Acquainting yourself with the KitchenAid stand mixer.
I remember my first KitchenAid stand mixer, a silver Professional 600. I got it before I went into appliance repair, and it had a broken lift mechanism. I was able to learn how the parts worked with each other and found out which parts needed replacement and repaired the mixer. See, this mixer was tossed out. Someone decided it wouldn't be worth fixing and departed with the mixer's company. I fixed it and had a $400 mixer for less than a quarter of that. I didn't know then that I would later in my life be repairing appliances and mixers. If there is any one appliance I like to "save" above all else, it is the KitchenAid stand mixer.
The KitchenAid mixer is a classic, the least updated appliance there is, a dinosaur. Not to use that term in a negative way, but in a way that the design was so good, that only minimal changes were needed through the years. The Artisan and other flip top mixers share mechanicals with the old Hobart KitchenAids. Many, of those old machines are still working to this day. It's amazing how near perfect the design of the mixer is, yet the Whirlpool backed KitchenAid has made advancements in it's own right. The Professional line uses a much more powerful and simpler motor and the Commercial line uses a one piece motor and gear case. It's simplicity, mixed with high function. The fail rate on these machines is very low, so there aren't a lot of companies out there fixing them. It's a good thing for KitchenAid as people all around know that these things are the benchmark of dependability (or them and Speed Queen can duke that one out) , yet the lack of servicers does make it difficult for the few people who do experience failure. So we at Nola Appliance Appliance Repair have now started to offer KitchenAid repair service.
For all they are, these mixers have more parts than most would suspect. Yet like swiss clockwork the gears usually hold up for years or decades of use. The motors may last even longer. There is no engineered obsolescence with these things. For as well made they are, getting them apart does involve push pins and e-rings, and loads of sticky grease. It's more than most want to handle for a small appliance. Yet repair of these units is very much worth it. There is a certain inner feel-good about having a machine that works for so long, and keeping it going. Not only that, you literally save money with repair, even if you bought a new one on Black Friday. Each Kitchen Aid mixer, is not only machine, but an art of design. A true example of the remnants of classic appliance design, when a machine was meant to be the last machine you needed to buy. Because of this, we have seen fifty year old kitchenaids and plenty of the classic 70's units that grandma had.
Currently, there are three main types of Kitchenaid Mixers. First you have the most common units which are the flip top models. Some are sold as Artisan, others as Classic. This unit stands out because it has a smaller motor and smaller capacity but moreso because of it's distinctive flip up top, to access the bowl. The other types have raise/lower adjustable locking arms. The flip top models are more inexpensive to purchase but repairs on them are often the hardest due to the the amount of parts involved with their gears and the complexity of their speed control system. Even so the parts are not that expensive and they can be repaired in a timely manner. Next up the Pro Series, usually a six quart, it has the adjustable arms. Unlike the Classic and Artisan it has a Logic based electronic control with integrated speed control. The gears are under a separate case and the motor does not have replaceable brushes (those black circles on many machine's sides). These units have a larger motor and more powerful gears and can handle much tougher jobs. Of the types of mixers these are the ones I usually recommend to serious home bakers and chefs. Lastly you have the commercial model, the commercial model looks like a slightly larger professional model. Yet under it's cover it has a much much larger motor, and in addition to the larger motor a solid transmission affixed to the motor. Which is great for a restaurant that wants an easy repair when their mixer is down, but bad in a sense that any problem with the gears, fan, motor or speed control and you are changing the entire motor assembly. Even then, the assembly is not pricey, and replacing it is less than a fifth of the cost of a new Commercial stand mixer. The Commercial ones are usually more than the home baker needs, but are a great investment for caterers and people who make a lot of cakes and use a lot of powdered sugar. The Commercial model holds up to the powdered sugar onslaught better than most.
On flip top and professional models we see a lot of failure due to caked up powdered sugar on electronics. Did I mention we will clean the machines inside and out during repair? If you do bake with powdered sugar a lot, you should wrap some cheesecloth over the silver logo stripe around the machine, going over the vent holes in the back as well. This is where the fine sugar particles get in. Other than that tidbit, and the advice to always store the mixer upright, there is little care needed to prolong the life in your stand mixer, it was designed for a long life. So there is a little back info about the current mixers. If you have any questions about your mixer, feel free to email us.
Whichever stand mixer you have, trust in us at Nola Appliance Repair to be the premier repair shop for the Kitchenaid stand mixer in the New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner area if it ever needs repair.