There are good stand mixers and then there are great ones. When it comes to KitchenAid mixers, they unquestionably belong to the latter category. In fact, if you ask any avid KitchenAider, they would probably tell you that these machines are in a different league altogether.
There’s a lot of love floating around for these machines, and it’s not exactly hard to see why; they are downright beautiful, can tackle virtually every baking task you can think of (thanks to those attachments that the KitchenAid team keeps delighting us with), and have a reputation for lasting a very long time.
There is an endless list of reasons why these machines are worth their weight in gold but one of the main big selling points has to be their superior build quality.
It’s the unrivaled quality of these machines that I want to talk about today. More specifically, I want to talk about some common questions, including; how long do KitchenAid mixers last? what is the average life expectancy of a KitchenAid mixer? And what are their stand mixers made from?
I have recently done some research into these questions and discovered how long you can expect your trusty stand mixer to keep whipping up your favorite tasty treats – the answer might surprise you!
Disclaimer: Before we get started, I’ll freely admit that I am a big fan of KitchenAid mixers. Guilty as charged. That said, this will be an unbiased deep-dive into discovering whether these machines are the Wonder Woman of the baking world as everyone claims them to be.
The life expectancy of a KitchenAid mixer
Whirlpool, the company that owns the KitchenAid brand, suggests that the average KitchenAid mixer lifespan is about 10-15 years. However, this is probably a conservative estimate in my opinion. With the proper use and care, your KitchenAid mixer is more than capable of lasting a lot longer.
In fact with a bit of TLC, and perhaps a spot of maintenance every now and then, many KitchenAid users frequently report that their machines lasted 20+ years before needing to be replaced. Of course, this really depends on how well you look after your machine, how often you use it, and what you use it for.
Plenty of owners swear by the build quality of their mixers, in fact, I have heard more than a few KitchenAiders labeling these machines as ‘the last stand mixer you will buy’.
Why are these mixers so durable?
There are a few reasons why KitchenAid mixers are significantly more durable than your average, run-of-the-mill mixers.
For starters, the machines are made and assembled in the USA. These American mixers have been assembled at their massive facility in Greenville, Ohio since 1941. Here they are hand-assembled, motor speed set by their skilled factory workers, and individual parts are put through rigorous quality-check tests before assembly.
Here’s a quick little video showing you the amazing process each mixer goes through.
Perhaps the most significant reason for their superior durability (and eye-watering price tag) is the high-quality materials they are made from. Many companies resort to plastic-based mixers, making them cheaper to mass-produce and distribute. This certainly makes them cheaper to make, although this undoubtedly has a large role to play in the short lifespan of these mixers.
KitchenAid mixers, on the other hand, no expense is spared in the manufacturing process. The exterior of the machine is made of an extremely robust cast zinc alloy (also made in the USA) and has a baked enamel paint finish, making the paint more resistant to chips as well as fading. This metal shell not only acts as a protective barrier but also keeps the machine from vibrating as it works.
Even the stainless steel bowls that come standard with the majority of KitchenAid mixers ooze quality. The steel itself is a high-quality alloy, with a high chrome and nickel content, making them more expensive and stronger than the cheaper Ferritic stainless steel bowls found on a lot of mixers. These bowls have also been cleaned and polished (by hand) for a robust and aesthetically pleasing finish. This looks great but also helps make them more rust-resistant.
The high-quality construction seen on the outside is also the same in the interior of the machine. The wire insulation is ‘Grade F’ significantly better than the ‘Grade B’ insulation used on most home appliances. This, paired with the single-direction cooling fan, helps keep the mixer from overheating, a common problem with high-current motors. The mechanical motors of KitchenAid are also ridiculously high quality, especially if you opt for a large DC motor found on the bigger mixers.
Common KitchenAid mixer problems
While KitchenAid makes some seriously durable appliances, at the end of the day, these are still complex machines. They use a variety of electrical and mechanical technologies which makes them susceptible to small, but often repairable, damage.
The most common issue that I hear most is due to the plastic gear systems found on the KitchenAid Classic. This mixer is designed for home use and is fitted with a nylon worm gear that is prone to get worn down over time, and sometimes, even shred completely. Fortunately, this is a fairly easy fix.
The Artisan and Professional series mixers, on the other hand, use a metal gear system. This is used on every mixer with the exception of the Classic models. These mixers have more powerful motors, so more force is exerted on the gears. Although these meal gears are significantly more robust than plastic ones, they will also become worn down over time too.
Here’s a picture of a worn-down metal gear from a professional model beside a new one. Notice the difference?
Oil or grease leaks are another common issues that your KitchenAid might experience. While this might require a professional repair, sometimes it could simply be because your machine is overheated and needs a break. As with any electrical appliance, you might experience a blown fuse in your mixer. The fuse of your mixer will blow if there is a surge of current, protecting the rest of the electrical components.
Again, these are minor issues that can be easily remedied with a little bit of maintenance, and won’t cost much to repair.
Has your stand mixer broken down?
If your KitchenAid has stopped working, you have a few options available. Firstly, you can try and fix it yourself, or if you don’t trust yourself to take apart your precious mixer, you can either send it to the KitchenAid service center or use a third-party service for repairs.
