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Why are stand mixers so pricey?

Why are stand mixers so pricey?
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  • Why are stand mixers so pricey?

    Post #1 - August 9th, 2019, 2:17 am
    Post #1 - August 9th, 2019, 2:17 am Post #1 - August 9th, 2019, 2:17 am
    My girlfriends birthday is coming up soon, she loves baking (like everyone seems to these days!), I know she's always wanted a stand mixer.

    So off I go to browse the internet in search of one, and it looks like that I'll be forking out about $400 for a {good quality} stand mixer https://thehomedweller.com/countertop-mixer/ . Don't get me wrong, she's worth it (as long as she keeps up with the house work), just wondering what makes them more premium over say, a blender.

    Just realised that I should have probably put this under the Food section, but alas, I am a couple of button pushes too late.
    Last edited by Jelavi on August 16th, 2019, 4:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #2 - August 9th, 2019, 4:16 am
    Post #2 - August 9th, 2019, 4:16 am Post #2 - August 9th, 2019, 4:16 am
    Hi,

    I bought my KA 5 QT about 40 years ago. Back then the choices were limited to the two bowl sizes and color. All the KA had metal gears.

    My understanding KA less expensive have plastic gears and the more expensive have metal gears. Those gears come into play when you make bread dough. If you keep the speed low, you will likely not have a problem. Bump up the speed too high and your plastic gears may overheat and break.

    There are two threads on mixers here. There is more information weaved into other threads.

    Let us know what direction you finally decide upon. I am hoping I die before my KA.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #3 - August 9th, 2019, 6:33 am
    Post #3 - August 9th, 2019, 6:33 am Post #3 - August 9th, 2019, 6:33 am
    As far as Kitchenaids are concerned I believe the Professional Series mixers have all metal gears, they also have beefier motors and the bowl lift mechanism which I prefer over the head tilt models. The Artisan Series mixers do have a plastic gear made of Nylatron (nylon + Kevlar), it's designed to sheer to protect the motor if the mixer can't handle whatever you're trying to mix. It also has the side benefit of making the mixer a bit quieter. I've had my Professional series mixer since the mid 90's and it's never let me down, if you go Kitchenaid I would recommend Professional Series over Artisan.
    Cookingblahg.blogspot.com
  • Post #4 - August 9th, 2019, 6:59 am
    Post #4 - August 9th, 2019, 6:59 am Post #4 - August 9th, 2019, 6:59 am
    Pricey often takes into account not only what's available in your wallet but also what you wish to spend as well as your philosophy of making a purchase. Some folks would rather buy it once and have it be reliable and are willing to pay more to have that. Other folks are far less fussed about reliability and would rather spend less and replace it at the same level as the last time they made the purchase. So I suggest you start there.

    When you say your GF is into baking, what do you mean?

    Is she a box/mix maker of American cakes and cupcakes? Does she spend a lot of time on youtube videos for icing and cake design? Is she more into making yeasted or sourdough breads that require a lot of kneading? Does she bake all of the time, or just during the holiday season?

    At that price I would just skip KA if she ever wants to make bread in addition to American cake/pie baking and go on over to Ankarsrum.

    You may even wish to go for an open box there since they tend to be like Vitamix and come with the same warranty.

    Good Luck

    https://www.ankarsrumoriginalusa.com/st ... 0-2p53.htm

    FWIW I have a 5 qt KA that's at least 18 years old and probably more than 22 yo. It does not like handling enriched sourdough bread and that is why I would skip a KA and head straight to the Ankarsrum.
    Last edited by pairs4life on August 9th, 2019, 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #5 - August 9th, 2019, 7:54 am
    Post #5 - August 9th, 2019, 7:54 am Post #5 - August 9th, 2019, 7:54 am
    Coogles wrote:I've had my Professional series mixer since the mid 90's and it's never let me down, if you go Kitchenaid I would recommend Professional Series over Artisan.


    We bought our Kitchen-Aid Professional Series 30 years ago and use it all the time. When we designed the kitchens in two houses, we included a mixer base cabinet and in a third a dedicated shelf in a cabinet because that company didn't make a mixer cabinet.

