Did you know that there is a dime test for your KitchenAid mixer? This simple step lets you calibrate your stand mixer so that it works as efficiently as possible. All you need is a dime and a screwdriver to get your stand mixer in its best working order.
Types of KitchenAid stand mixers
Both names are good descriptions: the tilt-head mixer literally tilts up and back when you need to access the contents in the mixing bowl. There is a lever you push on the head of the stand mixer that either locks or unlocks the position, and you are able to tilt the head up and back.
The tilt-head mixer currently comes with bowl sizes of 3.4, 4.5 and 5 quarts.
The bowl lift mixer has a handle on the side of the stand mixer which you rotate to lift or lower the bowl. The bowl list mixer is offered with bowl sizes between 4.5 and 8 quarts.
The mixer that is right for you will depend on your preference for stand mixer size, how often you will use the mixer, what type of foods you’ll make with your mixer, and how large of a batch you make while using your mixer.
No matter what type of mixer you use, you’ll want to make sure your mixer is functioning at its best.
Dime test for your KitchenAid mixer
Did you know that there is an easy dime test for your KitchenAid mixer that you can do to see if your beater blade is in the right position for its optimal performance?
All you need is a dime. Why a dime? A dime is approximately 1/16 of an inch thick. This is the amount of clearance you are testing between your paddle blade and your bowl.
How do I do the dime test for my KitchenAid mixer?
- Place a dime in the bowl.
- Turn to “stir” or low speed.
- Watch how the dime moves around the bowl.
- Use a screwdriver to adjust the height of your blade accordingly.
Let’s use pictures to show each step:
Put the dime in your bowl and turn it on to “stir” or low speed. You hope that your beater blade will gently nudge that dime around your bowl about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch each time. Did mine? No—not even a whisper of movement on the dime!
How to adjust the blade on your KitchenAid mixer:
Unplug your mixer first. It also helps to remove the blade to access the adjustment screw.
Find the adjustment screw and turn it 1/4 rotation in either direction to adjust the height of the blade.
Think of a clock face when you plan your 1/4 rotations. Picture the hour hand of a clock pointing to 12 o’clock. A quarter turn to the right would place the hand at 3 o’clock. A quarter turn to the left would place the hand at 9 o’clock.
If your blade is too high, turn the adjustment screw 1/4 turn to the right.
Conversely, if your blade is too low, turn the adjustment screw 1/4 turn to the left.
You are changing the distance between the blade and the bottom of the bowl. Plug the mixer back in and repeat the dime test to see how the mixer’s function has improved.
How to find the adjustment screw on your stand mixer:
On the tilt-head mixer, the adjustment screw is not immediately visible when you are using the mixer. The adjustment screw is NOT either of the large black screws on the top sides of the mixer head. Please do not remove these screws.
Tilt back the head of the tilt-head mixer and you’ll reveal the adjustment screw that will allow you to raise or lower the height of your mixer blade. The adjustment screw is a silver screw.
Now let’s looks at the bowl lift stand mixer. Again the adjustment screw is not visible while the stand mixer is in use.
Once you rotate the handle on the side of your lift bowl stand mixer, you’ll see the silver adjustment screw.
Use a screwdriver to turn the screw 1/4 turn to the left or to the right as needed. Be sure to unplug your mixer before you make any adjustments. Remove the blade before making adjustments to make accessing the screw easier.
Types of Blades for your Stand Mixer
I was really excited to receive a KitchenAid mixer for Christmas a few years ago. I envisioned plans of freshly baked bread, batches of cookies, and delicious cakes all to be made with this mixer.
Has that happened? Well…no, not exactly. I have used the mixer frequently but not as often as I intended. I get frustrated that I am forever stopping the mixer to clean the sides of the bowl with a spatula and to give the batter a quick mix to incorporate the bits that the mixer has missed. Can you relate?
I’ve seen advertisements for a special mixer blade that has softer edges that will scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl more efficiently. I found one at Homegoods recently but once it was in my kitchen I realized it was for a smaller bowl (4-5 quarts and mine is 5.5). I found this one online and have LOVED the results. A flex mixer blade has given my KitchenAid stand mixer new life. Be sure to buy the blade that fits your model of mixer.
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Now that you have your KitchenAid mixer functioning at its best, here are some recipes you’ll love!
Please note that this post was originally published in April, 2012; it was updated with text and photos in 2018.