I think my faithful KA mixer is about to pass on. I'd like to buy the 6Qt. KA. There was a topic several months ago about some of the KA having nylon gears that wear out quickly. Is there any way to tell which mixer is the best to buy, or how to tell if it has the nylon gears?
I live about an hour from Kitchen Aid. I purchased a refurbished 6 quart for a great price at the Kitchen Aid Experience store last spring. I think it makes a funky noise but no problems with it. Love it. Too bad you don't live closer.
I just bought a new KA myself. I bought the 2009 special edition anniversary model. I love the shiny apple red color. But this is not the 600 series like you are looking at.
My understanding is it was not so much the gears as the plastic housing box they put around the gears for a while. It seems that the plastic housing didn't allow the area too cool down as quickly as the metal housing it used to have. Whirlpool very quietly in about 2007 changed the housing back to metal. I did a lot of research before I bought a second KA. I did not want to invest that kind of money and not have it last.
Also the ones that I read had the most trouble with the 600 series (in my research) were those that made heavy doughs for bread. But definitely there was enough of a problem that Whirlpool changed it back. Personally if I were to make bread, I would either use my breadmaker or knead it by hand (just because it looks like fun to do that ....probably for about a minute! ).
So what you need to do is make sure you go to a place that sells a lot of KAs. That way you are guaranteed to get one that was manufactured after 2007 and not been sitting on the counter for a while.
I was in a TJ Maxx recently. They had about 5 KAs in Sunshine Yellow for about $229. My guess is that either that color didn't go over well or they are older models. I bought the model I did to guarantee it was made with the metal housing box. So far it has worked like a charm. I also read that KAs are louder now because they did switch back to the metal housing. I did notice that my new KA was a tad louder than the old KA. I was alarmed until I read that the noise was due to the different boxes and it wasn't that I bought a lemon.
Sadly, I don't know if KAs are made like they used to be made. I saw a Rinelli (or something like that) in Williams-Sonoma. It was whisper quiet. They had it running. I was very intrigued, but the sales clerk there said she would still go for the KA. But that is one person's opinion. If I hadn't just bought my KA, I would have taken that home for a spin to see just what it could do.
Also Cuisineart has come out with a stand mixer, in 2007 I believe. I saw that one too. I almost bought one of those. It has something like a 800 watt motor. The one thing I didn't like about it how to raise the head. And I read that sometimes it gets top heavy when lifted and can tip over. But Cuisineart has the same plastic gears as KA, so in the end it was the way the head lifted that swayed me towards KA. Also the Cuisineart one is about $100 cheaper too. It was hard not to buy it based on that.
HTH, good luck.
I apologize for any misspelling of brand names. I just didn't want to take the time to research the correct spelling.
Wow, thanks for all the info, I'd hate to spend that much and be rally unhappy. I was making Sharon Zambito B/C icing when I started having problems. I think it had just over heated because later I used it and didn't have any problems. After I finished the buttercream and moved on to whipping ganache it would start out at high speed and run for about 20 seconds then stop. Maybe I stressed it out too much LOL Thanks again I think I'll go ahead and invest in a new one, hate to get caught with out one.
Your experience st typical of what I read about online. There was something about running it for 10 minutes at a time that KA did not recommend. I found a lot of comments made that there are many food items that need to run on the machine for that long.
Last week I used my KA for cake and total running time was about somewhere around 10 minutes total. I stopped timing after the creaming of the butter and sugar. But mine was done on low speed too, not the higher speed I saw on the video Sharon put out. Even still that is not high, something like medium and what you are mixing is not as tough as bread dough.
I'm curious as to how old the KA is that you have now. You may have gotten one with the plastic housing. And that would explain all your problems with it. I would find out what the return policy is from where you get your new KA, take it home and put it through your toughest job (maybe the BC you made). That way if you have any problems you can return it within any grace period that may exist.
When I first got mine I set it up and let it run on stir for about 2 minutes just to get the gears working and any oil and grease in there redistributed just in case there was settling since it was made. I don't know if there is or not. I just wanted to do something to kind of warm it up before I used it. I ordered mine from Amazon and it sat outside all day in the cold, so I let it sit inside for two days to warm up before I turned it on too. (Do you believe I let that KA sit outside all day! I swear I did not hear the UPS guy ring the doorbell! )
I have two KA's. And I'm sure my first one has the plastic housing as it is quieter than my new one. But I seldom baked when I got the first one, so it was rarely used. It was when I got into serious baking and decided that I wanted a stronger mixer that I got the new one. I only moved up another 25 watts in power, but I figure it is baby steps.
Good luck and let us know which one you decide to get. I am now obsessed with mixers and have to look at them in any and every store that carries them. I'm like a fly going towards the light. It doesn't help that they are in such cute colors either.
I chose to get mine repaired instead of buy new ones....I have to decide what I want to do though eventually...I have two 6 qt ones so too expensive to replace...but I'm going to probably look towards investing in something commercial (but small) next time.