July 24, 2014

Can KitchenAid Stand up to the Grind?

One of the easiest ways I have found to get calcium and vitamins into my kids is to offer them smoothies as an after school snack.I just throw a variety of frozen fruit, yogurt and some milk into the blender and produce a treat they love. This is a great time of year to pull out the blender and make a cool treat.

I have been doing this for years using a Hamilton Beach blender I purchased on sale at a local drugstore almost twenty years ago. Now we have a problem. kitchenaid-blender.gifAbout five years ago, my husband bought me a Kitchenaid blender that claims to be strong enough to crush ice at all speeds, but after years of occasional use, the coupler started breaking apart.The coupler is that small black gear-like circle that connects the blender jar and blades to the base. It has broken in two stages. The first time, when two pieces broke off, I called Kitchenaid customer service. The representative there was friendly and sympathetic, but as our blender was out of warranty, she offered no advice other than that we could continue to use the blender as it was although, it would add a slight strain to the motor and therefore shorten the lifespan of the appliance somewhat.

kitchenaid-blender-drive-coupling.gif

So, we continued using the blender for the next few months.Yesterday, two more pieces of coupler broke off.I have sent the base to be repaired at an authorized repair shop at a cost of $25. This is not a huge cost, but as a percentage of an $80 blender, it seems high considering how often (or not, really) we used it. I just think a blender that claims to be an ice crushing, high powered appliance, made by a quality manufacturer should be more durable.

Comments

  1. Krista Brunken says:

    The coupler on our Kitchen Aid Blender Model No. KSB50B4 disintegrated last night. The first two blades broke off the blender within the first year. We continued to use the blender occasionally; however, we are completely dissatisfied with this product.

  2. Krista,
    Thanks for posting your experience with your KitchenAid blender.I have been using my newly repaired blender with no problems so far. I took mine to a local authorized repair shop, but the coupler part is available online for around $9. The coupler seems to just come off with a few counter-clockwise turns. You might want to consider this option.

  3. StarfishJim says:

    We have had our KitchenAid KSB5WW4 blender for only four years and just yesterday the black rubber coupling also disintegrated like so many other people’s have done. Interestingly enough, ours didn’t loose any teeth, rather the rubber became all soft and pliable, sort of like silly putty. And I don’t think it was heat related because it is still sitting on the counter, cool but soft and pliable. Thus, I think they are doomed to fail regardless of how hard you stress the machine.

    As an engineer, I know rubber formulations can be tricky to get right, especially ones that last. I don’t know whether KitchenAid specified this faulty design knowingly, as a way to gain repair revenue, or completely by mistake, but whatever the case, it is a poor, poor design.

    I can’t think of many things that last anymore, even though we pay the extra $ for “the good stuff”. A friend of mine remarked, “Sadly, it won’t be long before the design and build quality of all our machines looks like something out of the movie Brazil”. If you haven’t seen the movie, picture a dark world where everything is sort of half-assembled, held together with duct tape, and just barely working.

    I just ordered 2 more couplings because we like the blender otherwise and I suspect the new coupling will also fail unless they have changed the rubber formulation.

  4. The problem with this appliance is the design of the fly wheel in the base of the blender container. It only engages two of the teeth of the coupler so all of the pressure of grinding whatever is in the container is placed on only two of the teeth. A different drive design would distribute this force evenly and the coupler would probably hold up. I have just had to order the same part, and have to say that this is a pretty inexcusable design flaw from a manufacturer that claims to produce the “best.”

  5. My coupler is also disintegrating. I have owned my blender for about 2 years, and mainly use it for mixing up shakes with the addition of frozen fruit. Occassionally, I also use ice, but it is supposed to be able to handle that. A year or so ago, the first tooth broke off. Then another. Now today, 2 more teeth came off, so I am left with only 2. Time to order one, for sure! I paid a fair bit for this blender, and am disappointed that has such a poorly manufactured part.

