Questions About Kitchenaid Stand Mixers

Decorating By ReneeFLL Updated 16 Jan 2011 , 9:57pm by ReneeFLL

ReneeFLL Posted 11 Jan 2011 , 7:02am
post #1 of 23

I received a KA 6qt mixer from DH for Christmas. This is my first stand mixer. I have a few questions before I open it and use it. I thought that I wanted a 6qt size because my 4qt bowl would be almost overflowing with some of my cake mixes. I also thought the 575 watt motor would be better for mixing up my mmf.

Several things that I am not sure about and would like some opinions.
I realized that the KA mixers that will actually fit on my kitchen counter and under my cabinets are the tilt head models and are only 325 watts. I might have to store it underneath.

Does anyone out there make mmf using a 325 watt model and if so does the motor sound like it is having a hard time?

Anyone ever use both styles, the tilting head kind and the bowl lift kind? Opinions on which you like better and why?

I went to Bed Bath and Beyond yesterday to check out the differences. I think that the tilt head would be nice so that the paddle/beater can be lifted out of the cake mix and drip for a few minutes like I do with my hand mixer. Does anyone else do this?

The bowl lift style seemed like you would have to take the beater off in order to remove the bowl.

Does anyone know why they make the lift head kind? I am thinking there must be some advantage, but I don't see it.

I have searched on line for a 6qt glass bowl but could only find a smaller size. Does anyone know if there is one available? It would be nice to be able to melt my marshmallows and make the fondant all in the same bowl.
TIA

22 replies
scp1127 Posted 11 Jan 2011 , 9:12am
post #2 of 23

I have two lift and one tilt KA. My 6 qt sits on the edge of my counter with the top against the upper cabinets. I just put a basket behind it for fresh vegetables. The power is much different than my artisan. My other is a 15 year old heavy duty 5 qt with more watts than the artisan. You would still have to pull out the tilt to use it. I cannot tell you why, but I prefer the lift over the tilt.

I have only made fondant in the 6 qt so I can't help you there.

I take my beater off of the lift and tap it on the side of the bowl to get the drips.

I can do without both of my smaller mixers, but I will never be without the pro 6.

Whichever one you choose, get yourself a Metro beater blade. It scrapes the sides and bottom as it mixes, eliminating stopping to scrape.

ChunkkeeMunkkee Posted 11 Jan 2011 , 11:10am
post #3 of 23

I have the Pro. It's design is pretty much a compact version of the industrial sized ones used in bakeries. I was using a tilt head before I have them both on my counters and regardless the recipe I naturally gravitate to the Pro 6 Quart. I don't make fondant in it (don't make it at all, it never comes out right for me). It can handle all my batter & icing needs. Hope you give it a chance, it's a great machine. You gotta lower the bowl and wipe the blade on the edge of the bowl, there isbn't "drip room" like the tilt back models. That I know of there isn't a glass bowl avail for this model.

lauriekailee Posted 11 Jan 2011 , 11:24am
post #4 of 23

I have 2 of the lift models, and have made MMF in it and have no problems. I'm not near it right now but it is around 500 watts and it works like a charm! Have never had any problems with the motor. I would never due without it. Mine both fit under y cabinets on the counter, but I have new cabinets-don't know is there has been a change in the standard space left between counter and cupboard...maybe DH will get you new cabinets!!!! LOL!! HTH.

airheadkmt Posted 11 Jan 2011 , 12:33pm
post #5 of 23

I have the 325 watt tilt. Well, I HAD.

About a year ago, while making MMF, it died. It sounded like it was on it's way out because of the stress of the MMF, and then it just wounded like something had broken.

My husband, being a 'gear head' tore the thing apart and found the problem. The model that I have uses nylon gears. That way when it gets ready to break it doesn't tear through the rest of the motor, it just strips a gear or two. It's only a $30 part to fix, but I'm thinking of just getting a better quality mixer, so I don't have to go through this again in the middle of a 7 cake order icon_biggrin.gif

LindaF144a Posted 11 Jan 2011 , 3:28pm
post #6 of 23

When my KA dies, and I know it will, I will not buy another one. I have a 325 watt. I only make cakes, cookies, frostings and whipped cream. When making whipped cream this past weekend, I noticed that from 8 on up there is no increased speed. It is on its way out, ALREADY. I have had it less than a year and I am a hobby baker. I have not done any heavy core dough mixing, unless you count cookie dough and even then that should not be so damaging to the gears at the density of cookie dough.

