Mystery of the Murdered Mixers

Kitchen appliances get a workout at my house but up until recently I never thought I was too hard on my tools.

After 40 years of trouble-free use, my Kitchenaid stand mixer finally gave up the ghost two years ago. I promptly went out and bought a new one, assuming YA would end up inheriting it.  Imagine my irritation when just two years later, the new mixer started to make a grinding noise that caused me to step away from it in fear.  I called customer service (my company – as this is where I technically purchased it).  I got told I had 30 days from time of purchase to claim any refund.  Then I spent quite a bit of time “chatting” with Kitchenaid – this was when I found out that my very expensive bit of hardware only had a 30-day warranty on it.  If I wanted to send the mixer to Illinois they could “do diagnostics” on it.  Ship a stand mixer to Illinois?  Do you know how much these things weigh?  It took me a couple of weeks but I eventually found an appliance repair company that would deal w/ the mixer.

In the meantime, I couldn’t go without a mixer. I’ve never had a handheld mixer so I decided this was a good time.  Did a little bit of online research (very little actually) and ended up getting a Hamilton Beach.  It got me through Pi Day but then mysteriously the next time I used it, it started up as soon as I plugged it in, even though the switch said it was off.  Luckily I was not holding it anywhere near the beaters or I could have lost a finger.

I did eventually get the stand mixer back (after paying an obscene amount) and it appears to be working. The hand mixer was still within 30 days so I was able to get an exchange.  It also appears to be working.  But two mixers dead in one month’s time?  It makes me feel like a mixer murderer.

Have you ever over-invested (financially or emotionally) in an appliance?

46 thoughts on “Mystery of the Murdered Mixers”

  1. We got a Hepa air cleaner to help with Husband’s allergies. That thing raised so much dust it made his allergies worse. We also have a mandolin we never use because I am afraid of slicing off my fingers.

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    1. I thought a mandolin was always played with fingers?

      JK, doesn’t the mandoline have some sort of safety guard to make sure your fingers don’t get sliced off?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. i got a slab of fingertip sliced off with my mandolin. i wouldnt eat a cheese sandwhich with pig or cow blood but mu own blood was tolerable. if you are going to by a mandolin buy and expensive high quality one. my error was in owning a cheap piece of crap my kids could afford when they were young and bought stuff for me based on dollars not quality. i hate bad quality stuff. especially in the kitchen, knives pots spatchulas, make it good or dont bring it around. i am that way with tools too. nice happer vs cheapy, good screwdrivers and wrenches. i do buy crap tools sometimes if its a seldom used tool but i hate going back to use it later.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s the second story I’ve heard in a week about a Kitchenaid mixer dying. Your old one perhaps just wore out but I wonder if the other malfunctions are an indication that the quality has slipped?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Companies that have earned a good reputation often retain that perception long after their products no longer deserve it. It takes a while for consumers to realize that their bad experience wasn’t singular.

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    1. i talked with the kitchenaid boss at the housewares show about the mixer accessories i had some trouble with and he told me they never balk at fixing mixer problems. never mind the warranty they will look after you. i have my kids roll their eyes when i go into my let me talk to your supervisor routine upon receiving an unsatisfactory solution to my bitching. i have a harder and harder time when i ask to speak to the supervisors supervisor and then that ones boss. i ask for letter and emails confirming that the solution is documented and i will keep at it until i exhaust all possibilities when ethics got involved.
      then i realize i am getting too involved in the pursuit of truth justice and the american way

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We have been having issues with our Kitchenaid fridge. The old one lasted 22+ years with barely a call. New one (less than 2 years) has had 5 service calls about the freezer not staying cold. (5 calls in a month including first diagnostic call, 2nd to replace part and decide to replace another. 3rd to replace that part, 4th when it still wasn’t working and 5th to replace another part.)
    [Cue the discussion regarding how appliances are not built to last anymore…]
    But still, we paid a lot of money for this fridge; I’d expect more. I haven’t given up all hope yet; I think maybe he really did fix it this last time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. About ten years ago we bought a Maytag refrigerator. After almost two years of use, the compressor quit. We were lucky, at the time we purchased it there was a two year warranty on the compressor, so it was replaced for free. The new compressor, however, only had a one year warranty.

      A few months after we had purchased the Maytag, we saw the exact same fridge, but with a Kenmore tag on it, for sale at Sears for $400 less than we had paid for the Maytag. Further research revealed that both our Maytag and the Kenmore were manufactured by Whirlpool, who also makes Amana, Kitchen-Aid and Roper.

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      1. The old Kitchenaid mixers were made, apparently, by Hobart, the commercial kitchen equipment maker. They were manufactured in the U.S.A. Whirlpool only assembles them in the U. S.

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      2. Yep, There’s really only a couple actual manufacturers… and all the internal parts are built by the same 2 companies or something.
        I was told toilets are the same way; all the parts are made by two companies.
        tim probably knows more about all this. I think we’d be surprised if we knew how much is really the same pig with different lipstick.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. We had a KA mixer for years. We needed a mixer with a larger bowl than the old KA had. We bought a KA pro mixer first, but destroyed it somehow using the grinder attachment to make sausage. Now we have a Viking heavy duty stand mixer. It works well.

    We also invested in electric bread proofers. They work great.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    We have had similar issues with melting, clogged coffee makers in the last 10 years. I had a Black and Decker one that lasted 15 years. I bought a new one of the same brand, and it was non-functional within the first year. In quick succession, I tried other brands including KitchenAid with the same results.

    So then I developed the obsession, and I started to research coffeemakers with all metal parts. The one I finally bought had a lifetime warranty. Unfortunately, we had to use it when the water line clogged. I had to ship the thing to Canada to have the warranty honored. Now the automatic grinder is broken and we must go through it again, although it took 5 years for that to develop.

    I hope manufacturers of these appliances are reading our blog today. The short term, cost cutting practices may not be worth the damage to their brands. But of course it takes many years for them to understand the damage they have done to themselves. If ever.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I had a Cuisinart programmable coffeemaker. Something went wrong with the programming panel after a year or so, and it would not function. I didn’t really need the programmable features – I think you can achieve pretty much the same thing using an ordinary coffeemaker and an appliance timer. The coffeemaker just became completely nonfunctional when the electronic component died.

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      1. I should have been more specific. After being unhappy with many coffeemakers I was surprised–even shocked–when my daughter’s Cuisinart produced coffee that tasted exceptionally good. I never expected that, and I can’t explain it. Maybe it has to do with temperature? That led me to buy one about four years ago. Mine is a fairly basic model. It produces the best coffee I’ve been able to make at home, and I’ve had no reliability issues.

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  6. I own a Vitamix blender. I paid $389 for it about fifteen years ago. At the time, it came with a lifetime warranty. Although I thought that was an insane amount of money to pay for a blender, I was persuaded that it would be worth the investment. So far, I’ve had the variable control thingy replaced twice, and it’s on the fritz again, and I don’t use it nearly as much as I do my food processor. Each time it needs repair, we have to wrap it up and send it to Ohio and pay for shipping. Not sure it’s worth the trouble, much of what I used it for, I now handle with an immersion blender. Vitamix has dropped their lifetime warranty to seven years.

    My Cuisinart food processor I’ve had for thirty years. The motor itself is a workhorse, it just keeps running, but I’ve replaced both the work bowl and the lid to it, twice. Comparing the prices of these two appliances and the use each has been given in this household, there’s no question that the food processor is a much better value.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s my experience, too. The plastic is hard and, over time, gets brittle. My complaint about that isn’t so much about it happening as it is that replacement bowls are too expensive. Cuisinart knows what’s most likely to break, i.e. the work bowl and the lid, these items should be readily available for replacement without incurring a major expense. $40 for a replacement plastic work bowl that can’t be used for anything else, is too much, in my opinion.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. ive been through 5 or 6 bowls and finally gave up the ghost. i am not happy with the replacement and would gladly pay the price for a cuisinart that would hold up to the abuse i provide. i miss my cuisinart processor and my youth. i am not getting either back any time soon

        Liked by 2 people

  7. We’ve had to replace big things like refrig, washer, furnace, but each of these had had a good long life. Same with blender – replaced a really old Oster just before we moved here. Seems like toaster ovens only last a few years, but we have a small microwave that’s almost 20 years old! My stand mixer is from the early 50s, and even my hand mixer is a good 30 years old. (I don’t bake much.) I’ve just inherited and learned to use my 30-year-old Cuisinart food processor.

    A TV we bought just a few years ago bit the dust; we tried to find a repair place here but no… so we’ve decided it’s time to join Netflix and just watch DVDs. We thought the electronic keyboard was “going”, but turned out to need just new batteries.

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  8. When I was volunteering at a fix-it clinic a few months ago, someone brought in a blender, and the clinic coordinator brought it to one of the fixers, asking “How do you feel about blenders?” To which she responded, “I have mixed feelings about blenders.”

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    1. i had on in my other house and you are fine until it breaks then the parts take a long long long time to come and the repaiman looks at you like a guy who is so dumb he pays for an expensive wife just because shes pretty.

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  9. We had an apple tree in Robbinsdale whose apples we wanted to juice. First borrowed an Omega juicer to try it out, then bought our own. We’d set up on the picnic table in back yard; it was pretty labor intensive – you had to clear out the accumulated pulp for every quart of collected juice. The bees loved to hang around both the juice and the pulp – some of them would actually get “drunk” – we were constantly wary… But this juicer was a real work horse – lasted us through a couple of decades, till a key piece finally cracked the fall before we moved here. Nice timing, I thought – we didn’t have to replace it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. The washing machine that came with the house when we moved here over 13 years ago is a Whirlpool. I have no idea how old it is. In that time, I’ve had to replace the clutch, or whatever it’s called, that engages when the washer goes into the spin cycle and the mechanism that engages.the agitator. Both parts are plastic or nylon. In the case of the clutch, it’s designed to fail when the load on the motor is too great so as to spare the motor which is a more expensive component. It’s perhaps a bad thing that the part failed. On the other hand, the appliance is designed in a modular way that makes replacing the parts, even the motor, easy—even for a novice working from a YouTube video. I’m all for appliances designed to be easily repaired.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. service plus is an insurance policy worth the 40 or 50 bucks it costs. take the paln that covers everything in the house. stove oven washer dryer fridge furnace water heater dishwasher garbage disposal, bbq, i even had ice cube maker and garage heater as well as additional freezer and refridegerator. air conditioner and a second furnace made it a great deal at 46 dollars a month. today i do half the items above and its still 46 dollars a month but its worth it. 500 a year is a great sense of security. im thinking a car policy the same way would be a good business to get into and a good one to buy

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  11. just speaking of things unable to repair, I spent $1000 at the college years ago to buy a ‘remote’ for the light board. It was an HP Palm Pilot (that gives you some indication how long ago it was). But it worked really slick to activate the lightboard from stage or up in the catwalks. And then one day I went it up in the catwalk with a student. Shen he came back it didn’t work. He claimed he didn’t do anything, but you know, it worked when you went up and it didn’t work when you came back down, so……
    My IT department tried to reload the software, but the company was out of business and the guy who created the software for the remote had passed away. Instant obsolete!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. We have only basic appliances in the apartment. We seldom miss the advanced features. We have an over/under washer/dryer that works fine. Sitting fight in the middle of the apartment is very handy
    They all have basic parts available a mile away and the maintenance man can fix most things including the appliances. All very nice. Home Depot has a line of things for apartments and keeps all the parts on hand, even odd bits and pieces. We have an explosion of apartment buildings being built here so all to Home Depot’s profit.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Our Frigidaire refrigerator works well, except that it has the noisiest motor in the history of refrigeration. I’ve tried a couple of tips I found online, but nothing has worked. I can usually tune it out by now, but once in a while I become aware of it and yell into the kitchen “SHUT UP!”

    Liked by 3 people

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