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Old 08-16-2012, 04:50 PM   #1
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Alternatives to KitchenAid Stand Mixer

When my ten year old KitchenAid stand mixer (supposedly professional grade model) started to wobble back and forth violently when mixing bread dough I did some research. Turns out they were using a nylon gear back then to save a few cents and it is a common problem. So I'm mad at them and I want to replace it with another brand. Does anyone have any experience with stand mixers other than KitchenAid that can handle, say, ten cups of flour at a time for bread dough?

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Old 08-16-2012, 05:01 PM   #2
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If your mixer is wobbling back and forth while mixing 10 cups of bread dough, there is no problem with the drive gear whether it's nylon or metal. When the gear fails, the dough hook stops moving.

While I don't know which model you have, I'd suggest you check your owner's manual to determine the maximum speed for dough mixing and the max. amount of flour your mixer can handle. I'm guessing you're mixing too much flour at too high a speed.

I know this because I made those mistakes awhile ago and they cost me a repair charge for the gear. Sadly it was all my fault, not the mixer's.
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:12 PM   #3
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No- it is the gear and a well known problem.

No, it wobbles back and forth mixing 6 cups, well below its rated capacity, which it never did when it was new. As I said, I did some research and there was most definitely a problem with the mixers made during the years mine was, KithenAid knows it, has acknowledged it, and has since replaced the nylon gear with a metal gear to fix it. I just don't want to buy another mixer from them because of it. This was to save a few cents on each mixer. Smacks of an accountant's decision. That's why I want to try another brand this time.
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:24 PM   #4
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No, it wobbles back and forth mixing 6 cups, well below its rated capacity, which it never did when it was new. As I said, I did some research and there was most definitely a problem with the mixers made during the years mine was, KithenAid knows it, has acknowledged it, and has since replaced the nylon gear with a metal gear to fix it. I just don't want to buy another mixer from them because of it. This was to save a few cents on each mixer. Smacks of an accountant's decision. That's why I want to try another brand this time.

Yes, KA knew of the problem and fixed it by eliminating nylon gears from new models. They make a very good mixer. If you want a larger capacity mixer, look into the KA 7-quart.

I cannot speak to the quality of other brands of stand mixers.
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:28 PM   #5
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The nylon gear is there to protect the motor, that gear will fail before burning up the motor. I believe that most models still have it, but the rest of the gears are metal.

Where that gear is on the mixer, there is no way that the nylon worm gear would cause the mixer to wobble.

There is the Cuisinart, Viking, Hamilton Beach Pro, Waring (all the same mixer with different labels slapped on them). Their mechanism for protecting the motor involves an electronic function that will stop the motor when it starts to heat up, you'll have to wait a while to use it again.

The biggest reason that I will likely stay with Kitchenaid is that they are fairly easy to fix if something fails, there are lots of Youtube videos and the parts are easy to get.

What part is wobbling? Is it something that just needs adjustment? If the nylon worm gear failed it would only cause the beater to stop moving.
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:28 PM   #6
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I don't know how many cups of flour it will handle, but I WILL say that a Hobart N50 mixer will beat a Kitchenaid like it hurt somebody!

Ask Gadzooks! I am sure he will agree.
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:39 PM   #7
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Yes, I know. And that's why I am not going to buy another mixer from them. Who knows what else they are skimping on to save a few cents that will show up in another five years or so. I am looking into a $99 Hamilton Beach 300 watt model that WalMart sells. I just don't know its capacities yet and I can't find any knowledgeable reviews. The KitchenAid model I bought was a 350 watt "professional" model about ten years ago.
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:46 PM   #8
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The whole motor head unit lurches back and forth as soon as anything thickens up in the bowl. Thanks, I'll check the YouTube videos before I buy anything. I've never, ever, overloaded this thing. I always kept quantities below capacity and I suppose I shouldn't complain- it lasted ten years or thereabouts, but appliances like this used to last twenty or thirty years. If they don't anymore then there is no sense in spending more for the "pro" models, imo.
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:47 PM   #9
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Thanks, I will check out the Hobart.
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:22 PM   #10
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Yes, I know. And that's why I am not going to buy another mixer from them. Who knows what else they are skimping on to save a few cents that will show up in another five years or so. I am looking into a $99 Hamilton Beach 300 watt model that WalMart sells. I just don't know its capacities yet and I can't find any knowledgeable reviews. The KitchenAid model I bought was a 350 watt "professional" model about ten years ago.

If it was 350 watt then it wasn't a "professional" model. If I remember right, the Pro models have either a 525 or a 575 watt motor. I think that the larger Artisan model has a 475 watt motor. My Professional 600 has a 575 watt motor.
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:35 PM   #11
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Well, thanks, everyone, for your advice. I've decided to go with the $99, 300 watt model from WalMart. They say it can handle the 6.5 cups of flour I will put into it and if it lasts 3 years then that's $33 a year so who cares.
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Old 08-20-2012, 09:59 PM   #12
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If it was 350 watt then it wasn't a "professional" model. If I remember right, the Pro models have either a 525 or a 575 watt motor. I think that the larger Artisan model has a 475 watt motor. My Professional 600 has a 575 watt motor.
About a dozen years ago I bought my 5-qt. Professional 5 model KA with 350 Watts of power.

