The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

No Love for Kitchenaid mixers?

joecox2's picture
joecox2

No Love for Kitchenaid mixers?

I've been reading up on opinions of Kitchenaid mixers on this forum and they have a less than stellar reputation.  Many of the larger commercial type mixers were too expensive when I was starting my home bakery last year so I found a great deal on one of the Kitchenaid 7 quart commercial mixers model KSM7990DP.  I was able to get a refurbished model for $399 with free shipping.  I've been using it for about 8 months now with constant use (I bake 100 plus loaves a week along with cinnamon rolls and other stuff like that) and it's been a work horse with no problems.  I make enough dough in each batch for 4 huge 9x5 pan loaves (around 8 pounds of dough) and have yet to tax the unit too much.  I also picked up a grain mill to fit to the accessory hub on the front so I can mill my own flour.

Again, I know Kitchenaid mixers are frowned upon by people on this forum, but has anyone else picked up one of the NSF 1.3hp models?

Arjon's picture
Arjon

I can tell you from experience in both marketing and customer service that negative feedback is far more common that positive. As a simplified generalization, people are much more likely to voice issues and problems. So, for example, if 1% of users are unhappy with a product, they'll say so far more often than the other 99% say they're satisfied or pleased.  

Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum

In January , after 14 years of beating bread dough on medium speed for 20 minutes,I realized that my mixer was busted and I would not be able to repair my kitchenaid mixer. So I got on the telephone to figure out what how I was supposed to ship it back. There were no instructions on the Kitchenaid web site and I had to three unsuccessful calls before I got connected to the correct department. For around 35 dollars I was sent a prepaid box to drop off at FedEX, with detailed instructions on how to pack it up.

They were supposed to contact me after two weeks, and I when I hadn't heard a peep from them, after three weeks, I gave them a call. I was told that the technicians were running behind. Two days later I was given the diagnosis for the mixer which needed a new motor.  I ordered the repairs, and about a week later it came back. So I would not give them high marks, however eventually they did get the job done.

 

 

BobS's picture
BobS

I bought a K5SS new back in maybe 1985, and have been using it  since then. I'm not a pro, and it doesn't see anywhere near as much use as yours but it's still running fine after all this time. The only problem I've ever had  is one of the ears snapped off the mixing bowl about ten years ago, but I took it to a local welding shop and he fixed it for $10.

embth's picture
embth

It is over 15 years old and doing fine.  I don't use it for bread dough unless I am mixing a very small batch.  I wish I knew what happened to my mom's 1950's model because the mixer was still working in the late 90's.   

gerhard's picture
gerhard

100 loaves a week that is a lot of scaling and measuring.  A 30 quart mixer would open up whole new world for you.

Gerhard

joecox2's picture
joecox2

I purchased a second Kitchenaid 7 quart mixer and have a total of 6 mixer bowls (3 of the 7 quart and 3 of the 8 quart).  I make so many different types of bread that a larger mixer would almost be a waste and I don't have anywhere to put a stand mixer that sits on the ground.  If I were making 100 loaves of the exact same bread dough, that would be a different story.

What I do when I'm making up a large batch of bread dough is I will line up my mixer bowls and measure into each one.  I may end up only making 4 loaves of one type of bread (I make 15-20 types of bread weekly) so having each one separate works for me. 

Another key reason for the Kitchenaid mixers is that I found a place that I was able to purchase refurbished commercial mixers for under $400 each with free shipping.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

KA mixers are all non commercial ones  5.5 gt or less models 325 watts or less with plastic gears that cost around $199 to $299.  The old ones made by Hobart aren't a problem or larger, moire powerful ones with steal gears - like the one you have.  I would strip the gears in mine no problem making bread - as so many Fresh Lofians have.  These mixers aren't made to make bread, Kitchen Aid even says so, and the warranty is void of you use anything over speed 2.  Great for home made cookies and cakes though.

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

Gears require precision machining. You can't buy a KA that replicates a Hobart NC-50 for a fraction of the price and expect to get the same mixer. Cast gears, lower quality metals and parts, etc. make the difference and the quiet NC-50 with its machined and probably lapped gears are quiet and durable. 

What it comes down to is what you expect from a mixer. If you want a mixer to give to your grandchildren then buy the Hobart but if you use the KA within its limits and understand it won't last forever you may be able to save some money.

The thing on this site is that I see some really great bread bakers, much better than myself and if I was in their category the Hobart would win hands down.

Buying a "commercial" KA will probably buy a better machine but will it match the Hobart? I would say it's not likely but again if you use it within its limits you may be fine just don't expect it to last forever.

Happy baking,

Rob

Camarie's picture
Camarie

I wanted this mixer so bad, but just one thing kept me away - the price! I even looked on Ebay, but even the used ones are ridiculously expensive!

And if you buy a used one that was made about 20 or 30 years ago, chances are that you may have to put a ton of money into it to have it fixed & or given a complete facelift to give it a 'like-new' appearance. So I stepped away from that idea also.

I'll continue to look for a nicely priced used one though.

joecox2's picture
joecox2

When I started baking commercially last year, I started out with my wife's KA Artisan and a KA classic.  After a very short period of time I realized that I needed to get a different mixer before I destroyed the two of them.  I did a bunch of research and decided to give the larger commercial KA a chance.  I've been baking 100-200 2 pound loaves of bread a week (depending on the week).  The most difficult dough has been my 12 grain bread that is very heavy.  I'm able to mix 4 loaves at a time without any issues.  I will make up all of my dough for the day at the same time, so I'm running my mixer for hours without a lot of cool down time.

The commercial mixer has a different motor then any of the other KA mixers and is a DC rather then AC motor.  It's quieter then my two old mixers and doesn't heat up nearly as quickly.  All of the gears are made of metal and the motor and transmission are all one unit. 

After the amount of bread that I've made on this machine, I would stack it up against a Hobart of similar size any day.

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

Sure but what did you pay for those commercial mixers with BLDC (Brushless DC) motor technology?

Were they made in China? That doesn't mean poor quality, by the way. Anyone can make a machine or piece of test equipment to very high standards and have it made in China. I have test instruments that run into the thousands of dollars that are made in Asia. It's the quality control that the manufacturer demands of the part supplier that counts. So maybe you can get a cheaper machine made in China that equals an expensive USA machine but you'll still pay for the better quality control, better materials and more sophisticated design.

I'll bet those mixers you got run quite a bit more than the KA NC-50 knockoff. If I remember that KA is a couple of hundred bucks.

Happy baking,

Rob

joecox2's picture
joecox2

Rob,

The Kitchenaid mixers are made in the USA (bowls are made in India).  I paid $400 each shipped and $60 each for extra bowls.  It may seem odd that I have two mixers side by side, but I do lots of different bread types and would not have as much use for a 30+ quart mixer.

I've never heard of the KA NC-50 knockoff.  I'm guessing they are like Kitchenaid mixers just made by an off brand Chinese company?

My main point of posting about these machines is that they can handle bread dough unlike anything else Kitchenaid made in the past.  I've leaned quite a few tips and tricks reading on this forum and I wanted to share what I consider a great deal on a mixer that can handle what other mixers at this price point are unable to do. 

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

Joe,

After I read your last post I did some looking at the 7 quart commercial mixer and most of what I read was very positive. At the price you paid for the refurbished I might even get one myself but the one I found on Ebay was $499.00. Do you happen to still have a link to the ones you got, it looks like a good deal.

thanks,

Rob

joecox2's picture
joecox2

Here is a link on ebay for the company

http://www.ebay.com/itm/KitchenAid-Commercial-7-Qt-Bowl-Lift-NSF-Stand-Mixer-KSM7990WH-1-3HP-Motor-White-/160975201622?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item...

Their listed price is higher then you can get it from them direct. 

Here is their website: http://usaworldsales.com/ 

I called them directly (they do not list the NSF mixers on their website).  Tell them a fellow baker Joe Cox in Arizona referred you and told you that you could get a KSM7990 (last two digits are colors, depending on what you want to get).  I got my last one for $389 with free shipping and picked up an 8 quart bowl for $60 shipped. 

Make sure you tell them you only want the KSM7990 and not the ProLine (non commercial version that does not come with the stainless steel attachments).  The NSF ones are usually more money but for some reason they sell them for less then anywhere else I can find them at. 

Best of luck to you and let me know how everything works out.

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

Joe,

I called, couldn't find the commercial refurb on the site so I left my number and a man named Ben called me back. Bottom line I got the mixer in pewter like yours. I couldn't resist the price $389.00 with free shipping! 

I asked him about the mixers, he said they come right from KA and are basically brand new machines that have been returned for whatever reason and re-boxed. How do you beat that!

I hope it fits the bill, I'll post a note when it comes in.

Thanks again for directing me to it, I wouldn't have known about it without your help.

Happy baking,

Rob

 

joecox2's picture
joecox2

I'm glad I was able to turn on a fellow baker to a good deal on a mixer. 

If you have any attachments for the front (grain mill, meat grinder) you'll love the fact you can grind for more then 10 minutes without making the motor too hot to touch.

PetterJhon's picture
PetterJhon

Hello everyone,,

I purchased a second Kitchenaid 7 quart mixer and have a total of 6 mixer bowls (3 of the 7 quart and 3 of the 8 quart).  I make so many different types of bread that a larger mixer would almost be a waste and I don't have anywhere to put a stand mixer that sits on the ground.  If I were making 100 loaves of the exact same bread dough, that would be a different story.

What I do when I'm making up a large batch of bread dough is I will line up my mixer bowls and measure into each one.  I may end up only making 4 loaves of one type of bread (I make 15-20 types of bread weekly) so having each one separate works for me. 

Another key reason for the Kitchenaid mixers is that I found a place that I was able to purchase refurbished commercial mixers for under $400 each with free shipping.

 

Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum

I am guilty of mixer abuse. I got 14 years out of my current mixer, then the motor had to be replaced for 225$. However I did use it at the wrong speed for years before it died.

Camarie's picture
Camarie

I now have 7 mixers!! All of them can make dough. The last 2 are used Kitchenaid commercial mixers. All of them have overload swithes that shut off the machines if they overheat. The Model G has a fuse at the back of the machine.

Actually 8, because the other KA mixer is a hand-held one!

They all work very well!!

joecox2's picture
joecox2

Goodnerbak,

The clicking sound you here is the dough hook attached to the mixer under use.  The commercial version uses much heavier stainless steel attachments rather then the typical aluminum ones coated with grey or white paint.  The commercial version lacks the spring loaded thing that applies pressure to your dough hook.  On the heavier version, the weight of the hook is what keeps it on and that it is locked into the keyhole. 

