The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Kitchenaid mixers. Hobart Vs. "The current ones".

mikeofaustin's picture

Kitchenaid mixers. Hobart Vs. "The current ones".

Does anyone suggest the original hobart line of kithenaid mixers are worth getting? I know that the new ones absolutely are a peice of plastic garbage.  And if anyone currently has the original, can you tell me how much dough it's capable of kneeding?

suave's picture

A Hobart-era KitchenAid would be over 20 years old, if you can find one.  And what makes you think they are plastic garbage? KitchenAid mixers are just fine if you get the right one. 

mikeofaustin's picture

maybe 'garbage' is to strong of a word (and could potentially hurt some feelings).  What I mean is, well, companies that buy a name brand that has been tried and tested for many years,  reduce the manufacturing cost by cutting all kinds of corners, like taking metal gears and making them plastic so if you were to 'exceed' the recommend conditions, you just broke your mixer; remove the metal housing, make it out of plastic, so if it falls over, your housing is broken... etc,etc...

suave's picture

You know, there's been a lot of fuss over stripped gears on KAs, but I bet the actual number of blown machines is far smaller that the number of people who when told "knead 4 minutes with a hook on medium" crank the machine up to 5.


LindyD's picture

Load is a factor to consider. I wonder how many mix huge quantities of dough in their KAs which don't have the bowl or HP capacity to handle it. You can burn up any machine if you put enough stress on it.


Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

I have a two mixers now, a Hobart era K45SS I bought new in about 1987 and an Electrolux DLX.  I had a Bosch Universal, but sold that on eBay.


I've heard many, many "my KitchenAid died" stories, and I am not a real fan of current KitchenAids, my feeling is most of the problems are from people who read neither their manuals nor the web page.  Nor, I suspect, the information on the box.


KitchenAid currently rates their mixers by what they call "Flour Power" measured as how many cups of white flour the mixers can handle in a batch.  This is absurd since there is a lot of difference between cake batter, poolish, bread dough, pizza dough and bagel dough.  Professional mixers are rated by pounds and hydration.  So, 60% hydration dough has this rating, 50% hydration has that rating.  A cup is an imprecise measure, as discussed many times here and elsewhere.  Still, it's better than nothing.


Also, KitchenAid says if you use whole grain flour to cut the rating in half.  And that you should knead for no more than this long (varies with the mixer), at no more than that speed (may vary with the mixer), and only two batches back to back and then let the mixer cool for 45 minutes to an hour.


These limitations make KA mixers useless in any professional or commercial kitchen for bread making.  Even to make rolls for a restaurant.   The mixers aren't NSF rated, which is also necessary for professional or commercial usage.


While I think they rate their mixers in nearly useless, uninformative ways, they misrepresent the mixers as being professional or commercial grade, and that the mixers are not very good, the usual story I hear is about someone's KitchenAid mixer dying involves a third or fourth batch of bread back to back, being mixed at too high a speed for too long, all the batches being whole grain, and being considerably too large even if the batch was a white flour bread.  In most cases, it isn't the mixer's fault.  It's the owner's fault.  In those cases where I've heard of it being spontaneous mixer death, KitchenAid has come through with a new mixer.  Sometimes even after the warranty expired.


That said, I still think the mixer is not optimum for a serious bread maker.  I suggest using alternate techniques to make the bread by hand (such as strestch and fold) or getting a larger mixer that can handle the load as well as back to back batches, such as a Bosch or Electrolux.




mikeofaustin's picture

I'm assuming that after your first paragraph, you're talking strictly 'newer' models?

also, I read a story where someone called the company and said, "The box say's 'heavy duty'".  The companies response was, "That's just a name, and in now way implies that it is 'heavy duty'.   So yea, no commercial use. 

