Our KitchenAid 600 Professional 6-Quart Mixer
When we started The Wright Taste in 2007, I borrowed two KitchenAid stand mixers - one from Mom and one from my friend Heather. Each had a 4-quart bowl and I could make a standard batch of bread (two loaves) in each one. We had no idea how popular that bread would become and soon I was making 8 to 10 dozen loaves in one day. Those mixers were on from the crack of dawn until the middle of the night.
One day, Mom showed up and told Harry he needed to go out to her car. She decided we needed a bigger, more powerful mixer so nothing would happen to Heather's. So, Mom's investment in The Wright Taste was a KitchenAid 600.
Suddenly, I could mix FOUR loaves of bread at once. I can't count how many loaves of bread, dozens of garlic & cheese rolls and cinnamon rolls our mixer has made. The other night, we realized that we've had this mixer since around October of 2007. While for a normal kitchen, it's still an infant, our KitchenAid 600 has done the work of at least a hundred home kitchens in that amount of time.
In almost 4 1/2 years, Harry has given it the occasional tune-up (it's out of warranty now) and in 2010, we needed to replace some funky rotor thing that makes the attachments go around. It's due for another tune-up in which Harry takes it apart and cleans all the insides and with a little as we use it now compared to the way we used it then, it will probably last the rest of our lives.
We have practically every attachment available, if not all. We've ground meat, we've used it to make tomato juice and we've made pasta with the extruder.
About KitchenAid's warranty: I broke my first 600. I followed the instructions as to how much whole grain flour it recommended but my Multi-grain bread was too stiff. The KitchenAid started clanking something horrible and I'd only had it a few months. I called the toll-free number for service, hoping to have it repaired.
The rep asked me to turn the mixer on and he immediately heard the awful noise. No problem - we'll send you a new one right away. I had a brand-new in-the-box KitchenAid 600 delivered to my door in 2 days. They included a shipping label for the broken machine and FedEx came back the next day to pick it up. That's why we will continue to buy KitchenAid products that fit our needs - the service and I have proof of how much abuse one of their stand mixers will take.
Is there a tool in your kitchen that you can't live without? Feel free to leave a comment or a link to a post - I'd love to hear about it!