The Fresh Loaf

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kitchenaid Pro with all steel gears?

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buckeyebaker's picture
buckeyebaker

kitchenaid Pro with all steel gears?

So now that the Kitchenaid Pro has gone back to "direct-drive all steel gears", does that make it more worthy to buy? I know that many in this forum have complained about the plastic gears, but at least on the Kitchenaid website, it appears that the gears are metal. It also appears that the Pro sold on Amazon has the same metal gears model as well. From what I can tell, the William-Sonoma Pro is still the old plastic gears. Since I cannot afford either the DLX or the Bosch, and since with a rebate it would cost $350 to buy the Pro 600 model, does anybody have any thoughts?

Marni's picture
Marni

Here's a review at appliance.net  (disclaimer- I edit the site) of the Pro 600. 


http://www.appliance.net/2007/sometimes-you-just-need-13-dozen-cookies-239


 


It includes this quote:



It is a durable metal machine with solid steel gears, an industrial strength motor and no plastic in sight.



Hope this helps,


Marni

baby_tong's picture
baby_tong

There are still tons of bad reviews about pro600 series shuts off after 7-10 minutes of kneading stiff dough. Someone also mentioned that the manual of pro600 does specify owners shouldn't knead over 7 minutes.


I myself only had a bad experience with a Professional 5 Plus (475watt) from costco which smoked one day while kneading 4 cups of whole wheat dough. After that I thought I should upgrade to a pro600 until I saw Bosch mixer. But I had to admit I really really like KA's pasta attachment.


The new bosch mixer is only $400 right now at most of bosch dealer website. No matter which mixer you choose, it is all about how you are going to use your mixer.

gcook17's picture
gcook17

I was mixing stollen dough 2 days ago and I could tell my 1 year old Pro 600 is about ready to die.  The gear head was getting hot, making awful noises, and smelling bad.  The dough I make is always pretty soft and I don't see any reason for it to wear out so fast.  I guess this should be too surprising because the first time I turned the mixer on after buying it it sounded like it had a gear box full of sand.


Yesterday, my brother said he had just called to get his second broken down KA in the last 6 months replaced and they gave him a hard time.  After explaining that he only mixes soft dough and only runs it in speed 2 with the dough spiral as they recommend, they told him it was his fault because he was using it for a recipe that wasn't in the KitchenAid cookbook that came with the mixer.  He couldn't believe his ears and asked them if they were serious, and they said they did NOT recommend using the KitchhenAid mixer for any recipe that was not in the book supplied with the mixer. 


Another major problem with this mixer is that the dough spiral is so far above the bottom of the bowl (even when adjusted as far down as possible) that when mixing soft dough, unless you have quite a bit of dough in the bowl, the spiral won't do anything but smear the top of the dough a bit.  It won't knead the dough at all unless you have quite a bit of dough in the bowl.  This is particularly true for rye dough.  This is partially because the recommended speed 2 it too slow for developing the dough.


I'm going to start looking for another option.  I wish I had room for a mixer dedicated just to dough.  Then I'd definitely get the TMB SP5.

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

My 17 year old KA is sounding tired and starting to leak gear oil where the mixing shaft comes out, so my wife just bought me a Pro 600 for Christmas.  My first impressions are good.  The gears were 'slightly' noise out of the box, but quieted down within seconds.  Since this IS Alaska, I figured it had cold lube in it ...so I let it run, empty, for 30 minutes on speed 2 just to get lubes warmed up, redistributed, and what not.  As usual for all KA's, I did have to adjust the bowl all the way up in order to get the whisk and flat beater closer to the bottom of the bowl.  I'm not sure why, but KA is always very conservative in their factory adjustment of bowl height, but the instruction manual clearly indicates that as long as the paddle or whisk do not touch the bowl, then you are fine.


The first thing it got used for was the Harvey Wallbanger cake (recipe at King Arthur's web site) and I was impressed that the mixer did a better job producing the batter than my old KA, but I notice that the flat beater now has an additional 'branch' running across the middle, so maybe that's it?  Next, I made a 7-cup whole wheat sandwich bread recipe using the flat blade for initial mixing, then switching to the dough hook when the dough was starting to gather up a bit.  The spiral dough hook kept the dough in the bowl rather than letting it climb up the shaft like the old one always did and I didn't have to intervene at all.  The machine kneaded the dough as though it wasn't even there (using speed 2 all the time).  The manual stated that most doughs are fully kneaded in only about 4 minutes ...and it was.  I checked at 4 minutes and the dough was a silky smooth ball of dough, much better than I'd get by hand (unless using time and folds rather than kneading).  I would say that so far, the Pro 600 seems great.  Worked great for me so far, zero hesitation when it comes to power, and it ran fairly quietly ...it sounds like an electric motor, but gear and other mechanical noise is non-existent on this one.  I'm looking forward to baking a large batch of rye bread so I can see how it does with a stiff rye dough ...usually the most challenging dough that a mixer would have to mix.


Brian


 

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Congratulations.


So how many(max) cups of flour is it recommended for?


Whole wheat max?