Try to listen to where the noise is coming from, and you'll see it's coming from the dough hook attachment...and it's totally normal.

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

I had a KA Hobart Era mixer - it weighed a ton, struggled with even small amounts of pizza dough, had to be watched so it didn't overheat, weighed a ton, foofed flour all over the kitchen even at slow speeds when adding ingredients, weighed a ton, and was a PAIN to add ingredients to. 

Did I mention it weighed a ton?

I sold it on and bought a MUCH LIGHTER - like over 20 lbs lighter - Bosch Compact.  Suddenly ALL my baking increased in frequency, simply because I didn't have to struggle to get the mixer out and then struggle to put it away again, and it didn't take up half the counter, AND it fit under the cabinets with no problem.  Adding ingredients - no problem.  Mixing bread or pizza dough - never fazes it.  It never struggles.  It is much quieter.  It doesn't get hot.  It doesn't try to walk off the counter.

I also now have an Ankarsrum, which is even more powerful than the Compact, and head and shoulders more powerful and flexible than my old Hobart-era KA.  It also weighs almost 10 lbs less.  It's 3 times as heavy as the Compact, but still weighs less and takes up less space than the old KA.

The Bosch compact is hands-down THE best bang for your buck in a mixer, especially if you ever hope to make bread.  For $200 you get something that weighs less, takes up less space, has greater capacity, is easier to add ingredients, has a better motor, and will last a lifetime.

The only gripe I have about it is the plastic bowl.  You can get a metal bowl - but it will cost you $125.  You used to be able to get them from amazon.de for around $75 with shipping, but they apparently aren't shipping to the US any more - I don't know if that has something to do with the new VAT laws or not, but it did seem to coincide with those going into effect.  Anyway.

You can't put the plastic bowl in the dishwasher - the heating element will cause it to deform.  At one point I was washing it in the bottom of the dishwasher with the heated dry turned off, but my son kept turning it back on.  At one point I thought I had deformed the bowl because I couldn't seem to get it mounted so the beaters wouldn't hit the sides.

However if that was the case, it has since magically healed itself.  Perhaps I was just having a particularly fumbly period for awhile there - but the upshot is I won't put it in the dishwasher ever again.

I still wish I had the metal bowl for it, but can't bring myself to shell out $125 for it.  In the meantime, I wipe the inside of the bowl out with white vinegar from time to time to remove any lingering residue of oil or fats.  I used to use Everclear, but a friend suggested the vinegar so I use that now.

Anyway.  KA mixers aren't anywhere on my radar, not even "Hobart era" versions.  There are three mixers I recommend for the serious baker:

Ankarsrum @$800 > Bosch Universal @$350-$400 > Bosch Compact @$200

I do not recommend attachments for the Bosch mixers.  A friend ruined his Universal when the mixer didn't seal properly and leaked slushy stuff into the motor. 

The Ankarsrum attachments may be more effective and less risky - the power attachment mechanism looks less sketchy, more like the PTO on a tractor - but I haven't examined it closely so I can't say for sure.

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

Kitchen Barbarian,

Thanks for the info. My girl friend has the KA Hobart era mixer and it works great with no problems. I think the one Joe got is probably a very good deal and very likely will last as his usage seems to attest to.

Weight in a mixer is, in most cases, a sign of mechanical robustness and the reviews I've read on the commercial 7 quart seem to bear this out.

Did you know Bosch is now importing a mixer between the universal and the compact? It comes in around $299.00 and has a metal bowl. Personally I wouldn't  buy a plastic bowl mixer, just me, it might be fine but I'm a person with All-Clad copper core pots! 

Happy baking,

Rob

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

Sure, it works.  MINE "worked".  It's just that the Bosch mixers work BETTER, and don't have any of the shortcomings of the big heavy KA mixers, old or new.  Before I got the Bosch Compact, I'd have expounded on how much I loved my KA mixer.  The Compact was a real eye opener.

Being "heavy" is not an indicator of "robustness".  It's just an indication of weight.  There are many Bosch users on this and other baking forums who have been using their Bosch or Ankarsrum mixers for decades - not so many Hobart-era mixers (which actually do seem to have been more "robust" than recent models) and certainly not many who own the newer models.  Lots of people who have burned out several KA mixers.

I wasn't afraid (too much) of my mixer breaking - it just didn't do that great a job on bread dough, and it was simply too heavy for me to schlep around any more.  It weighs nearly 30 lbs.  The problem with that mixer is the way the motor is mounted, and the linkage they have to use to transfer power to the beaters.  It is at a right angle - power transfer is poor, hence they have to use a much larger, heavier motor to actually deliver power to the beaters than would strictly be required with a different method of mounting the motor and providing linkage to the business end of the mixer.

The gearing for the transmission also adds significantly to the weight of the mixer.  The gearbox alone accounts for a lot of  weight that is only required because of the way they mount the motor.

Extra metal is needed throughout the body to counteract the stresses inherent in the overall design used to get power down to the beaters.  This is also why they need to use the fixed head design for the more powerful mixers - there is too much stress from the torsion created throughout the linkage.  This also adds to the total weight of the machine.

The Bosch compact uses a different type of transmission and can thus use a smaller motor and still deliver more power to the beaters.  I've forgotten the details, but its a better, more efficient, and thus lighter weight setup than is possible with a stand mixer like the KA.  And while we've been taught to deride plastic over metal - the all-plastic housing contributes significantly to the lighter weight for this mixer, without detracting from its power or usability.

Both the Bosch Universal and the Ankarsrum have the motor mounted in the base and the transmission required is even less complicated - and thus the machines weigh a lot less.

All 3 mixers have more powerful motors than the KA mixers to start with, and less loss of power between the motor and the beaters because of their more efficient transmission and overall design.

I don't know anything about the other Bosch model you mention, except that I can't see from looking at it what possible advantage it would have over either the Compact or the Universal.  They are selling it on Pleasant Hill Grain, but since they never ever answer the phone over there, I haven't been able to get their take on it. 

Perhaps there is an advantage to this other Bosch mixer, but I know nothing about it.  At this point, with both a Bosch Compact AND an Ankarsrum (oh, and 2 Zo bread machines, one of which was only ever good for kneading but the other of which will actually bake decent bread) I hardly think I need any more mixers/kneaders/bread machines, LOL!

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

I understand the Bosch motor principle. They use a cogged belt to reduce motor speed and increase torque. Cogged timing pulleys are very efficient, slightly more than gears, in fact I'm working on a CAD program now to form a 3mm GT2 pulley profile for a milling machine application. 

On the other hand gears have been around a very long time and we drive millions of miles on them. The right angle motor design is not inherently bad either, nor is it inherently inefficient, again how do you think the forward facing engine on a car drives wheels perpendicular to it? It's called a differential and just about every car on the road has one? How often do you hear of one failing? Not very.

If you read the reviews of the KA commercial mixer, you'll find that reviewers remark that it is a quiet mixer. It's quiet because the gears are machined correctly, those are the things I listen to when i read a review (no pun intended).

The down side of belts is that they wear, get loose and slip cogs, that's why timing belts on cars have to be changed, they're the same type of belt used in the Bosch. A good gearing system will last much longer all other factors being equal

The Bosch design is the same design as is used in bread machines, the problem with bread machines is that they also cook the bread and that heat destroys the seals and bearings that turn the paddle so the bread 'bowl' doesn't last as long as the Bosch. People love the Bosch, I'm sure but it has suction feet on the bottom to keep it from roaming off your counter, point being each system has it's pros and cons but personally I like the conventional system where the motor feeds the dough hook from the top. Commercial bakeries use the top motor system for a reason, they have the same objection to weight as you do. A bottom drive system wouldn't work as well when moving bowls around and replacement bowls are cheaper and clean easier because they don't have a bottom feed. Hey, why do you think the 4 quart bowl for the compact cost 125 bucks in stainless? Now check how much it costs to replace a larger bowl in a KA. In Joe's case he needed an extra bowl, the Bosch would have cost him much more.

I don't mind the weight, actually I like that it's heavy, I' m not taking it camping. To each his own.

Happy baking,

Rob

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

The differential in your car weighs a LOT, ditto the transmission.  Car design notwithstanding, there IS loss of power through all that gearing, and all that gearing weighs a lot, requires greasing, creates heat, which heat causes extra wear on all the gearing, etc etc etc.

Lots of things are belt driven.  My pottery wheel, for example.  Cars use belt drives for a lot of things as well.  Timing belts, for example.  Belt drive is a really good, low cost, easy maintenance, easy repair (unless you have an interference engine in your car, which most people do). 

The commercial mixer, btw, delivers only .44 hp at the beater, max.

The motor is nominally 500W - which assuming there was no power drop through the motor would result in a maximum of .67 HP.  This would be reduced at the beaters - and if this is correct, then 0.44 hp at the beaters would be pretty durn good power transfer, all things considered.

However, they ALSO say that the motor is 1.3HP.  That is actually not possible unless the motor is closer to 1000W.  I wonder what the current draw on this actually is. 

At any rate, 500W does not gibe with 1.3HP.  I suspect the 1.3HP rating could only be achieved in a laboratory with the motor hooked up to something more than 120V household supply drawing more than 15A or possibly even more than 20A.  At any rate you are not going to get 1.3HP out of a 500W motor - if you can, a prime law of physics has been broken and you should contact Stephen Hawking right away!

But lets assume it really IS a 1.3HP motor.  In which case, you are losing more than 86% of the power between the motor and the beaters.  That is significant.  But I think what you are really working with there is the 500W/max 2/3 HP which is dropping about a third of the power by the time it gets to the beaters, and some of that is lost across the motor.  That is actually not bad.

If it is true that the gears on the commercial model are machined instead of cast, that would be in its favor.  But its still big, heavy, and clunky (in fact bigger, heavier and clunkier), and it still suffers from all the inconveniences of a bowl-lift countertop mixer.  I couldn't see into the bowl with a regular KA except on tippy-toes (and then only somewhat and unsteadily, LOL!),

I'm sure you'll enjoy your commercial KA.  It probably IS a better mixer than the home version.  But I would not suggest it or any other mixer with the motor mounted up in the head like that, for many reasons,many having to do with convenience as well as effectiveness and durability.  And the durability of the home versions of the KA mixer has been so poor that I just don't trust anything coming out of the factories in China where these things are made (they are only ASSEMBLED in the US, last I checked).

YMCDV, LOL!

