Tips on buying a vintage stand mixer … and retro house blogger link love

At the end of this story I link to four retro house bloggers with fun stories this week. Like Betty Crafter and her hand-made Cowichan sweater. So crafty, that Betty!
    What a super fun week on the blog. We had a time capsule house, Eva Zeisel, ceiling fans, Mom’s bathroom makeover, my trip to a Kentucky antique mall — and lots of great dialog — at last count, 334 comments this week! You guys are so fun — and have so much knowledge. Today, I want to share advice from Kate about buying vintage mixers like the Sunbeam I saw at the mall. Also, click on down for links to four great stories from retro house bloggers about their latest exploits. Go, Tribe!

Tips on buying vintage stand mixers? Kate writes:

I have several older mixers: a Sunbeam Mixmaster 10A and a Dormeyer Meal Maker (both 50s); and two 70s Sunbeams. Here is my advice when purchasing something like this:

vintage stand mixer1. Buy from an estate sale. Make sure it has all the parts (beaters, bowls, juicer) and that they ALL FIT that particular mixer. And that it runs on all speeds. Spend some time hunting through the kitchen gadgets because estate sale people often don’t realize mixers come with different attachments — meat grinders, shredders, mayo oil drippers, coffee grinders, ice cream makers, etc. — and just dump misc kitchen gadgets together. So look through the mess and see if anything else goes with your mixer. Do not expect that if a beater is missing you will be able to find one on ebay or at your local hardware store. (Although you will likely be able to find the instructions and cookbook on ebay.)

2. To research mixers, search WACEM (a chat group for those who are addicted to mixers). You can find people to restore your mixer on WACEM also, and at least one guy sells restored mixers.

3. If you fall for something that maybe has a little something wrong with it that could likely be repaired by someone, be cautious: unless you are that someone, you will pay a lot (as much as for a new mixer in many cases) to get it repaired. Also: death by electrocution is not something you ought to flirt with.

I am not a Kitchen Aid person, so don’t know about prices for them, but for a Sunbeam, you would expect to pay between $20 and $50, depending on model and condition. The colored 11s (esp pink, blue or chrome) are pricier. They made a million 11s, so it’s a good model to buy — you can still get (new) beaters and bowls that fit it.


Thank you, Kate. Now, I neeeeeed one of these!

More great reading from the retro house bloggers I follow on my blogroll:

Do you have a house blog that’s not on my list? Let me know so’s I can spotlight your fab projects, too.

  1. pam kueber says:

    Well, welcome back to comment-land, Cara, and GOLD STAR to consulting with licensed professionals, yes: Safety First.

  2. MrsW says:

    I have a 1968 Sunbeam Mixmaster that my husband purchased for me! I love it! I just used it to make a cake yesterday, as a matter of fact. It runs really well on all speeds, but unfortunately I don’t have any of the extra attachments for it except the basic beaters and the two mixing bowls. Contrary to what the blogger above said, though, I have seen these attachments listed on eBay quite frequently.

  3. Melanie says:

    Thanks for the mixer post. I have a 50’s sunbeam I bought at my favorite antique shop years back. I used it for a long time and then the switch went out, so I bought a brand new sunbeam and boxed the old one up, promising myself I’d find the information someday to fix it. 🙂 Now I’m motivated again!
    In the meantime, the new sunbeam died and I got a commercial kitchenaide, but I still want my sunbeam!

  4. Melanie says:

    Oh, and Betty, that sweater ROCKS!!!! I’m a knitter too, but haven’t tackled anything that big yet.

  5. Lisa says:

    I have my grandmother’s Hamilton Beach stand mixer and was able to replace the beaters when the originals had an unfortunate accident involving a young neighbor who was learning to bake and didn’t believe her mom about not putting a spoon in the bowl especially when the mixer is borrowed… This was almost 10 years ago so I’m not sure whether the parts are still available, but just thought I’d throw it out there since the discussion has been all Sunbeam so far.

    The mixer still runs great, although it is true I only use it a half dozen times a year. I have a food processor and just don’t need a mixer all that often.

  6. Betty Crafter says:

    I have enjoyed and regularly used my aqua Sunbeam Mixmaster for years and years, even though recently the smaller pyrex bowl broke, and I slightly bent one of the beaters (still useable though!) After some heavy hints I got an aqua Kitchen Aid for Christmas this year and I must say it fits right in with my vintage kitchen and works like a dream.
    And thanks for all the kind words about my sweater!

  7. Kate H says:

    Here’s the link for WACEM

    (it stands for “We Actually Collect Electric Mixers”). One of the best things is, there are PICTURES so you can look and see what kind of attachments your mixer might have. There’s also a site (it’s an angelfire site) that has a whole history of Sunbeam. I can’t remember if it’s DecoDan’s site or someone else’s, but it’s interesting.

    And I think that reader up above is right, it’s the 12 they made so many of … to see what model you have, pop the top and the model number is on the underside, where the mixer attaches to the stand. The guy who redid my grandmother’s (which works like a charm now) is the Mixermaster. He did a great job and is in New England and also sells refurbished Mixmasters if you don’t want the angst of the hunt for the perfect one.

  8. Richard says:

    I agree with all that you said. Good job. I restore and repair vintage Mixmasters on my web site. It is worth the extra money to buy one that has been gone through and had service because they will last another 60-70 years. An estate sale find may work when you buy it, but for how long?
    I’m just saying.

  9. Hausfrau says:

    In case your readers are interested (and with apologies for appearing self-promoting by linking to my own blog!), I wrote a piece last November on a vintage Mixwell stand mixer, which includes some photos and a video.


    I own two vintage stand mixers, as well as a vintage blender as well as a whole host of older non-electric appliances. My experience has only been positive with these models, but I will say they have a distinctive smell and for safety reasons I keep a close eye on them while they’re in use. The only downside is that it’s nearly impossible to find accessories if yours does not already have them or if key pieces are broken/missing.

  10. jennifer says:

    I just got a penncrest 12 speed portable mixer all chrome with instructions and all pieces …just wondering if anyone knows what it is worth in like new condition.Please help thanks 🙂

  11. Carol woolf says:

    Are you still repairing old mixers ,Richard? I have a little dormeyer stand mixer I think brushes are bad smells bad after been on few minutes. Let me know Richard . Ty.

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