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Stand Mixers 2002 – 2011


seawakim
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  • 1 month later...

I've read a number of posts about Kitchenaid, mostly from people in the US. Not many about Kenwood Chef. I live in the southwest of France, where buying opportunities are limited, and service even more so.

FYI, Kitchenaid Artisan, which in the US seems to be 200-300 USD here retails for 550 Euros, often on sale for 450 to 500, but can be had from various Internet sites for 375 Euros, more or less. (The Professional model is virtually unavailable here I found one site selling it at 800 or 900 euros, so that's really out of the question. Cuisinart also not avaiable.)

I ordered a red Artisan from Amazon, loved it when it arrived, but when I tried to make bread, using only 3 cups of flour, well within the limit, the head came unlocked and bucked up. Also the bowl got stuck in the base, and I had to oil the outside, plus put ice cubes in to contract the metal. (Apparently this does happen I see on other sites and I guess I could live with that.) Decided that I must have done something wrong, made another kind of bread and it was fine. But the third time, the same problem - it may be related to putting raisins in the bread, but I don't think the head should lift up in the middle of the mixing.

So I called Service, which is in Brussels, a LONG way from me, and the only service place they could recommend is 1 1/2 hours away. (If you think gas is expensive in the US you should try Europe. I really don't want to drive 1 1/2 hours twice for a mixer.)

Finally I discovered that Amazon would still take it back, put the whole thing back in the box and mailed it to them. I'm still waiting for the refund, but decided to do more research.

I had just about decided to go with the Kenwood Chef (probably KMC 510 or 560) which is still between 300 and 400 Euros, but they have a great reputation for quality and long life (I actually have a 35 year old one which still works, but is pretty battered, and needs to work through a very heavy large transformer, neither of which i really want on my counter. The reason I'm looking for a replacement)

Then I see that Kenwood has been bought by DeLonghi and lots of people say the quality has really suffered. And service is terrible.

So now I really don't know what to do next. I made another call to Kitchenaid in Brussels, who say I can send a defective machine to the service agent at their cost, and so feel a little better about them.

Has anyone else, particularly in Europe gone through this decision making process, and what was the result?

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I've read a number of posts about Kitchenaid, mostly from people in the US.  Not many about Kenwood Chef. I live in the southwest of France, where buying opportunities are limited, and service even more so.

...

I had just about decided to go with the Kenwood Chef (probably KMC 510 or 560) which is still between 300 and 400 Euros, but they have a great reputation for quality and long life (I actually have a 35 year old one which still works, but is pretty battered, and needs to work through a very heavy large transformer, neither of which i really want on my counter.  The reason I'm looking for a replacement)

Then I see that Kenwood has been bought by DeLonghi and lots of people say the quality has really suffered.  And service is terrible. 

...

Has anyone else,  particularly in Europe gone through this decision making process, and what was the result?

I've been using a Kenwood that I inherited (a KM210). Its a low end model from maybe 15 years ago. It'll handle a dough made with about 500g of flour. But I can feel it straining if the dough is 'stiff'. However, at 550 watts, its off the bottom of the scale for the current Kenwood range.

I'm getting a deal on a new but obsolete-stock KM005 ("major" rather than chef, so 6.7 litre not 4.5 litre bowl) which should be a worthwhile upgrade - with a 1200w motor. And (bowl/beater stuff apart) take all the KM's accessories.

One point for you to consider. If your antique (transformered) Kenwood is a "700" series model, then *none* of its accessories will fit a modern KM-series machine. (The not-quite-so-old "900" series however are compatible with current accessories.)

One very new accessory (that is included with some current UK offerings) is a "flexible" beater. Its actually a rigid beater with short flexible silicone 'wings' that sweep against the side of the bowl. Better for creaming cake mixtures, etc. Supposedly. About £25 as an extra.

I can't tell you about customer support, because I've never had to call on it...

However, *if* you are seeking the ultimate in current Kenwood ruggedness, you might be interested in paying out for one of their 'Professional' series mixers. These are visually distinguished by their stop and start buttons (and in many if not all cases, guarding on the bowls). They have an all-metal gearbox - for durability if not for silent operation!

http://www.kenwoodworld.com/ee/product_det...?cat=163&id=353

though seemingly in France there's only a Pro-series Major http://www.kenwoodworld.com/fr/product_det...cat=1194&id=329

Nice that they are "robots" though... :smile:

As a specialist domestic dough mixer, there's a distinctly odd thing made by Electrolux that outdoes anything else. But its damn hard to find, and while it does have a repertoire of serious optional accessories, I'm not sure anyone seeks out that mixer particularly to use as a blender.

