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Betrayed by Kitchenaid - is it possible that the stand mixer is Not All That?

p
piedsdesanges Sep 7, 2007 03:38 PM

Can I just say that I have owned the vaunted kitchenaid stand mixer, professional model, for 13 months and it just broke down? I took it into a repairman (warranty ended a month ago, natch), and he said that one of the gears is stripped.

This guy is of the licensed kitchenaid repair people and he says that he almost only deals with the new kitchenaid stand mixers, that the old ones never break down.

I'm so pissed! I also have a 1950s Kenwood A700 (see pic here: http://www.kenwoodworld.com/assets/my...) with all of the attachments.

I bought the Kenwood second hand almost 13 years ago and it NEVER breaks down. And it's over half a century old!

Anyone else let down by their stand mixer? And when did you get it?

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  1. DoctorQuality Sep 7, 2007 05:30 PM

    Don't say that! i was super excited that mine just came in the mail from amazon and now you've crushed my spirits. oh well, hopefully this isn't prevalent.

    15 Replies
    1. re: DoctorQuality
      dysondc18 May 26, 2009 01:17 PM

      Wow, I'm surprised. KitchenAid usually has a better reputation than it's competitors like Cuisinart. Better warranties and definitely top customer service. I'm surprised they couldn't help you even if out of warranty. I know a lot of problems with the KitchenAid mixers stems from either too much bread use, or not loosening the screw so that the mixer doesn't grind into the bowl...read more about that

      http://www.amazon.com/o/ASIN/B0002Y5X...

      1. re: dysondc18
        Politeness May 26, 2009 02:54 PM

        dysondc18: "KitchenAid usually has a better reputation than it's competitors like Cuisinart."

        The reputation comes from the days when it was a brand of the Hobart Corporation, through 1986. Whirlpool bought the name (and the styling of the mixer) in 1986 and made KitchenAid the across-the-board brand for its premium offerings, as Maytag did with Jenn-Air and as GE does with Monogram. (Now Whirlpool has acquired Maytag, and the KitchenAid and Jenn-Air lines are merging.) The KitchenAid mixers no longer have any Hobart DNA in them; they are Whirlpool through and through.

        1. re: dysondc18
          e
          embee May 26, 2009 05:52 PM

          Kitchen Aid's overall reputation has been going down the tubes over the past few years. Their appliances are no longer particularly durable and the name is being licensed for all kinds of kitchen junk.

          Cuisinart branded mixers have only been available for a couple of years. They are powerful and well designed. I don't own one (my Kitchen Aid is decades old and going strong), but Cuisinart is the mixer brand I'd buy if I was shopping for a a new mixer today.

          1. re: embee
            coll May 27, 2009 02:50 AM

            I remember Cuisinart having the best food processors, chefs even insisted on them, and then something changed a while back. They got bought out too, they were Japanese but got bought out by an American company I believe, and I heard they were not top of the line anymore, Is this still true? I always avoid Cusinart now.

            1. re: coll
              e
              embee May 27, 2009 04:47 AM

              Cuisinart went bankrupt some years ago and has changed hands a couple of times since then. Kitchen Aid was originally the retail brand of commercial manufacturer Hobart and was built to run forever. It also also changed owners and quality was sacrificed.

              Cuisinart sold the original household food processors (actually rebranded Robo Coupe machines). I still have mine, going strong since the seventies with one steel blade replacement. It has no buttons at all, and it runs almost silently. I was often tempted to replace it with a larger one, but never have.

              Kitchen Aid came out with the first really competitive processors. Kitchen Aid and Cuisinart leapfrogged each other for years, and both brands still perform well, but both now come with quality defects that neither had in the past.

              My (Hobart) Kitchen Aid mixer dates from a similar era. It has never been repaired and has never let me down. Its one annoyance is a tendency to walk across the counter. I'd like to get one of the new paddles that scrapes the bowl during use, but the company which makes it won't ship to Canada.

              Cuisinart's stand mixers are a new design. They are more powerful than Kitchen Aid's and appear to be much better built. I don't have one, but people who do seem to love them. If they follow the normal pattern, quality will start to decline once they get the market share they want.

              1. re: embee
                coll May 27, 2009 05:23 AM

                Luckily I also have a Kitchenaid mixer from the 70s, you can tell by the beautiful beige color. Only problem was I stripped the screws on the base that holds the bowl, but that's just proof of how powerful it is, I go crazy with cookies at Christmas. They send me a new faceplate free, even though it was 30 years later.

                When processors first came out, my husband got me a General Electric (Cusinart was probably too expensive) and it worked great, although really noisy. I just saw the exact same model in a caterer's kitchen, she got it at a yard sale and was saying how great it worked.

