Best stand mixer help


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I am at the point in my baking that I need to get a good stand mixer. OK,I have actually needed on for a while. It is just now that I have some extra cash to get one.

I have been looking at the Kitchenaid stand mixer that I have seen on all of the cooking shows I watch. Is this the best one to get or is there another one that I should be looking at?
 
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That's the brand I bought my mother. One thing you should know is that their smaller, cheaper mixers now use plastic gearboxes, and thus wear out faster than the metal ones in their Professional line.
 
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I recommend the KitchenAid too but it's expensive and if it is not absolutely necessary right now, I suggest waiting and doing some research into finding coupons or the best deal. My mixer was actually more than $400 but I ended up getting it for about $160 after coupons and a sale. It was worth waiting for it and I love this stand mixer too.
 
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I actually wanted a KitchenAid and will one day have one of those lovely machines. I did end up getting a Sunbeam one but I only use it during the holiday season. It works for now while I save up for a new one. I don't do heavy mixing in it and will still rely on my hand mixer for some stuff. It was cheap, which I would of preferred to spend more but I was in a pinch. Have had it for 3 years now and it gets used heavily during November and December.
 
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Last year when my hubby and I got married he brought with him many lovely kitchen tools. I have more gadgets that he does, but he had some really great non-stick pans. But...the best thing that became a part of my kitchen was his Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I fell in love with it the first time I used it!!! I posted on facebook about it and had all sorts of responses from my friends who loved their as well (including some who'd burned through several less expensive brands.) My nephew and his wife were passionate amateur cooks/bakers until then opened their own cafe in February. They have two K.A. mixers...the original, home model, and the commercial model which they bought when they knew they were going to open their business.
 
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I swear by my Kenwood Chef's. I have two of them, one was my mothers (Model 701A, quite old, still works like a dream), and the second I bought myself as a gift (Model KM338, I think). They were quite expensive, but the older one still works fine, and it must be about 30-40 years old; the only reason I wanted the second one as well was so I could mix up cupcake batter and the buttercream icing at the same time, rather than have to wash out the bowls etc. It's also useful for when a friend comes over to bake too.

I recently saw another one the same as my mother's in a second-hand, charity shop in town; £3 !! I snapped it up, and I checked everything works, which it does, but haven't got round to using it yet. I don't know why I'd ever need 3 stand mixers, but for the price, I couldn't stop myself.

I paid about £120 for the KM338, but I think it was on offer. I'd recommend them to anyone who's serious about baking. :)
 
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We have a KitchenAid Professional. I swear by KitchenAid as I have used it for many, many, many years, and even in restaurant kitchens where I worked we would use them practically everyday. I have also used a WaringPro mixer, and the base is not as heavy as the KitchenAid, so I would always "hug" it when I had to turn it full speed, but it's a pretty good mixer too, and I remember my boss picked it because it was less expensive than a KitchenAid.
 
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I am at the point in my baking that I need to get a good stand mixer. OK,I have actually needed on for a while. It is just now that I have some extra cash to get one.

I have been looking at the Kitchenaid stand mixer that I have seen on all of the cooking shows I watch. Is this the best one to get or is there another one that I should be looking at?
I have been using one for years. It is versatile and comes with many attachments. You can even buy a grinding attachment for it. My previous one was also Kitchenaid and lasted years. You will find a lot of prices for the same model; so be careful of where you purchase.

A short note: I even wondered about another brand. After looking at enough consumer evaluations, it became apparent that there are more expensive stand mixers, but they are not neccessarily better. I stuck with what I was comfortable with and knew was reliable.
 
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Been using a KitchenAid bowl-lift Pro for over a decade, but that time has not been without issue. Wife used to manage a store that carried them, so we got a great deal, but the honeymoon was pretty short. With five kids, I was baking a lot of bread, so double batches were the norm, and it could almost muscle through, but whole grains and thicker doughs would bog it pitifully. Took about two months to destroy the plastic in the gear head. Replaced that and over the years had to do it again (even ate the metal ones), as well as replace the motor. Granted, we used it a lot more than most folks, with the joke being that our oven never got a chance to completely cool off, but for the prices that these sell for, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect better. Since the last round of repairs, probably about five years ago, it's been okay, but I have fewer mouths to feed and it still labors and runs dangerously hot, in my opinion. Granted, I was spoiled by having previously used Hobart commercial mixers and true professional attachments, but if you're gonna call it "Pro" it really ought'a be able to cut the mustard without eating itself.

When new I'm guessing that ours was over-greased, because once it started to struggle with a 7 cup white flour batch of bread dough, grease began leaking out of the gear head and dripped into the bowl. I think I read that it had a claimed capacity of 16 cups of flour, which is complete wishful thinking. Even at 7, and at the appropriate low speed, the machine has always labored.

The original beaters were junk. The finish on the dough hook & paddle deteriorated, and the whip was just totally sad. Replaced the dough hook with an aftermarket spiral with wonderful results. Found a replacement whip that was much sturdier and fitted with twice the number of wires. Result there was also a huge improvement. And finally, replaced the batter paddle with one of the new-ish bowl scrapers types. I'm not as fond of this latter element 'cuz it's very difficult to scrape the copious amounts of batter that adhere to it, and anything that I've made with it seems to cling quite tenaciously to the silicon scraper blades, but it does a better job overall than the original.

It seems that the new ones come with a spiral dough hook, finally, but if it's the same material as their regular beaters, I'd plan on replacing them. Same goes for the whip, if it's still as sparse on individual wires. Adding that to the cost, even on sale, starts to make this mixer a lot less appealing.

I have honestly tried, many times, to use the pour shield, but in all honestly, all that it manages to do is get in the way and make me cuss. The mess that you make trying to pour stuff through it is actually less than you make just going without.

It's huge, eats a lot of counter space (but a lot of folks seem to buy them just to show it off I guess), isn't the best design for ease of cleaning, and the general fit and finish was overall sub-par. It is extremely heavy, and yet still manages to walk on the counter, so this is not something that you will want to routinely stow in a base cabinet. I say that now as I consider taking the plunge on a new Bosch Universal, having had a chance to bake with a neighbor who is a retired baker, and who has one. I've only had a chance to use it for baking bread, but the results were absolutely superior.

Lastly, the power hub attachments were another disappointment. We bought the pasta roller at an auction real cheap, used it once and went back to using our old Marcato Atlas. The grinder/stuffer attachment was an absolute joke. We raise our own pigs, so we make a good bit of sausage, and admittedly that's a lot more than most folks will likely ever see, but the design and function was just silly. The feed tray felt like something that was sized for an Easy-Bake Oven child's size kitchen, and its limted size requires constant attention to keep feeding. The throat being as narrow as it is also requires that you cut everything up that you feed into it into such small pieces that it's ridiculous. Lastly, the quality of the knives and their sharpness was pretty sad. They didn't so much grind our 70/30 blend as simply mash it through the die. We ended up buying a new LEM dedicated grinder and reconditioned a hundred year old stuffer that do a spectacular job. More gadgets and a hundred and change more money, but it works, works extremely well, and it will all last forever. The KA kit, not so much.

