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Finding a Mixer


rbda
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I'm looking to buy a kitchen mixer with a dough hook. My budget dictates that I buy a used one... So I've been looking around and most of the ones I see don't have a dough hook. I was wondering if the attachments are interchangeable between brands? Also if I buy a hook, How do I make sure I can get the right bowl to fit it?

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Attachments are generally not interchangeable between brands. The regular bowl will work, just make sure to get the proper size hook. The Kenwood, sold in the US for a while as Delonghi, comes in 2 sizes, 5qt and 7 qt -which is the bowl size. Each of those came with a dough hook, and you could jam either one into the hole to attach it, but the wrong one will be either too short or too long. I recommend that you find a photo of the mixer when new, with all attachments, and note the shape of the dough hook. The different sizes have slightly different shapes. You will be more confident in looking to buy a dough hook on ebay, etc.

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rbda, when you say "looking around," where are you looking? Craigslist? Ebay? And how close to a reasonably sized city are you? For example, in my relatively small metro area, there are two appropriate mixers: an older but very nice KA 600 Pro with all three attachments and one bowl, for $150, and a Bosch Universal Mixer (mixer w/attachments + food processor + blender), asking $400.

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Check the Kitchenaid refurbished site (I just googled Kitchenaid refurbished; didn't find the link from the regular KA site. Got my KA Pro 600 with paddle, dough hook and whisk there about 5 years ago for, best I recall, around $179. Perfect mixer for what I do.

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Absolutely, 100% get a refurbished Kitchenaid. There's really no downside, if you plan to use a lot during the warranty period. If you're using it hard you'll know in the first couple of weeks if you got a bad one.

 

I think the refurbed 600 costs a bit more than 179 now (I paid about $240 for mine in 2008, and they've gone up a bit). It's still a bargain. After the 6 month warranty, just learn to repair it yourself. You need a $20 set of snap ring pliers, $10 worth of grease, and whatever replacement parts (cheap). You can keep the thing running forever if you take care of it.

 

The real secret to longevity: don't follow KA's recommended capacities. Those people are crazy. Use your judgement if you have good mechanical aptitude. If you don't, look up the recommended capacities for mixers like the Hobart N50 and Globe SP8. Know that these are much more powerful, much more expensive machines. And notice how the rated capacities in most case are lower than the KA's. These companies are conservative, and are telling their customers how to keep the machines running forever. KA is making promises it can't keep, for marketing purposes. Aim low. And if the machine gets hot or makes bad noises, back off.

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Notes from the underbelly

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I don't doubt the quality control was better with Hobart, but the design was identical for tilt-head mixers. And the few bowl-lift versions from that era were a lot less powerful. You'd be buying a machine that's 30+years old, probably with original grease, and who knows what history. 

 

Also, those machines weren't designed with a thrust bearing that allows you to use the spiral dough hook. This new design is much, much better than the old-style c-hooks. If you're working with dough, this is a big deal.

Notes from the underbelly

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  • 1 year later...

I thought I knew what I wanted to do but now I'm not sure.

 

I currently have a KitchenAid Pro 6qt, a Hobart 20qt and an Electrolux(Anskarum) 7.5qt

 

My KA has slipped its gears so many times I can't even count anymore, and I've dropped $100+ on repairs each time (after the warranty period). And while I could take Paul's advice of fixing it myself, I've found that is not my gift in life. Also, its a bit small for my current needs.

 

My Electrolux  - love the power; no such thing as gear slip; the mechanism in the center of the mixing bowl is often problematic although it whips the crap out of things. Also, a bit small for me.

 

My Hobart is just too big for the majority of my projects. I use it on some larger volume stiff doughs but I'd say it gets used 1 out of 20 recipes.

 

So, my need is around the 12 qt level; won't slip gears. Don't care about attachments because I have them for my other machines (grinder, pasta, juice, etc). I'll use it mostly for stiff doughs - cookies and breads. I don't want to re-wire so a standard outlet is important.

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Something to check into... at one time I think there was a 20 quart Hobart mixer that would also work with a 10 quart bowl. If that would not work with yours, maybe you can trade for the other model.

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On 1/21/2018 at 11:13 AM, gfron1 said:

I thought I knew what I wanted to do but now I'm not sure.

 

I currently have a KitchenAid Pro 6qt, a Hobart 20qt and an Electrolux(Anskarum) 7.5qt

 

My KA has slipped its gears so many times I can't even count anymore, and I've dropped $100+ on repairs each time (after the warranty period). And while I could take Paul's advice of fixing it myself, I've found that is not my gift in life. Also, its a bit small for my current needs.

