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Kitchenaid stand mixer styles

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I'm looking to get a kitchenaid stand mixer and wanted some advice. i see they have the metallic series along with the artisan series. i was looking at the different specs and saw they pretty much looked the same. is there a big difference btweeen the two series besides the price? does one output more power and is better used for different tasks compared to the other? thanks
adam
post #2 of 21
Adam, I don't have the spec sheets on these mixers. Go to the Kitchen-Aid website and check them out. You really do have to ascertain what your particular needs are before buying any equipment. My home unit is 450 watts and I consider it very underpowered. Bread dough bogs the machine down. If I were to purchase another, it would be in the Pro 600 Series.

I just checked and you can pick one up at Amazon for $250.00; a darn good price.
http://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-KP2...489503&sr=8-15

added 3/31/08 price is now $329.00:cry:
post #3 of 21
RSteve's right. Much of my family has the standard issue KitchenAid mixer and I've seen many situations where it can't completely hold a candle to the power that the Pro 600 series can churn (or mix if you prefer) out. If you have a good idea of what kinds of projects you'll be taking on, you may want to consider calling KitchenAid's sales line to see if they can give you any suggestions on which one may work best for your needs.
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Kitchenaid - Cuisinart - Le Creuset - Rachael Ray
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Devoted subscriber to Bon Appetit, Gourmet, and Everyday With Rachel Ray.

Kitchenaid - Cuisinart - Le Creuset - Rachael Ray
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post #4 of 21
The 450W models are a little more convenient in terms of getting to the bowl. The 450W are shorter and fits under lower cabinets. The 450W are lighter.

But, the 450W KAs are barely adequate for the home, while the 600W KAs are suitable for light-commercial duty. All of the major accessories (except the bowls and a few other bowl-related gizmos) are common to both. The prices are close enough that the difference for the 600W won't be missed for long -- especially considering how long one of these puppies lasts.

Unless you've got a particular storage problem that can only be solved by a 450W model, get a 600W.

BDL
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
thanks all, your inputs are very much appreciated
post #6 of 21
The 6 qt series are pretty good. I have the heavy duty Pro series 5 qt model and am quite happy with it--in a commercial kitchen.

I hate, loathe, detest, etc. etc. all the "tilting head" models, with the locking bowl. I find these machines too light (dance around the counter), cumbersome to stop and scrape down the bowl, and harder to clean in the hinge.

What do you want to do with the mixer? These machines are pretty darn good for almost everything--except bread. If you want to make bread on a daily or even weekly basis even the 6 qt will die on you.
...."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 #7 of 21
I was with you 100%, Foodpump, until that last line.

I make bread at least once a week, sometimes more often, with my Pro 600. It's almost two years old, now, and hasn't even hinted at a malfunction of any kind.

If there's any downside to it it's the size of the bowl. With a six-quart capacity, single-recipes often don't let the machine operate to potential. I have to double most recipes, so there are enough ingredients for the tool to bite.

I don't see this as a real problem. Just something a new purchaser should be aware of.

I keep hearing rumors that KA is working on a smaller bowl to fit the big machine. KA refuses to acknowledge the tales, one way or another. But if they do introduce a smaller bowl they better have a big first run, cuz an awful lot of people would like one.
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 #8 of 21
I bought the 450 a few years back. It was the only one I could afford at the time. I use it MABEY once a week. Nothing too complex though....whipping cream, cake mixes, etc. The bulk of the "work" I usually put it thru is grinding meat. (pretty much the main reason I got the darn thing) well..............IT'S DEAD!!!! I don't know how.....but I killed it. (so our sausage was not in link form that night) The KA website/cust. service # is worthless. I gotta stress this--their cust service SUCKS!!!!!!!!!! And the kicker is -because I live up here in Vt. they're aren't any service centers around to help me fix this thing!! :mad:
I've spent most of my money on women and booze, the rest I just squandered!

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm...endid=83191838
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I've spent most of my money on women and booze, the rest I just squandered!

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm...endid=83191838
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post #9 of 21
Try Sears. If that fails, try "Appliance Repair" in the yellow pages.

BDL
post #10 of 21
That's odd about the KA customer service team. We had an "appliance impaired" cook who killed TWO--yes, TWO--brand new Kitchenaid Food Processors. And the restaurant supply company we bought them from replaced them each time for us free of charge the next day. I have always found them to be very good at backing up their warranties. Sorry to hear of your troubles with them.

I, like Foodpump, have a KitchenAid that I use in a commercial kitchen. I think it is the 5 qt "Heavy Duty" model. It gets used every day. ALOT. I also have a Hobart that gets a fair bit of use. Right now we can't get the stupid dough hook off so I am not getting as much use out of it as I would like. Time to call my husband in to fix the thing!!! Anyway, the KA I have at work is the tilthead model and I am with Foodpump. It's a pain in the butt. It never gets to the bottom of the mixing bowl so you are constantly having to stop and scrape, stop and scrape--about one hundred times MORE than usual. And the tilthead is alot more work to clean. On a different note--the thing is in constant use for about 7 hours a day and is still running strong. Not bad for a piece of equipment meant for home use and really being put to the test in a commercial kitchen.

