on January 21, 2004
My wedding gift mixer (a Sunbeam Mixmaster) turned 33 a week before Christmas, and my husband thought it was time for me to have a new one. He gifted me on Christmas with the KitchenAid 5 Qt. Artisan in white. I love this mixer and leave it out on my counter, something I never did with the Mixmaster. I recently purchased the citrus juicer attachment from Amazon and am very pleased with it as well. I have not read all 109 previous reviews on this site, but I have read a few that were disgruntled because their Artisans did not mix well. I initially had the same problem with the beater/bowl clearance. It is very simple to remedy. There is a beater adjustment screw on the mixer and the manual describes how to make the adjustments. I got even better instructions by calling customer support at KitchenAid. The technician told me to drop a dime into the empty bowl, turn the mixer on (about setting 2) using the flat beater, and it should move the dime 1/4" to 1/2" each time it rotates around the bowl. This is the right clearance for the beater to mix everything at the bottom of the bowl, but not low enough to cause wear on the beater from constant friction with the bottom of the bowl during usage. I tweaked the screw setting 1/4 turn each time until I got that dime moving. At this setting, I can now beat a single egg white to stiff peaks in the 5 qt. bowl. That's impressive.
This mixer is as sturdy as a tank, and you can hear the quality as it mixes. Although I had previously purchased a KitchenAid mixer for my daughter as a gift, I would never have splurged on one for myself. I am so happy my husband thought I was worth it!
on September 23, 2002
I love this thing! I have friends who've had KitchenAid mixers for years and they've always raved about their quality and durability. Well, I finally went for it and I have absolutely no regrets. You want to talk about a solid piece of kitchen machinery? This is the epitome of what "Made in America" used to mean! Unlike all the cheapo mixers out there, I'm completely confident that this thing will even outlast ME! The only problem is now I'm wondering why I waited so long!
-----> This may help some of you - I read a review somewhere in which the reviewer gave this mixer a poor rating because it left dry ingredients in the bottom of the bowl - read the instruction booklet, people. It clearly states that if this occurs (or if the attachments scrape the bowl), there is an adjustment screw that raises or lowers the mixing assembly. I had to slightly lower mine and it now incorporates everything into the mix. The KitchenAid mixers are well worth the money....or you can keep buying junk mixers every couple years...the choice is yours.
on May 11, 2007
I own a KA Artisan Series 5-Qt. Stand Mixer in "Blue Willow." I am a casual baker and am relatively new in the kitchen and prior to making this purchase, I did quite a bit of research on stand mixers. I found that the questions you have to ask yourself prior to making this purchase are:
(1) Do you really need one, and, if the answer is yes, then;
(2) Is this a one-time purchase, and;
(3) Which stand mixer actually *fits* your needs?
Though I was tempted to get a big 6-Qt professional, bowl-lifting, super cool mixer, I realized that I generally cook for two people and that I would not need to ever really mix 14-cups of flour or 8 pounds of potatoes. Even if I did, I'd be doing it in smaller batches anyway. So that brought me back to my senses and I considered the KA Artisan.
Oddly, it only has 325 watts of power. Other stand mixers of this size offer up to 500 watts; the KA 6 Qt. Pro offers 525 watts and a bowl "lift" function. I don't know if this makes a huge difference, but my KA stands up to whatever I put in it. I use it to make mostly cookie and bread doughs. It comes with three accessories: flat beater, dough hook, and wire whip. The flat beater is very versatile and I have really appreciated not having to wrestle with my crappy hand-mixer when mixing things like softened cream cheese. I can throw it all into the bowl at once and walk away to start something else.
It's a snap. While I tend to still get flour all over "The Fuselage," as I call my mixer, it wipes off in a jiffy because of the sleek exterior. I don't find the "chute" of the pouring shield especially "easy" to add ingredients, especially when it's flour from a big mixing bowl. The chute is not quite wide enough and flour tends to spill, so sometimes I don't use it, but this creates "splash-up" instead, so it's kind of a no-win situation. The steel bowl is absolutely smooth and so there are no real ridges inside the bowl for anything to stick to. The accessories twist off in a one-handed motion, are very secure and heavy, and are coated with a slick, non-stick, white finish - washing up is absolutely easy.
You cannot put this away, or you will never get it out again. So for small apartment dwellers, you must think about your counterspace. I am a pretty small female, and to me, is HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY. While this is good because it doesn't wobble or "walk" across the countertop when it's mixing, this also makes it a gigantic pain to drag it out. So anticipate that it will take up about 1 cubic foot of your countertop forever and that you should have it somewhere where you don't have to move it.
