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Dec 13, 2011 10:09 PM

Food processors....Kitchenaid KFP1333 vs. Cuisinart FP-12/FP-14

I am looking for a new food processor, and looking at the kitchenaid KFP1333 and cuisinart FP-12 or FP-14 models.

Both have nested bowls (the KA has 4 and 13 cups bowls) (the Cuisinart 4 and 12 cups bowls, or 4, 11 and 14 cup bowls). Both have adjustable slicing disks, thought the KA's can be adjusted externally. Pricing is very close for both, depending where you look.

Any input? PLEASE?

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  1. In most respects, it's a close call. They are both considered to be very good machines. To me, I'd rather have a 14 cup than anything smaller. 14 sounds really big until one starts doing a bigger job and then it's nice to have the extra headroom. Even still, there are certain things that I must do in 2 batches instead of 1 - with a 14 cup device.

    When I was researching food processors before I pulled the trigger, I steered slightly away from either kitchenaid or cuisinart but I don't recall which one - merely based from a concern as to perhaps more of a chance of cracked bowls over time. I'd recommend that you take a good deep look at the HUNDREDS of user reviews for specific models on Amazon. There will be loads of very detailed reviews for pretty much every model sold.

    In the end, I went with the Braun model, 14 cup. I liked the variable speed control and power of it. It's a good model and I have been pleased with it's performance so far. It also had good reviews and is German made - to me a plus. I've only had it for 2 years or so. I can't speak directly to what it's like using it vs either of the other 2 major brands.

    I hope this helps.


    2 Replies
    1. re: jkling17

      Boy do I know it's a close call...that's why I was seeking input.. The size difference to me is almost inconsequential, so that is not what I am focusing on personally...12 vs. 13 vs 14 cups...all close.

      I looked at both and they are VERY close. The Cuisinart FP-14 has 3 bowls as does the KA KFP1333, but the Cuisinart is a bit more money. The Cuisinart FP-12 only has 2 bowls, and is much closer to the KA's price, but I am concerned that the locking device on the Cuisinarts might snap in the back where you hook it under the workbowl's pouring spout..then you're left forking over $50 for a new bowl.

      Yet on the KA I do like the 3 different size pushers (one is larger), compared to the Cuisinart's 2 pushers).

      The other thing I find interesting is that the KA has a low and a high speed, as well as a pulse. The Cuisinarts have on/off/pulse, and a dough speed on the 14 spped.

      Is the low and high of the KA worth anything, or just another gimmick?

      1. re: BFcook

        I can't speak to the value of low/high of the KA as I've never used it. I do like having 16 speeds on my braun. There are numerous occassions where I will set it to 4 or 6 or 8 for softer foods. 16 is great for chopping nuts but not so hot for slicing up lots of veggies - it's just too darn fast and they get overly butchered instead of nice clean slices.

        I don't know that having multiple bowls would be all that helpful. Maybe someone else can speak to this better than I since I don't have that option anyway. When I use my food processor it's usually when I need to deal with larger quantities. If I only need to do 1-2 cups of whatever, I can do it faster and better with either a good knife or my blender - and then I don't have to have all the extra cleanup. When I puree onions for a sauce I strictly use a knife for rough chopping and then my blender to completely puree them, then toss in garlic, etc. - to fully incorporate them.

        Thing is - we do very little baking - and so there might be all sorts of things that an avid baker would use one for that we just don't ... and so our perspective is perhaps less applicable to what your needs are?

        What I love best about the food processor is that we can make our own protein bars with it. It is far too difficult to do these without a food processor. Even still, we need to do 2 runs to get a really high quality result, with all the ingredients perfectly incorporated - and that's just for one 13x9 pyrex dish or 18 bars.