Also, I wonder if anyone has purposely abused the older units, so see how much 'more' abuse they can take over the newer ones.



starchild's picture

I have a Kitchen aid from Hobart that I bought when I was a pastry chef and chocolatier over 27 years ago.  Still working like a charm.  sturdy strong and reliable.  Dont know what they are like today but mine is a beauty even with it's battle scars.  I am planing to hand it down to my children one day.  At the moment I would not part with it for any amount of cash. 

sphealey's picture

=== A Hobart-era KitchenAid would be over 20 years old, if you can find one. ===

The Hobart KAs you can find on eBay and at garage sales typically only have a few dozen hours on them and some even have perfect finish. I guess the 1960s weren't too much different in that respect: most of these must have been bought, used twice, and pushed to the back of the counter.


I would like to find a reputable service center for the one I bought on eBay though. Interesting thing I learned: the gear lubricant in a KA should be USDA-certified food grade non-toxic grease. I didn't know there was such a thing.

subfuscpersona's picture

I think so.

I own 2 from the Hobart era - model K5-A and K5-SS (both 5 qt. capacity).

Do *not* purchase unless you are guaranteed that it is in working condition.

Do *not* purchase unless there is an *authorized* KA service center near you in case the unit needs repair or adjustment.

The models I have can mix 4-5 pounds of bread dough *if* the flour in the dough is primarily commercial white all-purpose OR bread flour. If you're making "speciality" breads then reduce the capacity to 4 pounds dough or less. By "speciality" breads, I mean (for example) the following...

...a high % of high gluten flour (protein value greater than 12%), a high percentage of non-commercial-white-wheat flour additives or a bread made of 50% or more whole grain flour.

Hobart era KA models appear at times on eBay. The seller will advertise them as such as sellers are aware that there is still a strong market for Hobart-era KitchenAid mixers.

Please post back to this thread if you have further questions re Hobart made KitchenAid mixers.

Russ's picture

I'm pretty sure that Hobart era KA Mixers were all in the 4.5-5 qt range in terms of bowl size. From my experience with a more recent 4.5 qt KA, I'd say that you're looking at a batch size up to about two loaves.

Personally I recommend the Electrolux Assistent (AKA DLX) mixer for breadmaking. It's what I switched to when I began making bread and found that my KA wasn't up to the job. So far I've made up to four loaf batches including whole wheat breads and the DLX hasn't even flinched. My old KA strained and threatened to die kneading a single WW loaf and overflowed making a three loaf batch of Floydm's cinnamon raisin oatmeal bread.


Mac's picture

I had an older KA Professional 6, the one with the C dough hook, and gave it to my son for his family.  Was never impressed with the C dough hook.  The dough use to climb up and you had to keep shutting off the machine, push it back down, start it back up again, shut it off, push the dough down - you get the picture. Purchased a new/refurbished Professional 6 from KA (only 239.00 with a six month warranty) - this one comes with a 575 watt motor and the new dough hook which is shaped like a pigs tail. 

Hugh difference!  The new style dough hook works so much better than the C hook - the difference is night and day.  Made some Vienna bread yesterday, that use to choke the old Pro 6, but this one didn't break a sweat.

If you're interested here is the link:

mikeofaustin's picture

I guess what I mean by old, is the older K5-A of the K5SS model. Put it this way. If you can lift your KA without the help of anyone else, you don't have an older model.  I 'believe' the pre 1986 machines.

(kind of exagerating, kinda not).

subfuscpersona's picture

Rather than perpetuating an endless argument (?discussion) of the merits and demerits of KitchenAid mixers, Hobart or Whirlpool, perhaps you could tell us what your needs are?

> How much bread dough do you want to make at a time? (If you can't answer in terms of weight, let's assume a loaf of bread requires about one pound of dough).

> What kind of bread doughs do you make? As has already been pointed out, a stiff or heavy dough taxes your mixer more and you can't make as much at a time. For example, doughs that use high gluten flour (at 13-14% protein) are much stiffer than ones that use all-purpose or "artisan" bread flour (at 12% protein). Doughs that use a high percent of whole grain flour (let's say 40% or more of the flour is whole grain) are stiffer.

> Do you need to knead batches of dough one after another, as might be more typical of a small bakery or other commerical concern?

> What's your price point for a mixer?