The grating attachment was about the same. We make a lot of pizza around here, as well as our own cheese, so it seemed like a great idea. Yeah, maybe for a mouse. I dunno, maybe we're just really big eaters, but the time and work that you put into just getting everything cut small enough to feed into it makes it just not worth the squeeze. Again, we found an alternative that worked light years better, but compared to the KA attachment I could out-do it pushing cheese through a grater by hand.

Got the ice cream maker as a Xmas present, and it was sorta okay. Doesn't make a full 2 qts., but like I said, I've soured on mine and am ready to move on.

My advice; see if you can figure out a way to try before you buy and think about what sorts of things you'll likely be making with it. Wife does wedding cakes, and she's much more favorable to it than I, so maybe the best answer is one of each? ;)
 

J13

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Yikes on Breadman's experiences.

As for me...

My KitchenAid, the good old 5quart regular one, has never let me down. But then, I don't have or use many of those exterior attachments. They're supposed to save you from having to buy things like an ice cream maker, but I don't know if many will do the job as well as just buying that item which, lets face it, was made to do that one thing. Some of them do work fine, like the pasta maker attachment.

Make sure you have a good spot for it, and plenty of headroom--the head tilts up on mine, so you have to take that into account if it's going under shelves. Will that tilting head clear them? And the Pro is very tall. Also, if you do go for the Pro, avoid the glass bowl. They're lovely, but their rims can easily break.

Kitchen aid has been around for 100 years+ so...they do have the most experience of any company making mixers. And for the home baker, I do think they're still among the best. They're simple to work, and reliable. They last. And every so often America's Test Kitchen tests them out and they always come out on top as being able to mix heavy batters and doughs for a long time without burning out. Whether their attachments are worth buying is really another question. Can the machine, itself, mix up the meat, etc. for meatloaf? Can it make dozens of cookie batters for the holiday cookie bake? Can it's dough hook give you good dough for your daily bread bake and Saturday night pizza party? Can it whip up perfect eggwhites? Whipped cream? Perfect buttercream frostings?

I haven't done all of what I just listed, but I've done a lot, and old faithful has gone the distance. My Kitchenaid doesn't move around on the counter. It has a spot and it stays there. It *will* send up flour all over the place unless you stir some of it into the wet batter before tuning it on or use the shield. The shield I have works okay.

There is now a "mini" version that, while still heavy and solid, is something like 30% smaller and lighter. So if you have a very small place or not so much room, you might go for that model.

Check out this lovely commercial for it:

 
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Been using a KitchenAid bowl-lift Pro for over a decade, but that time has not been without issue. Wife used to manage a store that carried them, so we got a great deal, but the honeymoon was pretty short. With five kids, I was baking a lot of bread, so double batches were the norm, and it could almost muscle through, but whole grains and thicker doughs would bog it pitifully. Took about two months to destroy the plastic in the gear head. Replaced that and over the years had to do it again (even ate the metal ones), as well as replace the motor. Granted, we used it a lot more than most folks, with the joke being that our oven never got a chance to completely cool off, but for the prices that these sell for, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect better. Since the last round of repairs, probably about five years ago, it's been okay, but I have fewer mouths to feed and it still labors and runs dangerously hot, in my opinion. Granted, I was spoiled by having previously used Hobart commercial mixers and true professional attachments, but if you're gonna call it "Pro" it really ought'a be able to cut the mustard without eating itself.

When new I'm guessing that ours was over-greased, because once it started to struggle with a 7 cup white flour batch of bread dough, grease began leaking out of the gear head and dripped into the bowl. I think I read that it had a claimed capacity of 16 cups of flour, which is complete wishful thinking. Even at 7, and at the appropriate low speed, the machine has always labored.

The original beaters were junk. The finish on the dough hook & paddle deteriorated, and the whip was just totally sad. Replaced the dough hook with an aftermarket spiral with wonderful results. Found a replacement whip that was much sturdier and fitted with twice the number of wires. Result there was also a huge improvement. And finally, replaced the batter paddle with one of the new-ish bowl scrapers types. I'm not as fond of this latter element 'cuz it's very difficult to scrape the copious amounts of batter that adhere to it, and anything that I've made with it seems to cling quite tenaciously to the silicon scraper blades, but it does a better job overall than the original.

It seems that the new ones come with a spiral dough hook, finally, but if it's the same material as their regular beaters, I'd plan on replacing them. Same goes for the whip, if it's still as sparse on individual wires. Adding that to the cost, even on sale, starts to make this mixer a lot less appealing.

I have honestly tried, many times, to use the pour shield, but in all honestly, all that it manages to do is get in the way and make me cuss. The mess that you make trying to pour stuff through it is actually less than you make just going without.

It's huge, eats a lot of counter space (but a lot of folks seem to buy them just to show it off I guess), isn't the best design for ease of cleaning, and the general fit and finish was overall sub-par. It is extremely heavy, and yet still manages to walk on the counter, so this is not something that you will want to routinely stow in a base cabinet. I say that now as I consider taking the plunge on a new Bosch Universal, having had a chance to bake with a neighbor who is a retired baker, and who has one. I've only had a chance to use it for baking bread, but the results were absolutely superior.

Lastly, the power hub attachments were another disappointment. We bought the pasta roller at an auction real cheap, used it once and went back to using our old Marcato Atlas. The grinder/stuffer attachment was an absolute joke. We raise our own pigs, so we make a good bit of sausage, and admittedly that's a lot more than most folks will likely ever see, but the design and function was just silly. The feed tray felt like something that was sized for an Easy-Bake Oven child's size kitchen, and its limted size requires constant attention to keep feeding. The throat being as narrow as it is also requires that you cut everything up that you feed into it into such small pieces that it's ridiculous. Lastly, the quality of the knives and their sharpness was pretty sad. They didn't so much grind our 70/30 blend as simply mash it through the die. We ended up buying a new LEM dedicated grinder and reconditioned a hundred year old stuffer that do a spectacular job. More gadgets and a hundred and change more money, but it works, works extremely well, and it will all last forever. The KA kit, not so much.

The grating attachment was about the same. We make a lot of pizza around here, as well as our own cheese, so it seemed like a great idea. Yeah, maybe for a mouse. I dunno, maybe we're just really big eaters, but the time and work that you put into just getting everything cut small enough to feed into it makes it just not worth the squeeze. Again, we found an alternative that worked light years better, but compared to the KA attachment I could out-do it pushing cheese through a grater by hand.

