Adjusting Your KitchenAid Mixer

kitchenaid mixers

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Attach your flat beater. Do not use any other attachment.
  3. 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.
  4. Locate the adjustment screw, which can be turned to raise or lower the beater or bowl.
  5. Unplug your mixer! Very important for safety.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

43 Responses to Adjusting Your KitchenAid Mixer

  1. Linda December 31, 2013 at 7:13 am #

    Thanks so much for this great information. I received my first KA mixer as a wedding gift in 1984. After many years of use the flat beater outer coating was wearing off. I had to send my mixer in to be adjusted, if I had only known this tip then.

    • Dede Wilson December 31, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

      I owned mine for years as well before I learned this trick. It’s like calibrating an oven. Some models you can do yourself and once you learn, it’s so easy. I would consider writing a pot about this except that each oven is different. I guess the tip is to know that this is something that can be DIY!

  2. Debbie January 5, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

    I have a hand mixer and I would so love to win one of these it has been one of my dreams.. I would love the hot pink one!!!!!

  3. Kathy Granger January 5, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

    I do not have a kitchen aid stand mixer but both my daughters do. I really want one but can not afford one . I love all the colors but ny favorite is the tourquise

  4. Stacy McCain January 5, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    I just Love Kitched Aid thing’s I had the stove ,Ihave the stanmixer for 17 year’ the sam for the foodprossesor. They do the job in the kitchen ,the place I hsve stayed in for 35 year’s.

  5. Sandra January 5, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

    I really am glad you posted this helpful instruction about this adjustment. I’ve needed it for a long time. I have had KA mixers for way over 30 years. I had one of them with a bad switch. I called about repair, but they sent me a new one and had me return it in the same packaging and then they picked it up by UPS at no charge to me. I was so surprised that it encouraged me by several KA products. Recently my mixer leaked a lot of oil, so I called KA and they were charging me a lot of money to just have it checked and then to pay for the repair and it just went on until I could have purchased a new one. That’s disappointing to me enough to just go to another brand.

    • Dede Wilson January 6, 2014 at 10:20 am #

      I would reach out again. Maybe call the 800# and ask for a supervisor. It never hurts to try!

  6. Susan January 6, 2014 at 9:46 am #

    Thank-you! I’ve had this mixer for about 5 years, and now it finally works right!! I have avoided using it very much, because of that problem.

  7. Kirsten/ComfortablyDomestic January 7, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

    I adjusted my mixer this morning, and now it works like a champ! Thank you for sharing such a great tip!

  8. Rebecca January 18, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

    I have adjusted the screw as far as it will go and there is still too much space between the bowl and the beater. Now what?

    • Dede Wilson January 19, 2014 at 8:42 am #

      Now is the time to call customer service. Let them know you already tried the adjustment. I will be curious to see what they say. Let us know!

    • Marsha Mailloux December 15, 2015 at 12:31 am #

      I too have the same problem, I have turned the screw to the maximum and it still won’t touch the dime, ingredients not getting mixed in the bottom…did you find a solution?

      • Fezzick March 17, 2016 at 6:26 pm #

        See my post below…the adjustment is made by accessing a nut located inside the body of the unit.

  9. Julia March 22, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

    The internet saves the day again! I was going crazy adjusting my new mixer, turning the screw what I thought was a lot with seemingly no results. Then I found the dime test. Wouldn’t you know it took 1-1/2 whole turns from the factory setting to get that dime to move! Thanks!

    • Dede Wilson March 23, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

      So glad we were of help! Once you do it, it is so easy!

  10. Sandy Mc April 20, 2014 at 11:56 am #

    So I found this blog and figured out this is why the coating is coming off my flat beater! I think i probably have to replace the beater… still not sure i have the adjustment right though, every once in a while the dime flips up – so sounds like it still isn’t right??

    • Dede Wilson April 21, 2014 at 8:51 am #

      Hi Sandy, yes it sounds like yours is a bit tight. I have had the same issue over the years with bits of the beater coating coming off. Why not order an all-metal one? They offer non-coated ones that they refer to as ““burnished”“. Make sure to buy the right one for your model mixer.

