KitchenAid stand mixers are well built and extremely robust but over time, they’ll run into issues just the same as anything else. There are resources and services facilities that make it somewhat easy to have your mixer repaired. Also, the machines are basic enough that many people can take them apart, diagnose an issue, and repair them at home.
When I’m taking apart my mixer, I like to get everything ready and prepare a spot. Altogether, with preparation and disassembly, it takes about an hour or less. As long as you are prepared and organized, disassembling your KitchenAid stand mixer for whatever reason isn’t very difficult.
I would also recommend doing some research outside of this article to gain some more insight. The more you know about your machine, the more prepared you will be to disassemble and self-repair in the future.
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When to Disassemble Your Mixer
There are a couple of different reasons why you might need to disassemble your machine either partially or entirely.
First of all, you might be hearing some strange noises or seeing an oil leak from the casing. Other times, your mixer may not be working at all. Diagnostics and self-repair are the most common reasons to take apart your mixer and once you take off the casing, you will be able to see into the gears and the inner workings of the machine.
Another reason to disassemble your stand mixer is to re-grease the upper compartment and the associated gears. A lot of people who are committed to taking care of their mixers will do this about once a year, potentially more for mixers that get used pretty heavily.
Regardless of why you are disassembling your mixer, make sure that you are choosing the right time. Make sure that you’ve got enough time to dedicate to the task and make sure that you don’t need to cook anything any time soon. If something goes wrong during the disassembly or re-assembly, you might not be able to use your mixer by the time you need to cook.
What You’ll Need
Disassembling your stand mixer only requires a handful of supplies and you might already have everything you need around the house. The items include:
- Phillips screwdriver
- Small hammer
- Flat head screwdriver
- Pin punch (or something solid and small that you can stick in a small hole)
- Putty knife
Also, don’t forget to prepare the area and yourself from the task. For that, you’ll need:
- Newspaper or drop cloth
- Thin disposable gloves
- Clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty
KitchenAid stand mixers can be very messy so I’d recommend putting a drop cloth or some newspaper over your kitchen table. This would give you a lot of space and as long as everything is covered, you won’t get anything dirty. Once you get your machine apart, you will be looking at a lot of gooey greases that can make a mess if you aren’t careful.
Tips for Disassembling Your Mixer
Other than ways to stay clean, there are some other things that I recommend for those looking to disassemble their mixers.
First of all, I recommend laying the disassembled pieces out in the order that they were removed. This way, you create a deconstructed version of the KitchenAid stand mixer and you can visualize how the pieces go back together. If you get confused, you know which order the pieces go on, which will help you when reassembling your mixer.
Also, remember to store all of the screws in a safe place, whether it’s a cup or another container. The last thing that you want is to lose important screws that hold your mixer together.
If it’s helpful, you can at any moment lay the mixer on its side to access screws or another piece. It’s important to have cloth or something underneath so that you don’t damage the paint.
The Disassembly Process
Step 1: The first thing that you can do is remove the back cover of the mixer. There is usually only one screw holding it in place and it’s located on the top. Unscrew that and you should be able to slide the back cover off.
Step 2: Next, you can remove the metal band that wraps around your mixer. There should be one screw on each side holding that in place and once you remove those, you can slide the band off. If it’s troublesome, you can pry it lightly with a screwdriver.
Step 3: Before you can take the top of the mixer off, you’ll have to remove what’s called the “planetary”, which is where the rotating mechanism is on your mixer. There’s another metal band wrapped around this area and you can pry this off with a flat head screwdriver as well.
Step 4: Once you’ve pulled the ring off, you can get to the rest of the planetary housing but this is where you’ll need a hammer and a pin punch. Each of these stand mixers has a small pin that secures the planetary cover so stick your pin punch in the hole and lightly tap the back end with a hammer. You should see the pin come through to the other side and from there, you can grab it with your hands or with a pair of pliers.
Step 5: Once that cover is gone, you’ll see seven screws on the underside of the mixer in the spot you just uncovered. Remove all seven screws. Keep in mind that one of the screws might have a safety locking mechanism and if that’s the case, you need to remember where it goes so that you put it back in the right spot. Once all seven screws are removed, look to the other end of the mixer.
Step 6: On the underside of the back end of the mixer, there are two other screws that you need to remove.
Step 7: Unclip the power cord from the notch in the back (you can do this by hand) and make sure that it won’t get caught when you lift up the top half of the mixer.
Step 8: Now you’ll be able to lift the entire top half of the mixer off of the top. This top piece carries the motors and many of the gears that make your mixer work but there will also be many parts that stay on the base of the machine when you lift the top piece off.
Depending on the KitchenAid model that you have, your power cord might be at the bottom of the mixer. If that’s the case, you can simply remove the screws on the back of your mixer toward the bottom. If it’s on the bottom, there might also be a small rubber piece that needs to come out and you might need pliers for that.
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Do you need to replace a gear? Do you need to disassemble the phase control or the motor shaft? These things are a bit more advanced and might require a little more know-how to complete.
In general, how far you need to disassemble your mixer will depend on what you are doing. For example, when you need to get deep inside your KitchenAid stand mixers, this will take some more time. As you go deeper, you also want to make sure that you’ll know how to put the mixer back together again. There is a lot that you could do with the casing that holds the motor and there will be more thorough guides out there that can walk you through these kinds of repairs.
Reassembling Your Mixer
If you’ve kept things organized, reassembling your mixer shouldn’t be too difficult. You should be able to follow the disassembly instructions in reverse order until you wind up back where you started.
If you removed the grease from your mixer, make sure that you filled the mixer with enough fresh grease before you put it back together. I’d also inspect each of the pieces to check for damage or anything else unusual. If something did happen to be damaged, you could fix it or replace it and avoid disassembling your mixer twice.
Once your mixer is reassembled, you should test it right away to make sure that it’s working correctly. If you notice anything strange that wasn’t there before, you shouldn’t wait to address it. As inconvenient as it is, I’d recommend taking the mixer apart again, inspecting as you go, until you find what’s causing this new problem.
Do Your Research
Apart from this article, I think it’s also helpful to watch videos of other people taking their stand mixers apart. Often, you can find tutorials for specific fixes so if you know exactly why you need to take your mixer apart, you can search for a video. This way, you not only have the text-based walkthrough but you also have the visual aid to help you feel more confident about what you are doing.
Make Sure That You’re Not Under Warranty
Be careful disassembling your mixer while you are still under warranty. Messing with your machine while it’s under warranty might void the warranty, which would mean that KitchenAid won’t cover future repairs. I recommend reading the warranty information before taking apart your machine. Then you can decide whether or not you want to continue.