Got the ice cream maker as a Xmas present, and it was sorta okay. Doesn't make a full 2 qts., but like I said, I've soured on mine and am ready to move on.

My advice; see if you can figure out a way to try before you buy and think about what sorts of things you'll likely be making with it. Wife does wedding cakes, and she's much more favorable to it than I, so maybe the best answer is one of each? ;)
Theres no plastic in the gear head, its all metal.
We beat one up for 20 yrs in our business and it never missed a beat, you obviously over did the firm doughs.
It can't mix bagel dough, neither can a hobart 30 qt.
Its a batch machine, continual use for hours burns them out, I saw a guy using it with the pasta attachment, ran it for 3 hrs and toasted it, the guy had no common sense...walks away to do something for 10 minutes and leaves it running getting hotter.
Here is the gear train, skookum as frig. No plastic ... never has been.

 
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Theres no plastic in the gear head, its all metal.
We beat one up for 20 yrs in our business and it never missed a beat, you obviously over did the firm doughs.
It can't mix bagel dough, neither can a hobart 30 qt.
Its a batch machine, continual use for hours burns them out, I saw a guy using it with the pasta attachment, ran it for 3 hrs and toasted it, the guy had no common sense...walks away to do something for 10 minutes and leaves it running getting hotter.
Here is the gear train, skookum as frig. No plastic ... never has been.

Believe it or not, I stumbled into this thread and registered largely just to reply to this post, since I was someone in the thick of what someone here might point out at the time. :)

It is not actually true that the gear heads were always metal. The mixer in your video is one of the new higher end DC motor models (6000/6500/ProLine 7/8qt commercial) but early in the life cycle of the Pro 600 bowl lifts (back when they were the biggest & best), they were using a plastic gearbox cover, inexplicably, with their new "all metal direct drive transmission" advertising. They had a high-torque metal transmission, held in place by a chunk of plastic to keep all that torque aligned....

The "all metal direct drive transmission" advertising was a result of the bad image they were getting from the people complaining on the internet about the "new plastic gears that strip" in the Artisan/Classic tilt heads (in that case, that's a simple sacrificial nylon worm gear that shears instead of overloading the motor, as a cheaper way out of having a thermal cutoff, which the bowl lifts have - an effective solution as a $5 repair for overloading it - but bad marketing regardless.)

Back in the KA forums and elsewhere it started gaining traction as a disaster. The torque and heat of the AC motor and direct drive (and the new at the time spiral dough hook that exerted all that torque vertically into the bowl bottom all at once), plus some of the attachments was causing the gear boxes to get hot, stress-flex, and crack (and subsequently allow gear slippage/stripping, and/or lubricant leaking from the sealed box leading to a soon burned out drive train.

Circa 2006 my several-month-old 600 started making dreadful clanking noises. They took it in under warranty and flagged it for inspection, and I raised some concern over the gearbox issue. They determined that the cause of my problem was the tip of a gear tooth chipping off and spinning around inside - but they did not comment if that had happened as a result of plastic gearbox cover antics. They had made known at that time they were switching production over to an updated metal gearbox cover, even though they didn't feel the plastic box was causing widespread problems (ha. ha.) Unfortunately at the time of my replacement they said the new production was several months away and even then would be hit or miss on what machines did or didn't have the change.

My theory is - a gear doesn't suddenly chip teeth in normal operation. My guess is the housing warmed up allowing the plastic cover to flex under heavy load (whole wheat yeast dough) which moved the toothing toward the edges where it exceeded tolerances and broke a tooth) and probably wouldn't have happened with a proper machined housing.

By 2008 I believe all units had the new box cover, and KA said they would replace the old ones, if they failed, as extended warranty (a soft recall.) So the Pro 600 has had a true all metal gearbox assembly for a decade or so, but I was unfortunately in the heart of the controversy when they didn't - any bowl lift pre-2008 has a chance of having a plastic housing. Any bowl lift pre-summer 2006 DOES have a plastic housing. Maybe not an issue for someone buying new today, but could be an issue for eBay bargain hunters. Though, unlike then, when the 600 was new and hadn't worked out the kinks, they seem kind of battle hardened now, with a decade of improvements (and new cost cutting measures no doubt) and spares and replacement parts are easily available now, and surprisingly little about the machines has changed, so it shows, to me, it's probably a better design than internet critics would make it seem. After the plastic cover issue, anyway. They've also just last year replaced the burnished beaters that people complained about endlessly for 15 years with the coated beaters (that people complained about endlessly for the years before that.) Unfortunately the 7/8qt gets stainless now, the tilt heads now get stainless as an option....but the poor mid-size bowl lifts don't get a stainless option still - it's coated or nothing.

I used that 600 heavily for the following year and a half, and then bought an Electrolux DLX since it was more appropriate for a bread-centric focus and the whole thing (and knowing I *STILL* had the plastic gearbox in my new machine) had me too nervous to try making much of my breads in it, it was really holding back my projects.

Ironically, though, even though the DLX is superior for rustic breads in every way, a combination of a commercial opportunity that fell through and the fact that the DLX was inferior to the KA for just about everything BUT breads, and I don't have counter space for both at the same time led me to be less enthusiastic and less incentivized for baking in general, and I found I'd hung up my apron, more or less, eventually. It's one of those things that when it's routine, it's easy, and when it's not it's a hassle.

Aside: I saw your introduction post, and your videos...VERY interesting! I'm certainly interested in following other discussions you get involved in! :)

----

I was going to reply to the original post, too, but I just noticed that was from 2013! I'm sure you have your mixer by now!
 
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Believe it or not, I stumbled into this thread and registered largely just to reply to this post, since I was someone in the thick of what someone here might point out at the time. :)

It is not actually true that the gear heads were always metal. The mixer in your video is one of the new higher end DC motor models (6000/6500/ProLine 7/8qt commercial) but early in the life cycle of the Pro 600 bowl lifts (back when they were the biggest & best), they were using a plastic gearbox cover, inexplicably, with their new "all metal direct drive transmission" advertising. They had a high-torque metal transmission, held in place by a chunk of plastic to keep all that torque aligned....

The "all metal direct drive transmission" advertising was a result of the bad image they were getting from the people complaining on the internet about the "new plastic gears that strip" in the Artisan/Classic tilt heads (in that case, that's a simple sacrificial nylon worm gear that shears instead of overloading the motor, as a cheaper way out of having a thermal cutoff, which the bowl lifts have - an effective solution as a $5 repair for overloading it - but bad marketing regardless.)

Back in the KA forums and elsewhere it started gaining traction as a disaster. The torque and heat of the AC motor and direct drive (and the new at the time spiral dough hook that exerted all that torque vertically into the bowl bottom all at once), plus some of the attachments was causing the gear boxes to get hot, stress-flex, and crack (and subsequently allow gear slippage/stripping, and/or lubricant leaking from the sealed box leading to a soon burned out drive train.

