Author Topic: Does anyone have a KitchenAid stand mixer?  (Read 10636 times)

maryofdoom

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Does anyone have a KitchenAid stand mixer?
« on: February 19, 2013, 05:04:16 PM »
Hi friends,

Does anyone here have a KitchenAid stand mixer? I do, and I love it. At least, I did, until this evening, when it broke. For the fourth time in five years.

I have a place where I can take it to be repaired (which I've done three times already) but I'm wondering if anyone else has had similar problems with their own mixers. I really thought that this was a BIFL purchase, and it's really helped us out with cooking. The husband makes bread at least weekly and pizza crusts fairly often, and the mixer helps out a lot. Plus it's great to have when I want to whip out a batch of cookies for a stitching retreat, or when I get shanghaied into making four dozen cupcakes for a birthday party.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? Everyone I know in my regular non-Internet life who has one has never encountered anything like this.

nofool

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Re: Does anyone have a KitchenAid stand mixer?
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2013, 05:24:55 PM »
I have one, and I love it, too! I've never had it break on me, though. I've had it for about 2 years now. I've never really heard of KitchenAids breaking frequently; they're known to be a great brand with high quality products. Is it the same part that keeps breaking?

Another Reader

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Re: Does anyone have a KitchenAid stand mixer?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2013, 05:29:15 PM »
I have a 30 plus year-old one that belonged to my mother.  It works with no issues.  However, I have heard the newer ones are quite variable in quality.  Also, the cheapest model, the original mixer, tends to last the longest.

dragoncar

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Re: Does anyone have a KitchenAid stand mixer?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2013, 05:30:57 PM »
What keeps breaking?  I heard that in the last decade or so they switched some internal gears from metal to plastic.  This may vary according to the model you get (e.g., discount Costco model may be made with inferior parts).  The plus side is that parts should be readily available since they are common mixers.  Maybe you can just learn how to fix what is breaking and stockpile the parts?  Or maybe it needs some periodic maintenance like oiling, etc.

kiwibeach

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Re: Does anyone have a KitchenAid stand mixer?
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2013, 05:32:58 PM »
I've had mine for about three years, and it gets used a lot every week - no problems. (They are expensive here as they're imported from the US, it has to go perfectly for a long time!!, given the same BIFL strategy as you :-)


tmac

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Re: Does anyone have a KitchenAid stand mixer?
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2013, 05:58:32 PM »
I'm curious about how old it is as well. Mine is going on 15 years with no issues. Granted, I didn't use it much for the first 10.

Also, when we were initially shopping for one, there was something about how the ones with the flip-up head were less sturdy than the once with the crank lift?

anastrophe

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Re: Does anyone have a KitchenAid stand mixer?
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2013, 06:04:38 PM »
I have one, a standard KitchenAid stand mixer with a flip up lid...I think the model is K45. It belonged to my partner's grandmother so it is probably at least 30 years old. We've had no problems with it but I do know about 10 years ago the motor started "wobbling" (I think this means there was something wrong with the speed controller) and it needed some work. If that happens again, I will take it apart myself. This strikes me as the sort of thing it's worth learning how to do, IMO,  the parts are not that expensive and it's a handy skill to have.

anastrophe

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Re: Does anyone have a KitchenAid stand mixer?
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2013, 06:07:47 PM »
I really thought that this was a BIFL purchase, and it's really helped us out with cooking. The husband makes bread at least weekly and pizza crusts fairly often, and the mixer helps out a lot.

It also sounds like you really use yours a lot. Which means that parts will wear out, go out of calibration, etc, more often than if you just let it sit on your counter looking pretty. People who keep their cars in garages and never drive them also never have to bring them to the shop;)

I think you should find a better mechanic or buy an old one and tinker with it.

jawisco

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Re: Does anyone have a KitchenAid stand mixer?
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2013, 06:13:59 PM »
If you told us what broke on it (motor, mount, etc), we could tell you if we had similar problems.

