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February 23, 2009

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Call KitchenAid. I bet my nickel that they'll replace it.

See e.g. http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/01/16/a-kitchenaid-upgrade/

Danielle: I've already been back and forth with them. No such luck. They wouldn't even fix it for me. (It was nice what they did for you, though!!)

Oh, Tammy, I'm heart broken for you! I have always been afraid to use mine for bread because Mom said, 'I'm warning you, don't do it'. And so I actually listened to Mom (it was her once a year) and never did it. Husband gave me mine during the courting period and I was his forever.

So very, very sorry, Love, Alecto

Well, I'm pissed off for you! Shame on them for not making good and at least fixing the thing.

What the heck do I have that fancy mixer for if I can't use the DOUGH hook it came with!

When I got mine for Mother's Day last year, Mischief Mari wrote and told me not to use it for heavy dough or it would burn out. Sounded like the voice of experience to me, so I never have. Even if they said they'd fix or replace it, you'd probably have to spend an arm and a leg just to send it to Nepal or some such place. Sorry to hear about that Tammy. Those suckers are expensive! Which is why I never got one until my daughter bought me mine for Mother's Day.

The same problem happened to me last year--double loaf recipe, normally using AP flour. I had the brilliant idea to use bread flour. I thought I would die--my KA was 18 years old!

There is a repair shop that will fix it for a flat fee of $85 near Holy Name School in West Roxbury. Inner gear apparently is 'designed' to fail under extreme heat so as 'not to damage the motor' Ha ha.

I ended up getting a new mixer at a great discount (watch Amazon), but plan to fix the old one someday when I am not watching the wallet so much. Sorry you are going through this too!

I wonder if my home warranty would cover mine if it sh*t the bed. Now I'm going to be all nervous next time I make bialys!

A KitchenAid stand mixer won't outlast a marriage? What?

Well, I'm glad I found out before I did anything rash for the sake of kitchen appliances.

I had the KA mixer on my registry but didn't get it - 10 years later, I still haven't gotten around to buying one. Luckily, my aunt told my mother that I'd be "divorced within 10 years", so my marriage days are clearly numbered...and you know what I'll be spending that first alimony check on. Uh, after something for the kids, of course.

I too have comtemplated marriage only for the Kitchen Aid. I just can't justify spending the money. But if someone else wants to get me one....fantastic. If I have to get married to secure the purchase...so be it.

Let me know how this works out for you.

@Bumblebutton: I'm embarrassed to write this comment, because it proves what a nerdy engineer I am, but what you say about a part designed to fail actually makes perfect sense.

Let's say the motor of your KitchenAid costs $100. It's barely worth it for you to take out a ruined motor and put in a new one - it's more economical for you to just buy a new KitchenAid. So, to save your costs when you use the mixer for something it can't handle, they put in a cheap part (usually along the lines of $10 or $20 to replace in a case like this) that is designed to fail just a little earlier than the motor would. So, although it's frustrating that the KitchenAid quit working and a little disheartening to hear that they actually created it with a part that was designed to fail, this means that Tammy can probably get her KitchenAid fixed up for much less than if they didn't design that part to fail.

As a nerdy aside, fancy new machines in metal and/or wood shops are being designed with similar designed-to-fail parts. The machine can sense if it's cutting into something soft (your finger, for example, although when I've seen them tested they used a hot dog) and will break the part, rather than cutting off your finger.

Nerdily yours,
Margo

I have the same problem with my mixer wobbling all over. I have to hold the head down so it doesn't completely unlock itself. If knew the advice about "don't use it to make bread" I wouldn't have ever bought it. I e-mailed KitchenAid to ask them about the problem and they told me to tighten some screw. Then they gave me a long list of instructions on "proper care" and how you're not supposed to mix certain things over a certain speed or else you'll break the stupid thing. No offer to fix it though and the nearest repair facility to where I live is 3 hours away. Tightening the screw doesn't solve the problem. My mixer is only 3 years old by the way. It's the Artisan model and I think I paid like 350 bucks for it. Horrible. I'm getting ahold of my grandma's mixer so I have a back up for when mine finally kicks the bucket. I think they used to have a really good product, now they're making it cheap and reaping the benefits of their good reputation. They better watch out though because reputations are easily tarnished. Sorry to hear about your mixer.

Um, now I'm having a little itty bitty panick attack. My mixer does the slappity slap, heart attack sounding wobble across the counter every time I make bread too. I know I should just learn how to knead better, but the KA does it so nicely. Why wouldn't they offer to fix it for you?

Mary: Good question. Probably they didn't want to fix it for me because then they'd have to fix it for everybody else. The dough hook is clearly a problem. Use it at your own risk. Even if you only go as high as Speed 2, it can still break the machine.

Kristin: Sorry you're having the same problem. Somebody needs to put out a public service announcement about dough hooks. Definitely get ahold of your grandma's mixer. I bet that thing'll take a licking and keep on ticking.

