on November 23, 2007
UPDATE: 1/15/12: Please note that my original review was written in 2007, so serial numbers mentioned are different now, so unsure what has changed at KA. Hope all is good by now!
NEWLY EDITED 11/30/07:
IF YOU ARE ABOUT TO BUY a PRO 600 & you have done your research, you already know there is a plastic/metal parts issue, so PLEASE read my info: KA customer service KNOWS which Pro 600s have the metal transmission cover "fix" (via serial numbers), but some reps are refusing to give you the serial numbers to look for; but they might "allow" you to call them from the store with the serial number off a Pro 600 box before you buy to ensure it has the metal transmission cover. So, be insistent! Here's my story:
The first rep I called was a supervisor "Kelly", who refused to tell me which serial numbers to look for! Nice! I spent too much time researching ,so I called back & the next rep (Rachel) gave me her extension & told me to call her from the store & she would tell me if the one I found was made after the "fix". By the time I found one I wanted - at the second store visited - KA cust serv was closed. I bought it anyway, crossed my fingers, & called the next day. "Rachel" wasn't available, but another rep told me the serial number was one of the newer mixers I wanted. (pls read all the "negative" reviews here for good info)
IMPORTANT: This rep also gave me crucial I want to pass on as it's the info I tried to get before I bought my mixer - the serial numbers of the Pro 600 6 qt, 575 watt mixers with the metal cover "fix" (made from mid-April 2007)begin with numbers higher than "14" (my serial number is WU1503109, so it's above "14") Depending on the rep you get, only a couple are willing to confirm this info, so be prepared for frustration but just hang up and keep trying until you get a good rep.
ALSO IMPT: There are a few 6 quart KA mixers made - I am only speaking of the store bought PRO 600 6 QT, 575 watt mixer found in stores like Bed N Bath/Linens N Things. So, read all these reviews carefully & note the dates they were written - I think there is a possibility of people writing both pro & con reviews about 6 qt mixers that might be different. However, the plastic issue is the same, just the power would be different. For example, QVC sells a 6 qt KA mixer with a smaller motor, and there's a Williams Sonoma 6 qt mixer as well.
I wanted this powerful mixer as I have a 30 yr old KA mixer with a 250 watt motor, but it has a small bowl. My old mixer has never had a problem with a thick batter cookie I make every year at this time. I was anxious for the large bowl & to see how my new "workhorse" with its 575 watts would handle this batter because many have complained that it burns out on thick doughs/batters. UPDATE: I just made my thick cookie batter with my new 575 mixer & it did a super job!( My recipe uses 1 1/2 lbs of brown sugar, 8+ cups of flour, one pound of butter and 2 cups of Karo syrup - no other liquids or eggs so it's a tough batter for any machine) Once I began to add the flour (using the nice pouring shield) I never went above speed 2 (as suggested by KA for heavy batters/doughs) & speed 2 was all that was needed. A nice rep also suggested to rest the mixer if I needed to mix beyond 7 mins, but I never came close to that.
SIDE NOTE: when I opened the box last nite, the electric cord was folded in half & tied into a knot; there was a very sharp/jagged piece of metal on the lifting guide; a blob of dried paint on the top of the bowl holder; & bits of white crystals in the bowl that tasted like salt. Of course I called KA & Robert, with permission from his supervisor, offered a replacement immediately which I didn't ask for & certainly wasn't expecting! He said the "presentation upon opening the box" wasn't professional & they wanted to correct that. He also told me to go ahead & use this unit until the replacement arrives! WOW! Once it arrives, KA will send UPS to pick up the one I bought. Another WOW! I then told Robert about my Serial Number fiasco & he said that he would have provided the S/N info before I shopped! He also said that he stood by his fellow reps, but he agreed that someone like me, who had done hours of research, should have been given the requested info from the first call & certainly not have been forced to call from a store! In my case, I wanted a mixer made after the mid-April date which is the date KA began putting metal transmission covers on instead of plastic.
My WARNING: There is old stock, with the plastic cover, out there, yet KA still insists there is nothing wrong with this, so I'm giving you a big head's up..