*Your Mileage Clearly Does Vary*

DRJT's picture
DRJT

Burnt out my kitchen aid twice with a rye bread 

just got my Bosch compact same rye recipe and no problem

the certified KA repair shop said nevervusecanyvof the pasta or dough kneading feature they always burn out 

 

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

Was it the commercial mixer?

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

Find me a machine, tool or electronic device that doesn't have foreign parts in it. I have expensive, very expensive, Tektronix Oscopes and Agilent function generators full of foreign parts. It's not where it comes from it's the tolerances the manufacturer sets regardless whether it's Bosch or KA.

Does the timing belt in your car require replacement? You bet it does, that's because it has a higher wear rate than the differential which rarely breaks down.

Timing belts are a cheaper design than gears, some places they are fine and some places they are a cost cutting measure. 

As for the motor power on the KA, when I get mine I'll look at the current draw and specs on the case but let's remember you can't compare a home machine with a commercial machine and from what I've seen of this mixer it is commercial. Frankly I don't care what the motor rating is (take a look at the motor ratings of the Hobart mixers, not very high) if the machine is designed right it should run right. What I've read after many reviews is that it doesn't bog down and we have Joe here doing 100 loaves a week. 

Look, if I made a mistake with this KA I'll be the first to admit and I'll be happy to do a review and resolve the motor power issues for everyone to see, until then I'll sit back and wait for it to come but for $389.00 for a commercial mixer that's really rated commercially I'm not worrying. (is the Bosch? Are people doing 100 loaves a week on them? Show me.) 

Rob

 

Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum

Have you tried to get the metal bowls on for the bosch on Ebay?

Camarie's picture
Camarie

Could any of you be referring to the Bosch smaller mixer as the Nutrimill Artiste?

I bought this mixer not too long ago, & I can say that it performs very well in my book! It can handle up to 10lbs of dough - more than some of the lower-priced commercial machines can! Yes, it is lightweight & a little on the small side, but it's motor is quite powerful & robust.

The plastic work bowl is very durable & sturdy. I bought it mainly because the motor is mounted in the base. No motor head above!! Tried to find a pic online of what the motor looks like, but had no luck at all. But it IS a very good machine. May not be a commercial one, but it's no slouch when it comes to making your favorite breads & other things!!

And it can use most of the attachments that the Bosch Universal can use.

joecox2's picture
joecox2

Kitchen Barbarian,

I can not find a single commercial mixer that has the form factor of the Bosch mixer. To completely write off all mixers that have the motor up top like the KA seems a little silly in my book.  All of the larger commercial mixers I have seen look like a giant version of a KA as far as having the motor up top and base holding the bowl. 

As far as the Bosch mixer, I'm sure it's a great mixer for a home hobbyist, but would it handle a 100+ loaf bake day several days a week?  Is it easy to change out mixer bowls so you can prep up several different types of dough at the same time?  Can you run it non-stop for hours without having issues?  I prep up all of the dough I'm going to bake for the day all at once in the morning and then work through in a specific order during my bake.

Camarie's picture
Camarie

They DO have dough mixers, but like the Hobart N50, they are ridiculously expensive also! But they have much more powerful industrial motors in the range of about 2hp or so.

They are very strong & sturdy!! Countertop & floor models.

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

A couple of things:

Plastic has been shown to harbor bacteria, in fact your wood cutting board is a better option. We don't use plastic or products with PTFE (Teflon). I got Teflon hot in the lab one day to see what would happen, we had to clear the room! Plastic stinks when worked and I wear a mask when  machining it. So the plastic in the Bosch, especially the plastic compact bowl, isn't something we'd want. 

As for the motor HP of the KSM7990: OK, this is a DC motor, probably BLDC (Brushless Direct Current). This is one of the best motor technologies and with the NiFeB (neodymium-Iron- boron) magnets the power to size ratio far exceeds what we've used in the past and mated to the new MOSFET (metal oxide silicon field effect) transistors these motors are hard to beat for power and efficiency.They do cost more to produce but it's a good sign in a product of this type. So the motor is 500 watts but rated at 1.3 hp which is about twice the power you can get out of 500 watts (500 / 746) or .67 HP. Motors are rated  for duty cycle, this motor might be rated 100% at 500 watts but have a reduced duty cycle (the benefit of this technology) at 970 watts (1.3 x 746) which is what I suspect. That still translates to 1.3 available HP because you get the extra power when starting or heavy mixing. It's not uncommon to reduce power electronically when the duty cycle has been reached but, again, you're still getting 1.3 HP when you need it. DC motor technology is the future of appliance drive systems. AC, and variable AC frequency motors, are often used in electric cars but for smaller applications the DC motor is an excellent option - my favorite. Matched to a good uC (microcontroller) it gives superior control to any appliance it's driving and maximizes the performance of any geared or belt system.

The Bosch is a home product, that doesn't mean it doesn't work well or is not safe (NFS certified) but you just can't compare it to a commercial machine that is designed to work every day. If you use the Bosch to do 100 loaves a week you will be replacing belts and pulleys in it at some point because that exceeds its design limits, its intended use. Also, cleaning the bowl is more labor intensive than bowls without a bottom feed and, as I've said before, the system is not well suited for larger bowl machines. That's why all the high volume commercial machines use the top feed system. Does it mix dough well? That's rhetorical, of course it does, that why commercial bakeries use it, if it didn't work they wouldn't be spending thousands of dollars for this equipment!

I've read reviews where bakers have complained about the Bosch mixer system, not everyone likes it, read the reviews. Read how people complain about the compact jumping all over their counters, that's not for me, I'll take the 25 lb all metal, commercial KA and as I've said before, I don't like plastic in my kitchen, even the 'safe' plastics, and I especially don't like the way they clean.

Bosch makes some good things and they've had some bombs too (Bosch K Jetronic fuel injection systems come to mind) so if the Bosch works for you and you love it then that's all that counts but if you want to compare it to a commercial machine (not the lesser products from the same manufacturer) than you have make it commercial. I don't see Bosch making the "commercial" product claim.

Rob 

Camarie's picture
Camarie

Some of the most unique stand mixers are plastic. For instance, two of the better ones, the Bosch Universal & the Nutrimill Artiste. I used to frown up at these two machines, until I did some research on them, & found out that they are very good & that owners of them absolutely adorn them for their excellent track record.

I have the Nutrimill Artiste, which is a powerhouse in its own right when it comes to making dough! It works quite similar to the Bosh Universal. uses some of the same optional attachments, also!!

Pound for pound, it is a sturdy & reliable machine!!

doughooker's picture
doughooker

Any idea whether the KitchenAid commercial mixers have machined or cast-metal gears?

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

Machined.

doughooker's picture
doughooker

Do you have that on good authority? Did you ask KitchenAid? That's very interesting to know if it's correct.

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

Too remove all doubt, since I don't have my mixer yet to check, I sent an inquiry to KA and I will post the response here.

OK?

Rob

doughooker's picture
doughooker

That would be great, thank you!

joecox2's picture
joecox2

Robaroni,

Did you get your mixer in yet?

suave's picture
suave

Do you know if your mixers accept regular attachments?

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

Joe,

Eagerly awaiting it, they told me some time this week but I'm in the Catskills of NY and it's in California.

Suave,

I believe it accepts all the attachments of KA other stand mixers. Think about it, would they make a mixer that didn't? It wouldn't be to their advantage.

Happy baking!

Rob

AlanG's picture
AlanG

My KA 4.5 qt mixer is finally beginning to make weird noises at the lowest speed when doing the initial bread mix.  I think that there is a torque issue here that goes away when it gets notched up to #2.  It's about 20 years old and worked fine over the years but I've increased the amount of bread making considerably.  I agree with an earlier post that pasta making should be avoided on the low power units.  I tried the pasta attachment shortly after buying the mixer and it really never worked as well as the was less expensive hand crank makers.  When it does expire I'll get a more robust model.  As a home baker I'm not interested in the Hobart professional mixers.

It wasn't mentioned here but historically the KA mixer originated with the old Hobart corporation.  Whirlpool acquired KitchenAid in 1986 and Hobart eventually found its way to Illinois Tool Works.

joecox2's picture
joecox2

There are several attachments for the Kitchenaid that should never be used on the lower power units.  I would not use the grain mill, pasta maker or the meat grinder unless you're using it for a very short period of time.  I own the grain mill, meat grinder, slicer/shredder, and juicer attachment.  All of the attachments work great on the commercial unit and it's kind of silly that a lot of these attachments have been out a lot longer and would have never worked properly on the small units.

 

AlanG,

For just under $400 shipped for the commercial unit and the ability to use all of your old attachments, the commercial unit should be a good option for you.

 

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

I'm wondering if some of the attachment problems are the lower power units?

My girl friend has an old KA, maybe early 70's I'm guessing. She has no complaints about doing dough but I built her a motorized country living grain mill about 10 or 12 years ago and she uses one of those hand crank pasta makers so I don't k now how the attachments would fare on her machine.

Here's the mill I built. (uses a on old treadmill motor so it's variable speed):

joecox2's picture
joecox2

Robaroni,

That's awesome.  Looks like you have a speed control on the side.  I did a similar set up with a miniature sanding table. 

As far as the under power on the KA attachments, I have a smaller KA Artisan with the 325watt motor and it does not like any of the attachments.  If you do use it, you need to shut it down pretty quickly as it rapidly gets hot and bogs down.  I'm guessing the 600watt mixers would be a little better, but would still have the problem with overheating. 

doughooker's picture
doughooker

AlanG: your mixer may only require a speed adjustment.

You open up the rear, tweak a couple of screws and tighten some nuts down with a small wrench. If you scour the web you can probably find tutorials on adjusting the speed of a KA mixer.

AlanG's picture
AlanG

I'll look for some references about adjusting the speed.

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

Got back from my daily walk and the mixer was inside my door.

I examined the box and noticed that it says "for home use only". Well, how does KA know what I'm using it for! Anyway, I opened the box to find a pristine mixer with little use - if any. In fact if they sold it as new I would never have known. You can see marks on the bowl locking clip where the bowl had been removed and replaced but there is no wear so you can't tell if it's from customer use or factory testing. The bowl is perfect, unused and like new.

Since this is a refurb' the warranty info has been pasted over with a new sticker with a 6 month warranty. There's also information saying that:

"This product has been previously sold, used on a trial basis, and returned to the manufacturer and contains only standard equipment."

Well OK, KA is protecting KA. Did you ever buy a product where it says something to the effect, " Don't touch the read hot coals you might get burned." And you think to yourself, "what idiot in search of a village would grab red hot coals?" They do that because some tort lawyer floating in a pool in the Bahamas drinking Pina Colladas sued their buts off because someone grabbed hot coals and got burned!