  6. Wow, KitchenAid should offer to replace these blenders which are defective. The exact same problem is happening to me with my model KSB50B4 blender. Two teeth broke, then two more. I’m glad that I can replace the coupler thanks to your postings but it looks like so many people have EXACTLY THE SAME PROBLEM, which means this product is defective and the manufacturer should replace them free of charge.

  7. Elmar Magnússon says:

    I’M having the same problem. model model 5ksb5egr3. the black rubber coupling disintegrated :o(

  8. Yes, I too have experienced this problem. The coupler on ours began to disintegrate and I e-mailed Kitchenaid about this problem. They e-mailed me back a pathetic excuse saying someone must have lifted the glass container piece while the coupler was still rotating. I was disgusted with their lame response which entailed instructions on mailing the thing to some repair service which would cost oodles of moola for assessment and repair, not to mention postage. PATHETIC CUSTOMER SERVICE. If you have a proplem of this magnitude, confess to it, and reapir free of charge…this is the way to build a loyal customer base.

  9. Same problem and my coupler is totally flat as all teeth disappeared altogether. Will try to remove and order another I guess…very, very flawed!

  10. Same problem! Mine disintegrated today. Where can you find the replacement online for $9.00? Thanks.

  11. NightOwl says:

    Blake, I suggest doing a quick search for the part, including your model number. Look here at appliance.net soon for parts and repair centers. We will have complete directories to local repair centers and parts for online or local purchase.

  12. James Laird says:

    Okay, we’re another family having the *same exact* problem. First two teeth missing, then another two, and today the last two teeth shredded off the coupler. We’re *really* unhappy with our KitchenAid model KSB5WW4 blender. Even if I can get a replacement coupler, am I going to keep doing that over and over?

  13. same problem we need to do something with company its to expensive product to have this kind of problem

  14. Blender-my coupling broke on the 4th of July right in the middle of a crowd of friends waiting for ice cold drinks. I called KitchenAid today. No help, except they told me that the part could be purchased on the internet, only after I refused to go to the service center.

    They also told me the blender was 8 years old. I haven’t had it 3 years. They apparently, had them sitting in dry hot warehouses ruining the plastic parts and maybe even the circuit boards. They should have sent me the part free if they wanted to maintain their reputation. Also, why were these old blenders allowed to be sold under their name anyway. When you choose to please the stockholders over your customers, you pay with your brand name and lose customers, then you won’t have any stockholders.

    I love my mixer–BUT WOULD NEVER BUY ANOTHER BLENDER FROM KITCHENAID. Why should you buy a small appliance that has to be repaired anyway.

  15. To purchase part and instructions for replacement go to mendingshed.com. The part is available elsewhere.

  16. I have this same blender and have had that wheel brake into pieces twice on me, i like kitchen aid style but not that good quality, i am now looking for other manufacturers to purchase a replacement! So long Kitchen Aid… :(

  17. Well the same thing happened with my kitchenaid blender. It is only three years old! It has always been used by two adults. All the teeth but two have broken off. I remember how excited I was the day I went into Bed Bath and Beyond with my 20% off coupon and the current kitchenaid rebate that was going on. Even with the discounts, I think it was a mistake to buy this junky blender. I don’t want to spend $10 (when you add shipping) and an hour of my time (when you include net research and part ordering and DIY “repair”) every few years just because this blender was built so poorly. I don’t even want to start the cycle of telling myself that I can “just keep fixing it myself.” Pu-lease. I’ve lost all trust in Kitchenaid.

  18. Let me add my woe to the list. My coupler disintegrated also. I guess it’s safe to say anytime rubber meets metal the rubber will loose (eventually). The instructions referenced here are fine but let me add my suggestion. Two hammers(no, there is no blow torch involved). I used the claw of one hammer to get under the coupler and used the other hammer to hit the head. The screwdriver wasn’t working very well for me and was scratching the top up too much. You just need confidence that the coupling will give before the shaft (and it does). Also, the rubber on the coupling will peel away at some point exposing the alum coupling underneath. Now you are making progress. Keep going. Good luck.