Until I made my batter, I rated this mixer a 2 for the lousy customer service/runaround I got from 2 of 5 reps. Now that I've made my batter, I am vamping it up to 5 stars BUT KA needs to get more reps like Robert and the other guy who helped me. (If not for them, KA would NOT have this sale) So, while I wasn't treated right at the beginning, I am happy now & have edited my review accordingly. KA has quality issues re cust serv, especially supervisor "Kelly". (Try to avoid her as she thinks she works for the CIA.) I hope I have saved at least ONE person from all the frustration I suffered through to get what I wanted. In the long run, I think you'll be happy & customer service is great IF you get a good rep!
on January 26, 2014
Most of the bad reviews were written 6 or 7 years ago. I am surprised that Amazon allows these outdated reviews to remain on this site. Not very responsible on the part of Amazon! While the basic design on KitchenAid mixers does not change over time, the construction certainly does.
MODEL NUMBERS: Also notice the specific model number for each review. Since KitchenAid doesn't change the exterior appearance, you will see that many people are reviewing outdated products. The current production of this mixer (as of January 2014) is the KP26M1X the letters after that are color indicators. Most people are NOT reviewing this current model mixer. You would not know that unless you checked the KitchenAid web site. So if you're thinking of purchasing now, look for the KP26M1X, or if you're purchasing later check the web site for the most current model number.
DURABILITY: The mixer now has all metal gears and metal gear box. This unit has not had plastic gears for 5 years. The other common thread I saw in the negative reviews is the owners apparently either did not read the instructions, or thought that as bakers, they knew "better" than the instructions. (1) Never knead dough on a higher speed than "2". With other mixers which have less powerful motors and that old HOOK dough hook, the mixer had to use a higher power to produce the same torque. This mixer utilizes a new style of dough hook and the power of the mixer do a great job on the number 2 speed setting. And (2) do not knead the dough longer than 2 or 3 minutes. I have been making bread and pizza dough for years, and at first I was skeptical about the knead time as well. But after reading some of these reviews about motor overheating, once the dough was thoroughly mixed, I only let it knead for two minutes. It turned out perfect every time. I use mine several times a week and it works perfectly every time.
NOISE: I agree that it makes more noise than my Artsian model which I used for 20 years. The metal gears probably do create more contact noise and the mixer could possibly be sound insulated, but I suspect that would trap heat inside the motor--which you would not want to do. It is not so loud as to be objectionable (not to me at least), but it makes more noise than the Artsian does.
PERFORMANCE: Someone complained that the beater leaves unmixed residue in the bottom of the bowl. Again, read the manual. There is an adjustment point where you can raise or lower the bowl slightly when it is in the "up" position. Mine was fine right from the factory, but some adjustment may be necessary. I make crepe batter frequently, and used to prepare it with a simple whisk. Since this mixer is so heavy, and since I have space to leave it on an island counter now, I started using the mixer to prepare crepe batter. I simply put all the ingredients in the bowl at one time, click on the whisk, and walk away. In a minute or two the batter is perfect - nothing left un-mixed in the bottom of the bowl. Much easier than doing it by hand and the clean up is the same as if I used a metal bowl and a hand whisk. Perfect!
ACCESSORIES: There is a beater that KitchenAid sells separately that I feel should be standard on all their mixers. It includes a silicone "scrapper" attached to one side of the beater blade. It scrapes the bowl as it mixes. This would obviously not work well with heavy batters (like bread), but for mixing thin batters it is ideal. I have ordered this, which you can get from Amazon. Be careful to order the correct size, the KP26M1X series has a 6 Qt. bowl. I know there are other brands that make this beater, but they are within a couple of dollars of the KitchenAid and I know the KitchenAid brand will fit the bowl correctly so why take a chance. Also, aftermarket beaters with the scraper on both sides may create too much drag on the motor.
CONVENIENCE: This mixer uses the lift mechanism rather than the "tilt head" to remove the beaters from the bowl. I do find this to be less convenient than the Artisan and I wondered what the advantage could possibly be. Then I realized that with a 6 quart bowl, the beaters are much larger than the Artisan and would not clear the bowl when attempting to tilt the mixer back. That's the only reason I can see that there is the lever to raise and lower the bowl. It is slightly more inconvenient to change beaters, but once you get used to it, it's hardly noticeable. The pouring shield was a nice addition, as I did not have that with my Artisan and you know what a mess that can be if you're not careful sometimes.
As you can tell, the mixer is very heavy and large. That makes it hard to store, so it's best if you have space to leave it on the counter. I have discovered that since it is on the counter all the time now, I use it for everything. I also have a KitchenAid hand mixer that was once the "go to" mixer, but I haven't even reached for it since this one is always available now. So leaving it on the counter is an unexpected convenience. As I said, I have plenty of counter space; that has not always been the case so it's something you would want to consider.
Another good point is that all the power hub attachments that fit the Artisan will also fit this model. I have the grinder attachment that I have used for years to grind my own beef, so it was good to know I would not have to purchase another.
