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on November 16, 2015
4.5 STARS. As always, I prefer to give credit where credit is due rather than short change a product, but just keep in mind there are a few drawbacks to this mixer. But first the pros, this sucker is STURDY! Most of us have seen these mixers everywhere for what seems to be decades, but it was probably just me that didn't realize all kitchenmaid stand mixers aren't created equal. While they may look alike, different models have different capacities, speeds and effectiveness in various applications. I really wanted to wait to write this review until I had really explored this machine because it's such a big investment (in my opinion at least!). Now that I have, the sturdiness of this product has definitely proven to be true. We have a rather small kitchen and so it gets moved around quite a bit, this hasn't resulted in any sort of loosening or wiggling which is important when you have that dough hook running at top speed (some of the cheaper mixers act like poorly balanced washing machines). The sturdiness, however, can be a double edged sword due to the heft. If you have trouble lifting things or perhaps a bit of arthritis be sure to store this on a mobile kitchen cart or simply give it a permanent countertop space to avoid having to lift it from a bottom (or worse-top) cabinet which can be a task. Next is function, I cannot tell you how nice it is to be able to toss something into this mixer and walk away to get the other ingredients without having to babysit a bowl! Especially when I'm working with something dense like honey or doughs. The attachments have all been easy to put on/take off and are sized well enough to store away easily. There is room for improvement though, the rubber spatula sided mixer attachment is sold separately which is what can scrape down the sides of your bowl without you having to angle a separate spatula into the mixer, I would have been open to forgoing some of the other attachments in order to have this one right off the bat, but they are cheaper and easy to find at TJ Maxx, Marshalls, etc.. Also, the swing back mechanism for the top of the mixer via the hinge at the neck has no protection against it flipping up and down hard. Think about the drawer add-ons you can install so they don't slam, that would be great for the head of this mixer, just to protect the hinge. Color-wise, the blue color of this mixer is absolutely dreamy! It's beautiful and a bit novel without being overly kitschy and is still easy to match to other kitchen products out there. Overall, I really do love this piece of equipment and think it is a great investment for anyone who likes to cook or bake. This model and size is great for families and even sturdy enough to teach the little ones on. Half star loss for the lack of slow-down mechanism for the head and the lack of spatula on the mixer attachment leaving you to clean up the walls of the bowl pretty frequently, but apart from that this machine is fantastic.

PROS: Built To Last, BEAUTIFUL color, Easy On/Off Attachments, Does Not Slow Down When Dealing With Thick/Difficult Foods (i.e. Honey, Doughs, etc.), Great Size, Good Investment Piece (I bought this two years ago and the price hasn't fallen).
CONS: No Cushion For Mixer Head When Lifting up/Down To Prevent Hard Slam, Spatula Mixer Attachment Not Included Requiring You to Scrape Down The Bowl Pretty Often, Expensive (but again, it's not bad for an investment piece-I can't see this thing breaking any time soon or ever maybe)
TIPS: TJ Maxx and Marshalls have attachment for these mixers on sale regularly for 60% off the selling price so if you have one nearby go and check for that spatula attachment or even a pasta maker or meat grinder I've seen them all there!, If you are working with dough (or especially if a young one is learning) watch out for it coiling up your dough hook and into the gears-it can happen quickly if you're not careful. Last, I've found that a metal blemish extractor (bought and dedicated for mixer cleaning) is the best tool to get into the attachment holder and metal pieces in the head of the mixer in case they get dirty (or gunked up with aforementioned dough... ). It is sturdier than a toothpick which runs the risk of breaking and getting caught in the gears.

***Did you find my review helpful? I hope so! Let me know if you have questions by using the comments section below ***
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on March 6, 2016
The fact that there have been many posts in the past several years about grey residue does not speak well of KitchenAid's ability to resolve issues of quality control. The solution that worked for me was scrubbing the bowl with baking soda paste as recommended by the KitchenAid website.

I purchased this model KitchenAid (Aqua Sky) in the past week (in March 2016) and had the problem many have reported of grey residue around the bowl. It ruined my very first recipe, a batch of lovingly prepared yeast waffle dough, when I started mixing. At first I thought it was grease that had dripped from the motor into the food, then I realized the contamination was coming from the bowl, which I had washed once before use. (The imprint on the bottom of the bowl indicates it is made in India.) After throwing away my ingredients, I re-washed twice with a Scotch-Brite scrubby sponge and hot water and detergent, and then twice more scrubbing extremely vigorously with Comet cleanser, then rinsing thoroughly. But still wiping the inside of the bowl with a white kitchen towel left a grey residue!

After further research I found a page on the KitchenAid site that describes this problem. You can find it if you Google 'KitchenAid remove residue from stainless bowls'. The article says the residue is from polishing in the factory and cannot be removed in the dishwasher or by ordinary hand washing. It recommends 1) Bar Keeper's Friend, or 2) a mixture of lemon juice and salt, or 3) baking soda paste.

I purchased the Bar Keeper's Friend, but I wanted to try the other steps first, in case it can help anyone else reading this who would prefer not to make a special trip for Bar Keeper's Friend. After a thorough scrubbing with lemon juice and salt, there was still a slight residue coming off on a towel. After the baking soda scrubbing there was no longer any residue and I did not have to use the Bar Keeper's Friend. Then I successfully redid my recipe and had no problems with residue.
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on February 12, 2017
The mixer is great, obviously. You all know that. The purpose of this review is more to help with the color selection, in case anyone out there was like me and struggling to differentiate between Ice Blue and Aqua Sky. I had seen Ice Blue in person at Target. But I could not find Aqua Sky in person, and struggled with trying to figure out which online pictures were accurate. There weren't that many real life pictures available to look at. So I just winged it and ordered Aqua Sky. Luckily its perfect for me. And here is the best way I can describe the difference between the two colors.

