KitchenAid Mixers have 2 INTENTIONAL design flaws...and what you can do about it!


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Ok, so, bit of background. I was a GS-E in the Navy. That's a Gas Turbine systems technician / Electrical, for those that don't know. I worked on jet engines and their electrical and electronic control systems. This training also included some training in lubricants, obviously, as jet engine lubrication requirements are rather demanding, as I'm sure you can imagine. I've even worked as a solderer doing circuit board repair (down to SMT, or surface mount tech, the super small stuff) at an electronics company. So...when I say I'm qualified to work on KitchenAid stand mixers AND evaluate them, I feel I'm VERY qualified to work on and evaluate their equipment, and have the engineering background to back it up. So when I make the statements I make, I don't make them willy nilly or with nothing to back them up.

It is my very educated opinion that KitchenAid stand mixers have INTENTIONAL BUILT IN ASSEMBLY PROBLEMS which could EASILY be mitigated and would result in a HUGE leap in the longevity of their stand mixers for, and I'm being quite literal here, PENNIES INVESTED PER MIXER.

I have thus far tore down and redone 3 KitchenAid Professional (both 500 and 600 series) stand mixers. The issues existed on all 3 and so I must assume the issues are ubiquitous throughout the entire line.

The first and most GLARING issue from an engineering standpoint is the COMPLETE LACK OF THREAD LOCK COMPOUND ON THE ENTIRE MOTOR AND GEARBOX ASSEMBLY SCREWS. There is NO CONCEIVABLE WAY any actual ENGINEER would omit this critical item in an area that is subject to the kinds of torsional and axial stresses a stand mixer encounters. This results, probably WITHOUT FAIL on all of them, in the screws that hold the motor to the chassis as well as the screws that hold the transmission case together, to slowly BACK OUT OVER TIME. When the screws back out and the transmission case separates, the gears begin to jump around which causes them to go out of alignment and strip.

Because of the absolutely NEGLIGIBLE COST of using thread lock on those screws, I can only conclude that it's OMISSION is INTENTIONAL by KitchenAid, and is an intentional bid to accelerate the failure of their mixers to, of course, force you to buy another. As an engineer, I find this absolutely NEGLIGENT on the part of KitchenAid.

The second (although still important) issue concerning the assembly of their stand mixers is their LUBRICANT CHOICE. Folks...the lubricant KitchenAid uses in their stand mixers from the factory is based on CLAY. KitchenAid LITERALLY uses the absolute WORST POSSIBLE LUBRICANT, at least and still qualify AS a lubricant. I mean, they could use sand, but...well, they're not going to be THAT blatant. The lubricant used by KitchenAid was literally the same grease that was available to the first STEAM LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS IN THE 1800'S!!! I'm not hyperbolizing, here, folks. They are using 200 year old grease tech in their stand mixers. INTENTIONALLY TO ACCELERATE FAILURE. Clay-based greases have horribly poor performance in every metric you choose. We have synthetic-based food-safe greases that won't FAIL IN 5 YEARS. They will remain actual GREASE for 20 YEARS! Do you know what clay-based grease turns into, once the petroleum distillates have all evaporated out? IT TURNS INTO CLAY! DUH! Can you imagine clay being good for the longevity of your KitchenAid gearbox?

ME NEITHER!

So in the transmission, you have screws designed to back out, gears designed to strip, and grease designed to turn into clay in 5 or so years. And believe me, this is all intentional decision making by corporate KitchenAid. This isn't how you build a lasting stand mixer, and it's CERTAINLY not how you build a brand NAME.

So I suggest you do with YOUR mixer what I did with MY mixer.
I took the transmission completely apart. All you need is a #2 Philips and a set of snap-ring pliers.
I cleaned it COMPLETELY of the old CLAY GREASE (ugh, I still can't stand thinking about it).

The cleaning of the ENTIRE assembly, IN AND OUT, of ALL OLD GREASE IS VITAL. Even the seal around the worm gear on the motor shaft has to be removed and cleaned TOTALLY. New synthetic grease is NOT COMPATIBLE with the old grease. If you allow them to co-exist, they will chemically react and turn into a substance that actually attacks the metal, rather than protecting it.

