Can we talk Kitchen Aid?

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Joined May 14, 2001
I know there's quite a few of you out there that are fans of the KA mixers so....

Right now to keep myself out of trouble I'm working part-time for one of the national kitchenware retailers(discount discount discount! :) ). The KA rep was in a couple weeks ago and gave us info on the refurbish program they run.

I've never had a KA mixer though everyone else in my family does...I do hardly any baking so I've never spent the money to get one just to use a couple times a year.

But I thought I'd give the refurb program a try since I could get the 300 watt model for $100.

So the mixer arrived last week...the motor sounded funky...uneven, unsteady...kind of like when you describe a car as "missing"

So I called them up and had me send me another which arrived tonight. This motor is much better - steady as it should be.

But there is no differential between the first and second speed. It seems maybe it's missing the very first gear. Now I bought it refurbished, so even though it's supposed to be "like new" I realize it probably won't be...

Since I don't do a lot of baking....should I live with one that's missing a gear and enjoy having paid for half price...or do you think I'm looking for trouble and should scrap the whole idea.

We don't get a lot of returns on these...but it does seem that the ones that do have problems get stripped at the lower gears..so I'm wondering if I keep this if it's just destined for problems.

Curious what everyone's experiences have been with the mixer..and how important having that lowest gear might be(I know it would depend on what I'm mixing...but since I'm not much of a baker I'm not sure what that would be!)

Thanks for any comments!
 
750
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Joined Apr 30, 2001
Ziggy, if you can get your money back - go for it!

I went through 2 refurbs in under a year. Kitchen Aid was very nice about replacing them....but it was a big pain as they had to mail the replacements to me then arrange for pick up of the old mixer etc. The motors burned out while kneading bread dough in the first gear. My cheap old Sunbeam did a better job than either of the refurbs.

I finally gave up and upgraded to a first quality mixer. Between the cost of the refurb and the cost of the upgrade, I have actually paid more than new. I like the new one. Works good. Kneads good. Doesn't shimmy. Most people I know have had their KA mixers for years.

A friend told me that refurbs would never be as good as first quality and I believe that totally.
 
139
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Joined May 14, 2001
Nancya

Thanks for the input! I was hoping to find someone here who might have tried the refurb stuff.

I'll call them today and arrange to send this one back as well(still waiting for the call tag on the first).

I'm hooked now, so I guess I'll have to go spend the $$ on the new one for my Christmas baking! Amazing how I could go from not really wanting one to HAVE TO HAVE ONE in just a month...but I was all excited about a new toy...

Thanks again
 

isa

3,236
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Joined Apr 4, 2000
If you pay for something that should work as well as a new model, that’s what you are entitled to have. Shutting up is not an option.

The low speeds are important, you will use them to incorporate your flour to the batter, do it at high speed and the flour will fly out of the bowl.

You should ask yourself why you want a KitchenAid since you said yourself you do not bake much. What will you use the mixer for? And how often will you use it?

Maybe you should consider a less expensive mixer for now and buy it new. On the other hand, if you feel you will use it often, get on the phone and demand a mixer that will work properly. Or save your money and buy a new model in a few months.
 
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Joined Nov 29, 2001
...We have 2 KitchenAids. One I brought to Colorado with me from New York. I got it in 1989. One was given to us by my MIL who "wasn't using it anymore." It's so old, it says "Hobart" on it.

We have used our KitchenAids quite frequently at home; and we used them in our restaurant in a professional environment. We made bread daily at our restaurant and before we got our 20 qt. Hobart (woo hoo!), we used our 2 KitchenAids for this purpose. They never overheated and to my knowledge, the motors were never compromised. I make a sticky wonderful pizza dough which gets mixed for about 10 minutes, and the motor has never overheated.

I know some people have complaints about KA's - mostly about pouring ingredients into the bowl, "flour showers" when the mixer is running too fast, etc. Knock wood - I've never had a problem with either of ours and swear by them.

The refurb thing has me intrigued. Is it possible that a refurbed KA is the same as a used car: Another man's headache?
 
139
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Joined May 14, 2001
chiffonade! that's funny...but I think it's true...

I dunno...someone i work with ordered a refurn food processor and she's thrilled with it. So maybe some of the products are Ok...I'm 0 for 2 on the mixers though and thinking even at such a good deal it's not worth it. I'm going to call and send it back(although I'm dreading it since I was on hold for 25 minutes last week when the first one came).

What I don't understand is why they would even ship them out like this? Maybe they assume most people either don't know how they should run...or won't bother to deal with it??

Odd for a company that tries to make its name on quality...

We're out of stock on black for the holidays...so I guess my new one will wait til the new year and my holiday baking gets done with a hand mixer and by hand yet again! Oh well!
 