      • Sandy Mc April 21, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

        Yes, I debated between the two for quite some time. I read a lot of comments about the ‘burnished’ version getting ruined if it soaks in bowl of hot water too long or, heaven forbid, it goes through the dishwasher cycle – so I decided to just get another coated one and keep trying to adjust till I get it right – it sure isn’t hard too do and I really appreciate the video posted to show what it is supposed to look like. I think I am getting close! thanks for your quick response.. great new site to add to my bookmarks!

  11. Claire Wright September 18, 2015 at 5:25 am #

    How often should you need to do this? I have had my KitchenAid mixer for about a year and a half and had endless problems with it – it’s been in to KA customer service for review twice where they adjusted the height and sent it back (we had already done it one of these times!). Even after their adjustments, each time it has started jumping and moving independently after the catch comes loose after just a few weeks of them adjusting it! This is after making just a couple of loaves of normal bread! They are still insisting that it must simply need adjusting, but I’m starting to wonder why I spent all this money on a KA mixer if it’s going to need adjusting after every few loaves! Is this normal or could it be that the catch on mine is actually faulty??

    • Dede Wilson September 18, 2015 at 7:36 am #

      Oh My. Sounds like a lemon to me. If I were in your position, I would call again and keep asking to go up the ladder to a supervisor’s supervisor. They should have your record of adjustments. It isn’t “normal” and I would say this isn’t the kind of quality you expected or understand these units to possess…lemons occur with cars, really any type of appliance or electrical item…I would make a hard bid for a replacement. Squeaky wheel…calm but firm…

      • Claire Wright September 18, 2015 at 4:23 pm #

        Thank you. We’ve been pushing them a bit because we just don’t see how it can be anything but a faulty machine. At one point they were suggesting we re-adjust before every loaf, which totally defeats the time-and-energy-saving point of getting a stand mixer in the first place! I think we just need to keep pushing them until they accept something is wrong! How often do you usually need to adjust a working mixer?

        • Dede Wilson September 18, 2015 at 6:13 pm #

          Oh honey you ain’t gonna want to hear this but even with the Test Kitchen being as crazy as it is, I only adjust it maybe 1x a year!!!!! You need to press them and press then hard(er).

  12. Fezzick March 17, 2016 at 6:22 pm #

    For all those who have either the Original Hobart (pre-90’s) or the Professional 600’s the screw you can see from the front of the unit (above the armature when the bowl is in the ‘down’ position) will NOT make the adjustment.

    You must lay the unit on it’s side or back to access a 7/16″ nut from within the body of the unit. As you look at the nut, turning it clockwise will shorten the distance between the attachments and the bowl, while turning counter-clockwise will increase the gap.

    I hope this helps…seemed to be something that was not very readily available online and most descriptions were either of a different unit or suggested turning the flat-head screw that rests just above the armature. The same screw which many here had clearly attempted to turn and all mentioned that it would only turn a 1/2-turn at most before stopping – at which point, unfortunately, you returned the unit for another rather than KitchenAid support giving you the correct information.

    I hope this helps.

    • Marsha Mailloux March 17, 2016 at 8:31 pm #

      H Fezzick, thank you for your response regarding adjusting the bowl height on a pro 600, however I don’t know which nut you are referring to. Could you please tell me where or how percisely do I find this nut? Doineed to remove the metal band and top cover or is the nut visible from outside? Thank you, I greatly appreciate your help, as it is I am not enjoying my mixer much.

    • will April 28, 2020 at 2:14 pm #

      Elaborating on Fezzick’s procedure. Unplug the machine, remove the beater and the bowl, and gently turn the mixer upside down supporting the base between your legs, or if you have a workbench, lay it on its side. Be careful of the on/off switch and the bowl lift handle/mechanism. A pic would be worth a 1000 words here, but I don’t see a facililty for uploading one. As such, you’ll see 3 silver Phillips head screws that hold the mixer head support column to the base. You’ll also see two little “windows” that enable you to look up into the support column. Viewed through either one of these windows you’ll see Fezzick’s 7/16″ nut. It’s a nylon locknut. You will need a 7/16″ socket on a 6″ extension; I used 1/4″ driver and socket. Turn the locknut CCW to increase the space between the bottom of the beater and the bowl or CW to decrease. My problem was not enough space even with the adjustment screw on the front of the support column turned all the way to the left. I turned the locknut out 1.5 turns and then did the “dime test.” Don’t turn the locknut out too far as it might fall off. As insurance, I placed a little dab of silicone sealer on a long screwdriver and applied it to the locknut so there was no chance if would fall off. Seems like a hell of a lot to go through on a brand new mixer, but I just didn’t want the hassle of going through a repair shop. Will gladly send photos if you need them. It’s not a difficult procedure. Thank you. Bill

      • Ahmed January 16, 2022 at 1:44 am #

        I can’t get my bowl high enough. I found a lock nut inside the bottom, but it only seems to adjust the tension on the spring, not control the height of the bowl, and it’s extremely hard to tighten it further. Perhaps a photo would be helpful, can you please email one to Thank you!

