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One more time on Kitchenaid mixers


polack
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Well after reading the last kitchenaid post on how the mixer had failed I would like to add my experience with their mixer. Purchased the heavy duty version some time ago and it sat on the shelf with little to no use. Just a couple of months ago I got the bug to start making my own sourdough bread and started to finally use my machine. Well after maybe three to four batches of bread the shaft that holds the paddle broke at the pin area. After a week I got the part, for $30, put it back together and was back on line. After making two batches of bread in the last two weeks I started to make another batch over the weekend and like Emeril would say, BAM the damn thing broke again. This time the worm gear that comes right off the armeture disintegrated, of course this thing is made of plastic and it would blow apart at the slightest of pressure. I called the company to complain about the gear being made of plastic and I was told that since I repaired it the first time and didn't have one of their so called expert repair shops repair it, it was my responsibility and they were sorry it happened. Well to me, after spending some $300+ for this machine some ten years ago and not using it until recently, that was a poor answer for a pissed off consumer of their worthless product. What to they think people are not mechanically inclined and can't fix their own equipment? Tomorrow I will go down to the local parts supply house and get the gear for $20+ and fix this worthless piece of crap and put it on the shelf to collect dust for another 10 years. I will start to look for a 10 quart hobart or the electrolux assistant to continue my hobby, making bread. For anyone that is looking at purchasing one of these monsters, stop and check for other brands with a better design than KITCHENAID.

Polack

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I took to mixing bread dough on med-high speed on my sister’s brand-new kitchenaid one year… About 2 minutes into the kneading, metal shavings started to drop into my dough. It turns out that I had ignored the warning on the dough hook, which says not to use it on anything but speed 2.

At the time the mixer I had at home was a very old kitchenaid I got second-hand so I had never been warned and luckily my old machine had no trouble kneading on any speed.

Kitchenaid sent my sister a replacement without asking any questions. I imagine they would not have been as nice had the mixer not been only a month or so old.

Edited by fiftydollars (log)
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I think the moral of the story is...

Don't fix things yourself when the company will usually fix it for you.

Yes they'll fix it for you for a price and the lost of use of the equipment for a period of time. You really have to look at how cheap this equipment has gotten over the years, if people have the old mixers and they work fine then why cheapen them. Kitchenaid is like the American cars of the seventies, they were junk and the American car manufactures are still trying to recover.

Polack

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I'm on my third KA mixer -- I have hand-me-down'ed the other two -- and all three of them are still rocking strong. I used mine for bread, other baking, and tons of meat-griding and sausage-making... it really borders on abuse and I have never had a lick of trouble. (Now I am knocking wood...)

That said, my very first little low-end one would get really hot when I did back-to-back batches of bread, which is why I gave it to my mom (who makes brownies or cookies once a year with it).

~Anita

Anita Crotty travel writer & mexican-food addictwww.marriedwithdinner.com

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I blew mine out about a year ago doing croissant dough, and instead of getting it fixed right away, I asked my mother if I could borrow hers for a while. Her puce green machine, 25 years old and still going strong, is fabulous in comparison to my "professional" machine that I bought five years ago. My only complaint is that her bowl is considerably smaller. Otherwise, the puce one is an absolute workhorse. They just don't make them like they used to.

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... They just don't make them like they used to...

Yeah, the old ones are a higher quality product. But I think the new ones, with the larger bowls and more powerful motors, are better overall. The 4qt models they still sell, like the one Kitchenaid replaced for my sister, don't compare well with the old 4qt models. I was really surprised at how quickly her machine fell apart. Grant it I was mixing the dough at three times the speed they recommended, but I had been doing the same thing for years with a much older model and had never had any problem at all.

I'm curious about the offerings from other manufacturers. Delonghi, Viking, Jenn-Air, and others make mixers of comparable size for around the same money. Of course Hobart sells a countertop stand mixer (N50), but I believe it is about 4 times the price of the top-of-the-line Kitchenaid. Anyway, I am wondering if it might be worth taking a look at one of those machines the next time I am looking for a mixer.

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Then what do any of you suggest as a good mixer? My friend has an older KA model, about 12 yrs old. She uses it weekly for various tasks, sometimes bread dough and has never had any problem with it. But this certainly gives me pause now in attempting to purchase a new one for myself.

Any recommendations?

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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Then what do any of you suggest as a good mixer?

