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Should the Dough Hook Touch the Bottom of the Bowl?

The ultimate dough hook debate, settled. Learn if the dough hook on your KitchenAid is supposed to touch the bottom of the bowl.

KitchenAid stand mixers are known for their powerful and thorough whipping, blending, and mixing. However, if you’re new to these stand mixers, you might have noticed that your mixing attachment on yours stays clear of touching the bottom and sides of the bowl while in operation.

So, is the attachment supposed to touch the bottom of the bowl? This is a very common question asked by many first-time stand mixer owners.

The short answer is, no, the attachment is not supposed to touch, hit, or scrape the bottom of the bowl. There are two major reasons why you don’t want your stand mixer’s attachments to touch the bottom of the bowl while mixing: it damages the bowl and wears out the motor.

This might be confusing, we know. But worry not; we are here to explain why KitchenAid stand mixers are built this way and what this means for how you ought to use them.

Why the Dough Hook Shouldn’t Touch the Bottom of the Bowl

It causes damage to your bowl:

If your attachments are hitting the bottom of your bowl while in operation, this is a sure-fire way to scratch the stainless steel bowl. While smaller scratches won’t be anything more than an aesthetic concern, deeper scratches will cause rust to form.

There is a misconception that stainless steel is completely rust resistant, but it’s not. Deep scrapes almost always get rusty.

It will wear out the stand mixer’s motor:

When your attachments are hitting the bowl, this creates more resistance than it should and puts extra strain on your motor. This is the kind of longer-term damage that’ll result either in a costly repair or for you to have to buy a new stand mixer altogether.

Since this kind of damage is so simple to prevent, it’s better to make sure that your mixer’s attachments have the proper clearance.

How Do KitchenAid Stand Mixers Mix So Well, Then?

KitchenAid stand mixers have very powerful motors and specifically designed attachments. This combination creates an incredibly efficient mixing process. While it mixes, the force pulls the batter or dough from the sides and bottom of the bowl so that they combine properly.

You may have to pause it every once in a while to scrape the batter off the attachment and from the sides of the bowl to ensure that everything is mixing properly, but the stand mixer will do almost all of the work for you.

How Do I Tell If My Attachments Are Hitting the Bowl?

Fortunately, there are a few good ways to test this.

Give it a listen. Try running it without anything in the bowl. Does it sound like your attachments are scraping against  the inside of your bowl? Since the attachments are so hard and sturdy, it should be easy to hear.

Look and see if the bowl has scratches. Stand mixer attachments run in a circle, so if they are too far down, you should be able to see scratches in a ring around the inside of the bowl. If this is the case, be sure to use a stainless steel buffer on the scratches as soon as possible to save the bowl. The last thing you want is rust forming.

Take a look at the bottoms of your attachments. The white coated attachments are prone to chipping if they are hitting the bottom of the bowl. If you find that you have chipped attachments, toss them immediately, as this means that the coating could be floating around in your food.

If you have the stainless steel attachments instead of coated, look for the same kind of scratching, wear, and tear you might see in your bowl. If you see scratches, make sure it’s not rusting; if it looks all right, use a stainless steel buffer on it to make sure it stays intact.

Try the dime test. This is something that KitchenAid recommends to test the clearance. Place a dime in the bottom of your bowl and start the mixer. If the attachment hits the dime, then it’s too low and you need to adjust your mixer.

What to Do If Your Attachments Are Hitting the Bowl

If you find that the attachments are too low, then you will need to readjust your mixer so you can avoid further damage.

You can send it back to the manufacturer or take it to an unauthorized repair shop, but this can be expensive and time-consuming. Luckily, KitchenAid stand mixers are made so that fixing this yourself is a relatively simple process.

For Tilt-Head Mixers

Unplug your mixer and lift the head up. There is a screw just below where the head connects to the base. Take a small screwdriver and turn the screw slightly counterclockwise (to your left). This will raise it.

Keep in mind that it doesn’t need much finessing; a small twist will do it. After you do this, try the dime test with one of your attachments. If you find that you’ve raised it too far, a small twist of the screw in the clockwise direction (your right) will correct it.

For Bowl-Lift Models

The adjustment screw on these models is on the base of the mixer. To find it, unplug the mixer and lower the bowl-lift lever. The same counterclockwise motion will raise it, while the clockwise motion will lower it.

Remember to test it out with the dime test before using it for food. If you tried one of these adjustments and it doesn’t lock properly or the scraping gets worse, don’t panic! It just means that you may have over-adjusted.

Dive back in using the tips above, and be patient—it may take a couple of tries.

Don’t Readjust Unless You Have To!

The manufacturer adjusts the stand mixers to the perfect height, so don’t attempt to readjust anything unless you’re absolutely sure something’s wrong.

Readjusting when unnecessary can lead to poor stand mixer performance or even damage. If you have a brand-new stand mixer, you can count on it already being properly adjusted.

KitchenAid stand mixers are incredibly useful kitchen appliances, which is why they are so popular. But, they are also fairly costly, so you want to be sure that you’re taking care of yours as well as possible.

If you make sure that the attachments achieve the proper clearance from the bowl, you can look forward to a very long-lasting KitchenAid stand mixer.