In the US, it was called the "Magic Mill" and more recently the "DLX". In Europe, it seems to be called the Electrolux Assistent N22, N24 or N26. (And yes, they do spell Assistent that way...).

Its a truly amazingly solid machine, but hard to find outside the Nordic countries. They sell some in Germany, and there's a Luxembourg dealer that sells via eBay buy-it-now (machine, basic toolset and shipping to France ~ €325). While I'm fairly sure I've seen such a thing in France, I can't find internet evidence of its availability (maybe there's a different designation!)

It'll handle a dough (made with 800/900g of flour) without even changing over to the dough hook, and without any indication of strain. Changing to the hook is only needed because with too much dough, it climbs up the roller (it is an odd machine!) But it really is excellent for (and unchallenged by) bread dough.

The one I was most generously given came from a chap "upgrading" to a new KitchenAid. I'm just worried in case he asks for the Electrolux back... :huh:

ADDED: Reading this thread one will see that I am far from alone in my enthusiasm for the Electrolux (with one poster even praising its blender!)

However, its likely that relatively few eGullet readers will have seen its strange mode of operation.

There's a movie on this page... http://www.everythingkitchens.com/electroluxvideo.html

And for clarification if its required, I've had no dealings with any of these vendors.

Edited by dougal (log)

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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It seems that all the consumer mixers have quality control issues. I'd base any decision largely on availability of service. In other words, I probably wouldn't buy a Delonghi in the U.S., and I probably wouldn't buy a KA in Europe.

Edited by paulraphael (log)

Notes from the underbelly

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It seems that all the consumer mixers have quality control issues. I'd base any decision largely on availability of service. In other words, I probably wouldn't buy a Delonghi in the U.S., and I probably wouldn't buy a KA in Europe.

I agree, except that I see that the Kenwood France site indicates that for service you should go to the store where you bought it. If you buy it online , it's not so easy, although some do offer their own guarantees.

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Does anyone know the make and model of Alton Brown's (new) stand mixer? it's not a Kitchenaid. It's gunmetal gray and seems wider and shorter than a KA.

Sounds like a Cuisinart.

And wouldn't you know it, Food Network is selling Cuisinart stand mixers on their website.

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... I see that the Kenwood France site indicates that for service you should go to the store where you bought it.  If you buy it online , it's not so easy...

Ummmm.

That's standard consumer advice. And it can save the end-user from shipping charges to the repair centre. As well as filtering out at least some of the "no fault found" non-problems.

You should be able to get warranty work carried out by any of their authorised service providers. Give them a phone call to check their procedures for going direct to those repairers.

List for France is here: http://www.kenwoodworld.com/fr/customer_repairs.php (note the popup for locations)

Those folk would also happily do out-of-warranty work on non-obsolete units. (As would most of the diminishing band who do general appliance repair work - as long as they can get the parts - not a problem in the UK, dunno about France.)

In general, I think most problems are caused by customers having an over-ambitious idea of what their shiny new machine might be capable of - and therefore overloading it.

Working too much dough (especially stiff dough), too quickly, for too long (for the poor little machine) seems to be a common problem.

The capabilities of the basic machines are actually somewhat limited, as this thread testifies. But that's why heavier-duty machines are available, though, yes, they are more expensive.

And incidentally, the Electrolux is claimed to be capable of handling dough made with 7lb of flour. Don't try that in any Kenwood or KitchenAid.

Has anyone on here *EVER* had a reliability problem with an Electrolux? (And there's a fair few users that have posted enthusiastic reports on using the things...)

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I've now made up my mind to go with Kenwood I;ve met several people recently who have/had both and recommend the Kenwood over the Kitchenaid. Having had my problem with Kitchenaid, I'm prepared to go with the opposition,.

So now it's down to the Premier 560 Chef, 4.6 litre bowl and 1000w, at 300 euros, or the Titanium KM010 Chef, again with 4.6L bowl, but 1400W, and 420 euros.The latter has 4 motor outlets, which I probably wont use, as I have my Magimix food processor, an blender, extra flexible scraping tool, and of course more power. Part of me says not to spend more money on extras thatIi may not need, the other part says to just spend the money - I wont be buying another one for a long time, so I might as well buy the best - at least within my range.

