In the interests of full disclosure, I will acknowledge that I received this product specifically to try it out for a review. It was made clear, however, that I should be honest. In no way did anyone influence what I would say.
This mixer is a famous brand stand mixer want-to-be and falls way short of that goal. Yes, it's at a substantially lower price point, but sometimes, it's best to pay more and know you'll be more satisfied with the results. Please don't expect to get a quality stand mixer for $98. For those of you who appreciate detail, I'll review each component before I discuss what I made with the mixer.
My first reaction when I picked it up was how light it was in the box. I was expecting to need help to carry it to my car. I walked a good city block with it, no problem. When I got home and took it out of the box, I thought it looked pretty sleek with the black motor housing and body. And then I realized it's made entirely of plastic. That's why it's so light. This is a plus for anyone who doesn't have the counter space for a stand mixer (present company included -- I have to make room), but it's also a detriment because it's too light to perform well. Even the wheel that the bowl sits on is plastic. The only nonplastic parts are the bowl, beaters and dough hooks.
The mixer does have a nice variety of speeds, but doesn't seem to be able to handle even the simplest jobs well, such as making basic boxed brownies. More on that below. Even at higher speeds, the motor is relatively quiet. The problem arises with the vibration of the motor housing. The whole top part vibrates loudly and bounces around even on the simplest jobs. If you hold your hand over the top, it is less noisy and active, but why would anyone deal with that? The whole point of having a stand mixer is to make mixing easy.
I tested the mixer with three items from easiest to hardest in terms of demand and load, and it performed miserably each time: 1) Basic boxed brownies, 2) Gooey butter cake and 3) Wheat bread. I followed the instructions and began with the lowest possible speed for each item I made. The instructions note that higher speeds can cause a "snow storm effect." Even at the lowest speed, the mixer spewed the dry ingredients for all three items -- and I added them gradually sensing this problem was going to happen. It didn't just spew brownie mix, flour and powdered sugar -- it also spit out the melted butter I poured in VERY SLOWLY.
The second crucial problem is that the bowl rarely turns. I guess the momentum of the beaters/dough hooks are supposed to make the bowl turn, but that doesn't work. I had to physically turn the bowl myself by hand. In addition, the mixer does not distribute the ingredients in the bowl or mix them adequately. Most of the time, there was a large amount of unmixed ingredients that the beaters/dough hooks ignored. I had to turn the mixer off, move the ingredients in the bowl closer to the beaters and then start over mixing. It took me longer to make my items than it would have had I used a hand mixer because I kept having to stop, scrape the bowl with a spatula, move the ingredients around and start over. Add to this the aggravation of the bowl not turning and the plastic housing vibrating and jumping around. It jumps around so much, it acts like it's going to break.
This mixer is made cheaply and does not do the job. Please do not waste your money. You will be disappointed. I am going to give this mixer away to my local charity and continue using my hand mixer. At least I know I have to scrape the bowl and turn it myself when I use it. I should not have to do that with a stand mixer. Having to do so defeats the whole purpose of the stand mixer.
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