    2. I just returned my KA Architect FP to Macys after issues with KA CS. Long story short, the plastic bowl could not withstand the powerful motor, and small chips of plastic were being dumped into my food. This happened over the course of several months. I was still under the manufacturer's one year warranty and KA said they would gladly send me a new bowl as a one-tome courtesy (the motor and other accessories were in fabulous condition and I LOVE the color of the Architect series). My concern was that a new bowl would do the same thing, but there was no other bowl available (glass would be great). They had no answer for me when I asked what my options were if this happened again. I think I would either have to buy bowls on my own or pay for an extended warranty which *might* cover that, but probably not ....this would kick in if I needed a new machine entirely. I later saw at Amazon that a few other people reported problems with the bowls, too.

      Extra details: The KA CS guy asked me if I was grinding nuts in the processor - that might have caused the dents. I hadn't, actually, but nicely reminded him that if I did need to do that the proper machine WOULD be a food processor. I didn't tax my machine and hand washed everything; I mostly made pastry dough in it (and yes, flour does spill out if you do a double batch of anything). The markings on the bowl were random and it had nothing to do with the blade.

      I had my receipt and Macys took it back. I am bummed but will have to find another brand. Personally, I think KA is coasting on a good reputation from years gone by.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Pomander

        Are you referring to the 13cup KFP 1333 with the external adjustrable slicing blade? I thought I read all the reviews everywhere and never saw any mention of anyone having small chips of plastic dumped into their food. Are you perhaps referring to another model?

        But I agree...if that was happening and KA only agreed to replace it once "as a couresty" with no follow-up if it happneded again, I would run from them so quickly your head would spin!

        1. re: BFcook

          It was this one:

          Not the exact same, but if the bowls are made of similar material, one might have trouble. The other point is the lack of real help from CS. I won't buy from KA again. I had my processor for several months before I noticed the problem; I don't think it happened overnight. The KA processor has a good motor, the bowl couldn't keep up with it. I really liked the look and performance of this and was bummed to return it. Hope you have better luck, whatever you decide :-)

          1. re: Pomander

            Since it's not the same exact model, who knows if the bowls are the same. I know that the bowls of this new KA are BPA free, so from a health concern that is better...

            Thanks again...did you end up buying another?

            1. re: BFcook

              Didn't buy another yet...looking at the Magimix but it is pricey. I can wait a bit. My bowls were BPA free as well, which is nice that they thought of that. I doubt KA is going to the trouble to make different materials for the bowls (you never know, though...), but even if the bowls were thicker that would make a difference.

              1. re: Pomander

                I'm sure they buy their bowls rather than making whoever makes them for KA would probably make them to spec....especially since bowls are not interchangeable among the different processors..

                I can't justify the price of the Magimix for me... So I'll just stick with the cuisinart 14 cup which I just ordered at a really great price...

                Just out of curiousity...what do you think of the KA kfp1333 having 2 speeds (low and high) in addition to the pulse...I haven't really seen that on any other processor...the most "sophisticated" I've seen in terms of speed is the cuisinart 14 cup elite also having a dough setting...????

      2. While external adjustment looks nice I can't really see it as a huge advantage (pulling the slicing disk out and manually adjusting and replacing it takes maybe 30 seconds, if that). I've had the 14 cup Cuisinart for about a year and I really love it. Excellent build quality and the parts seem durable. There's a lot of discussion on the boards about the accordion seals being difficult to clean but if you maintain good practice and rinse after use they clean easily. I can see where they would pose problems if you let a messy lid sit out for a couple of hours where ingredients could dry and harden, but I've made lots of hummus and other dips in it where you would expect a lot of splashing and the seals rinse clean every time.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ferret

          I think I'm leaning towads the CUisinart, but see some of my replies to comments above. The one big thinkg I'm wondering about is if there are any benefits to the low and high speeds of the KA versus the single speed of the Cuisinart (both have the pulse function of course). Any thoughts on that?

          Also, I've realized it doesn't make sense for me to buy the 12 cup Cuisinart. For the cost of that and buying the accessory holder separately, it's about the same total as the 14 cup Cuisinart which comes with the accessory holder...and the 14 cup has the retractable cord, the third work bowl, dough speed, etc.

