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388 of 406 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Those Still Worried by the Negative Reviews
In short, don't be. Most of the relatively small percentage of negative reviews on this mixer fall into one of three explainable categories, so if you're considering it, follow along:

The most worrisome category of complaints about this mixer involves a very small number of stories about the food-grade grease that lubricates the internal bearings leaking out...
Published on February 26, 2012 by Brian Foreman

versus
208 of 231 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What happed to Kitchenaid quality?
This machine would get 4 or 5 stars if it didn't break within a week or two of use.

I purchased the Artisan for Christmas 2005. It failed (gears froze) a week after receiving it. The replacement unit failed on it's second use. I am now awaiting my third replacement.

Kitchenaid sends a replacement in 5 days and picks up the failed unit. That is...
Published on February 17, 2006 by AZ Desert Rat


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388 of 406 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Those Still Worried by the Negative Reviews, February 26, 2012
By 
Brian Foreman (Lincoln, NE United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
In short, don't be. Most of the relatively small percentage of negative reviews on this mixer fall into one of three explainable categories, so if you're considering it, follow along:

The most worrisome category of complaints about this mixer involves a very small number of stories about the food-grade grease that lubricates the internal bearings leaking out of the mixer and into the food-bowl. Although reported in only a tiny percentage of reviews, this was probably the one complaint that worried me the most, simply because if true, let's just say it: it's disgusting.

The first thing to keep in mind in evaluating this complaint is that EVERY electric mixer requires lubricated bearings. Changing models or brands won't change that, and although there may be design differences that make the possibility somewhat different across various models, it's just going to always be there to some degree on every mixer. It's pointless to waste time, in other words, worrying about something that is going to be a possibility on ANYTHING you can possibly buy. So that's the first category.

The second category category of complaints has to do with the mixer dying somehow, either arriving dead or dying quickly. It seems a lot of these complaints are dated from 2007-2009, so maybe there really *was* something going on, but those seem to have tapered off. For the rest, I can only say that speed matters: 2=LOW for dough, 4=MED for batter, and 6=HIGH for creaming. Speeds 8 and 10 are ONLY for whipping air into cream or egg whites with the wire whisk. Anything faster than 2 for kneading dough and you're literally playing with fire.

I can say this with the authority that only comes from wrecking a lot of motors. The quickest way to burn out an appliance is to exceed the available power with the requested load, so the number one way to kill a mixer is to simply add a large quantity of sticky dough and then crank up the dough hook while saying "if 2 is good, then 4 is better and 10 is best." Turning up the speed increases the load, leaving the motor with no reserve capacity as the dough gets tougher. The result is easy to predict.

The second way to kill an electric motor, surprisingly (and you won't be warned about this one by the manual) is to use it with an extension cord, especially a light-duty one. This is the appliance equivalent of running a race while breathing through a straw. You don't run your stove that way, you don't run your refrigerator that way, and you shouldn't run your mixer that way, either. Even WITH the recommended amount of dough, and AT the recommended speed (2), you can still kill it this way. (Please see the comments on this review if you're interested in more discussion on this).

Anyone who is unaware of either of these points will naturally and understandably blame the mixer when it starts smoking and burns out. I'm certainly not saying one of these types of abuse explains every single case of mixer failure--there have to be SOME manufacturing defects--but I'd be willing to bet one of these two things explains 8 out of 10 of them. If you really do need a mixer for large quantities of dough every day, then please invest in a commercial-grade mixer like a two- to four-thousand dollar Hobart mixer, where the designers KNOW the duty-requirements you have in mind. You shouldn't try to haul two tons of rock with a half-ton pickup truck all day and expect it to last, nor should you make the equivalent mistake with a mixer.

The remaining category of complaints seems to be some version of the beaters hitting the bowl. This is a simple adjustment that has been covered elsewhere, but if you missed it, all you need to do is place a dime in the bowl and use the adjustment screw (in the crook of the tip-up hinge) to lower or raise the flat beater until it moves the dime just 1/4 to 1/2 inch on each sweep. This is only end-user adjustment you'll ever need to make, and it likely solves the entirety of the remaining category of complaints I read about.

