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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2008
I went through 3 of these mixers in less than a year, then chose a different model altogether. The first arrived broken, and the other two started on fire (internally). The problem: I make a lot of bread and use my mixer an average of 3 times a day. This is not a commercial mixer and couldn't take it.

My peeve points are that, when shopping, I could find no way to determine what kind of mixer I needed. It took trial and error to figure out that I need a commercial mixer! NOW, I know that anyone can call KitchenAid, explain their needs, and get recommendations for the best ones for them, but it's a little late for that!(1-800-541-6390 M-F 8-8 EST, Sat 10-5 EST). Also, this mixer (Artisan 5 qt) could not even handle the bread recipes from the owners' manual! I followed the instructions to a T, but my house filled with nasty smelling smoke with only half of the flour for the recipes added (single batches only). Last, the C-shaped dough hook is a joke - the dough rides right up it & either has to be shoved back down repeatedly or it gets caught on the beater shaft and gets nasty black crud in it. The spiral dough hook is MUCH better!

That was the ugly. For the bad: No, KitchenAid is not top-of-the-line anymore. They aren't as high quality as they used to be, they are noisier than earlier models, and have only a third the life expectancy of the old ones.

The good: If you aren't going to be making a ton of bread or other high-load batters, this mixer is great! It will stand up well for occasional or frequent use. If you are looking for a mixer you will use at least daily, look at a "Professional" model, as this won't quite cut it. If you are really going to make your mixer work hard daily, with heavy batters, and a lot of attachment use, aim for a different brand. Bosch, Viking, or Hobart are heavier duty.

KitchenAid does have great customer service - they really do try to make you happy. You can call just for advice, too. If you're not sure which attachment or speed to use for a certain recipe, or want more information than the manual gives, give them a call! They are very knowledgeable and helpful! If your mixer breaks during the first year, they ship you a new (refurbished) one and have UPS pick up the old one a day or two later, packed in the same box you just got. Yes, you get the same color and model unless you specifically agree to something different. If it's after the warranty expires, the cost is reasonable, but you don't get a new mixer. Instead, they send you the box & packing materials, you send it in, they diagnose it & call you with the price, then you decide whether to fix it or not. The current price is $32 for shipping (flat rate for the packing kit shipped to you, mixer to them, and back to you - one fee, not each way). The diagnostic fee is $25 if you don't have it fixed, or waived if you do have it fixed. These prices are subject to change, of course, but right now, cheaper than anything else I have looked into.

As far as tilt-head vs bowl-lift models, there are pros & cons to suit different people.

If you think you want the tilt-head, do yourself a favor and measure the vertical space where you will be using it. You need at least 8 inches of room above the height of the mixer in order to tilt the head. The bowl of the tilt-head mixers also gets REALLY TIGHT. This was a problem for me because I have very poor strength in my arms, so I couldn't disengage the bowl.

The bowl-lift models are a little wider because of the support arms, and a little more difficult to clean because there are more nooks & crannies, but better for those with less than average arm strength. Scraping the bowl is a pain with either, but a little easier with the bowl-lift models. It's also easier to change beaters mid-recipe with the bowl-lift models.

So, this mixer isn't as fabulous as it's made out to be, but is a good mixer as long as you're not very demanding.

Basic tips: Check them out in local stores before buying. Many cooking specialty stores give demonstations, and have experts on site to answer your questions. Don't get western with the cover for the attachment hub - it is just clamped on and will pop off. The manual really does mean it when it tells you certain parts (wire whip, etc.) are not dishwasher safe! The detergent for the dishwasher deteriorates the metal, causing corrosion, pitting, weakness, or worse - just wash them by hand! And, when using an attachment, make sure it is COMPLETELY inserted with the tab on the side of the hub all the way in the notch on the attachment, and nob tight. Can you imagine what my husband did?! Trust me - major injury can and will occur if you don't pay attention!

