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Cuisinart vs. Kitchenaid stand mixers - Page 2

post #31 of 74

I intend to acquire my first stand mixer and today have read this thread discussion with great interest in the hope of assisting me to make a purchase decision. It was Amazon's to-good-to-refuse-offer of a KA Pro 600 Meringue ($229.99 after $50 rebate) that spurred me to compare the Cuisinart 5.5 with the KA Pro model at a local retailer.

 

There is no question that the KA has classic Art-Deco lines and the Cuisinart reminds me more of a sewing machine. However, once I opened the hood and sat in the driver's seat without starting the engine so to speak, I was baffled by the procedure for insertion and removal of the bowl on the KA Pro. It seemed to me that a blade or whisk had to be attached after the bowl was placed, and then detached prior to removing the bowl.

 

To me this appeared very awkward and was made more so if one wanted to use the rather ill fitting splash guard. The Cuisinart, on the other hand, came with a spring loaded pivot arm that was activated for release by depressing a lever. Presumably the arm rotates sufficiently far enough that the bowl can be removed without having to detach an accessory. Additionally, the splash guard lifted out of the way with the arm. These were my observations and the KA's good looks withdrew.

 

Is using a KA Pro 600 as awkward as it appears to me?  While we tend to adjust to shortcomings, I would prefer not to start out purchasing a product knowing it has them. 

post #32 of 74

Huh?

 

The K.A. has two "ears" and a ball at the back of the bowl.  The ball goes into a socket at the back and the two ears hook into the sides.  This is how virtually all profefssional larger machines work too. 

 

The whisk or flat beater is placed into the bowl prior to hooking the bowl in, then attaching it to the shaft, and removed after lowering the the bowl.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #33 of 74

Heika, you really make the KA sound awkward to use. But it's not.

 

The bowl hangs on what amounts to being gambrel hooks, and locks to the frame at the back, as Foodpump describes. The various mixing tools (whisk, paddle, dough hook) lock onto the rotating arm merely by turning in a keyway---the same as with a tilt-head model. That's the whole deal. Takes less time to accomplish than to describe.

 

As to the splash guard/pouring spout. I don't know anyone who uses it after the first day or two. And the one that comes with the Pro 6 is about 10X better than the one on the smaller machines.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #34 of 74

foodpump & KYHeirloomer,

Appreciate your response...makes me feel the KA Pro is again a purchase option.  Happy Holidays!

post #35 of 74

Hi all just an FYI Amazon has the Cuisinart SM-55 5-1/2-Quart Stand Mixer on sale for $250   this is the lowest i found for a NEW ONE NOT REFURB with FREE SHIPPING AND NO TAX

 

http://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-SM-55-2-Quart-12-Speed-Stand/dp/B000ON4B3U/ref=sr_1_1?t=slickdeals&tag=slickdeals&ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1293415276&sr=1-1 is on sale  

post #36 of 74

I have read through all of your comments with great interest.  I have had lousy luck with small appliances, including mixers, coffee makers, etc., and am getting increasingly frustrated.  Most recently, I ran into the problem of not being able to get my appliances repaired, including my Cuisinart.  My repair shop has informed me that Cuisinarts are not repairable.  I've heard the same for KitchenAid.  Viking appears to still be repairable.  My most recent stand mixer stripped its gears making frosting (!), so I am in the market for a new one.  However, I really want to get one that can be repaired, preferably locally.  I hate our throw-away culture and don't want to participate, if possible.  I am not a bread maker.

 

You all seem like the most knowledgeable bunch I've come across, so any suggestions, recommendations, warning, etc.  Quink

post #37 of 74

Just chiming in with my Kitchenaid experience.  I have had my 400W KA Accolade (5 qt tilt head) for just over 3 yrs and a few weeks ago it recieved its death sentence from a local repair shop.  Symptoms were clunking sound with any medium duty use and the repair shop described the problem as "crack in gear transmission" which I'm now assuming may well be the plastic gear housing that is documented in this thread?  Does anyone know if the Accolade from 2007 would have been made with the plastic gear box?  I called Kitchenaid and they are unwilling to do anything for me stating that I should have purchased the extended warranty.  If I had known that their product was liable to end up in the landfill after 3 yrs without an extended warranty I certainly wouldn't have purchased it at all.