Any thoughts on the difference between these models?

I looked at the Electolux - thank goodness for the video, as I would never have understood how it works. But it doesn't seem to be available in France, and besides I think I prefer to use something I understand a little more. Interesting though!

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  • 3 months later...

I'm one of the "old school" Hobart-made KA users. It was flawless for twenty years. When it started to wear, I decided not to put money into it and purchase a KA 6 qt pro. Boy, am I sorry. This thing is noisy and my old 4.5 qt puts it to shame. Never again.

When whipping something light at high speed, this thing has the most annoying high-pitched noise that causes me to wear ear plugs. It also has problems with dough, even softer ones that are 60% water to 100% flour ratios. I have talked w/KA customer service, and sorry to say, they were of little help. The forums were even worse, so I decided to just use it until it dies and get something else. The only positive thing about it is that it looks nice on the baker's table. :/

I do own a Hobart 10 qt., and wow, what a difference in bread dough when I use it versus the KA 6 qt., especially on the second speed. The dough comes together much nicer, and the end texture is better as well. Unfortunately, having the 10 qt. out all of the time isn't an option for me since this kitchen is very small.

I've read the Electrolux reviews here, and I have to say, it seems an intriguing machine.

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Yeah, Alton's been using the new Cuisinart. I love my kitchenaid and i love the way it looks. That Cuisinart thing looks kind of...closed up and ugly. Maybe I'm just Kitchenaid branwashed.

Actually, it's a Viking, not a Cuisinart. Look at the top housing.

Essentially, the Cuisinart is a Kenwood Mixer (just like the DeLonghi and Viking) with a few add ons.

IMHO, the attachments are ridiculous (seriously, a blender and food processor that makes the whole contraption almost three feet tall? That works well on a kitchen counter!) and it's a cop out. Cuisinart has been riding on their name for over the past decade (and their ever decreasing quality proves that) and instead of putting out something original, they copied an existing model and added a digital countdown timer...ooooooohhh.

Oh yeah, I've already had three returned in the past month because of defects. Sold them a KA, which they should have bought to begin with.

Gear nerd and hash slinger

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Yeah, I thought the cuisinart mixer looked pretty cool in pictures. In person it looks absolutely ridiculous. So many things to break in so many ways, and a glowing, shimmering aura of cheapness. It really seems to have been designed by a marketing team and a photo stylist. Strange, because I've generally had good experiences with the company's products.

I'm pretty well sold on KA, as long as I have easy access to their service (anywhere in the U.S., really) and have a chance to do some serious torture testing during the 6 month warranty period of the refurb mixers that I buy.

I returned one a few weeks before the warranty ended. No catastrophic failure, but it seemed to be missing some kind of internal retaining ring, which led to all kinds of free play and odd noises. They cheerfully replaced it after it had powered through many batches of bread, pizza, cakes, cookies, ice cream, and ground meat. The new one seems like a keeper so far (knock on die-cast aluminum).

For what it's worth, if a current model KA 6 quart model is failing at something that an old 5 quart was able to do, then there's something wrong with it. Quality control is all over the map; some mixers just run way too hot. If you have one of these, and KA doesn't get that it's a problem unit, hurry up and break it so you can try another one!

Notes from the underbelly

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Yeah, I thought the cuisinart mixer looked pretty cool in pictures. In person it looks absolutely ridiculous. So many things to break in so many ways, and a glowing, shimmering aura of cheapness. It really seems to have been designed by a marketing team and a photo stylist. Strange, because I've generally had good experiences with the company's products.

I'm pretty well sold on KA, as long as I have easy access to their service (anywhere in the U.S., really) and have a chance to do some serious torture testing during the 6 month warranty period of the refurb mixers that I buy.

I returned one a few weeks before the warranty ended. No catastrophic failure, but it seemed to be missing some kind of internal retaining ring, which led to all kinds of free play and odd noises. They cheerfully replaced it after it had powered through many batches of bread, pizza, cakes, cookies, ice cream, and ground meat. The new one seems like a keeper so far (knock on die-cast aluminum).

