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.



jonswifelori's picture

...hehe...well, my mother in law bought a "heavy duty" one for me like 4 years ago.  She also got me the "food grinder" attachment.  Let me tell ya...I have ground up chicken bones in that thing! (to give to my dogs for a 'BARF' diet).  I now have tennis elbow and CTS, so I use my mixer to mix most of the dough now.  It still goes great, although I abused it earlier :(


I too agree about older models of everything....They just don't make 'em like they used to.

KA Tech's picture
KA Tech

Not much here except that you are incorrect about KA and NSF certified, The mixers sold under the Kitchenaid Commercial name are all NSF certified. and other than those machines should not be used in a commercial setting at all. In fact with the exception of the Commercial and now newer 7 quart model all have warnings that say for houshold use only, so anyone making a buying decision for a commercial application of a KA mixer should only be buying a Commercial or 7 quart model. Anyone spending their money on any other model for a commercial application should not be upset with the down time and expese that they have to pay to continually repair said machines. As to serious bread making...I use a Classic 250 and make 5-7 loaves a week with no problems but only 2 loaves at a time (small family). I will say that during the year we use the mixer for all holidays and at that time we use two mixers as the small classic is not capable of all the work by itself. 

Pjacobs's picture

After  I returned the fourth  KA 6 pro for obvious reasons, I moved on to a Hobart A200 20 quart mixer (used) and I have not had a problem since. The used ones are about twice the price of the KA Pro 6 or 7, but I would not trade mine  for a dozen KA's

KA Tech's picture
KA Tech

Sorry Mike but the simple truth is that the KA made in 1978 and 2013 are exactly the same, if you look inside a Hobart K45SS or a K5SS you will find all the gears are identical including the nylon failsafe gear. The only difference is that the Hobart gear is Grey Nylon, (it looks like steel but is not) and the Whirlpool switched out to yellow. all other parts are steel in both manufacturers models in these series mixers. So as to your aurgument reguarding the KA mixer ... well it just dosn't mix.

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.


Bart's picture


I also own a KA mixer (Heavy Duty) I am kinda satisfied with it but it does have it's limitations.

I have found that when using the maximum flour capacity the machine starts mixing slower.

I seem to remember when using a Hobart N-50 at school or at work you could throw in a pound of bricks and the mixer would never slow down.

I paid like 500€ for my KA, I asked the price for a Hobart N-50 and it would kost 3.400€.

I guess this sez it all...

Key is to know the limits of the KA mixer.  I have mine for like a year and never had a single problem.


If I were you, I would get a used Hobart N-50 on eBay.


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).

KA Tech's picture
KA Tech

The K5A model is a different model than the K5SS. the K5A was introduced in 1962 and went to 1978 when the K5SS model was brought on to the market. The SS stands for Solid State which is represented by the introduction of the phase control board and a drastic change in the wiring of the mixer. So they are not the same mixer. machines made in 1978 all the way to today weigh 27 -29 pounds, pre 1978 the mechines varied in weight by only 2 additional pounds, and that mostly due to metal thicknesses. 

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

Slaquer's picture

Heat is the enemy of electric motors. If a motor is run under heavy load it will get hot.  If the situation persists, the motor will be damaged.  The destruction of a motor is a cumulative process.  Yesterday's abuse may bring today's failure.  Countermeasures: take care not to cover the air vents on the motor.  Be concious of the motor temp.  Keep in mind that you can rapidly cool the motor by running it no-load for a minute or two.  You may be surprised at the amount of heat heat dumped while running no-load.

del's picture

I remember way back when I was making multiple batches of bread dough with my KitchenAId that the machine got so hot that I had to put a towel dipped in iced cubed water (wrung out) and then placed on top of the KitchenAid...



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...

del's picture

I just replaced (on my own) a striped worm gear (Whirlpool Part 9706529) on my KitchenAid HD Professional 5 qt mixer.


