads.

I've gleaned that it's important to do your own calibration.

Any customer service rep that would do that is an ass.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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I'll chime in her as I currently use the KA Pro 600. I actually bought my first one (uh, oh -- here comes the bad news :sad:) back in August. As my avatar suggests, I make a LOT of bread. Almost immediately I noticed that whenever I was kneading a tougher dough, little metal shavings would inevitably find themselves on top of the dough hook attachment (the part that you attach to the post). Granted, the shavings never went into the dough itself, but I had to be extra careful when removing the bowel and the hook from the mixer to make sure my bread didn't end up "enriched". It wasn't until I went to cream some butter and sugar and suddenly metal shaving DID end up in the mix that I hit my limit. Since the mixer was still under warranty, I took it back to Williams-Sonoma and they gladly replaced the mixer with a new one. The new one doesn't have this problem. And I made 11 batches of bread in one day for Thanksgiving orders after getting the new one.

That being said, neither the previous mixer or this new one gives me utmost confidence. It just seems to strain too much. The mixer has gotten warm, at worst, but has never tripped a thermal shutoff. But it just *sounds* like it's making too much of an effort. The first chance I have to snatch up a used Hobart 5 qt. mixer, I would certainly seize the opportunity. If you are using it primarily to mix up cookie/cake/whipped cream and an occasional batch of bread, I think the Pro 600 fits the bill well.

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That being said, neither the previous mixer or this new one gives me utmost confidence. It just seems to strain too much. The mixer has gotten warm, at worst, but has never tripped a thermal shutoff. But it just *sounds* like it's making too much of an effort. The first chance I have to snatch up a used Hobart 5 qt. mixer, I would certainly seize the opportunity. If you are using it primarily to mix up cookie/cake/whipped cream and an occasional batch of bread, I think the Pro 600 fits the bill well.

11 batches of bread a day definitely sounds like hobart territory! That's really professional use. The KA can do it, but like you said, it probably won't inspire much confidence. It was designed with the expectation of having more time to cool down between batches than it's going to get when you're running big bread batches back to back.

It was designed to last a long time under serious household use, but it sounds like you're doing ten times more than that.

Notes from the underbelly

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Fortunately, 11 batches in one day is the exception and not the rule. However, in a given week, I will normally go through between 3 and 4 batches of bread. Then again, this weekend I am baking bread for holiday baskets ... 6-7 batches in two days. :grin:

One of these days, I'll actually make enough profit from the bread baking to be able to afford the Hobart. Of course, then the question arises of where to put it in my home kitchen. :blink:

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My 5 quart says not to do more than two batches of bread back to back. I don't remember what the 6 quart said, it's a moot point though because it's so much more fragile than the five quart I'd never want to make bread in it anyway.

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The first chance I have to snatch up a used Hobart 5 qt. mixer, I would certainly seize the opportunity. If you are using it primarily to mix up cookie/cake/whipped cream and an occasional batch of bread, I think the Pro 600 fits the bill well.

One of these days, I'll actually make enough profit from the bread baking to be able to afford the Hobart. Of course, then the question arises of where to put it in my home kitchen.

I bought myself a 12-qt. Hobart on ebay. Fits just fine on the kitchen counter! It dominates the room, needless to say, but my, she's yar!

On the KA side, I have my 22-year old 5-qt which is far superior to my newer (albeit used, and a "commercial" model, nonetheless) 5-qt. Just made a pumpernickel in her and she didn't even get warm. Best Christmas present I ever received! So I recommend, if anyone can find a used and in good condition older KA, buy it. It'll do far better for you than the newer models.

kit

"I'm bringing pastry back"

Weebl

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just stopping in to report that I have purchased two more KitchenAid mixers for my collection.

These are a couple of old ones, one is the often seen on ebay, 4-C but this one is in pink, a less common color back in the day.

However the other is the much harder to find K4B which has a motor head very similar to the ones we have now. It is known as the KA with a nose ring and tail fin.

You can see it in the second photo down on this page.

Incidentaly, did anyone here know there is a group of people who collect old and not-so-old mixers?

Yep, we are WACEM - We Actually Collect Electric Mixers - and there are some very odd machines out there that have survived from the early days.

If you have an old mixer and want to know its history, visit the site and look at some of the photos.

Here is a recent acquisition:

gallery_17399_60_1695.jpg

Looks sort of like an insect, doesn't it? It is a 1931 Hamilton Beach. In amazing condition for its age!

gallery_17399_60_4609.jpg

It is also an interesting anomaly - the handle mounts are reversed in a few of these models.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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My workplace has two large Hobarts, one medium and one small Hobart.

The paddles for the large and medium Hobart has broken a few times already. Albeit, a heavier dough has been mixed, I don't think a commercial paddle should break.

These paddles are an aluminum alloy. The Hobart people said that we need to use the dough hook to mix more dense products.

Needless to say, this will not suffice when creaming butter and sugar and adding flour for, let's say, shortbread. I've made this with the paddle and under low speed to prevent any further paddle breakage.

My own KA does this similar shortbread with no problem. Why shouldn't a commercial Hobart fare the same or better?

Also, an older Hobart from a second location bakery made the same mixes with the paddle for years and not one broken paddle. What gives?

Is Hobart making their machines with cheaper parts? I was told the gears are made differently from the old machines...that it was improved but that the bakers have to adjust our methods, like switching from an automatic car to a standard...?

Whatever, a paddle needs to be used for certain mixes and the dough hook will not suffice.

Any comments and inside knowledge about what's going on with Hobart?

I was looking into getting a small table top Hobart to replace my KA but now I'm rethinking about it. My KA has had no problems in the 7 years I've had it.

Edited by maxmillan (log)
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