Bad Experience With KitchenAid Food Processor

A few years ago I bought a Cuisinart 8 cup food processor and liked it, except for one thing: the “medium” slicing blade sliced veggies too thick for my taste. I didn’t understand the whole drill about blades fitting only certain models. Turned out that there was no 6MM (or greater) for my model, so back it went.

I took the plunge again because I was able to combine a bunch of coupons for a certain store and got a KitchenAid 9 cup (forget the exact model #). What sold me was that it has a nifty adjustable blade. They call it the “Exact Slice System” and even put a little tm next to it, but that is something of an exaggeration - my model didn’t have the lever on the outside of the machine - you adjusted the blade itself. I didn’t have a problem with that, as long as it worked.

When I tested the unit on veggies it worked fine, although it struck me as being a bit weaker than the Cuisinart. But I didn’t have the Cuisinart right there so I couldn’t be sure.

Here was my problem. The unit came with a dough blade, so presumably this unit was built so that you could mix dough.

I tried it and it was an epic fail. The unit stalled every few seconds. The only way I could get it to work was to unlock it and then start it. Stall, stall, stall.

I looked up the wattage - it’s a measly 330 watts. The Cuisinart was 600 watts.

I returned the unit immediately. The returns dept. at the vendor was very nice and refunded me everything, tax and shipping. But what a pain, and so disappointing. I waited for days for the shipping, had to be home for it, got on the subway (I live in NYC) to return it…very disappointing.

Be forewarned. Always check the wattage of your fp before buying.

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I’m never too happy with the slicing of vegetables with food processors. For precise slicing, I prefer to use my Japanese mandoline slicer.

330 watt is really disappointing, especially with the price of Kitchen Aid, we expect better.

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1/6 the wattage of a hairdryer? Crazy.

Well, if a hairdryer has 1800 watts, then yes.

BTW, have you heard of the Cuisinart recall? There have been problems with the rotary blades flaking off. Not many in the millions of units sold, but there’s been a massive recall. I considered picking up the unit I ordered and then thought better of of it. I’ll wait until Cuisinart has sorted this business out, then I’ll buy.

And they’ll probably have great sales!

The “Classic” and “Prep” Cuisinarts all use similar slicing discs and removable stems per diameter. And those are available up to 8 mm slices. It’s a bit tricky to figure out. The exceptions are the newest “Elemental” and ones where the work bowl has slanted sides- the “Elite” versions, and they have adjustable slicing discs. I believe the full model # will tell you what is part of the recall. They’ve known about this and made changes to some of their models about a year ago. For instance, the 14 cup Classic DFP-14 BCNY is not recalled. It’s the “Y” that signifies this.

I believe it still has a 750 Watt motor and you can buy an 8 mm slicing disc, or a complete set of 9 different discs on Ebay.

The blades don’t really ‘flake’, but they can crack at the rivet hole and eventually break off. The new blade is just made thicker at that area and no more rivets. KitchenAid made a good processor about 10 years ago, and it was imported from France.

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Great post. Very informative.

@alexander -

The 7 cup doesn’t have an 8MM - the thickest slicing disc is 6MM. I’m sure of this but am willing to be corrected.

I calmed down and will pick up my unit because I don’t think it’s part of the recall. My model # ends in Y - it’s DLC2007MBCY. In any case I’ll check the S-blade, and I can always order a new one. I think Cuisinart’s being good about this.

That said, according to what you are saying Cuisinart is producing processors with adjustable slicing blades…I’ll look into this. If I find something I like I’ll get that instead of the unit I ordered. I don’t pay until I pick up.

Ps - just looked into it, found this:

Not great. from 1 to 6 MM - meh. The blade you get with the unit is reversible and goes 2-4MM. I’m OK with that - but what I would rather have is 6-8MM.

The KA went from 2-10MM I believe.

Given that I don’t want to buy a 12-14 cup processor and I can spring for an extra disc, I think I’ll go with my cheapo purchase & spring for the extra blade.

I just wish that Cuisinart made an adjustable blade for my unit, but it doesn’t.