This mixer whined like a wild banshee brand new and then after the repair (little more than a year later.) Very noisy mixer this one. My previous Hobart KitchenAid mixer was silent and didn't break till after 15 years of use. This new one broke just after a year.






Yimyammer's picture

How often do you use your mixer? Is it holding up to heavy greed doughs?

Junius's picture

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

It has been a year since your post. Is your Pro 6 still alive and kicking?

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.

KA Tech's picture
KA Tech

I have no idea what you are talking about, LeoLady. Hobart sold KA in 1986 to Whirlpool. Whirlpool contined then as today to make their mixers identical to the Hobart mixer up until 2005 2006 when Whirlpool Kitchenaid division intrduced the new motor housing that is found in the Pro 6, the Epicurian and the Pro 5 machines.  The classic and the Artisian is still made the same way as a 1978 model of the Hobart K45SS or the K5SS . THE SAME WAY AND THE SAME PARTS as a Hobart. In fact I just overhauled a 1979 Hobart K5SS with all new parts that are made and sold by Whirlpool in 2012. The same applies for the Plus and Ultra series machines. the name changed and nothing else from 1978 to 2013 with the one exception of a newly designed series of mixers being introduced in 2006 while Whirlpool contined to sell the original design in other series of mixers that they make. With that said, the KA Classic 250 watt mixer still being sold is now lower in price than ever at $199.00 for mixer, bowl, 3 attachments and in some cases a splash guard. It is made and assembled just like the K45SS of 1978. So how is it a cheaper made mixer? How did Whirlpool make the same mixer and now sell it for less than 1978 prices? Why do I keep mentioning 1978?, because that is when the current design was introduced to the world by Hobart. geeeshh!!

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...,



gabryl's picture

Wild-Yeast- just curious- which brand would you feel stands the test of kneading dough?

gary.turner's picture

I'd suggest  there are two quality, consumer level dough kneaders; the Electrolux, I know from personal experience, and the Bosch by reference from trusted users. Again, by reference, those who've used both, prefer the Electrolux DMX.



Wild-Yeast's picture

Without going into brand religion I'd say both Electrolux and Bosch do an "adequate" kneading job.

Kneading has two main components, stretching and compressing. The Electrolux does this by "pinching" the dough between the rotating bowl and power roller which is fed with dough from the scraper arm [stretching]. Bosch accomplishes this with a rotating "Patented" dough hook arrangement that stretches the dough in a fashion somewhat reminiscent of an old taffy pulling machine - compression of the dough is not as good as the Electrolux.

Of the two Bosch is capable of processing a larger amount of dough while the Electrolux accomplishes both the stetching and compression tasks in a more efficient manner.

Bien Cordialement, Wild-Yeast 

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.

KA Tech's picture
KA Tech

I make bread with my machine ALL the time!, and i don't have any problems with it. I use a 250 watt classic (bottom of the line) and make two loaves at a time and never had a stall or a bog, and never stripped a gear, I just follow the directions from the manufacture for mixing and kneading bread. i have read a lot of the posts here and mostly it seems that people are trying to use a household mixer to do commercial work and yet right on the side of every kitchenaid mixer talked about here says "For Houshold Use Only" if you want a commercial mixer then get a Hobart N50 5 quart. if you want an excellent mixer that will take care of a modern family get a KA. that simple

BeckyColeman's picture

In England I use a Kenwood Chef and I had one since 1971 - I know how long because my husband bought it for me for Christmas and I was expected my third baby.  It was the first time I had not made a Christmas Cake by hand mixing.  It reminded me of when I first had an electric sewing machine instead of my great-grandmother's hand cranked one - but that's another story!

The Kenwood Chef broke down after nearly 40 years of hard work kneading bread dough and making cakes and using the attachments.  I bought a new one and it is not a patch on the old one.  My Good Housekeeping Christmas Cake recipe (used since the sixties) actually stopped the motor.