 

My dilemna now, is...do I take what sounds like a similar risk on Cuisinart which sounds like they have plenty of failing units themselves, or do I capitalize on the accessories I already have for KA and enjoy having a 2nd bowl for it which I always wanted from the start anyway.  Or do I upgrade to a Professional model KA which would presumably not have the plastic gear box?? (also negating the 2nd bowl benefit, because it would use the bowl lift system).  I'm so disappointed that I'm in this situation especially after reading KA's website about their 'long-lasting all metal gear construction'...hogwash! 

post #38 of 74

Here is a follow-up to my original post from about 7 weeks ago.  We bought the Cuisinart and so for so good.  We have used it for various tasks...the same sorts of things that we had previously used our Kitchenaid, before the demise of the gear box.  I will attempt to tell you the things I like about it and the things that I don't.

 

First, off it is a heavy machine, similar to the Kitchenaid so it stays in place.  Again,my wife likes the way it looks and so do I.  I know that really doesn't matter in the broad scheme of things, but we still like it.   

 

The bowl is very deep and the beaters do a reasonably good job of clearing the sides of dough or whatever.  The bowl attaches completely different than the Kitchenaid.  Very securely in fact, almost too securely.  It twists on the bottom.  It can be difficult to twist off. My wife has some difficulty with it as do I.  You have to twist very hard and very quickly or the entire mixer moves.  The kitchenaid has the advantage there, but you can take the bowl off of the Cusinart without removing the beaters.  Advantage Cuisinart.  That it is possible because the Cuisinart tilts back.  Sounds silly, but with the Kitchenaid you can slowly raise the beaters with the lever while they are running and they will somewhat clean themselves as they will whip the mixture on the sides of the bowl.  I know, maybe not the safest thing to do, but it works!  Because the Cuisinart tilts and it will still run as you tilt it and the beats will still throw the mixture off, helping to clean them.  However, the mixture will not remain inside the bowl, which is not good!  Advantage Kitchenaid.  Also the Cuisnart when tilted in the upright position hits the top of my upper cabinets when the mixer is on the counter top.  I have to scoot it so the front of the mixer is as close to the front of the counter as it will go.  In this respect it actually takes up more counter space than the Kitchenaid because you cannot use the space behind the mixer very effectively.  To me, it means I can't set ingredients etc., in front of the machine.  Advantage Kitchenaid as I just don't have as much work space as I need as it is.

 

The spill guard/pour spout is worthless on the KItchenaid.  The one on the Cuisinart works very nicely and I actually use it.  It snaps down and keeps stuff from flying out and you can actually add ingredients without making a mess.  Advantage Cuisinart.

 

The Cuisinart has more speeds and seems to run faster than the Kitchenaid on high, which is rarely used by me but still a factor.  Advantage Cuisinart.  The Cuisinart has a timer which I never thought I would use but I have used it a couple of times and it is useful.

 

I know this is an unusual review as I have not covered, power, capacity and your other basics, but that information is readily available from the manufacturers sites.  The things I have wrote about are the things that I noticed.  Hopefully they will be helpful to someone.

 

I have made bread and pizza dough and various other things and it is running fine and so far handles big load without any difficulty.  Of course so did the Kitchenaid till it broke.  For now I like the Cuisinart and am happy with my purchase. If I was buying one today based on what I currently know, I would buy the Cuisinart.  Primarily because the Kitchenaid didn't last. But the proof in the pudding will be how long the Cuisinart lasts.  That is yet to be determined but I will keep you posted. 

 

 

 

post #39 of 74

I have the KA Pro on the stand from the early 80's - never had a moments trouble with it. It's white and we just redid our kitchen so I thought I would upgrade to the KA 600 in red. Ordered it in the fall - looked fab in our black and white kitchen. From the get go, the bowl was very finiky about staying put but I just lived with it. We've been on a grilled pizza kick so lots of pizza dough getting made. On December 23, thankfully after all of the holiday baking was done, I was making pizza dough, almost through, and the mixer just quit. Then it started smoking. It died a very early death. Unfortuntally we were renovating and our tried and true orginial mixer was literally buried along with the new KA box so I just recently sent the KA back to Surlatable. Then this morning on the Today show Jack Bishop from American's Test Kitchen was on and he recommended the Cuisinart 5.5 qt stand mixer SM55-BC for $299. Now I'm torn. Doesn't come in red! LOL! However, it does sound like a fine mixer and all of the researsh that I've done on the KA Pro 600 is iffy at best, which I knew going in in the change out, but was willing to try it out.