I feel prospective consumers need to read reviews written on the CURRENT model numbers during the CURRENT production cycle. Why would a review for a model made 14 years ago apply to the model being produced today? Just because the shell looks the same? It doesn't make any sense to me. I do believe that KitchenAid listened to the remarks about earlier models and used those to improve on the current model.
If the mixer does fail to be as durable as my old one, you can bet I'll come back here and let you know and change the review accordingly. But for now, it's everything I hoped it would be.
I already own a 5 Qt mixer from the "Artisan Series" but decided to upgrade to this model so that I could make larger batches of pizza dough. For my recipe, a single batch is 2 cups of bread flour. I tried making a double batch (4 cups) in my new Pro 600, but after about 15 min. of kneading, the motor just turned off. I thought I had burned it out, but after consulting the instruction manual, it seems this is normal. Normal?! Yes, that's what it said--all I needed to do was wait for the motor to cool off (it's also "normal" for it to get so hot it is uncomfortable to touch) for 30 min. and then try again. I find it hard to believe that this mixer could make bread with 14 cups of AP flour, as the box says. Having said that, here are my thoughts on this mixer vs. the "Artisan Series" mixer I already own:
1. The motor consumes over 50% more electricity (and is certainly more noisy) in the pro 600, but how much of that is being converted to extra torque, I'm not really sure. What I do know is that I can only do a single batch of bread at a time in either mixer.
2. As has been mentioned in other reviews, the Artisan mixer came with a "coated" paddle and dough hook, whereas the pro 600 has "Brandished steel". This means the Artisan's implements are dishwasher safe but the pro 600's are not. I had assumed those bright, shiny implements that I saw in the store display were stainless steel, but I guess not.
3. My Pro 600 model suffered the broken gear fate that other reviewers have spoken of. I was able to order the parts to fix it myself which was pretty inexpensive and not too terribly difficult, but I'd like to point out that my Artisan has never broken.
On the plus side...
3. I love the new spiral dough hook--it is much better than the C shaped one in my Artisan
4. The soft start feature is a nice touch. Then again, it would be even nicer if there was a speed lower than the lowest one provided.
5. The larger bowl is nice
6. There is more of a difference between speeds 7-10 than the Artisan
Things I'd like to see changed in the next iteration:
--A gear box. I have a cordless drill that has a high and low gear. As could be expected, low is for more power, high is for more speed. Why don't these mixers use a simple gear selector like that? This would be a HUGE improvement--it would not only provide more power, but the lower speed I would like, as mentioned in point 4.
Someone commented that you can get this on units that are well over $1000. My cordless drill was about $100 total so I don't see why this feature should add any more than $100 or so to implement. Just sayin'...
--Stainless steel implements as mentioned in point #2
--A clutch. The same drill has a clutch built into it. The purpose of the clutch in the drill is to prevent you from screwing things in too tight. On this mixer, the clutch would prevent this silly problem of the gears stripping when the load is too high. Again, the whole drill is $100 so this should not add much extra cost.
A very nice mixer, but so is my "Artisan". If you are going to buy a new mixer (and don't have an unlimited supply of money to throw at it), I wouldn't recommend the Pro 600--get one from the Artisan series instead--it is much cheaper and does just about as good a job. There are small advantages to the Pro 600, but even all together, I don't think they are worth the added price. If you DO get the 600, be sure the serial number starts with a number higher than "14", as Lynnster points out.
Due to the very high number of complaints about the problems people were having with heavy duty tasks (which is what the mixer should have been made for!) due to cheap plastic housing holding the heavy duty metal gears, I contact KitchenAid to find out if this design flaw has been fixed. It has been and here is their response (note that they are saying that if you receive one of the models with the plastic housing they will replace it under warranty with the new metal housing. It is also important to note that the people who've had the problem have almost all stated that KitchenAid had great customer service and replaced their mixers with no ones with no problems.
RESPONSE FROM KITCHENAID: Thank you for visiting the KitchenAid website!
I would like to reassure you that our engineering and product teams have addressed the gear box issue. In fact, we have already implemented a change in the manufacturing of the Pro 600 Stand Mixers to a metal gear box. Although these will be changed out on additional 5 qt bowl-lift models that include all metal gearing, the time line on that is not known at this time. Although a transparent change, this will insure the long-term durability we expect.
I would like to emphasize to you that should you purchase a Stand Mixer (with all metal gearing) which has not been assembled with the upgraded metal gear box, and you should have a problem with your mixer (as a result of the plastic gear box (failure), we will most certainly extend your warranty to resolve the issue properly and effectively.