I have the 6 qt Pro 600 model at home and love it. I have made bread and croissant dough in mine and I again I agree with Foodpump. It will hold up fine for breadmaking once a week as long as you keep an eye on it to keep the motor from burning out. But more than that and you could kill the machine. I have been mixing dough before and I could actually hear the gears grinding in the mixer and then the smell of the motor on the verge of burning. I just haul the dough out then and start kneading by hand. And then I wish I had a Hobart at home!!! But where would I put it?? Ha! Ha!

Best of luck in your KitchenAid shopping!
post #11 of 21
Buy a Viking

Mike
post #12 of 21
Wow, Chefelle, talk about different experiences.

I've never had my Pro 600 even labor under the load of a double recipe for whole grain breads, let alone have the gears grind and a smell of burning motor.

In fact, I'm surprised you're experincing that, because the Pro 600 supposedly has an automatic shut-off system if it starts to overheat. I've never needed it, so don't know first hand if that feature really works.

I originally got the Pro 600 because I have an antipathy to tilt-head mixers and wanted the bowl-lift type. But the more I use it, the more I'm impressed with it for all sorts of other reasons.

But, as I've said before, unless a lot of bread making is in the offing, the Artisan is all the mixer most home cooks will ever need, and I'd no more recommend the Pro 600 for that purpose than I'd suggest that home-cooks need a continuous feed Robot Coupe as their basic food processor.
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 #13 of 21
I too have a KA 600 -- which as it happens is hors de combat with a stripped gear. Hey, it happens. It's out of warranty and I haven't got around to taking care of it. I think it's a DIY, though.

Yes! In the KA universe, the bowl lift mixers are better than the tilt heads.

Yes! The 600 is the best choice for people who do a fair amount of bread dough mixing and kneading. Well worth the extra bucks.

Alas! The service record of the Viking is not looking very good compared to the competition. The KA 600 and the big Cuisinart seem to perform and hold up better, and receive better support as well. These are general assertions. Of course, individual experiences will vary.

Could be me, but ...: Auto shutoff or no, I ALWAYS finish kneading small batches (8 pounds or less) by hand. The more I care about "perfect" final texture or the more I'm still experimenting the higher the percentage of hand kneading. The primary reasons are sensitivity to and control of the stretch of the glutens in the bread; the amount of moisture; and the amount of heat transferred during the knead.

With my KA out of action for the past three weeks I've been doing all my kneading by hand and it's made for slightly, but consistently better bread. Consider though that I'm a large, strong man and my kneading may be very different than yours in terms of the amount of energy expended for the results achieved.

BDL
post #14 of 21
Concerning warranty and parts and stuff for KA, you can usually get those through Whirlpool, which is the owner of KA.
...."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 #15 of 21
Aut>o shutoff or no, I ALWAYS finish kneading small batches (8 pounds or less) by hand. <

But that has more to do with the quality of the bread then the quality of the mixer, no?
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 #16 of 21
Absolutely. I should have been more clear and said, "'Touch' is one factor no mixer yet designed can achieve. If your quantities are small enough to handle by hand, your bread will greatly benefit thereby."

BDL
post #17 of 21
My mixer was purchased over 6 years ago when the Pro Series was new to the market. Automatic shut off was not available at that time and one of the defects that people complained about was the mixer not shutting off at all once started! But I have never had a moment's problem with mine.

I agree with Boar_d_laze on the amount of mixing time I allow the mixer to do. The temp of the dough is hugely important so I just stand right by my mixer while mixing bread doughs and keep a close eye on it. As soon as the dough starts to come together I immediately pull it off the mixer. And I too always finish by kneading by hand. Although I wish I had some of Boar_d_laze's strength--I am a short little woman with tennis elbow!!!

That's funny that our experiences have been so different with this product, KYHeirloomer!!!!
post #18 of 21
>That's funny that our experiences have been so different with this product, KYHeirloomer!!!!<

Well, mine is a newer model, and it's likely KA incorporated design changes based on customer complaints.

Whatever the reason, I'm happy with mine.

Can't say the same for the KA processor I bought. But that's another story.
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 #19 of 21
My husband and kids bought one for me for mothers day a few years ago. I begged for one for a couple of years. Although I use it atleast twice a week, I have to admit that it has quite a few things that I dislike. The power isn't the best at time, like when making breads and tougher doughs. The switch that makes the top tip us sometimes gets stuck and you have to just walk away so you don't just toss it out in the trash.
I would look at a better quality model if it is something you are going to use frequently. But hey remember I am just giving my opinion.
[/SIGPIC]Tina
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[/SIGPIC]Tina
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post #20 of 21
I read threads like this wondering how much KA has inflated their motor ratings over the years. I've got an old (25 or so years) 4.5 quart mixter, with a 250 watt motor, according to the rating plate. It handles every thing I've ever done with it, including making bread doughs that barely fit in the bowl. And the rating plate on bigger commercial mixers are less than some of these home things. (Current production Hobart 12 quart mixer has 1/3 or 1/2 hp motor; that's 250 or 375 watts. That's output, not input, but even if they're outragously ineffecient that's still less than 600 W input.)
post #21 of 21
Older motors = more (copper)windings=more robust, better motors. Copper ain't getting any cheaper neither.........
...."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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