Once COMPLETELY cleaned, even the transmission gasket, I re-lube the ENTIRE assembly with a generous amount of nice, new, fresh synthetic food-safe grease.

I then re-assemble the entire works using blue loctite thread lock on ALL SCREWS. AS IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN FROM THE FACTORY. (glares at KitchenAid).

And that's what you do to FIX (read: prevent from breaking) your KitchenAid stand mixer.

The now loctited screws won't ever back out, causing your gears to strip or your motor to overload.

The new grease in the transmission will last far longer than your mixer motor.

The motor will run cooler and use less electricity because there will be less INTERNAL FRICTION from the CRAPPY GREASE.

The ELECTRONICS will last longer by extension because less internal drag from the transmission will result in less current being pulled by the motor and thus the electronics will run COOLER.

Oh, and it's about 10-20% QUIETER, too.

So, yeah. There's my scathing accusation hurled at KitchenAid, and what you can do to FIX your KitchenAid stand mixer for years of service.

Peace!
 
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My 2 top (Globe) mixers, I think, are the cream of the crop! Kitchenaid has gone down in value, longevity & reliability.Globe puts metal gears in all their mixers, from The biggest to the smallest mixer. I'm done with plastic nylon gears & cheap crappy mixers. Commercial mixers are the way to go. :)
 
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@letmepicyou, there’s a reason for the type of lubricant. The grease is NSF H-1 Registered Food-Grade Grease.

There’s three categories of food grade grease. H1, H2, & H3.

With H1 grease it can be used in equipment in food production where there is some risk of accidental contact. If accidental contact occurs it cannot exceed If accidental contact occurs it cannot exceed 10ppm; otherwise the food is unsafe for consumption.

H2 food grade grease cannot be used in equipment in the production of food where there is any risk of accidental contact.

H3 has to do with oils.

Since KitchenAid mixers are used in the production of food, the manufacturer cannot use grease that does not comply with food safety regulations.

And it is not advisable for bakers to use a grease in their mixers that is not NSF H-1 Registered Food-Grade Grease.
 
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Ok, so, bit of background. I was a GS-E in the Navy. That's a Gas Turbine systems technician / Electrical, for those that don't know. I worked on jet engines and their electrical and electronic control systems. This training also included some training in lubricants, obviously, as jet engine lubrication requirements are rather demanding, as I'm sure you can imagine. I've even worked as a solderer doing circuit board repair (down to SMT, or surface mount tech, the super small stuff) at an electronics company. So...when I say I'm qualified to work on KitchenAid stand mixers AND evaluate them, I feel I'm VERY qualified to work on and evaluate their equipment, and have the engineering background to back it up. So when I make the statements I make, I don't make them willy nilly or with nothing to back them up.

It is my very educated opinion that KitchenAid stand mixers have INTENTIONAL BUILT IN ASSEMBLY PROBLEMS which could EASILY be mitigated and would result in a HUGE leap in the longevity of their stand mixers for, and I'm being quite literal here, PENNIES INVESTED PER MIXER.

I have thus far tore down and redone 3 KitchenAid Professional (both 500 and 600 series) stand mixers. The issues existed on all 3 and so I must assume the issues are ubiquitous throughout the entire line.

The first and most GLARING issue from an engineering standpoint is the COMPLETE LACK OF THREAD LOCK COMPOUND ON THE ENTIRE MOTOR AND GEARBOX ASSEMBLY SCREWS. There is NO CONCEIVABLE WAY any actual ENGINEER would omit this critical item in an area that is subject to the kinds of torsional and axial stresses a stand mixer encounters. This results, probably WITHOUT FAIL on all of them, in the screws that hold the motor to the chassis as well as the screws that hold the transmission case together, to slowly BACK OUT OVER TIME. When the screws back out and the transmission case separates, the gears begin to jump around which causes them to go out of alignment and strip.