                Glad I got most of my appliances back then, and was too cheap to replace since. They don't make 'em like that anymore, for sure!

                1. re: coll
                  r
                  rainey Sep 24, 2011 08:25 AM

                  Too funny! I have an old one from the 70s (same beige color) and its only repair is also the plate that holds the bowl in place. ...only I had to take mine to a repair shop and pay the whopping $20 to keep it in service for the next 15 years. ;> Oh, and recently the rubber feet have begun deteriorating. KA sent me freebie replacement parts for them even tho it's more than 40 years old.

                  As to the original discussion, I think KA's a mixed bag. My stick blender is a KA and it's the best designed and best operating one I've ever had. It's held up beautifully for at least 6-8 years of heavy use while 2 Brauns burned out in less time.

                  I had a KA blender that burned out. KA replaced it with a refurbished one. I don't remember that they even asked me about a warrantee. They just sent me the replacement. That went on to perform like a workhorse for the best part of another decade. In the end the motor on that was fine but the plastic part that drove the blade broke. I got a replacement part but couldn't disengage the broken one. Domage! It had given good and valuable service.

                  Happy with my KA 9-speed hand mixer too.

                  Meanwhile, King Arthur's Bakers' Catalogue doesn't even sell the KA stand mixer anymore. I'm sure they were once-upon-a-time in their catalogue but they deny it and say that they much prefer the Viking. If I were buying a machine now I'd take their endorsement seriously.

                  1. re: rainey
                    mcf Sep 24, 2011 09:34 AM

                    I'm still using the first stick blender I ever bought, a $20 Braun. It's been about ten years, I'd guess.

                2. re: embee
                  Sooeygun May 27, 2009 12:51 PM

                  embee, check out the Golda's Kitchen website (based in Mississauga). They have the scraping paddles and ship anywhere in Canada. Here's the link...they are towards the bottom of the page

                  http://www.goldaskitchen.com/merchant...

                  1. re: Sooeygun
                    e
                    embee May 27, 2009 01:43 PM

                    Thanks for the link. It turns out Cayne's also has that one, which I didn't know about.

                    I'm actually looking for a gizmo called Side Swipe, but this may be a decent alternative.

                    1. re: embee
                      David A. Goldfarb May 27, 2009 02:24 PM

                      I have the SideSwipe on my 5 qt. mixer and highly recommend it--

                      http://www.sideswipeblade.com/

                      1. re: David A. Goldfarb
                        e
                        embee May 27, 2009 02:25 PM

                        They won't ship to Canada.

                        1. re: embee
                          David A. Goldfarb May 27, 2009 02:27 PM

                          How annoying! They say on their FAQ that they hope to have a Canadian distributor by the Fall, and you can e-mail them to get a notice when they've set that up.

                          1. re: David A. Goldfarb
                            e
                            embee May 27, 2009 02:42 PM

                            That info was on their website a year ago :-(

                  2. re: embee
                    1
                    1 Miss Mimi Jun 10, 2010 09:16 PM

                    Hello, My appliances are the same as yours, purxchased in the 70.s also. NEVER a problem. they just keep running. The mixer weighs 27 lbs and is very srurdy. The Cuisinart does everything I ask of it. I was gifted with the large on-but it is the CFP-9 that has mu heart-no buttons, just twist , and it goes. The new thing do not have the quality as the original ones that we have-whoo-hoo-lucky us!

          2. swf36d Sep 7, 2007 05:40 PM

            I have had mine for over 10 years with no problems whatsoever, however my Kitchen Aid hand mixer beaters literaly fell apart. The guy at the place where I bought the replacement beaters asked me if I was mixing cement with them since he had never seen that happen.

            1. h
              hollerhither Sep 7, 2007 07:42 PM

              You may want to look on the Amazon comments and forums...some of the KA (newer) models had plastic in the gear housing instead of metal and they've been causing some problems, namely stripping. My repair guy verified this (I took my new Artisan in for a different issue). Anyway, I *thought* the Professional was switched back to metal housing. Contact KA support because I was pretty sure they were replacing the screwy plastic Professional models.

              I may have this completely garbled since I purchased the Artisan...but it's worth a shot. People have definitely been complaining about newer models but I had thought KA was finally being responsive about it. I had a decent experience with their phone service. Good luck.

              2 Replies
              1. re: hollerhither
                l
                lofaso Mar 15, 2009 07:02 PM

                Does the Pro model have plastic gears? That doesn't make any sense (!) when the Artisan is all metal, and I can't imagine them (the gears) stripping.
                The Williams-Sonoma site has a great video of KAs being made--http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc.... I notice there's a lot of hand pounding and shaping, so even though I've heard almost entirely good reports of KA longevity, I wonder if there could be occasional lemons due to hand-building?
                My Artisan has been absolute brute-strength heaven.