Circa 2006 my several-month-old 600 started making dreadful clanking noises. They took it in under warranty and flagged it for inspection, and I raised some concern over the gearbox issue. They determined that the cause of my problem was the tip of a gear tooth chipping off and spinning around inside - but they did not comment if that had happened as a result of plastic gearbox cover antics. They had made known at that time they were switching production over to an updated metal gearbox cover, even though they didn't feel the plastic box was causing widespread problems (ha. ha.) Unfortunately at the time of my replacement they said the new production was several months away and even then would be hit or miss on what machines did or didn't have the change.

My theory is - a gear doesn't suddenly chip teeth in normal operation. My guess is the housing warmed up allowing the plastic cover to flex under heavy load (whole wheat yeast dough) which moved the toothing toward the edges where it exceeded tolerances and broke a tooth) and probably wouldn't have happened with a proper machined housing.

By 2008 I believe all units had the new box cover, and KA said they would replace the old ones, if they failed, as extended warranty (a soft recall.) So the Pro 600 has had a true all metal gearbox assembly for a decade or so, but I was unfortunately in the heart of the controversy when they didn't - any bowl lift pre-2008 has a chance of having a plastic housing. Any bowl lift pre-summer 2006 DOES have a plastic housing. Maybe not an issue for someone buying new today, but could be an issue for eBay bargain hunters. Though, unlike then, when the 600 was new and hadn't worked out the kinks, they seem kind of battle hardened now, with a decade of improvements (and new cost cutting measures no doubt) and spares and replacement parts are easily available now, and surprisingly little about the machines has changed, so it shows, to me, it's probably a better design than internet critics would make it seem. After the plastic cover issue, anyway. They've also just last year replaced the burnished beaters that people complained about endlessly for 15 years with the coated beaters (that people complained about endlessly for the years before that.) Unfortunately the 7/8qt gets stainless now, the tilt heads now get stainless as an option....but the poor mid-size bowl lifts don't get a stainless option still - it's coated or nothing.

I used that 600 heavily for the following year and a half, and then bought an Electrolux DLX since it was more appropriate for a bread-centric focus and the whole thing (and knowing I *STILL* had the plastic gearbox in my new machine) had me too nervous to try making much of my breads in it, it was really holding back my projects.

Ironically, though, even though the DLX is superior for rustic breads in every way, a combination of a commercial opportunity that fell through and the fact that the DLX was inferior to the KA for just about everything BUT breads, and I don't have counter space for both at the same time led me to be less enthusiastic and less incentivized for baking in general, and I found I'd hung up my apron, more or less, eventually. It's one of those things that when it's routine, it's easy, and when it's not it's a hassle.

Aside: I saw your introduction post, and your videos...VERY interesting! I'm certainly interested in following other discussions you get involved in! :)

----

I was going to reply to the original post, too, but I just noticed that was from 2013! I'm sure you have your mixer by now!
The cheaper tilt heads have a nylon output gear but I've always steered people away from that model, the tilt head pivot itself can break whilst the nylon gear survives. Then you're really chooched.

Incidently, anytime 120 volts is fully rectified to drive a DC motor the rectified voltage is no longer 120v
it drops to 90V. Still plenty of power.
They switch to DC for speed control, the only other option is gearing which is way too complicated for consumer priced machines.

Its easy to see how the electrolux can survive a hostile dough, the spiral arm is spring loaded so it self relieves.
It doesn't have more power, its only possible to get so much from a wall socket.

We had access to a 40 quart spiral mixer from france it had good power but took longer to clean than it did to mix anything in it, when we moved location I told the owner to leave the spiral mixer for his soon to be expartner to sell, we did take the hobart 20qt, it was perfect and is still being used as their main machine.
 
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The cheaper tilt heads have a nylon output gear but I've always steered people away from that model, the tilt head pivot itself can break whilst the nylon gear survives. Then you're really chooched.

Incidently, anytime 120 volts is fully rectified to drive a DC motor the rectified voltage is no longer 120v
it drops to 90V. Still plenty of power.
They switch to DC for speed control, the only other option is gearing which is way too complicated for consumer priced machines.

Its easy to see how the electrolux can survive a hostile dough, the spiral arm is spring loaded so it self relieves.
It doesn't have more power, its only possible to get so much from a wall socket.

We had access to a 40 quart spiral mixer from france it had good power but took longer to clean than it did to mix anything in it, when we moved location I told the owner to leave the spiral mixer for his soon to be expartner to sell, we did take the hobart 20qt, it was perfect and is still being used as their main machine.
Yep, for any dedicated baker the tilt-heads are a little underdone, but I have to say I still have a soft spot for them. They're really good mixers for what they are and the prices they can be found. I'd never (ever) put a heavy bread or even pasta dough... in one, though people do, but for batters, icings, quick breads and the like, even the typical chocolate chip cookie dough, they really are great, small, quiet, etc.

IIRC the Pro 600 is just a stepped AC motor. The 6000 (Costco-only), 6500, ProLine 7qt, and 8qt commercials have the DC. Stepped AC works well enough and it still regulates the load. Allegedly the DC has more torque, runs quieter, and less heat buildup. OTOH, I other than a slight hum or whine, I can't hear the 600's AC motor over the significant drive train noise and fan, so I have no idea how anyone knows it's "quieter". I can believe more torque and less heat, but they're not using brushless DC motors (which defeats half the point, and I don't understand how a $150 cordless drill and impact driver, also US-assembled, can run BLMs and KA isn't....), and I'm hearing reliability is questionable. There's something to be said for tried & true old models. Maybe next time around I'll get one of the light commercial ones, and hopefully by then they'll have worked out the kinks. Though I have 5 6qt bowls now. That's more invaluable than all the torque in the world. :)

The marketing on the bigger DC powered models is cringe-worthy, though. They claim the $700 8qt commercial has 1.3HP. The N50 is 1/6HP 5qt at $2700, albeit, with a geared transmission. It reminds me of the hand mixers with "1100W motors!" Marketing will be marketing, but someday I dream someone will sell something for what it does do well rather than pretending it does something else.

I have a love-hate relationship with my Electrolux. The very design of it is simply the perfect machine for kneading lean bread doughs at home. It's well made, belt driven, huge bowl. And a lot of breads I've made in it, I suspect any KA would have bounced and knocked around at best, and stripped gears at worst. But at the end of the day it's still a home-sized spiral mixer essentially. It's a one trick pony you try to shoehorn into other tasks, awkwardly.