    If I still made bread as often as I once did, I would be investigating that Ankarsrum that Pairs has.
  • Post #6 - August 9th, 2019, 8:19 am
    Post #6 - August 9th, 2019, 8:19 am Post #6 - August 9th, 2019, 8:19 am
    Jelavi wrote:So off I go to browse the internet in search of one, and it looks like that I'll be forking out about $400 for a {good quality} stand mixer. Don't get me wrong, she's worth it (as long as she keeps up with the house work), just wondering what makes them more premium over say, a blender.


    I have found out the hard way that you usually get what you pay for with tools and kitchen equipment. Longer life (many times you never have to replace in your lifetime), better results, and more enjoyment while performing your task.
  • Post #7 - August 9th, 2019, 8:20 am
    Post #7 - August 9th, 2019, 8:20 am Post #7 - August 9th, 2019, 8:20 am
    Jelavi wrote:Don't get me wrong, she's worth it (as long as she keeps up with the house work)

    wow, that's enlightened
  • Post #8 - August 9th, 2019, 9:30 am
    Post #8 - August 9th, 2019, 9:30 am Post #8 - August 9th, 2019, 9:30 am
    I was wondering if anyone else found the housework comment problematic. Thanks Clarence.
  • Post #9 - August 9th, 2019, 2:50 pm
    Post #9 - August 9th, 2019, 2:50 pm Post #9 - August 9th, 2019, 2:50 pm
    AmyBailey wrote:I was wondering if anyone else found the housework comment problematic. Thanks Clarence.



    Yes. As a womanist, I erred with the assumption that this was tongue-firmly-in-cheek since this is the poster's 1st-time here. --LLAP
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #10 - August 11th, 2019, 9:42 am
    Post #10 - August 11th, 2019, 9:42 am Post #10 - August 11th, 2019, 9:42 am
    pairs4life wrote:FWIW I have a 5 qt KA that's at least 18 years old and probably more than 22 yo. It does not like handling enriched sourdough bread and that is why I would skip a KA and head straight to the Ankarsrum.

    Will you be replacing your KA anytime soon with the Ankarsrum?

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #11 - August 11th, 2019, 11:41 am
    Post #11 - August 11th, 2019, 11:41 am Post #11 - August 11th, 2019, 11:41 am
    Cathy2 wrote:
    pairs4life wrote:FWIW I have a 5 qt KA that's at least 18 years old and probably more than 22 yo. It does not like handling enriched sourdough bread and that is why I would skip a KA and head straight to the Ankarsrum.

    Will you be replacing your KA anytime soon with the Ankarsrum?

    Regards,
    Cathy2


    I don’t know that I would get rid of the KA but I am actively looking at Ankarsrum with enriched wild yeasted breads being a driver.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #12 - August 11th, 2019, 11:49 am
    Post #12 - August 11th, 2019, 11:49 am Post #12 - August 11th, 2019, 11:49 am
    My experience with KA stand mixers is that the more recently you buy one, the less durable they are. They keep finding ways to keep their costs down, which results in less durable products. When I 'upgraded' to a 6-quart some years ago, I gave my 5.5-quart to a friend. That unit had survived a fall off the counter, doing more damage to our tile floor than it incurred.

    The new unit, while more powerful, isn't nearly as solidly built. Not saying I wish I had the old one back because it was a bit undersized for my main uses but I wish the newer one was built as well. And knowing what I know, I'm certainly resisting the urge to 'upgrade' again to the 7-quart, tempting as they may be on paper. The bottom line is that if you have a reliable K-A, count your blessings and don't fool yourself into believing that a newer one will be all that and more. It won't be.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #13 - August 11th, 2019, 12:27 pm
    Post #13 - August 11th, 2019, 12:27 pm Post #13 - August 11th, 2019, 12:27 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:My experience with KA stand mixers is that the more recently you buy one, the less durable they are. They keep finding ways to keep their costs down, which results in less durable products. When I 'upgraded' to a 6-quart some years ago, I gave my 5.5-quart to a friend. That unit had survived a fall off the counter, doing more damage to our tile floor than it incurred.

    The new unit, while more powerful, isn't nearly as solidly built. Not saying I wish I had the old one back because it was a bit undersized for my main uses but I wish the newer one was built as well. And knowing what I know, I'm certainly resisting the urge to 'upgrade' again to the 7-quart, tempting as they may be on paper. The bottom line is that if you have a reliable K-A, count your blessings and don't fool yourself into believing that a newer one will be all that and more. It won't be.