                1. re: lofaso
                  flourgirl Mar 17, 2009 02:02 PM

                  It's not the gears that were plastic - it was the housing - and yes, this happened on Pro models. I'm not sure when they converted back to the metal housing but it was no more than a few years ago.

              2. b
                bear Sep 8, 2007 08:04 AM

                I'd call KA customer service. They may negotiate. Worth a try.

                7 Replies
                1. re: bear
                  j
                  janeh Sep 8, 2007 12:21 PM

                  I second that.- give them a call. I had trouble with my "pro" after a year and Kitchenaid replaced it immediately. They were pleasant and easy to deal with.

                  1. re: janeh
                    MsDiPesto Sep 8, 2007 12:55 PM

                    I third that, no problems with mine, but I've heard about the plastic gear troubles and if you bring it to customer relations, stressing that it's only been 13 months, and present your case in a logical, calm manner they may try to give you satisfaction.

                    1. re: MsDiPesto
                      flourgirl Sep 8, 2007 02:03 PM

                      If you google the plastic gear/gear housing issue, I think you can find the forums where this problem was discussed. If you haven't yet spoken with the KA people, it may help you lay out your case. But from previous posters here, it sounds like even if your issue wasn't directly related to the plastic parts problem, hopefully you should find a helpful ear with the KA people.

                      1. re: flourgirl
                        r
                        Raymondo Sep 9, 2007 06:15 AM

                        I just received the $99/no shipping 4 1/2 quart 250 watt from Amazon and the box made a point of the fact that the gears and drive train were all metal.

                        1. re: Raymondo
                          flourgirl Sep 9, 2007 07:47 AM

                          Right - because KA realized they were having a problem with the plastic parts and stopped using them a while back. Also, I'm not sure about this, but I don't believe they used the plastic parts on all models of KA mixers - it may only have been the pro models.

                          1. re: flourgirl
                            h
                            hollerhither Sep 10, 2007 06:57 AM

                            Yes, that's what I heard, too. My repair guy specifically commented that I had bought "the right one" with the Artisan (even with my minor assembly problem), but I did see that the Pros now have gone back to the metal parts. I think the OP will have some leverage.

                            1. re: hollerhither
                              flourgirl Sep 10, 2007 08:30 AM

                              So far - knock on wood - I haven't had any problems with my pro and I use it a lot. But I suspect that it may be one of the ones with the plastic parts, just because I think it was manufactured during that time period. Oh well. I'm not going to worry about it. If it breaks down, KA will certainly be hearing from me.

                2. e
                  EastBayMike Sep 10, 2007 08:13 AM

                  I replaced mine with a whisk, a wooden spoon and a hand-mixer. And I found that I preferred the results when I hand-kneaded bread dough. The tools all fit in a drawer and I have reclaimed a valuable piece of countertop real estate in my tiny kitchen.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: EastBayMike
                    flourgirl Sep 10, 2007 08:27 AM

                    I actually prefer hand kneading bread dough too. What I usually do is start it with the stand mixer and finish it by hand. And if I didn't have a place to store my stand mixer, I could manage quite fine with a hand mixer as well - in fact I have one and use it frequently for things like whipping egg whites etc., when I don't feel like dragging the stand mixer off the wire shelf where it's stored. (I don't have much counter space - it can't stay on the counter when i'm not using it.)

                  2. m
                    mpalmer6c Sep 10, 2007 11:34 AM

                    There have been many CH complaints of late about the once-excellent KitchenAid. I don't remember all the details, but the company was bought out a few years ago and quality has gone downhill. I have a 20-year-old KA that still runs great, but more recently I bought the ice-cream maker attachment and it didn't even fit on the driver. No more KitchenAid for me.

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: mpalmer6c
                      flourgirl Sep 10, 2007 11:51 AM

                      I love my KA hand mixer and food processor (as well as my stand mixer.) All fairly recent purchases - all get regular use and all have been trouble-free.

                      Unfortunately, as a general thing, it does seem like quality as diminished across the board for both small and large appliances, and I think anyone would be hard-pressed to find a single manufacturer that hasn't had many complaints about their products somewhere online. I have researched things like refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers as well small appliances over the last few years and no one is free of manufacturing problems (and let's not even get started about customer service complaints...)

                      1. re: flourgirl
                        Richard 16 May 12, 2008 12:12 AM

                        KA for years featured "Made in the USA". They were even featured on "Made in America" several years ago.