I got the chrome model at the time, and the chrome has scratched and mottled everywhere, and is now pitting. I'm glad I have it, and if I go heavy into bread again I'm sure I'll appreciate it more. But I also haven't hesitated to shove it in a corner where I can't reach it without moving a ton of stuff and dedicated a solid chunk of counter to the KA that costs half the price. All in all, I think I enjoy using it less than the KA, and I found I avoid making anything BUT bread if that's what I'm using. If I were to buy another, now $700 mixer, it would absolutely be the KA 8qt instead of the Electrolux. I'll make it like the dough. Heck, I'm going to make the new 600 like the dough. At least it has the metal gearbox cover this time...that alone should make it more durable. And less fritzy electronics than the DC models.

That's interesting about your spiral. What was it about that unit that took so long to clean compared to the Hobart other than just being twice the size?
 
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Yep, for any dedicated baker the tilt-heads are a little underdone, but I have to say I still have a soft spot for them. They're really good mixers for what they are and the prices they can be found. I'd never (ever) put a heavy bread or even pasta dough... in one, though people do, but for batters, icings, quick breads and the like, even the typical chocolate chip cookie dough, they really are great, small, quiet, etc.

IIRC the Pro 600 is just a stepped AC motor. The 6000 (Costco-only), 6500, ProLine 7qt, and 8qt commercials have the DC. Stepped AC works well enough and it still regulates the load. Allegedly the DC has more torque, runs quieter, and less heat buildup. OTOH, I other than a slight hum or whine, I can't hear the 600's AC motor over the significant drive train noise and fan, so I have no idea how anyone knows it's "quieter". I can believe more torque and less heat, but they're not using brushless DC motors (which defeats half the point, and I don't understand how a $150 cordless drill and impact driver, also US-assembled, can run BLMs and KA isn't....), and I'm hearing reliability is questionable. There's something to be said for tried & true old models. Maybe next time around I'll get one of the light commercial ones, and hopefully by then they'll have worked out the kinks. Though I have 5 6qt bowls now. That's more invaluable than all the torque in the world. :)

The marketing on the bigger DC powered models is cringe-worthy, though. They claim the $700 8qt commercial has 1.3HP. The N50 is 1/6HP 5qt at $2700, albeit, with a geared transmission. It reminds me of the hand mixers with "1100W motors!" Marketing will be marketing, but someday I dream someone will sell something for what it does do well rather than pretending it does something else.

I have a love-hate relationship with my Electrolux. The very design of it is simply the perfect machine for kneading lean bread doughs at home. It's well made, belt driven, huge bowl. And a lot of breads I've made in it, I suspect any KA would have bounced and knocked around at best, and stripped gears at worst. But at the end of the day it's still a home-sized spiral mixer essentially. It's a one trick pony you try to shoehorn into other tasks, awkwardly.

I got the chrome model at the time, and the chrome has scratched and mottled everywhere, and is now pitting. I'm glad I have it, and if I go heavy into bread again I'm sure I'll appreciate it more. But I also haven't hesitated to shove it in a corner where I can't reach it without moving a ton of stuff and dedicated a solid chunk of counter to the KA that costs half the price. All in all, I think I enjoy using it less than the KA, and I found I avoid making anything BUT bread if that's what I'm using. If I were to buy another, now $700 mixer, it would absolutely be the KA 8qt instead of the Electrolux. I'll make it like the dough. Heck, I'm going to make the new 600 like the dough. At least it has the metal gearbox cover this time...that alone should make it more durable. And less fritzy electronics than the DC models.

That's interesting about your spiral. What was it about that unit that took so long to clean compared to the Hobart other than just being twice the size?
The head unit wouldn't pivot up out of the way, no one seemed to know how the head unlocked.
The chef was being "difficult" and insisting the stupid thing be washed every time I used it and said the 20qt hobart was no good for croissant dough.
I proved him flat out wrong on that.

I don't think you can get 1.3 HP from 120v. Momentarily yeh but not constant running torque .
AC motors can't be speed regulated, as far as I know. They rely on gearing .. so....$$.
The hum or whine is sometimes the frequency oscillator, its like PCM pulse code modulation for speed control.
You can hear it on lithium drills when you touch the trigger.
Brushless is fine on lithium tools but its not needed on plug in tools, electricity is cheap enough that efficiency can be ignored.
 
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The head unit wouldn't pivot up out of the way, no one seemed to know how the head unlocked.
The chef was being "difficult" and insisting the stupid thing be washed every time I used it and said the 20qt hobart was no good for croissant dough.
I proved him flat out wrong on that.

I don't think you can get 1.3 HP from 120v. Momentarily yeh but not constant running torque .
AC motors can't be speed regulated, as far as I know. They rely on gearing .. so....$$.
The hum or whine is sometimes the frequency oscillator, its like PCM pulse code modulation for speed control.
You can hear it on lithium drills when you touch the trigger.
Brushless is fine on lithium tools but its not needed on plug in tools, electricity is cheap enough that efficiency can be ignored.
Haha, now that's fun! It amazes me the abuse Hobarts withstand that they really ought not be subjected to. That spiral sounds like an....interesting...design.

Yeah, the KA motor marketing is just that. I assume it's the max rating on the motor output and has nothing at all to do with what it actually runs even full bore. But it sure clogs the internet with commentariat about the "1.3HP vs 575W."

Everything except 6500/6000/7/NSF 8 is still just a variable frequency AC motor though. I'm not sure how they handle the speed control - the knob doesn't feel like an analog pot, so I assume there's a D/A stage along with the electronic speed monitoring, but the motor itself is all VFD AC. Whether that *actually* matters or not is a different story. When the 600 came out it was all about kneading heavy bread doughs. Then years later they came out with the 6500 & 7 that now this time was the right one for kneading heavy breads, and the internet has eaten that up. People talk about how the AC models will shake and get hot to the touch, and the DC keeps smoother speed and stay cooler, therefore enduring heavier mixtures, longer kneading, etc. etc.

That's well and good, but in in all the years I followed the models I hadn't heard of very many people burning up motors on 600s. Most of the heavy load failures came from drive train, shaft, and bearing load issues, and a bad tendency to release grease from the case if the machine was used too little or too excessively, none of which are changed at all with the "better" motors. Some people complain about tripping the thermal cutout and having to wait, though I've never encountered that with simple common sense. The new motors solve that. Maybe they run quieter...maybe the machine vibrates a bit less (but who's going to notice motor vibration when the thing is slapping 3lb of dough in 30 directions?) But I don't really see how the DC motors solve heavy dough kneading load issues beyond not getting hot enough to trip the safety.

I expect the 7/8qt machines do have more power to brute force heavier mixtures. And hopefully it has reinforced bearings and gear shafts to handle that. But for now I see it as the old tried & true with cheap and available parts that may be noisy and warm but gets the job done just as well, versus the slick smooth machine that does the same thing more gracefully but has more reliability problems and scarcer, more expensive parts.