If you have additional questions, feel free to reply back to me. Or, you may contact either our KitchenAid Customer Satisfaction Center at 1-800-541-6390, or you may visit our secure KitchenAid Live Chat.
on February 3, 2010
I purchased my KitchenAid Professional 625 Limited edition about 18 months ago. I have used the mixer intermittently since then. Last week, the mixer broke while my wife was mixing a light batter. The motor continued to turn but there was a grinding sound and the beater would not move.
Since the mixer was out of warranty, I did some research on the web. Imagine my surprise, when I found numerous complaints by Kitchenaid owners of the same thing happening to their mixers. Even more disturbing were the numerous customer complaints about the cover of the mixer gearbox being manufactured out of plastic. This plastic cover is what holds the gears in place. My web research of complaints showed most owners attributed the failures to the plastic cover breaking. I opened my mixer and sure enough, there was a plastic cover over the gears. The plastic cover over the gearbox had completely cracked around the base and the cover was no longer holding the gears in place. Why would a product labled "Professional" use plastic for a critical component?
Kitchenaid's response to these failures is to tell customers to take the mixer to a repair facility where the customer is charged for the repair to replace the plastic cover and any damaged gears resulting from the failure. I refused to throw good money after bad by spending $150+ for Kitchenaid to repair my mixer. I ended up ordering a metal gearbox cover for $40 and installing it myself. The entire repair took 10 minutes. We will see how long it takes for something else to break.
Today's Kitchenaid mixers are not your mother's mixers! My mother received a Kitchenaid mixer as a wedding gift and was still using it 30 years later. That was the reason we decided to spend $400 on our Kitchenaid mixer. Well, Kitchenaid is now owned by Whirlpool and the quality of the product is clearly lower than when Kitchenaid was standalone. Even worse, is that Kitchenaid no longer stands behind their product forcing customers to pay to repair a design flaw in their product.
$400 is expensive for a throwaway appliance, which is what my Kitchenaid Professional 625 Limited edition is. This is the last Kitcheaid or Whirlpool product I ever purchase.
on November 30, 2011
To all the folks worried about the metal gearbox. I received my KP26M1PGC today and while I didn't realize it didn't have a shield when I ordered it. It does have a metal gearbox. I have added a photo to the photo list here [...]
Once my wife has used it a while I will update with her opinions on the device.
Also here is a note from Kitchenaid I got last week when I asked what models contain metal gears and a full metal gearbox.
"Thank you for visiting the KitchenAid web site! We appreciate the opportunity to respond to your inquiry.
Thank you for your interest in our KitchenAid Stand Mixers. Th Bowl Lift model Stand Mixer models, KV25G0X, KV25G8X, KM25G0X, KG25H3X, KG25H0X, KP26M1X, KL26M8X, KP26M8X and KP26N9X have the Direct-Drive Transmission and All-Metal Construction. "
on October 5, 2011
This review is for a metal gear box case version. The metal case does not improve any of the product quality. I broke 2 of this, each were withing 20 usages with instructed speed 2. I am an aerospace engineer, and I attended a professional bakery course and in hope to star my bakery shop. I bought this product to test my recipe before I can go full scale production, unfortunately this product has very short life span. First, it heats up quickly. The heating may due to too much gear box friction, the load of mixing the dough and the lack of air ventilation. The machine shuts itself down frequently. After about 15 uses, the gear stripped and failed. I chat the customer service online, and they told me the gear box is not included in the warranty, but they are willing to send me a new one just for this time. So, I got a new only in few days, and send the broken unit back to them. However, the new machine does not have a longer life span. I failed again for the same reason. Please view the photo I posted with the product page. It's so obvious that the gear box is full of metal chips. The teeth are too fine to handle the loading, or the gear is made of cheap materials. Hope this will help when you are selecting a mixer.
on January 1, 2005
I was a bit nervous about this Kitchen Aid model based on the research I'd done on Amazon and the internet of previous models in the 6 quart range. I own and cherish a K5SS I bought 25 years ago. I will never part with this machine (with all its chips and cosmetic wear - it's been a faithful workhorse and one of my most prized possessions).
I was ready for greater capacity, more power and a more cosmetically appealing mixer, so I took the plunge with the KP26M1XC (licorice). I'm glad I did.
The machine is a bit louder with more of a high whine at higher speeds, but I would expect that with the added power and size.