I have heard that the tip-up models are more prone to problems - at least if you are going to work it hard (kneading large loaves of bread).  Mine is the 500watt crank-up one and I use it for kneading bread once or twice a week and have owned it for 7 years without an issue.  It does make some noise though.

I would contact Kitchen-aid with your issues and see what they are willing to do.  I have heard their customer service is pretty solid and I bet they might be willing to give you another one considering all you have been through.  It can't hurt to ask.

WhatMomWears

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Re: Does anyone have a KitchenAid stand mixer?
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2013, 06:45:22 PM »
I've had two - the flip top kind and now the crank up one.
The flip top would get locked in the down position and I would have to turn it over and jiggle it to get it unlocked. Never figured out why it did this. Eventually sold it on CL. The crank up one has been working fine but if my bread dough is particularly stiff the motor will stop running. I bake bread at least twice a week. I'm guessing I've had the crank up for 2 years and the flip top I had for 15. My mom still has hers and it has to be over 30 years and she's replaced the motor once.

trammatic

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Re: Does anyone have a KitchenAid stand mixer?
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2013, 08:41:56 PM »
Do a search on You Tube.  I replaced the oil seals on mine when they broke for about $10.

maryofdoom

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Re: Does anyone have a KitchenAid stand mixer?
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2013, 09:43:19 PM »
I have the 6 quart Pro series (the bowl-lift, crank version). The husband makes bread twice a week, sometimes more often.

There is one mechanic who works on these mixers in the Pittsburgh area, and he is open weird hours. I can take the mixer to him tomorrow (and probably will do so), since the husband reports that there was a bad smell and that the motor won't run at all.

Usually the worm gears fail first, and that's happened to us at least once before. If it's only that - and the mechanic will be able to tell me if it's that - then I can replace it myself. If he really did burn the motor out, then we are looking at considerably more.

This machine is four years old. I bought it right before we bought our house, in February 2009. It was actually the second appliance we had in the place (we bought a foreclosed house with a dishwasher as the single extant appliance).

My hard limit for fixing this is about $200 - anything more than that and I will need to look into a new mixing system. Which sucks, because I have the ice cream attachment, and it makes the best damn ice cream.

It also sounds like you really use yours a lot. Which means that parts will wear out, go out of calibration, etc, more often than if you just let it sit on your counter looking pretty. People who keep their cars in garages and never drive them also never have to bring them to the shop;)

You are right, we do use it a lot, and it's not reasonable to expect things not to wear. I just expected to get more than a year of use out of the last repair, which happened around this time last year. It's frustrating.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 09:50:26 PM by maryofdoom »

Spork

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Re: Does anyone have a KitchenAid stand mixer?
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2013, 09:16:30 AM »
My understanding here is that the actual manufacturer changed back in the 1980s.  It used to be made by Hobart.  You might scour garage/estate sales and look for an older model. 

stolen from http://www.answers.com/topic/kitchenaid-4396712)
[This is mildly interesting to me as I have unwittingly become a bit of a Chambers nut due to plotting from the lovely wife.]
"...During the 1980s the company underwent several changes. In an effort to broaden its product line, it acquired a major manufacturer of built-in cooking equipment, the Chambers Corporation of Oxford, Mississippi. KitchenAid subsequently introduced a line of ovens and stovetops. By 1985 the company was one of the most successful manufacturers of home appliances, while Hobart had become one of the foremost producers of appliances for use in commercial kitchens.