What a shame. Thankfully there are others ones out there that compete with KA and at or less than their price too. Cuisineart has one, as well as Reville. And I recently saw that Hobart has a 5 quart mixer. I haven't priced it out yet, but I believe that I'll be getting a Hobart. Hopefully that one will last longer than a year.

artscallion Posted 11 Jan 2011 , 3:51pm
post #7 of 23

Linda, if your kitchenaid fails within its first year, kitchenaid will replace it free of cost. No questions asked. I had to do it when I first got my 6pro. the speed switch broke after about a month. I emailed them, they sent me a new one within a week. The box the one came in was set up for the old one to go right in with a new address label enclosed. I just had to take it to any UPS pickup station (there's one in most Staples stores...one about two blocks from my house, no line...done) You should definitely do this before the year passes!


you can get the info at their site.

LindaF144a Posted 11 Jan 2011 , 4:09pm
post #8 of 23

Tnanks, I'll pull out my paperwork today.

ChunkkeeMunkkee Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 4:59pm
post #9 of 23

The problem with Kitchen Aides now vs the ones from "back in the day" is that the mechanics on the inside (the gear box) is now made of plastic components where as "Mom's" was made from all metal. The flip side is that they have an AWESOME customer service/return policy against manufacturer defect. I got mine at Bed Bath and Beyond and the return policy is the same. They take it right then and there and give you a new one. In this day and age.... I love that option. Good luck!

ranae5463 Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 5:12pm
post #10 of 23

I have a 5qt lift model and I really like it. I've made fondant only a few times and NFSC a few times and it seems when the mixing finally has all the dry ingredients it's just a little bit slower, but otherwise I really like it. I also use my grandmother's KA 3c model from the 1950's and it's still going strong. It's only a 3 or 3.5 qt but it works like a charm and over 50 years old. A lot of bread was made with that mixer. I can only hope that my newer one lasts like my grandmother's. thumbs_up.gif

costumeczar Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 6:20pm
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChunkkeeMunkkee

The problem with Kitchen Aides now vs the ones from "back in the day" is that the mechanics on the inside (the gear box) is now made of plastic components where as "Mom's" was made from all metal. The flip side is that they have an AWESOME customer service/return policy against manufacturer defect. I got mine at Bed Bath and Beyond and the return policy is the same. They take it right then and there and give you a new one. In this day and age.... I love that option. Good luck!




I thought this was true, too, but I opened mine up and looked, and the gears are all metal. There were plastic parts on the section that looked like the electronics control board, but other than that it was all metal. This was the 6 quart, lift head one, so I can't speak about the smaller models.

I've had both kinds, tilt-head and lift, and all motor sizes, and I got rid of all of them other than the lift-type 6-quart ones. They have the most motor power and the most versatility for making cakes and breads.

artscallion Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 6:42pm
post #12 of 23

Yes, Costumeczar, when the company changed hands several years ago, they started making the gears from nylon. They did this so that when a machine was being overworked to the point of burning out the motor, the gears were set to fail just before that point. It's much cheaper to replace a nylon gear than a whole motor.

But word flew around the internet that the new owners were replacing metal gears with cheap plastic ones. The company was never able to get past that rumor and eventually switched back to the metal ones. It's a shame, because the nylon ones were actually a good idea.

Even here, still, a good year or so after the switch back to metal, the rumor persists. Every time KA is brought up, someone pops in to say "they're not the same as they used to be. They use plastic parts now."

costumeczar Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 7:03pm
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by artscallion

Yes, Costumeczar, when the company changed hands several years ago, they started making the gears from nylon. They did this so that when a machine was being overworked to the point of burning out the motor, the gears were set to fail just before that point. It's much cheaper to replace a nylon gear than a whole motor.

But word flew around the internet that the new owners were replacing metal gears with cheap plastic ones. The company was never able to get past that rumor and eventually switched back to the metal ones. It's a shame, because the nylon ones were actually a good idea.

Even here, still, a good year or so after the switch back to metal, the rumor persists. Every time KA is brought up, someone pops in to say "they're not the same as they used to be. They use plastic parts now."




That explains it. I thought that maybe the smaller models had the plastic parts, since the big one is the only one that I opened up to peer inside.

Kaylani Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 7:15pm
post #14 of 23

I have posted about how much I love my Kitchen Aids alot so I wont bore you, but they are wonderful. icon_biggrin.gif

I have 2 biggies & they dont fit under my cabinets either.

There is an add-on to bottom cabinets that is a swing arm. You open the door & the KA is mounted on a base that swings up to almost cabinet height.

When you are not using it you push it back down and close the cabinet door.