Last, there is a nifty little rack to hold your beaters available in several locations. I found mine on Ebay, but have since found them elsewhere, too. It is called a "Mixer Maid" and definitely worth the $15 it cost me!
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2010
I owned a Kitchen aid for over 15 years and my mom sweetly wanted to treat me to a new Artisan Kitchen Aid. I am now returning my second unit. Apparently (now that I read the comments on Consumer Affairs and other sites) they replaced the metal gears with plastic ones and the machines are breaking within one year about the time the warranty runs out. Gratefully the two that I have tried didn't even make it a month. They both started getting louder and louder and one of them vibrated so badly that the pin on the side fell out every time I tried to use it and now the machine I replaced it with is starting to do the same thing. They had to have tested these and know that they have a problem. Very discouraging--I am sure glad I held on to my old machine. Buyer beware and google on-line before you buy one of these.
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57 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2009
Yes, the Aritsan does it's job perfectly. However, after a few years of very limited use it started leaking oil. An obvious design defect however here is what Kitchenaide wrote me:

"Generally the mixer may lose approximately ¼ cup of oil before repair diagnosis is necessary. The oil used is not harmful to food, should any get into the recipe that you are preparing. However, if a mixer has leaked a significant amount of oil or is leaking on a regular basis, it will need professional attention.

We suggest running the mixer for 2 minutes on speed 10 once a week, just to keep the grease lubricating and not allowing it to separate, which is what you are seeing.

If you feel your stand mixer has leaked more than ¼ cup of oil, you may find repair for your appliance locally by contacting an authorized repair center in your area."

In other words, they are aware of the problem (many have had) and are now telliing me things like run the mixer two minutes a week and that oil in my food won't hurt me. And also ask me to quantify the amount of oil it has leaked which is impossible. The thing shouldn't leak at all! Bought this thinking we were buying a high quality product that would give us many years of use but Kitchenaide knows of the problem and refuses to repair it. Last Kitchenaide product we will ever buy.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2008
I have been thinking to buy this product since last year but seeing the price tag of more than 200 $ I was a bit reluctant to buy it. I am a full time working mom of a little preschooler and I love to cook at least one fresh indian/desi meal in a day.

I always had cooking help when I was staying in new york. This fall I moved into a new home in jersey from where my commute is very long that leaves me with a very little free time in evening. I make roti/chapati(indian flat bread) every evening for which kneading dough used to be a time consuming challenging job.

after reading many good reviews about kitchen aid stand mixers,I decided to buy kitchenaid artisan series 5 qt. mixer finally this thanksgiving. my husband ordered it through amazon on black friday and it was delivered to me the next week. I thought it may require some reading to assemble and start using this mixer, so I waited till weekend to start using it.

over the weekend I opend the box and voila , i just needed to take the mixer out and put it on countertop, attach dough hook to it , clean bowl with water and it was all ready to knead first batch of atta(dough). it was less than 5 minutes task.

I read instructions to knead dough in mixer. (just 5-8 lines to read) and put 2 cups of whole wheat flour for roti. added some salt and about 1-1/2 cup water started the machine on speed level 2(as suggested in manual). within 5 minutes it was done with kneading dough. I added little bit more water watching the dough softness in between. I was absolutely amazed at the way this task was over. no flour mess to clean and the rotis came out really nicely with dough.

This machine works wonder in kneading dough and I am so happy with its performance that I would recommend to every mom who loves to cook fresh rotis but also want to enjoy family time as much as possible.

it costs more than 200 $ but believe me its worth it. its the dollars well spent. this machine sits on my countertop permanently and I use it almost every evening for kneading dough.

Now I list the pros of machine as cons I am yet to find -

1. makes perfect dough
2. very quiet.
3. doesn't require babysitting.
once you know the exact measure of ingredients and time to make it. you can leave it working and continue to work on other things. so it supports multitasking that is a must for moms.
4. Cleaning is as easy as 1-2-3. manual suggests that bowl and hook is dishwasher safe. but I clean it immdiately in sink as there is almost no dough left on the bowl or hook. just clean with some soap and running water and wipe it.
5. very quiet. even my kitchen vent fan is more noisy.
6. no vibrations at all. its very heavy machine and it stays at same place when it is on.

I am very happy with the mixer and I think this was the best thanksgiving purchase that we made till now.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2010
I hate writing this negative review, because I really love the mixer in terms of how it looks, how it feels on less demanding jobs, and yes - the fact that it's Kitchenaid. What can I say - I'm known to have brand bias. So - this review bites.