  19. We have a different problem with our Kitchenaid. The coupler and shaft has worked loose and no longer has resistance. However, if coupler and spindle is held upwards it seems to regain inertia but this fails again once released. Had ours for four years and went throught the ‘disintegration’ stage two years ago. This now seems to be another fault! Anyone else had this?

  20. Tom Frizzell says:

    Mine is a different issue. The blades in our KSB50B4 blender were never sharp. That is they are totally flat and my wife kept complaining about this expensive blender. I took it apart and looked at the blades, no edge whatever. I have contacted KitchenAid 3 times without any response to my question, “Is this the way the blender is made?” Glad I found this site to vent on. We bought a cheap Oster that works just as well as their high-proced model.

  21. I’ve had my KitchenAid Blender Model #KSB50B4 for about 2 years. The coupler tore apart last night while I was making an iced beverage. The blades of the blender were never sharp since I had it, but it always seemed to get the job done otherwise. I was pretty happy with my blender until last night. I paid for this “over-priced” blender because of the KitchenAid Brand, but having read all of the above simular complaints, I will probably replace my current blender with a more inexpensive one…At least if it breaks, I won’t feel so bad having to buy another one.

  22. The black rubber coupling used on KitchenAid blenders is obviously defective. It is inexcusable for KitchenAid to not address this and at least offer clear path for replacement part. Our coupling completely broke into a dozen pieces with one use. The rubber compound has softened and is obviously of very poor quality.

    I will never buy KitchenAid products again.

  23. My bottom exploded also what is up with that

  24. “My bottom exploded also what is up with that”

    LOL I hope you’re talking about a blender.

    I have a similar complaint, just a drop in the bucket.

  25. Yep – same problem here. Was just mixing a smoothie when the black rubber coupler disintegrated! Some friends brought a Blendtec blender over the other day. Now _that_ is a blender. The coupler is metal and has more than 2 contact points. I guess that’s why you don’t see Kitchen Aide blenders on http://www.willitblend.com. :)
    No more KitchenAid!

  26. Debbie G says:

    Thanks for all the info everyone! My coupler bit the dust yesterday. Will try to buy the piece to replace for now, but will buy a new blender eventually. Too bad for Kitchenaid.

  27. Sounds like KitchenAid belongs with AIG. Some corporate head probably decided to sell out the reputation of KitchenAid, by peddling cheap junk and then refusing to cover its predictable demise. They are messing with bankruptcy if they think today’s savvy consumer is going to put up with this non-responsive customer service, much less crappy products, when there are options out there. This news goes fast by word of mouth and internet, but that vice president of “get rich quick” doesn’t care a flip. He’s going for the short term profits before he gets promoted or skips town. It’s a shame how something this small reflects the wider picture. It looks simple to fix. Just send us a customized cheap tool (a la Ikea) that will fit the flat sides of the spindle and which is thin enough to get between the rubber top and the blender. Counter-twist and replace. Another two years. I’ll pay the 10 bucks or whatever. I’m not going to spend hours or 20-30 dollars rewarding their design flaw. I’m going to get another blender and never come back to KitchenAid. They need to apologize quickly or they will see revenues fall even quicker than they should in this lousy economy.

  28. Same story as the rest – they black coupler on the blender has no more teeth. Glad too see all the help here, but very disapointed in KitchenAid for not doing anything for the cunsumers who put trust in thier brand.

  29. Our KitchenAid Blender lost three teeth in as many weeks. I am going to try to get the store to replace it as it in less than an month old, but will not buy this brand blender again.

  30. Claire Cantrell says:

    I have a Kitchenaid blender model KSB5WH and it won’t even blend a smoothie of banana and milk. It has an odor of burning plastic when running. Had a food processor too that had a similar problem, but we junked it. Will have to junk the blender, but will never buy Kitchenaid again.

