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Old 01-04-2010, 12:29 AM   #21
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KA or bust?

Hi everyone, I am new to discuss cooking but am having allot of fun participating. Now I am not a professional chef nor baker but I am an industrial engineer and I do allot of baking at home including heavier breads and pizza doughs. So what is my take on the subject as I just went through the same ordeal what to buy? I think for the most part many of the problems ie: leaky oil seals, burnt motors etc..we read about KA products are most likely due to a combination of things; owners not operating the products within their limitations, on some models shoddy parts and design. (nothings perfect) so when it came to my decision as a neurotic engineer, I looked at everything. What I found was this, for domestic units motor watts mean almost nothing as they are taken from the motor shaft and not the agitators. That is why some commercial units numbers are so much smaller then KA or Cuisineart etc. But have much more torque. That said, while commercial units such as the venerable Hobart N50 is lusted after at 2000.00 + thats way too much dough (pardon the pun) and buying very old models are taking a chance. But if your prepared to spend the $ on a pro 600 by KA, then I think I found something very special. Its a new Globe SP5 table top mixer. Its a pro mixer that cost a tad more then the pro 600 and is built like a tank, the gears a larger and stronger then any domestic product. It has 10 variable speeds with agitation speeds from 30-450 rpms. It is made 100% in the USA comes with a 2 year warranty and a protection circuit so if you didn't read or ignored the operation manuel it will shut off the unit before any damage occurs. The only caveat I can find is accessories are more money then KA but it does come with all the basics.You can look it up yourselves or contact me for any info, it would be my pleasure.
Hope this enlightens everyone a bit.
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Old 01-04-2010, 02:19 PM   #22
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I've used KA products for over 40 years and never had any problems. I have noticed, however, that since it was sold to Whirlpool the KA products do not seem quite the same in some respects. .
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:49 PM   #23
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I have the 600 pro and I bake artisinal bread once a week. So far so good (5 yrs)
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Old 01-04-2010, 10:35 PM   #24
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I'm considering the KA 600 for pizza doughs also. I see brand new units "in factory sealed boxes" locally listed on Craigslist for under $300 but I wonder if these are reconditioned units being sold as new.
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Old 01-05-2010, 11:52 AM   #25
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A couple years ago, when I took up baking bread, I found that my 4.5 qt tilt head KA mixer was not quite up to the job. It always sounded like it was straining when kneading, the dough would climb the hook and occasionally reach the part the hook attached to (which was covered in some sort of industrial grease that i didn't want mixed into my dough) and whole wheat and other heavy doughs would clump up and just attach to the hook, never really kneading properly.

So I began to look into which mixer I wanted to upgrade to. I started off looking at the larger KA models, but was discouraged by the many horror stories in Amazon's reviews of them.

After some shopping around online I discovered the Bosch Universal and the Electrolux Assistent (AKA "DLX"). These mixers had very few negative reviews and almost none of them described the mixer breaking down or otherwise failing when dealing with bread doughs. It was a bit of a toss-up, deciding between them. I eventually chose the Electrolux, though I couldn't really tell you what the final deciding factor was at the time (I think it really came down to the fact the I just liked it better for some reason).

The Electrolux DLX is an amazing mixer for making breads. It handles huge amounts of dough - I've made 4 loaves worth at a time and am nowhere near its capacity: I know people who regularly make batches using up to 20 cups of flour. And the design is much nicer to work with, the top of the bowl is open, so it's always easy to add ingredients.

Another thing worth noting: I had the meat grinder on my KA and now have the one for the DLX. The DLX grinder makes the one for the KA look like a toy in comparison. It's all cast metal constructed with a barrel and blade diameter almost twice as big as the KA's. It grinds more meat, and does it faster, never a strain on the mixer either.

The one caveat for the DLX is that it does have a bit of a learning curve. It works very differently than most stand mixers so you have to learn how to work with it.

I can't speak directly about the Bosch, but the raves I've read about its performance are very similar to those for the DLX.