I bought my Artisan in early October 2009 and was really excited to use it for kneading. Well, this one isn't powerful enough really, but I thought okay - I won't tax it. The problem is, it wouldn't knead even easy white flour, single loafs. It was so sluggish and after spending some time online and in the Kitchenaid forum I realized it was a defective mixer. Okay, that happens. I wouldn't write a negative review because of that.

Kitchenaid customer service was wonderul. They sent out a replacement immediately, didn't even get charge card info from me, and I packed up the old one in the box the new one came in. Excellent. The new one worked wonderfully, except for not being terribly powerful. Okay - that was a purchase choice I made and if I wanted to make large batches of wheat bread I should've bought a stronger motor. I got that. Lesson learned, but I was okay with it. I'd just use it for lesser-duty things.

Used it lightly over the holidays and then left in January for 7 months. The Kitchenaid was not used. Got home a few weeks ago and this past week went to whip some egg whites. Turned it on, reveling in being back, bonding with my Kitchenaid - but that lasted exactly 2 minutes. The motor stopped. Just stopped. Surely a breaker tripped or something. No. Maybe the outlet somehow died. Nope. It was the Kitchenaid. DEAD. Died whipping egg whites.

Fortunately, it's still under warranty (at least when I searched warranty info it seems it is) but I'll be leaving in 2 months for another 8 months and have no confidence the third one won't die within a couple of months of using it. Or a few months.

I have no idea what mixer I wish I had gotten - but no glitz can make up for the fact this is a very unreliable machine, and I'd have chosen differently. Indeed, I'll have to when the 3rd one dies.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2010
I decided I would bite the $$$ bullet and purchase the classic white Artisan Series Kitchen Aid 5-qt. stand mixer, Model #KSM150PSWH. It would be my Christmas present. The order was placed and I received the mixer on November 25, 2006. I immediately put it into service for the holidays. It was great, I loved it!

On October 22, 2008 I turned it on and I heard a low grinding noise, then it stopped. I shut it down, then turned it on again, but nothing. I let it sit for a while, then tried it again. It started, but then stopped again. It was dead!

I called the Kitchen Aid 800 number on October 26th, 2008 and spoke with Judy, a Customer Service rep. She was sweet as honey until she did the math and calculated its short life span. She informed me that I was out of luck! The no-hassle one-year warranty was over and I was on my own. This 'top-of-the-line' appliance cost me almost $300 and I was "out of luck"!!! Even the local Kitchen Aid dealer was stunned when I relayed my story of this less-than stellar customer service experience with Kitchen Aid. She asked me to bring in the mixer so the tech could look at it. I paid $25 for this service. He found a 'bad wire contact within the housing due to loosened nuts which failed to hold the armature in proper position'. He was certain that this was something that would have occurred on the production line. Total estimate to repair kiwould be around $115.

This mixer was barely 2 years old!! Everyone I mention this story to always says the same thing... 'they are supposed to last forever!' Or so I thought. I asked the technician to return the mixer (as is) with his write-up and estimate for repair. I was so upset with Kitchen Aid's response to my legitimate complaint, I decided to return this 'top-of-the-line' appliance; they can have it. I do not want it anymore. Maybe it will serve as a guinea pig for quality control in their R&D department, or maybe just as a 27-lb. doorstop. It has been sitting in its original box in my basement for too long now! It's going back!!!!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2008
Let me start off by saying, I have lusted after this appliance for years. My Christmas Spirit was almost doused by the fleeting thought of keeping the Classic version that I bought for my mother on Black Friday years ago. No - I gave it to her and continued to covet.

For years, I relentlessly mixed cookie dough by hand, taking the occasional break when my arms got tired. I carefully kneaded bread doughs with flour-covered fists. I loaded heavy cream into my food processor to make whipped creams for desserts. Life was hard, lonely, and definitely missing something.

I'd drop hints while resting after a good long cookie baking session. I would wipe my brow and comment forlornly, "My life would be better if I had an Empire Red Kitchen Aid stand mixer." People accused me of being dramatic, but I knew that I was right.