If you can target your needs for us, I think you'd get better responses.

Looking forward to hearing from you - SF

pjkobulnicky's picture

I have had a Hobart KA mixer, new KA mixer and now I have a Pro 6 KA.  I am a hobby baker and never tax my mixers.  The Pro 6 with the pig-tail dough hook is better than the Hobart KA for bread doughs. However, if i wanted to go even semi-pro I would get a professional mixer. 

My son the artisan baker says that when you go pro you get a NEW pro mixer 'cause you need to have it up and ready to work all the time and used ones are downtime waiting to happen.


Paul Kobulnicky

Baking in Ohio

Wild-Yeast's picture

Yes, I burned one out and tried to repair it and in the process discovered that KitchenAid went through a period of learning with their Pro mixer line.  I was in a very dour mood over the smokey events at the time but ended up buying another one anyway.  I found that it's proof that a company can learn if it listens to its customers and the number of returns from dyed in the wool breadmakers (and the inevitable sales drop from a bad reputation). The latest and greatest advertises "steel gears" (go ahead google "kitchenaid steel gears" and see what you come up with) on both the 5 and 6 series.  The last but most important item that clenched the dour mood second buy was the change to the spriral dough hook.  Yep! You guessed it, kneading dough sent more of these machines to the junk pile than did whipping egg whites. The spiral dough hook and more powerful electric motor with better cooling fan circulation capability better matched the type of endless torture that kneading dough applies to the machine. 

The carnage that this caused the brand name amongst the baking fraternity nearly wiped their name from consideration by many who "will never forget".  I am now happy enough to have forgotten the rotten thoughts I had during my dour mood period after the first Pro 6 smokeout...


P.S. Check with me just after the one year warranty period is up...

Wild-Yeast's picture

The new mixer [KitchenAid 6 Qt.] is beginning to stop after 15-20 minutes with 2 lbs of dough.  Letting it cool for 10 minutes or so resets the thermal cutout and it runs - but only for 5 or so minutes.  It also has a loud whine.  

We're thinking about sending it back to the factory as it's still under warranty.  



gary.turner's picture

That's not very much dough, especially if you're running at the recommended speed (2?). If that's KA's norm, it's a mixer not suited to purpose.



breadman_nz's picture

Even the small-but-mighty Hobart N50 isn't officially rated by Hobart for heavy bread, bagel and pizza doughs. Go figure that one! (ref:

Whining, complaining motors are indicative of planetary mixers with direct-drive rheostat-driven electrics. Get a real mixer with a gear box, or an alternate design, like a spiral, Bosch or DLX if you want to lessen the risk of burn outs (AND you still ought to stick to recommended capacities and ratings).

People complain about how things "aren't made like they used to be", and then in the next breath complain about the price when something is (e.g. Hobart N50). Washing machines are another example of this phenomenon. People buy the cheap one, it breaks, they chuck it out and get another. Disposable items for disposable incomes in a disposable society. And yes, the sad fact is it's actually cheaper to do it this way than buy once, buy right - I recently bought a replacement non-stick rice cooker bowl replacement which was more expensive than buying the whole rice cooker new in the shop next door. Out of principle I spent the extra few bucks to get the replacement part rather than the extra resources I didn't need. Crazy but true.

copyu's picture

It's so apt! I'm a 'baby-boomer'.

When I was single, I bought a small "Sim*s*n" 16-pound-load washing machine and it rocked...on and on and on. It DID fail after about 16 years and I had to pay the 'service call' fee and parts, so, perhaps a $100 repair bill. Better than buying a new machine!

The service guy told me (and my brother, who worked for the same company for 5 years confirmed the story) that they used only one model of gearbox and one motor for the entire range of washing machines the company made in those days. My machine was "over-built", you could say.

The company was smart in putting top-quality parts into all of its machines.  Parts-stock issues were electric motor for a washer was "just a motor" and a gear-box was "just a gearbox"...Motor problems were usually a 40-cent capacitor that just happened blow up. Customer satisfaction was outstanding, but return business was obviously lousy, because these were 'once or twice per life-time' purchases...UNLESS you got married and had 5 children and washed diapers/nappies every day and then retired...and bought another small machine. I suppose that the company's business-plan was based on the baby-boom generation.