        • Will January 16, 2022 at 1:15 pm #

          Ahmed, I’ll try to get a few pics and upload here but this will take some time.

    • WWill September 4, 2022 at 3:47 pm #

      Well, that’s about backwards.

      I am among several other things an industrial engineer. Much retired, way out of date, but gadgets and gizmos are my “thing.” Of COURSE I took the base off and looked into it when my wife mentioned having to scrape the bowl bottom excessively when she made a batch of my black-chocolate-chocolate chip-hazelnut cookies.

      (I got the little spider out of there – she got evicted to a crevice outside since inside my mixer is only a good place for her to starve. Then I cleaned the odd web, and some loose flour, out of there as well, and put some heavy food-grade silicone lube on the rotating parts. Well, I was in there anyway…)

      The ONLY adjustment to the bowl-lift height is the screw visible when the bowl is in the down position.

      I was inside mine, up to about half-way to the elbow, to actually touch the mechanism without removing any more bits. (THAT would be a pain in the tuchus though not unthinkable; forceps and a lot of patience with things mechanical would be needed in the tight space available.)

      The 7/16ths inch nut on the end of the curved shaft in the middle of the support column is to increase or decrease the spring tension of the bowl-lift arm handle. That “bump” when you finish raising the bowl, or the resistance you feel initially when lowering the bowl, in other words.

      Tightening that nut would pre-load (compress) the spring, making it a bit harder to turn the bowl-lift handle to raise the bowl. Conversely, loosening it would make it a bit easier to lift/turn. (Loosen it a touch too far and you’re playing fun games with the forceps and such getting it back on there.)

      That’s it. Not even remotely associated with bowl height adjustment.

      The screw on the outside front of the column, visible with the bowl down, is used to rotate (1/2 turn in total) a small metal cam, which is the ‘stop’ for the bowl arm supports. As you rotate the bowl-lift handle, the bowl arms rise until, inside the column, that bit which is supporting the bowl contacts the cam, at which point that tension adjustment spring gets compressed. It keeps on compressing until the bowl-lift handle gets to -its- stop, about 3/4ths of a turn total.

      The spring has zero bearing on the height to which the bowl will rise. Only the cam.

      I rotated the cam (via the outside screw, and found that there are really only three “adjustment” heights. There are three flat spots on this cam, of varying depths: one at full-clockwise, one at center, and one at full-counter-clockwise.

      I do not know about anyone else’s machine, but the highest bowl setting was the one where the screw was turned fully COUNTER-clockwise (to the left). The bowl gets progressively lower as you turn the screw clockwise (to the right).

      If tightening that nut helped you, all well and good, glad you’re back in business. But looking at the mechanism under a nice bright light, I have not the foggiest bloody clue how it possibly could have affected something in which it is not actually involved, functionally.

      • Moe C December 10, 2022 at 12:51 pm #

        This post was most helpful.

  13. Marsha Mailloux March 17, 2016 at 8:30 pm #

    H Fezzick, thank you for your response regarding adjusting the bowl height on a pro 600, however I don’t know which nut you are referring to. Could you please tell me where or how percisely do I find this nut? Doineed to remove the metal band and top cover or is the nut visible from outside? Thank you, I greatly appreciate your help, as it is I am not enjoying my mixer much.

  14. Louisa Reddekopp July 21, 2016 at 2:07 pm #

    I have the Kitchen Aid professional 600 and my beater isn’t reaching the bottom of the bowl. I turned the machine on its side and on the very bottom are three screws holding the platform piece on. Remove these and the platform will com off and you will see up inside the mixer stand. the screw you need to adjust is in there. Im off to find a socket that will fit so I can adjust mine!