For all their faults, marketing tricks, and occasional cost-cutting antics, IMO the KA's are still a great product and fantastic value for the money. It's become popular to bash them on the internet, bread enthusiasts loathe them, and sometimes they do make clueless decisions (the plastic gear box covers, and why is the 5 & 6qt bowl lift the only machine in the lineup now that has no stainless beaters, while even the small tilt heads have the option?) , and I'm not a fan of what's become a revolving door of continuously changing products, but generally, they're fantastic machines at comparatively great prices, and just a joy to use.

This time I'm going all in on the attachment hub accessories. I've cleared the counter space for the machine to have a permanent home, so it's going to have to replace some other appliances. If I end up burning it out by using it as the center of everything, I'll end up buying the commercial one after all.

If you had one for 20 years in the shop, I'm guessing that pre-dated the 600's....was that one of the 5qt bowl lift NSF certified models that had come out a little before the 600 released?
 
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Haha, now that's fun! It amazes me the abuse Hobarts withstand that they really ought not be subjected to. That spiral sounds like an....interesting...design.

Yeah, the KA motor marketing is just that. I assume it's the max rating on the motor output and has nothing at all to do with what it actually runs even full bore. But it sure clogs the internet with commentariat about the "1.3HP vs 575W."

Everything except 6500/6000/7/NSF 8 is still just a variable frequency AC motor though. I'm not sure how they handle the speed control - the knob doesn't feel like an analog pot, so I assume there's a D/A stage along with the electronic speed monitoring, but the motor itself is all VFD AC. Whether that *actually* matters or not is a different story. When the 600 came out it was all about kneading heavy bread doughs. Then years later they came out with the 6500 & 7 that now this time was the right one for kneading heavy breads, and the internet has eaten that up. People talk about how the AC models will shake and get hot to the touch, and the DC keeps smoother speed and stay cooler, therefore enduring heavier mixtures, longer kneading, etc. etc.

That's well and good, but in in all the years I followed the models I hadn't heard of very many people burning up motors on 600s. Most of the heavy load failures came from drive train, shaft, and bearing load issues, and a bad tendency to release grease from the case if the machine was used too little or too excessively, none of which are changed at all with the "better" motors. Some people complain about tripping the thermal cutout and having to wait, though I've never encountered that with simple common sense. The new motors solve that. Maybe they run quieter...maybe the machine vibrates a bit less (but who's going to notice motor vibration when the thing is slapping 3lb of dough in 30 directions?) But I don't really see how the DC motors solve heavy dough kneading load issues beyond not getting hot enough to trip the safety.

I expect the 7/8qt machines do have more power to brute force heavier mixtures. And hopefully it has reinforced bearings and gear shafts to handle that. But for now I see it as the old tried & true with cheap and available parts that may be noisy and warm but gets the job done just as well, versus the slick smooth machine that does the same thing more gracefully but has more reliability problems and scarcer, more expensive parts.

For all their faults, marketing tricks, and occasional cost-cutting antics, IMO the KA's are still a great product and fantastic value for the money. It's become popular to bash them on the internet, bread enthusiasts loathe them, and sometimes they do make clueless decisions (the plastic gear box covers, and why is the 5 & 6qt bowl lift the only machine in the lineup now that has no stainless beaters, while even the small tilt heads have the option?) , and I'm not a fan of what's become a revolving door of continuously changing products, but generally, they're fantastic machines at comparatively great prices, and just a joy to use.

This time I'm going all in on the attachment hub accessories. I've cleared the counter space for the machine to have a permanent home, so it's going to have to replace some other appliances. If I end up burning it out by using it as the center of everything, I'll end up buying the commercial one after all.

If you had one for 20 years in the shop, I'm guessing that pre-dated the 600's....was that one of the 5qt bowl lift NSF certified models that had come out a little before the 600 released?
I've seen kitchenaids burn up because someone ran them for hours with a pasta attachment, those attachments can put drag on the mixer, especially when left running whilst a cook goes for coffee break.
If someone is devoid of common sense then they'll find a way to break stuff, same kitchen broke the paddle on their 60qt hobart, 30 lbs of cold hard butter , the motor can handle it but an alum paddle can't.
They bought a cheapo chinesium paddle, pressure cast sintered zinc and broke that too.
There are no stainless beaters I know of for the 60qt, stainless bowls yeh.

In our pastry shop we had the K5A 5 qt, it wasn't used for doughs because its too small to mix anything usefull.
We've got the same model at home , Professional 5. Maybe its different from the old K5A.
 
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I've seen kitchenaids burn up because someone ran them for hours with a pasta attachment, those attachments can put drag on the mixer, especially when left running whilst a cook goes for coffee break.
If someone is devoid of common sense then they'll find a way to break stuff, same kitchen broke the paddle on their 60qt hobart, 30 lbs of cold hard butter , the motor can handle it but an alum paddle can't.
They bought a cheapo chinesium paddle, pressure cast sintered zinc and broke that too.
There are no stainless beaters I know of for the 60qt, stainless bowls yeh.

In our pastry shop we had the K5A 5 qt, it wasn't used for doughs because its too small to mix anything usefull.
We've got the same model at home , Professional 5. Maybe its different from the old K5A.
Hah! It never ceases to amaze me the extreme lack of common sense some people have in general, but I do find that where KA is concerned there seems to be a permanent convention uniting such people. Lack of common sense, lack of reading manuals despite that only about 10 pages are written for any given language. It's always hard wading through information on performance on their stuff. Sifting through comments and reviews yields 30% people with zero sense and a fear of reading the manual, 30% bread bakers who endlessly complain how useless KA is (and "they don't build them like they used to in the Hobart KA era!"), and 30% people who think it's the greatest machine ever that churns through anything they throw at it. Where reality lands, is impossible to figure out.

Case in point, reviews for the KA grain mill attachment I happened to be looking at. I don't have the attachment, myself, though I'm considering getting one - I used to use a bigger stand-alone flour mill for my WW, and I refuse to use pre-ground bagged WW. It tastes acrid and rancid because it is acrid and rancid. But the reviews on the KA range from "It's great", to "It's dreadfully slow, kills mixers, and the resulting quality isn't worth the strain.;"

It wasn't until I decided to glance at a PDF manual I discovered what 90% of the problems probably are. The manual is about 4 pages long. It states that you set it to the finest setting and then immediately back it 2 steps back, and make it coarser as needed from there. Most of these people say they were grinding at the finest setting, and it took hours, and wasn't fine enough. I presume finest setting is actually burr calibration where the burrs meet and isn't wide enough to actually fit wheat berries between the plates, without the augur forcing them between. The second fact is that they ship the carbon steel burrs slathered in mineral oil - you're supposed to wash it off before use otherwise flour & oil & heat in the chamber...... Guaranteed the complainers didn't do that, so the thing just sat there plugging for hours while they thought they were milling and letting the magic smoke out of the mixer.