I still use the Kenwood for breads but have gone on to a Panasonic Breadmaking Machine, which is OK, and recently and most successfully made bread with Jim Laheys No Knead recipes.  In fact I have just ordered a large cast iron casserole from ebay which is due any day now.  After I had ordered it I read further and found out that you can only use it up to 180 degrees centigrade.  Since that cannot be the cast iron I guess it must be the knob so Iwill get my husband to ferret around in his sheds and find me a nice brass or iron knob.

Boeingn747's picture

I have an Older but in great shape KitchenAid K5-A (hobart era) Stand Mixer and I got it at a great Price. Im wondering What its worth? I bought it with the intention of selling it. I just have know idea what to ask for it. I have 3 attachments and and original instruction book and Accessories book that came with it new. Im sure this unit is over 20 years old, but its in great shape works like the day it as new and i have to beleive its worth something. Can anyone help? please let me know thank you.

subfuscpersona's picture

Go to eBay for a good sense of what the market will pay. Enter your search term "hobart kitchenaid mixer" plus the model number. You can search for what people have paid in the past (look in the left margin of the page that gives your search returns) or simply track a few mixers and see what they go for.


KA Tech's picture
KA Tech

If your mixer has the Hobart name on a plate at the rear of the machine or the Hobart name is on the bowl hubcap then it was made prior to 1978 and if it is really clean little scratching and operates well then expect 125 to 200 dollars for it, if the finish is pretty well scratched up then i would think that you will be looking at the range of 75 - 100 dollars, as finish is the biggest value hog clean it up real good. The attachments are the next item to eat your value up, having all three is a definate advantage and with all of the written material is still with the machine you might look at 200 to 225. the problem is that for pre 1978 mixers there are no parts available for them and if repair is needed you have to get the parts from another machine and it may be in better shape, if your machine has the kitchenaid name on the trim band either Hobart and Kitchenaid or just kitchenaid only then itis a post 1978 machine and it can be repaired with matching whirlpool parts of today and the Hobart name will carry a little more sales weight. the K5 being a 5 qt bowl lift machine will sell for a little more than the K45. offering warranty on the machine will drive the price a little higher but again...remember that if you have to take it back for a failed part you will need another machine to get the repair part from. there are no suppliers of pre 1978 machines, 

vtreejod's picture

I used to have a KA (ok i still have it, it's in the cellar, and i bring it up to use for the pasta roller attachment), but now i use a Cuisinart SM-70 7-qt stand mixer. My brother was generous enough to get it for me for my birthday a few years ago. Where my KA used to strain and sometimes start to smell like smoke (yes I turned it off immediately) the cuisinart is solid! I mix 7 lbs of pizza dough in it (yes a soft, supple dough but still that's a large amount!) and its fine. Every other dough I mix it has been fine as well. I really love the thing. It's got a nice smooth speed change that slowly increases/decreases as you turn the dial instead of just jumping to the next speed. The top flips up and out of the way. I totally recommend it.

BrendaSue163's picture

I have owned the KA model K5-SS for years and now my son moved into a house that had a KA model K5-A left behind.  It is in perfect condition.  There was also a grain mill attachment with it.  I love to make bread but I have always done my kneeding by hand.  I would love to grind my own wheat berries for WW bread with the grain mill, but I have read too many comments about people burning up their machines with it.  Which one of these machines would be better for grinding flour without burning up?  I know that I can't grind more than 2 cups at a time and to let it cool off.  Both models are Hobart machines.  TheK5-A is a HZ80  and the K5-SS is a HZ60.  (whatever that means) Thank you for your help!

Brenda from Minneapolis

subfuscpersona's picture

hi Brenda

I own both Hobart-made KA mixers you have - the K5-SS & the K5-A. I generally use the (slightly older) K5-A because the shaft of the grain mill fits a tiny bit snugger, but I've used both models. I hope the grain mill that was left with the K5-A is *also* a Hobart-made design - like this:

...if so, you're really lucky. This is the model grain mill that I own. If the grain mill is the current design manufactured by Whirlpool it should work fine - the milling mechanism is the same in both models but the older model has a funnel you can put on top of the hopper; also, you can use *screw-top* jars to catch the flour as it comes out of the mill. Here's a photo of grain being milled using my K5-A ...