Back to the mixer.

I turned on the mixer and it ran silky smooth and very quiet. Wow, this thing is nice! The mixer and the three attachments all say "NSF" on them. The dough hook is solid stainless and built like a freight train, it's made to mix. The paddle and whisk are built to the same high standards.

I originally bought the dark pewter but noticed that KA only sells this mixer in white now. So that means that you have a better chance of getting a newer machine if you buy white (older ones might have more use or scratches and dents). I called the seller and switched to white, I like the white and so does Nancy.

I'll be running around for a couple of days and when I get back to make bread I'll update the review on my opinions. So far, for $389.00 I'm not looking back. Bottom line - if you want a commercial machine with a longer warranty that hasn't been returned ( refurbished is a misnomer, all they did was put it in a different box) then spend the extra few hundred bucks and buy a 'new' one. If you're like me and relish at the thought of owning the NSF commercial for a fraction of the price then this may interest you. By the way, the picture above of the Country Living Grain Mill - it was a dent and scratch.... I love that dent!

Happy baking!

Rob

 

Camarie's picture
Camarie

The 3 beaters that came with mine are also solid stainless steel & very heavy. True sign of a commercial mixer!!

doughooker's picture
doughooker

Cast gears or machined gears?

I examined the box and noticed that it says "for home use only".

But didn't you buy a commercial mixer, which would imply that it might be used outside the home?

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

The model number is RKSM7990WH. The R = refurbished, the KSM7990 is the commercial model number, it has all metal knobs, NSF on the mixer and all the attachments. The WH = white. The power rating is identical and it matches the commercial right down to the orange cord.

This is virtually the exact same machine that KA sells for a lot more money, of course they are protecting themselves. They could have pulled it apart and changed parts but then they wouldn't be selling it as a KSM7990. And what would they do with the original parts they took out? Resell them? No way, they'ed get their butts fried for that! I could pull it apart but right now I'll wait for KA to get back to me with an answer and try making a few loaves of bread. Besides, I looked this mixer over very carefully, everything on it is quality.

If you're worried don't buy one or call KA and ask them personally, I'm sure you'll get the same answers I will.

You can buy it directly from KA on ebay with free shipping for $399.00. Although I got the solid attachments. I see they say, "• Burnished or coated beater included with purchase dependent on availability." I got the commercial beater I'm not sure the "coated" one is the same quality.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Refurbished-KitchenAid-7-Qt-Bowl-Lift-NSF-Certified-Commercial-Stand-Mixer-/131445427672?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1e9ac2...

Rob

suave's picture
suave

That's a good catch.  I've been eyeing this very same listing for a few days now even though I absolutely do not need it.  Now I wonder what exactly comes with it - not getting stainless steel implements would have been a major downer.

joecox2's picture
joecox2

Order the NSF model and it will come with the stainless steel attachments.  Make sure the model number is KSM7990 and then pick what ever color is available.  I would just call the company direct instead of going through ebay.  He should give you the $389 price delivered.

 

suave's picture
suave

My old KA has to die first.  And contrary to everything I read it just won't.  I must be doing something wrong :(

Camarie's picture
Camarie

The Commercial one in white has ended.

Now they're showing one in what looks like Candy Apple Red, & it's a non-commercial one.

joecox2's picture
joecox2

The same seller has the non-commercial Pro Line mixers that look about the same as the commercial one but have a shiny bowl, coated aluminum attachments, shiny knobs, and a gloss finish on the mixer body.  I think they use the same boxes for the mixers regardless of if they are the Pro Line or NSF and just slap on a different sticker with the true model number.  My manuals that came with my units were for the non-commercial white units and not the NSF one.

Glad you are liking the mixer and happy baking.  You might want to check into getting an 8 quart bowl for larger batches (if you need it).

doughooker's picture
doughooker

KitchenAid should have answered your question about the gears by now.

They sell you a "commercial" mixer and say it's "for home use only". That doesn't add up.

This is starting to smell fishy, but if you're happy with your new mixer, that's what matters.

joecox2's picture
joecox2

It is a commercial unit and it does come with the stainless steel attachments including the dough hook, paddle and wire whip.  It comes with the commercial 7 quart stainless steel J handle mixer bowl.

The refurbished units are packaged in generic boxes and come with the basic manual for the white unit.  Many states have laws regarding commercial equipment in restaurants and previously used equipment is not allowed.  A refurbished unit would be legally considered "used" so it would not be legal to use in a restaurant.

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

Joe,

Thanks for the explanation. Also I agree, call them if you want one and tell them you would like the free shipping and $389.00 price the other bakers got. 

Rob

Camarie's picture
Camarie

Not sure if Ebay does this, but I know that Amazon does it. If you buy a refurbished KA Commercial, the warranty is only for 90 days!! Don't know if Ebay does that or not.

kimeats's picture
kimeats

My 15 year old KA is struggling with dough lately. Have considered another (larger bowl) KA upgrade or the Ankarsrum or anything with a better dough hook really. Worried the motor is dying, it's had that leaking grease problem near where you attach the paddle/hook for years but has always worked fine.

 

 

BLinn's picture
BLinn

This has been a interesting thread!  I had two friends in my kitchen last December to make stollen.  We had my 6 qt 'professional' KA and my friend's 7 qt Cuisinart.  Making the same batches of dough, the Quisinart won, hands down.  My KA quit very early on from mixing butter into the dough & we had to mix by hand...The Quisinart chugged along with no problem. Hers was brand new, my KA is well used, but I'm increasingly unhappy with it.  It's loud, and miserable at getting to everything in the bowl - spending $45 on one of those silicone beaters makes me mad! I've been mixing all my bread by hand since the stollen event.  I'm a home baker & like to do a mini marathon 12-16 loaves every month or so -  after years with Nancy Silverton, Tartine 3 is my new favorite.  

Anyone with a Quisinart mixer?  My friend says hers has all metal gears. But I may go for your deal - it sound great! Also love the look of that grinder!

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

I didn't start this thread with a love of KA. Nancy has a vintage one and I've had it apart for her. The guts are well made with high quality gears, etc. The electronics are dated, but I'd expect that in an old machine. When Joe started taking about how much dough he's pushing through his I put my biases aside and started to do some research. The first thing that peaked my interest was the BLDC motor technology. Done right it puts the older AC motor rheostat electronics to shame (If I'm not mistaken Hobart is using the old technology in the NC-50 and most of their other mixers, by the way). Anyway, I have machinery with the new motor technology, the torque and low speed power can't be beat. The only two KA mixers using the technology are the 7 and 8 quart machines as far as I know, and it looks to me like both heads and physical dimensions are the same. (the 8 quart bowl works on the 7 quart machine too). The 8 quart mixer has some other paraphernalia but both have the same motor power and technology. KA sells the 8 quart for 70 bucks more with the bigger bowl so there can't be much more going on there. 

I started looking at reviews (Amazon, KA, etc. ) and people really like this machine. Sure there were a few complaints about having a tough time getting the bowl on and off but, hey, the instructions are clear on how to remove and install it so I dismissed that nonsense. The only plastic on this machine are the feet and the power cord insulation. Many people comment on the quietness and how smooth it runs, I can verify that, you basically know it the moment you turn it on.

I don't work for KA and I don't make a dime if anyone buys one or not.

Enough talk, I'm going in to make my first loaf with this mixer.... opinions to follow.

Happy baking!

Rob

 

Camarie's picture
Camarie

I have a Cuisinart, but it's the precision Master (Model SM50) Not sure if it is metal gears or nylon, but it's very quiet.

Camarie's picture
Camarie

What is Stollen, please?

doughooker's picture
doughooker

Still no response from KA regarding the construction of the gears?

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

I found this:

"The KitchenAid 7 qt. commercial stand mixer is ready to handle all of your jobs, large or small - up to 16 cups of flour at at time! Its powerful 500 watt, 1.3 hp DC motor is KitchenAid's longest lasting powertrain, featuring precise all metal gears and advanced electronic controls that communicate with the motor 15,000 times per second to ensure optimum torque, less heat buildup and smooth, quiet operation..."

http://www.ebay.com/itm/KitchenAid-7-Qt-Commercial-Stand-Mixer-1-3HP-Medallion-Silver-Works-Worldwide-/360692531286

The model number is different (not KSM7990) but it's the same commercial mixer, well almost the same, it doesn't show the speed knob protector in the picture.

Camarie's picture
Camarie

500 watts?!! if it is as strong, sturdy & powerful has they say it is, then why, JUST WHY won't they make it with a induction motor?!! These are much stronger & more powerful. My mixer's motor has 800 watts.

I think that it's high time that they stop hiding behind their wimpy mixers. Be a man, they should! Don't just talk about it, BE about it!! 

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

What are you talking about? 500 watts? 800 watts? What does that mean? What is a watt? What is the efficiency of  induction motors and how does it relate to the wattage of the motor? How do watts relate to motor horse power?

Your mixer is not an induction motor, it has brushes! You're making statements you can't support scientifically.

What does that even mean, be a man? Geeze, we're talking about mixers. 

Camarie's picture
Camarie

I was referring to the KA Commercial. But you're supposed to be a technician. You figure it out.

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

The KA commercial uses a BLDC motor. Do you know the difference between BLDC and induction motors? Why doesn't your Globe use an induction motor?

I figured it out a long time ago, electronics and mechanics are my fields of expertise... for the last 50 years. What's your background?

Camarie's picture
Camarie

My Globe was not made with one. That, you'll have to ask THEM why. It would probably cost more if it were.

I've seem that mentioned (BLDC), but I forgot. When I said Be a man, I was not talking to or about you. All that was directed toward KA. They make me so mad from the way that they act.

It was not against you personally. I don't particularly have a background, but I've read & been told some things. My knowledge comes mainly from the 16 years that I've been employed with United Airlines. But I've had enough experience with mixers & other appliances through the years to know the brands & other things.

My frustration is toward KA or Whirlpool. Because they've massively made all those mixers in different models & it seems like they don't work right or get broken for seemingly no reason. A company gets its reputation by the consumers, and I'd say that there are lots of unhappy ones out there because they felt that KA has failed them or has let them down.

News spreads like wildfire, good or bad, and this seems to be the reputation that they've made for themselves. That is why I became enthused about buying a Globe mixer. Because they are like Hobart used to be. Both of them still make commercial appliances for the food service industry. Whirlpool doesn't. They are strictly in business for the home owners & apartment dwellers like myself.