That year the company was approached by the Whirlpool Corporation , a leading manufacturer of home appliances interested in acquiring KitchenAid, and a deal was soon negotiated whereby Whirlpool would pay &Dollar;150 million for KitchenAid while Emerson Electric Company would purchase KitchenAid's dishwasher and trash compactor operations. However, an antitrust suit filed by appliance manufacturers White Consolidated Industries and Magic Chef delayed the acquisitions for a year. The two companies alleged that Whirlpool's arrangement with Emerson would give them an unfair amount of power in the market, allowing them to take away a substantial amount of business from White and Magic Chef. After an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, the suit proved unsuccessful, and in February 1986 KitchenAid was acquired by the Whirlpool Corporation."

bo_knows

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Re: Does anyone have a KitchenAid stand mixer?
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2013, 09:25:32 AM »
We've had one for 6 years (wedding gift) and it's never given us trouble. Wife uses it quite regularly, much to the chagrin of my waistline.

unplugged

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Re: Does anyone have a KitchenAid stand mixer?
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2013, 09:38:38 AM »
Mine is 19+ years old and works great. I use it twice a week or less. I knew someone who got a KA dishwasher and it was a real lemon though.

TLV

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Re: Does anyone have a KitchenAid stand mixer?
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2013, 10:49:56 AM »
Just to be contrarian, my wife swears by her Bosch mixer and wouldn't even consider a KitchenAid.

Pros: It can mix 6 loaves worth of bread dough at a time, so we don't have to make bread as often.

Cons: I tried making a small batch of breadsticks once with it, and ended up having to scrape it out and knead by hand because there wasn't enough dough for the mixer to catch.

anastrophe

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Re: Does anyone have a KitchenAid stand mixer?
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2013, 10:54:16 AM »
My hard limit for fixing this is about $200 - anything more than that and I will need to look into a new mixing system. Which sucks, because I have the ice cream attachment, and it makes the best damn ice cream.

Maybe you can send me your ice cream attachment then;)

Figure out what's wrong with us and report back? If you can't do it in budget yeah, start shopping for an older model. Mine is a Hobart and the quality really is excellent. Anecdotally, I have two mixer bowls, the original which came with the mixer, made in USA, and a nearly identical one bought later, made in Korea. They look the same, and both are stainless steel, but they feel different--I put them both on the food scale and the old one is 5 oz heavier.

tmac

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Re: Does anyone have a KitchenAid stand mixer?
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2013, 11:29:11 AM »
With it being just four years old, I'd definitely be writing a letter to KitchenAid. Even if it's reasonable for it to experience that kind of wear (which I don't think it is), they still might do you a solid. Worth a try!  :)

maryofdoom

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Re: Does anyone have a KitchenAid stand mixer?
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2013, 02:02:11 PM »
The mixer is with the repair guy, or as I like to call him, the Mixer Fixer.

Last night it didn't rotate at all, but today in the repair shop, Mr. Fixer plugged it in and it started rotating right away. I bet the husband just busted out the worm gear. I don't know if that would explain the bad smell or not.

Mr. Fixer will call me tomorrow with an update.

The last time this happened, the husband swore he'd go easy on it. He used to use the mixer to bring the dough together with the paddle, then knead it with the dough hook. Now he just uses the mixer for kneading. And still...


anastrophe

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Re: Does anyone have a KitchenAid stand mixer?
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2013, 02:24:47 PM »

The last time this happened, the husband swore he'd go easy on it. He used to use the mixer to bring the dough together with the paddle, then knead it with the dough hook. Now he just uses the mixer for kneading. And still...

Huh. What is he making? When I make bread, I put my starter and everything else in the mixer bowl with the dough hook and then I think I mix it for approximately...two minutes total. Easy peasy. Generally I think when you are using a mixer you don't need to knead for as long as recipes call for because it's more efficient than hand kneading--I do 1/4 of the time called for and it always rises fine.

But anyways yours should be able to do that and more so here's hoping Mr. Mixer Fixer gets it right this time.

frompa

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Re: Does anyone have a KitchenAid stand mixer?
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2013, 03:56:36 PM »
I love my Kitchen-Aid.  I've had it for probably twenty plus years, and I use it A LOT.  For mixing doughs, for grinding grains (for bread and beer making), for whipping up the most fabulous italian buttercream frosting, etc.  About two years ago it required work for the first time, when it would only work on one speed. I took it to an authorized repair place, they did whatever they did, (for about $150?)  and it's been working flawlessly since.  While it was in need of repair, I did some investigating into hand grinding tools, including using a bike to power such an appliance, and my conclusion was:  FIX THE DAMN KITCHEN AID!  (A quality grinder, hand or bike powered, costs a small fortune!)  I would say, contact KA and say, "yo, dudes, what's the deal?"  Four years of service from this appliance, even under heavy use, is not acceptable.  Good luck with the Mixer Fixer.  The Master Mixer Fixer.  The Most Marvelous Mixer Fixer.  Oy, stop me......