          Plus I can get the 14 speed in white for a little over $170 total at Kohl's with their always changing sale price, customer discount program and the Kohls cash I would get for a future purchase ($10 kohls cash per $50 spent).

        2. BFcook,

          For what it is worth, my wife and I still use our original Cuisinart (France) from its first introduction. One had to turn the lid to turn it on/off. Pulsing was tricky. But it served us well for 30 years and continues to do so. A few years ago, we looked at the Magimix as well as others. Then looked at models with adjustable blades, and other features. We settled on the 20 cup Cuisinart (Japan) which has no multiple bowls of various sizes, blades are not adjustable, it has on/off and pulse. It is admirably suited to any and all tasks assigned to it.

          The one drawback is the magnetic safety lock which is a nuisance, but necessary because there are fools who are capable of putting their digits into the feed tube in an effort to do what the pusher is for. It truly is a pain; but the machine is rock solid and does not stall out. It was pricey. I decided that adjustable blades were a gimmick, as were multiple bowls, speeds and the like. Just something that could go wrong. I did so with NO experience with any of those features. I may have been wrong in that assessment, but we are happy with what we have; it serves our needs well. Emptying the bowl, changing blades between tasks is just part of the adventures in cooking.

          Get the best you/your budget can afford and ensure that it has the features you need, rather than just want. Needs get used; wants are just wants.

          I don't know if this little monologue will help you or not but I thought I would relate our experiences.
          Good luck.

          3 Replies
          1. re: dcrb

            T hank you... More food for thought!

            1. re: dcrb

              The key advantage to the small bowl is that it has sloped sides AND comes with a smaller chopping blade. It's far better suited to making sauces, dressings or chopping herbs. You spend a lot less time scraping down the sides. As for the adjustable slicer, it's not really gimmicky if you need to slice lots of vegetables (and a variety of vegetables - there's no single thickness that suits every vegetable), you can go from very thin to somewhat substantial.

              1. re: ferret

                Maybe gimmick was a poor choice of words. I looked at a lot, mostly on line but sometimes in stores but have to say that the adjustable blades was strictly on line. No hands on, kick the tires sort of thing. I did, at the time, consider it a marketing ploy that would be short lived. They are still here, and me and the wife are still swapping out blades. Someday I will learn.

            2. I've tried both, wanted to like both, and been disappointed in both. Whether it's the sloped sides or some other reason - they don't process well. Pie crust stays in "crumbs", and if you're chopping anything the bottom layer turns to mush, while the top is left in big pieces. Although I love the adjustable slicer on the KA, both machines are built in a way that leaves large chunks of food unshredded or unsliced. The finger holes let chunks of food fall through, while the top and sides of the slicing and shredding blades catch both processed and unprocessed foods. I think the low speed of the KA is a good idea in principle, but since the machine doesn't seem to work well the speed is irrelevant.They are both also very difficult to open and close (for different reasons). I struggle like an alligator wrestler trying to get the KA opened, while the Cuisinart cover hooks in the back in a way that doesn't always close well, and then sprays flour all over the counter.
              These are both good looking machines (the KA is so tall, though that it doesn't fit under my counter), with features that may have sounded good on paper, but I can't imagine they were tested by actual cooks. I'm really frustrated, because I just don't know what to get anymore, but neither of these is acceptable. I'm coming from the traditional old fashioned Cuisinart; just got tired of spending money replacing the pusher and bowl because of plastic parts breaking - and wanted a slightly bigger machine. Love the idea of having a smaller bowl, even though both bowls get dirty if you use the smaller - and the KA is so big that putting all the parts in the DW pretty much fills up half of it.
              Any ideas out there?

              7 Replies
              1. re: sweetearth

                Some of the things you mentioned are user error. If you are getting big chunks on top and mush on the bottom it's because you have too much food in the machine for even chopping. As for pie crust staying in crumbs. Just pour it out of the processor and squeeze, if it still doesn't come together add a tiny amount of water until it does.