That is why they will always be frowned upon by me. It has nothing to do with anyone here. it's a free world. You buy what you like. You get what you can afford. Thanks.

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

I was wondering why KA only has the 7 quart commercial mixer refurbished? Hmmm... I noticed on mine that the original KSM7990 label has been replaced by the RKSM label. Is it possible, seeing both of these mixers are the same, that some are the 8 quart mixer?  Because Joe got a pewter one but if you look on KA's site the only color they show for the 7 quart is white BUT the 8 quart comes in colors. So you take the KSM8990 sticker off the bottom of the mixer and you put a RKSM7990 label in its place!

Just wondering.......

Rob

joecox2's picture
joecox2

Robaroni,

There is no difference between the 7 quart and 8 quart mixer except for model number and what bowl it comes with.  The 7 quart model was replaced by the 8 quart.  I have two of the 8 quart mixer bowls and 4 of the 7 quart bowls and all of them function about the same.  The 8 quart is better at making sure you don't fling light weight powders like cocoa powder or powdered sugar.

I called Kitchenaid to ask about the gears and was given the commercial  contact number.  I got voice mail and due to delivering bread today, I decided not to leave a message. Here's their number if anyone has the desire and time to call:

855-845-9684

PetraR's picture
PetraR

I never bought a KA because I prefer kenwood.

I have a great one, I never need to stop the mashine to scrape down the sides of the bowl , it all comes of clean so no interuption kneading or whisking...

KA looks good, but why do they have the speed thing on the other side of the mashine so that you need to reach over the mashine, why not all the controls on one side?

 

drogon's picture
drogon

We have a K-Mix and a Major. (And before you all go on about being a 2 mixer family, make that 3 as I also have a Hobart A200 :-)

The K-Mix was recently in a local shop for repair - gearbox was sounding decidedly dodgy... After 3 months Kenwood gave us a new one! I've used it for bread but only a small number of times and only for an 800g mix, so well inside its limits. I'm using the Major more for cakes, etc. than bread (the K-Mix is really my wifes for making cakes not bread!)

I recently got the chance to use a KA (in a professional kitchen too where they had 3 of them). They seemed OK, but nothing special. (Not that I think the K-Mix is special either, however). One thing I did like on the KA was the paddle beater with a scraper attached - that worked well for making very small quantities of buttercream and I can't seem to find something similar for the Kenwoods.

-Gordon

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

How old was it and how much dough did you put through it in a week?

Rob

drogon's picture
drogon

About 4 years old.

I didn't use it that often for bread - once a week maybe, but only for the last 4 months or so of its life. It had a motor speed problem - that started a couple of years back - it wouldn't go to full speed - well occasionally it would when least expecting it )-: When the gearbox started to make funny noises (it was still working fine) we put it into a local shop for repair (shop on Kenwoods authorised repair list). They struggled to get the right gearbox grease for it (apparently) and my wife got shirty with Kenwood so they sent the shop a new one - just the unit, not the utensils, fancy box, etc.

I'm not convinced the shop was entirely in the clear though, and I won't use them again, but that's by the bye.

I got the Major because (a) it was on offer for £199 and (b) I wanted something to do a bit more dough, but less than the A200 manages. It's noisier than the K-Mix but seems to be going fine. It's advertised as being able to take something silly like 4.5Kg of dough - so I took it to task, but the supplied hook doesn't knead that well at all. (I have a spiral hook for the A200 which is much better than the standard Hobart hook) and (c) I'm doing a lot more patisserie type stuff and for various reasons it was better to get another mixer for that.

Anyway, I can knead my sourdoughs easier/faster by hand than using the little machines... Mostly because I don't knead them much at all. Kneading is over rated in my book ;-)

-Gordon

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

Thanks Gordon,

Just trying to get a handle on how well the Kenwood's are built.

I'm still playing with kneading myself. I do a relatively wet dough with 75 to 90% WW.

Rob

drogon's picture
drogon

Mix everything by hand, leave in a shaggy pile on the workbench, come back half an hour later, give it some light kneading or stretch & folds, put in a bowl & cover, leave to ferment, tip out, shape/prove/bake.

With the exception of ciabatta I don't do wet doughs now. 65% max. Holes don't hold marmalade....

-Gordon

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

I autolysed the dough for 20 minutes (just flour and water), added starter, yeast and salt. Speed 2 for 8 minutes, rest for 5 minutes. Rise several hours. On my second rise and for almost 100% ww this is looking good. I'm a crusty, holey, rustic, soup kinda bread person.

Happy baking!

Rob

Camarie's picture
Camarie

I've heard that the spiral dough hook is better.

doughooker's picture
doughooker

I never bought a KA because I prefer kenwood.

Have you ever used a KitchenAid? If not, then how can you compare KA to Kenwood?

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

In fact I dismantled Nancy's, greased and reassembled it. But I can't, no one can unless they've used both machines often.

I got a response from KA, they gave me the number to their commercial division to answer the question, I'm still working on it. Did you call KA? I already have the mixer and from the quote above,precise steel gears I think it said, they are the standard for the commercial machine.

By the way, while it's only the first loaf, this machine kneads wonderfully and my loaves came out really well. 

Can't wait to open up theses new loaves!

Rob

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

I finally got a hold of the commercial questions and answers people. The very nice lady tried very hard to find the answer in the manuals she had but we couldn't pin down the answer definitively.

She will talk to the engineers who design these things Monday and email me the answer(hopefully).

Happy baking!

Rob 

suave's picture
suave

Quick google search seems to indicate that it uses the same exact same gears as other KA mixers.

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

I had a lengthy conversation with the woman at KA checking with the engineer. There are differences. She said the commercial is a drop in gear unit and the non-commercial units are built up on the assembly line. That would tell me there's a difference. Also she said there is some CNC work done on mixers. CNC stands for computer number control and is a very precise system. I'm not sure where it applies but if the cutters are changed within their wear limits it's hard to beat. It's ideal for complex machining operations such as a planetary gear housing would require.

Also, would they use the same gears in a 200 dollar home mixer that can only do a couple of pounds of dough and their best commercial high power mixer that can do 8+ pounds? It would be cost inhibitive. Think of putting a Corvette tranny in a GEO Tracker.

Rob

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

The commercial mixer is a completely different division and KA had to direct me there for answers.

AlanG's picture
AlanG

Maybe someone knows the answer to this.  Is there a difference between models KG25H0XER and KV25G0XQGC mixers?  KA chat is closed for the weekend and I'll of course check with them on Monday.  Both are 5 qt stand lift mixers and have the exact same price on the KA website.  However, the first model is called the 'professional 5 plus' and the second 'professional heavy duty.'  KA website is really poor when it comes to finding specifications.  I know the '5 plus' has a 450 watt motor but really know nothing about the other one.  Additionally, the '5 plus' is available at significant discount to the the listed price at Amazon but the other model is not.  I don't bake enough bread to warrant a 6 qt model which is likely way too big for cakes and cookies but I will need to replace my 300 watt tilt stand model which cannot handle thick bread dough.

doughooker's picture
doughooker

That's not exactly a straight answer KA gave you about the construction of the gears.

I found one little "tell" in the description of one of their mixers. Note that it says "all-steel gears". One wonders if the gears in this model are machined steel vs. cast zinc or cast "alloy".

http://www.kitchenaid.com/shop/-%5BKP26N9XER%5D-402273/KP26N9XWH

Note that "all-steel" is not the same as "all-metal". The latter could just as well be cast metal as machined steel.

KA has to live down the stigma that has spread on the Internet, that they use "plastic gears" in their mixers. They have always had exactly one plastic gear in the power train, the failsafe gear that is designed to strip under heavy load to protect the motor. If the beater is unable to turn, this gear is designed to strip before the motor, which is under infinite load if the beater can't turn, burns out. If something in the power train didn't "give" with the motor under infinite load, the motor would fail cataclysmically, with overheating, smoke and possible fire.

The plastic failsafe gear goes back to the Hobart era. I have a K5A which was made in the Hobart era and it has a plastic failsafe (worm) gear. The Hobart engineers who designed these mixers before Whirlpool came into the picture knew what they were doing.

Whirlpool experimented with a plastic gear housing. A gear housing is not the same thing as a gear. The plastic gear housing was a colossal failure and they have since gone back to a metal gear housing.

This post suggests the user's mixer has the new cast-metal gears.

replacing the plastic gearbox cover with the metal cover has fixed the problem on my mixer up to a point. The gears on my mixer do not mesh very tightly any more and so the mixer is noisy and tends to struggle under load.

 

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

No such thing! Sorry, Newton has three laws of motion, I don't remember seeing "infinite load" mentioned.

Some gear info(basic, not complete):

There are many types of gears, helical, spur, etc. and two basic pressure angles 14-1/2 degrees and 20 degrees. Gears in a mixer( and your car) have what's called an involute tooth form, gears in a clock use the cycloidal tooth form. The cycloidal tooth form has a constant velocity the involute profile does not and a cycloidal pinion can have less than 12 teeth and involute one can not. There are 8 cutters to an involute module set, for example, which can cut from 12 teeth to rack in a machining process.

 Gears can be zinc, monel, cast iron, forged, plastic, aluminum or fiber composite. Fiber composite gears are mostly used to protect other gears in a chain by virtue of the weakest link. Gears can be cast, machined and extruded. They can be left unfinished or finished with grinding, honing, burnishing or lapping. Unfinished gears do not have the precision that ground or lapped gears do and are generally noisier, precision grinding can exceed 2 to 3 microns.

You can rest assured the gears in your commercial mixer are not cast zinc. Cast zinc gears running a half inch thick dough hook at almost 1/2 HP? Not at all likely, Cast? Not at all likely.

"I found one little "tell" in the description of one of their mixers. Note that it says "all-steel gears". One wonders if the gears in this model are machined steel vs. cast zinc or cast "alloy".

I'm a little confused by this statement, are you saying zinc is steel? Zinc is an element with an atomic number of 30, steel IS an alloy, there is no element 'steel'. Cast steel is very crude and lacks precision. The gears in that picture are not cast steel, and that's the 400 dollar mixer with a much lower torque AC motor, not the commercial one with the BLDC motor. And, by the way, those gears look very good to me so now I'm really happy I got the commercial KA!

I don't know why you're mentioning the plastic housing, the lesser mixer or quoting someone with one, they are not the commercial and don't establish the type of gears used in the commercial much less how durable those gears are.

Rob

Camarie's picture
Camarie

All mixers have that, including the old vintage KA Model G & the N50. Even my Globe mixer has one. It is the one that's right next to the worm drive on the motor.