Because of the absolutely NEGLIGIBLE COST of using thread lock on those screws, I can only conclude that it's OMISSION is INTENTIONAL by KitchenAid, and is an intentional bid to accelerate the failure of their mixers to, of course, force you to buy another. As an engineer, I find this absolutely NEGLIGENT on the part of KitchenAid.

The second (although still important) issue concerning the assembly of their stand mixers is their LUBRICANT CHOICE. Folks...the lubricant KitchenAid uses in their stand mixers from the factory is based on CLAY. KitchenAid LITERALLY uses the absolute WORST POSSIBLE LUBRICANT, at least and still qualify AS a lubricant. I mean, they could use sand, but...well, they're not going to be THAT blatant. The lubricant used by KitchenAid was literally the same grease that was available to the first STEAM LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS IN THE 1800'S!!! I'm not hyperbolizing, here, folks. They are using 200 year old grease tech in their stand mixers. INTENTIONALLY TO ACCELERATE FAILURE. Clay-based greases have horribly poor performance in every metric you choose. We have synthetic-based food-safe greases that won't FAIL IN 5 YEARS. They will remain actual GREASE for 20 YEARS! Do you know what clay-based grease turns into, once the petroleum distillates have all evaporated out? IT TURNS INTO CLAY! DUH! Can you imagine clay being good for the longevity of your KitchenAid gearbox?

ME NEITHER!

So in the transmission, you have screws designed to back out, gears designed to strip, and grease designed to turn into clay in 5 or so years. And believe me, this is all intentional decision making by corporate KitchenAid. This isn't how you build a lasting stand mixer, and it's CERTAINLY not how you build a brand NAME.

So I suggest you do with YOUR mixer what I did with MY mixer.
I took the transmission completely apart. All you need is a #2 Philips and a set of snap-ring pliers.
I cleaned it COMPLETELY of the old CLAY GREASE (ugh, I still can't stand thinking about it).

The cleaning of the ENTIRE assembly, IN AND OUT, of ALL OLD GREASE IS VITAL. Even the seal around the worm gear on the motor shaft has to be removed and cleaned TOTALLY. New synthetic grease is NOT COMPATIBLE with the old grease. If you allow them to co-exist, they will chemically react and turn into a substance that actually attacks the metal, rather than protecting it.

Once COMPLETELY cleaned, even the transmission gasket, I re-lube the ENTIRE assembly with a generous amount of nice, new, fresh synthetic food-safe grease.

I then re-assemble the entire works using blue loctite thread lock on ALL SCREWS. AS IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN FROM THE FACTORY. (glares at KitchenAid).

And that's what you do to FIX (read: prevent from breaking) your KitchenAid stand mixer.

The now loctited screws won't ever back out, causing your gears to strip or your motor to overload.

The new grease in the transmission will last far longer than your mixer motor.

The motor will run cooler and use less electricity because there will be less INTERNAL FRICTION from the CRAPPY GREASE.

The ELECTRONICS will last longer by extension because less internal drag from the transmission will result in less current being pulled by the motor and thus the electronics will run COOLER.

Oh, and it's about 10-20% QUIETER, too.

So, yeah. There's my scathing accusation hurled at KitchenAid, and what you can do to FIX your KitchenAid stand mixer for years of service.

Peace!

Wow!

Just wanted to let you know that this is a known tactic employed by companies.

I remember learning about it is years ago in a Sociology lesson.
 
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Wow!

Just wanted to let you know that this is a known tactic employed by companies.

I remember learning about it is years ago in a Sociology lesson.
No. This is not turn. The grease used in a mixer must be NSF H-1 Food Grade in the US BY LAW. This is a food safety standard. The United States Department of agriculture created machinery food grade lubricant designations H1, H2 and H3. Depending on the type of machinery how it’s going to be used in food production, then the appropriate lubricant from one of these designated categories Hass to be used in that machinery. That’s the law in the United States. KitchenAid doesn’t deliberately put some wonky type of lubricant in their mixers.

I have two KitchenAid mixers. One of them is 20 years old and it’s still going strong.
 

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