                        Now it says "assembled". I wrote to KA about the stand mixer. I specifically asked about Made in China. I got back a non-answer that only addressed the housing and the bowl; the former still made in the9US and the latter in Korea.

                        It seems obvious to me that the decline iin quality of so many items is in pretty much direct proportion to those made in China. It also seeems obvious to me that many components formerly made in the US are now made in China. As long as people keep buying them I doubt KA will switch back.

                        1. re: Richard 16
                          flourgirl May 13, 2008 04:46 AM

                          I agree. And in addition to the manufacturing issues, KA really seems to be going downhill in terms of design quality. I posted about ths already on another thread, but my mom recently had an issue with a 4 year old top of the line KA Dishwasher. She thought the door springs had sprung on her stainless steel DW door but it turned out that the only thing holding up a very heavy SS door was a thin nylon cord about the same thickness as my shoelace. And when I googled this issue I found a lot of angry KA DW owners who had the same thing happen to them. It was not covered under the warranty and KA customer service people are very aware of the issue...they just couldn't care less. Now I don't claim to be a design engineer and I could be wrong about this but it just seems to me that this kind of "technology" smacks of the Flintstones. What else do they have going on in there? Hamsters on wheels to run the rinse cycle?

                          1. re: flourgirl
                            l
                            LabRat May 13, 2008 06:48 AM

                            I've also posted this in another thread, but our Kitchenaid oven started to give an error message and shut down whenever it was set to a higher temperature. The problem has progressed to where it shuts down if the oven is set to as low as 350 degrees. We searched the web and found dozens of identical complaints which blamed the problem on the circuit boards being placed directly over the oven door, where the constant high heat eventually damages them. KA customer "service" was of no help in the matter. We had a service technician out and the repair would cost about 2/3 of what we paid for the appliance new, so we decided to just use that money to buy a new (NON-KA) replacement. We're planning on moving soon, and I can guarantee that we will not look at KA appliances when it comes time to outfit the kitchen. I still love my old KA pro stand mixer from the early 90's and the stick blender still works well, but they have lost us as a major appliance customer.

                            1. re: LabRat
                              flourgirl May 13, 2008 10:40 AM

                              I just don't understand the attitude KA has about these problems. In my mom's case, after getting nowhere with 2 different customer service people I asked to speak to someone with decision making authority. Still got nowhere. It was clear they were all reading from a script and the script was clearly all about stone walling the customer. Their attitude is horrendous and my family and I will absolutely be avoiding any major appliance purchases from them as well. (As you do, I love my KA stand mixer purchased about 7 years ago, as well as my KA food processor, purchased about 5 years ago. I've had no problems with either of them and they perform beautifully. But if either of them go kaplooey on me, I doubt I would replace them with another KA product, solely because of their customer service issues.)

                              1. re: flourgirl
                                h
                                hollerhither May 13, 2008 07:00 PM

                                I do wonder if maybe there's a difference in customer service between the major appliances and the small appliances like the mixers. While I'm happy with my Artisan after that one assembly issue was dealt with, after reading these comments I'm glad I didn't get the KA dishwasher I was considering (so far we like our lower-end Bosch, with some reservations).

                                Then again, I just bought the latest consumer reports "kitchen planning and buying guide 2008"...and they highly recommended the KA bottom-freezer fridge. We're probably going to go for a new fridge in another year, so I guess I will just keep monitoring the forums.

                                I just hope the very public outrage against the decline in quality and customer service of both Sears (Kenmore) and KA results in some changes...

                                1. re: hollerhither
                                  h
                                  Hazeleyes3923 Jun 10, 2010 08:44 PM

                                  Consumer Reports is not a reliable resource; from their beginnings their reviews were questionable, frequently didn't represent reality.

                                  We bought a Kenmore freezer-on-bottom fridge with double doors and beautiful interior layout, reasonable price on sale, and we love it.

                              2. re: LabRat
                                Fritter May 27, 2009 05:34 AM

                                I went through the same issue you did with my Kitchen Aid oven and I will never buy another KA major appliance.
                                Having said that I really like my KA mixer and they have stopped utilizing the plastic gear housing.

                              3. re: flourgirl
                                t
                                ToledoFoodie Feb 25, 2010 12:21 PM

                                I have one of those top of the line KA DW's and can confirm that the door tension depends on cheesy nylon coated cords embedded in even cheesier pieces of plastic that simply hook around a nub on either side of the door. I've had to replace both - a chore I do not wish on anyone.
                                As a DW, it does a great job and is super quiet. I was very disappointed when I discovered what was providing the door tension. What a shabby solution for a $1,400 DW! And, as for the KA stand mixers, after reading so many recent reviews of quality issues - with ANY KA mixer at ANY price level, I think I'll keep looking. For the record, KA was/is using plastic gears in their mixers. Don't know if that has changed but I'm not going to spend $500 to find out. Biggest complaint I keep reading is lack of power regardless of the model you purchase.

