I seem to have been posting a lot about kitchen equipment lately. In this post I want to examine what seems like an odd design decision in KitchenAid’s 1.7l food processor and how I fixed it, an give a few thoughts on this piece of equipment.
I stupidly decided to try and blend some compost in my food processor. I figured, the lumps and twigs in it won’t be a challenge for it and it would make the compost better for seedlings. I was wrong! It got jammed, buzzed for a bit, then shut off. It wasn’t any kind of transient thermal cutout: even after I left it for a while, it still wouldn’t come back to life.
I opened it up and found that on the motor controller board, there was a fuse on the input which had blown.
With no suitable replacements to hand, I bypassed the fuse with a piece of wire and tentatively tried switching it on. It seemed to work fine, so apparently just the fuse had blown!
A soldered-in PCB fuse seems fair enough where its main purpose is to prevent fire in an already-failed circuit. But here, this is providing some motor protection function. It doesn’t seem right to have to strip down the machine and replace a soldered fuse after a motor overload, so I decided to fit a fuse holder with a 2.5A slow-blow fuse, equivalent to the one previously on the PCB. This will mean that next time I blow the fuse, I can just replace it and carry on! I was surprised that there seemed to be a lot of free space inside the machine, so I didn’t struggle to fit the fuse holder in.
Anyway, I hope this post helps someone else who’s run into the same problem.
I thought this seemed like a good opportunity to share my thoughts on this machine.
I bought the 1.7l KitchenAid 5KFP0719 because I was in the market for a mid-range food processor. The main alternative I considered was the 2.1l Ninja BN650UK, with a slightly larger capacity and at a similar price (both around 100GBP). I ended up choosing the KitchenAid because it seemed to store more compactly, and they’re a brand I’ve had good experiences with.
KitchenAid are a brand I associate with high quality, well-built kitchenware. If you buy this expecting something on a par with their all-metal construction artisan mixer though, you’ll be disappointed. The base is made of plastic and generally it doesn’t give the impression of the same level of “finesse” I’d usually expect of the brand. Despite that, it say it strikes a good balance for the price: I’ve certainly seen far worse construction. The plastics appear to be good quality, although the bowl has started to go cloudy after just a few runs through the dishwasher. I accidentally put the pusher in the wrong way round and forced it quite hard. It got stuck and I was worried I’d have cracked the plastic, but in fact nothing broke.
The motor seems to have some kind of overload protection: after a few minutes, it will cut out. I assume this is to protect the motor from overheating. I guess this is one of the places they’ve cut corners to get the price down: put in a less powerful motor and over-stressed it, then included a protection to prevent it from failing. A very sensible choice. Lesser quality design would just put the overstressed motor in with no protection and expect you to just buy another when you leave it on for too long and burn it out. Obviously though, I’m a bit disappointed by the use of a PCB-mount fuse to protect the motor against a stall.
One annoyance is that, while it’s described as suitable for dishwasher, you need to make sure you put the bowl in the right way round: it has a hole in the base which allows water to drain out when it’s inverted. So it has to be tilted to allow water to flow out. If you put it in the wrong way round, the base fills up with a load of dishwasher water!
Overall though, I’m pretty happy with this for the price I paid for it (83GBP in January 2021). At full price though, I’d probably consider alternatives before buying this.