I decided to take a chance on this mixer despite the negative reviews, after thinking it through in this way, and I'm very happy with it so far (and wow, is it ever better than the old Sunbeam stand mixer I had for ages!) If it ever quits or I change my mind about it, I'll let you know; otherwise, the deal on Amazon is as good as you'll find. (UPDATE: That last comment was made back when this mixer was selling for $229, but the price has risen dramatically since then. The rest of my review still stands...)
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175 of 192 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great mixer!, October 11, 2002
By A Customer
I shopped around a long time before I bought this mixer. Based on other reviews and the great reputation of KitchenAid, I finally took the plunge. While it's a lot of money to shell out for a countertop appliance, I've found that it's been worth every last cent. No more scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula, no more unmixed flour in the bottom of the bowl, and it is pretty and sleek enough that I can keep it sitting on my counter!
The pouring shield makes it easy to dump ingredients in, and not get them poofed back in your face! I occasionally whip up batches of decorator's cake icing, which requires 2 pounds of confectioner's sugar. On my old mixer, everything within a 1-yard radius of the mixer would be covered in with a layer of sugar. Not any more. The pouring sheild keeps the mess contained to the bowl and the underside of the mixer head. I wanted a mixer with a tilt-up head instead of the bowl-lift mechanism on other KitchenAid models. It's designed well so that tilting the head back doesn't even knock the pouring shield off with the beater.
I make a lot of focaccia bread, and mave always hated the 10 minutes of hand kneading. So I dumped the dough in my kitchen aid and ran it at the lowest speed with the dough hook. It came out beautifully. Not sure how I ever lived without this.
The only problem is that with the black model, it ends up looking a little streaky if you just wipe it down with a sponge. Be sure to wipe it dry, too! My boyfriend, the cuisinally challenged, put the regular beater attachment through the dishwasher, and it came out with some sort of powdery-looking deposits all over it. Working on getting that cleaned off.
Overall, I would highly recommend the Artisan mixer. It's powerful enough for the heftiest mixing jobs, and was thoughfully designed with the practical cook in mind.
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136 of 149 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the best, August 22, 2006
I have celiac disease, which is essentially an allergy to wheat protein, and I've been GF for 5 years now. (Why does that sound like I'm at an AA meeting?) When I first started baking all my own breads, cakes, etc., from scratch, the books said that I needed a bread machine. I bought one and it didn't work so well with the GF "funny flours." A book finally told me to forget about the machine, buy a stand mixer and use the oven. Brilliant!

I bought my Kitchenaid and haven't looked back. I use this thing at least twice a week, sometimes every day. I don't know how I lived without it. My mom just bought one after she saw me calmly measuring stuff and dumping it in while the mixer mixed all by it itself. (She's been suffering with a handheld all these years.) Stand mixers also mix more thoroughly than handhelds. They also can mix chocolate chip cookie dough all the way to the end of the flour additions.

I've had my Kitchenaid for about 5 years now, though 3 moves, and it's still as sturdy and reliable as the day I bought it. The paint is still perfect. Not a scratch. Certainly not a chip. It's beautiful and lustrous. I have Onyx Black. While I like the look of the Onyx a lot, it's obvious if there's a little flour dusting the top of it. This makes it convenient to clean, but if you don't use it very often but do want it out, you might want to choose a lighter color that won't show dust.

Caveat: It's heavy. B/c I use mine so much, I display it on my counter, drag it forward, use it, wipe it off with a damp rag, and push it back. (And wash the bowl, of course.) But it's worth it's weight in gold. They are a lovely appliance. Not like a frumpy toaster.

Also, a previous review somewhere said that it left dry ingredients in the bottom of the bowl and didn't incorporate them. There's an adjustment screw that you have to fine-tune before you use it. Instructions are in the booklet. I adjusted mine before I used it for the first time (I compulsively read instructions,) and never had that problem.

Buy yourself a proper mixer. You'll be so glad you did.

TK Kenyon
Author of Rabid: A Novel and Callous: A Novel
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Few Questions to Ask Yourself First..., May 11, 2007
I own a KA Artisan Series 5-Qt. Stand Mixer in "Blue Willow." I am a casual baker and am relatively new in the kitchen and prior to making this purchase, I did quite a bit of research on stand mixers. I found that the questions you have to ask yourself prior to making this purchase are:

(1) Do you really need one, and, if the answer is yes, then;

(2) Is this a one-time purchase, and;

(3) Which stand mixer actually *fits* your needs?

Though I was tempted to get a big 6-Qt professional, bowl-lifting, super cool mixer, I realized that I generally cook for two people and that I would not need to ever really mix 14-cups of flour or 8 pounds of potatoes. Even if I did, I'd be doing it in smaller batches anyway. So that brought me back to my senses and I considered the KA Artisan.

Comparatively:

Oddly, it only has 325 watts of power. Other stand mixers of this size offer up to 500 watts; the KA 6 Qt. Pro offers 525 watts and a bowl "lift" function. I don't know if this makes a huge difference, but my KA stands up to whatever I put in it. I use it to make mostly cookie and bread doughs. It comes with three accessories: flat beater, dough hook, and wire whip. The flat beater is very versatile and I have really appreciated not having to wrestle with my crappy hand-mixer when mixing things like softened cream cheese. I can throw it all into the bowl at once and walk away to start something else.