Stocking all of the electronic circuit boards for all of the control panels, which improved drastically with every new model, is probably what killed the company in the end. It's what we call "progress". (My tongue is firmly planted in my cheek!)



Leolady's picture

You get what you are willing to pay for with mixers as well as anything else. 

Back in the 1970s there was only a percentage of the population who were willing to pay the extra price of a Hobart made Kitchenaid.  They cost about $250 back then, in comparison to a Sunbeam for about $100.  Sunbeam mixers outsold the KA by approximately 10:1 and only hard core cooks/bakers paid the extra money for the KA.

Now a much higher percentage of the population wants to buy a Whirlpool Kitchenaid.  But they are NOT willing to pay the adjusted for cost of living increased price a Hobart built KA would cost. 

So, Whirlpool cashed in on the desire for the legendary KA by building what amounts to a cheap look alike.  Whirlpool KA sales are probably quadruple what the Hobart KA sales figures were.  Profits per unit produced have to be a lot more also.

Now people are expressing the desire for the robust and durable Hobart N50, but most do not want to pay the price for the excellent quality.  But let somebody buy out Hobart and dummy down the N50 so it sells for $800 or less; and the stampede would be on.

Meanwhile the small percentage of the population who prefer to work with quality equipment are willing to happily pay the higher price.  They are glad they don't have to worry about breakage, down times, and unsatisfactory service.  They utilize the common spending strategy of the very rich.  Buy the best once, and you never have to replace it again.

I should say that I would not be on this forum now if it was not for KA's cost saving moves.  I was on the KA forum for years and loved it, but KA laid off the customer service reps who were moderating the forum and closed and sealed the forum itself.  KA also sent even more jobs overseas to cut costs.  Only the assembly of the mixers is actually done in the U.S.  they aren't made in the U.S.

When the KA forum closed, I was at a crossroads and happened onto this forum.  I am now in the process of transferring my KA history threads from Kitchenaid Conversations, from my computer onto my blog; so that this information will once again be available to those who want it.


Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

I see it's been over a year since this was posted - but I'm wondering if anyone knows where Leolady's blog is?  I was very disappointed when KA trashed the forum.  I know lots of people who would be interested in this information.

breadman_nz's picture

The fascinating thing is that KA is now the Sunbeam - and sunbeam is even cheaper still!

...but through it all, Hobart is still Hobart.

Commercial and industrial premises, where down-time=money, are still the market for robust, 24/7 machines such as a Hobart. Having your cheap knock-off 30-quart mixer break after three months does not good business sense make. Better to have a machine that will keep going and going in between its scheduled services.


[EDIT: I sound a little like a Hobart salesman - but I have no connection with them!]



Wild-Yeast's picture

A couple of thoughts:

  • KA reputation is now a "Sunbeam" story
  • Only one European machine holds up to job of kneading the dough
  • Dough hook kneading action is inefficient and power consuming
  • No company is addressing this market area [niche?]
  • Implies strong opportunity  for addressed innovation

All current machines use fairly dated technology and are far from being intelligent when it comes to addressing the bread making application. The old adage that "we just design them, and no, we don't bake with them" seems to apply here.

It's time to translate those back-of-the-envelope ideas into a formal engineering prototype proposal...,



pjkobulnicky's picture

I just recognized this thread and lo and behold I had a post almost 3 years ago. Wow.  But even mine is dated. I sold my KA Pro 600 soon after I bought it (it was insubstantial and not worthy of the "Pro designation) and got a Bosch. It's fine. But I still wish I had the KA my wife and I bought her mother about 40 years ago. It was a workhorse but was tossed out by the same two people who bought it for her when she died (scheesch!)