It is designed to fail on purposed if too great a load is placed on the tranny, saving the motor the added expense of having to be replaced. Except in commercial mixers, that gear is made from carbon fiber or something, not plastic.

Jane Dough's picture
Jane Dough

Kitchen Aid makes a perfectly good machine and has for eons.  Like every other company in the world, over the years changes have been made, acquisitions have taken place etc etc.  Not to mention the fact that costs have risen and technology has advanced (I think).  Fifty years ago the Kitchen Aid was probably very different than what it is today.  (Like everything!)  I think it still boils down to matching whatever machine you use to the use you are going to put it too.

Personally I think KA gets bad rap because it has been a household item for many years.  They make  a machine for every use.  But I bet most starter machines were the little KA Classic.  I started my sourdough baking just a couple of years ago with my little KA classic.  It didn't take me long to realize that 275 watts was not going to last long with the use I was putting it too.  My point is however that there are a lot more Kitchen Aids in use than probably anything else in North America. They're available and they're affordable and they do the job if they are well-matched. 

Like most things nowadays I suppose the bottom line will be how much do you want to spend and how well will you match your product to the use you are going to put it.

As for stigma on the Internet ... the internet has  proved to be a very large soapbox.  You can find an opinion on anything - informed or otherwise.

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

Thanks Jane,

I agree, I didn't come into this thread wanting a KA but I'm sure glad I'm not plagued by bias with my head firmly planted in the proverbial sand!

Happy baking!

Rob

doughooker's picture
doughooker

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/comment/248580#comment-248580

JaneDough:

KitchenAid was owned by Hobart until 1986. They made very fine mixers for the home. Whirlpool acquired KitchenAid from Hobart and started cutting corners. Much of the manufacturing has been outsourced to China. Costs have not risen as you say but have gone way down due both to outsourcing overseas and to making the parts more cheaply, such as plastic gear housings and cast gears.

Whirlpool has been trading on the KitchenAid name and reputation that was established when Hobart owned the company and manufactured the machines.

You may dismiss the Internet as one big soapbox, but read some of the reviews from owners of Whirlpool-era mixers, particularly ones dealing with the issue of plastic gear housings. That issue was a big deal for Whirlpool, who offered to make their customers good at the time. Not all of the reviews are irrational rants and have some basis in fact. These trends toward outsourcing and cutting corners have been going on for years in all manufacturing, not just consumer goods. Any reasonably well-informed person would be aware of them.

One approach to owning a KA mixer is to buy the cheapest model available for, say, around $200 and recognize up front that you're not buying the quality machine that Hobart used to make. You might get lucky and it will last a while. If it conks out after a year, throw it in the garbage and replace it with another cheap one. Treat it as a disposable item. You can keep the attachments and use them on the new mixer.

AlanG's picture
AlanG

Keep in mind that the vast majority of comments on product quality that appear on the Internet tend to be negative.  People with positive experiences seldom post.  KA probably sells more stand mixers than all of its competitors combined and unless one knows what the sales volume.  A Wall Street Journal story last year put the volume at 2.5 million units a year which is a doubling over the past five years.  Furthermore the company is expanding the assembly line at the Ohio location.  We don't know what the number of warranty repairs are but even assuming there are 2000 outraged posts on the Internet this is a 0.08% of the total yearly sales.

Disclosure:  I'm a happy KA owner of both large and small kitchen appliances as well as a Whirlpool shareholder.

doughooker's picture
doughooker

I own a Hobart-era KitchenAid mixer and have an inventory of spare parts and a few tools to work on it. I keep it well maintained and intend to use it for as long as it remains serviceable. If I had to replace it, I might shell out for a Hobart N50. The other route would be to get the cheapest KA consumer model available and treat it as a disposable item as I described earlier. Use it until it burns out or otherwise self destructs, then replace it with another cheap one. The spiral dough hook works quite well for me.

A few months ago my mixer started to dribble a little oil. I replaced a rubber o-ring, which was straightforward to do, and no more dribble. Now it's as good as new!

It isn't just KitchenAid, either. Reviews of many brands of mixer contain horror stories of mixers going up in smoke, failing to operate after a short time or dancing off the countertop.

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

If you buy a cheap car, you get a cheap car, if you buy a cheap mixer, you get a cheap mixer. The KA commercial mixer is not a cheap mixer, the quality control of this mixer is very high, I can tell you that after looking at the parts, dough hook, beater, etc. These parts are made to last.

The technology used in the NC-50 is inferior to that of the KA commercial. Here's what we didn't have in 1975: Neodymium-Iron-Boron magnets, MOSFET's, IGBT's, hall effect devices, and the wonderful motor all that new technology gave us, the BLDC (brushless direct current) motor. That motor is so far advanced over the motor in the NC-50 that you simply can't make a comparison. An AC commutator motor (NC-50) uses mechanical carbon brushes to switch the current inside the motor, as the motor armature spins the brushes move from one armature winding to the next. Think of it as turning a switch on in your house to light a light on and off, if you want to turn on a different light you have to turn a different switch on. This is just an analogy but I think it gives you an idea of what is happening inside  that motor 5,000 times a minute. All of that switching wears our brushes and commutators which have a specific life span. The motor in your vacuum cleaner is the same technology and if you look at the armature spinning you might see the glow of each of the sparks the motor makes as it moves along the commutator. After awhile these parts wear to the point that the motor loses power and efficiency to the point it stops working.

What we've learned over the years is that the thing that breaks down most of the time in a device is the mechanics not the electronics. That's why VCR's are an anachronism today. With their many belts and spinning motors they are no match for an MP3 player with no moving parts. Enter the BLDC motor. No commutator, no brushes and one moving part, the armature. Everything is controlled precisely with semiconductors just like the MP3 player. Speed and torque are all products of electronic sensors. When the motor is taxing to hard (high current) the electronic circuit sense it and reduces power in milliseconds (1 thousandth of a second). 

Old KA's and Hobart's control the speed of the mixer with something called a rheostat. A rheostat is simply a resistor in the path of the motor between the power cord and the motor. The rheostat reduces the power (Voltage) to the motor. The problem with rheostats is they are very inefficient because that power they take away from the motor has to go somewhere and the place it goes is in the form of wasted energy  when the resistor gets hot. It works but the slower the motor runs the more energy it wastes because more resistance is placed between the motor and the AC outlet.

This does not happen in a BLDC motor. The motor is controlled by something called PWM( pulse width modulation). To reduce the power in the BLDC motor we simply turn the power on to it for a shorter time electronically. The motor runs at the same efficiency and same torque ( the AC motor loses torque through the rheostat) regardless of the speed.

I've given this lengthy explanation because I want to establish grounds for this statement:

The KA commercial is a better mixer than the higher priced Hobart NC-50 with its 1/6 hp AC motor. The technology is so much better that there simply isn't a comparison.

Happy baking,

Rob

 

Bobc's picture
Bobc

The Hobart N50 uses an AC split phase motor with a flyweight switched start winding, NOT an AC commutator motor.  It has NO commutator NOR does it have brushes.  It has NO motor speed control and hence there is NO rheostat NOR any other kind of motor speed control.  The motor runs at constant speed.  The mixer speed is determined by a three speed mechanical gear box just like its bigger brothers.   It also dates from much earlier than 1975.  It is a superb mixer.  

 

 

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

I was of the opinion that the older KA replicated the Hobart NC-50 and that is what I was going by. I stand corrected, the motor does have constant torque at the three speeds it functions at.

Starter windings and their associated contacts are still old school and prone to failures. Also they're not even close to BLDC motor technology with no contacts and no (mechanical) centrifugal force to release the starter winding once the motor gets up to speed. As debris builds around the mechanical contacts, grease dries out and pits form (they function under higher current) problems arise. If the contacts 'freeze' in the on position, which I've often seen happen, the motor burns up. Go to a motor rebuilding shop and ask them how often starter windings have burned out motors if you question this fact. If the contacts wear and don't make contact the motor doesn't get up to working speed and can burn out too.

http://www.fixya.com/support/t8867277-motor_hobart

I'll still take the 10 speed KA commercial over the 3 speed Hobart, it even has more dough power.

You simply can't compare 50 year, or more, technology with today's technology, you'll lose every time. Think about fighting a war with 50 year old technology. When the Brits developed the magnetron and enabled centimeter radar it changed the face of WWII.

Happy baking!

Rob

 

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

Since the Hobart relies on a gear box to change speeds it uses more parts -to wear out and maintain- and the torque to the blades becomes a product of gear efficiency which means you don't get constant torque in all speeds.

Keeping a common gear train with a constant torque motor (KA) you get constant torque to the blades.

Rob

Bobc's picture
Bobc

The N50 and NC50 are the same exact machine.  It is interesting, how determined you are to bash a machine that you have absolutely no experience with...indeed, you completely misrepresented its charactertics to make your "point".  Just because something is newer technology, does not make it better.  For the sake of those who are actually following this thread, I would suggest they would be far better served by persons with actual knowledge and experience with the mahines in question than long winded technical explainations based on ZERO knowledge or experieince with the product in question.

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

I didn't bash it, I only evaluated a machine technologically, show me where I bashed it? 

Which has more parts to wear out? Hobart

Which has constant torque? KA

Which has more speeds? KA

Which has the better motor technology? KA

Which motor has less parts to wear out and requires less maintenance? KA

Which cost 2-1/2 times the other? Hobart 

I'm sure it's a great mixer, Hobart has a great rep but again, technology always wins out in the end. Two formula one cars are racing with equally capable drivers, which would you bet on? The 50 year old one or the one with the latest technology? Did you have to drive both cars to know which one is technologically better? No, and while it's a subjective choice which one an individual buys it's an objective assessment which one is more advanced. The magnetron enabled the British to put radar in WWII planes, that technology gave them a massive edge in the war. Do I have to fly a plane with radar to know it's a better plane than one without radar? Nope!

Experience?

Not exactly true, first I own the KA commercial, secondly, I have many years experience with machines from CNC gcode programming, to electronic design, and I also hold several machine patents and again, I'm evaluating both from a technical standpoint.

Rob

 

doughooker's picture
doughooker

For the sake of those who are actually following this thread, I would suggest they would be far better served by persons with actual knowledge and experience with the machines in question than long-winded technical explanations based on ZERO knowledge or experience with the product in question.

I'm in agreement with you there.

We get it, Robaroni. The new DC motors are vastly superior to the old technology; no need for another of your multi-paragraph elaborations explaining the matter. Your credibility is a bit damaged anyway (NC50 isn't even a valid Hobart model number).