Most of the issues with burning out the motor when milling grain involve certain KA models made by Whirlpool. However, I've been successfully milling wheat, rye and other grain with my equipment for about 30 years. If you handle the milling process properly, you won't stress the motor.

I wrote a very detailed instruction about how to mill with the KA grain mill in this TFL post - it's worth your time to take a look at the entire thread. For my post re milling using the KA grain mill in this thread, go directly to this link -  If you follow these instructions, you shouldn't have problems with your motor overheating. You could also check out the user reviews of the current KA grain mill on Amazon - quite a few of them make the same points I do.

Best of luck to you. If you have further questions, please reply to this thread or send me a PM. - SF

=== PS ===

This is Whirlpool's current design for their grain mill. I especially hate the bars at the top of the hopper, which limits the amount of grain that the mill will hold (I think they did this so that inexperienced users won't attempt to mill too much grain in one time).

KA Tech's picture
KA Tech

There is a possability that the burr wheel is worn on the grain mill and needs to be replaced as a dull one will tax the motor on any KA mixer if it is dull.  that includes Hobart Brand or Whirlpool brand, The HZ designation that you mention is an electricity thing I won't go into it because it has to do with electric transmission lines sign wave and AC and DC current supplied to the site where the mixer is used, sufice to say that today normal houshold appiances work at HZ60 or 60 Hertz and yes...your HZ80 machine will work on todays supplied current from your electric supplier.  If you want to grind more than two cups then switch the mill between mixers during the cool off periods as you now have two mixers to do it with. both will do a good job.

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




chiffonade's picture

I found this thread because my circa 1989 KA bit the dust with a loud screech and then silence.  I sent it back to KA using a box I purchased from them which would pay for 2-way shipping, there and back.  They called me to tell me the machine could not be repaired.  I thanked them and asked that it be returned to me.  It sat in the basement in the box for 2 years. 

My SIL convinced me to let her old boss try his hand at repairing it and since KA themselves admitted defeat, I figured "what did I have to lose?"  Luckily he saw it as a mission.  If you have a second, view this 2 minute YouTube video I shot about the mixer. 

This all leads me to the question:  Does anyone know definitively when Hobart ceased making KitchenAid mixers?  I have seen them with Hobart printed on the silver band around the motor.  Mine does not have this and may have been one of the first manufactured by another company but it's extremely well built.  I think this one must have been made with some pride and isn't a foldup-lightweight-piece of crap like some machines whose names were sold to another entity.  I don't think many corners were cut in the manufacture of my KA.  I'm just curious as to when Hobart officially ceased making them.  If anyone can answer, I'd appreciate it! 

copyu's picture

1985/6 was the end of Hobart's involvement in the KA line...




KA Tech's picture
KA Tech

The current history for Hobart would be this:

1962 through 1978 the K45 and K5

1978 through 1986 K45SS and K5SS

1986 Hobart sold the Kitchenaid Division of Kitchenaid  to Whirlpool, Whirlpool bought only, the intellectual properties to the KA SS (solid State ) line of mixers, Hobart retained all rights to pre 1978 machines as they were the only ones to make and sell parts, they stopped parts replacement one year after sale of Kitchenaid division to Whirlpool.  Whirlpool sold all remaining stock/inventory that Hobart had at the time of sale as Whirlpool by replacing the trim band with the new Logo as they were identical to the new Whirlpool name and the design and manufacturing process remained the same until 2006 when the new bowl lift design was introduce (Pro series Epicurian series Commercial series) The K45SS and K5SS series are still being manufactured the same way as the K45SS and K5SS series of 1986. The serial number of the machine you have will tell you what year your machine was made. The K45 and the K5 series mixers did not have the Hobart Name or Logo on the trim ring untill it introduced the solid state series machines in 1978, The K45 had the hobart name on the bowl hub cap and the K5 had a metal plate on the rear of the base. Hobart did have some machines built by a Swiss company between 1962 and 1978 but the run is perportedly to be short lived. So if you have a machine with no name on the trim band it is a Hobart made pre 1978 and if it has a Hobart name on the trim band it is a machine made between 1978 and 1986. if you have a machine built between 1978 and 2013 and it has two black white or grey plastic buttons on the side of the mixer motor housing you can fix it with parts manufactured today as they are all still alike. 