I love the pasta attachments, but stories like yours reinforce my fears about them. The extruder is probably ok, but the rollers take SO long to use, and require running the mixer for SO long to use them, it doesn't seem healthy. Extruder is high-stress but short duration use. The rollers by nature of laminating the dough take FOREVER to use even at low stress. For the AC motors that just means they get very very hot. I guess that's one place the DC motors win. You probably could leave those models running for a long time. Although, WHO goes for a coffee break with a mixer - any mixer, save maybe spiral - running unattended? Motor heat aside, Just from a safety perspective anyone that does that should probably stick their head in the bowl....

I wonder if selling these people machines with moving parts and enough force to break limbs is a smart plan overall? :)

That and the complaints from the bread world of trying to knead 4lb of dough @ 65% for 12 minutes on "medium speed" (when they put at least half a dozen stickers over the thing saying to only use speed 2 with the hook - I presume that's the motor or converter's native speed for the gear ratio or heat displacement by the fan) burning things up. KA does get over-zealous with their warnings. "Only knead for 3-4 minutes" is silly and counterproductive, and IMO, unnecessary. That's just protecting themselves like "unplug the mixer" every time you remove the beater. But the "speed 2" thing is pretty clear and logical.

KA walked into a bad reputation though - they were in bad shape when the "Pro" series came out, and their teething experience with trying to get back into "serious mixers" after abandoning them for some years set back their PR image a lot. Big snafus like the plastic gear covers didn't help. But that legacy coupled with the magic of the internet never quite leaves now. They also struggled with their PR people who, when machines were labeled "heavy duty" and people complained they broke with modest loads, they'd respond with gems like "Heavy Duty" is just a model name but doesn't imply it's heavy duty. I miss the old KA forums. The PR people there were maybe clueless but helpful, and more importantly the engineers would actually drop in and discuss issues and test with the dedicated community. Our experiments back then are the reason we have metal gear covers now. Sure we were doing free R&D for them, but it was all in good fun and they took care of our mixers... That was a fun time to be a customer. Last I heard they laid off the entire PR team that used to do that and moved everything behind the basic CSR reps with canned responses. And deleted the entire forum archive from the internet (costly PR of them admitting faults etc, I suppose.)


You mean Hobart still hasn't transitioned to stainless on the big ones? I suppose stainless at that size would be prohibitively heavy to actually use, so it makes sense. They did move to SS on the smaller machines I believe. Though Hobart's aluminum is cast, I believe, rather than that weird burnished machined aluminum KA was using that would oxidize and leave residue in food - and was porous and everything would stick to it. They "fixed" it by going back to the nylon coated beaters which is kind of like asking the lion to save you from the bear. But hey, they cost $15 to replace....

Does your Pro 5 have the coated or burnished beaters? K5A IIRC was the actual Hobart-made ones. And I believe they had porcelain enameled rather than nylon-polyester powdered finishes on the beaters. Did you sell it or scrap it? People pay fortunes for those things. Bread people go nuts over them. It's the holy grail even over the DLX, but not quite an N50.

Pro 5 is current - but definitely different than the K5A. How much that actually matters, though, is probably best left to the myths of the internet. Everyone seems to have an opinion that's the right one....
 
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Hah! It never ceases to amaze me the extreme lack of common sense some people have in general, but I do find that where KA is concerned there seems to be a permanent convention uniting such people. Lack of common sense, lack of reading manuals despite that only about 10 pages are written for any given language. It's always hard wading through information on performance on their stuff. Sifting through comments and reviews yields 30% people with zero sense and a fear of reading the manual, 30% bread bakers who endlessly complain how useless KA is (and "they don't build them like they used to in the Hobart KA era!"), and 30% people who think it's the greatest machine ever that churns through anything they throw at it. Where reality lands, is impossible to figure out.

Case in point, reviews for the KA grain mill attachment I happened to be looking at. I don't have the attachment, myself, though I'm considering getting one - I used to use a bigger stand-alone flour mill for my WW, and I refuse to use pre-ground bagged WW. It tastes acrid and rancid because it is acrid and rancid. But the reviews on the KA range from "It's great", to "It's dreadfully slow, kills mixers, and the resulting quality isn't worth the strain.;"

It wasn't until I decided to glance at a PDF manual I discovered what 90% of the problems probably are. The manual is about 4 pages long. It states that you set it to the finest setting and then immediately back it 2 steps back, and make it coarser as needed from there. Most of these people say they were grinding at the finest setting, and it took hours, and wasn't fine enough. I presume finest setting is actually burr calibration where the burrs meet and isn't wide enough to actually fit wheat berries between the plates, without the augur forcing them between. The second fact is that they ship the carbon steel burrs slathered in mineral oil - you're supposed to wash it off before use otherwise flour & oil & heat in the chamber...... Guaranteed the complainers didn't do that, so the thing just sat there plugging for hours while they thought they were milling and letting the magic smoke out of the mixer.

I love the pasta attachments, but stories like yours reinforce my fears about them. The extruder is probably ok, but the rollers take SO long to use, and require running the mixer for SO long to use them, it doesn't seem healthy. Extruder is high-stress but short duration use. The rollers by nature of laminating the dough take FOREVER to use even at low stress. For the AC motors that just means they get very very hot. I guess that's one place the DC motors win. You probably could leave those models running for a long time. Although, WHO goes for a coffee break with a mixer - any mixer, save maybe spiral - running unattended? Motor heat aside, Just from a safety perspective anyone that does that should probably stick their head in the bowl....

I wonder if selling these people machines with moving parts and enough force to break limbs is a smart plan overall? :)

That and the complaints from the bread world of trying to knead 4lb of dough @ 65% for 12 minutes on "medium speed" (when they put at least half a dozen stickers over the thing saying to only use speed 2 with the hook - I presume that's the motor or converter's native speed for the gear ratio or heat displacement by the fan) burning things up. KA does get over-zealous with their warnings. "Only knead for 3-4 minutes" is silly and counterproductive, and IMO, unnecessary. That's just protecting themselves like "unplug the mixer" every time you remove the beater. But the "speed 2" thing is pretty clear and logical.

KA walked into a bad reputation though - they were in bad shape when the "Pro" series came out, and their teething experience with trying to get back into "serious mixers" after abandoning them for some years set back their PR image a lot. Big snafus like the plastic gear covers didn't help. But that legacy coupled with the magic of the internet never quite leaves now. They also struggled with their PR people who, when machines were labeled "heavy duty" and people complained they broke with modest loads, they'd respond with gems like "Heavy Duty" is just a model name but doesn't imply it's heavy duty. I miss the old KA forums. The PR people there were maybe clueless but helpful, and more importantly the engineers would actually drop in and discuss issues and test with the dedicated community. Our experiments back then are the reason we have metal gear covers now. Sure we were doing free R&D for them, but it was all in good fun and they took care of our mixers... That was a fun time to be a customer. Last I heard they laid off the entire PR team that used to do that and moved everything behind the basic CSR reps with canned responses. And deleted the entire forum archive from the internet (costly PR of them admitting faults etc, I suppose.)


