Monday, November 21, 2011

KitchenAid Mixers

I have been considering buying a KitchenAid mixer to replace the current Chinese-made mixer we have.  It is several years old, and the plastic parts into which the mixer blades go seem to have broken--or at least, they do not hold the blades very reliably.  (To be fair: I think this may be because I inserted the mixer blades from another mixer shortly after we bought this, and they were not compatible.)

I have thought about buying one of the KitchenAid stand mixers:



One attraction of the KitchenAid product is that it is still made in America.  One concern that I have is that the reviews are extremely mixed.  They are apparently so reliable and durable that they bring to mind what one of HP's customer said of one of our laser printers, "At the end of the world, all that will be left are cockroaches and LaserJet IIs."  Or, depending on other reviews, they are shoddy pieces of junk, with plastic gears that do not survive even short use, and that leak motor oil into the bowl.

The average review on Amazon is very, very positive. As of right now, there are 1933 reviews, 1600 of them five star, 194 four star, 45 three star, 30 two star, and 64 one star.  Even though the negative reviews are relatively few in number, they are actually quite scary, when you consider how expensive of a unit this is, and the apparent lack of interest that KitchenAid has fixing such severe problems.

It appears that there is quite a range of KitchenAid mixers.  Is this one of those situations where the low-end mixers are perhaps not as well made as the Artisan and Professional models?  Or is there actually a big problem of inconsistent quality on KitchenAid's mixers?

10 comments:

Sertorius said...

I have a Kitchen Aid blender and it is everything it is claimed to be. An indestructible workhorse.

Also, I had suggested you buy an aftermarket stereo for the Jaguar but saw you had replied you wanted to keep the steering wheel controls.

Try:
http://www.pac-audio.com/productDetails.aspx?ProductId=207&CategoryID=29

I can't remember if you ever posted the year of the Jaguar, but they say that will connect 2006 X-type Steering Wheel Interfaces to common aftermarket stereo brands. I think they have one compatible with each year for the X-type.

Clayton said...

Yes, this seems to provide the capability required. If the FM transmitter in the mail doesn't work well, this might be the solution. (It would be a better solution all the way around, but I'm not sure how much it is going to cost in time and money to pull and replace the existing stereo.)

PhaseMargin said...

I have the older style/model, the KitchenAid KSM75WH. My parents have the same model from the early 80s, used weekly and still going strong.

I love mine, though since it's 15 years old I can't comment on their current quality other than to say that I got my daughter the same model as I have for $125 at a Black Friday doorbuster a few years back and she swears by it. All the ones I've ever used have been just about unstoppable, built like a tank, and I've done everything from dough to sausage with them.

Mauser said...

I have an even older one, my Mom's 1972 vintage K45 in Avocado green. It DID leak a little oil, fixed by replacing a 30 year old rubber O-ring. A lot of the negative reviews come from scaremongers. Even mine has a plastic gear in it, the first stage after the worm gear, which is actually DESIGNED to shred, protecting the motor if the gearbox were to jam. So far it hasn't. But it's so far back up the geartrain that there's virtually no torque on it, so plastic is fine.

But again, it's hard to say what the current vintage is like.

Mauser said...

Also, that's not a good price.

Clayton said...

I'm curious: you call them "scaremongers." Do they work for a competitor? Or is this just a reminder that a fraction of all production will be defective?

ErisGuy said...

What can I say? I had a good one, which wore out eventually. The second one leaked oil. I have not bought a third.

Link P said...

I have had a KSM150 for between five and ten years. I can't recall exactly. I have had no problems with it.

WV: tromicar - If you can't take an ambulance take a traomicar

Anonymous said...

We've had the stand-type for approx forty-five years, with considerable use. The only problem that occurred I fixed by re-setting a gear on a sliding shaft. (As I recall - it was many years ago.)

My wife has over the years bought five of the tippy-type as gifts for children and grandchildren. No complaints to date.

Dai Alanye

HeathInHeath said...

If you do not insist on purchasing everything new you might consider buying one used, perhaps from an estate sale where the previous owner was known to be a good cook. I bought ours in 1998 used and it has never given us any trouble. The mixing mechanism in these is basically a scaled down version of the Hobart design used in professional kitchens. As with some other commenters, I cannot speak to their current quality standards, but historically they have been a lifetime investment (as were most American appliances made before the 1960's btw).