The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My KA KP26M1XNP stand mixer is possessed by the devil

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JoeV's picture
JoeV

My KA KP26M1XNP stand mixer is possessed by the devil

For Christmas 2009 my family bought me the KitchenAid Pro 600 stand mixer. It worked great until two years later when the gears seized up and I had to rebuild the transmission to the tune of $75 in parts. Here it is two years later, and while mixing up some dough for two loaves of bread this morning, this illicit spawn of Satan gave out a demonic groan in the powerhead and ground to a halt with the motor still trying to turn the seized gears. I had two minutes left of kneading on speed 2, so I extracted the dough and finished it by hand. I have read of others having problems with this machine, and I'm beginning to believe KA intentionally produced a lemon which they refused to stand behind. I have an old KSM9 machine from '92 that still works, but has the old style dough hook that allows the dough to crawl up to the gear head. That will have to do until I find a replacement for the Pro600, and you  can bet the bank it won't be another KA piece of junk. I'm not wasting the money on this machine to rebuild it again. I'll just cut my losses and move on. I'm going to put under the track of my friend's D9 dozer and smash it to smithereens, which shouldn't be too difficult the way it's built.

FWIW, I bake about 150 loaves of bread each year, donating 60-70 of those loaves to the church bake sale. Any machine with a name like "Pro600" should be able to keep up with that little bit of dough.

<rant off>

Joseph the Angry Bread Baker

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

a year too and hardly every use a machine except for panettone or a Japanese White bread which accounts for 2 of those loaves a year.   I never do more than one loaf at a time for those in the KA either.   The rest I just do slap & folds and stretch & folds.  It is hard to justify an expensive mixer for most home bread makers when hand kneading is so easy for those not physically handicapped, and the cheapo KA will do everything else baking wise easy enough.

I'm glad that I weaned myself off the KA for bread so that it won't die a horrible death.     

suave's picture
suave

So, exactly what dough and how much of it you had in there?

JoeV's picture
JoeV

33 oz of flour and 18.2 oz. of water plus the salt, yeast & 3T olive oil. 99% of the bread recipes I make use that much flour & liquid for two loaves. The machine should do that little till the cows come home. No way was the machine abused, it's just built with cheap materials, as i learned when I rebuilt the transmission with the OEM die cast  pot metal gears...JUNK!

Floydm's picture
Floydm

(Squabble deleted at the request of multiple community members.)

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

...seriously considering another machine?  If so, I bake about as much as you and am simply happy as can be with a now 15 year old Electrolux DLX purchased at an estate sale.  I've no idea how old it is, though I could probably find out.  It's never had a problem.  For my money, it's simply a better engineered machine than any of the Hobart-styled ones like the KA, Cuisinart, etc.  But in your search, if indeed you're on the hunt for a replacement for your KA, consider the Bosch as well.  Sorry for your troubles, by the way.

chris319's picture
chris319

You say it was a xmas gift in 2009 and you've since rebuilt the transmission, so there's no chance this Pro 600 has the dreaded plastic gear housing.

I have read that Whirlpool has gone from machined gears to cast gears which have looser tolerances. Perhaps your problem is the consequence of the change to cast gears?

They also started using cheaper gears - former were machine milled on gear cutters and meshed well and were quiet. When they changed to the much cheaper method of casting the gears, the fit between the teeth has lesser tolerances resulting in the newer machines being much noisier.  They then went on to cheapen the drive shafts as well.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/32588/hobart-era-kitchenaid-mixer

Just goes to confirm my belief that the only KitchenAid mixers worth owning are Hobart-era ones purchased on ebay, craigslist, etc. My K5SS and K5A were just such lucky finds.

 

JoeV's picture
JoeV

I'm currently in negotiations on an old Hobart 10qt C100 that works well, but is cosmetically in need of a facelift. We'll see how it goes.

JoeV's picture
JoeV

I went and looked at the Hobart C100, but it was basically junk that the guy wanted wayyyyyyyy too much money for.a machine that needed lots of work. It had 3 bowl, but they looked like they were kicked off of a tall building, and two of them had holes welded up in the bottom.

After that I ordered a Bosch Universal Plus and like it so far. I'll have to get used to it, but I'm definitely getting the metal bowl without the center post, just for bread dough.

Took apart the KA and the worm gear follower failed just like before. I'm going to repair it and sell it on Craigslist. Here's the failed gear.

chris319's picture
chris319

but it's also trashed. Must be one of those new cast metal gears. Cheap Chinese crap. One more reason to avoid Whirlpool-era KA's.

Thanks for sharing that.

BBQinMaineiac's picture
BBQinMaineiac

Get an Ankarsrum/Assistant/Electrolux/DLX.  There are so many names for it and I didn't get them all. IMO it's the very best mixer on the planet for folks like us. If I had a small commercial need, I'd still use the Ankarsrum. I've made up to 4 loaves with it in one batch, and I wasn't up to full capacity of the machine. I can't say enough good things about it. One woman who bakes in her home for a soup kitchen makes 40 loaves a day with it and did that for a year when I learned of it.

I learned the first time my KA bit the dust, it took my brother 3 KAs to catch on. But the Ankarsrum is rock solid. There is a small learning curve, but this youtube video is the best one for showing how it works to make bread http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMB4CVG5fLs. I watched youtube videos for days to get up to speed with it and during my research prior to purchasing. It works so differently and I wanted to be sure it wasn't going to be an expensive mistake. Learn to use it from Ashley McCord in that video. She shows everything, even the dough ring. Gauge other videos by what you see Ashley doing.

For thick doughs like pasta dough use the dough hook. Ashley doesn't show that, but it's a no brainer. Or when using a KA recipe for the first time I use the dough hook. KA recipes use more flour because they don't knead the dough as well and they need to compensate.

Unfortunately not all the folks posting Ankarsrum videos on youtube know how to use the Ankarsrum despite their zeal.

BTW, I'm not connected with the folks who made the video, or Ankarsrum, in any way. I'm just a retail user.

FWIW, the attachments are also high quality. There are very few I don't have at this point. The meat grinder is just phenomenal. And allows us to make 20# of sausage or ground beef in a snap. It takes longer to cube the beef than it does to grind it; by far.

I can't say enough about the Ankarsrum and I'm really a demanding user. Like anything though, expect a small learning curve, and there are folks here if you have questions. The downside is the expense, but how much will KA repairs or as in my bothers case, 3 machines cost? The Ankarsrum is a really nice mixer. Life is too short and stressful as it is to use junk and add frustration to it.