3 Olives's picture
3 Olives

I know a lot of people who own KA mixers and love them. However, they don't make bread with them. It's a good all purpose mixer and half the price of a good bread mixer. Quality and quantity are usually proportional with appliances. if you are paying half the quantity of money of a good bread mixer you are going to get half the quality.

Leolady's picture
Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

Thank you!

Sadly I am selling my Hobart made KA K5SS - I can't lift it anymore!  But I was happy with it while I had it.  I will NOT be replacing it with another KA - the big mixers are still too big for my current needs and the small ones are too small.  I do think that at least up until recently, (say the last couple of years), I believe the reports of early deaths of at least some of the models have been exaggerated.  Particularly as pertains to the "plastic worm gear" - that's a BREAKAWAY gear.  If that breaks, you overtaxed the motor at some point.  It's supposed to break to keep you from burning your motor out, like the shear pin on a lawnmower that's supposed to break and disengage the blade from the shaft if you hit something while you're mowing (say, a big rock, or that tree trunk you TOLD your brother NOT to saw of at almost-ground-level because you were afraid you'd hit it with the lawn mower).  Believe me, you'd be much more unhappy if you overstressed the motor and the breakaway gear didn't do it's thing and your motor burned out, than you ought to be about replacing a $25 part.

I know I was, when my shear pin didn't shear when (sure enough) I ran over the invisible tree-trunk that shouldn't have been cut off so low (but not low enough).  *sigh*

I can't remember where I saw it now, but there are a lot of people who seem to be under the misapprehension that the big KA workhorses are really only good for cake batter and "small batches".  I can't say about ALL KA mixers, especially not the current incarnations - but mine, at least, is lousy at making small batches of anything, and small batches are all I do these days.  So I guess they're good for making BIG cakes (say, wedding cakes), but if you're making 7" pies (and want a 7"-pie's-worth of meringue) or a 6" cake .... not so great at that.  LOL!

Anyway.  Glad to see somebody managed to rescue at least some of the information on those forums.  I still think they shut them down because they didn't like the honest feedback they were getting.  Instead of taking it and using it to help them improve their designs, they'd rather just ignore what the customer wants or needs and fall back on a sort of "You will buy it because we say so" mentality, LOL!

RSPRINGFLA's picture

I am on my third KA mixer, the first two stripped gears while mixing bread dough. 


The instructions on my new mixer says knead bread dough at #2 setting.   I have not had a problem mixing pasta dough - at higher speeds - perhaps because I use no more than three cups flours.    




RSPRINGFLA's picture




gerhard's picture

We had a 60 Quart bowl retinned in 1980s, our flour supplier actually handled it for us.  I just did a quick google search and came up with this link, seems pretty reasonable price wise.


Stuart Borken's picture
Stuart Borken

I just bought this for the purpose of handling an 8 cup very stiff hamantashen dough and bagel dough.  It did the job without struggling.  It does have a terribly annoying very loud whine though.  I figure this is what it's supposed to sound like, an I correct?

Stuart Borken's picture
Stuart Borken

My unit is a KP26M1XLC

It is the 6-Quart Stand Mixer

It was purchased new this past holiday season.  The box was unopened.  It was new from the factory.  It works fine, it just sort of has this high pitched whine.  I can live with it.  I live in Minneapolis, Mn. is there a place around me that you trust if I wanted it examined?

Yerffej's picture

I have seen two of these mixers in action and they both had a loud high pitched whine that was most uncomfortable to listen to.


Robaroni's picture

I realize this is an old thread but I think some clarification is in order. There is a reason why your Hobart mixer held up and your KA didn't. It's called quality control. Company 'A' makes a gear for a mixer and follows the machining tolerances for its cutters which limit the cuts to, for example, 100 cuts before the tolerances of the cutting tool exceed the manufacturer's part tolerances. Company 'B' makes the same parts but instead of limiting the cuts to 100, limits them to 300. What happens? Company B's parts don't last as long and are nosier because they don't mesh as well (fit together as well). They may fit within the tolerances the company dictates but the two machines, although identical, are very different.