Then on my birthday last February, my life was complete. I received a Kitchen Aid Artisan stand mixer, in Empire Red. The heavens sang out, and the stand mixer-shaped hole in my heart was filled in and spackled over.

I began to bake. Cookies, rugelach, bread, whipped cream. I went even further, using the flat beater to evenly combine ingredients into my meatloaf mixture. I went insane with power, whisking ricotta, eggs, salt, and garlic to be used in a delightfully dense lasagna.

And after each session, I'd loving wipe my 5-quart beauty to a shine, and slide her lovingly against the wall on my counter, where she continues to regally hold court over all of the other appliances.

Kudos, Kitchen Aid. This stand mixer is glorious.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2009
I own the older version of this model, and mine leaks oil from the vertical shaft. I searched the internet, and found hundreds of unhappy consumers just like me. Sure, it comes in 20 colors, but KA is not doing anything to help the consumers of this horrible product. I talked to a tool and die maker about the design of this product and he said it is expensive to make the kind of seal that will seal a vertical shaft, and Kitchen Aid just didn't bother.

So, why do I thank KA for leaking oil? Until I got fed up with the Kitchen Aid problems, I did not know the world of mixers. I was a victim of the marketing. If only KA mixers worked just as well as the KA marketing machine! I searched for alternative mixers and my one and only requirement was, oil must not leak into my food. I found some great choices.

Have you seen the Electrolux DLX 2000 or the Bosch Universal? The motors are on the BOTTOM and cannot leak oil into your food! Another plus for having the motor on the bottom, there is no struggle peering around the motor when adding ingredients to a running mixer. These brands also can take blender or food processor attachments. I tried the Electrolux (I didn't like the bowl design on the Bosch, but it doesn't bother Bosch owners). It is fabulous. It just hums along with none of the loud whine or grinding noise that my KA made and it mixes, creams, and kneads like a dream. It is easy to add ingredients - just pour into the bowl, no pouring around motor heads (and cleaning up the mess after). And large! I easily made a triple batch of muffins. The KA could only manage double and the batter wasn't as airy. Yes, the Electrolux DLX is much more expensive. Yes, I will never have to throw out another batch with oil in it. Yes, I will not have to go months without a mixer while I figure out how to repair an oil leak. Yes, the bowl is so large and the motor so strong I make triple or quadruple batches in the time it takes to do one. Ah, joy. Thank you, Kitchen Aid, for leaking oil into my food and introducing me to better mixers.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2009
I am reviewing this product after two years of use. The product itself has been reviewed in detail here, and does not need to be repeated. It is a beautiful, heavy product. We used it perhaps 30 times for very light duty use when making cakes or muffins, and a few weeks ago started making a horrendous noise. After a few minutes of this noise, sparks literally flew out the back of the unit and it ceased working. I have tried to get it repaired, but was quoted almost a much as it originally cost me here on Amazon. At this point, I am not sure whether to get a new one, and use the first for spares, or cut my losses, and try to find something that will be more solidly designed. I believe that the components used to make this mixer are not of the same quality as those that have been made for years. For this reason, I cannot recommend the product. Too bad, as it is quite nice.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2008
We bought our KSM150 in 2004. It works great and we like it but it does have a design flaw that takes skill and money to replace. The transmission casing is metal and all gears except one are metal. The one non-metal gear is a worm gear that is plastic part number W10112253. Jot this number down as you will need to purchase it several times along with replacement grease. When using the mixer for stiff batters or bread dough, you can not push the 2-min limitation given in the manual. If you do, the plastic gear gets hot and fails. When this happens, you need a variety of tools, a specific repair manual and about an hour of time to replace the worm gear with a new one. I've done it three times in four years. I've talked with KitchenAid about this design flaw and they seem unreceptive to making a metal gear for this model as they have done with their professional 600 series which also had the same problem although with a plastic transmission casing instead of a plastic gear as with this model. It seems like they keep trying to push plastic in their mixers and it just doesn't hold up with time. For now, I'll probably keep replacing the plastic worm gear when it fails since I bought it in bulk the last time to save money. However, my next mixer will have all metal transmission and gearing and probably won't be KitchenAid.
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