  31. Yolonda says:

    We have had our mixer for years and the coupler disintegrated just recently. Based on one of the posts I ordered a replacement at http://www.mendingshed.com. Should have used Amazon.com because they are cheaper for both the part and shipping costs. Nonetheless, replacing the part was easy as pie. I used the instructions provided by KitchenAid, popped the coupler off with a screw driver and screwed the new one on. I agree that it’s cheaply made and KitchenAid should use parts of higher quality but I’m not too upset since it is also a cheap and easy fix.

  32. Winnie on June 12, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Yes, I too have a kitchen Aid Blender KSB5WH, 6 years old, used maybe 20 times with a broken coupler as of two days ago. I am very unhappy with this product from KitchenAid and will never buy another blender from them. Have a standing mixer I love that is a KitchenAid, but I will think twice before buying anything else made by KitchenAid due to their responses to a flawed product, which this blender is surely one. I have bought a Breville blender, will probably repair the KitchenAid and give it to someone else. Thanks for all the info on this website

  33. I am glad I took the time to check out this site. My blender has met the same fate, having lost the teeth on the coupler. The additioanl information I’d like to add here is I went to check out new blenders and looked at the design of a new Kitchenaid blender and it appears to be even more cheaply designed than the one described herein. Not only does the base design appear as flawed as this model but the container is plastic. The price $100.00. Kitchenaid has really gone downhill.

    PS My Kitchenaid coffeemaker was recalled and my built-in microwave also failed within 2 weeks of installation and had to have the electronic board under the keypad replaced.

  34. My wife just had the same experience. Yesterday she went to make a smoothie when it seemed to freeze up. She thought the stuff in the container was too solid for the blades to chop up. But after several attempts, looked at the base and discovered ALL the teeth were missing and the rubber nubs were grinding themselves against the base of the blades. I agree with Zeus that the company is apparently putting short term profits ahead of long term reputation.

  35. I also have the same problem (crumbling coupler)and searched the Internet for a solution. After reading the postings on this site, I think that this will be my last KitchenAid appliance. I have had problems with one of their toasters (went out after a few uses)a refrigerator ice-maker and now this. Their reputation of producing quality appliances is not deserved.

  36. Same problem, coupler lasted one year under very light usage. Replacement lasted another one year, and now its broken again. Moral of the story: Do not buy any Kitchen Aid products.

  37. Same problem with the black coupler as well but it mine is only 1 1/2 years old. I have used it mabye 10 times. Cost me with taxes (in Canada) $206.09. So it cost me $20 each time to make a smoothie. That is pathetic. I was lured into KitchenAid reputation as one of the best companies around. Now I am also worried about my KitchenAid Microwave as well. I have heard from a number of people including this site that the circuit boards are faulty. I have always been in the habit of buying the best once and you will never had to replace it in your lifetime. I also have the mixer should I worry about that too? By the sounds of it KitchenAid will not stand behind its products and blames the end user everytime. There should be a massive recall of these blenders at KitchenAids expense if they want to keep their customer loyalty. I think and hope someone starts a online petition to recall this product or force KitchenAid to give us all a free fix with a new designed metal coupler. The parent company that owns kitchen aid is Whirlpool. They have destroyed many brands that they have taken over like MAYTAG. Once the best company for a consitantly reliable washer and dryer, now they are complete junk. My Grandmother still had her set from the early 70′s up until she died last year. They never broke down on her. She was the reason I also bought KitchenAid as she had her mixer from when she got it as a wedding present in the early 40′s. What a shame that this company with such a great reputation is pushing junk now. SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!!!
    Incidently I had to pull out the cheap $25.00 Sunbeam Osterizer blender I bought while I was in College, that I made a ton of Margaritas and daiquiris over the course of 20 years without fail and I realized it is a far stronger and superior design to the piece of $#!+ that KitchenAid is pushing.

  38. Wow! My husband said “bad news” after he made our smoothies this morning. Four out of six teeth had broken off. I thought for sure it must have been that the fruit was too frozen, but now i see that this coupling thing has broken for so many people. Ours is a KSB5WH. I guess we’ll try to replace it, but its good to know that Kitchen Aid products are no good to buy any longer. Thanks for all the postings.