This morning I took it for a "test drive" with a 600 gram (flour) batch of pizza dough using very high gluten flour which I kneaded at speed 2 for 5 minutes. The sound under load wasn't at all unpleasant and the spiral dough hook really works the dough like the professional mixers I used in culinary school and on the job.
I've mostly used my 5 quart Kitchen Aid for cakes, muffins, pate choux for eclairs, mashed potatoes and whipped cream and meringue. I've made my bread dough exclusively in my large capacity Cuisinart food processor. Now that I have a more powerful Kitchen Aid mixer, I feel confident it can take the challenge of the high gluten dough (Take heed: DO NOT USE MORE THAN 8 CUPS PER BATCH OF HIGH GLUTEN BREAD FLOUR, WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR OR ANY OTHER HEAVY GRAIN FLOUR. THE 12 CUP CAPACITY REFERS EXCLUSIVELY TO ALL PURPOSE FLOUR. ALSO, ONLY USE SPEED 2 when kneading dough. (Repeat this to yourself 20 times and post a notice above your machine, especially if you have a spouse, kids or roomate(s) in your household that might use the machine.)
Caught up in the excitement of this new, beautiful machine I was inspired to purchase the pasta roller accessory based on the terrific reviews on Amazon, I also added the sausage stuffer to my order (could this be used to fill eclairs? I wonder....) as an addition to my collection of accessories.
Currently the attachment I use most frequently is the shredder which I use exclusively for shredding cheese for pizza and casseroles like lasagna.
And, the Licorice is a matt, slightly pearlized finish, which nicely complements the black trim on my larger appliances. An unexpected bonus of this dark color is that it really shows the "dirt/flour/batter enabling me to get it "spanking" clean after use. With my middle-aged eyesight I find it hard to see the accumulating mess on my white machine.
on January 23, 2007
Amazon.com is such a treasure. I have learn so much here.
Sunday I bought the Pro 600 mixer from a store then read a lot of questions and comments here and elsewhere on the web about problems with the plastic housing of the metal gearbox inside the machine. (I should have come to Amazon first! I will next time.) Under heavy use this plastic gear cover is prone to cracking and then the gears are no longer held together.
I also read where KitchenAid is in the process of changing back to a metal housing for the gears. So I wrote a question for the chat rooms on the KitchenAid site with my model and serial number because I would like to know if the new machine I bought has this plastic box around the gears or maybe I am lucky enough to have the new metal box.
The posting wasn't offensive or nasty. I have no reason to be. I'm not out any money. The machine is new packed in its original, unopened box.
The KitchenAid site refused my question. I received an email saying it was rejected because my question about my machine and the plastic housing is a "non-issue " because they stand behind their products.
(There is a one-year guarantee on the machine. That is good. But after the 1-year is past if this plastic gear cover cracks and fails this "non-issue" has just turned into a pricey little problem for the owner. All that is available to fix it in my area is another plastic housing, I checked.)
The note also said they are still in the process of changing the plastic gearboxes back to metal. I then called a KitchenAid repair place to ask them about the plastic gearbox cover and the man there knew all about it. He has replaced many of them but all he had in stock to use for repairs is the same plastic housing. He did not know of any replacement metal housings for repairs. He did tell me older models have the metal housing on the gears.
Those of you who would be heavy users of this machine take note. As for me I know how I can make it a true "non-issue." Back to the store we go and I will wait and check back with Amazon.com later in the year to see what others are saying. I still want a Pro 600 but I would feel much better with the metal housing on the gearbox. Sooner of later plastic is going to dry out and break.
This was not a throw away purchase to me. It was a life goal, a legacy purchase that you would hand down in the family. I am not wealthy enough to stand the damage of having to toss it out after a couple of years.
I hope the folks at Whirlpool/KitchenAid are listening. Fix this problem now. Stop phasing it in. Every day that you dawdle with this problem you are slowly killing your brand.
on February 19, 2008
I have just paid $129 to have Kitchenaid repair my two-year old 600 series mixer. It died while making cookie dough. This is my second 600-series mixer; Kitchenaid (to their credit) swapped out the first under warranty after it started behaving erratically.
The primary use of this mixer is to make 4 loaves of bread/week. I never expected miracles: bread flour is hard to knead and I'm careful about kneading times and quantities. This is not a professional machine, it's a home appliance. Nevertheless, it died after only a moderate amount of careful use.
So, I have reluctantly come to agree with the Kitchenaid bashers here. Based on my experience, the current crop of mixers is not high quality and my next mixer will not be Kitchenaid, sorry to say.
It's sad to watch an iconic brand destroy its reputation.