It may not be an option for your kitchen, but if you have a cabinet you dont use that much it is a great add on.

It has ben a few years since I looked into it but it was about $125 & you install it yourself. thumbs_up.gif

LindaF144a Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 7:29pm
post #15 of 23

I knew about the plastics rumor too. That is why I bought the model I did. I felt I was guaranteed to not get any plastic parts. I can hear the motor slow down and speed up while it is running. It is probably not the gears but something in the motor control or maybe in a computer part or something.

VaBelle Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 7:33pm
post #16 of 23

I got the 6 quart earlier this year and love it! After doing some research, I got mine from Williams Sonoma because theirs had a slightly bigger motor for the same price as the 6 quart being sold everywhere else. It's not much 590 watts versus 575. I will say I wish the head tilted back and that I didn't have to take the blade off to remove the bowl, but it's a small inconvenience. Mine just fits under my cabinets so it stays in its place. Hope you enjoy yours!

FromScratchSF Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 7:51pm
post #17 of 23

I have a KA Professional 6 q, 600w, and I don't know how I lived 34 years without it. I first started out with a Costco bundle, it was a 5q 475w. Had it for a few days, seemed fine. Then I wanted to take a look at accessories at my local Macy's, they have a large KA department. Low and behold, the 6q Pro was on clearance. And if I signed up for a Macy's account I got an extra 15% off, AND they happened to be running a storewide sale that weekend if you used your Macy's card you saved an additional 10%. So what started out as a $700 mixer ended up being around $150.

But wait... there's more!

KA was also running a promotion, purchase a new KA and get 1 free attachment via mail. So I got the chopper attachment ($80 value) for nada.

Needless to say, I boxed the Costco mixer up and took it back, purchasing the bigger, more powerful mixer. Even if I didn't save all that money, I'm glad I got the larger one because I use it daily, making large cakes, MFF and MMF, and buckets of buttercream at a time. Have had no problems.

artscallion Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 7:56pm
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF



KA was also running a promotion, purchase a new KA and get 1 free attachment via mail. So I got the chopper attachment ($80 value) for nada.




I got the ice cream maker attachment free with mine. Love it!

costumeczar Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 9:38pm
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by artscallion

Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF



KA was also running a promotion, purchase a new KA and get 1 free attachment via mail. So I got the chopper attachment ($80 value) for nada.




I got the ice cream maker attachment free with mine. Love it!




I got the pasta roller, and man, is it good for rolling out gumpaste! And I've made pasta a couple of times, too icon_smile.gif

FromScratchSF Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 10:59pm
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by artscallion

Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF



KA was also running a promotion, purchase a new KA and get 1 free attachment via mail. So I got the chopper attachment ($80 value) for nada.




I got the ice cream maker attachment free with mine. Love it!



I got the pasta roller, and man, is it good for rolling out gumpaste! And I've made pasta a couple of times, too icon_smile.gif




I wish I went with the pasta roller, although I make a lot a carrot cake and I HATE grating anything so it's come in handy for that.

GenGen Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 11:36pm
post #21 of 23

i have a 325w 4.5 quart KA i bought about 15-18 years ago. two years ago my son was placing it on the counter and it slipped, somehow the gear lever got jammed and bent- hubby opened it upand did did some adjusting- i can tell its not 100% back where its supposed to be but it works still chugging along and i make mmf with it all the time. the only time it sounds like its really straining is towards the end but it still works over and over and this baby's old. if i had the chance for a new one yes i would. almost did- knowing full well it may have the plastic parts but i'd like a new one to take more of the load off of this one. someday i'd like to get a more powerful one and a bigger bowl of course but.. $$$

FromScratchSF Posted 14 Jan 2011 , 12:37am
post #22 of 23

Oh, there are a few features I love about mine (the 6q with lifting bowl): I noticed in the tilting models the bowls have a lip on the bottom of them - mine does not. It makes it easier to cook with direct over the stove like for making SMBC or melting chocolate. My bowl goes direct over a boiling pot of water to cook/melt, then straight to the mixer. I have also had to cool the meringue quickly and could easily do that by putting another bowl of ice under the hot mixing bowl while it was whipping away. Not sure how you'd do this with the tilting model. Also, the 6q bowl has a much sturdier and thicker handle that does not get hot when cooking over the stove. When I have the 5q for a few days the handle got really hot so I had to use a pot mitt.

ReneeFLL Posted 16 Jan 2011 , 9:57pm
post #23 of 23

Thanks for all the info. I guess I will stick with the 6qt lift head.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%