We still don't know what kind of gears those KA commercial mixers use.

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

I only ventured into technology AFTER your inaccurate technological explanation. "Infinite load"?

If I call a Ford Fiesta a Ford Escape but give an accurate mechanical assessment of the car does it "damage my credibility" or simply damage my nomenclature?

Look I'm not bashing the Hobart but technologically it's not the KA. As far as the gears, regardless the type they obviously meet the standards of the rest of the machine. Joe Cox has been using his machines doing 100 loaves a week for the last 8 months - along with the other views I've read it's good enough for me. Think it's no good? don't buy one, spend 2-1/2 times as much on a Hobart that does less dough. I'm just as happy, I don't sell these things.

And, buy the way, do you and Bobc own both the Commercial 7 quart KA and the N50 Hobart, since you're using that criteria to evaluate my assessment? 

I didn't think so.....

Rob

Bobc's picture
Bobc

robaroni

Get over yourself, nobody cares!

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

You care if you didn't you wouldn't have responded to this thread.

And I think you're wrong, I think if people can buy a mixer for a fraction of the Hobart and have a long lasting quality product then they want to know. They may not read all the details but some people will.

Reading this thread and what Joe Cox said made me look further to the point of buying a mixer that I really like and expect to last a long time so, yes, it made a difference to me and I care enough to help others using my technical understanding of machinery and electronics.

There's no self to get over, it's a technical assessment.

Rob

 

doughooker's picture
doughooker

Robaroni

Get over yourself, nobody cares!

What he said. Not even the lamp post you persist in arguing with cares.

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

What doesn't anyone care about? In an area where people go to read about baking equipment, they don't care about the technical aspects of equipment? 

So what exactly don't they care about? My objective assessment? And how would you know that? How would you know what people care about? You're here responding, you don't care about what you're responding to? 

"The lady doth protest too much me thinks."

Shakespeare 

doughooker's picture
doughooker

Here is the word direct from KitchenAid regarding cast-metal gears:

models such as KP26M1X are manufactured with cast metal gears. All of our bowl lift mixers, are all cast metal gears. The only exception is model KSM500PS.

I don't know whether this applies to the commercial mixers, but it's something.

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

http://www.gearsolutions.com/article/detail/6301/casting-forming-and-forging

"The investment casting process has similarly limited use in gear manufacturing. Its most apparent value lies in the making of accurate gear teeth from materials so hard that teeth cannot be readily produced by machining [4]. This process can be used with a variety of steels, bronzes, and aluminum alloys. With machinable materials, the process is still useful if the gear is integral with some complicated shape that is very difficult to produce by machining."

And after casting a gear can be ground with CBN (cubic boron nitride) or diamond to exacting tolerances. Not all cast gears are junk, as can be seen from the quote. Although today CNC machining can achieve very tight tolerances (5 microns or better) on very complex shapes without casting (but at greater expense).

Bottom line, all the gears in the KA mixers might be cast but that doesn't tell us the tolerances, steels, steel carbon percentages, other elements in the steel, etc. etc. The more accurate assessment of a gear is not especially the process but the metals and tolerances it is formed to. And are all the gears the same material, etc. from one mixer to the next? Doubtful.

Do we know that the gears in the Hobart are machined or cast and to what tolerances? Well we don't know what either machine has. The important thing is how long they last. I won't do 100 loaves a week for 8 months but if I do 2 loaves a week my mixer will very likely (Joe's mixer is still going strong) last at least ((8x4x100)/2))/52 = 30.76 years... That's longer than me and Nancy expect to live, so we're good!

Happy baking!

Rob

 

BLinn's picture
BLinn

I called, talked to Ben, and my neighbor & I each ordered one exactly as you describe.  She's getting the dark pewter, I'm getting black onyx.  We both ordered the 8 qt extra bowls, and she wanted a pasta roller.  Woo, woo!

Clearly, this will be a lot of mixing power for the money! and hopefully the last mixer I buy.  I'm going to give my 6 qt 'Professional' to my son & admonish him to make his bread by hand - but it will be fine for cakes, etc.

Joe and Rob, you have given a lot of great information here, IMHO, and I appreciate it!

i would love to learn more about your buisness, Joe.  Have you described it in other threads here?

Can't wait to use my new mixer!

 

 

Bev

 

 

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

Bev,

Thanks for the kind words, I sincerely hope others benefit from this discourse as well. My sweetie came over (she has the old Hobart era KA) and fell in love with mine which happens to sit on the counter in my kitchen as it's too nice to hide! 

Anyway I expect to have many, many years of happy baking with it and see no reason why you two shouldn't expect the same. 

I came into this thread hearing the KA horror stories but put those aside when I did the research after hearing how well Joe Cox's mixers have held up. -  Really, he has two mixers and makes a lot of bread, how do you dispute that!

Happy baking!

Rob

joecox2's picture
joecox2

Last year I opened a home bakery called "The Bread Guy".  I make a wide verity of breads ranging from quick breads (banana, pumpkin, chocolate, lemon blueberry) and various yeast breads (Amish, sourdough, 12 grain, various cheese breads, wheat breads, cinnamon rolls).  I am now making deserts for a local restaurant DJ's and all of the breads used by a fancy place called the Turquoise Room at the La Posada Hotel.  

I started off selling Amish bread on the local Facebook yardsale page (we did not have a local bakery in town) and things just kind of grew.  I was originally using my wife's Kitchenaid Artisan tilt head mixer and picked up a Kitchenaid Classic tilt head at a Goodwill.  My wife's mixer never worked properly.  The head would start bobbing up and down if you were to mix anything heavier than egg whites and it was randomly dropping pieces of aluminum into the mixer bowl.  I took the head apart and saw that there was a set screw that had either walked out or was never fully installed at the factory.  The latch that holds the tilt head down was never properly fitted to the machine.  After cleaning it up and fitting the latch, the mixer worked better but I knew that I was going to burn up both mixers because my volume was slowly increasing.

While I had problems with the Artisan that I had to correct, we had purchased the meat grinder, slicer/shreader and other attachments so I started looking for a larger lift stand mixer.  I did a ton of research on the commercial model before I pulled the trigger.  I had placed an order for a red mixer for my mom and the black onyx one for myself and changed my order to the dark pewter when I found out that the black onyx was not the NSF model and did not have the stainless steel attachments. 

I have looked at this website in the past for helpful info and decided to look up what other people thought about the commercial Kitchenaid and all I could find were horror stories about how terrible all Kitchenaid mixers are.  Having had issues with a smaller KA mixer and also owning (and resold for a small profit) the cheapest KA mixer the Classic model, I can understand the lack of love for these machines when you're trying to make bread.  I was just so impressed with the commercial model and thought I would pass along the great deal I found.

I never intended to say that the Kitchenaid mixer I bought was the best mixer on the market, but it's wonderful at the price point and extremely versatile.

I'm glad others have decided to pick up one of these and if I'm able to help a fellow baker, that makes my day. 

doughooker's picture
doughooker

How noisy or quiet is your new KSM7990?

BLinn's picture
BLinn

Joe & Rob,

I talked to Ben again today to get assurance that the black KSM 7990 was indeed the commercial with stainless attachments. He laughed & said he was just talking to you (I'm not sure which one).  I also ordered a grain grinder from him!  What at a Deal!  

I was very interested to read about your business, Joe.  I've sold a bit in the past, before my kitchen redo, when it was very inefficient to bake in a much-abused old gas oven.  Now I have a decent workspace & KA double ovens (I have issues with them too, but that's another thread...:o)   I found it really hard to realize any profit - my ciabatta was profitable, just basic flour & water, etc, but my walnut coffee cake with buttermilk, walnuts, cinnamon and butter was very expensive to make.  It was popular!   They would have loved olive bread, but figure I'd have to charge $8-10/loaf!!

my friend and I are looking forward to perfecting a number of Tartine 3 recipes!  Thanks to you guys, we'll have mixers up to the task!

Meanwhile, I'm doing seed-starting in my basement while waiting for my mixer & warmer weather.

Happy baking!

Bev

 

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

Bev,

We were just out buying seeds yesterday and Nancy is eager to get back into the greenhouse. This winter has been a bear here in the Catskills, that's two in a row and it seems like spring just won't get here (still have considerable snow on the ground with temps in the teens.) It may be good for my fruit trees, years when spring pops early and the apple flowers open too soon you risk the odd frost that ends most of your crop for the year. That's happened more than once.

I guess we don't think about the cost of making bread when it's just for us but the grain grinder should help. We buy wheat berries in bulk from a local supplier (Wheat Montana Soft and Hard Spring wheat 50 lb. bags) and while the price of wheat has gone up it's still much cheaper than store flour and much fresher. In fact, we grind all our cornmeal for cornbread and polenta too, so we save a lot on the cost of goods. I guess you could buy olives in bulk too, never thought about it. While we love olive bread we usually do relatively small batches.

Bulk is the way to go, I even buy organic walnuts bulk, I think 7 lbs cost about $80 from Fillmore (http://www.fillmorefarms.com/store/) but the quality is there and that's cheap compared to our co-op.

The thing bulk, especially grains, is that you have to freeze them for a week (we do three just to be safe) to make sure to destroy any eggs that might exist. The grain grinder will open up a new world of possibilities and you'll wonder how you lived without it. Our Country Living has gone 2 to 3 times a week for the last 10 or 12 years (look through this thread for a picture of it). You probably know all this but I thought I'd mention it.

Mixinator,

I don't have a noise meter to measure the DB's of the mixer at different speeds but it's very smooth and quiet to our ears. It's not something you can't wait to turn off so you can talk to each other and at kneading speeds we easily carry on a normal conversation, no grinding sounds either. I'm pretty good at picking up bad gears in mechanical devices and I don't hear anything that worries me. The dough hook is solid stainless and quite substantial weighing in at 520 grams (18.4 oz.)

Happy baking!

Rob

emkay's picture
emkay

I have the KSM7586 (http://www.kitchenaid.com/-[KSM7586PCA]-401694/KSM7586PMS/). Other than the NSF-certification and the shape of the bowl's handle, can anyone tell me the differences between my mixer and KSM7990 being discussed in this thread? 

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

I would say from the description that your mixer is pretty much what you get with the commercial aside from the NSF as you noted. It is possible that the gears in the commercial are ground or polished to a higher standard but I don't know this for sure. The woman at KA commercial division (which, again, is a different division  than the home mixers complete with a different phone number) did say that the gear assembly of the commercial has a different assembly framework that the non-commercial mixers. She did not know exactly what that undertook though.

