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choosing a stand mixer, need advice

i'm looking to purchase a stand mixer and have narrowed down my choices to kitchenaid and viking. in researching both, i've been reading about big problems with each.

with the kitchenaid artisan, i read that the newer models use plastic in the motors, where before they used metal. the motors supposedly break down when mixing anything that's on the heavy side like bread. i enjoy kneading bread by hand, i also don't want a machine that's going to break down on me on a day i'm feeling lazy.

with the viking pro, i read on cook's illustrated that while it's very sturdy, the attachments (paddles/hooks) fall off in the middle of mixing. i don't really need to deal with that, either.

so i'm curious as to what your experiences are with one or the other, and what you would recommend. i don't have the kind of money where if one breaks down and is out of warranty that i would be able to buy another to replace it right away. thanks!

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  1. kitchenaid pro 600. i have it. love it. and use it often. ci ranked it tops. and customer service is excellent.

    1 Reply
    1. re: eLizard

      check out my avatar.....this souffle wouldn't have been so explosive or simple without the egg whites i beat up in my mixer!

    2. I have a Kitchenaid (maybe 5 years old) and have had no problems. If I remember correctly, they have a pretty strong warranty policy.

      1. Love my kitchenaid

        1. I have a kitchenaid pro 600. I've had it for about 5 or 6 yrs now and it gets a lot of use. I love it and I'm very glad I chose this model.

          1. I have the viking 5 qt. I love mine. i've never had the paddles fall off during mixing. there is a trick to putting them in correctly. and, i always just pull on them a bit to make sure they are secure then mix away. i'd consider it, but i have never used a kitchen aid.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jclehman

              I have the Viking 7 qt, which I got because my small Kitchen Aid 4 1/2 qt (older version which I still love) was too small for some things. I love my Viking equally as much as my old KA. I don't have a problem w/the attachments falling off, either. I just make sure they're in there from the start. I opted to buy the big Viking rather than a bigger KA just because I wanted the big wattage and the nice deep bowl. So, I guess I can't really speak to how the new KA's are, but I do like my new Viking. I still use my old KA for small jobs and do notice that even on small batch doughs, it does tend to wobble around and strain while the Viking will power through just about anything.

            2. ditto on my kitchenaid pro 600...love it!

              1. Cooks Illustrated just recently did a repeat testing of stand mixers and found that the Kitchen Aide mixers were still the class of the field, especially for the money. I've had mine for about 6 years and have beaten the living heck out of it and it just keeps chugging right along. Check the warranty info, but I can't imagine that if there is a new motor setup its going to suddenly be significantly worse than the previous one...their whole reputation is based upon indestructability.

                1. thanks to everyone who wrote about their experiences. the mixed reviews of the kitchenaid 600 were from amazon. i generally take comments from that site with a grain of salt, but the talk of the 'plastic housing covering the metal gearbox inside the machine' cracking under heavy use concerned me. the commentor did say that they are in the process of switching back to metal housing.

                  another couple of people mentioned that the attachments don't reach the bottom of the bowl properly when you're mixing something, but i'm guessing that they aren't using it right.

                  i'm going to research the warranty info a little further, and maybe call customer service and see what they say in regards to the housing.

                  i've heard a lot of good things about the kitchenaid mixers, but it seems like a lot of companies start cutting corners to maximize profit after a while, and i was really concerned about that happening. it sounds like they're pretty solid, so thanks again everyone.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: the word yes

                    please note also that the happiest of us all have the pro not the artisan

                  2. I have the Artisan and I've been real happy with it. I decided I didn't need the Pro for the type and quantity of mixing that I do and that I wanted the tilt-head. The beaters do go to the bottom but if you have a problem like my friend did with the Pro, you can easily adjust the beaters.