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Will a non-KitchenAid beater damage my KitchenAid?
 
The simplest answer is probably not.  There are lots of factors to consider when answering such a question however whether you damage your mixer comes down to the beater you are using and how you use it.
 
We often get asked the question in relation to beaters with a flexible edge.  The idea of a "flex edge" beater it to wipe the bowl as the beater turns.  The flex edge beater has been around for many years and we have sold thousands of them.  We have sold and supported beaters manufactured by BeaterBlade, Pourfect and KitchenAid.  The BeaterBlade and Pourfect models came to market long before KitchenAid developed their own version.  When KitchenAid did produce their flex edge beater they decided to only place the silicone on one edge.
 
Using a non-KitchenAid beater can be used as an excuse not to honour warranty claims.  Consumer rights vary depending on what country you are in and often the type of failure will determine whether a warranty claim is successful regardless of what beater is used.  KitchenAid representatives have been known to say that using non-KitchenAid beaters can damage the mixer.  What they don't say is that so can KitchenAid beaters and that there are many more mixers damaged when using KitchenAid's own beaters than any other type.  KitchenAid representatives have also been known to say that the flex edge on "other" beaters causes extra load on the mixer and that they have seen videos showing the damage caused.  I have never seen such videos however I could create ones showing the graveyard of mixers damaged by KitchenAid's own beaters.
 
It is in KitchenAid's commercial interested to dissuade consumers from purchasing competing products.  Over time KitchenAid and slowly lowered the quality and manufacturing cost of their products while increasing the price.  Competition has an effect on their profit.
 
Getting back to the technical argument, Pourfect and BeaterBlade beaters are made from plastic.  The plastic is not as strong as the aluminium used on the KitchenAid beaters.  As a result, they usually break more easily if overloaded.  In addition they can be safely put through the dishwasher and are not subject to the coating chipping off.   Although KitchenAid state their flex edge and coated beaters are dishwasher safe, they will corrode due to the reaction of the exposed aluminium with certain dish washing chemicals.
 
I believe the key is using common sense.  The KitchenAid mixer mixes by using an orbital action which twists the beater through the mix.  The load on the mixer is determined by how hard it is for the beater to move through the mix.  A bowl full of treacle will most likely cause the mixer to break, a bowl full of air will offer no resistance at all.  If you tried to mix bread dough with the whip, the whip would probably break.  If you used a beater instead of a dough hook on a heavy dough mix then you might damage the gears.  If you used a Pourfect or BeaterBlade beater on bread dough the chances are the beater would break, not the mixer.  The flex edge on any beater will only touch the side of the bowl momentarily as it is drawn back towards the center of the bowl by the continued orbital action.  It is not possible for both edges to touch the bowl at the same time.  
 
We have sold hundreds of non-KitchenAid flex edge beaters to one commercial customer.  The beaters they have are worked hard and eventually break.  They are extremely happy that the beaters last a long time and if anything goes wrong it is usually the beater that breaks avoiding expensive and time-consuming internal repairs.
 
In conclusion, non-KitchenAid beaters are no more likely to cause damage than those manufactured by KitchenAid is used correctly.
 
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