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Feb 2, 2011 11:02 AM

Robot Coupe vs Cuisinart vs Others?

I am looking to buy a good food processor. I have a Cuisinart mini-prep, but it is too small and doesn't have all the needed blades. In the past I have used by mother's Robot Coupe from the early 70's, a fantastic machine, still works wonderfully. Unfortunatly, the base models of Robot Coupe now retail for $500+ from what I am finding. What are other high quality food processors out there that are tried and true? I want something that has the quality of a Robot Coupe or the Kitchenaid stand mixers, something that will last the test of time and many recipes . Any suggestions? Thanks all!

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  1. Why not just go with the KA food processor? I've had one for at least the last 3 years and it performs very well.

    We have Robto Coupe at work and they're really heavy duty machines, but a little too much overkill for me at home.

    2 Replies
    1. re: DiningDiva

      Magimix is the version made by Robot Coupe for home use. Find them at William Sonoma and a few other places.

      1. re: SpringRam

        I was not aware of that, thank you. I will look into that one

    2. Robot Coupe is made in France (still is as far as I know), Cuisinart and Kitchen Aid food processors were aslo made in France at one time, no longer. Made in China is what you're going to find on the bottom of the new machines. One of our girls has our old Cuisinart and we've had the kitchen aid for a long time as well. These were good machines when they were made in the EU. I'm going to assume the quality on those has come down as has the quality of the Kitchen Aid mixer now that it is only assembeled in the US. Magimix appears to start at about $350. Not bad really when you can pay $300 for a made in China unit.

      11 Replies
      1. re: mikie

        I have a new Cuisinart Elite (14 cup with 3 nesting bowls). It's an excellent product.with a 20-year motor warranty and 3 years on the whole unit. I don't care where it's made as long as it works well.

        1. re: ferret

          The old CA, DLC-X, 20 cup has performed for me in almost every application it was designed for. The only problem I have is storing all the blades even though I bought the lucite rack. The motor has a higher amp rating than the new production, and it has never faltered or slowed as a result of rapid feeding, etc.

          1. re: ospreycove

            I am a bit less concerned if it is made in China, if it is actually well made. I have the new Kitchen Aid Professional 600 mixer, which very well may be made in China, and it is all metal parts, as the warranty, etc. From what I hear the issue is when there are numerous plastic parts on the heavy use items like that.

            ferret, I will look into the Cuisinart Elite as well. The warranty is nice, and it sounds like you have had good experience with it.

            Thank you all for your feedback. I'm just recently starting to purchase all of my own equipment, if I'm going to spend $300 or so on an appliance, I want to know it will last.

            1. re: elampen

              On appliances made in China, make sure you are comparing it to "like" items. Check the motors and see if they compare in power, usually measured in Amperage/wattage. Some appliances imported from China have a lower power rating than the original U.S. or European made counterparts.

              1. re: ospreycove

                Interestingly, a motor with lower-wattage on input can in some cases offer significantly higher output power. But at a price point around $300, you won't be seeing any of those higher quality motors, which are heavy and use efficient designs.

                A Hobart N50 will run you over $1500, and it's only 325 watts, but weighs 55lbs! Compare that to the 800 declared watts of a Cuisinart, which is a highly rated machine but not in the same power class as the Hobart.

                All other things being equal, I'd keep an eye out for the heaviest motor I could afford.

              2. re: elampen

                If you had any idea about items made in China, you would be much more concerned. There's an old saying, you only have one chance to make a first impression . . . well my first impression of goods made in China isn't very good. There's another saying, perception trumps reality . . . and based on the experiences I've had and the things I've read and heard about on the news, my perception is that quality does not exist in China made goods.

                Because of the business I'm in, I have personal experiences where US companies were having items made in China and they weren't even using the plastic that was specified by the manufacturer. Some of these items involved electrical appliances that required listings with Underwriters Laboratories. Using the correct material, even plastic materials, can be critical to the performance and quality and longevity of a product. Just because a brand has a good reputation doesn't mean the items they have made in China are being made to the companies standards. Plastics in particular are quite specialized, and the use of the wrong plastic or a different supplier can in many cases cause premature failure. Not worth the risk in my opinion.

                As far as your KA mixer, it's "assembeled" in the USA, which by federal regulations means the USA is the point of final assembly and some percentage of the value of the product was manufactured outside the USA, that percentage being high enough that they can no longer claim to be made in the USA. From talking to manufacturers, most likely the motor is coming from China, they have more or less taken over the small motor market.

                1. re: mikie

                  I hear what you are saying, but how would you find an appliance with a motor that is not made in China? Impossible?