  39. Same story as the rest – they black coupler on the blender has no more teeth. Glad too see all the help here, but very disapointed in KitchenAid for not doing anything for the cunsumers who put trust in thier brand. I have used this blender only occasionally for 4 years. I am very dissatisfied. I will never buy any kitchen aid product if they do not do anything about my problem. I hope they recall this product and give money back to all the customers.

  40. The same thing just happened to my wife Kitchen Aid blender yesterday. The total usage were around 30 times. I will NOT buy anymore products from Kitchen Aid and its parent company. Period.

  41. Audrey Nicaretta says:

    I’m on the phone with Kitchen Aid now trying to find a replacment glass jar that cracked. Had the blender for only 2 years. MODEL: KSB50B4. Told the customer service rep that I am reading these posts about the coupler and she said she “was not concerned about it because they have sold many of these and IT’S MOSTLY USER ERROR”. She said people take it off the base before it completly stops and that there are many reasons it breaks.

    My glass jar is 20.00 to replace. Maybe we should go buy another brand. sad to know this about kITCHEN AID

  42. We got a blender as a wedding present and took it to our vacation house, where it got about 2 weeks of light use before the coupler melted. Kitchenaid would not be my brand of choice for a replacement.

  43. Same problem here. I’ll buy a replacement (or more than one) and run it til it dies. Then, no more Kitchen Aid appliances!!!

  44. Hi, I’ve had the exact same issue with the coupling as you folks. I replaced it but only after having to deal with extremely poor customer service. So frustrating!

    Now, my blade assembly has stopped spinning and I’m looking to see if anyone else has also encountered this issue and how they dealt with it.

    Thanks!
    Courtney

  45. I bought the belder and came with it to Brasil. The rubber base connection problem just apeear. April 1st, 2010. How can I find a replacement for the rubber connection? Anybody can help me?
    cemelo@hotmail.com. Sure I will not buy any appliance from KitchenAid in the future.
    Thanks
    Carlos from Brazil.

  46. We’ve had our KSB50B4 blender for about 5 years and use it 5x per week average. The blades dulled quickly, but never broke. It did start to leak some, but I am sure a new gasket would stop that. Not surprised it is a bit dried out over the years of use. The Coupler disentigrated yesterday. Nice blender but does not crush/blend ice super well.

  47. guadalupe says:

    had the same problem with the coupler! it simply disintegrated. i was only chopping almonds. i have had the blender for about a year and have never used it to blend or chop anything difficult.

    i had to bring out my old hamilton blender, which i used for 18 years. it still worked perfectly!

    no kitchenaid for me next time. i am very disappointed.

  48. Carole Bird says:

    Hi — I had the same problem — I bought my blender somewhere between 2004 and 2005 — but used it only a few times — I kept it on my countertop — in a round-the-clock air-conditioned kitchen. I went to use it this morning — and heard a funny sound and didn’t see anything moving so I unplugged it and investigated — the black plastic “drive coupler” had totally disintegrated — into many, many, many pieces — I called Kitchenaid and they told me to take it to a local service-center — however — I am going to dump the piece of junk and never buy anything Kitchenaid again. My last blender was made by Waring and it lasted over 20 years — maybe 25 — and it got lots of use and made several moves with me — some cross-country –

  49. Laserist says:

    Kitchen Aid isn’t junk, but they aren’t the high-quality product they once were. Today, they still put out a product that is of average or above-average compared to others. Sure you can buy better quality, but you’ll pay dearly for it.

    http://www.mendingshed.com fixed me straight up with a replacement part and excellent instructions to make the repair. I ordered an extra one in case it happens again.

    I think the reason this part is troublesome is twofold.
    1] the softness of the part is somewhat a safety issue to prevent a hard part in high-speed contact with another hard part from creating an explosive failure. In other words if this rubber piece didn’t have “give” your blender could disasterously fail including flying shard of glass. And, 2] since it’s rubber, it will naturally degrade over time.