jawisco

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Re: Does anyone have a KitchenAid stand mixer?
« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2013, 04:41:49 PM »
I only use the dough hook when making bread - using the paddle will definitely stress it out even just for the beginning mixing.  I think 5 minutes of kneading is plenty in the mixer.

kisserofsinners

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Re: Does anyone have a KitchenAid stand mixer?
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2013, 05:41:39 PM »
The mixer is with the repair guy, or as I like to call him, the Mixer Fixer.

Last night it didn't rotate at all, but today in the repair shop, Mr. Fixer plugged it in and it started rotating right away. I bet the husband just busted out the worm gear. I don't know if that would explain the bad smell or not.

Mr. Fixer will call me tomorrow with an update.

The last time this happened, the husband swore he'd go easy on it. He used to use the mixer to bring the dough together with the paddle, then knead it with the dough hook. Now he just uses the mixer for kneading. And still...

With the real life, lets call it abuse, of this machine i would highly advise looking for one of the old 80's units (mine is solid as a rock after 3 generations). Alternatively, you could also get a Hobart unit from used restaurant supply listings on CL or local vendor. Those things get bought and sold endlessly. It's a little more money, but i think you DH would have to work WAY FUCKING HARDER to break it. ;o)

Sparky

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Re: Does anyone have a KitchenAid stand mixer?
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2013, 07:00:09 PM »
I'm in shock that the KA actually broke that many times. It sounds like your unit to me has an issue that is causing premature wear on it. Talk to a KA rep, I'm almost sure of it they will send you another one.

Like many others here, our first KA mixer only last 25 years, using it about once a week. Replaced it with the most similar current model and that was about 5 years ago? It still works fine.

mustachecat

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Re: Does anyone have a KitchenAid stand mixer?
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2013, 07:43:09 PM »
Fingers crossed that your Mr. Mixer Fixer can fix your mixer so your bread twister can do his yeast elixir. (Hope it wasn't the transistor?)

AHEM. Forgive me.

I feel bad plugging consumer goods on MMM, but I got our refurbished KA Pro on overstock.com for $250-ish, which is the best price I'd seen anywhere.

Also, give your mixers a rest and try no-knead bread! The Cooks Illustrated recipe for almost no-knead bread is pretty awesome, too.

dragoncar

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Re: Does anyone have a KitchenAid stand mixer?
« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2013, 10:06:02 PM »
Fingers crossed that your Mr. Mixer Fixer can fix your mixer so your bread twister can do his yeast elixir. (Hope it wasn't the transistor?)

AHEM. Forgive me.

I feel bad plugging consumer goods on MMM, but I got our refurbished KA Pro on overstock.com for $250-ish, which is the best price I'd seen anywhere.

Also, give your mixers a rest and try no-knead bread! The Cooks Illustrated recipe for almost no-knead bread is pretty awesome, too.

I LOLed, by why the hell would a mixer need a transistor?  Unless it was a fancy programmable one that would, like, mix for X minutes, rest for Y, and then mix again.  Dammnit, now I want one of those fancy mixers.

mustachecat

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Re: Does anyone have a KitchenAid stand mixer?
« Reply #26 on: February 21, 2013, 05:49:39 AM »
I LOLed, by why the hell would a mixer need a transistor?  Unless it was a fancy programmable one that would, like, mix for X minutes, rest for Y, and then mix again.  Dammnit, now I want one of those fancy mixers.

Poetic license! AKA, couldn't think of another rhyme. ;)