                          2. re: mpalmer6c
                            h
                            hollerhither Sep 11, 2007 08:52 AM

                            FYI I recently had a problem re the driver and ice cream maker on my new machine. A pin was sticking out from the side of the driver housing; should have been flush. It took a repairperson two seconds to strike the pin with a hammer and chisel; it's flush now, ice cream maker works great...

                          3. p
                            piedsdesanges Sep 18, 2007 10:52 AM

                            Well no question that all bread should at the very least be finished by hand, or that it tastes better done by hand, right? Well, I got my KA fixed last week ($69.95 plus parts) and the repairman said that the plastic parts don't break, the metal gears do. Huh. I am definitely less than pleased with KA! Thank god I've still got my Kenwood.

                            (Though the KA does have a pasta roller and the Kenwood doesn't.)

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: piedsdesanges
                              l
                              LabRat Sep 21, 2007 06:25 AM

                              That's odd, one of the reasons KA gave for switching to the plastic gears was that they WOULD break if too much resistance was encountered. That way, the motor would be protected from burning out which would be a much more expensive repair. I have a "Professional" series model from the early 90's that has a thermal breaker to protect the motor, I think most of the higher end models still use those instead of the breakable gears.

                              1. re: LabRat
                                flourgirl Sep 21, 2007 08:47 AM

                                This was my understanding as well.

                                1. re: LabRat
                                  Fritter May 27, 2009 05:36 AM

                                  "I have a "Professional" series model from the early 90's that has a thermal breaker to protect the motor, I think most of the higher end models still use those instead of the breakable gears"

                                  My KA is of the same era and has the breaker.

                                  1. re: Fritter
                                    David A. Goldfarb May 27, 2009 07:29 AM

                                    Mine too, and I've managed to set off the breaker a couple of times, so the system seems to work.

                              2. PinotPlease Sep 18, 2007 06:22 PM

                                I'm so glad it's not just me. I'm into these folks for about 600 bucks now. I had the artisan and it would overheat and stop when I made bread dough. So thinking, okay, baguettes, pretty chewy dough, I doubled down on the Professionall 600. made baguettes last week, my whole kitchen reeked of what smelled like burning rubber and after 5 minutes of kneading the thing stopped. It worked again when it cooled down, but am I wrong for thinking that the PROFESSIONAL model should be able to handle bread dough, it wasn't even whole wheat dough for the lovea mike!

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: PinotPlease
                                  h
                                  Hungry Celeste Sep 20, 2007 10:01 AM

                                  I think KA may have quality control issues. For every horror story, there are dozens of satisfied owners who never have a moment's problem. I have a KA pro that's almost a year old, used 2-4 times weekly for everything from grinding beef to kneading stiff bread dough. It works great, all the time. So they're certainly not all lemons.

                                  1. re: Hungry Celeste
                                    flourgirl Sep 20, 2007 11:04 AM

                                    "I think KA may have quality control issues."

                                    And I think that it is unfortunately not a problem limited to KA. I think these days it is very difficult to find any appliance, small or large, where there is not a hardcore group of critics who were the unfortunate purchasers of lemons, and who are very vocal about their displeasure on online forums. And I'm not criticizing those people for being vocal. Quite the contrary - I don't understand why these manufacturers haven't realized how much of a voice customers have these days with online venues and how damaging those voices can be to their bottom line - and why they don't respond accordingly.

                                    1. re: flourgirl
                                      h
                                      Hungry Celeste Sep 20, 2007 11:40 AM

                                      I've read & posted to the KA threaded discussion boards. Every response from the KA folks has been top-knotch; they resolved a minor issue for me regarding bowl adjustment. That said, I delayed my purchase for a while due to the high number of negative complaints on the KA discussion board, until I convinced myself that truly satisfied customers don't post on internet discussions!

                                      1. re: Hungry Celeste
                                        flourgirl Sep 20, 2007 12:58 PM

                                        "...until I convinced myself that truly satisfied customers don't post on internet discussions!"

                                        It is so true, and something I have to try and remember when I finally decide to break down and buy a new dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer.

                                        1. re: Hungry Celeste
                                          PinotPlease Sep 20, 2007 08:44 PM

                                          Wow, What are the odds I would have gotten TWO KA's that smoke and grind to a halt when I use them for bread dough. Must be my fault as a dissatisfied customer, nothing to do with KA whatsoever. Thanks for clarifying.