Your options for fixing your mixer really depend on whether your machine is still covered by a basic, or additional, warranty period (more on that later). If it is, you can request a shipping kit and use that to ship your damaged product to their Ohio factory for repairs. You will have to pay for shipping, although you will be able to get this at a reduced rate.
If your machine is older than most college-going kids, then the chances are it’s out of warranty, and you are probably better off getting it refurbished by a local professional. This certainly works out cheaper than buying a new one.
Sometimes, your new machine may end up with a defective piece or minor issues. Remember, these machines are hand-assembled, and even the skilled KitchenAid team is capable of making mistakes every now and then.
That said, the company has so much faith in the robust build quality of their stand mixers that they offer a “One Full Year Warranty”. This is instead of a KitchenAid mixer lifetime warranty, found on some of their more expensive appliances and white goods.
You get an entire unit replaced if you’re a customer based in the US or Canada within the first year. For Puerto Ricans, this warranty is limited to repairs and replacements of parts free of charge. You can find more about warranties for USA purchases here.
The warranty for a Kitchen mixer is slightly different if you reside in Europe. Interestingly, depending on your mixer model, your warranty could be valid for up to five years. The UK KitchenAid website also states you get a guarantee with your mixer. It states that if your machine doesn’t last a reasonable amount of time (at least 6 years) you may also be entitled to some money back. To find out more about the KitchenAid mixer warranty, click here.
Range of warranties on the stand mixer
The 1-year, hassle-free warranty on the stand mixer swaps a new unit for the old one and handles delivery of the failed appliance. The new mixer will come with a full one-year warranty
But this sweet deal comes with caveats:
What does this warranty not cover?
You have to use it for the intended purpose – use at a normal, single-family home.
It does not cover replacement or labor for stand mixers used outside the country of purchase.
Your claim may also be rejected if the company is convinced the damage is due to misuse/overuse or an accident.
Have you used an outside vendor for repairs or used third-party attachments? These are also reasons that might end up voiding the warranty contract and seeing you paying for the repairs and labor costs.
Can You Extend Your KitchenAid Stand Mixer Warranty?
You can extend this for five more years. Each 12-month warranty plan costs you $14.95 and covers issues like the mixer not spinning, starting, or the mixer head not locking into place properly.
These warranties cover any cost of repairs that are required to make your machine functional and running. This includes labor costs and the cost of replacing any part. But the same conditions for the hassle-free warranty apply here as well.
If you live outside the US or Canada, it’s a little more difficult to send your mixer back to Ohio, so it certainly makes sense to use your mixer properly in order to ensure it has a long and trouble-free life.
Here are a few suggestions I recommend anyone who owns a KitchenAid stand mixer tries to follow, irrespective of where you live.
Tips for prolonging your mixer’s lifespan
While your stand mixer is a technical marvel, it still needs TLC to help it stand the test of time. Here are some ways you can extend its life.
Use it frequently before the warranty expires
Don’t buy this to only have it gather dust in a storage cabinet. Use your mixer frequently, especially in the first couple of weeks to make sure there are no defects.
While your mixer has the auto shut off option when it overheats, it’s better you avoid this and any damage to the motor or gears.
You should give your machine frequent breaks while mixing, particularly when you’re making thick dough or batter at high speeds. Also, adjust the speeds and reduce the mixing time if possible.
Let the mixer warm up after prolonged non-use
If you haven’t used the stand mixer for some time, let it warm up first without adding any ingredients. Run the machine for 1-2 minutes, and adjust speeds while at it. This allows the inside lubricant to properly flow through the gears and ensures no unwanted metal-on-metal grinding.
Ensure beaters are at the correct height
It’s not just your machine’s motor you should worry about. Make sure your beater or dough doesn’t scrape the bottom, or sides, of the mixing bowl. This could damage your beater, scrape your bowl and make your mixer vibrate. Worse still, it can also lead your machine to overheat or grind the gears.
Keeping your mixer clean
Wipe away food particles from areas like the attachment pin and springs that can easily get clogged with food residue. Clean the exterior with water and mild soap.
Clean the attachments well after every use so that food particles don’t stick to the machine the next time you mix batter. This ensures your mixer’s performance and reduces wear and tear.
Use Compatible Attachments
The best part about owning a KitchenAid stand mixer is the numerous attachments. But this can pose a problem if you use attachments that are not compatible or from third-party vendors.
While these non-KitchenAid attachments can be cheaper, ensure the product is a high-quality one that will not damage your mixer in the long run.
Re-grease every year
While this isn’t necessary for the initial years, it is advisable to get your machine regreased – remove old grease and add fresh grease – every year. You can do this yourself or better still, get the service technician to do it for you.
To sum up, KitchenAid stand mixers are state-of-the-art appliances that can last a lifetime. This obviously depends on how well you use and maintain your favorite stand mixer.
While the company only offers a one-year replacement warranty to specific customers from specific regions, frequent repairs are pretty uncommon with your mixer.
So, unbox the device, and run it frequently to ensure you’ve got a good piece that works properly.