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on June 14, 2011
Going to keep this short and sweet. My wife was gifted this item eight years ago and has used it heavily. Last weekend the off switch broke. You had to unplug it to turn it off. My wife called KitchenAid to find out where the nearest place we could take it to be repaired. She LOVES her mixer and was devastated it had broken.
The nearest place fro repair? About 400 miles away. The operator and my wife spoke a bit more about the problem, then the operator put her on hold for about fifteen minutes. When she came back she said "We're going to claim this as a manufacturer defect and replace it for you for free."
Can you darned believe that? Seriously, can you believe it? After eight years? THAT is what customer service and product support is all about people! My wife was almost in tears she was so impressed. You just don't find service like this anymore. Thank you KitchenAid, you have earned our loyalty.
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on April 11, 2008
Currently all the reviews on Amazon are for the Artisan series mixers, probably because of the extra 25 watts of power over the Ultra series. I got my beloved Empire Red Ultra from my sister, in brand new condition, because she got tired of my constant admiration (actually, covetousness)of it every time I came to visit her. She happens to be a very busy working mom who doesn't cook and bake as much as I do, so she sold it to me at her cost, and I think she now regrets it! At any rate, on to my review...

First off, let me say this baby is HEAVY...at nearly 25 lbs. I don't move it around very much. It stays in its designated space on my counter, and I don't even TRY to store it. I'm disabled, and just don't have the physical strength to tackle that. However, its weight is one of the many advantages of the machine, when mixing heavier items such as bread and cookie doughs. It obviously saves me a lot of hand and arm fatigue; a hand-held mixer is out of the question for me. It has plenty of power, and easily mixes 2 loaves' worth of bread dough with minimal bogging. The only thing that I would improve upon is I would add a way to store the cord neatly; but that is a small thing compared to how much I rely on it to help me cook.
From whipped potatoes to buttercream icing, this mixer does all that I require of it, and probably much, much more...I hope to be able to buy some of the attachments for it soon. At about $50 less than the Artisan series, don't pass it up thinking that the extra 25 watts of power is the only way to go.
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on September 24, 2011
I bake my own bread, rolls, muffins, etc. and this machine is really great. I use it once or twice a week. I read that it would handle a recipe of up two 6 cups of flour, but it sure makes some unpleasant noise when I tried a 6 cup bread dough recipe. I think I should have gone for a larger unit.
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on February 11, 2011
I am using this machine as an extra mixer in my organic bakery. It is a sturdy mixer with a strong motor. It is suitable for mixing light batters for cake and buns. I would recommend this mixer to anyone who likes to bake for family and friends.
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on October 13, 2009
I have always wanted a Kitchenaid Mixer, so when I saw the price where I could finally afford it, I snatched it right up! I am so amazed at everything I have been able to do with this mixer. It is quiet, sturdy, and works wonderfully. I am planning on getting some accessories for it soon. I have had this mixer for several months now, and not one single problem. The attachments, I would recommend you hand wash them, mine turned when I washed one in the dishwasher. But overall, it is well worth the money.
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on January 21, 2010
I used this product so much over the Christmas holidays that I don't know what I
would have done without it. It is a work horse. Is consistently useful and does
exactly what it is supposed to. It is very heavy so if your lugging it around
that is bothersome. But I take that to a flimsy mixer any day. Easy to clean
up and really no down side that I have yet to find.
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on February 7, 2011
I use it at least once a week except around the holidays even more, for some 9 years now. I will be supplementing it with a 5 qt Artisan this spring as it looks like I will be baking for a booth at my local farmer's market. Never had a problem. May send it out to have the oil changed before putting it through 6-8 extra hours work each week for 20 weeks a year.
I have no doubt it will be fine. So will the Artisan. I know two people with "more powerful" Chinese imports that were failing after 20 hours use. No thanks! Mine has 500+ hours use. Maybe I need to replace the brushes in the motor too. That's about $4 and 5 minutes work. I know a person with a 6 qt Kitchen Aid who had problems after about 50 hour's of use. I've never met a person who has ever had a problem with a pivot head model.
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on March 2, 2011
Oh where has this beautiful friend of my mine been all my life? I've had in in my wish list for two years and 'jumped' at it and bought it from amazon.com when the price dropped to $200. It used to be around $400 I think it was. My husband gave it to me for my Christmas present
as he would see me staring at it on amazon.com's web site throughout the day.

He loves pies and I'm using "Girlfriend" (that's my name for her - she's always close to me, jumps in to help without complaining and makes
everything right!) to make the pie pastry and anything else that I find in the cookbooks to make. Yesterday, I made their mushroom & onion tarts that is in KitchenAid's wonderful cookbook, Great Baking and More. They were just delicious - had some friends over and everyone had 3 each
and we're not 'big' eaters!

I used a box cake mix to make some cupcakes - one recipient wrote me and said, "Those cupcakes are the best cupcakes I've ever eaten
in my life." Now this friend is in her 60's and I'm sure she's had a cupcake or two! "Girlfriend" just gets right into the mix of things and whips
and stirs the batter and it makes the best-tasting baked goods.........ever! And the best part: you can use this beauty for appetizers, main
meals, deserts and more. To get the most use out of your mixer, be sure to buy from amazon.com, "Great Baking and More" by KitchenAid, "Mix It Up" by Jamee Ruth and "The Mixer Bible" by Meredith Deeds and Carla Snyder. Otherwise your stand mixer might do just that: stand.

I bought the Stand Mixer Attachment Pack but haven't used it yet. I'll review that after I've had time to figure it out. I only wish I knew about this marvelous made in the U.S.A. mixer 30 years ago. She's a wonderful investment....not an expense!
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on June 3, 2011
I purchased this specific mixer because it has more power than it's sister KitchenAid mixer and also has metal internal parts, whereas the less costly sister has plastic. My wife loved it when she opened the box (red is her favorite color) and after using it she said "Why didn't we get this long before now - it's wonderful!" So I did good if her appraisal is any indication. After 52 years of marriage, my "doing good" in her eyes is still very important to me. The extra power and metal internal parts is definitely worth the few additional dollars.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon April 14, 2013
This is a lovely mixer almost identical to the Classic Plus, except red and slightly more powerful. I bought the latter to make cookies after my hand mixer started to smoke during a particularly intense doughing session. I used it primarily for that and pizza crusts. Things that could be mixed with a handheld whisk, I opt for that instead.

Do you need a stand mixer? No, probably not, but it sure takes the grunt work out of stirring and kneading. It also mixes more consistently than I could by hand and classes up the counter.

If you're set on a stand mixer, should you buy this one? Maybe. It's not designed for huge amounts of heavy dough or constant use. It's built well, but it's not an industrial machine. It audibly strains and thumps with a double helping of cookie dough (around 25 oz of flour) and while kneading wet, thick pizza dough. With that sort of load, there's no speed difference between setting 6 and 10, though of course you'd only knead at setting 2 anyway.

KitchenAid has some mixers that are ostensibly a bit stronger. They're all lift-style: instead of tilting the head back, the head sits higher and you raise and lower the bowl. I prefer the tilt-head style. The paddles never get out of the way with the bowl-lift, getting the bowl to lock in place is a jerky movement, and it takes up a lot of vertical counter space. What you do get for the extra cost of the Pro series is a better dough hook, a metal gearbox, more power, and a slightly larger bowl. Even these higher-power mixers will fall short of alternatives from Bosch and Electrolux for serious breadmaking, however.

If you opt for the Artisan, you gain 1/2 QT of bowl capacity, a handle on the bowl, the splash guard, and color choices besides white. Otherwise, it's functionally identical to this model and about the same power. The splash guard in particular is a fiddly thing, you spill less just tilting the mixer up and dumping your ingredients in. I do think the larger bowl and the handle are worth something though (especially for double recipes), so the Artisan may be preferable for more than just the color.

There's a lot of talk about Hobart units. Prior to about 1985, these mixers were made by Hobart, a supplier of industrial kitchen equipment. Later models are made by Whirlpool. There's some debate whether the new models are as good as the old ones, particularly in regard to the gearbox. My take is that if you can find an old Hobart (e.g., K4SS, K5-A, K5SS with a metal 'Hobart' placard) and it runs well, it's likely to keep running well no matter what you throw at it. But it won't be as clean and may not fit certain new bowls, paddles, or attachments.

New or old, these KitchenAid mixers are dead-simple to repair. The motor brushes are replaceable without dismantling the unit ($10 or so and hidden beneath the black circular covers), the speed governor is mechanically adjustable, and the gearbox is straightforward and easily accessible. This means that they're intriguing on the used market. People receive them as gifts and put them in the local classifieds with minimal use or minor flaws you can fix. Typical transaction prices are $125-$150, and I've seen this mixer as low as $75. For new units, Kohls has them on sale quite often.

Here's the full list of KA mixers:

K45SS - Classic
* Tilt-head, 250W, 4.5QT metal

KSM75 - Classic Plus
* Tilt-head, 275W, 4.5QT metal

KSM95 - Ultra Power
* Tilt-head, 300W, 4.5QT metal

KSM100 - Ultra Power Plus
* Tilt-head, 300W, 4.5QT metal handle, pouring shield

KSM150 - Artistan
* Tilt-head, 325W, 5QT metal handle, pouring shield

KSM152 - Custom Metallic
* Tilt-head, 325W, 5QT glass handle, pouring shield

KSM155 - Premium Metallic
* Tilt-head, 325W, 5QT glass handle, pouring shield

KSM160 - Ultra Power
* Tilt-head, 325W, 5QT glass handle, 3QT metal, pouring shield

KSM160APS - Architect
* Tilt-head, 325W, 5QT metal handle, 3QT metal, pouring shield

KSM500 - Pro 500
* Bowl-lift, 325W, 5QT metal handle, pouring shield, metal gears, soft-start/auto shutoff

RKG25H0X - Heavy Duty
* Bowl-lift, 450W, 5QT metal handle, pouring shield, spiral hook, metal gears, soft-start/auto shutoff

KV25G0X - Pro 5
* Bowl-life, 450W, 5QT metal handle, pouring shield, spiral hook, metal gears, soft-start/auto shutoff

KP26M1X - Pro 600
* Bowl-lift, 575W, 6QT metal handle, pouring shield, spiral hook, metal gears, soft-start/auto shutoff

KSM7586P - Pro Line
* Bowl-lift, 1.3HP, 7QT metal handle, pouring shield, spiral hook, metal gears, soft-start/auto-shutoff

If you'd rather have a more powerful bowl lift mixer, KitchenAid's refurbished store often has the Heavy Duty Series for as little as $175 (if you Google a coupon code). It's a doppelganger for the Pro 5 and includes the superior spiral dough hook. Whatever you buy, try to have it on (even with an empty bowl) for a few minutes at least once a week or two. The oil-leak problem occurs when the oil breaks down from disuse. If the mixer runs with any frequency, you'll never encounter it.
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