breadbaker47's picture

Awesome that you got it repaired! I am trying to figure out why my mixer wont spin. After research, it sounds like it might be the gears... but I didn't see any broken teeth? Hm.. Sounds like the noise is coming from the rear of the machine. I have an old one about 20 yrs old. Wonder if it's worth sending to KA

gertrudeinfl's picture

K4-B Kitchenaid made by Hobart:  it was my grandmothers, then mine. Mom had a mixer by the time grandma passed away, and now they're both in heaven, may they rest in peace. It's been in "constant" holiday use since it was purchased when my dad was little, the best we can figure is that it has to be around 70 years old. This year the bowl rusted from between the base and the bottom, bubbled up into the bowl and the metal flaked off, so I need a new bowl. The bowl and mixer have a slight shock when you touch them now.  This mixer is tiny (and yes, it weighs a ton)

It will handle thick gingerbread dough that asks for 6 cups of flour. It will balk at a reciepe for marzipan which asks it to take slivers of almonds and an egg white and make it into almond paste after about four cups of almonds. But it surprised me, it was the first time it ever slowed down.  I make up reciepes of all kinds of healthy things plus the dough and it just eats it all up and gives me a batch in less than 15 minutes from whipping cold sticks of butter and blending in everything...  bread is nothing, you should see the thick dough I throw into this. And it all comes out light and fluffy.

  The Hobart wins, no question. But never put the bowl or beaters into a dishwasher. I think that's what made them rusty.


specimn13's picture

Where do you get the bowls for the K4-B from?  kitchenaid told me they dont sell them.

KA Tech's picture
KA Tech

the K4/K4A was made from 1940 to 1944 when the K4B was introduced and ran till 1962, at the time of the original bowl manufacturing there were no dishwashers available and the bowls were made of steel and had a tin covering or plating, The high temps of the dishwasher causes the plating to lift and flake off, no one makes the bowls anymore so internet searching is the only way to find them now, you are getting shocked because the bowls are building a static electric charge and retaining it like a capcitior, when you touch it it grounds the bowl and discharges into your hand, if you really don't mind the mild electrocution then do nothing, if on the other hand you understand that the human heart can and is effected by electric charge then I would pick up the bowl with a pot hoder and touch the exposed steel to a metal, thereby grounding, and causing a discharge and then go ahead and let the mixer work it's miracles. 

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?

KA Tech's picture
KA Tech

How to answer that, did you buy it new or used? The Pro 600 / 6 series are louder than I would call usual, they have a new motor and gearing system developed by Whirpool and it is the first variation that differs from the Hobart design of the K45SS and the K5 series machines. However if your machine is screaming, then something may be wrong. I have worked on the 600 series machines for the last few years and they are loud or rather they have a high pitch. "Screaming" machines have needed gear work to quiet. I have found that the gearing in the Pro line are less likely to show their damage. Example: I took in a Pro 500 to clean and grease, the customer said it was louder now than when they bougght it, I took everything out cleaned and inspected and could not see any bad gears, so I put it back together and still loud, I took it apart again and started replacing gears and bearings one at a time and sure enough, the replacement of the "Worm Gear Follower" and it got noticeably quieter. When examiningt the gear later it was the shaft opening that had beed wollowed out by the center shaft of the planetary so we replaced that too. Way quieter. So the machine is louder than the old style machine all on it's own but wear and stress on the gears are harder to see and they will add to the noise when they are not in tolerance. (In my experience)

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?