                1. re: rasputina

                  I do take the dough out (which I know is a better idea anyway) - but the question is not how to salvage it. The old Cuisinart did a fine job, so a new one should work at least as well. As for quantity, one should be able to process more than a cup in a 13 cup machine, but when you look at what's happening you can see that the food on the far edges of the bowl just isn't being reached by the blade, no matter how much is there.

                2. re: sweetearth

                  I bought a KA model KFP1333--the locking mechanism is a piece of junk. It took all my strength to twist the cover on or off; I would push against the bowl handle for leverage--all I could think about was that one day I would push the bowl handle off and crack it. And when I tried to twist it on, I could barely get the lines on the bowl and bowl cover to align--this was required to turn the unit on, so I had a hell of a time trying to get it to turn on. Too much of a problem...back it went to Macy's.

                  Got another unit--this one the bowl cover turns fairly easy, but the bowl itself is a b__ch to take off (though it twists on fine). That one is going back too--ridiculous to spend so much time and effort trying to take bowls on and off.

                  Bought the Cuisinart FP-14. Cover comes on and off like a dream--that's the one I'm keeping.

                  The "problem" with the finger holes doesn't bother me...never found it to be an issue. If it did, I would just cover the holes with clear shipping tape during use (scotch tape probably wouldn't work).

                  I haven't had ANY problem with the Cusinart cover at all...just latch on the back first and press on front to lock?

                  The KA and Cuisinart are about the height same...both fit on the counter under my upper cabinets. Cuisinart takes up slightly less counter space and, in my opinion, looks nicer than the KA..much cleaner look. And I think both take up the same amount of space in dishwasher. I haven't had any problems with larger bowls getting dirty when only using smaller on the Cuisinart because of how they's really impossible for that to happen unless you're not careful when removing bowls.

                  The multiple speeds on the KA would be nice I guess....but remember, FP's have only had a single speed for the most part since they first came out...even the highly rated Magimix only has one speed.

                  So, for me, it's the Cuisinart all the way.

                  1. re: BFcook

                    Thanks for that perspective. Maybe the latch on my Cuisinart was defective? I'd be nervous about taping up the finger holes, but I was getting tired of picking out and re-processing all the pieces that fell through, and small pieces of food ended up wedged in the rubber gasket.
                    Sizewise they are very similar, but the KA is slightly taller, and so doesn't fit under my cabinet unless I take the top off. The Cuisinart did fit. Maybe I should take another look at it, although I had just about decide to go back to one of the standard Cuisinarts without multiple bowls.
                    I do like the idea of the new machines, though! If it weren't for the crazy price I might even look at the Breville...

                    1. re: sweetearth

                      You're more than welcome...try the cuisinart latch in the store to get comfortable with it I guess.

                      Why would you be nervous about taping up the holes? sometimes I've found even with the best products you have to make adjustments to make it work for you. About the tape, I was thinking you cover the hole ever so slightly and on one side of the hole just beyond it you fold the tape under itself to make a kind of handle...then you can pull the tape off before removing the blade from the bowl so you can use the finger holes to remove the blade. If you try this, I suggest doing the tape fold over on the side of the hole away from the direction the blade is spinning so food wouldn't get trapped there.

                      1. re: BFcook

                        That's one of the things I was worried about - that food would get stuck on the tape. I guess I also feel I shouldn't have to go through a song and dance in order to get an almost $200 machine to work properly.
                        When you say the food falling through the finger holes doesn't bother you, is that because it hasn't been a problem, or because you don't mind picking out the unshredded parts and putting them in again over and over?

                        1. re: sweetearth

                          If food would get stuck on the tape, I would just toss it out with the would be such a minute amount. I know we shouldn't have to go through such things, but sometimes you just do.

                          I haven't found it to be a problem...I mainly use it to grate carrots, or slice vegetables, and it just hasn't really happened that I noticed...maybe I'm not too picky that everything be exactly the same size..