Now introduce cheaper metals into one gear, housing ,etc. and the two gears and mixers, to the naked eye, might look exactly the same but one mixer will last much longer (be more durable) and quieter than the other.

If you read the reviews on the Hobart NC50 you'll see how quiet consumers say it is. If you look back on this thread you'll see how consumers complain about the noise of new KA mixers.

The two machines are not identical, one, the Hobart, is built to much higher standards than the KA. That's what you're paying for and looking for older KA's that were made by Hobart is still a good idea.



doughooker's picture

I have read that Hobart mixers, as well as Hobart-era KA, use machined gears, and that Whirlpool KA mixers use cast-metal gears. That is not an issue of quality control but one of manufacturing process. Still, it's an important difference.

Robaroni's picture

Look, you can't sell the 'same' mechanical design but at a significant price reduction and not cut corners somewhere in the manufacturing chain AND in the durability of the final product.


doughooker's picture

The older Kitchen Aid models were great. The new ones, not so much.

Today's KitchenAid mixers fall into two categories: consumer and commercial.

This subject was investigated here a few weeks ago. The commercial mixers are made to a higher standard than the consumer mixers and are priced accordingly. A commercial mixer will have an orange power cord and a DC motor.

With the consumer KA mixers, you pays your money and takes your chances.

doughooker's picture

Out of curiosity, do you know what model it is?

What happened, did it just stop running?

Ihutchi2's picture

I can tell you I bought new  kitchenaid and ended up returning it.  It couldn't even whip 2 sticks of room temperature butter. The machine started smoking and you could hear what sounded like broken gears.   I purchased the model Walmart sells as that is the closest store from my house.  I inherited my mother's k5ss.  It is STILL running after approximately 35 years!!  I believe the newer models are crap.  I read where they I initially using plastic parts and then switched to pot metal gears.  New ones not worth the money

clazar123's picture

It looked like it had been used just a few times and I think I know why it was donated. It must not have been returnable and when I turned it on, it made an awful grinding sound. The thriftstore price was cheap and returnable so I bought it. My talented husband opened it up and we both laughed. The dollop of heavy duty grease dropped into the gearhead on the assembly line missed the target so the gears were running totally dry. Luckily, none of the teeth were broke. He had some of the special grease (he's been inside my old K5ASS before), lubed it up and it runs like a champ. That being said, there are a LOT more plastic/nylon parts in the new ones. I have been enjoying it since. It has not seen a lot of use but runs nice and quiet. Good machine for a snowbird house.

Parts for Kitchenaid mixers are available. The trick is to find someone capable of doing the work.

Rshwin's picture

* Your basic Pullman loaf size is 2lb and your base model can't handle it.

* Your basic model though rated for 1.5lb dough not only can't do it

* Your basic model can't even do a single batch (12oz bag of chips) of Toll House Cookie dough without the bowl being pulled out of it's base.

I was a chef and graduated from the CIA in NY in '86 and worked under several true, either certified Master Chef de Patisserie CMPC's or CMC's throughout the country. And there were always a few kitchen aid little mixers around every place I worked. Hobart 20qt 80qt and 120qt too, usually. So I had been accustom to the brand. My ex-mother-in-law had an Artisan from before the move to do away with the bowl holding arms, and it seemed okay. I didn't have any complaints, but I never used it for bread. However, this Christmas last, the kids and I got my girlfriend a basic unit. I wasn't happy about the move to get rid of the bowl holding arms -in lieu of the bowl base support/holder KA had made... but that's all there is regardless of the model. So I was less than thrilled my base recipes for everything (for home use) are in 2 lb batches. Like I stated earlier my Pullman loaf pan is a 2lb pan yet it is only rated for a 1.5lb dough at best. They make an attachment for pasta... ha ha it can't even do a single batch size for Toll House Cookies ... how is this thing ever going to handle a pasta dough?  So this thing has sat since May as just a counter top dust collector.  