For what it's worth, if a current model KA 6 quart model is failing at something that an old 5 quart was able to do, then there's something wrong with it. Quality control is all over the map; some mixers just run way too hot. If you have one of these, and KA doesn't get that it's a problem unit, hurry up and break it so you can try another one!

I've noticed that some of the newer batches do run hotter than the models even a couple of years old.

As far as turning one back in before the warranty runs out, there are several retailers that offer lifetime guarantees with no questions asked. Even if your appliance (or whatever) is way past warranty, they'll still take it back.

Gear nerd and hash slinger

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here I am back reporting on my ongoing attempt to buy a stand mixer in France. In my earlier posts I mentioned that I had bought a KitchenAid which had a problem with the head lifting, and returned it. Part of the reason I didn't just ask for an exchange was that I found that the closest service for KitchenAid was 1 1/2 hours from where I live.

So, on reflection, I decided Kenwood, a British brand (although now owned by the Italian DeLonghi) might be a better bet, and splurged on the Kenwood Chef Titanium. I loved it for 3 weeks, then had a problem. I won't go into the details, (partly my fault, partly theirs) but since I had the Kenwood guarantee, and an enhanced store guarantee, I took it in for service - to a shop only about 40 minutes away. That was 12th June. And I'm still waiting.

Turns out Kenwood Service is now a disaster - the part was ordered from Italy, but the service department finally admitted that service has been chaotic for the last year. After 7 weeks he suggested I ask for a replacement, which is supposedly underway, but since the file, inlcuding the serial number plate, has apparently been lost in the mail, no one had been doing anything for another 7 or 8 weeks. Recently the online place where I bought it has agreed that things can't go on like this much longer, and is trying to resolve the situation. They are talking replacment or reimbursement.

Which brings me back to my earlier problem, whether to go with a replacement and take another Kenwood, hoping I will never have a service issue again. I know what the problem was before, and wont ever do that again!

Or to go with KitchenAid - I really love the style and have wanted one for ages.

HOWEVER, I have now looked at 4 KitchenAids, one that I had, and 3 in stores. Of these, 2 had what I consider defective locking mechanisms, which would mean that as soon as you did anything heavy the head would pop up. The third was marginal, and the fourth actually seemed to work. So it appears to me to be a bit of a lottery as to whether you get one that works. One solution would be to buy it at a local store and test it before I take it home, but the list price is about 100 Euros -more than the Internet price. When I'm looking at paying 400 Euros for a Kitchenaid, it's pretty annoying to have to pay another 100 Euros to ensure I get one that works.

Has anyone else had this problem with Kitchenaid?

Has anyone else in Europe had better service from Kenwood?

At this point I'm just about ready to give up on the whole business and keep on making cakes in my Magimix.

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Well, since you note "the head popping up" I am guessing you are referring to the 250 W model, the lesser and not so recommended model in the Kitchenaid pantheon. For serious mixing, including any kneading of dough, the minimum wattage must be 350. The bowl is raised on this model and locks into place. There is no mixer which you should ever leave running unattended.

Your stand mixer is NOT a place to scrimp on.

Here I am back reporting on my ongoing attempt to buy a stand mixer in France.  In my earlier posts I mentioned that I had bought a KitchenAid which had a problem with the head lifting, and returned it.  Part of the reason I didn't just ask for an exchange was that I found that the closest service for KitchenAid was 1 1/2 hours from where I live.

So, on reflection, I decided Kenwood, a British brand (although now owned by the Italian DeLonghi) might be a better bet, and splurged on the Kenwood Chef Titanium.  I loved it for 3 weeks, then had a problem.  I won't go into the details, (partly my fault, partly theirs) but since I had the Kenwood guarantee, and an enhanced store guarantee, I took it in for service - to a shop only about 40 minutes away.  That was 12th June.  And I'm still waiting.

Turns out Kenwood Service is now a disaster - the part was ordered from Italy, but the service department finally admitted that service has been chaotic for the last year.  After 7 weeks he suggested I ask for a replacement, which is supposedly underway, but since the file, inlcuding the serial number plate, has apparently been lost in the mail, no one had been doing anything for another 7 or 8 weeks.  Recently the online place where I bought it has agreed that things can't go on like this much longer, and is trying to resolve the situation.    They are talking replacment or reimbursement.

