Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Aug 28, 2011 08:14 PM

New life for old KA stand mixer

When KitchenAid came out with their candy apple red anniversary mixer I *wanted* that glass bowl. For more than a year I debated the merits of getting the damned mixer even tho I've got a 30yo KA that's perfectly fine because I couldn't get the glass bowl out of my head. In fact, people tell me I'm better off with the old mixer I've got because of its durable metal parts. God knows, in 30 years it's never failed me and, so far, I've had to replace the rubber feet on the bottom and the plate that holds the bowl in place -- a grand total of about $30 in repairs or about $1/year!

The other day it was too much for me. I ordered the glass bowl to see if it would fit. For a small part of the price of the mixer, the bowl gave a whole new life to my wonderful old battle horse -- which is a much better color, if you ask me.

My old spatter guard works with the glass bowl. And the bowl comes with a lid which could also be handy. The other wonderful new addition is the plastic paddle with the silicone blades that "wipe" the bowl as it mixes.

Win/win. Color me happy!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I've been wanting that glass bowl as well - unfortunately I have a 6 qt. bowl-lift model, so that's not gonna happen.

    On the other hand, I was in Bed Bath & Beyond the other day and saw the silicone scraping blade for the 5/6 qt. bowl-lift models. I couldn't believe it - I didn't think they were going to make one for us, since I hadn't heard anything about it and the tilt-head one had been out for a while. Anyway, I bought it, of course. It actually works really well. One of my favorite KA accessories.

    1 Reply
    1. What is the advantage of the glass bowl? It's great to hear your KA is 30 years old and going strong. I'm still wondering about my newer version and am doubtful it will last that long.

      8 Replies
      1. re: chowser

        The glass bowl seems bigger and yet it's still able to fit well under the horizontal motorhead. Even so, the advantage is it's *sexy* and makes me happy.

        Don't underestimate a KitchenAid! I hear the newer ones aren't made of the same materials or to the same standards but, still, I never thought I'd still be in love with the one I bought with more money than I had to put into a single purchase waaaay back when.

        (PS actually it's 34 and I know just when I bought it because I was pregnant with my first and bought it for myself as my first Mothers' Day present in '77. I wasn't completely sure my husband would think of me as a "mother" yet so I took matters into my own hands. I even paid for the fancy gift wrap from the department store where I got it and stuck around, unashamed, while the young clerk hefted and grunted and struggled with the enormous heavy package to get the paper around it. Worth every single *bit* of it! ;> And now it's all sexy and exciting again!)

        1. re: chowser

          Another advantage is that you can see the other side of what you're mixing, so you can know whether everything is incorporating well or not.

          1. re: chowser

            chowser, I have my aunt's KA (Hobart) stand mixer from the early 1950s and it is a workhorse; still going strong after all these years. With my fingers crossed I write that it shows no sign of wearing out or failing. I've added to the batterie de cuisine with more bowls and whisks and will try the silicone scraper. That sounds wizard.

            Realistically, I suppose I will have to replace this aged beast some day but I am not looking forward to it. Knowing that this "guts of steel" machine has performed flawlessly for more than half a century has spoiled me for a new mixer with plastic parts.

            1. re: chowser

              Thanks, everyone--very helpful! I'm going to see if I can find one that fits my model.

              My concern with my KA is that there are already time when I turn it to the next setting and it doesn't go faster and there have been times when I make bagels/brioche when the dough overwhelms the machine (and I have the professional model) and it overheats and turns off. So, based on that, I'm thinking mind might not have the long lifespan.

              1. re: chowser

                Mine has overheated *once* in 30 years. And I'm a breadmaker and inclined to overload my machines to the point of having the odugh crawl up over the guard on the hook.

                Is there a local repair shop where you could have them look it over and give you an assessment about whether looking for a new bowl or a new mixer is the better deal?

                1. re: rainey

                  That's a good idea about finding a repair shop. I didn't know if taking it for a problem that happened rarely was like taking in a car for something that doesn't happen often--if they can't replicate it, they usually can't figure out what's wrong. I think the new ones aren't as well made as the old ones. I do overload my machine sometimes and it can crawl. But, even when I do, it's not often that it dies. It just seems like one that's less than five years old shouldn't.

                  1. re: chowser

                    Yeah, that could be but if there's real wear that would indicate the machine's useful life is eroding, wouldn't they see that?

                    I suppose how useful an exercise it would be would depend on how good the repair person was. I hope you find someone who can give you good advice.

                    Would KA be helpful, do you think? I know when I had a problem with a blender they sent me out a refurbished one free and super quick and it has performed like a champ ever since. Their reputation for major appliances isn't sterling but for small appliances they've always been aces for me. ...even sending me free rubber feet for the mixer. I mean after 3 decades if they had said "hey, their useful life is over; they're $5/ea" I would have been fine with that.

                    Maybe there's someone there who can discuss candidly what they expect the useful life of a current model to be.

                    1. re: chowser

                      The speed control is kind of touchy , and if it has gone out of adjustment it can cause problems. The service manual online showed how to adjust the nuts for proper running. I have 2 KA mixers with speed problems that I picked up. One was free, and the other was $25, or $30 at a thrift store, and they had all the attachments. I figure even if I don't get them running, I can part them out. Now I need the time to dig into them.

              2. My best ever garage sale find: Sunbeam Mixmaster, about 60 years old, for $3.
                I bought it for the heavy stainless bowls and it would have been a great value
                for just the bowls. I decided to see if could get it running, and was just a simple wiring
                fix. We have been using it for about 8 years, and I enjoy the funky 50s style to it every time
                it is in use.

                4 Replies
                1. re: justicenow

                  Good deal! That stuff is exciting, isn't it?!

                  Hope you bake up some great stuff with it. ;>

                  1. re: justicenow

                    Ohhhhh, great find. My son also found one at a yard sale, put a new pigtail in it and "away you go". That is one mixing machine, let me tell you. Shhh, I do think you paid less....Enjoy!

                    1. re: Cynfulannie

                      I have Mom's 1950 C-3 KA with the glass bowl, as well as a few other KA mixers.

                      My neighbor recently bought a Dormeyer from the 50's-60's that is unused. It is still in the original packaging. She also has several Mixmasters now too. She also names them as she gets them.

                      1. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR

                        I never named mine. If only I knew then how long she would be with me I should surely have picked out a great name for her.

                  2. The original comment has been removed