    • Glenn Funk July 21, 2016 at 5:29 pm #

      I have the Kitchen Aid professional 600 and my beater isn’t reaching the bottom of the bowl in a new unit, I just lowered the bowl and there the screw to turn is exposed. I turned it a hair a little at a time to the left until the dime in the bowl moved like very slight with each pass. If the adjustment does not work for you on a KA Pro 600 KP26M1X model something is wrong. I did the adjustment with KA on the phone. See this link below also.

      • Glenn Funk July 21, 2016 at 7:37 pm #

        Some people using odd ways to adjust there mixer, I mean page 12 in your KA manual is there for a reason, Turning bolts or nuts and taking out screws is crazy, If you need to do all that you need a mixer repair. My old lady is happy. I’m only talking about the Pro 600 model KP26’s. The 6QT 575watt model.

  15. OldPhart October 31, 2017 at 4:14 pm #

    I followed the instructions to the letter and it worked perfectly; however, when I put the whisk on, the whisk actually rests on the bottom of the mixer metal bowl. Does this mean that I have to adjust the screw settings differently for every type of head attachment (flat beater, whisk, dough hook)?

    • Dede Wilson October 31, 2017 at 4:25 pm #

      Great question! I haven’t had this experience and would suggest a call to corporate. Could be something else is off-kilter. You definitely don’t want the wire whip banging or dragging along.

      • OldPhart October 31, 2017 at 6:14 pm #

        Did as you suggested. The CSR checked and explained that this is unusual but is probably a slightly deformed whisk. They will put a replacement in the mail to me first thing tomorrow.

        • Dede Wilson November 1, 2017 at 11:58 am #

          Awesome! That’s a good response from them:)

  16. dle313 December 2, 2018 at 2:57 pm #

    Is this the same process for a Hamilton Beach stand mixer? I’m not able to turn the screw, nor is my husband. Is it just that it’s tight, or not supposed to be turned?

  17. Dede Wilson December 3, 2018 at 2:47 pm #

    These directions are for a KitchenAid mixer only.

  18. Andrew February 19, 2019 at 1:43 pm #

    I’ve done the dime test, and it just seems that the adjustment screw does nothing. Or, at least, the mixer is so far off, the adjustment screw can’t set things correctly. The beater contacts the bottom of the bowl, regardless of where the screw is set at. At first, I thought it could be that the bowl was not clicked in properly. However, after verifying that the bowl was properly locked in place, my flat beater still contacts the bottom of the bowl, regardless of where the adjustment screw is set!

    Any ideas? I have contacted KitchenAid, which only told me to do the dime test or take it to a repair facility. Unfortunately, I did not even attempt to use this mixer until after my 90 day warranty was up. That’s my fault for not verifying it right away, but it was purchased as a wedding gift, so I didn’t have a whole lot of that 90 days left by the time we received it anyway. The model is the 6000 HD (essentially 600 Professional with metal gearbox and DC motor).

    • Dede Wilson February 19, 2019 at 1:52 pm #

      Hi there. A couple of questions…are you using the flat paddle and bowl that came with the mixer? If so, I would call again and be a squeaky wheel. Ask for a supervisor etc. They used to be responsive…Good luck!

  19. sloansleydale September 21, 2019 at 8:23 pm #

    This information is in the 600 pro manual. I had the same trouble as many below in that turning the screw all the way to the right results in no contact with the dime. The simple explanation is that the directions in this article are backwards! Turn clockwise to increase the gap and counterclockwise to decrease it (i.e. raise the bowl). The screw only turns half a turn in total by design., just make sure you are turning it the right way.

  20. Fiona December 20, 2019 at 10:43 pm #

    So glad to see this post is still alive. I have the KA Pro 6 and have had it for close to 15 years or more. I was always frustrated that the beater didn’t go right down to the bottom of the bowl, but just lived with it. I had no idea the beater could be adjusted. That would have saved me so much stopping and scraping.

    This past week, I took my mixer out to use, after a rather long hiatus, and discovered the beater hitting the side of the bowl. Now, I knew THAT wasn’t right, so off to google I went and found out about the screw. It was really hard to turn to the left, for my adjustment, but, I managed it in the end. I did the dime test and it seems about right. Unfortunately, it’s done nothing to fix the beater hitting the bowl. When I looked closer, where the bowl is held, the arms seem off kilter; one arm seems to be off to the side. I did notice the mechanism on the inside, but I’d like to know if anyone has an idea of how to fix this, before I go tinkering. Thank you for the help.

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