Advice Needed From KitchenAid Owners

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by smoking b, Mar 20, 2014.

  1. Hi everyone. I am seriously considering getting a KitchenAid mixer to use when I make large batches of bread or other dough. I am undecided as to whether I should get the one with a bowl lift or the one with the tilt head. I'm thinking the one with the bowl lift might be more rigid & better suited for what I want to use it for but I have never owned anything but a handheld mixer.

    My questions are for those of you who own a KitchenAid - did you get the tilt head or the bowl lift & why did you choose that one? If you had it to do over would you buy the same one or the other style?

    Any input is greatly appreciated! 

  2. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I prefer the lift style. Mostly it is what I am used to from what I use commercially for production, but either style works for me.

    Not sure how much you plan on using yours. But if you have time I would look around and see if you can find one with metal gears. Some of the older one for home use have them, otherwise you have to move to commercial models. Another option would be to see if you could find a small countertop Hobart model on Craig's List........
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  3. radioguy

    radioguy Smoking Fanatic

    I got my wife one with bowl lift for Christmas. She absolutely loves it. Large bowl for dough and it mixes like a dream. Eventually want to add meat grinder and pasta roller. It takes a bit of effort to get the bowl positioned..... We're not accustomed to that and it needs a bit of breaking in. They really have this mixing thing figured out. Both the dough hook and beaters get to all surfaces of the bowl...not much left to scrape down.

    It is a bit larger than we are used to but I knew that going in. Bought at Bed Bath store on sale plus a 20 off coupon about 350 before tax. Watch the models from Costco..... They are made specifically for them and have odd sized bowl. I'm not sure about Kitchen Aide attachments.

    Hope this helps

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  4. xutfuzzy

    xutfuzzy Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    I have had my 6-quart lift bowl for 8+ years now, and love it.  I have made a LOT of bread, often kneading for 8-10 minutes at a time, and it works very well.  I DID have to replace a gear and the housing case for the gearbox, but don't think that is because it was a lift bowl vs. tilt head issue.  Still, I love my lift-bowl!
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  5. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I like the tilt head better.  The lift bowl you have to take the beater off to get the bowl out.
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  6. we got 2 of the bowl lift styles. i made sure on the motor wattage before i bought ours. we have the pro600 series (575 watt). i ****think***** the tilt head units are all smaller wattage. we got the pro600s because of the motor wattage for kneading bread, making christmas candys etc. wanted the big motor. paid 200 for first one off craigs list, all stock, bowl n attachments. 2nd one paid $185, got all as first 1, extra wisk, meat grinder kit and ice cream maker kit. 
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  7. donr

    donr Smoking Fanatic

    We have a 6 qt. lift head.

    I wish it lifted up further.  It always leaves the tool in the mix which doesn't allow you to clear it.

    There is a big gap between the tools and the Bowl.  It makes it hard to cream butter and sugar together, and you have to beat the snot out of stuff to get it all incorporated.  I haven't seen a bowl scraping paddle for the 6 qt either.  It should be fine for bread, but I can't recall ever mixing any in it.

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  8. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    We have the tilt head with the higher wattage motor and a 5 quart bowl.  On the tilt head newer models the bowl choices are either 4.5 quarts or 5 quarts, compared to 6 quarts minimum up to 8 quarts on the lift models.  Had I the opportunity to do it over, I would have purchased the lift model with a larger bowl.  Trust me, that extra bowl space would come in handy.  Other than that we have absolutely no complaints and love the mixer.

    Honestly, I didn't think a stand mixer would really make that much difference in mixed products.  Wait for it..................wait ............... I was wrong!  HUGE difference in breads, cakes, meatloafs, cookies, anything we make in the mixer.  We have the meat grinder attachment too; a PITB to clean but we love the fresh ground chuck and loin.  KitchenAid stand mixers ought to be mandatory gift items for any wedding.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2014
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  9. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Jeremy, morning.... We have had 3 over the years.... still have 2..... The tilt head in the highest wattage and largest bowl size will meet all your needs... and it won't bog down when making heavy doughs like rye etc. Dave

