We love our stand mixers and we work them hard, but even with proper care, sometimes they need an adjustment. With a KitchenAid mixer, it’s all about the contact between the bowl and the attachment, be it the flat beater, balloon whisk or dough hook.
We find the first sign of a possible misalignment appears two different ways. After creaming butter and sugar with the flat beater and proceeding to make the rest of a batter, we find that some unmixed portions are left on the very bottom of the bowl. When beating just 2 or 3 egg whites with a balloon whisk, the attachment may be barely contacting the egg whites in the bottom of the bowl as well. All of this can be addressed. All you need is a dime and a screwdriver.
The dime test can help you determine the adjustment because a its 1/16-inch thickness is the amount of clearance that is proper for the bowl and attachment. And if this sounds crazy, have no fear, this is a KitchenAid-approved approach, so you will not damage your mixer. We offer you directions for both tilt-head and bowl-lift models.
- Place a dime in the bottom of a clean bowl attached to your mixer. Situate it in the concave areas, not on the bump in the middle.
- Attach your flat beater. Do not use any other attachment.
- Turn your mixer on halfway to the “stir” speed – level 5. What you want to see is the beater contacting the dime and moving it around the bowl about ¼ to ½ inch every time it contacts the dime. If it doesn’t touch the dime, then you know your bowl and beater are too far apart from one another. This is usually the adjustment that is needed. If the beater pushes the dime more than ½ inch each time it passes over the coin or pushes the dime up the side of the bowl instead of nudging it forward, then the clearance is too low.
- Locate the adjustment screw, which can be turned to raise or lower the beater or bowl.
- Unplug your mixer! Very important for safety.
- For tilt-head models, remove the flat beater, tilt the head back and you will see a screw right where the top and body of the mixer meet, as seen in image above. Take only quarter turns at a time – right for increasing contact, left for creating more space. Perform the dime test and re-adjust as needed. Watch this video for tilt-head models.
- For bowl-lift models, remove the flat beater and bowl. Lay the mixer down backwards on a towel so it doesn’t slip. Locate the screw right where the top and body of the mixer meet. Again, take only quarter turns at a time – right for increasing contact, left for creating more space. Perform the dime test and re-adjust as needed. Watch this video for bowl-lift models.