Tho' I am not the baker that can be found in these forums, I have recently scoured the iNet in an attempt to find a good mixer. The drill down (epinions, amazon, etc.) seems to be that the smaller 325 watt 4.5 KA is considerably more reliable than the newer pro KA mixers. There are alotta nightmare stories out there about the 525 watt Pro series...

Folks wax absolutely poetic about their KA's, much more so than any other model. Invoking a blessing, I have purchased that model for the baker in my life...

~waves

"When you look at the face of the bear, you see the monumental indifference of nature. . . . You see a half-disguised interest in just one thing: food."

Werner Herzog; NPR interview about his documentary "Grizzly Man"...

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I've got a commercial 350 watt KA mixer which is about 12 years old now. The difference between this model and the KA models sold at the time in other stores is the extra 25 watts of power, and the fact, a most important fact, that it has a reset button on it.

As explained to me at the time, regular KA mixers have a paper gear in them that acts as the overload protection. Overload the mixer and the paper gear breaks.

My model, on the other hand, when overloaded, shuts itself off, and you then can push the reset button to get it going again. It has a metal gear.

I've never had a problem with it, and also I like the commercial lip on the mixing bowl, which is not curled under like home models. It cleans easier and in a more sanitary manner.

doc

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I've had my KA mixer for at least 12 years. I got it as a gift (great gift!) when I lived in the US a year or two before I left. Didn't use it much there but I've used it endlessly in Australia where I've used it via a transformer, of course. I thought transformers where supposed to reduce the lives of the equipment used with them but not my KA. The KA is now on it's way to meet me in Dubai and I hope that I have many more years of abusing it. If not, I'd definitely go out and get another one, I love it so. Is mine considered an "older KA" which a few people have said are more reliable than the new ones?

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness. – Elsa Schiaparelli, 1890-1973, Italian Designer

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Is mine considered an "older KA" which a few people have said are more reliable than the new ones?

Hobart sold off the KA mixer factory in the mid-80s, though KA products continued to be made in the same factory, with mainly the same staff, until Whirlpool built a new factory in 1994. Most of the complaints seem to be about some of the newer models (like the 6-qt 'professional') made in the new factory, sometimes with cheaper plastic parts, that don't have the power or reliability of the older machines.

My own has never given me a lick of trouble in 14 years, though I rarely make anything heavier than maybe a thick cookie dough in it.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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We have had our KA mixer for 11 years and have not had any trouble with it. Based on the serial number/model number it appears to have been manufactured in 1993 before the Whirlpool change mentioned. I admit that it serves reasonably light duty in our kitchen (I mix and knead bread dough by hand) but is in service many times per month and has yet to fail me.

The interesting thing about complaints that they have changed to some plastic internal parts is that without doing that we would all be sitting around complaining about how damned expensive the mixers have become. Machined metal parts (such as the geared power transmission system in the mixer) are quite expensive to produce, particularly in small quantity.

In my opinion, kneading bread dough is very tough service for consumer equipment. Perhaps KA should address this by not including the dough hook anymore to try to discourage the practice.

Stephen Bunge

St Paul, MN

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The first KA I bought in 1969 is still working. My stepdaughter has it, has used it constantly since I gave it to her in 1979 after I had used it for 10 years.

It went back to Hobart for a repair in 1982 - they had a local place in the San Fernando Valley at that time and you could go in there and buy attachments, repaired mixers, extra bowls that migt have a tiny dent, for reduced prices.

Meanwhile, I had a larger Hobart that I used for my commercial work for many years but it was difficult to move and was so tall that I had to have a special cart made for it so I could use it without standing on a step-stool.

So I bought one of the newer KAs, a pretty cobalt blue, the "Pro" or Commercial model with extra power.

Burnt out the motor on bread dough. Shipped it back for repair, got it back and it failed again, thought I had a dud and bought a second one. It will not do heavy bread dough. I still have it but don't use it for anything heavy.

I bought the Electrolux which was called AEG at that time and it will do everything I ask of a mixer, including kneading the Struan dough (Peter Reinhart's recipe) and the thickest of cookie dough.

And in the second bowl, it will whip eggwhites and cream to incredible volume with its double whips.

I have recommended it to several people and everyone who has bought it has been very happy with it.

The vendor I recommend includes with it several "extras" that cost extra with other vendors.

I have posted it on other topics about mixers.

I am not on my own computer at the moment so can't give you the URL without searching through my posts.