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Joined Oct 19, 2001
Okay... here's what I've been told about the various KA's, from a friend of mine who works at Williams Sonoma, who is a self-styled KA Groupie.

There are a few basic models: the Classic, The UltraPower, the Heavy Duty, the Epicurean, and the Professional.

The Classic is 250 W, weighs 27.3#, and retails from $239.

The UltraPower is 300 W, weights 27.5#, and retails from $269.

The Heavy Duty is 325 W, weighs 29.4#, and retails from $369.

The Epicurean is 475 W, weighs 31.1#, and retails from $399.

The Professional is 525 W, weighs 31.7#, and retails from $429.


There is a significant increase in both price and weight, happening right after the UltraPower.

My friend told me that of these mixers, only the Epicurean and the Professional have all-metal construction, and the less expensive models have nylon gears, which are more likely to burn out, break, etc.

Her unoffocial advice was, unless you rarely bake and would only use your KA for brownie and cake mixes, to spend the extra dough.

I've got an Epicurean and also an old, Hobart era 300W KA that I inherited from my mother. I love the Epicurean dearly (I also paid only $250 for it; it's the pale green milk glass color, and was a limited color run, I bought it on a sale table at W-S). I use the Epicurean more often than the older 300W, but that's also because it has a 6 quart bowl. Still, it's nice to have an extra stand mixer around during the holidays, or when we're having a large baking party at my house.
 
139
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Joined May 14, 2001
Hamburger

It's stripped to 4. I'm going to go ahead and send it back...the more I think about it the more it bothers me...I'd rather spend the money and have one that works right from the start.

I am a little disappointed in Kitchen Aid customer service however. I called this morning to find out how to return it for credit(still waiting for the call tag on the first on as well!).

The person I spoke with kept insisting that they wouldn't give me money back and that I had to either keep it or try for a third unit under their warranty replacement guidelines. Since I'd now had two sent in 10 days that both arrived with problems this wasn't going to work and I just wanted my money back. She insisted no so I asked for a manager...it took 20 minutes of going round and round with her til I finally got a manager.

Fortunately the manager agreed right away that a refund was in order and gave me instruction on how to return the mixer. But it was still frustrating that it should have taken so long to get the right answer....Employees on the front lines should be empowered to do what it takes to keep a customer happy.
 
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Joined Aug 4, 2000
Hey Hamburger:

The Pro models that you said stripped, were they the 525 watt models?

I bought my KA Pro mixer - 525 watts - from William Sonoma last April and use it to mix two 1 1/2 pound doughs weekly. It seems to work fine. What I've heard about the Pro mixers early off of the assembly line is that they were faulty and the problems have been corrected. A manager at the nearby WS said that none of the newer PRO mixers have been returned. Again, she said that the early production ones were defective.
 
1,908
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Joined Oct 28, 1999
If it means anything, I have a Classic that was given to me 5 years ago that I have beat, brutalized, smashed, banged, dropped, kicked, slammed and other wise brutalized with heavy dough making and have never had a problem. Of course the bowl is small, but the motor, rather 'dietetic' on wattage, has never fallen short. I would gladly purchase another KA, should I have the $$ to do so.
 
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Joined Nov 17, 2000
My mixer decided to strip gears 2,3,4,5,6 all at one time--on Christmas Eve! Yikes! Had to totally change some plans for the big C Day feast. Luckily, I didn't have company coming! I called the customer service folks and they are sending out a new one. I do not understand about the return of the old one, though. The guy said to have it boxed up and the UPS guy would come back and get it about 2 weeks after he delivered the new one. :confused: Maybe all of that will make better sense to me when it actually happens!
 
139
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Joined May 14, 2001
Having been through this twice now...

KA issues a "call tag" for UPS to come out and pick up the broken one. It took about 12 days before the UPS guy came for the first of mine(still waiting for the pick up on the second). If you aren't home, they will they leave a tag on your door telling you they were there and when they will be back...you just leave the box on the doorstep for them to pick up.

The shipping labels for teh return will be including in the new mixer you receive. They ship the replacements out pretty fast - mine came in less than 5 days(unfortunately it was also sick. :( )
 
750
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Joined Apr 30, 2001
Actually, it took me about 6 months and 3 phone calls to get the first one picked up. I had it ready to go when the new one arrived, but they couldn't take it because there was no call tag. So, when the 1st replacement died, I had to first convince them to come get the 1st dead one [and I thought KA was just generously letting me keep a spare bowl and stuff] and only after they received it did they process to send me the new one. Again, they were really very nice to me and all, but I found it a frustrating process. Love my first quality KA and have had no problems with it!
 
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Joined Mar 7, 2001
Ziggy -- i have a KA Professional Model (6 qt) Refurbished. I have never had a problem with it. I use it to knead whole grain breads and heavy cookie dough on a regular basis.

I'd be sending yours back asap!
 
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