KA Stand Mixer vs. Viking

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CWS4322

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Okay--I'm planning that my "reward" (I always give myself a reward at the end of a contract) is going to be a stand mixer. I had a KA years ago, but it died. I was "dream shopping" online. I definitely would want the 6 qt KA. I also would want some attachments. Which attacments are your favorites? Are there attachments for the Viking? I couldn't find any? I want to make pasta, grind meat, make ice cream, make sausages, and replace (get rid of) my 4 (that's right, 4) food processors, my 2 noodle makers (maybe I'll keep one for craft dough), hand meat grinder, ice cream maker.

So--which are your favorite attachments for the KA and if you have a Viking, where did you find the attachments and which are available?
 

FrankZ

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I have the KA 600pro and love the mixer.

I bought the attachment pack when I got it and have a couple other things too.

The food grinder has done well for first grind of meat, doing a second grind is a bit of a pain as the throat on the grinder is too narrow. I do wish there were better choices on plates as well. I have seen aftermarket plates however.

The vegetable strainer is neat and can be useful when you need that sort of thing. We have squished up the strawberries for Kathleen's wine with it.

The slicer/grater attachment works well, for the things it works well for. It, however, is a pain if you want to shred say a couple ounces of cheese. Need to shred a pound or two, fantastic and quick.

I have the sausage stuffing tubes and will look at a better solution if I decide to make sausage on a regular basis. I could only fit about half a hank of sheep casings on the horns. Because you use the food grinder for sausage stuffer you end up with the same issues of putting ground meat back into it, the narrow throat. For the occasional use it wouldn't be bad, if you want to make many types frequently it would get old. I have the large food tray for it now, we shall see if that helps with the feeding of the meat.

I bought the mixer for one major reason, bread. I use 8 cups of flour at a time when I make bread and it handles that wonderfully. I usually do bread about once a week, some weeks I do two runs. I would have no issue with it doing bread every day.

Viking has a good reputation, but I have never used them.
 

CWS4322

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Thanks--I was wondering about the meat grinder and sausage maker attachments. Probably need to invest in a Tasin grinder if I want to do lots of sausage/meat grinding (which, I do, we feed the dogs RAW so grinding our own meat could be more cost efficient if we get beef direct from the farm, so to speak). Do you have the pasta attachments? I also garden a lot, so am thinking the slicer might be better than the food processor when doing bread and butter pickles.

I toss cheese in the freezer for 20-30 minutes before I send it through the food processor (grater). That really makes a difference. You don't get a "glob" of cheese stuck between the blade and the top. I'd be interested if that changes how the KA works with smaller amounts of cheese.
 

FrankZ

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Grating cheese with the KA isn't an issue other than volume. By that I mean it isn't worth the effort to drag out the attachment and set it all up for a small amount. It really gets through things quick. I do find when I grate cheese I end up with some that won't grate because of the clearance of the pusher to the grating cone.

If you are making lots of pickles this thing would run the cukes like nobodies business. There are only two thicknesses you can do, so as long as one of those works for you then you would be golden. The nice thing is they eject down into a bowl (you can put the mixer bowl there to catch them) so you don't have a FP filling up and needing emptied as fast.

I don't have the pasta stuff, but I have thought about it.

I had a look at the Viking site. The mixer looks sturdy and fairly impressive. I would not like the tilt head though. I don't have the clearance on the counter for that.
 

Chief Longwind Of The North

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I googled Viking Stand Mixer Accessories. The Viking unit has an all metal transmission where the KA as a nylon gear or two. The accessories for the Viking are pretty much that same as for the KA. And just like with the KA, they aren't cheap. But they look like they would fit almost anything you might want to use a power tool for in the kitchen, including a food processor with three discs. I didn't see an ice-cream maker though. I believe one is offered for the KA mixer.

If I were in the market for such a device, I would google search for online reviews of both products. Look for durability and ease of use.

You might also see if Hobart makes anything for the home kitchen. I see a lot of their products in professional kitchens.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
 

pacanis

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When I just researched stand mixers, before buying a KA, I read that KA changed to nylon gears on purpose, so the gear would fail and save the motor. Prior to that I had read lots of comments on the nylon gears being a bad thing, but I would rather replace a nylon gear than the whole motor and it seemed to make sense.
 

FrankZ

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The 600 Pro is all steel gears. Some of the smaller ones might be nylon. I think if they are using nylon to protect the motor they should be using different motors.
 

jim262

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Murphy’s first law of mixer mechanics: When something in the mixer bowl stops the beater from turning, the mixer will break.


The beauty of a Nylon and Kevlar worm gear in Classic mixers is that it is a 90% certainty that a single gear [$12] is necessary to bring the mixer back to life.

Considering the reputation that internet conversations have given that “plastic” gear, it made sense from a marketing standpoint for KitchenAid to go to an all-metal drive train in the Professional 600 and its variations. From a mechanical standpoint, it makes a whole lot less sense. Extraordinary circumstances can still result in a train wreck in a Pro 600 gearbox, but you never know what which parts bit the dust until the mixer is disassembled and inspected.. It is highly likely that several parts will need to be replaced-quickly raising the cost of parts to $50 or more.
 

FrankZ

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If something were to stop the beater from turning the electric motor should draw more and more current until a proper OCD trips. This is likely to be in the basement and the biggest issue should be me finding a flashlight so I don't kill myself tripping over the rake that will magically appear on the floor when the power is cut, tricky thing those rakes.

What really should happen is the mixer itself should have a thermal cutout. This would protect everything and aren't expensive. When the motor starts to draw too much current to overcome a blockage the temperature should rise fairly quickly.


Have a sacrificial gear in the mixer is an astonishingly bad way to overcome the proper way of dealing with the issue. Nylon gears will just wear, regardless of a blockage or not. Then they slip or strip when working a stiff dough and need replacing from normal usage.

In the end the design should be to protect itself, not to fail.
 

CWS4322

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My DH has a machine shop. He has a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and has made parts for all kinds of things (a hopper for extracting liquid from soy beans to make soy bean milk, a roofing nailer prototype...etc). Goodweed--he could fix your blower/fan but you're too far away to make that offer. He's also made new parts to replace broken parts for our washers, dryers, dishwashers, furnaces, snowblowers, lawn tractors, food processors (I think he is the only person I know who sharpens the food processor blade...) etc. Is it a small wonder I don't get new appliances <g>. But, I don't have a stand mixer...so he can't "fix" it <g>. What I am thinking is that he could disassemble the KA and make SS parts for all the plastic parts...hmmmmmmmmm....
 

FrankZ

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Or just get one of them that lists all metal gears.

Then you don't have the mad scientist thing happening.

:)
 

jim262

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Classic Series mixers have not changed since solid state speed controls were introduced in 1980 so they have no motor protection. Non-metallic gears have been used in these mixers since at least 1940. Early ones had a worm gear made out of Bakelite and
canvas with the change to strengthened Nylon coming in the 1970’s.

KitchenAid’s reputation was built on the performance of mixers that were equipped with “plastic gears”. Contrary to information found on the web, it is not a recent development,

It would be nice if all metal gears and the temperature cut-off switch made the Professional 600 invulnerable and immortal, but a dedicated mixologist can put one down for the count long before the temperature sensor can do its thing. Professional 600’s are also creative in finding interesting ways to break. A drive train failure can manifest itself in anything form stripped worm gears to the planetary falling off because the press fitting to center shaft was twisted loose.. You just never know until you look.
 
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CWS4322

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It is hard to know when shopping "on line" what the gears are, etc. I am hesitant to spend that kind of money and buy something that has inferior gears...but then, the old one I had had "non-metal" gears. Unfortunately, DH wasn't around then to rebuilt it.
 

CWS4322

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Or just get one of them that lists all metal gears.

Then you don't have the mad scientist thing happening.

:)

Well, "the mad scientist" retired at the age of 38...has designed and built a band-saw sawmill, forge, cupela (sp), put back together a 1953 tractor (including rebuilding all the motor parts), another 1963 tractor, and is now building a "bucket front-loader" for the 1953 tractor. If it can be done, he can build it...don't you hate people like that;)
 

Leolady

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You might also see if Hobart makes anything for the home kitchen. I see a lot of their products in professional kitchens.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

The Hobart N50 is the model Hobart advertises for home and light commercial use.

It is a great 5 qt all around mixer and as durable as heck as long as you remember NOT to change speeds without allowing the motor to come to a dead stop first.

img_978697_0_7b6bd1f17b812f871e92f2a2a05c933d.gif
 

FrankZ

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If I remember correctly the price on those was fairly substantial compared to the KA as well.
 
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