                  1. re: sueatmo

                    Not impossible, but I will grant you difficult and getting more difficult all the time. If you want products that are made in the US, you have to demand them. Tell the manufacturer that you're not buying their product because it's not US made, I do it all the time. Sometimes I get a cold shoulder and sometimes I get ". . . we've heard more of that recently . . ."

                    But it's not just motors, take the food processor for example, you have no idea if the plastic bowl is made out of the specified material or not or if it was made from the appropriate grade of that material. Plants in China have a tendency to freelance a bit when it comes to such details. Their trying to make as much money as they can, just like everyone else, so they buy the less expensive product, even though that is not specified. Again, using the food processor bowl as an example, someone mentioned Lexan (r) earlier, that's a Sabic (formerly GE) trademarked plastic, but they are not the only ones that make that plastic and there are a number of different grades, all with different performance charictoristics. Once molded, it's almost impossible to distinguish one grade or brand from another, until it cracks prematurely. I'm not saying everything made in china is that way, but the problem is it happens often enough that you really don't know for sure.

                    1. re: mikie

                      mikie, I think you know that I've expressed similar first-hand manufacturing problems with Chinese-made products at the companies I've worked for. (I won't go into any details here.)

                      I did see this recent brief article on "re-shoring" (bringing manufacturing back to the US, for a variety of reasons), & thought you (& others?) might enjoy it. I think it touches on a lot of salient points that many of us are concerned about. I also think it's "a good omen" for us as consumers.


                      1. re: Eiron

                        Thank you for the link, it's very informative and good news for those of us who believe that quality is worth something and that feel the importance of manufacturing jobes in the US. I know of a couple of cases where items were re-shored because of companies off-shore using the wrong materials. The cost of quality can be quite high if you have electrical devices that for example have a UL listing and you don't use the approved material in the manufacturing process.

                        1. re: mikie

                          I bought in 2004 my KitchenAid food processor. I had purchased and gone through perhaps 3-4 Cuisinart food processors for one reason or another.

                          I did quite a lot of research trying to find a fp made in France. The one I bought KFP670 shows on the bottom "Made in France." However, that's not to say that it isn't possible that the motor is not made in France. But still, it does not say "assembled in ..." as so many items do now.

                          It's still working.

        2. I've had a KA food processor for 5 or so years. It performs well for me, although I have noted some cracking in the small bowl. (I have the stacking version with a small and large work bowl.)

          1 Reply
          1. re: sueatmo


            I have needed assorted parts for my 20+ year old C A and I have had great success with the following "Parts Store", in Miami, they ship very promptly and have a very detailed online catalog. Everything from replacement bowls, interlocks, blades, etc.

          2. Our hand-me-down late 70s French-made CA got pitched a few years back for want of a bowl. It still ran but its second knife was dulling and, again, no chance of a replacement. A French-made KA took its place 7-8 years ago. Very solidly built and no issues to date. Like it over the Chinese-made CA whose bowl had a safety mechanism that was too fiddly and flimsy for almost daily use. Just don't sucker for anything that's not direct-drive.

            1. Cuisinart will do the job for you just as good as a Robot Coupe. Robot Coupe is all plastic parts just like the Cuisinart. You would be suprised how many commercail operations actually use Cuisinart because the dont want to pay $900 for a Robot Coupe for the amigos to break just as quick..Kitchen Aid food processors aren't arent as sturdy as Cuisinart.

              6 Replies
              1. re: MOSFET

                "Kitchen Aid food processors aren't arent as sturdy as Cuisinart."

                What? CA's build quality, especially the work bowls, seems a few pegs south of KA. My French-made KA is tank-like compared to the CA.

                1. re: Kagemusha

                  Both used commercially... Kitchenaids drive stem the blade sits on rounds out..Seen its personally. More than once. I am a kitchenaid fan on everthing else they make over Cuisinart.

                  1. re: MOSFET

                    Jeesh, it's not commercial gear and not built to take that kind of torture.

                    1. re: Kagemusha

                      But thats the point I was getting at. The cuisinarts can take more abuse when used commercially, so....

                      1. re: MOSFET

                        I've had slightly better luck with Robot Coupe in commercial kitchens than with Cuisinarts. Both do well, and the difference may in what we were doing with them. But I believe the original poster was asking about home use, not commerical use. Perhaps I misinterpretted the original post :-)

                        For home use the KA is just fine. I've had both KA and Cuisinart (which lasted *forevever* @ 20 yrs) at home. Right now I've got a KA and it's held up well and does exactly what I need it to do. It doens't get daily, or rigorous use, but for what I ask it to do, I've been happy with it.

                    2. re: MOSFET

                      That just happened to my KA. I'm back to using my old Cuisinart with the broken bowl until I get the Magimix.