The KA disc was great. Too bad the actual processor wasn’t.

I had a KA processor - got a great deal on sale at Costco. I hated that thing. It was just awful in every respect. Finally it broke (thank god) & I bought a Cuisinart. Life is good again.

@Joe,

Sorry for your experience but glad to know I am not the only one. Misery loves company I guess.

I don’t understand what the mystique about KA is. Someone please explain that to me. I understand that the stand mixers are good (and that years ago they were truly great) but the food processors are a different breed of animal.

They seem to not like to put wattage on their boxes. I compared hand mixers at the local best buy. The Hamilton Beach had 300 watts, the Cuisinart 220 - but danged if I can tell you what the wattage of the KA is, because it wasn’t anywhere on the box. Why should I go looking for it?

Sorry Diana. the old 14 cup goes up to 8 mm and the newish 14 cup Elite 2.0 has a slicer that adjusts up to 10 mm thick. But the smaller ones only go up to 6 mm as you found out. I have both an old 7 cup and an old 14 cup. (Cuisinart) I have a 8 mm slicing disc for my 30 year old model 14 cup.
And they upgraded the 14 cup Elite 2.0 to a 10 mm. adjustable slicer.

I have a not-so-new (10+years old) KA food processor and like it well enough. It’s not for precise slicing (à la mandoline), but I have not had any issues with it being under-powered or unreliable… so far!

My kitchenaid leaked. Now I have a breville. Love it

Catchin many bass lately?

Sorry to hear of the frustration.

I’ll only add this point: wattage is not a sound guide for motor strength. If anything will tell you about a small motored appliance’s likely power, it is weight. Heavy motors use more metals, especially copper coiling, that cost a lot of money but make for better efficiency.

Example: The Hobart N50 stand mixer is 348 watts but will kick the ass of any KitchenAid or other commercial stand mixer even when rated over 1000 watts. But it weighs 50lbs. and probably cannot be found for under $1,000 even used.

But still, weight is a good general guide. Any really light food processor is likely to be crappy, and certainly not up to bread dough, the toughest general test.

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Since posting this I bought the Cuisinart 7 cup, one of the DLC models. Yes, after the recall. It’s not on the list. I’m happy with it. It has a 600 watt motor.

A watt is a derived unit of power. It may not be the only guide to motor strength, but it is one important aspect. I’m not an engineer, and I realize that a 600 watt motor isn’t necessarily “twice as powerful” as a 330 watt, but the former will convert more joules per second than the latter. Again, I’m sure that this is complicated, and that energy gets lost, etc., but watts are one important indicator as to motor strength.

My unit’s “UC weight” is 14.8 pounds. I just stood on the scale holding it and it appears to be 12 pounds.

The KC’s “item weight” was 8 pounds (Looked it up on Amazon.)

So yes, the Cuisinart is heavier - but the wattage is also greater. I think both factors are in play.

I can only say that I’ve experimented with both and the KC was an epic fail, although I did love that adjustable slicing disc. Awesome feature.

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PS, perhaps with stand mixers wattage isn’t the clearest guide to strength. Also, solidity of construction is important. No point in getting a high watt item if the construction is crap, and the energy gets lost. Efficient use of energy is as important, or more, than amount of energy. Perhaps weight is an indicator of better materials and better construction.

About weight: of course it would be possible for a cheating manufacturer to pack in some cheap metal or something to add meaningless weight, but that seems unlikely, as consumers don’t typically think about weight.

So if your Cuisinart weighs 4lbs more than the KA, it’s probably in service to motor strength and efficiency. Good luck!

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Well gear driven is a whole different world. It’s not just the power but how the power is transferred to the work. Some of you may remember back in the early days of food processors there were a lot of belt driven ones - the motor & the cup sat side by side on the base. They were total crap. The belts would wear & slip. Now they’re almost all direct drive with the cup on top of the motor. A gear driven system like that Hobart yields an almost total transfer of power from the motor to the work. It’s a monster and I crave one badly. Or maybe a bigger one…

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold