Regardless of which mixer you own, the process for adjusting the bowl clearance is similar for all KitchenAid mixers. The only thing that changes is the position of the screws.
For adjusting your KitchenAid mixer, you will need to perform the dime test. For this, you will need 3 tools; your beater, a flat head screwdriver, and a dime. Make sure it is a dime that you use and not a nickel or penny. It is important to have a 16th of an inch clearance between the bowl and the beater, so a dime is a perfect size and thickness for this purpose.
You might be wondering why on earth do you need a dime to check the bowl clearance of your mixer? It is actually really hard to tell whether the beater is at the correct height just by looking at it. The dime test is a fool-proof way of getting an accurate reading and depending on how the dime moves around the bowl, you can adjust your bowl accordingly.
How to Adjust a KitchenAid Mixer
Adjusting a tilt-head mixer
When adjusting your tilt-head stand mixer, first things first, make sure that your stand mixer is off and unplugged from the wall. As you adjust your mixer, you might need to plug and unplug your mixer a few times.
Before you start, take a look at your flat beater to make sure it isn’t scratched or chipped. If it is, you will need to replace it before continuing. It is important to perform the dime test with a beater that is intact.
Lift up the head of your tilt-head mixer to locate the screw you need. This screw is in the hinge where the head connects to the body of the mixer. This screw isn’t visible when the head is in the downwards position and can only be seen when the mixer head is tilted back.
Using the screwdriver, turn the screw a 1/4 inch turn to the right to lower the beater or a 1/4 inch left to lift the beater. Do not turn the screw more than a 1/4 inch at a time and check the clearance of the bowl in between each turn until you get the correct position.
Adjusting a bowl-lift mixer
Similarly, with the tilt-head, make sure that your bowl lift mixer is turned off and unplugged. Check that your beater is not chipped or damaged.
Place the lever in the down position to reveal the screw. The screw will appear in the center of the body of the mixer as soon as you lower the lever.
With the flat head screwdriver, turn the screw to the right or left, depending on whether you need the beater higher or lower. Remember to only turn it a 1/4th at a time.
The Dime Test
Once you have adjusted your bowl clearance on either the head-tilt or bowl-lift stand mixer, drop your dime in the bowl and fit your paddle attachment. Turn your mixer on and have a look to see how the dime is moving around the bowl. If it’s not moving at all, your beater is too high and you will need to readjust the position. If the dime is moving around like crazy, the position is too low and also needs readjusting. When the dime moves over a 1/4 or 1/2 inch each time the beater brushes over it, you have the correct position.
Each time you test and make adjustments make sure to stop your mixer and unplug it from the wall.
Adjusting for New Attachments
All KitchenAid stand mixers come with a bowl. Sometimes, the standard bowl might not be suitable for certain bakes. Especially with the larger stand mixers, it can be difficult to mix smaller ingredients, so you might want to get a smaller bowl so you can mix smaller quantities. Similarly, if you get any third-party attachments, the size or shape might be different and this can impact the position of the attachment.
When changing out your attachments or replacements, always make sure that you readjust your bowl clearance if you see that the mixing isn’t quite as effective as it was before.
You have successfully learned how to adjust the bowl clearance of your KitchenAid mixer. With a little bit of patience and some trial and error, you will be able to get your mixer working better than ever before.
Whether you have a tilt-head or bowl-lift model, the process is relatively similar with just a few slight adjustments. And now that you know how to do it, it will be a breeze the next time your mixer needs a little tune-up.
Just follow the simple steps above and you should be able to adjust the position with no problem. KitchenAid has also got a really useful video that shows you how to adjust the screw as well as showing you how the dime is supposed to move around the bowl.