I highly recommend that anyone looking for a mixer to work with bread/pizza dough look into the Bosch and the DLX.
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Old 01-05-2010, 12:50 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russellkhan View Post
So I began to look into which mixer I wanted to upgrade to. I started off looking at the larger KA models, but was discouraged by the many horror stories in Amazon's reviews of them.

After some shopping around online I discovered the Bosch Universal and the Electrolux Assistent (AKA "DLX").
Lets keep in mind the OP's needs here. Double batches of pizza dough, occasionally! That means 6-8 cups of flour. While we can all appreciate the bigger, better, faster models a KA might very well be all the machine the OP needs. And at half the price, that leaves a lot of dough for accessories and ingredients!
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Old 01-05-2010, 06:21 PM   #27
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I too went through this same gut-wrenching question just before Christmas. Very long story that I will make short... I thought I had killed my stand mixer a Kitchenaid 600 Pro. Instant loathing set in and I immediately took its picture and put it on Ebay *as-is*. Afterall my Artisan never just up and died so soon after purchase (8 months.) And my Artisan always made great bread. My Pro never had.

Well, I did LOTS and LOTS of research. I couldn't afford Bosch or the DLX and seriously thought about going back to my happy days with my Artisan by just buying another one. The thing is I make a lot of bread and achieving windowpane is an important element in most of the breads and pizza doughs I make. I am a food writer and entertain alot SO having a machine that has enough capacity, enough torque, a strong motor and a body style that doesn't walk across the counter because of all the stength of the machine are requirements.

The torque question is not easy. All the companies tout their Wattage which really tells you very little. Torque it turns out is not an easy thing to find out or very clear when it is explained. (Thank for talking about that BakersDirtyDozen. Could have used that clear and considered information when I was looking. ;.)

In the end, after joining Consumer Reports and Cooks Illustrated, I realized in reading a million reviews that my standmixer wasn't dead and that I had caused the breakdown. (I always read the directions, but this time I assumed it worked like my Artisan. Big mistake.) I made a loaf of bread, the same type it conked out on, following the manufacturer's instructions and it turned out great. Seems the protection feature kicked in and shut down my motor.

While I was selling her she had cooled off. Literally in a matter of hours I had sold the standmixer that nothing was wrong with. Luckily it went for about what I had in her - thank you Ebay and the Christmas season.

Now it seemed I would still have to decide between my two finalists the Cuisinart 7 or the Kitchenaid 600 - exactly what I had just sold! I went with the Kitchenaid! Bought red this time so I could never forget my hastiness. I chose another Kitchenaid because if you follow the directions they perform exceptionally well. Everyone I know that has had one for years love it and has an almost personal relationship with theirs.

Another consdiration for me was that for the height of my cabinets I really needed a bowl-lift model, not a tilt-head. This is not available in many of the mixers I looked at.

Lula, my new red mixer, arrived the Tuesday after the fiasco which sold her sister Betty. She is terrific and works like a dream. She is powerful enough for all the things I make and if I treat her well I know she will be around for a long time.

I say go with a Kitchenaid 600 if you do any sizable batches.
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:03 AM   #28
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One more time

Hi Guys, Just remember one more time. I am not against KA or any other brand. But think about this logically. All commercial products including KA's are built in accordance with commercial requirements. Meaning, lots of work round the clock with very high reliability as down time costs money! Its only makes sense that products like the Hobart N50,Varimixer and Globes would out perfom household aimed products in both areas. Think about it years ago Hobart made Kitchenaid, one version for homes with a cost far less than their pro counterparts. Today Hobarts and Varimixers etc sell for upwards of 2000.00. That is why I really think the Globe S5 is just a bargain. Don't take my word for it, check the product for yourselves, this really is a diamond in the rough and a killer deal!

Happy Baking.
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:44 PM   #29
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FYI to the the OP, I've seen many Hobart/KA K5-As for sale on ebay in the $100 range. If it is true that the older Hobart/KAs were better, that might a good route for a home cook. Do your research and ask LOTS of questions though. I myself have had good luck with ebay, but have bought mostly non-electric items there.
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Old 01-14-2010, 10:31 AM   #30
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Take a look at this!

Bosch "Built-In" Stainless Steel Mixer
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