The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Older/Vintage Kitchenaid Mixer Users - Get a Solid State Version or Not?

dz5003's picture

Older/Vintage Kitchenaid Mixer Users - Get a Solid State Version or Not?

Ok, so I'm looking to find a vintage Kitchenaid and I read someone calling the K5-A as the "holy grail" of kitchenaid mixers. However, I learned that the K5-A was replaced by a "Solid State" Version called the K5SS (and the Tilt Head Model K-45 was replaced by the K45SS solid state version).

So I am wondering if there are any Kitchenaid Guru's that can tell me which one would be best between the older version and the solid state version? (Please don't recommend one over the other if you really don't have any experience with both - Thanks!)

Usage: I am looking to use it to make everything from bread and thick fudge to cookies, cakes and icings. I would want to be able to make single batches as well as multiple batches as we do make all sorts of goodies to sell at Yard Sales and other events nearly weekly.

teegr's picture

Hi, I used an old hobart back in the 70's at work (baker for a large school district) as well as one of the older KA's my MIL had that also had the name Hobart on the metal band in the 70's, both were probably older and quite expensive, both with stationary heads and lift bowls.  We used her home KA to make breads and pies for many of the cafe's and truck stops in a 50 mile radius.  

The one I have used now for almost 30 years is a K45SS and I bought it for $2.00 at a garage sale.  It did not work at all, but I knew it had to be fixable and worth a shot.  I ended up spending $80.00 fixing it...and got a bargain cause back then you could not get a new KA for under $500.00.  The solid state model has been worked to death practically since I have baked all my bread as well as for others 45 years...and I dream of a professional or artisan model since I really need a larger one ( a beautiful pear green *sigh*)...but after talking with the folks at Kitchenaid...I decided I will just work this one till it won't go any farther.  

KitchenAid told me about 5 years ago that they did now have parts that came from outside the US now BUT they assemble it all in the US.  Also there was something inside they went to nylon instead of metal...which worried me.  

I bought both my sons when they married (to their wives chagrin thinking I now expected them to bake) the Kitchen Aid tilt head that looks similar to my old one.  So far they have held up (8 and 3years)...but they certainly don't bake all the families bread or make wedding cakes either.  

I recently bought the glass bowl attachment for all of us (3 bowls) and both of tthe newer models did well with the bowl, however I can not get my old one adjusted properly nor can my bowl lock into the plate, even when I replaced the plate.  Kitchen Aid told me it should fit my model but there is a very large screw head when you lift up the head and you can turn that to adjust the beater/hook/wisk clearance.  

I mention this because if you get an older model...thinking you will be able to use that new (larger) glass might not have any luck.  I have a $70.00 bowl I can't use...unless I get a new KA.  LOL!  

And I'm scared to buy a new KA...haha!

dz5003's picture



Nickisafoodie's picture

See this post.  I would do with the solid state as long as it is 1988 or prior, when things were made solid and all metal.  parts are widely available for the SS models, but not for the 1960's era analog K5A's.  In later years plastic was introduced, machined gears were replaced by cheaper powdered metal gears and overall quality went down...

dz5003's picture

Thanks! That is great info. If it is easier to get parts for the SS's then I will hold out for one of those! Thanks for providing a good reason to opt for the SS version!