It's important to note that everything in two gears might be exactly the same excepting the  polishing degree of the final process and tolerances but we don't know this to be the case. It might shed some light on the gears if we could see the part numbers from one mixer to the next.

What you can do as a KA mixer owner is read AND FOLLOW  the directions. Do they have the same capacities as the commercial? Can you mix or knead all day long like Joe is doing? How does the mixer sound, are the speeds relatively quiet, low noise and smooth?

I think a lot of people ran into trouble with the 'plastic' mixers because they thought they had the old bullet proof Hobart - which obviously they didn't. 

Rob

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

A manufacturer might give you the same mixer but since it's not NSF the attachments might be 'home' quality. They may last forever for you but since the company doesn't have to meet NSF criteria they may save cost in that area and other small areas like the speed protector and all metal controls. Do I really need a speed protector in my kitchen? ... Not really.

Rob 

emkay's picture
emkay

Rob,
You mentioned in one of your comments that the dough hook attachment you got with your commercial mixer weighs 520 grams and is made of stainless steel. The spiral dough hook for my "proline" is not stainless steel. It's coated and weighs only 186 grams. Quite lightweight compared to the hook you got with your commercial model. My flat beater is coated and is 212 grams, but the whisk is uncoated and seems to be stainless steel (or maybe it's burnished aluminum) and weighs 267 grams. But like you mentioned, it's a way for KA to cut costs for the "home" version. I wonder if a heftier dough hook helps the dough develop faster?

I don't make anywhere near the 100 loaves a week that Joe does since I'm just weekend hobbyist feeding the family. The most dough I've mixed is 2.5 kg and the mixer seemed fine. I don't usually go above speed 3 for lean doughs. I've gone as high as speed 5 or 6 for mixing brioche dough and let the machine run for 10 minutes straight. It's definitely quieter than and doesn't heat up as much as my 15 year old KSM5. 

Overall, my KSM7586 has served me well for the past 2.5 years.  I got it brand new for $362 from WS. If I had a choice at that time to get a refurbished NSF one with the SS attachments for under $400 I probably would have instead of the one I got from WS.

Mary

doughooker's picture
doughooker

Other than the NSF-certification and the shape of the bowl's handle, can anyone tell me the differences between my mixer and KSM7990 being discussed in this thread?

The orange power cord?

Rob: I'm wondering if KA has changed their gear manufacturing process since the debacle with plastic gear housings, which gave them a serious black eye. The gears are apparently still cast metal; I suspect they no longer make machined gears at all. A lot of reviews on amazon.com complain of gear boxes sounding like a box full of sand, and there are YouTube videos of KA consumer mixers that whine like crazy. We don't know when those mixers were manufactured. Maybe KA makes them to tighter tolerances now or has otherwise improved their manufacturing standards? It's good to hear that yours is quiet to the ear and that you don't hear any overt grinding or whining noises.

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

Manufacturers constantly run into trouble cutting corners, car companies do this all the time. Many years ago Audi got into big trouble cutting corners on quality control and came to the realization that if they kept it up they would be out of the car business. VW, came off the very successful Beetle back in the 60's and 70's (designed by Ferdinand Porsche, no slouch as a designer, by the way) to the Rabbit around 1975. It was one of the worst cars ever built and VW lost the small car market but like KA everyone ran out a bought one based on the old Beetle.. Ouch!! did they get stung!

Toyota made a decision in the early 90's to cut back on parts quality and look where it got them.

Fast forward to Whirlpool buying KA and thinking they could get away with the same thing. Whirlpool is not my favorite company... by a long shot. Awhile back I bought Nancy a 'super' washing machine made by them and it is one of the worst appliances we've ever had along with my KA (Whirlpool) gas range... junk. If a pot boils over on a front burner the igniter comes on continuously and I have to throw the breaker to get it to stop. I'll have to go in and redesign it at some point.

Most likely what happened at Whirlpool is basic old greed leading to profit loss. They cut corners out of greed and almost killed their mixer division. It must be a lucrative enough appliance area that they came in and redesigned the top of the line mixers in an attempt to keep the product going. They must have told those engineers to make it last because they couldn't afford another 'plastic gear' issue that spread across the net like a wildfire... isn't the internet a wonderful thing!

What you shouldn't be confused about is the quality of parts from one mixer to the next, that is, just because the top of the line is bullet proof and designed to high standards and tolerances absolutely does not mean that the $199 mixer is in the same league. Caveat emptor. You get what you pay for and if you want a mixer to knead 4 or 5 pounds of dough then buy one that will do that.

A company goes to it's engineers, after extensive bean counting on market preferences, and tells the engineers to make an appliance to 'fit' within a specific budget to conform to that market. That's exactly what the engineers do whether it's a $2500 Nana Tata or a $125,000 Mercedes Benz. Just don't expect as much from the Tata as you would from the MB...

Happy baking!

Rob

doughooker's picture
doughooker

This post may shed some light. The poster is repeating what he was told by a KA representative.

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/67751/kitchenaid-commercial-mixer-quality#post_366744

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

The post was from 2011 and the poster referenced something said years before that. It might not hold today as companies restructure and it looks like the commercial division wants to build its reputation back up. In five years they may go back to cutting corners or sell out to someone who will, but as of now I'd say somebody at Whirlpool wants to get back on top in the mixer division.

Rob

doughooker's picture
doughooker

It is logical to think that KA stepped up their gear-manufacturing process after their plastic-gear-housing debacle. Not only did it affect their reputation on Internet discussion boards and Amazon.com reviews, in the end they wound up making customers good by replacing the plastic housing with a metal one, and that cost money.

If a customer buys a new mixer with poor-quality gears which self destruct during the warranty period, they have to make that customer good. The customer returns the defective unit and they can either repair that unit and return it, or send the customer a new mixer immediately and repair and sell the original as refurbished. Maybe they figured it would be cheaper to make better gears to begin with. The marketing department can then tout a "hassle-free warranty" and they wind up doing less warranty work. KA knows that companies such as Bosch, Ankarsrum, Kenwood, Waring, Hamilton Beach, Cuisinart, Breville, etc. are nipping at their heels in the consumer market. There is also America's Test Kitchen doing mixer demos and individuals posting mixer videos on YouTube.

KitchenAid has mounted a TV ad campaign, but if a customer sees the TV ad and goes to Amazon.com and reads a review from five years ago saying the gears in a brand-new mixer ground themselves into oblivion after a short time, they might not make a sale and their ad campaign is then for naught.

One still has to wonder why a KitchenAid "commercial" mixer can be sold for $1,000, while Hobarts, Hausslers, etc. go for over $2,000.

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

Mixinator,

 You get these bean counters, the nemesis of engineers everywhere, and they figure you can save 5 cents by not putting a shield on a catalytic converter because only so many per 10,000 will cause a fire when parked over grass and the litigation will cost the company less than the shield in the long run.

A couple of reasons why the Hobart costs more. If I make ten wigits the cost per wigit will be substantially more then the company making 10,000, now if I make all the parts in the USA using USA labor my wigit is going to cost lots more. I'm guessing Hobart doesn't sell as many kitchen size mixers as KA.

Prime example, Starrett makes a tool called a vernier caliper. Let's say I win a bid on a government contract and the government, for whatever reason, specs this caliper as the measuring tool. Well this caliper costs ten times the price of a digital caliper ( about 750 bucks for a 6" caliper) because Starrett only sells a few of these compared to its digital calipers which go out the door in droves everyday. Bottom line, you pay for that low volume completely USA made caliper. By the way, you can get a Mitutoyo (Japan) vernier caliper for about $80 and it's a pretty darn good tool.

I'll bet the motor on the Hobart costs a small fortune. I also suspect the motor for the KA is made in the East and with fewer moving parts, add CNC machining it probably costs a fraction of the Hobart.

Remember it's not the country it's made it's the tolerances the parent company demands of its suppliers. Tektronix scopes cost 4 and 5 times that of Chinese scopes. They're made in the East but Tektronix demands tight tolerances of it's suppliers.

Here's the thing, sure I own a Tektronic scope but I just bought some machine tools called ER32 collets made in China. The company that sells the collets demands high quality of the supplier and these collets are better than .0002" run out. That's pretty close to Hardinge collets at ten times the cost. I'm starting to see some very high quality stuff coming out of China. When I was kid we used to dismiss everything out of Japan as junk. When Lexus challenged Mercedes we all laughed... We're not laughing anymore.... either is Mercedes!

Rob

joecox2's picture
joecox2

I talked with the commercial division today (they are hard to get a hold of) and the nice lady was able to let me know more about the gears on the newer commercial mixers.  The gears are sent in a raw state to Kitchenaid as compression castings similar to forgings. .They are then precision ground and assembled.  The one gear that is not metal is the worm gear.  It is made out of Kevlar.

These mixers are definitely made differently then their other mixers.  Hope this info helps.

Robaroni's picture
Robaroni

That's probably the nice lady I spoke to the other day, she said she was going to ask the engineers about the gears.

As for the fiber gear (Kevlar) I have a forty year old milling machine that uses a fiber gear and an older planer with one. If you abuse the machine it will likely strip to protect the gear train. The one on my milling machine did strip once when a cutter jammed on a copper plate but the wear characteristics are remarkable and one day recently I opened the machine up to check the gear train and found the fiber gear was perfect. There are several composites used in fiber gears, Kevlar being one of the most robust. KA probably uses it to protect the machine if you accidentally jam a spoon in the bowl or something of that sort.

The compression casting is likely due to the complex gear shape. You can CNC (computer number control) machine complex parts but there is more waste material. The "precision" grinding is what I like to see which confirms the construction quality of this mixer.

By the way, yesterday Nancy asked me to tune up her 1970's Hobart mixer which came from a friend of mine who bought a new one (KA). It runs well and didn't appear to have any heavy usage as there was no wear on the gears and the grease color was still light brown. The commercial KA is quieter. 

Rob

doughooker's picture
doughooker

Thanks, Joe, for that information.

That explains the price difference.

BLinn's picture
BLinn

It looks fantastic!  My DH got curious about the difference between the 7990 and the old (only 2-3 years old) 6qt Pro, so he took the tops off to have a look. HUGE difference.  '

Its VERY quiet, the appliances are stainless and heavy, compared to the 6 qt Pro.  Strangely, the machine is the same size (height & width) as my old 6 qt Pro - the 6 qt bowl fits on it, so I'll have 6, 7, and 8 qt bowls for it!

I hope this photo shows ok - the new 7990 is on the right & is black with the orange cord.