    =R=


    Ronnie, you are right on. Heard this same thing from several others who had older models and purchased a new one.
  • Post #14 - August 11th, 2019, 1:13 pm
    Post #14 - August 11th, 2019, 1:13 pm Post #14 - August 11th, 2019, 1:13 pm
    Interesting comments about declining reliability of newer models.

    My theory is that often, though not always, when a new product comes on the market it is to some degree over-designed because the company lacks experience with the product -- the better safe than sorry approach. As they gain experience management starts looking for ways to reduce costs and makes engineering changes that start cutting into the margin of safety.

    This happens more often than we like unless management has a strong commitment to product quality / reliability.

    As an (unrelated) example of how long old products can last, I inherited a Milwaukee ¼" drill from my late father. He probably bought it in the 1940s. It weighed a ton, but worked perfectly as long as I had it. I only replaced it a few years ago because the steel body was a shock hazard.

    I only hope the plastic body replacement will last half as long.
    Where there’s smoke, there may be salmon.
  • Post #15 - August 11th, 2019, 4:31 pm
    Post #15 - August 11th, 2019, 4:31 pm Post #15 - August 11th, 2019, 4:31 pm
    Ronnie, you are right on. Heard this same thing from several others who had older models and purchased a new one.

    I gave all my sisters older units for a fraction of the price and assumed higher reliability. It is not easy finding older units, because people keep them forever and pass them around their family.

    When I bought my KA, I could have bought an Electrolux for not too much more. The 19-year-old-Cathy2 did not like the design. I dickered on this for a few days, before picking the KA. If I knew someone with an Electrolux back then, it might have made a difference. I never really regretted this choice.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #16 - August 11th, 2019, 10:11 pm
    Post #16 - August 11th, 2019, 10:11 pm Post #16 - August 11th, 2019, 10:11 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:
    Ronnie, you are right on. Heard this same thing from several others who had older models and purchased a new one.

    I gave all my sisters older units for a fraction of the price and assumed higher reliability. It is not easy finding older units, because people keep them forever and pass them around their family.

    When I bought my KA, I could have bought an Electrolux for not too much more. The 19-year-old-Cathy2 did not like the design. I dickered on this for a few days, before picking the KA. If I knew someone with an Electrolux back then, it might have made a difference. I never really regretted this choice.

    Regards,
    Cathy2


    Cathy,

    I think 30 some years ago, when we bought ours was the beginning of the end of an era. KA seemed to ratchet up marketing after that (multiple colors, etc.). I have friends that inherited mixers from the 50’s that are tanks and still going strong.
  • Post #17 - August 11th, 2019, 10:21 pm
    Post #17 - August 11th, 2019, 10:21 pm Post #17 - August 11th, 2019, 10:21 pm
    Al Ehrhardt wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote:
    Ronnie, you are right on. Heard this same thing from several others who had older models and purchased a new one.

    I gave all my sisters older units for a fraction of the price and assumed higher reliability. It is not easy finding older units, because people keep them forever and pass them around their family.

    When I bought my KA, I could have bought an Electrolux for not too much more. The 19-year-old-Cathy2 did not like the design. I dickered on this for a few days, before picking the KA. If I knew someone with an Electrolux back then, it might have made a difference. I never really regretted this choice.

    Regards,
    Cathy2


    Cathy,

    I think 30 some years ago, when we bought ours was the beginning of the end of an era. KA seemed to ratchet up marketing after that (multiple colors, etc.). I have friends that inherited mixers from the 50’s that are tanks and still going strong.

    The 5.5-quart KA I gave away was a wedding present we received in 1995. Were they even more durable before then? Quite possibly.

    This is very anecdotal but my stepmom, who does quite a bit of baking, has gone through a number of units over the years, having had to replace them more frequently as of late, even though her overall baking is down a bit. I think she's currently on her third machine since 2007. There was a period before then when she'd been running the same machine for well over 15 years.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #18 - August 12th, 2019, 9:09 am
    Post #18 - August 12th, 2019, 9:09 am Post #18 - August 12th, 2019, 9:09 am
    Jumping in with one additional KitchenAid stand mixer data point. Mine is coming on 31-years. In that time I have been variously obsessed with bread, bagels, pizza etc. There was an lengthy period where I used the KA mixer 3-4 times a week with heavy dough. Double heavy dough batches made it walk all over the counter, though I don't remember it falling.

