I have been in the market for a new stand mixer. I have been a KitchenAid user for around 15 years and my faithful mixer finally gave up the ghost. I have been going through much deliberation and research concerning which mixer to get.
My mixers get worked out pretty well, as I an avid bread baker; heavy, dense breads made from whole or near whole grain bread flours. Like you, I have heard many things and read many forums about the various mixers and have had a chance to try some without buying.
In the end, I think I am going to stick with KitchenAid mixer, but while reviewing all the information on the various mixer choices, I kept coming across a strange comment regarding the Pro 600 Series of KitchenAid mixers. There was allegedly a problem with the gear housing. Apparently even though the gears are metal, the gear housing was made of plastic and under heavy strain, could fail and cause the gears to become disengaged.
Rather than believe the comments I read online, I decided to contact KitchenAid myself and find out what’s what.
A rather nice woman told me that yes, it was true, the plastic gear housing could fail. She also told me that the problem had been resolved in the current production line. I asked her which models were the newer corrected models.
She stated that models with the numbers KP26M1X– and KP26M8X– had metal gear housings (the “–” stands for the color code). She said a person would have to check the model numbers carefully before buying as KitchenAid couldn’t know which retailers were selling which models.
Why not recall the mixers you might ask? Good question.
First, this problem only happens under heavy strain on the gears when making dense breads, large batches of the same or using certain attachments which demand a considerable amount of power. As such, most users of these mixers will never have a problem. Cookies, cakes and even simple breads won’t likely cause that much strain.
Second, given that no one has been hurt and this problem doesn’t present a danger to anyone, why would a company point out a flaw that had been fixed?
Personally, I would have been more proactive about it, but that is the difference between large corporations (Whirlpool) and small business people like me.
Anyhow, if you like KitchenAid and want to buy one of the large 6qt Professional 600 Series mixers, check your model numbers and buy with confidence.
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