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I had this food processor at the beginning of last year and in all honesty it has very rarely been used. I bought it from our local hardware store and it was reduced to £36 which I thought was a bargain!
The food processor has a large plastic silver base and it holds 2 bowls. One is a bowl for liquidisng and the other is more of a jug which can be used for cake mixing or general blending.
The base has a single dial on it which is to be used for the speed settings. There are 3 settings and I used to use the second one as number 1 didn't seem to blend at all and number 3 make the whole machine shake vibrate quite violently!
The base has rubberised feet so the machine doesn't move when in use. The dimensions are H30.5 x W 37 x L 20, so it is quite bulky to store.
The jug and the bowl both attach by clipping into place onto the base. There is a safety lock which prevents the machine from starting until these are securely fitted. This is handy when eager children are helping!
The processor comes with 6 attachments-chopping blade, slicing disc, shredding disc, citrus press, twin whisk and liquidising disc. The machine uses 700 Watts and the jug has a capacity of 2.9L and the liquidiser has a capacity of 5L.
The instruction leaflet is very basic, however it does state that this machine is not suitable for mixing dough.We have used it make cake mixtures though and it has worked fine. I found the whisk attachment to work very well.
The main problem with this machine is with the liquidiser. It didn't work very well and everytime I would find chunks of food which hadn't been touched. This isn't very good when trying to puree baby food or make smoothies!
The shredding disc worked ok but it took quite a bit of pressure to push the veg down into the shredder. Carrots used to be a nightmare!
The chopping blade was fine, as was the citrus press.
Also another thing that put me off was the noise that it made. it was a lot louder than I expected, you couldn't hold a conversation whilst it was on.
The blades are made out of stainless steel and everything is dishwasher proof. It comes apart easily enough to clean.
My machine has been sat in the cupboard for absolutely ages. I got fed up with it in the end and decided to buy a simple hand held blender which was more than adequate for what I needed it for.
I wouldn't buy it again, even if it was still on offer. I think the usual retail price is around £60-£70 and there is no way it is worth that!
Why we did it:
Our family are 'foodies' and there's nearly always somebody cooking something, so when our faithful old Moulinex food processor - bought with Esso Tiger Tokens (remember those?) in 1988 - finally packed up, we pondered what to do. My main contribution to our culinary fare is to bake bread every day and I like to use a food processor to take the slog out of mixing the dough. It's arguably one of the toughest tasks a food processor will see, so we wanted to buy something that was going to be tough, powerful enough, and hopefully as long-lived as the Moulinex.
Assessing the market, the Kenwood FP615 seemed to have a lot going for it: the legendary Kenwood name (who's mum didn't have a Kenwood in their 1970s kitchen?), a big 2.9 litre bowl, a separate blender attachment for soups and smoothies, and 700W of power.
We paid £47.99 at Argos and were soon home, excitedly unpacking our new Kenwood: the motor unit, bowl and lid, and a separate blender/liquidiser. The various attachments come in a neat, clear-lidded plastic storage box.
The all-English instruction manual explains clearly enough in words and diagrams how to assemble everything and has a few recipe ideas as well. But there are some ominous warnings too, that speak volumes about how much faith the manufacturer has in this food processor:
"You may find that the new motor in your food processor smells oily" and
"Never run it for longer than 60 seconds..." and
"Use light pressure to fit the attachments. Too much force can cause damage"
This is where the seriously bad news began - and there was plenty of it too.
* The first problem I encountered was with the blade: it's designed in such a way that it doesn't sweep close enough to the bottom of the bowl, so very often you'll be left with a layer of unmixed food. This is particularly bad when chopping herbs, or dicing vegetables.
* One of the most unpleasant aspects of this troubled machine is the noise. It's incredibly loud and intrusive - a mixture of motor whine, bearing clatter and the creaking of the rather flimsy clear plastic bowl and lid.
* The motor smelt of burning. OK, they actually warn you about this in the user manual and tell you it will pass, but ours didn't - it got worse, and more acrid in nature, suggesting that the motor itself was burning rather than just a film of oil.
* The motor shaft has a separate, loose spindle that the blade then fits onto. That spindle runs up into a hole in the machine's lid, to provide extra support and stability. Trouble is, it sits in a very small plastic bearing which can get really hot and the bearing soon wears, reducing the stability of the blade.
* Once the top bearing has worn, the spinning blade can occasionally touch the inside of the bowl, making yet another unpleasant noise, and presumably adding tiny shards of plastic to your food.
* Soft doughs tended to 'escape', getting conveyed up the inside of the blade, and then down the spindle, making a big mess that's hard to clean up.
* It turns out that the 2.9 litre bowl they tell you about in the marketing material actually has a 'working capacity' of only 1.5 litres, making the machine much less useful that we'd originally envisaged.
* With bread dough, this machine is not powerful enough to mix anything more that 500g of flour, and even then it barely copes: you'll have to use the highest power setting at all times and probably stop periodically, take the lid off, scrape up the unmixed flour, then replace the lid and try again.
* The lack of power means that once the machine has finally rolled your dough into a ball, it really struggles to mix and knead it further: I didn't dare leave it running for more than a minute, mainly because you could smell the motor overheating.
* The inherent lack of balance and engineering integrity, allied to lightweight construction, means that your FP615 can wander around on the worktop during use and will often need to be held in place. With bread doughs I even had it rocking back and forth, in a very unnerving and dangerous looking way.
* The feeder tube (built into the lid) shattered on our FP615, without any real provocation. Some spares are available, but by this stage we'd had enough.
My daughter succeeded in making a few fruit smoothies with the blender, but it suffers the same problem of the blade not being set quite low enough in the bowl, so lumps of fruit can hide unscathed beneath it.
Shredding and slicing discs:
These actually worked reasonably well, but unless you're preparing a lot of food you might find that dismantling and cleaning the bowl, lid and shredding disc actually takes longer than cutting things up with a kitchen knife, or grating them by hand.
We're hard, serious and daily users of our food processor and thought that the Kenwood would be a safe, no-nonsense workhorse, but it fell way short of the mark. Maybe it would be okay for those who have only an occasional need for such a machine, but even then its numerous shortcomings would surely perplex anyone who'd ever used something better. Quite where those 700W of power are going remains a mystery: mainly into excess heat, smoke and noise I think.
The FP615 feels like a profoundly disappointing and very pale imitation of a previously excellent brand, and has precious little to recommend it. Tatty, lightweight and fragile mouldings are unhappily married to a noisy motor that (by the maker's own admission) can't cope with any kind of serious use, and a blade that's sharp enough but spoilt by being badly located and poorly secured. We've since bought a more expensive but superb replacement, which (now that the honeymoon is over) I have also reviewed here on 'dooyoo'.
As for the Kenwood, we threw it away even though it was still under warranty: after all, the best that Kenwood would have done was to give us another FP615, and to my mind the only thing worse than owning one of these, would be owning two...
Short name: Kenwood FP615