Here's one with a 325 Watt motor. http://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-KSM.../dp/B00156E2NO
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:09 PM   #13
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They (KA) may very well be making reliable models again and I hope you all have better luck with them than I did. But I bought this thing thinking I was getting something really great. Something that was worth the money over the long haul. I didn't, it wasn't and I won't get fooled again, as The Who might say.

Thanks for everyone's help and input.
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:02 AM   #14
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About a dozen years ago I bought my 5-qt. Professional 5 model KA with 350 Watts of power.

Here's one with a 325 Watt motor. KitchenAid KSM500PSSM Pro 500 Series 10-Speed 5-Quart Stand Mixer,Silver Metallic: Amazon.com: Kitchen & Dining
Andy - My point was that I don't see a 300 watt mixer as being truly "professional", no matter what the manufacturer calls it. More of a comment on the labeling than on the mixer itself. It isn't likely to hold up well to the day to day grind that a professional food kitchen would put it to. That isn't saying that my 575 watt Pro 600 would either, but it certainly stands a better chance.

Now that I'm living here on the island, I'm baking bread a couple of times a week, also making pizza dough, so it's getting more use than it ever did when I was still in Colorado. Time will tell how well built it is, but I've been quite happy for the last 8 years.
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:46 AM   #15
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Hobart.

Watch out for advertised wattage, as that doesn't really tell you a whole lot. Motors convert power to torque, so the power measurement means very little when you don't know the output torque--which is the most important part!

Also watch out for meaningless measurements like "flour power" or "cups of flower" ratings. Those are marketing terms and mean nothing, since last I checked "flour power" wasn't any type of standard measurement. Ratings should be in dough weight and hydration percentage for a duration, e.g., 12 lbs of dough at 60% hydration for X number of minutes. Anything else is marketing, or an attempt to skirt around mediocre ratings by coming up with a new proprietary rating system like "Flour Power."
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:17 AM   #16
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No, it wobbles back and forth mixing 6 cups, well below its rated capacity, which it never did when it was new. As I said, I did some research and there was most definitely a problem with the mixers made during the years mine was, KithenAid knows it, has acknowledged it, and has since replaced the nylon gear with a metal gear to fix it. I just don't want to buy another mixer from them because of it. This was to save a few cents on each mixer. Smacks of an accountant's decision. That's why I want to try another brand this time.
All I can say is that I agree with the previous posts that the wobble you experience (I'm still not sure what you mean by it) has nothing to do with any plastic worm gear. If that fails, the beater doesn't rotate.

Is yours a tilt head model? If so then that wobble is probably the tilt joint failing, and that is going to be a weak point in any tilt head mixer (one reason why I bought a bowl lift model). If the wobble is in the beater drive, then there is a bearing failing or something in the drive train.

In my opinion, you are still way ahead buying one quality tool over buying several cheap ones. I was a machinist for more than 30 years, and the tools I bought as an apprentice were still in my tool box being used when I retired. There is simply no way that a cheap tool offers more overall value than a quality one. From all I've read, KA is pretty good about standing behind their products, and they have responded favorably to the issues which resulted when they did try to cut a few corners.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:47 AM   #17
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All I can say is that I agree with the previous posts that the wobble you experience (I'm still not sure what you mean by it) has nothing to do with any plastic worm gear. If that fails, the beater doesn't rotate.

Is yours a tilt head model? If so then that wobble is probably the tilt joint failing, and that is going to be a weak point in any tilt head mixer (one reason why I bought a bowl lift model). If the wobble is in the beater drive, then there is a bearing failing or something in the drive train.

In my opinion, you are still way ahead buying one quality tool over buying several cheap ones. I was a machinist for more than 30 years, and the tools I bought as an apprentice were still in my tool box being used when I retired. There is simply no way that a cheap tool offers more overall value than a quality one. From all I've read, KA is pretty good about standing behind their products, and they have responded favorably to the issues which resulted when they did try to cut a few corners.
Sounds like a hinge pin problem; or, if so equipped, a tilt lock problem.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:55 AM   #18
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I'd love to run across one of these mixers that someone has given up on that just needs a simple fix. I bet that I'll eventually find one cheap.
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:00 AM   #19
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The OP stated his KA was a Professional model (that's a KA marketing designation, not a guarantee it would work in a pro kitchen).

Professional models are bowl lift type mixers. Artisan models are tilt-head mixers.
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:18 AM   #20
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The OP stated his KA was a Professional model (that's a KA marketing designation, not a guarantee it would work in a pro kitchen).

Professional models are bowl lift type mixers. Artisan models are tilt-head mixers.
Whoda thunk- a 3 amp bowl lift.
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