    Sometimes it groaned, once in a while I smelled faint burning which prompted a hard/stop rest, but never once has it broke, stalled or complained. Still works like a charm. For that matter my older beat to shit Cuisinart food processor, maybe 20 -years old, still works fine.

    KitchenAid Stand Mixer, Count me a Fan!
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #19 - August 14th, 2019, 12:40 pm
    Post #19 - August 14th, 2019, 12:40 pm Post #19 - August 14th, 2019, 12:40 pm
    I bought my tilthead, plain white, 4.5 quart KitchenAid stand mixer about 35 years ago. It was a floor model from Service Merchandise (remember them?), and it is still going strong. In those pre-Internet days, a friend photocopied her whole owner's manual for me since I bought the machine off the floor. I'm not a frequent baker, but I have used it probably several times a month all these years. I'm with GWiv here, count me a fan!
  • Post #20 - August 14th, 2019, 3:32 pm
    Post #20 - August 14th, 2019, 3:32 pm Post #20 - August 14th, 2019, 3:32 pm
    EvA wrote:I bought my tilthead, plain white, 4.5 quart KitchenAid stand mixer about 35 years ago. It was a floor model from Service Merchandise (remember them?), and it is still going strong. In those pre-Internet days, a friend photocopied her whole owner's manual for me since I bought the machine off the floor. I'm not a frequent baker, but I have used it probably several times a month all these years. I'm with GWiv here, count me a fan!



    Loved going to SM as a kid. I wish I knew then to get a KA then.

    You and Gwiv don't have the same KA that you hear complaints about.

    Fun KA Facts and History here.

    KA Changes/Complaints' Dept thread here over 12 years ago!
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #21 - August 14th, 2019, 4:15 pm
    Post #21 - August 14th, 2019, 4:15 pm Post #21 - August 14th, 2019, 4:15 pm
    pairs4life wrote:You and Gwiv don't have the same KA that you hear complaints about.
    My older KA is the bowl lift model, I don't remember tilt being offered back then, but it was 30 some odd years ago and I'm not sure I remember what I had for lunch yesterday.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #22 - August 14th, 2019, 4:18 pm
    Post #22 - August 14th, 2019, 4:18 pm Post #22 - August 14th, 2019, 4:18 pm
    For whatever it matters, I bought my KitchenAid from Service Merchandise in Washington, D.C.

    I recall it was a unique shopping experience: you found what you wanted from a catalog, paid, then your purchase came from the stockroom on a conveyor belt. I think I paid about $119. for the five-quart mixer.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #23 - August 16th, 2019, 6:30 pm
    Post #23 - August 16th, 2019, 6:30 pm Post #23 - August 16th, 2019, 6:30 pm
    Bought Dr. Debbie a KA raise-head a dozen years ago. Two years ago, while kneading a very stiff Chinese noodle dough, the head planetary gear slipped, and popped out of the head. Ooops. I looked into sending it to KA for repairs, but it was an incredibly involved affair, all at my expense; AFAICS, there was no affiliated repair shoppe within commuting distance of my upstate NY home.
    So I went on the net and looked at various self-help videos and finally decided what the hey! positioned the gear in what looked properly situated to me, and gently pounded it back in with gentle hammer blows.
    It's worked fine since then, albeit with incredible noise whilst whirring around.

    The gears, BTW, were metal. Wouldn't have stood a chance with plastic.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #24 - 15 minutes ago
    Post #24 - 15 minutes ago Post #24 - 15 minutes ago
    I don't know how to check whether this is true, but it seems plausible to me: I read recently that more small appliances these days are being made with "sacrificial" plastic gears in addition to (not, if I understand correctly, in place of) metal gears. The idea is that the plastic gears relieve some of the load on the metal gears, and if they fail, they are cheaper and easier to replace.

    (Outside of the culinary realm, there are various other pros and cons to metal vs plastic gears. For example, plastic's not as environmentally friendly as metal. Metal gears require lubricating oil, so they can't be used in some settings, such as clean rooms, unlike plastic. In short, it depends on the application.)
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"

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