Cleanup:

It's a snap. While I tend to still get flour all over "The Fuselage," as I call my mixer, it wipes off in a jiffy because of the sleek exterior. I don't find the "chute" of the pouring shield especially "easy" to add ingredients, especially when it's flour from a big mixing bowl. The chute is not quite wide enough and flour tends to spill, so sometimes I don't use it, but this creates "splash-up" instead, so it's kind of a no-win situation. The steel bowl is absolutely smooth and so there are no real ridges inside the bowl for anything to stick to. The accessories twist off in a one-handed motion, are very secure and heavy, and are coated with a slick, non-stick, white finish - washing up is absolutely easy.

Counter Space:

You cannot put this away, or you will never get it out again. So for small apartment dwellers, you must think about your counterspace. I am a pretty small female, and to me, is HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY. While this is good because it doesn't wobble or "walk" across the countertop when it's mixing, this also makes it a gigantic pain to drag it out. So anticipate that it will take up about 1 cubic foot of your countertop forever and that you should have it somewhere where you don't have to move it.

Mixing:

It is very, very thorough. It has some weird "planetary mixing action," but whatever that means, it mixes mostly everything evenly. Turn it off before you stick your spatula in. It handles the stickiest focaccia dough to meringue perfectly, and the bowl "locks in" to the base, so you don't have to worry about it flying off.

Attachments:

These are super pricey in most cases, but the one that seems to draw the most raves is the pasta cutter (apprx. $100). KA constantly has deals and sometimes has nice packaged deals on their website, so check there as well. I have seen KA offer different accessories (including this one) for free on rebate, so watch for those. KA also is constantly flogging "The Mixer Bible" by Meredith Deeds and on their website, they sometimes have an ask-and-answer with the author. I do recommend getting a stand-mixer cover, or if you want to make one, there are several patterns available on the internet. I'm lazy and cheap, so I use a big dishrag and that has worked so far.

Overall, I'm glad I made the purchase. When I do use "the Fuselage" for baking jobs, it performs flawlessly and makes the baking much, much easier - you can get a good look at your dough consistency, etc. instead of worrying about if your frosting has unmixed chunks in it, or if your hand mixer is going to tip your entire bowl of pudding over while you run to get some missed ingredient. By proxy, its ease of use turns you into a better cook in the end. More relaxed, anyway, and if that's worth a couple hundred dollars to you, then by all means, buy it.
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208 of 231 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What happed to Kitchenaid quality?, February 17, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This machine would get 4 or 5 stars if it didn't break within a week or two of use.

I purchased the Artisan for Christmas 2005. It failed (gears froze) a week after receiving it. The replacement unit failed on it's second use. I am now awaiting my third replacement.

Kitchenaid sends a replacement in 5 days and picks up the failed unit. That is good customer service. However, each unit has failed within short time, if the third one fails, I will request my money back and purchase a different brand.

Update March 2008: The third mixer was the charm. It's been working perfectly. Sorry to be so late getting back on this.

