The KitchenAid Artisan was rated as a best buy by a leading consumer testing group, relative to the other KitchenAid stand mixers. IMO it's a bit pricey, but apparently meant to last a lifetime. I'very wanted one for a long time, but finally decided to buy it, solely based on Overstock's excellent price (compared to every other etailer/retailer I could find. The also had a free attachment offer, which is ultimately why I decided to purchase when I did. Upon receipt of the shipment, it was double boxed by KitchenAid. Excellent protection for the contents. I inspected the contents thoroughly and found now noticeable defects. It's also not refurbished, as those mixers have a different part number. I've only used it twice, but it's worked perfectly so far. Note that the whip attachment is not dishwasher safe, and must be hand washed (or you'll get that ugly, white oxidation on it). All the other painted/powder coaxed attachments and the bowl are dishwasher safe. The only design "flaw" that I've encountered has been the attachment plate for the mixing bowl. From its appearance, it looks like you should be able to mount the bowl at different positions on the plate; however, it's clear that the bowl is really supposed to be attached in only one position. If it's attached in a different position on the radial plate, the bowl will not seat firmly. You can easily jiggle it to find out it's not mounted correctly. They should have made it so the bowl could only be attached one way, if it is actually important that it be done that one way (aside from the handle being in a bad location in one of the three possible attachment points, the remaining two configurations don't appear to be a problem with respect to the handle.... unless it might get in the way of some other attachment.
Received this for Christmas and love the quality and look of it. First thing I did was clear everything off my counter to make sure I had a great place to put it so everyone could see it. I almost hated to use it, but when I did it worked great. The attachments that came with it are great and can tell they are very well made. Love it!
I read mixed reviews on purchasing a 'refurbished' machine, both good and bad experiences. However, I have a brother who worked on refurbish machines at his company and he assured me that many times the refurbished machines are brand spanking new because customers changed their minds after making the purchase. This happens for many reasons, but sometimes it's buyer remorse, especially on higher price tag items. With his insight, I took the dive and made the purchase for my wife over Christmas. The mixer comes in a 'refurbished' packaging and the model number also reflects it's state. However, the actual product looks indistinguishable with the new. It does not come with the splash guard, but it does come with the whisk, dough hoke and the other third one (I forget the name) that looks like a skeleton of a spade. Some may like the open head model of the lower end KA Artisan series, but I find no problems with the lift method. The mixing attachment can be easily removed along with the bowl so that you can remove and clear any batter off the attachment before you proceed with your prep work. It's a heavy unit, so make sure you have a home for it. Right after I made this purchase, we learned from a family member that they bought a brand new machine at COSTCO for the same price I bought my refurbished model. At first this made me confused as to why a refurbished machine would cost the same as a brand new unit at Costco, but upon further investigation, I discovered that they are actually very different. The series I bought was an KA Mixer 600 Pro. The COSTCO units are model 6000HD. The two modes look almost indistinguishable on the outside, but they are completely different in the following ways. The 600 Pro has an AC motor; and the 6000HD is a DC motor. I don't have an electrical engineering degree to tell you the pros/cons of the two motor types, but I can judge from the pricing that a DC motor is cheaper to include in the units. Now, as for as it's life, I do not know how long a DC motor lasts 'vs a AC motor and which is better to handle load, but I can say that all reviews you hear about mixers that have a working life of many, many decades are almost always all AC motors. I wield Occam's Razor to then trust an AC motor solution since it's 'proven'. It's up to you to subscribe to my simplistic valuation, but that's how I went about it. I also see other differences in the bowl shape and well as the fact that the 6000HD does not have a splash guard solution. That is important if you were to need to mix things that are more viscous. My wife would have been fine if I had bought her a hand-held solution, but I believe a happy life is a happy life and I do not want her cooking pleasure to be met with injuries later on in life. She bakes because she loves the family and so I want to make the endeavor as easy on her joints and muscles as possible. I hope this mixer last us a life time and that we can pass it on to one of our kids. I would highly recommend you buy this item. The worst that could happen is that the item comes to you non-working, in which case, you can just return for another. I'm sure eventually you will get one that is in as pristine condition as ours. The best thing is that you will end up dishing out a smaller sum than a 'new' labeled machine.
I thought the idea of a clear bowl on a KitchenAid mixer was a good idea. Not a necessity, just a good idea. Having used KitchenAid stand mixers for thirty two years and having always had extra bowls, I figured I would get this. It's fine, but I think it is pricey. I splurged. It is quite heavy compared to the metal bowls so full of dough it is very heavy. If you have weak arms this might not be the best idea for you. Of course, instead of mixing heavy doughs in it (use your metal bowl) you could just use it for lighter things - cream, etc. I'm still glad I bought it!
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