It is very, very thorough. It has some weird "planetary mixing action," but whatever that means, it mixes mostly everything evenly. Turn it off before you stick your spatula in. It handles the stickiest focaccia dough to meringue perfectly, and the bowl "locks in" to the base, so you don't have to worry about it flying off.
These are super pricey in most cases, but the one that seems to draw the most raves is the pasta cutter (apprx. $100). KA constantly has deals and sometimes has nice packaged deals on their website, so check there as well. I have seen KA offer different accessories (including this one) for free on rebate, so watch for those. KA also is constantly flogging "The Mixer Bible" by Meredith Deeds and on their website, they sometimes have an ask-and-answer with the author. I do recommend getting a stand-mixer cover, or if you want to make one, there are several patterns available on the internet. I'm lazy and cheap, so I use a big dishrag and that has worked so far.
Overall, I'm glad I made the purchase. When I do use "the Fuselage" for baking jobs, it performs flawlessly and makes the baking much, much easier - you can get a good look at your dough consistency, etc. instead of worrying about if your frosting has unmixed chunks in it, or if your hand mixer is going to tip your entire bowl of pudding over while you run to get some missed ingredient. By proxy, its ease of use turns you into a better cook in the end. More relaxed, anyway, and if that's worth a couple hundred dollars to you, then by all means, buy it.
I grew up with one of the first KA mixers - my mom bought it at a fair over 35 years ago. With 5 kids in the house, it was used several times a week for years (cookies, cakes, desserts, bread, etc.). It finally started to give out last year (gear was slipping) so I bought her a new one. And I have 2 myself - one I got for a wedding present 18 years ago (it lives in my weekend house) & I just bought the red artisan for at home. I also have the meat grinder (as does my mom) & that is a handy device. Mom always used it to grind leftover turkey/beef roasts into the best sandwich spread. I can't say enough good about this mixer. I wouldn't bake half as much without it. It's powerful & dependable. I would give this mixer 10 stars if it was an option. You can't go wrong with this machine.
Update: 2/2/2010 I would now rate this 3 stars at most. I am shopping for a replacement to this mixer - ALREADY! And I don't think the replacement will be KA. My 20+ year-old KA is still going strong - this new Artisan has been a disappointment. Underpowered, cheap beaters (paint flakes off) & the head & the mixer itself jumps all over the place when mixing.
The wobbly head problem has become a common complaint with KA mixers. I found how to fix that at least temporarily 1. Unplug the mixer 2. Lock the head in place 3. Make sure the visible hinge pin that goes through body of the mixer is pushed all the way flush 4. Remove bowl & beaters 5. Turn the entire unit on its side 6.Look all the way down the shaft & you will see a screw. (My screw actually fell completely out & was thankfully on the counter, under the mixer!)6.Tighten that screw with a flat head screwdriver. This should fix the wobbly head problem. I was going through beaters - flaking paint issue(these new beaters are CHEAP junk) because the head was jumping all over & making the beater hit the bowl. I thought my beater to bowl clearance was wrong, but it was not. My old mixer never had this problem.
It hasn't died yet but I don't want to be without a mixer so I'm shopping for something better. KA has really slipped in quality. Jeez - I'd be willing to pay a bit more if I could count on KA holding up for more than a few years. They've been concentrating on pretty colors & not quality. The one year warranty should be a red flag!
By the way, the KA I bought my mom - DIED a year ago! What a disappointment. I have been a KA "cheerleader" for years, but no more. This is painful for me because I grew up using a KA stand mixer & have fond memories.
This machine would get 4 or 5 stars if it didn't break within a week or two of use.
I purchased the Artisan for Christmas 2005. It failed (gears froze) a week after receiving it. The replacement unit failed on it's second use. I am now awaiting my third replacement.
Kitchenaid sends a replacement in 5 days and picks up the failed unit. That is good customer service. However, each unit has failed within short time, if the third one fails, I will request my money back and purchase a different brand.
Update March 2008: The third mixer was the charm. It's been working perfectly. Sorry to be so late getting back on this.