    PS... I bought a reconditioned mixer and am still having trouble with it.... I can't recommend a reconditioned mixer..... At times it won't start unless it is warm.... I have to preheat the motor and associated parts with a hair dryer to get it to start...... Not a big deal once I found that out, just a PITA.......
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2014
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  10. Hey thank you guy with the awesome name!  [​IMG]   I didn't know the newer ones had plastic gears - I'm guessing the old Hobart models had metal ones probably.
    Was it a plastic gear that broke?
    Hi Dave... Are they the ones that were made by Hobart? I looked around & the highest wattage Hobart-made one that I saw was 300 watts. I just wanna do this once & not get something & then wish I had gotten something else  [​IMG]  
  11. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    We have had a cobalt-blue, tilt head Ultra Kitchen-aid mixer for, oh, must be close to 30 years now. Still going strong, and still looks like new. I can't say this about anything else I've ever owned.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2014
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  12. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've had 2 tilt heads. One ran for 25 years with very heavy use, bread, pastas, grinding, pureeing, etc. Then its gears started to go. I have had our second tilt head for 10 years. No problems yet and it gets heavy use too. The lift ones I looked at were more expensive but were larger units with stronger motors and cost more. I am cheap so I bought the cheaper one.

    I think you would be fine with either.

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  13. xutfuzzy

    xutfuzzy Meat Mopper OTBS Member

     It was a metal gear.  From my research, it is a metal gear that is fabricated to be the "weak link" amongst the gears so that it breaks down first before you break anything more serious through overworking it.  Here is a picture of the old and new gear as I was replacing it.  You can see the little piece that broke off in the bottom right.

  14. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have the tilt head Ultra power model which we bought used for $70. It works very well and has done everything we've asked of it. No problems with power for kneading bread or mixing heavy cookie batters. However, there are several reasons why my next one will be one of the Pro Line bowl lift models.

    1. The bowl has gotten stuck in it's socket a couple times, requiring a firm whack on the handle to dislodge it. This was due to kneading heavy bread dough for long periods and the bowl continually tightening in the socket. Eventually the screws that hold the socket stripped and I had to replace them with rivets. The bowl lift models have a completely different way of attaching the bowl so this isn't an issue. 

    2. The mixer tends to "walk" on the counter when kneading bread dough. This hasn't led to a fall yet, but the potential is there. It moves about pretty well. This is primarily due to....

        2A,  The tilt head mechanism. It's not very rigid. The head moves quite a bit in relation to the base, and I have heard of the cast metal at the joint breaking. There is a way to tighten the joint, but I haven't been able to get it to stop wobbling.

    3. The larger capacity bowl. This is both a pro and a con. Whipping smaller amounts of things, like one egg white or a half cup of cream can be difficult as the tines of the whisk don't quite reach. This may not be an issue on the newer models. The extra capacity for double or triple batches more than makes up for it though.

    4. Motor noise. The motor isn't too terribly noisy on mine, but it's a conversation stopper.  The DC motors of the pro line models are REALLY quiet.

    5. The spiral dough hook. This is a deal breaker for me. I won't ever again buy a mixer with the regular C shaped dough hook, and the spiral hooks are only available on the bowl lift models. No, you can't just buy the spiral hook, I checked into it. It won't work with the shape of the bowl on the tilt head models. The spiral hook works at least ten times better than the C hook.

    Having used a pro model with the spiral hook quite a bit in a class, I honestly think there is no comparison. If you intend to bake bread, GET THE BOWL LIFT MODEL!!! Trust me, it'll make your bread baking SO MUCH EASIER!!!
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  15. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  16. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The weak link has a lot of possibilities. Actually make since.

    I was talking with mom today and she makes a lot of cakes. She reminded me of when she bought hers, well dad did. We told him to get the higher wattage version, but he went cheap. Well they burned it up in a couple months. They were making about 12-15 cakes a day. She replaced it with a pro model and has had no issues since. Now they are not making that many cakes anymore, but it has served her well for over 10 years now.

    I would save for the best model you can afford. As the great Tim Allen says........More POWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  17. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    For your application be sure to go with a high wattage unit.

    I bought the lift bowl rather than the tilt-head.

    One warning?  My heavier duty unit will not fit on the counter underneath my cabinets.

    Be sure to measure your assumed storage spot and check it against the dimensions of the unit.

    Good luck and good smoking.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2014
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  18. Thanks for your input everyone  [​IMG]   I'll be patient & when the time is right I'll get myself a good unit that I can be happy with. Thanks again guys  - much appreciated...
  19. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    reading reviews on this thread... sounds like the lift table pro series wins .... let us know what you chose

    wise man once said... "Spend the money and cry once"
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2014
  20. I will make sure & update once I get one.
    I agree with that statement man  [​IMG]  

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