 

Does anyone have any input on the Cuisinart mixer?

 

Thanks!

Kelli

post #40 of 74

after reading all the reviews,i got more confused which to buy..im thinking of buying a ka 5ss 2005 model...as it is on sale..can anyone tell me if it falls on the times when plastic was use on some parts of the mixer?..thank you!!!

post #41 of 74


Love,

 

You asked:

after reading all the reviews,i got more confused which to buy..im thinking of buying a ka 5ss 2005 model...as it is on sale..can anyone tell me if it falls on the times when plastic was use on some parts of the mixer?..thank you!!!

 

I think not; but recommend calling KA or a an authorized KA service center and asking someone with real information. 

 

Unless the mixer in question is still covered by a "New" warranty, I suggest buying more current, new production.  KAs are widely discounted especially around this time of year, and you can almost always find a new one at an attractive price if you're not too picky about color.

 

BDL

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post #42 of 74

The Cuisinart  SM-55 is still available for $249.95 with free shipping at this site including a free Blender Attachment and a mail-in coupon for a Food Processor Attachment.
http://www.everythingkitchens.com/cuisinart-mixer-5andhalf-quart.html

post #43 of 74

I came across this thread when researching the topic. Unfortunately, it ended up confusing me even more that ever. I just want to point out that in my experience, I just purchased 3 new Kitchenaid Pro 600 and every one of them broke within a week or two.  And all in the same manner. Yup. The gears stripped. I am using them to make sugar cookies and royal icing. Notice the date of this post. I want to point out that I received model numbers made back when the plastic was used. I purchased one of them from Amazon. My real frustration is that after many hours of research and phone calls, I was told that ALL Pro 600  are made with metal. I am SURE that is untrue. One of my machines has a loose part that is clunking around in the motor compartment. They had me turn on the machine and they listened over the phone and told me it sounded fine. Funny... it sounded like a soft purr before it broke. Needless to say, I don't have the same feeling for Kitchenaid that I once had.

post #44 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by cycle1667 View Post

Robocoup has always been good to me.
The worm gear in the kitchen aid is made of plastic and breaks easily.

Hi Cycle smile.gif

I just went to the Robot Coupe website and saw some really nice food processors, blenders, and juicers, but I didn't see any mixers. Did I miss something?

Also, a couple of weeks ago I was talking to a guy that repairs KitchenAids and other small appliances, and he told me that the older models with the nylon gear are actually the better machine. If the machine is overloaded, the nylon gear will "sacrifice" itself to save the motor, whereas the the newer models with the metal gears will just let the motor burn out. His theory is that it's all about KA no longer being interested in making units that last for decades, because they recognize that today's consumers have been trained to think it's normal to replace appliances every 3-5 years.

One of my prized possessions is my Grandma's old KA that she used for bread making, meat grinding, etc. I inherited it just this last xmas. I'm pretty sure it's at least 20 years old and afaik the nylon gear has never needed to be replaced. Her generation wouldn't have put up with this planned obsolescence nonsense.

(I also have her old Le Creuset skillet that she routinely tossed into the cabinet where it could rattle around with the other cookware. Only one tiny chip on the rim, if you can believe it. Makes me sad to see what passes for quality today, compared to my grandparents' generation.)
post #45 of 74

I personally did phone Kitchenaid and as long as you buy the pro series 500 or 600 they have a metal gear box the lower models still have the plastic gear boxes. 

post #46 of 74

 

Hi all...
 
Came to post a question my KA mishap and was hoping if anyone can share their experience with me... 
 
Well for a start this is what happen last friday night
I was doing something else when my kitchenaid was creaming my butter  then suddenly i hear a thud and some TTZZZZZCCCHHHH sound. I spun around and immediately stop the mixer (the paddle attachment is already STUCKED, at speed 5 or 6). I cant lift the mixer up, nor move the paddle... until i found what DROP INSIDE THE MIXER.... THE ATTACHMENT KNOB COVER! 
I remove the knob and the paddle loosen, and i was able to lift up the mixer. And thereafter i hear loud noises inside my mixer when i use it...
I made marshmallow twice after the accident...
Just now, i was making marshmallows for the second time. I'm supposed to mix at high speed with the paddle attachment but i'm wary of the strange noice and friction its making, so i only use med speed. About 8 mins.
But my marshmallow is underbeat seriously... so i change to whisk attachment and decided to whisk for a min to pump it up... but once i turn on the mixer with the whisk attachment, the KA sound like there's a robot tumbling inside!
My heart sank. the mixer is barely 6 mths old and serving me well.....
I need to deliver big batches of Chinese New Year pastries next week. Sending it for repair is a must but i was hoping if anyone can share some experience with me on KA. 
THAT KNOB is such a troublemaker! it dropped several times ever since im using it!
 
