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kitchenaid mixer choice. Or Viking without grinder [Moved from Home Cooking Board]

I have a 5qt kitchenaid that the gears that turn the atachments are worn out. For $23 I ordered the parts and I will atept to fix it myself. If I fail (With my mecanical aptitude, or lack of, I figure I have a 60% chance of sucsess) I will be shpping for a new mixer. I am tempted by the Viking 5qt but it does not have a grinder . The kitchenaid pro 500 I'm thinking it might not be strong enough, but I would have a grinder. The 600 I think I can pick up for $350, but 6qt is annoying if I want to just whip 2 egg whites or a cup of cream.
For the record I use it:
2x a week for bread
2-3x a week for batters, potatoes etc...
once a month for sausage

any opinions would be helpful

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  1. I can't comment on the Viking, but I love my 6qt Kitchenaid. I do have a hand mixer as well for small jobs (cup of cream, etc.), but I would probably find even a 5qt machine too big for those things. I use the Kitchenaid for everything else, especially bread, meat grinding and pasta making. It would not be used nearly as much if I didn't have those attachments.

    1. I always look at 3 things. Most common use, budget & storage. Looks like very heavy traditional mixer use and just occasional grinder use. Don't know the budget but if you have the room to conveniently store multiple pieces of equipment and can afford it I would recommend buying the best heavy duty mixer you can afford and buy a stand alone grinder. Equipment that multitasks is great for $ and storage but there are usually performance compromises.

      The traditional Kitchen Aid mixer is one tough piece of equipment but as my sister in law proved regular heavy duty use can and will burn them out over time, she has gone through 2. Waring makes a commercial counter top mixer and I think kitchen Aid also makes a commercial model. The areas most vulnerable to wear are probably beefed up in the commercial units and the motor probably has more usable torch but I think they would be 6 qt or better.

      The smaller LEM .25 or .35 grinders are great and I can run 10 lbs of chilled meat through it twice and the grinder head remains cold and the grind comes out perfect that how fast and efficient they are. In addition to the sausage, you likely will be doing your own ground beef & chicken because the machine makes it so easy and the end product is SO much better tasting than the supermarket chub meat & you can cook to a lower finished temp.

      1. S/P Correction: "Torque"

        1. I have a Kitchenaid, but to save on wear I mix bread dough on the dough cycle of my breadmachine.

          1. As long as your mixer is still working fine for bread dough, why simply buy a stand alone grinder? I have a Waring I am very happy with. It is far better than the kitchen aid attachment. No grey ooze. The grinder parts are all metal and so they stay cooler and can be precooled in the freezer. And it grinds way faster

            1 Reply
            1. re: jbuttitta

              My thinking was that if the attachment gears are shot the rest of the unit is probably not far behind given the work load outlined in the original post. (Heavy mixing / light attachment use) If budget and storage space are not an issue, I stand behind recommending a light commercial rated mixer & a good quality stand alone meat grinder. 2 nice evenings out pay for both and they should last a lifetime.

              As far as meat grinders go I did a ton of research before buying the LEM .35 (Bearings vs bushings..... type of gears...... running HP vs peak HP.....LBS per hour & customer reviews. The Waring Pro 800 is a good grinder but for 1/3 more $$$ an LEM .35 is in a completely different league both in terms of performance and longevity.

              Again it comes down to budget & convenient storage space.

              If budget is a concern, try Craigslist. Kitchen Aid Mixers and Waring grinders are often gifted and often lightly used and can be had very reasonably.

            2. I have a Kitchenaid Pro for almost 7 years and have never had a problem with it, but I do not use it nearly as often as you (twice a week only). If you need a heavy duty piece you may want to look into Hobart (they make a counter top 5qt version with a grinder attachment). I know they are known for their commercial end which is usually outstanding and is found in almost every commercial kitchen.

              5 Replies
              1. re: cliffyrd

                My Kitchenaid is a Hobart (from the 80s) so I was excited to see there's a 5-qt Hobart mixer. Then I googled it ... is it really $2,000+? If so, I'm praying mine never dies!

