A question out of curiosity. What is your favorite stand mixer brand? How do you feel about your current mixer?
I bought a Kenwood Prospero KM266 last August, 2011. After almost one year of using, here is some of my review about it.
Some special features I love about my Kenwood:
Safety interlock This is golden. I once saw an article about how children hurt themselves severely when left playing with a normal blender or food processor without adult supervision. It frightened me to my death. However, NO more unwanted cuts with my friend Kenwood, YAY! This super feature is a system of interlocks to protect users safety. For instance, the blender will not operate unless the lid and the bottom are correctly locked. It is the same with every component of Ken like processor, juicer, whisk, etc. So carelessness is more tolerable with Kenwood. One minus is that sometimes, it did not turn on due to one mis-interlocking somewhere, and you have to check and relock everything. Well, I can live with that, and my 10 unharmed fingers.
Planetary mixing motion is the huge plus for every Kenwood kitchen machine. My Ken always operates with two separate and combined rotational movements of the tools inside of the bowl.
This dual movement allows the gear to rotate while moving within the container by mixing and amalgamating any type of dough or batter and reducing the mixing time and the formation of lumps.
Variable Speed It also has 6-speed machining, to which is added the planetary movement of the tools when mixing or kneading, together with practical pulse function, when necessary, to give a power, rapid and intense strokes.
Small size It is quite small actually, but fit perfectly under the counters in my tiny kitchen. The small capacity of the mixing bowl also fit with my baking habit. I do not bake a lot at once because I usually bake for only Bear and me, and I myself, although enjoy baking a lot, but not prefer eating the results so much.
Quite large variety of attachment
Some features I do not like about Kenwood:
Plastic and light-weighed body My first impression of mine is that he seems not very robust with his plastic body. Its light-weighed body also a minus because sometimes when I knead my bread dough, Kenwood almost moves around a bit. Some jokes that Kenwood Prospero does know how to dance on the kitchen counter and give advice to watch very closely while it is operating or else, it will end up on the floor.
Loud Noise It does create quite loud noise when operating. It almost made me if there was anything wrong with him the first times I worked with Ken. But yeah, I get used to it.
Plastic attachment The plastic blender and food processor attachments are definitely not so tempting either, but acceptable. Be very careful when working with plastic component of Kenwood, because they are very scratch-able. My hard lesson is once I used a metal spoon to get something out of my blender and, ahhh, I made a visible scratch on its wall. :( I suggest to use only plastic or rubbery or silicon utensils for these delicate guys.
After all, I totally satisfied with what I get comparing to what I paid. If I have to make the choice all over, I would still go for Ken.
I have worked with Ken for almost 1 year now and would recommend it to any beginners out there, whoever are short of space or just starting out, youll need a small and simple kitchen machine that does it all like my Kenwood.
Read my full review of every attachment at my personal food blog: http://simplyafoodblog.wordpress.com/2012/05/06/the-almost-1-year-celebration-between-ken-and-me-a-k-a-my-review-of-kenwood-prospero-km266/
So, how about you?