                                          1. re: PinotPlease
                                            flourgirl Sep 21, 2007 05:45 AM

                                            The odds aren't good. But no one here ever said it wasn't KA's fault. They clearly do have a quality control issue. But the fact is that there are an awful lot of satisified KA customers out there who love their machines. I have a 6 year old pro 600 that powers through anything I ask it to with nary a whimper.

                                            1. re: PinotPlease
                                              h
                                              hollerhither Sep 21, 2007 06:48 AM

                                              Your frustration is understandable, the sarcasm less so. I don't think anyone here has been unsympathetic to your problem. The points: KA does have quality control issues, particularly with the newer models; many users still love their machines; their customer service in the experiences of many has been responsive; you don't get a full picture of a product from the repair forums.

                                    2. amyzan Sep 20, 2007 09:11 PM

                                      I bought mine in the early 90's and haven't had a problem yet. It kneads dough without problems, even whole wheat.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: amyzan
                                        s
                                        Shayna Madel Sep 21, 2007 06:00 AM

                                        Same here--5-quart, older model that they do not make anymore. My sister and mother also have same model, no problems. If my mother hasn't killed an appliance, it can't be killed. But it does sound like some are not being made the same way anymore. And by the way, Mom did not kill her 14-cup Cuisinart food processor, either.

                                        1. re: amyzan
                                          danna Sep 21, 2007 06:44 AM

                                          Ditto. My husband bought mine right after we got married in '89. Not one bit of a problem, except that the whisk has a wire that I periodically have to stuff back in the hole.

                                          And I have my Mom's Cuisinart from the early 80's...the plastic parts break, the motor runs and runs.

                                          Threads like these help me tamp down those urges to get a new KA if a fancy(non white) color.

                                        2. coll Sep 21, 2007 06:00 AM

                                          I bought mine when I got married in the late 70s and never had a problem until a year ago. The bowl kept wobbling and I realized I had stripped the base plate that holds the bowl, no surprise after years of intense cookie dough making every Christmas. When I called Kitchenaid, they immediately offered to send me a new plate for free. My husband made sure to keep the screws from the old one, but they even included new screws. I hope it lasts forever, and figure it just might!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: coll
                                            s
                                            Shayna Madel Sep 21, 2007 12:29 PM

                                            The fact is that while it is positively maddening to have to go through some of these issues on an item that costs a significant sum of money, good customer service is also a part of the equation and very often that's something to take into account when making a purchase. It's also a tricky proposition to make a decision based on what's posted on discussion boards. Unfortunately, you can never really tell if the only people who are posting are the angry and disgruntled ones, or if you are getting a true cross-section of opinions.

                                          2. Chocolatechipkt Sep 21, 2007 10:37 AM

                                            This happened to a friend of mine, too. I haven't had any problems with mine (knock on wood!)

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Chocolatechipkt
                                              r
                                              rfneid Sep 24, 2007 04:02 PM

                                              I've had mine for over 30 years without a single problem. It's kneaded countless loaves of bread, ground & stuffed many lbs. of sausage & just about everything else they're made to do. I'd hate to think that they don't make them like that any more. What's it all coming to?

                                            2. c
                                              ChenaPat May 11, 2008 10:26 PM

                                              I have had the same thing happen to two of my mixers. The last one was the Ultra Power and I was really disappointed. It is the plastic gears they put in.

                                              This is not a cheap purchase and I can't believe they use plastic gears in them!

                                              1. b
                                                blondelle May 12, 2008 06:52 PM

                                                If you purchased it on a credit card then it's probably still under warranty as most of them double the original manufacturers warranty. Call your credit cards warranty dept. for details. You pay for the repair, send them the invoice and other info, and they will reimburse you for the cost of it. Good luck!

                                                1. sfumato May 12, 2008 07:01 PM

                                                  I remember reading a really long, thorough review of all KA mixers (I can't remember where) where the Classic and Artisan models came out way ahead of all the others. This was about a year ago, right before I bought my Artisan model. I use it frequently for everything from baking to sausages, and haven't had a single problem so far.

                                                  The Professional model was rated worst in the review. I'll see if I can manage to remember where I read it...

