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Old 10-10-2008, 03:39 PM   #1
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KA Problem, Dilemma, Aargh!!!

Some may remember my thread posted at the beginning of this year (08) about my KA Pro 5 , Refresher:

I bought a KA Pro 5 (450 watt 5 qt lift bowl) in November of '07. When I first started it the mixer made a 'burr on gear' noise, around January~February it made tick-tick noises on occasion, then on occasion it would make the motor overheat varnish burn smell (actually smelled worse) and finally around March it started making high speed bearing whirr noises, and mayhaps a few more noises.

I called KA in March or April and had a replacement a day or two later.

NEW:

Around April or May ends my cooking season so this replacement has seen little use. I may have ran 30~40 pounds of flour through it as bread dough, all batches less than 40 ounces (54~57 ounce cap machine).

Two days ago I was doing a batch of bread and the machine started making a "cog stubbing/stoke' noise, I mean a serious BANG BANG BANG. I called KA and ran the machine , it made the noise but not as loud. More on this call follows.

Whats interesting is, I was whipping egg whites for a meringue and the noise came back with a vengeance. Basically running under no load conditions and shes a banging away. WOW!

To be fair, this machine started clanking on a larger batch of dough, I usually do 20~22 ounces water and 34~38 ounces flour, this time I used 25 ounces water and 45~48 ounces flour. The dough was still wet. 48 ounces is the machines capacity assuming 4 ounces per cup, but flour weighs 4.5~4.75 ounces per cup. This mixer grenaded the first time I operated the machine near it's designed and specified capacity. {grit teeth}


Heres the Dilemma, and I hope I get it out so it makes sense:

Two machines in less than a year and the second going bad pulling light duty. I can see continuing to break machines. Pretty much I'm looking at free machines for life?

In talking to KA Customer Service the subject was brought up of upgrading to a Pro 600 (575 watt 6 quart lift bowl) for $80. Should I? The $80 isn't a big deal, my fears are:

1) The 5 quart is just about too big for small stuff like 2~3 egg white meringues, the 6 quart may be too big for small jobs (I know about the 3 Qt bowl). This is the least of it.

2) IF I stick with a 5 quart machine I see replacing the mixer once a year for ... who knows how long? And:

2a) If I stay with the 5 quart I may get a 'good' one that may actually last ... all of a year and a day (out of warranty). So much for a life time mixer, leading to:

3) I'm afraid of getting a decent Pro 600 that lasts .... a year and a day. I have read reviews where the 600 does not seem that much better than what I've experienced with the Pro 5.

4) The 600 has a bigger bowl so it may be less stressed (but the thought of 'less stressed making it last a day over warranty' keeps rearing it's ugly head).

And I'm spinning in circles here.

If I stayed with cakes and cookies and such I bet breaking machines wouldn't be a problem, BUT I mostly use this mixer for bread doughs, 2 batches a week, two full size loaves per batch. And I'm not using bread flour, I'm using Gold Metal AP.

Just looking for input, maybe there is another way I should be looking at this. Or maybe I'm looking for some commiseration over being suckered into buying one of these machines by the KA reputation (that Whirlpool seems bent on destroying).

Or mayhaps I'm writing this as a warning. People wanting to lay out good money for a new mixer may do better by looking elsewhere.



So I'm talking to Customer Service telling her what was the plan for theday, 2 loaves, 2 pies, a batch of Chinese cookies ... Then it occurs what I'm saying so I add, Yes, I'm a Man, no, really, I am! .... then she makes the upgrade for $80 offer and I say I have to ask my wife ...

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Old 10-10-2008, 04:38 PM   #2
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Is a hand mixer out of the question for small jobs?

Is a different mixer out of the question for bread dough, Such as the electrolux, thhat seem born for bread.

At any rate you have to replace this one.

Are parts available for the mixers? They look pretty simple. If you outlast warranty, Whap a new gear set in and go on with life.

Does Hobart still make something in this size range?

Just a few ideas. I would take the upgrade and a hand mixer for the little stuff. Cheapest out.

AC
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Old 10-10-2008, 05:02 PM   #3
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Thanks for sharing your experience. Sounds like your working the machine pretty hard. We make 72 ounce batches of bread ( 6 loaves of 12 oz. ea.). That requires 30 - 31 oz of water and about 48 oz. of flour and 8 oz. of biga. Guess we'll continue doing it by hand. One year warranty seems pretty chintzy.
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Old 10-10-2008, 06:03 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Adillo303 View Post
Is a hand mixer out of the question for small jobs?
I have used hand mixers and some were good , for hand mixers. But I've never really liked hand mixers mostly because of ... ahem ... coordination problems,

I have a Sunbeam Heritage, nice beater mixer.


Quote:
Is a different mixer out of the question for bread dough, Such as the electrolux, thhat seem born for bread.
In looking around I have come across Electrolux, Braun and Viking.

If another mixer HAS TO BE BOUGHT I will be looking at those.


Quote:
Are parts available for the mixers? They look pretty simple. If you outlast warranty, Whap a new gear set in and go on with life.
Working on it is no problem.

Parts are $$$$.

Quote:
Does Hobart still make something in this size range?
Yes, the N50.

$1,500? $2,000?

We're not broke but neither are we rich.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justplainbill View Post
Thanks for sharing your experience. Sounds like your working the machine pretty hard. We make 72 ounce batches of bread ( 6 loaves of 12 oz. ea.). That requires 30 - 31 oz of water and about 48 oz. of flour and 8 oz. of biga. Guess we'll continue doing it by hand. One year warranty seems pretty chintzy.
Funny you write that.

I don't disagree with your statement of my working the machine hard.

First thing I made was the baguettes from the KA recipe. I blew the bowl off the machine. Their recipe and their proportions.

And the KA ratio for white bread is 16W / 30F, mine is 20W /32W.

I figured using a wetter mix and staying well under their max parameters would be Ok. Apparently not.
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Old 10-10-2008, 06:36 PM   #5
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I've got a Pro 6 - about 5-6 years old .... made two loaves of whole wheat bread (4 cups bread flour - 3 cups whole wheat) almost every week since I got it. The Pro 600 is even more powerful.

You can upgrade for $80 and get another year's warranty (and a stronger mixer) - or you can toss your investment and start over from scratch.

Don't know if you followed the instructions regarding the mixing speed - or using the dough hook vs the flat beater.
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Old 10-10-2008, 06:56 PM   #6
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When making bread dough your are not supposed to go any higher than the #2 setting on your KA.
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Old 10-10-2008, 07:00 PM   #7
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You can upgrade for $80 and get another year's warranty (and a stronger mixer) - or you can toss your investment and start over from scratch.
Not into tossing it and starting over.

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Don't know if you followed the instructions regarding the mixing speed - or using the dough hook vs the flat beater.
I can see how someone could get the mixing speed wrong,

Not sure how someone could try using the beater in place of the spiral hook ... I'm sure they exist, just not in this house.
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Old 10-10-2008, 07:05 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jpmcgrew View Post
When making bread dough your are not supposed to go any higher than the #2 setting on your KA.
Or lower than 2.

Sticker on the hook says "Use speed 2 only, see instruction manual, 9705509 rev B".
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Old 10-10-2008, 07:13 PM   #9
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i'd call them until i got a boss. williams-sonoma sent me a new mixer after mine arrived scratched. $360 fer mine, i unabashedly complained to them!!
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Old 10-10-2008, 10:24 PM   #10
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I'm not looking to buy a KA, I'm looking at upgrading to the bigger machine.
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