Update Sept 2009: The third mixer is starting to act up. The stirring blade is bumping the side of the bowl. You can see the mechanism is not spinning properly any longer. Only a little over a year and now it needs repair. No quality here. When it works, it's wonderful. But 3 times means you're out.
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97 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE this mixer!, May 11, 2004
I got this mixer for Christmas last year, and I absolutely love it!
The first thing that's great about it is how stylish it is, and how great it looks on my counter. Everyone who comes to my apartment always comments on how beautiful it is, and I've found myself buying other kitchen gadgets to match it.
The second thing that's really great is how solid, heavy, and well made this thing is. It sits firmly on the counter and tears through most things I've mixed in it easily. It does tend to "walk" around a bit when kneading bread dough, but that just requires keeping an eye on it. Even the bowl, paddle, whisk and dough hook are heavy and solid. I was also impressed with the KitchenAid warranty and reputation.
Now, the really important thing - the exceptionally great job this thing does mixing. So far I've used it to make many batches of cookies, and loaves of bread (it's got the capacity for two sandwich sized loaves at a time - any more than that and I think it would splash flour around), twice backed potatoes, and muffins, and I've used the whisk to make meringue and angel food cake. I've used it for just about everything I bake, and not only does it do a better job than either hand stirring, a hand beater, or my old stand mixer, it's faster and easier to boot. I think where this baby really shines is the bread. The powerful motor can handle kneading the sticky bread dough for 8 minutes at a time, and the dough comes out perfect. One thing I especially like is the fact that Rose Levy Berenbaum's "The Bread Bible" gives mixing times and speed setting for KitchenAid mixers specifically. That book was probably the deciding factor in my desire for this mixer.
If I could give this mixer 10/5 stars, I would. It really is an outstanding peice of kitchen hardware.
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898 of 1,015 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Self destructed during first use., January 2, 2005
This review is from: KitchenAid KSM150PSER Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer, Empire Red (Kitchen)
About me. Aircraft technician for 23 years, I love to cook, I am a perfectionist and, I hate cheap tools. I purchased this mixer as a to me gift for christmas. On New Years day I thought I would break it in by baking a red velvet cake. While mixing the light and fluffy frosting I heard something let loose in the mixer and in a instant there was a spark and than the circut breaker blew. Well I was able to frost my cake and than my attention was turned to this 200 dollar tool I had purchased. I reset the circuit breaker and atempted to run the mixer. It kind of ran but I could tell there was something other than my fluffy frosting holding the 350 watt motor back. Having had alot of expereance taking things apart and being very curious I had to take a look at what made the thing tick. I removed the back cover and it became very clear that this is not the Kitchen Aid stand mixer my mother used to make two cakes a week with when I was a kid. You would think that for over 200 dollars the machine would have some sort of solid state speed control. I was very surprised to see a very cheap looking reostat devise that looks like it came out of my old electric race car set speed controller that I had as a kid. What a disapointmant. The part that came apart was some sort of spring roller clip on the motor shaft. When it let loose it got stuck in the reostat and shorted the thing out. The reasons I am writting this review are 1. This mixer has almost a five star satisfaction rating. This rating influenced my purchase. 2. Kitchen Aid is living off an American made tradition of high quality. This mixer is not American made and the quality is low. 3. As a consumer I am tired of companies main concern being the bottom line. I would gladly pay more for solidstate construction. In conclusion this mixer may do the job its intended to do but don't be surpised if it breaks down. After all why would there be so many remanufactored units for sale if there wasn't a quality problem. Amazon . com will be getting this unit back and hopefully the replacement will hold together a little longer than the first.
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95 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the mixer, but pick your finish carefully., October 7, 2004
First, the mixer works great. Everything most home-bakers could ever want. But I strongly suggest you select a smooth finish. I got the Krinkle Gray. (Don't know if thats still available.) It looks very 'professional', but it's hard to keep clean. After the first batch of bread dough, the mixer was nearly white, and it took some serious scrubbing to get the flour off the textured surface.

As to the mechanics of the mixer itself, very few complaints. The tilt-head makes it possible to remove the bowl without dismantling the beater (unlike the lift-bowl models). I mainly use the dough hook, and have found that the motor tends to bog down just a bit on extremely heavy doughs. But as I always do the final kneading by hand anyway, its not a major issue; just a little more hand work.

If I ever buy another stand mixer, it will definately be a KitchenAid. Thing is, this mixer will probably outlast me by decades.
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69 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Performance!, October 30, 2002
By 
Mary (Buxton, Maine United States) - See all my reviews
I've been in food service for twenty years and have used commercial mixers on a daily basis. I finally decided to buy one myself and chose the Artisan series Kitchen Aid. What a treat! It gets the job done, no messing around, no fiddling with ingredients. It's quiet and powerful and just...does it! I'm 37 and have complete confidence in this mixer outlasting me. Is it expensive? Yes, it is. But its worth every single penny and will pay for itself, many times over.
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233 of 263 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Disappointing Product, January 29, 2007
I ordered this for my wife as an x-mas gift. I normally wouldn't have given an appliance as a gift but she really wanted one and suggested it. Thinking it would be similar in quality and reputation as one her mother and grandmother had, we were both disappointed.

After getting the mixer out of the box and cleaning the bowl and mixing attachements, we put in a couple of eggs and added the wisk attachment. The recipe called for beating the eggs before other things went in. When we turned on the mixer it had a very loud squeaking noise. It sounded horrible and hurt our ears. We tried it at different speeds but got the same results. It sounded like metal scraping against metal without anything to reduce the friction.

Kitchen Aid was great at sending us a new one. They had me hold the phone to the mixer while I turned it on. I told the lady from Kitchen Aid that I was shocked but she took it in stride and said that it happens often.

The new mixer arrived 6 weeks later. They were back-ordered on all colors. We ended up getting a color that my wife didn't really want in order to get it sooner. The new mixer doesn't squeak when you turn it on but it does make a horrible grinding noise at the two lowest speeds. It seized up 30 seconds later without mixing a single recipe.

I know that a lot of people love these mixers based on their previous reputations. My advice to you would be to keep the receipt as you'll likely be returning it. Also note that Kitchen Aid is known to post reviews here in favor of itself. Be wary of reviewers who refuse to post under their real name. I'm a real customer, not an employee being paid to write reviews.

What a disappointment!!
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