 
 
 
 
 
post #47 of 74

The comments about the plastic housing within the KitchenAid sends me into a rage. I bought one of the bigger most expensive Professional labeled models with a bonus I got from work. It worked great for several years until I tried to mix a quadruple batch of Gluten Free chocolate chip cookies. Ugh. Darn thing just stopped. My husband took the top off and the plastic housing was cracked. We ordered a new one from KA and they did send a metal inner housing, but after he installed it, we realized the alignment of the gears were out of whack (these are very technical words as you can tell!) and the thing just would not work!! Now I am scouring blogs for which mixer would work best for Gluten Free baking and the reviews are as varied as the discussions are here-passioned and experienced. I had only made regular pizza dough in my food processor(as recommended in the recipe at the time, however it was a Weight Watchers recipe so I don't know if it was less dense than a regular crust recipe) so I don't know how it fares in a mixer. 

GF mixes, if more than just rice flours, are more dense so I need reliability, power, and good torque!

We used Hobart brand appliances in our kitchen at the university, but I have not purchased any for home use. From reading between the lines, I need a mixer that WILL make those bagel and pizza doughs as it seems they would be equal in density to my GF recipes. 

Any recommendations?confused.gif

post #48 of 74

The comments about the plastic housing within the KitchenAid sends me into a rage. I bought one of the bigger most expensive Professional labeled models with a bonus I got from work. It worked great for several years until I tried to mix a quadruple batch of Gluten Free chocolate chip cookies. Ugh. Darn thing just stopped. My husband took the top off and the plastic housing was cracked. We ordered a new one from KA and they did send a metal inner housing, but after he installed it, we realized the alignment of the gears were out of whack (these are very technical words as you can tell!) and the thing just would not work!! Now I am scouring blogs for which mixer would work best for Gluten Free baking and the reviews are as varied as the discussions are here-passioned and experienced. I had only made regular pizza dough in my food processor(as recommended in the recipe at the time, however it was a Weight Watchers recipe so I don't know if it was less dense than a regular crust recipe) so I don't know how it fares in a mixer. 

GF mixes, if more than just rice flours, are more dense so I need reliability, power, and good torque!

We used Hobart brand appliances in our kitchen at the university, but I have not purchased any for home use. From reading between the lines, I need a mixer that WILL make those bagel and pizza doughs as it seems they would be equal in density to my GF recipes. 

Any recommendations?confused.gif

post #49 of 74

If you can afford it, get the Electrolux Assistent.  Undermount belt drives are a lot stronger and more efficient than the "come from above" gear drives on "normal" stand mixers.

 

You can save some money with a Bosch which may or may not be better value, but the Bosch aren't as heavily or well made as the Electrolux machines. 

 

My KA Pro 600 is doing fine thanks.

 

BDL

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post #50 of 74

I have owned both mixers, and must say I LOVE MY CUISINART mixer. I previously owned 2 Kitchenaid mixers, and both of the motors seized up, 1) while mixing a double batch of chocolate chip cookies, and 2) while mixing a basic cake batter. The Cuisinart can easily handle a  double batch of cookies! The timer is also a great feature, which allows you to tend to other tasks while mixing your food. And, it's MUCH lighter than the Kitchenaid mixer!

post #51 of 74

I have owned both mixers, and must say I LOVE MY CUISINART mixer. I previously owned 2 Kitchenaid mixers, and both of the motors seized up, 1) while mixing a double batch of chocolate chip cookies, and 2) while mixing a basic cake batter. The Cuisinart can easily handle a  double batch of cookies! The timer is also a great feature, which allows you to tend to other tasks while mixing your food. And, it's MUCH lighter than the Kitchenaid mixer!

post #52 of 74
I have a Kitchenaid, my 6 quart mixer recently had the plastic gear box break, thankfully my husband is handy, so we ordered a new one from mendingshed.com and to our surprise they're sending us a cast aluminum part instead. Not sure if that means kitchenaid parts are now metal but the replacement part is. I had my mixer for 10 years before this happened, and I was mixing pasta dough. I've always been happy with it, I bake bread a fair amount and when my husband puts the new part on, I'm sure I will be happy again:). I asked him if he thought the gears had stripped, he said they hadn't . So if you make sure that the gear housing is metal I would recommend the kitchenaid 6 quart for bread making.
post #53 of 74

Those Kitchen Aid 6qt brass gears wear out to. They are made of a soft metal.

post #54 of 74

I always wondered why I never saw Kenwood mixers on US cooking shows, you guys can't get them anymore!