You mean Hobart still hasn't transitioned to stainless on the big ones? I suppose stainless at that size would be prohibitively heavy to actually use, so it makes sense. They did move to SS on the smaller machines I believe. Though Hobart's aluminum is cast, I believe, rather than that weird burnished machined aluminum KA was using that would oxidize and leave residue in food - and was porous and everything would stick to it. They "fixed" it by going back to the nylon coated beaters which is kind of like asking the lion to save you from the bear. But hey, they cost $15 to replace....

Does your Pro 5 have the coated or burnished beaters? K5A IIRC was the actual Hobart-made ones. And I believe they had porcelain enameled rather than nylon-polyester powdered finishes on the beaters. Did you sell it or scrap it? People pay fortunes for those things. Bread people go nuts over them. It's the holy grail even over the DLX, but not quite an N50.

Pro 5 is current - but definitely different than the K5A. How much that actually matters, though, is probably best left to the myths of the internet. Everyone seems to have an opinion that's the right one....
You can buy a small motor for the pasta roller, remove the hand crank and attach it there. $34

https://www.amazon.com/Excelsteel-3...argid=aud-799711277694:pla-450807242803&psc=1

I lost so much equipment when I closed down, told the equipment guy to just haul it all out.
Should have kept the 30 qt hobart, robocoup, pots and pans etc. Table top machines, should have kept them.
I did keep my hand tools and a choc tempering machine.
At the time I couldn't care less, a hotel job was waiting for me, full benefits, 5 days a week, normal human hours.

My wife doesn't usually let me play with her mixer but she's away on business so I'm bashing it around.
I'm rough on machines but the K5A can take it. Looks like this.
 
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You can buy a small motor for the pasta roller, remove the hand crank and attach it there. $34

https://www.amazon.com/Excelsteel-3...argid=aud-799711277694:pla-450807242803&psc=1

I lost so much equipment when I closed down, told the equipment guy to just haul it all out.
Should have kept the 30 qt hobart, robocoup, pots and pans etc. Table top machines, should have kept them.
I did keep my hand tools and a choc tempering machine.
At the time I couldn't care less, a hotel job was waiting for me, full benefits, 5 days a week, normal human hours.

My wife doesn't usually let me play with her mixer but she's away on business so I'm bashing it around.
I'm rough on machines but the K5A can take it. Looks like this.
I think I have one of those motors. Well, a different one - before I had the KA rollers I had the Marcato set with the motor they sell for $90 or so. I wasn't too fond of it all though, the KA rollers were actually simpler and at a better height (though I think they're made by Marcato anyway...) That whole thing sits in a box...somewhere...in the basement.

I like the pasta rollers, but they're such a pain to use overall. A lamination-like process with flour instead of butter, sheeting the dough over and over.... Maybe I'll enjoy it more next time but having to keep flouring it is a mess. I can't imagine they burn up motors though other than just the motor's own heat. It puts almost no load on the machine most of the time it runs.

Keeping the 30 quart might not have worked out so well, but wow, yeah, that sounds like a treasure trove of great equipment that walked away. At least, of all the stuff, good chocolate tempering is probably the hardest to find a reasonable consumer grade facsimile of. I've never had the patience for candy & chocolate, myself. That's a whole artform on it's own!

I can appreciate the allure of the normal human hours though....that's one of the things that kept me from biting at an opportunity years ago. I regret not jumping at it at times, but then I think of the schedule that would have been...

Looking at yours, it's amazing, at least externally, how little they've changed over the years! Looks like it has the coated beaters. Probably porcelean back then - better than the newer plastic coated. I have to say, I've had only the burnished aluminum beaters for years - I kind of appreaciate the coated now. They clean up easy and dough doesn't stick to the hook nearly as severely as it spins.

Speaking of pasta, I just did 2 double batches to break in (or just break) My new(er) 600. The mixer does strain a bit even on the brief knead.....you can hear the motor strain, and it does move in stops and starts at times (well, bursts and slowdowns as it tries to manage speed.) Of course it's 2.5lb of pasta brick dough, so it handled it fairly admirably in general. Hard to tell if it's "harming the mixer" or if it's "just ungracefully getting the job done." But I think it powered through quite well, if in stops and starts. I just kill it when it gets too jumpy and finish the knead by hand right in the bowl. The housing was barely even beyond room temp, so any strain was on the drivetrain, not the motor. It could NEVER handle a triple batch. And I'm not sure how much a 50/50 whole wheat would work - might not be much more or any more strain at such low hydration. If it could deal with a pasta brick so reasonably, it can probably handle almost any more hydrated yeast dough better.

IMO they've made some improvements from the 14yo models beyond just the gear cover. It seems more fearless in it's speed adjustment to power through slowdowns, overcompensating at times, but still. I love my old one with the plastic gearbox, but I have to say these new ones seem a bit nicer (though, I could swear it's also slightly shorter. I don't have them exactly side-by-side so it could be a perspective thing.

I bought the extruder this time since it seems faster and easier to deal with than the roller. I don't like drying pasta so I froze a few of the dough pats and will extrude right before boiling. I have to say the extruder is nice. Zero detectable load on the motor, doesn't get particularly warm at all (speed 6 for the "large macaroni"/penne die I used. Works well, dough never got stuck except once and a small push did it. Cleanup is simple except for having to pick all the dough out of the die...that part isn't fun. It at least, my perception for now is that it's faster, easier, and cleaner than the rollers. But I'll have to give the rollers a go again.

It definitely doesn't seem to strain the rollers.

The grain mills worry me more than the pasta, honestly. KA's grain mill supposedly puts a lot of load on the motor. There's a 3rd party stone mill that supposedly doesn't load the motor much at all, BUT it's very slow and it could take 30+ minutes to mill enough for a decent batch. that doesn't seem smart for the motors...yet it's tempting.

There's been a lot of talk about KA not being up to the task, and about the DC motors being so much better, but so far, it doesn't get hot, the gear housing is more rigid, it seems more aggressive than the same model a decade+ ago in it's speed increases to plow through when it bogs down. It's noisy, it may be inconsistent in speed, but it seems steady overall. The DC models do have more horsepower in general though. I still think it reminds me of a Hobart. It's loud, inelegant, and sounds like it's dying most of the time, but just keeps chugging away. Time will tell. I still say "knead only 3 minutes" for bread is underkill. I think "knead until the housing seems too hot, or sounds like it's straining" might be a better rule. It never made sense, otherwise, that you can only knead for 3 minutes, but you can run a meat grinder for the better part of an hour....
 
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