I have read the posts here on this topic and see the "Tech" chiming in time to time about how "all the parts are just the same as the ones made by Hobart... etc. etc. Well here is the skinny on that. You see I was first flagged for having high blood sugars( upwards of 250) when I was 15, as part of a sports physical, directly after the second two-a-day practice for football. I was in all the sports then Football, wrestling,  track, baseball, crewing for sail racing etc. I was actually sent home after my first semester at CIA to get it tested for diabetes, my ma lied about the results, why... I don't know. So unfortunately for me, by the time I was mid thirties I was very very sick, and very damaged, so I had to take some years off from Culinary Arts to heal-up. In that time I worked in manufacturing, both metal and plastics. And, I can tell you it is precisely in the creation of the basic metal and plastic that is being used to make the parts, where the difference in quality starts. For plastic, how much regrind goes back into the mix etc. Concerning metals, there are dozens of different formulas and grading for castings, and sheet metal, each of which alter the strength, hardness and toughness in the finished products. Simply stating "well they used the same nylon gears then as they do today", means nothing. It is whether they are using the exact same grade of base metal or nylon with the exact same strength, toughness, or hardness that makes the difference. Unless you can show us that the exact molecular formulations are being used to make those same parts.... we all will stay firmly within our experienced histories, of what we knew KA/Hobart mixers to have been able to do, versus what we all now know to be the KA product line of today, mostly unusable products, for even the most basic of kitchen preparations.  




doughooker's picture

Repair manuals for older KitchenAid mixers can be found in various places around the web. If you plan to do some work on your mixer, it pays to download the manual.

If you open up a KA mixer there are a couple of things you should do:

1. Check to make sure the gear housing is made of metal, not plastic. When Whirlpool took over it seems they tried to cut corners by using plastic gear housings which were not up to the job and gave them a lot of trouble. They have since stopped using plastic gear housings and more recent units probably don't have them. Replacement gear housings made of metal can be purchased from any number of sources which carry KA parts. Read more here:

2. If the unit has seen some use, replace the rubber O-ring while you're in there, part number 67500-55. With use the O-ring wears out, causing oil to ooze out and possibly get into your food.

3. When you purchase your O-ring, also purchase some paper gaskets. It really doesn't pay to reuse the old ones.

Any machine can be overloaded no matter who made it and when. If you overload your mixer such that the motor is laboring, you're inviting trouble by causing premature wear on the motor. The solution is to mix smaller batches, get a bigger mixer, or plan on buying a new one when you burn up your mixer by overloading it.

I have been equal parts smart and lucky. My Hobart-era K5SS was purchased on ebay and was in good condition -- it still works well. Parts for the K5SS are still available. If you go this route, make sure the seller has a good rating and that the item description clearly states the condition of the unit.

Jody and Eddie's picture
Jody and Eddie

I inherited my late mom's 1976 K45 (non-SS) almond tilt-head mixer with every available attachment(s), including the Atlas copper bowl liner. This mixer has traveled the world and has been used with some of those ugly huge power converters throughout Europe. She bought this for her 1st cooking school in Charlotte, Vermont and traveled to her other endeavors in culinary teachings (schools) in Paris, France, Stuttgart, Germany, Ridgefield Connecticut, Thousand Oaks California, and Austin Texas.
If you can find one, I would definitely grab one. These are made originally by Hobart and have all direct drive metal gears and drives. Indestructible and made to obviously last!
There is a wonderful artist, Nicole Dinardo out in Arlington, Washington state that reworks these and can apply her artwork to your old mixer to update it!
I use mine almost daily and decided to upgrade to a larger capacity mixer to do several loaves of bread at a time. I purchased the KA NSF professional 8-quart bowl lift mixer and returned it after experiencing the same issues of flour flying out of the bowl while mixing and the difficulty of adding ingredients due to the head being in the way. I'm definitely keeping my mom's old KA for lighter tasks and after much research, I went with an orange Ankarsrum 6230. A bit of a learning curve, but I must say... WOW. This beast can plow through anything!

Camarie's picture

I had the K45-SS for over 25 years. It was Hobart-made & lasted all that time! Don't think that the newer ones would even last that long!!