I have an old Kenwood at home about 30 years old still going well, and mostly used for bread or pizza dough.

Nowadays they also do a commercial version, KMP77 but it is not cheap, £350 (+ tax) from nisbets.co.uk But I understand they are well worth the money.

Of course if you are feeling really rich, go for the KM069 Kenwood cooking chef at a bargain £650 (+tax) which has a built in induction cooker.

I don't know what the shipping would be, but if you want a good mixer I would recommend them.

 

post #55 of 74

Hi,

 

Does anyone have any idea if the accessories of KA and Cuisinart are interchangeable?

I want to buy a Cuisinart, but I prefer the accessories kit from KA...

I would really like to get the answer from someone who has owned a KA and a Cuisinart and eventually tried to interchange parts.

 

Thanks in advance!

post #56 of 74

wow, some great reviews here!! i was about to get a kitchenaid artisan at target but after reading about the quality of the paddles, (metal ones and plastics) it made me research more...then someone told me that an artisan sold at williams sonoma isnt the same artisan sold at walmart or target, based on quality matter, im about to research the quality... i want a machine where i can make from meringues to bread and pizza dough, even to make royal icing which it gets hard in the beginning, it burned my handheld mixer.

 

im still debating the artisan vs heavy duty classic plus, i want a stand mixer that gives me enough for breadmaking once in a while at home and cakes.  i dont really dont need the cuisinart since it its more for adding attachments...

 

any input is much appreciated

post #57 of 74

My Cuisinart stand mixer was broke down more than it worked. Plastic parts broke (cracked) and couldn`t find replacement parts. Then the electronics quit (circuit board). Cuisinart customer service is useless,

That`s my experience...........just sayn...........and I dont think Im alone, if you read online about Cuisinart problems.

;It makes a nice paper weight,

post #58 of 74

I have a delicious fudge recipe that my mother made at Christmas time, and which I've been making for years. It calls for a long mix time and the batter gets thick. I burned up a few hand-held mixers and a cheapo stand mixer on this recipe before buying a Kitchenaid in the mid 90s. That machine was up to any task we asked of it, including that fudge recipe. I've been on a gluten-free diet for 15 years and used it regularly for the thick gluten-free doughs. When the ex and I split she got the Kitchenaid. I my homework before buying a new Kitchenaid Pro 600 mixer and made sure it had the cast metal gearbox and metal gears. When it arrived I removed the cover to confirm. I've using it about once a week for three years for pizza dough and other gluten-free doughs as well as less demanding tasks. It feels and sounds strong, like it has plenty of torque for the most demanding dough mixes, and runs without getting excessively warm. I am hoping (optimistic) that it will last a few decades like the previous one (which is still going strong). I got it in December of 2009 for $249 (with rebate) and so far am happy with my choice. I'm sure there are big commercial machines that are stronger and more durable, but they also cost some multiple (4X) of what this one does. 

post #59 of 74

Hi all,

 

First off, I am really excited to have found this forum. I must say this is an awesome resource for chef's, as well as aspiring home cook's like myself.

 

After reading through the posts and doing more research online, I've decided to bite the bullet and go with a professional series mixer since I plan to use it quite often. Basically, I couldn't resist when I found the Kitchenaid Pro 600 series for 50% off at an online store in Quebec, Canada. I just placed my order today since the shipping rates to Toronto were $20, which seems pretty reasonable considering the 15 KG weight!

 

I will keep you posted on how it turns out!

post #60 of 74

Warning: DO NOT BUY THE KITCHEN AID STAND MIXER IF YOU PLAN ON MAKING BREAD DOUGH WITH IT. The bowl is NOT engineered to stay on the base with the force of kneading bread dough, even with less than 6 cups of flour. It bangs around and then flies off. It has gotten worse and worse until now it won't even stay on to mix liquids! It's a tin can PIECE OF JUNK!

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