Thanks.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

From reading the comments on this site and others it seems that new KitchenAid mixers are a real gamble.  Maybe you will get a good one and maybe you will not.  I like better odds than that for the cost involved in a mixer.


Jeff

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

The manual says 14 cups, max, but doesn't say whole wheat, rye, or what.  I always take maximums with a grain of salt (haha) and will likely never push it past maybe 10-11 cups, and a recipe that size won't be a stiff rye one.  IF my wife read my mind more accurately prior to buying a surprise gift for me, she'd have heard "Electrolux DLX" ...but all that got through was "new mixer"... no big deal.  She loved me enough to go buy what she honestly believed was the best available.  I have been pleasantly surprised by the machine so far so I won't complain until the machine proves itself worthy of complaint and I don't sense that kind of experience coming.  Plus, we have a bunch of KA accessories that still work for us since we stayed with the same brand.  A switch to some other brand would've meant a lot more cost involved than just the difference in mixer prices.  I'll give the machine a fair chance and hope for the best.  I get the feeling that KA has heard the consumer complaints and is making an effort to return to the good ol' Hobart days.  I'll let them have that chance... I never complain about a company trying to turn things towards higher quality.  It sure beats all the change in the opposite direction ...


...And no matter what, lots of good bread will come out of that machine!  Something we all love!


Brian


 

OurHappyHomestead's picture
OurHappyHomestead

Since we're starting to cast votes, I have a fried KitchenAid Pro in my garage that I still haven't gotten around to tinkering with... If you're doing any kind of baking in volumes anything greater than a loaf at a time, you really need to pony up the extra $49 and go with a Bosch.  I really didn't think it would make that much of a difference when my wife first pitched it to me, but Ive been amazed by it... takes whatever we can dish out and more.  I can't think of $49 I'd rather spend than to take it to the next level and be safe with your equipment.


 


-Dave


Nutrimill Grinder

LindyD's picture
LindyD

You sell the Bosch mixer, so I have to question your objectivity in spite of the fact it's a good machine - as is the Kitchen Aid.


 

OurHappyHomestead's picture
OurHappyHomestead

But, when your family consumes a loaf of bread a day and you get into business because of a passion for the subject, I don't think it invalidates your opinion...


There are families for whom the KitchenAid is a perfectly acceptable tool - but I will say that I haven't seen the discussions of broken Bosh mixers like I have over the years with the KitchenAid.


I also have the option to carry the KitchenAids - and there will likely be a time in the future when I do, because I understand that the two camps are somewhat divided.  For the present, I've personally broken two KitchenAids and so I've chosen to represent Bosch.


When the largest objection against a Bosh is "I can buy a KitchenAid for $50 less" I think a second look is warranted.


 


-Dave

gardenchef's picture
gardenchef

I'll admit it is my first stand mixer and I have only had it 10 days (10 days of non stop use I must add) Everyone in the family loves it. I am enthralled and motivated to consider making things I never have before. I researched awhile before going with this. No regrets. Got it from pleasantgrainmill.com.


I ruled out KitchenAid for reasons mentioned above and many many bad reviews I read. So for me, it was between Bosch and Viking. My friend has a KitchenAid Artisan and LOVES IT! She doesn't bake breads though


I LOVE MY VIKING!

Marni's picture
Marni

You need to know what you will be doing with it.  A KitchenAid just doesn't seem to hold up to regularly kneading heavy, stiff dough, but if you are going to be using it for a variety of jobs (cakes, cookies, challah and basic bread kneading) it probably fits the bill.  A Pro600 holds a lot of flour (14 cups - around 5lbs).  Is that needed?


I have an Artisan that I use every day.  I have a Pro600 in the garage, it's just too big to keep around for the once a week jobs it could do.  The Artisan is only two years old and it's holding up fine, but I don't overwork it.  For large jobs, I use my hands. (or get my kids to help :))


My feeling is that a Bosch or DLX would be the choice for a serious bread baker who doesn't plan to use it often for other jobs. Or an addition to the smaller Artisan - I'd like one someday!


Comparing costs is different, the Artisan can handle a lot and doesn't cost nearly what the others do.  I see it as a good compromise.  Maybe a stepping stone to the costlier machine for someone who is beginning with bread baking.


(and I don't sell either of them) ;)


Marni

Marni's picture
Marni

I just found this at appliance.net  and it says the Artisan has all metal construction and a direct drive transmission.  What I don't know is if "all metal construction"  includes the gears. 


Marni

drdobg's picture
drdobg

After years of use out of my little KA Artisan (bought in the 80's) I finally felt the need to upgrade as I was baking larger batches of bread.  I bought the KA600 pro as it was the largest capacity widely available at the time.  Initially it seemed unbelievably loud from the noisy gears and it never quieted down.  I had several times where the mixer shut down due to overheating when making successive batches of sourdough breads (never exceeding stated capacity).


Finally, after reading reports of the plastic GEAR HOUSING cracking, I was compelled to open my mixer up to see if indeed I had a plastic gear housing.  Sure enough, the part of the machine designed to hold the all-metal gears is a big block of plastic, and in my case, it had a big crack in it and was actually leaking oil in small amounts from this crack.  What good is all metal gears if you mount them in plastic?  Plastic anywhere in this highly stressed machine is going to be the weak link. 