"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 kitchenaid I have is 12 years old also, and it's supposed to be the better model. It's 325 watts of power and is the professional model. I just completed the repair on it for the second time, replacing the gear and once again I'm good to go. The thing that irks me is that not only the gear went but the shaft for the paddle, now when you use a piece of equipment you expect it to perform, especially if it's not been used hardly at all. When I got the gear today the gentleman at the parts store said kitchenaid was bought out by whirlpool which in turn was bought out by Sears. So if you have a new one it most likely is a sears product.

Polack

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My model, a 'Professional' 350, was acquired two years ago at Costco. On one of the first loads of dough, I had to turn it off when I smelled burnt oil, or electricals, while kneading. Since then it has been fine, but I don't stress it 'professionally', say as I might do with my Canon SLR's under pressure. Costco is now selling a 450kw for $400, but from what I read here, there is no guarantee that all internal parts are heavy duty.

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I've been looking at reviews for whatever stand mixers I can find for under $400 (a reasonable going price for KA Pro 6qt models) and it doesn't look all that good for some of the other brands. I am particularly surprised at how poorly the Viking measures up according to reviews on this site and elsewhere.

I am starting to lean toward a higher-end product in the event I have to replace my mixer. Maybe I'm not ready to shell out $1500 for the Hobart, but the Electrolux models I saw (7-8qt) are only $200 dollars or so more than a Kitchenaid.

Andiesenji, are the Electrolux mixers on this site similar to what you have?

Edited by fiftydollars (log)
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Andiesenji, are the Electrolux mixers on this site similar to what you have?

Those are the ones. I believe it was andiesenji who recommended the Electrolux to me awhile ago and I've been very pleased with it so far. It whips and creams incredibly quickly, makes large batches of dough with no problem, has a built in timer, continuously variable speeds, large capacity bowl, etc... I bought it when my KA died trying to make a single batch of bread dough. I would highly recommend it.

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This is the vendor that I recommend.

I have bought several appliances from this place and they are unfailingly helpful.

Compare what they offer with the offerings from other vendors.

"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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Well after reading the last kitchenaid post on how the mixer had failed I would like to add my experience with their mixer. Purchased the heavy duty version some time ago and it sat on the shelf with little to no use. Just a couple of months ago I got the bug to start making my own sourdough bread and started to finally use my machine. Well after maybe three to four batches of bread the shaft that holds the paddle broke at the pin area. After a week I got the part, for $30, put it back together and was back on line. After making two batches of bread in the last two weeks I started to make another batch over the weekend and like Emeril would say, BAM the damn thing broke again. This time the worm gear that comes right off the armeture disintegrated, of course this thing is made of plastic and it would blow apart at the slightest of pressure. I called the company to complain about the gear being made of plastic and I was told that since I repaired it the first time and didn't have one of their so called expert repair shops repair it, it was my responsibility and they were sorry it happened. Well to me, after spending some $300+ for this machine some ten years ago and not using it until recently, that was a poor answer for a pissed off consumer of their worthless product. What to they think people are not mechanically inclined and can't fix their own equipment? Tomorrow I will go down to the local parts supply house and get the gear for $20+ and fix this worthless piece of crap and put it on the shelf to collect dust for another 10 years. I will start to look for a 10 quart hobart or the electrolux assistant to continue my hobby, making bread. For anyone that is looking at purchasing one of these monsters, stop and check for other brands with a better design than KITCHENAID.

Polack

polack, I've been using the Magic Mill by Electrolux for about 5 years now. Its been great. My guess is it would be alot cheaper than a Hobart! Woods

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I have one of those "professional" models that turns itself off if it overheats. I think it was made around 1995. I hate that bloody thing with a passion, and it's the third one. I killed one making the white bread from Baking with Julia (and yes, I followed the instructions to the letter, including the speeds and cups of flour), they replaced it. It danced around on the counter and the bowl would even get knocked off. They sent me special clips to clip the bowl to the mixer, which helps. I killed the second one on some wet ciabatta dough. After they sent me the 3rd one they told me I was black listed and wouldn't get another if I broke it. Ok then. I don't use it to knead bread dough (which is what I bought it for in the first place) just for grinding meat or making cookies and cakes, which isn't that frequent. And I treat it very carefully. I rue the day I spent that much money on something that turned out to be not useful for my type of cooking. My Cuisinart, on the other hand, I've downright abused, working it until it smoked, and it's still going strong.

regards,

trillium

Edited by trillium (log)
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