Margo: I like the idea of a machine stopping if it senses it might be cutting off an appendage. That's a good idea. Maybe I should be more thankful that my KitchenAid didn't maim me in the bread-making process. Still, if a crap part is designed to fail before it kills the motor, couldn't they just rig up a warning light or something. Danger, danger, about to self-destruct!!! Like that. But I'm no engineer, that's for sure.

Katie: I sure will.

Kathy: Marriage is a small price to pay if you get a good 15-20 years out of the mixer. Any less and you'll just feel used.

Erin: Hah! Relatives are so tactful. That's a good use of your alimony check, for sure, but make sure you send the dough hook off with your ex! Dough hook = bad.

adele: Yes, you need to know what you're getting into. I would advise signing a prenuptial agreement (with KitchenAid).

Jess: Basically, I wouldn't trust the dough hook unless the bowl was completely empty. Seriously, I've only used the dough hook 3 or 4 times at the lowest possible speeds.

Bumblebutton: Thanks for the repair shop tip! Husband wants me to fix it right away because he likes to use it for chocolate chip cookies, but I'm still stuck on my pointless, principled stand. Now we're fighting about the KitchenAid. Maybe we'll get divorced after all!

Sally: That's a nice daughter you've got there. And those were wise words by Mischief Mari.

April in CT: I know. Don't sell a dough hook if it's just going to self-destruct. I was using a Julia Child bread recipe that was written for a KitchenAid. I wonder what Julia Child would say about this state of affairs.

Alecto: Thank you. It sounds like there's already a secret society in the know about the dough hook. What else do they know that I don't? How do I get in on it?

Damn that blows. It's making me not want to buy one. I don't need it that much anyway...

Why is it that every time I see one of these comment sites, they're always negative? It seems to be the American way. I've had my KA Ultra Power for 10 years. I make everything in it, including bread, and I use the dough hook! My machine does not bounce all over the countertop. I use the grater attachment to grate my zucchini and we use the sausage attachment for making Italian and Polish sausage. I was looking for a pasta attachment when I came across this site. My KA has been the best kitchen investment.

We have a KA mixer that we bought at a yard sale around 1990. It's never given us problems (except when there was a recall to replace the wire whip thin g- the new one doesn't reach quite as far down as the old one did). My husband has been kneading dough with the bread hook for the past couple of months. No problems. I guess we benefit from having an old one!

Tammy: Your 'danger' light made me laugh, but it's a good idea. If you had the light for three to five seconds, you might just have a chance to shut off the machine before breaking any parts. And I think we all agree that less broken parts are better.

First off, KitchenAid is made in the USA so it wouldn't be shipped to Nepal to be fixed... second, I have one of their PRO line mixers (not the tilty-head kind) and the recommendation that comes with says that you should mix for 4 mins at a time, to prevent the motor from overheating. I agree that the mixers are loud but so far I've had no trouble mixing dough... and it doesn't move on the counter. Maybe you need the more powerful model to mix dough? King Arthur Flour now sells Viking products rather than Kitchen Aid, so maybe that mixer is more suited to bread dough...?

I just ran into this because I had a problem with my mixer. You guys are so cute lol. Too bad I had to buy my own. I wish some sweet guy would've gotten it for me too *sniff*.

That really is a shame, but atleast you got the 8 years out of it and it was free :) hopefully the next one will last even longer.

Gotta say...married 44 years here, and we bought the KA tilt-head about 3 years into our marriage...I learned YEARS AGO that the kneading dough was a no-go and we ended up buying a Bosch multi-purpose counter-top appliance instead a few years later when we got serious about whole-grain homemade bread. Back in the early '80s we ground our own flour for whole-grain bread and the Bosch handled that just fine (Magic Mill electric grinder). Last night, tried to mill COOKED carrots in our KA and the motor was SMOKING -- literally. That's why I'm on this thread today -- and THANKS for all the helpful info!!! BTW: beware the repair shops that sound "authorized" that pop up online -- check their creds out further (licensed for the repair in their state, reviews by customers, etc. -- not necessarily BBB-level, either). I'll probably post our results from whatever we end up doing on here. I like my KA for typical baking issues, and it FORMERLY worked for grinding meat, so maybe it just needs a "tune-up." However, the "dancing across the counter before jumping off" thing -- with AP flour, no less -- YEP, from the very beginning in 1970. It's pretty -- avocado green, popular at the time...still love it for planetary movement in typical mixing (like the bowl/beater interface better than the Bosch).

I'm thinking it's an issue of how powerful the motor on the particular model or individual machine is -- are some models higher-powered? In addition, we reviewed it through Consumer Reports before we bought...which was the new rage at the time.

Our Artisan has made bread every week for the last three+ years and it makes pizza dough regularly. We also use it to make ice cream at times. It is still working quite reliably.

When it comes to bread I can say that well-hydrated bread is much easier to knead than dry bread. It also rises much better.

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