                But that got me thinking - it's at least 27 years old, maybe older (it's a hand-me-down from my grandma). How long do Kitchenaids last now? I'm wondering if a $2,000 mixer would outlast several KA mixers?

                1. re: SAHCook

                  I am not sure but I think Kitchen Aid was made by Hobart years ago which is probably the case with your Grandmother's mixer. It is probably a very well made mixer but not commercial rated like the N50.

                  Commercial equipment usually has motors with heavier windings, bigger brushes, better bearings & larger cooling fans, The gears are also much larger & stronger and supported with high quality bearings. Looks like about 31 Lbs KA pro (homeowner) vs 45 Lbs N50 commercial. 14 extra Lbs of metal.......we are talking a BEAST of a counter top mixer.

                2. re: cliffyrd

                  Just saw a lightly used Kitchen Aid Pro 6 (500 plus watts) with receipt for about $375.00 on Philadelphia Craigslist which is probably negotiable. With a little patience they can be found very reasonably.

                  That Hobart N50 comes in around $2200.00. I didn't look at the specs but I would imagine its continuous duty rated and a homeowner would be hard pressed to burn one up. At about 45 lbs its a beast.

                  1. re: Tom34

                    I used to use the commercial kitchenaids in resaurants, but $2000 is way out of my league. I may be able to pick up a 600 series for 350, but maybe also buy a stand alone grinder . Small LEM or Waring for about 100

                    1. re: jefpen2

                      Yeah, I think in most cases the N50 would be overkill not to mention tough to lift and put away. I would check your local Craigslist daily as KA mixers are often gifted and sold in like new condition well under 50% new selling price. If you plan on grinding all your own ground meat(s) saving up for the LEM .25 or .35 would be worth it. If you freeze the grinding head & ever so lightly freeze the strips of meat you can do a double grind so fast the meat stays below the 38 degree F mark and the grind comes out perfect allowing for loosely formed juicy rare burger. God now I'm hungry!

                  1. re: jefpen2

                    Not first hand, bought a De Longhi instead and those are no longer being made. However, I was about to pull the triger on the Viking, but after reading many many reviews, it seemed they had more issues than I was willing to tolerate for that price. I bought two of my girls KAs and they are not good mixers anymore, not like when Hobart owned them. I have searched high and low for another good mixer, either made in Europe or the US and have had no luck. The De Longhi was made in Italy, The new KA is assembeled in the US but the motors and many of the parts come from Asia as do the motors for all the non commercial mixers I could find.

                    1. re: mikie

                      yeah, I've been scouring the web for info for the last week and the reviews are mixed. I believe De Longhi is Kenwood in Europe and I would LOVE to have one of those. I'm in the middle of tryng to fix my KA and if it does not work I think I can get a KA Pro 600 for $350 and buy a separate meat grinder at Xmas to save wear on the motor. I have read so great things about the Cuisinart, but I think I'll go with a known quantity.

                      1. re: mikie

                        I have two K5-A KitchenAid mixers from the 1950s, and a "midget" mixer they made as a Depression special 1932-33, then gave up because (a) it didn't sell well, and (b) since they built it to their regular high standards but had to price it lower they were making no money on them. The first K5-A and the midget came from the Nashville Flea Market, the other K5-A from an antiques mall in Orange, CA. K5-A #1 was pretty beat-up looking and still is; after finding about a pound of dead cockroach parts in its innards I just took it to the local Authorized Repair dudes and for about $100 (plus the $60 purchase price) I got a new-acting but still ugly KA mixer. K5-A #2 had been refurbished and refinished, unfortunately with some not-quite-accurate repro parts, such as the metal band with the ID info that wraps around the front and back on each side, and the finish is too white. But it was $110, and the dealer threw in a new meat grinder attachment for another $25. Now, here's a fun part: That new plastic grinder fits my '50s KAs just fine. But there's a heavy cast-steel one ("Made in Sweden") that came with that midget from the early '30s, and that fits too! So if I have need of a thoroughly chilled grinder I can use that, or the lighter and easier-to-clean plastic one for light forcemeats and crumbs and stuff.