                                                  I know a home baker who has gone through six KA Professional mixers- one every six months- for the past few years. She hates it, but they won't give her a refund, so she's stuck getting a replacement every time it breaks. She's not even baking heavier duty things like bread- this is all regular or doubled recipes for cake, cookie dough, frosting and egg whites.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: sfumato
                                                    emily May 14, 2008 06:49 AM

                                                    I'm now on my 4th replacement mixer (professional 600 series). First one = color had rubbed off onto styrofoam packaging; 2nd = a piece of metal broke off and fell out of the mixer (they didn't want to replace this one since it still worked, but I told them I didn't want a $400 mixer with a piece of metal missing from the inside); 3rd = metal band around head was warped; 4th = it arrived with a few dings. I just received the 5th and am afraid to open it. I did appreciate the fact that they replaced one of these out of warranty -- I let it sit unopened in the closet for over a year (which was stupid), only to discover its defect when I opened it. Still, I have to wonder about their quality control.

                                                  2. c
                                                    chef.suzan May 12, 2008 11:00 PM

                                                    Hi,
                                                    Ouch! All I can say is that I have a kms90 that I've had oh... for about 25 years that I have treated like a commercial mixer. I don't know how many 1000's of loaves of bread that puppy has whipped up; plenty. I would contact KA. My understanding is that they are pretty good about making good.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: chef.suzan
                                                      t
                                                      tofuburrito May 13, 2008 03:21 PM

                                                      The one I bought about a year ago vibrates like crazy and moves across the counter at any speed above 2. Since I've never owned a mixer before I thought that maybe this was normal and if I wanted it to be still I should bolt it to something. But when I see them on tv people seem to crank them up and they stay still (without being bolted to anything). Maybe it's the type of counter I have. As it stands I have to hold it to keep it from vibrating itself off the counter, which isn't really a big deal since I'd usually be standing there anyway but would it prefer it to be more stable.

                                                      1. re: tofuburrito
                                                        flourgirl May 14, 2008 06:26 AM

                                                        KA Mixers will definitely "walk" across the counter if you are doing things like mixing bread or pizza doughs etc. The owner's manual even warns you about this and says that you should not leave the mixer unattended when using it for such tasks. If your mixer is "walking" even when you are doing things like mixing looser batters etc., then I don't have an answer. Mine stays perfectly still when I'm doing anything but using the dough hook on bread doughs.

                                                        1. re: flourgirl
                                                          t
                                                          tofuburrito May 14, 2008 07:35 AM

                                                          All I do is bread and pizza doughs with the dough hook so I won't worry about. Thanks for the reassurance.

                                                    2. mels Mar 22, 2009 12:26 PM

                                                      I am not thrilled with the KA mixer. Mine is from 2004 (Artisan 5 qt) and I have had it replaced once because the motor died (when it was less than 1 year old using it MAYBE once a week). I make a lot of bread and it really isn't good at kneading. Also, if I knead for more than 1 minute, a pin starts to pop out and the silver KA ring on the tilting head falls off. Fantastic quality (note sarcasm).

                                                      My MIL owns a Viking pro mixer. Now that thing is awesome. When my KA finally eats it I am purchasing the Viking and never touching a KA again. The only thing KA mixers have going for them in my book is their choice of color.

                                                      1. l
                                                        LadyCook61 Mar 23, 2009 08:32 AM

                                                        I never had trouble with mine, but they were bought when Hobart had it, bought mine 20. yrs ago and still going strong.

                                                        1. Soop May 27, 2009 02:07 AM

                                                          *checks hands*

                                                          Mine were free, theyr'e 29 years old, and they've never broken!

                                                          Hehehe, just kidding. I'm more of an occasional kneader, but I find it quite carthartic. For me, a mixer is unnecessary I think. Still, nice topic to read.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Soop
                                                            danna May 27, 2009 11:15 AM

                                                            have those hands ever made angel food cake ? ;-)

                                                          2. Fritter May 27, 2009 05:44 AM

                                                            KA makes a commercial model that has a stronger moter if a standard KA is not doing what you want but it is about 2x the price. If you are going to get serious or you are really unhappy with KA then another good option is buying a Hobart N-50.

                                                            http://www.hobartequipment.net/hobart...

                                                            1. n
                                                              nvcook May 27, 2009 01:17 PM

                                                              I would still write to Kitchenaid and tell them how disappointed you are that it broke and only 1 month after warrenty expired. My KA coffee maker was the same scenario and they still replaced it for free. That is waaay better advertising for their product than a negative post on CH.

                                                              1. f
                                                                fire island Apr 23, 2010 06:29 AM

                                                                I too had the professional model - it brokedown in its first year of use....I have grown to truly detest the kitchenaid mixers....the blades don't reach the bottom of the bowls....I now have a cuisinart mixer that is a dream to use - light weight, stronger motor, etc. etc.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: fire island
                                                                  Sooeygun Apr 23, 2010 08:21 AM

                                                                  "the blades don't reach the bottom of the bowls"

                                                                  Didn't your mixer have an adjustment for that? My Kitchenaid has an adjustment for how close the beater is to the bottom of the bowl. They recommended in the manual that it be adjusted from the factory preset.