KA Tech's picture
KA Tech

First: Kitchenaid Whirlpool has the best waranty program bar none, if it is in the first 365 days since registration of your machine, Call KA customer service they will tell you where your nearest KA authorized service center is, I am sure that KA has a center in or around the twin cities area, if it is day 366 or longer since registration and you want to have it serviced then expect to pay.

I am an after warranty service tech for KA and do not have the authorized logo because in order to obtain it I must agree to fix all KA produscts and have an inventory of parts on hand. I don't want to do that. So I am content to help the thousands of people that have machines out of warranty. So I can't advise on a trusted source up North as in my area here in florida I am the only service tech in the Tampa St.petersburg area. The authorized service centers here are in Orlando and Miami for the entire state. 

Second: the high pitched whine may get louder if so do not hesitate to get on with KA they will repair or replace. It is my experience that it goes to a high pitch at speed 4 and that has to do with the "Hall Effect" sensor. (part of the electronic speed control system for the mixer) I have played with that on a couple mixer just changing out that sensor and have gotten aresults that are lower in nuture. (Quieter). I have written to KA about my findings but no answer. Not unexpectedly, but I know that they do pass on testing results from techs in the feild to engineering for evaluation, they may get the loudness under control in upcoming production runs. It is still a great houshold mixer.

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.


Food-O's picture

I actually was looking for info on my K5-A. I bought it brand new in the late 70's or early 80's. It does have the Hobart stamp in the metal band as well as the KitchenAid on the front metal band ... it also has 2 black what looks like screws on each side of the head. I looked at the documentation that came with the machine but there was no date ... I may have other books that came with it but have not made a thorough search yet.

I am assuming parts are still available from what I have read here by the very knowledgeable repair person.

I just purchased a new Artisan only because my K5-A was to tall to fit under my kitchen cabinets. I opted for the Artisan 5 Qt. Tilt Head Stand Mixer 325 watt that is only 13 or so inches high.

My K5-A was stored in an under cabinet.

It did not get much use because it was so heavy to drag out when necessary. Since I do not make that much bread anymore the cakes were easy to whip up with my hand mixers.

Now I am a bit confused which of these 2 mixers is the best?

I was going to get rid of the K5-A but now I am not sure that is a good idea.

I will be grateful for opinions from those of you who know these machines better than I do.

Thank You :)


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.


Kate R.'s picture
Kate R.

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

My Kitchen Aid failed to lock the arm in the down position for several months. Today, while mixing a single loaf of bread (well within the guidelines expressed in the manual), the gears stripped completely and the unit nearly started a fire in my kitchen. The house stinks something fierce. Never again...

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.

verleeanne's picture

My olive-green 43-year-old KitchenAid mixer just died and I have used it nearly every week for 44 years.  During the holidays for that many years, it gets an extra workout (kneading dough, dozens of cookies, etc.).  If that isn't testimony for the older mixers, I don't know what is.

I was going to send it to the graveyard; however, my 40-year old son who does electrical and PLC work says he can fix it.  He picked it up yesterday so we'll see if he can get it up and running again.

doughooker's picture

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

What happened, did it just stop running?

DallasShaver's picture

The newer KA mixers are not plastic garbage, and hardly has any plastic at all. Still made of zinc casting housing, still stainless and brass gears. The main difference is the armature, control plate, and phase board - basically the electronic components. You will not be able to find parts for the old Hobart/KA mixers, only upgrades that will turn it into a KA internally. If you find a Hobart/KA model (or if you have one) that still works, then count your blessings, but dont count on it to last very long. When customers bring in a Hobart mixer to my shop, it normally ends up being a complete upgrade which costs about $200. The biggest complaint in the older units is either certain speeds are not working, or it just doesnt come on at all. The cost for repair for the newer mixers is substantially cheaper than the Hobart models and are no doubt comparable.




conalx's picture

Hi Tim,

I have a pre-1978 Hobart KA-45 that no longer runs.  Will modern KA-45 SS replacement parts fit as-is into the casing or is extra work required to make them fit?  And is there anything else apart from armature, control plate and a phase board I would need to take into consideration?

Thanks, Conal.

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.