Which brings me back to my earlier problem, whether to go with a replacement and take another Kenwood, hoping I will never have a service issue again.  I know what the problem was before, and wont ever do that again!

Or to go with KitchenAid - I really love the style and have wanted one for ages. 

HOWEVER, I have now looked at 4 KitchenAids, one that I had, and 3 in stores.  Of these, 2 had what I consider defective locking mechanisms, which would mean that as soon as you did anything heavy the head would pop up.  The third was marginal, and the fourth actually seemed to work.    So it appears to me to be a bit of a lottery as to whether you get one that works.  One solution would be to buy it at a local store and test it before I take it home, but the list price is about 100 Euros -more than the Internet price. When I'm looking at paying 400 Euros for a Kitchenaid, it's pretty annoying to have to pay another 100 Euros to ensure I get one that works.

Has anyone else had this problem with Kitchenaid?

Has anyone else in Europe had better service from Kenwood?

At this point I'm just about ready to give up on the whole business and keep on making cakes in my Magimix.

etherdog

Bloomington, IN US

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... In my earlier posts I mentioned that I had bought a KitchenAid which had a problem with the head lifting, and returned it. 

... splurged on the Kenwood Chef Titanium.  I loved it for 3 weeks, then had a problem.  I won't go into the details, (partly my fault, partly theirs) ...

... I took it in for service ... That was 12th June.  And I'm still waiting.

...

Which brings me back to my earlier problem, whether to go with a replacement and take another Kenwood...

I know what the problem was before, and wont ever do that again!

...

3 months wait is excessive, even for France. Time for some action, NOW.

I have to say that I'm intrigued as to how you broke the Kenwood after 3 weeks.

You indicate that you have learned a lesson as to 'what not to do'.

Could you share that lesson?

There is, incidentally, at least one 'ruggedised' Kenwood, designed for use in commercial kitchens.

http://www.nisbets.co.uk/products/productd...cVat&mkt_id=PC1

And I'll repeat the question I asked back in April. Has anyone managed to break an Electrolux? And how?

(Failing to master the skills of operating the thing doesn't count - I'm talking ruggedness.)

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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I haven't heard of that particular defect in a KA. But heavy mixing, like pizza dough or pasta, can put stress on the the lock tha holds the head down. If you're working much with dough, I'd strongly suggest going with one of the bowl lift models. I thought they'd be less convenient than the tilt heads, but I find the opposite to be the case. The big mixers have a much wider bowl, which makes it easy to add ingredients while the machine's running. You never have to worry about the lock on the tilt head ... there isn't one.

Notes from the underbelly

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Well, I might be interested in the more expensive model KitchenAid, but it is virtually unobtainable here in France. We have the 'Artisan' model and that's it - and I only had 3 cups of flour in it, hardly enough to strain it. I don't need a professional model, just one that works. But when I go into the store ,push gently on the KitchenAid and the top unlocks, it doesn't give me much confidence that it will hold when it starts to work. Except for the one out of four that did lock properly

Regarding the KitchenAid, if you leave the accessories in the bowl and turn on the blender attachment (never mentioned in the instruction booklet) the head continues to turn, picks up the beater and pushes it into the side of the bowl. And I agree 3 months is too long, (even with August as one of those months) but many phone calls, notes to Kenwood and the shop have not yet produced a result. I think it's a much better built machine,but don't know what I will do if I ever have another problem.

The professional level Kenwood is more than I need, and not available here.

Electrolux is also not available here.

So I may just have to hold my nose, jump in and see what happens.

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What a drag that none of these things is available there. It's surprising. Is it just because the bakeries are so plentiful and so good that no one bakes at home?

I think there was talk about more of the KA line becoming available in Europe. I don't know why it would take more than just addapting the motor and curcuits for different voltage, but they make it sound like a big deal. Maybe it's because of CE regulations and things like that.

Notes from the underbelly

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...

The professional level Kenwood is more than I need, and not available here.

...

Its generally not sold through normal retailers.

The link I posted above was to a catering (commercial kitchen) supplier, Nisbetts.

It would seem that it is (today) available in France

http://www.clicanddeal.com/store/Product.a...06-32f77e725f51

But it is expensive.

However, here's a used one with lots of accessories for only €225...

http://www.2xmoinscher.com/info/detail.asp?id=488688

I'd still be interested to hear how the other one broke...

Edited by dougal (log)

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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