 

My Electrolux  - love the power; no such thing as gear slip; the mechanism in the center of the mixing bowl is often problematic although it whips the crap out of things. Also, a bit small for me.

 

My Hobart is just too big for the majority of my projects. I use it on some larger volume stiff doughs but I'd say it gets used 1 out of 20 recipes.

 

So, my need is around the 12 qt level; won't slip gears. Don't care about attachments because I have them for my other machines (grinder, pasta, juice, etc). I'll use it mostly for stiff doughs - cookies and breads. I don't want to re-wire so a standard outlet is important.

 

I'd take a look at the Globe countertop mixers, at least if the 8 quart model would be big enough. People seem to love these. The only complaint I've read is that they're a little top heavy and so they can walk around on the counter (or off) when mixing at high spead. But shouldn't be an issue with dough.

 

The 10 qt model is closer to what you're asking for. I don't know anyone who has this. From the picture it looks rather gigantic.

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Notes from the underbelly

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  • 7 months later...

I’m considering a mixer upgrade to a 20 qt tabletop model and would like to hear thoughts on Hobart vs Globe, Volrath, and other brands. I know and trust Hobart but I don’t want to go too much over $2-3k so that means a used one. Is an old Hobart of uncertain provenance still as good or better than a new, lesser known brand?  How about Berkel, there was a Berkel mixer on eBay that looked cool but I’ve only heard of them for their meat slicers. 

 

@gfron1, did you find if a smaller bowl can go on your 20 qt, or have you found yourself using it more?  I’d still use my 6 qt kitchenAid for lots of small things but a bigger mixer would be so nice for large batches of cake batter and buttercream during wedding and holiday catering seasons. 

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@pastrygirl - I have owed several 6 qt KA, a 7 qt KA, a 7 qt Viking, a 10 qt Thunderbird,  and my old standbys at the shop the 20 and 30 qt Hobart.

 

The little ones don't count; I've burned through three of the 6 qt KAs at the shop.  I had to move my 7 qt from home to work and so far it's been fine for 2 years.  We keep the 20 qt on a work table on wheels so we can move it if we need to; and not have to take up work table space.

 

The 10 qt Thunderbird was the perfect size for cake batters (I could do a 4# butter batch of meringue buttercream in it) when I didn't want to use the 20 so I would say this 10 qt size might be perfect for you.  But don't get the Thunderbird.  It stopped working just after the warranty ended; my father thinks it's just the electrical switch but no one around here services this brand (they're in TX I think) and it is collecting dust in the basement. 

 

As much as I hate saying this; if there's a Restaurant Depot near you, check out what they have for 10 qt mixers.

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@JeanneCake I know what you mean about the collar thing to hold the smaller bowl, we had a 60 qt mixer with a 40 qt set at my last restaurant. This is either missing a piece or it simply has extra-long tabs on the sides and back to hold it in place. Maybe at the smaller sizes the difference is small enough to not need the extra piece. 

 

I did stop by one of our local used equipment shops and they have three 20 qts to choose from, now it’s just a matter of managing my temptation. 

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@pastrygirl, if you have a choice, get the one that has the rocker switch and a timer dial like this one I've had both types and like this one.  You can set to a specific time and walk away and it will stop (check the timing with a stop watch before you buy) which can be a big help if you  are trying to multitask ;)  I hope I did this picture correctly.  image.png.cdeed143a712bb8e7c31f1be1c0d1280.png

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First: I am not trying to talk you into or out of buying a mixer.  Don't spend money if there's no return on the investment!

 

Having said that however .....

 

When I first started my business, I had the 20 qt  hobart and ONE bowl.  I'd have to wash it between batches which didn't seem to be such a big deal; I mean, it doesn't take that long, right?  I didn't want to spend $200 on buying another bowl.  I was cheap (I still am ;) )  Then for some reason one day I DID buy a second bowl and it changed my production schedule OVERNIGHT!  I could make two batches of buttercream one after another; I could get another batch of cake into the oven quickly.  I still chuckle at how I thought I was saving $200 but spending by wasting my time ;).

 

When you need it, you'll know.  But keep an eye out for a good deal so you'll know it when it presents itself.   I know next year I have to buy a bigger mixer; I cannot do 18 weddings in three days without a 60 qt mixer making buttercream.

 

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