I retired the KA600 after just over two years of medium use and now have a Cuisinart 7 qt.  Unfortunately, I don't like this mixer all that much either.  I will no doubt still be searching for the right mixer for me.  Perhaps a Bosch?

tquigs's picture
tquigs

I just got my brand new KA Pro 600.  It's running smoothly and doing a very good job, however I've only made 5 small ( 800 to 1200 grams) batches of bread dough, so it hasn't seen any heavy duty tasks so far.


Regarding price, I paid $299 from Amazon and got a $50 KA rebate so my net cost is only $249.  I thought this was a pretty good value.


 

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

That is supposedly the deal my wife got when she bought my Pro 600 for me ...but I think Amazon said the rebate form is "in the box" ...But there was nothing of the kind, in any box.  Where'd you find yours?


Brian


 

tquigs's picture
tquigs

The link to the rebate form was at the Amazon page where I ordered the mixer.

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

http://www.shopkitchenaid.com/pdfs/50_Bowl_Lift_Cash_Back_11_19_09.pdf


If you can't round a form up some other way, here is a pdf from KitchenAid site.


"Looks" to be applicable. Check requirements/exclusions.


And/or for Amazon purchases:


Find your item at the Amazon site and check to see if rebate is offered, and check the buying period. You may find a link to the rebate form.


I also see where they may have offered online rebate processing for some items. If so, you should find the link to file online near the link to the pdf:


Example:


http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=dp_reb_online?ie=UTF8&docId=592317


 

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

Thanks... I'll look into it tonight after work.  Need to ask the wife for the purchase date.


 


Brian


 


 

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

You(she) will have all that on the receipt/pack/etc. However you claim, you will definitely need your purchase documentation. Although it's usually pretty easy to recover needed documentation from amazon.

buckeyebaker's picture
buckeyebaker

thanks all for the comments.  I guess I'm still confused, but this is helpful nevertheless. My original query was an attempt to ascertain whether all the complaints I've seen here and elsewhere about KitchenAid were primarily directed at the older machines with plastic gears; and whether, now that they are making all metal gears, these complaints no longer apply. If that is the case, then I'd be inclined to get KitchenAid Pro if only because I've always had one (albeit hobart era) and I've been happy with it. It is slowly succumbing though.


but if the complaints and issues apply equally to the newer all metal gear Pro, then I probably should get a bosch (or maybe even a viking), since I certainly don't want an expensive dead appliance in my kitchen.


my needs: I tend to bake 5-6 loaves per week, in 2-3 loaf batches, depending on what I'm doing; generally sourdough, multi-grain, usually using recipes from Leader, Reinhartz, Hamelman; I rarely double the amounts, so I'm probably using anywhere from 5-8 cups of flour (rye, whole grain, white, etc) dep on the bread. I use my old, 27 year old machine (yes, still kitchenaid) for 2-3 minutes to gather the dough together, and then usually continue with stretch/fold, etc again depending on the bread. With my old machine the dough often climbs up the spiral, and I was thinking it would be nice to have the larger, more powerful machine (ha, mine is 250watts, hard to believe we used to think that was state of the art).


but I guess, I need to just make a decision!

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

If you're only using the mixer to mix, rather than also do all the kneading, then most any brand would likely work fine as long as you don't go too cheap.


You might want to google on just the KA Pro 600 when you go out looking for complaints.  That would narrow the responses to just what's applicable ...and is something that I'm planning to do.  But it's that busy time of year again...maybe next week?


As far as dough climbing up the dough hook, my old style dough hook did that, but on the 6 to 7 cup recipes that I've made so far, there was no tendency to climb.  The dough sort of rises up, then looks like it's dividing into 3 parts, then the middle flops over and gets kneaded back in ...repeat.  The spiral turns in the direction that would force dough down, not up.


Brian


 

rhomp2002's picture
rhomp2002

You say you can't afford a Bosch but then you say with a rebate the KA would be $350/  The Bosch is $399 without a rebate.  Seems as if the Bosch is as affordable as the KA at that rate and would be a better bet for baking bread as well as much easier to move around and store.  Another plus is that the new Bosch has suckers on the base so it doesn't walk around when you use it at high speed.

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Just to be thorough, some(in this thread) are saying they got the KA for net, after rebate, of $250.

buckeyebaker's picture
buckeyebaker

I sure would love to find the kitchenaid PRO for $250, haven't seen that yet. but the bosch looks interesting; i hadn't really considered it originally (was thinking primarily about DLX, but that's just above my price range at this point) and I don't know anybody who has a Bosch, but I'll try to read up more about it.  Since i know my own mixer is on last legs, would be better to have new machine in place, ready to go. We just got back from Paris, so I've spent all week trying to replicate the breads at Eric Kayser and others, hmm, should have brought flour home with me!!

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Looks like you just missed that deal/price at Amazon. Probably wasn't the first, and probably won't be the last time for the offer. Of course, that is assuming no one is mistaken about the facts(details) of the deal.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

The black 600 Pro unit comes to $274 at Amazon, with the $50 rebate.  Free shipping as well.