Update Sept 2009: The third mixer is starting to act up. The stirring blade is bumping the side of the bowl. You can see the mechanism is not spinning properly any longer. Only a little over a year and now it needs repair. No quality here. When it works, it's wonderful. But 3 times means you're out.
on January 2, 2005
About me. Aircraft technician for 23 years, I love to cook, I am a perfectionist and, I hate cheap tools. I purchased this mixer as a to me gift for christmas. On New Years day I thought I would break it in by baking a red velvet cake. While mixing the light and fluffy frosting I heard something let loose in the mixer and in a instant there was a spark and than the circut breaker blew. Well I was able to frost my cake and than my attention was turned to this 200 dollar tool I had purchased. I reset the circuit breaker and atempted to run the mixer. It kind of ran but I could tell there was something other than my fluffy frosting holding the 350 watt motor back. Having had alot of expereance taking things apart and being very curious I had to take a look at what made the thing tick. I removed the back cover and it became very clear that this is not the Kitchen Aid stand mixer my mother used to make two cakes a week with when I was a kid. You would think that for over 200 dollars the machine would have some sort of solid state speed control. I was very surprised to see a very cheap looking reostat devise that looks like it came out of my old electric race car set speed controller that I had as a kid. What a disapointmant. The part that came apart was some sort of spring roller clip on the motor shaft. When it let loose it got stuck in the reostat and shorted the thing out. The reasons I am writting this review are 1. This mixer has almost a five star satisfaction rating. This rating influenced my purchase. 2. Kitchen Aid is living off an American made tradition of high quality. This mixer is not American made and the quality is low. 3. As a consumer I am tired of companies main concern being the bottom line. I would gladly pay more for solidstate construction. In conclusion this mixer may do the job its intended to do but don't be surpised if it breaks down. After all why would there be so many remanufactored units for sale if there wasn't a quality problem. Amazon . com will be getting this unit back and hopefully the replacement will hold together a little longer than the first.
on October 11, 2002
I shopped around a long time before I bought this mixer. Based on other reviews and the great reputation of KitchenAid, I finally took the plunge. While it's a lot of money to shell out for a countertop appliance, I've found that it's been worth every last cent. No more scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula, no more unmixed flour in the bottom of the bowl, and it is pretty and sleek enough that I can keep it sitting on my counter!
The pouring shield makes it easy to dump ingredients in, and not get them poofed back in your face! I occasionally whip up batches of decorator's cake icing, which requires 2 pounds of confectioner's sugar. On my old mixer, everything within a 1-yard radius of the mixer would be covered in with a layer of sugar. Not any more. The pouring sheild keeps the mess contained to the bowl and the underside of the mixer head. I wanted a mixer with a tilt-up head instead of the bowl-lift mechanism on other KitchenAid models. It's designed well so that tilting the head back doesn't even knock the pouring shield off with the beater.
I make a lot of focaccia bread, and mave always hated the 10 minutes of hand kneading. So I dumped the dough in my kitchen aid and ran it at the lowest speed with the dough hook. It came out beautifully. Not sure how I ever lived without this.
The only problem is that with the black model, it ends up looking a little streaky if you just wipe it down with a sponge. Be sure to wipe it dry, too! My boyfriend, the cuisinally challenged, put the regular beater attachment through the dishwasher, and it came out with some sort of powdery-looking deposits all over it. Working on getting that cleaned off.
Overall, I would highly recommend the Artisan mixer. It's powerful enough for the heftiest mixing jobs, and was thoughfully designed with the practical cook in mind.
on January 29, 2007
I ordered this for my wife as an x-mas gift. I normally wouldn't have given an appliance as a gift but she really wanted one and suggested it. Thinking it would be similar in quality and reputation as one her mother and grandmother had, we were both disappointed.
After getting the mixer out of the box and cleaning the bowl and mixing attachements, we put in a couple of eggs and added the wisk attachment. The recipe called for beating the eggs before other things went in. When we turned on the mixer it had a very loud squeaking noise. It sounded horrible and hurt our ears. We tried it at different speeds but got the same results. It sounded like metal scraping against metal without anything to reduce the friction.
Kitchen Aid was great at sending us a new one. They had me hold the phone to the mixer while I turned it on. I told the lady from Kitchen Aid that I was shocked but she took it in stride and said that it happens often.
The new mixer arrived 6 weeks later. They were back-ordered on all colors. We ended up getting a color that my wife didn't really want in order to get it sooner. The new mixer doesn't squeak when you turn it on but it does make a horrible grinding noise at the two lowest speeds. It seized up 30 seconds later without mixing a single recipe.
I know that a lot of people love these mixers based on their previous reputations. My advice to you would be to keep the receipt as you'll likely be returning it. Also note that Kitchen Aid is known to post reviews here in favor of itself. Be wary of reviewers who refuse to post under their real name. I'm a real customer, not an employee being paid to write reviews.
What a disappointment!!