What you see there is the plastic coupling that sits on the base of a KitchenAid blender that turns the blade inside the blender.
Did I mention it is made out of plastic?
My wife was making a smoothy this morning and apparently the frozen fruit was too much for our KitchenAid Blender (Model #KSB50B3) and the coupling just exploded in the bottom like this. Here’s another shot:
What was odd is that I figured the blender was toast, because I wasn’t going to spend $50 in Shipping/Handling and repairs to send it back to KitchenAid to fix it, so I started to write this story as a rant piece instead about how disappointed I was in the blender (because the rest of it is built like a tank) when I noticed that simply searching for “KitchenAid Blender” had a tendency to bring up (within the first 6 results) information specifically about the coupling:
All I can determine from these search result trends are that this is one heck of a common problem with KitchenAid blenders I assume if searching for “KitchenAid blender” on Amazon, Google Images and Google bring up the repair kits and replacement “couplings” almost as frequently as the blenders themselves.
Just check out the Amazon page for the new coupling, 85 customer reviews, are you serious? This page probably has more reviews than the product itself.
KitchenAid you might have a quality control issue guys.
Fortunately for all of us, the replacement coupling is cheap, about $10 with S/H from Amazon. When it arrives, you unscrew the old busted coupling (reverse direction. RIGHTY-loosey, LEFTY-tighty this time) and screw the new one on.
Big thanks goes out to Cameron Scholtz for submitting such nice shots on the Amazon product page showing exactly what this looks like.
The Old One Won’t Come Off!
If all of this sounds easy-cheesey and you go to “unscrew” the old one, only to notice that it turns the entire motor and there is no way to “lock” it so you can unscrew the old, then join the club.
I just spent 15 mins trying to figure out how to get the old one off, and if you read through all the Amazon comments, you’ll notice that every 4th person has a different technique for getting the old one off.
I’ll summarize them here for you:
- Shove something long and skinny (that’s what she said) through the bottom slats to stop both the fan blades AND the motor blades. The item needs to be about 8″ long and firm.
- MY EXPERIENCE: I used a drill bit and bent it and was still unable to unscrew the old coupling.
- Using a hammer and a screw driver, “tap” the old coupling head in a clockwise direction and it will come loose.
- MY EXPERIENCE: I didn’t understand this, because the coupling turns the entire motor, so how does hitting it help? I tried anyway, hit it about 8 times in clockwise fashion from the top and side. Nothing happened except it turned every time.
- Using the claws on the back of a hammer, put it under the old coupling and pull up then turn the base of the blender clockwise to release the coupling.
- MY EXPERIENCE: Again, I didn’t understand how this was suppose to work, but I tried anyway… it didn’t work at all.
- Using a screw driver, actually pry the old coupling off gently.
- MY EXPERIENCE: This sounded nuts. I was sure I would break the drive shaft, but after 15mins of failures I finally tried this and it worked. More details below.
As mentioned, the “pry the stupid thing off with a screw driver” technique was the only one that worked for me.
The reason this works is because the coupling itself is made out of lead, and is a soft metal, while the drive shaft it’s screwed onto is a hardened steel. So if you keep prying and working your way around the base of the coupling, bit by bit, it will eventually rip itself off the threads from the bottom and come off.
The way I did this was to shove a medium sized flat-head screw driver under the coupling, and TURN the screw driver like I was screwing something in. This forced the coupling UP when the screw driver was twisted at it’s highest point, and back down and then UP and back down again as stayed in the same place but kept turning the coupling and working it in different sections.
The old coupling finally came off, but be aware that the “base” on the blender that you are screwing against is also lead, so you eat it up pretty bad with this technique:
Now that the old one is off, grab your new one, screw it on and be happy that you are done with this stupid mess.
Buy 2 Extra
After reading more about this online, I saw a few people say that every 3 to 5 years they have to replace the coupling on their KitchenAid blender.
If you are the patient type, then buy 2 of these things at one time incase it happens again when you need the blender.
If you are not the patient type and don’t mind spending a lot on appliances, buy a Blendtec blender.