                                                                  1. re: Sooeygun
                                                                    h
                                                                    Hungry Celeste Apr 23, 2010 09:05 AM

                                                                    And if you really concerned about the bottom of the bowl, a beater blade will scrape the bottom & sides most efficiently: http://www.beaterblade.com/

                                                                2. d
                                                                  DManzi Sep 24, 2011 07:56 AM

                                                                  I have two KitchenAid mixers. One is over 30 years old, and it still works like a mule. The other one is 5 years old, and it is really quite terrible. I can't even use it anymore because some kind of black powder leaks from where the spindle goes into the planetary assembly. It gets all over the dough, and I won't feed that to my family. I heard the Bosco AS1200 is coming to America. It's supposed to be the best stand mixer on the market, but you could only get it in Australia up until now. I think PJ Fusco & Co. has a division that's bringing them here.

                                                                   
                                                                   
                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                  1. re: DManzi
                                                                    mcf Sep 24, 2011 08:09 AM

                                                                    I used to own KitchenAid appliances large and small and the quality was excellent. Everything of theirs bought in recent years has been crap, shoddy, quickly broken down, and I'm not tough on things, I care for them and don't abuse or overuse them. My current, epensive KA dishwasher is the worst piece of garbage, doesn't do half the job of the cheapie Maytag 1/4 the price that preceded it.

                                                                    1. re: mcf
                                                                      d
                                                                      DManzi Sep 24, 2011 09:52 AM

                                                                      I hear you. We bought a KitchenAid stove because my ex-wife thought it "looked good." That's not why she's my ex-wife, but it's pretty close. It was and is a piece of junk, never worked right from the minute it was installed, and I'm glad she got it along with everything else because she deserves it.

                                                                      1. re: mcf
                                                                        coll Sep 24, 2011 11:01 AM

                                                                        In the early 90s I bought a Kitchen Aid dishwasher for a house we built and I was in love with it. Quiet and powerful. So when we built a new house in 2003 I would have no other. I bought the more expensive version that was quieter. What a waste; I use it to store the pet's dishes, after several unsuccessful attempts at repair.

                                                                        1. re: coll
                                                                          d
                                                                          DManzi Sep 24, 2011 11:19 AM

                                                                          That's a rotten shame, I mean it. All that money, gone. The worst part about it all is I swear they manufacture the stuff with materials they absolutely know for sure will fail 10 minutes after the warranty expires. And then, because the cost of repair is so close to the cost of a new machine, they think you'll just run right out to buy another one of their products.

                                                                          Whoever is responsible for that corporate policy at KA is wither smoking happy jazz cigarettes in the bathroom, or has a really warped sense of humor, maybe both. That's why I say I will never buy another KA product again. Here's just a small anecdote: I bought a KA pizza cutter, you know the thing with the cutting wheel. It looked fairly substantial, so I figured, why not, it's a KA product. The chrome started coming off the plastic housing after a few months, so I complained to KA. Guess what the girl told me..."We don't make that item." I said, "But you sell it. It has your name on it." "We don't make that item, there's nothing I can do about it." She said it three times. I had to laugh because it was so bizarre. "We don't make it." I should have said, Well then, who the hell does, and do you have their phone number?" Crazy, isn't it?

                                                                          1. re: DManzi
                                                                            coll Sep 24, 2011 12:19 PM

                                                                            I'd love one of those German dishwashers if I ever have the money. Meanwhile I do it all by hand. Maybe I should just go to a house that's being torn down and take the cheap GE or whatever out of there, those oldies last forever.

                                                                        2. re: mcf
                                                                          s
                                                                          sueatmo Sep 24, 2011 12:21 PM

                                                                          I own several KA products, including a 12 year old dishwasher, which we are just now going to have to have serviced because the detergent dispenser is not working properly. My mixer, pre Artisan, works well, but I don't give it hard use. I bought a KA food processor probably 8-10 years ago, and it works fine, but I've got cracks in one of the work bowls. We have used a KA coffee maker recently, and it was lousy. We bought a fancy KA toaster, and it didn't work well. Very pricey too. I would buy Cuisinart over KA now--after reading reviews to make sure what I think I'm getting. I think the KA quality has declined, and it is too, too bad.

                                                                      2. iluvcookies Sep 25, 2011 12:18 PM

                                                                        I have a KSM-90 stand mixer that I bought in 1996. I use it at least 2x per week and it's still going strong.

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