ICE BLUE is a very light, bright, airy (and did I say bright?) blue with a touch of green. Gorgeous. and AQUA SKY is a turquoise a few shades darker. More like the color of the stones you would see in Native American jewelry. Compared to Ice Blue I'd say it's more of a country blue/green. Like a Ball jar. (for reference I have included a picture of it beside an actual Ball jar lol). In the other photo I have placed a baby blue cup and a light mint green plate, so you can see how the shade of Aqua Sky kind of falls in between the two. One pic with flash and one without.

I hope this helps anyone else out there who is struggling to figure out what the shades actually look like and which is best for their kitchen.
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on March 4, 2016
I mean, what can you say about KitchenAid products, except great things? I've put off buying this mixer for almost two years. Something else always got in the way. Since my birthday is coming up, I decided to treat myself.

Let me cover the "used" status of this, that I specifically purchased. "Used" items on Amazon are often simply returned items that, often times, have never been used. The description in the used areas will tell you that either the item might have a blemish, or that it's simply the packaging that's been damaged. The latter was the one I chose. The item looks like it never came out of the box. I think someone opened it, saw it wasn't their color, taped it back up, and returned it. All of the attachments were still in the styro-foam just as they were originally packed. The box had a slight indention on one side, and one corner on the top was slightly mashed in. And I do mean slightly. Every piece of paper work was in it (the recipe book, the whisk-not-dishwasher warning tag, the registration paper). It pays to go to the Used section on an item, and find a return. I paid only $217 instead of $279 for it. I also recommend paying for the SqpareTrade warranty. It was $17 for 2 years.

The Imperial Black (and Gray) are not a high gloss finish. They're a matte metal finish, with a slight texture to them (much like the surface of a lemon or lime). They still marry nicely with modern, contemporary, or traditional kitchens. They grey would be nice ina country kitchen with a lot off white, or other pastel colors. The mixers are such a major eye-draw in any kitchen and, in my opinion, the Imperial colors blend in nicely with any kitchen, yet add a bit of softness to an otherwise hard-edged room.

The mixer actually isn't as big as I thought it'd be, but it's still heavy duty, and solid as a rock. I'd recommend the Artisan series, instead of Artisan Deluxe. They come with the same attachments (although the pour shield might vary). However, the Artisan series come with the metal bowl. The Deluxe comes with the glass bowl. Both are 5-QT. The glass bowl, while nice, is heavier, and there's always a risk of it breaking. Metal all the way. It's a nice touch of bling to any mixer color.

I could not be happier with my purchase.
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on February 26, 2012
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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on December 23, 2016
I just received my mixer yesterday and had to make cookies immediately. While the mixer worked perfectly, there was a gray residue on my dough. Ugh. This was despite my washing the bowl prior to using. After googling the issue I used a baking soda paste and scrubbed the bowl with it.. No more residue. I emailed Kitchen-aid and asked them to please insert an ALERT message in mixers with stainless bowls telling cooks how to get rid of this residue so they won't panic. I know there are many ways of getting rid of the residue but the baking soda paste worked great. Hope Kitchen-aid will take suggestion.
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on June 26, 2017
I bought this over a month ago and it was quick to overheat and make incredibly loud squeaking noises as it mixed, I didn't want to replace it because it was a hassle I didn't want to deal with but then I decided to go ahead and replace, turns out my defective original machine got replaced by another defective machine. What are the odds of that happening. The head that spins, cracked, on the very first use, as soon as I unboxed it, and I had no idea until I saw little tiny specks of metal in my dough, it deposited metal shavings in the dough and I had to throw it out. The one machine I'm excited to add to my kitchen, the brand that has a solid reputation, turns out to be defective, twice! It blows, I don't want to try a third time, I don't even want the mixer anymore.
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on August 13, 2016
The mixer somehow came with scrapes and dull spots on it. The attachments were scraped and peeling apart. I have ordered a replacement and will hope for the best. *UPDATE* received my "replacement" today and it came scrapped up and scratched again. Sending it back.
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on June 27, 2016
Everyone should have a KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer. It's durable, multi purpose and attractive. This mixer is everything you and I will ever need. I bought this as a wedding gift for myself and my husband. Everything I've made has come out perfect. I bought the Artisan over the regular stand mixer because the Artisan came with a splash guard. The best part are the attachments. I have only bought so far the ice cream bowl mixer and love it, I've made chunky monkey ice cream, chocolate ice cream and raspberry sorbet. When cleaning the mixer, you don't want to use cleaners on it, just a wet sponge to wipe it down with some soap. The best part about this mixer is the fact it comes in so many different colors, I bought it in Enpire Red. Don't hesitate to buy this, definitely buy this product, you won't be disappointed.
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on October 10, 2016
I bought this mixer a couple of months ago and ever since I got it out gave me mechanical problems. At first the screws under the top portion fell. Once a screw fell into my dough mix. I tightened them all and the problem went away. But later, a pin at the hinge kept slipping out. This was no big deal once I was aware of it since I could just push it back in by hand. I could deal with the problems up to that point. I was so proud of my mixer and defended the brand of of price for my decision to buy such an expensive device. But the incident one was a real bummer. While making some pizza dough the motor stopped turning the head. The motor still runs but the head will not. I am a service member deployed overseas and I cannot easily return the item. Service centers are not available here in Africa. I am stuck with a broken mixer and last quite a great deal of money. I do not know what I can do now but to try to fix it myself. Extremely frustrated. This is a huge disappointment because I was a huge kitchenaid fan.
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