Anyone regret getting/not getting DW cutlery rack?

sail_awayMarch 1, 2013

I have chosen the DW I like, but for $300 more I can get the DW with a bit lower noise level (40 dBA v 46 dBA---not sure I'd even notice, as either will be so much quieter than my current twenty year-old DW. What does interest me is that it would also have the extra upper rack with a cutlery tray.

We are on such a tight budget that an extra $300 is a big deal. So I thought I'd ask those who have it whether it's worth busting the budget for and those who don't if they've regretted going without it.

One additional concern I have is whether the cutlery tray will significantly restrict what will fit in the upper rack. The new tubs are so much taller that it seems like I would have just as much room on the upper rack as I have with my current, very old DW.

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The one's we looked at had little slots you had to fit each fork and spoon into, seemed like a colossal PITA. No one was able to explain what problem this solved. We just toss the stuff into the basket and are good to go, absolutely no regrets.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 12:48PM
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I have a rack with the slots that are removable. They are a pain except for spoons, which seem to nest together and not get clean. Everything else goes in the basket. I could certainly live without it.

As far as noise, I think you are correct. Any new one will be quieter than the old one. My new one is so quiet I can barely hear it, which may be a good thing since it runs for almost 2 hours. My 20+ yr old machine was very noisy.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 2:14PM
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Have you tried it rwiegand? Its really not that difficult to use. Sure it might not be as simple as tossing a spoon in a basket, but my life isn't so rushed and I am not so lazy that I can't spend an extra 30 seconds loading the dishwasher. If you read other threads about the cutlery rack you will see that not everyone places their cutlery into the slots.

The way I see it the rack's main purpose is to remove the basket on the bottom rack so that there is more flexibility in loading the dishwasher.

I think the rack also leads to better cleaning. Most utensils got clean in my old DW with a basket, but sometimes they would stick together or have little bits of food stuck on them. With the rack the utensils are all separated and I have not had issues with anything not getting cleaned.

What particular dishwashers were you looking at? With the Mieles at the lowest level it only costs $100 to move from a dishwasher with a cutlery basket to one with a cutlery rack.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 2:19PM
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The 3rd rack doesn't restrict the 2nd middle rack, because the 2nd rack is adjustable. We have ours adjusted to the lowest position, and that means we can't put really big (tall) things in the bottom rack at the same time. It is a trade-off.

The advantage of the 3rd (cutlery) rack is you get more space on the bottom rack for pots, dishes, whatevs.

I've used the cutlery rack on our Bosch 800Plus machine for the flatware, when I needed that extra space down below, and I'm not super impressed. There were a few forks and knives that needed to be re-washed. That never happens in the basket down below.

Mostly I use the cutlery rack for random spatulas and mixing spoons, and it does a good job with those.

The cutlery rack was a splurge for us and it comes in handy. But at the end of the day, I could live without it.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 2:51PM
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I have a low-end Miele and love the cutlery rack. I honestly thought I'd hate it and find it a pain, but it's kind of satisfying lining up the silverware and lots of fun putting it away. :) And rarely have a seen a piece that wasn't clean, something I can't say for my old dw with the basket.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 3:40PM
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I know I have said this before, but one thing that is great about the cutlery rack is that it reduces the scratching of my flatware because the pieces are not bumping against each other. I have nice shiny flatware and the cutlery tray helps it stay that way.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 4:38PM
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The crucial missing piece of information is which brand DW the OP is considering. I have a Miele DW, and having lived with its cutlery tray, I will, in any future home I ever live in, install a Miele DW with cutlery tray. Having said that, I have seen the Kitchenaid DW models with cutlery tray, and the KAs' are clunky and take up too much room. I am unfamiliar with other brands' cutlery trays. If I were buying a Kitchenaid--which I think makes a good DW and is a lot of bang for the buck--I'd opt for the KA model with the cutlery basket.

Rwiegand - you are wrong. It is too bad you could not find informed salespeople to help you. My Miele's cutlery tray is fantastic. As Realism noted above, it means cutlery is cleaner since the surface of the cutlery is fully exposed to soap and water. Also, there is no risk of grazing your wrist across an up-pointed knife, the way there is with a basket. Further, the cutlery tray frees up space in the DW's bottom rack for more dishes. Further, the tray means longer lives for your cutlery, especially the knives, as the cutlery is not mashed up and scraping each other in a tangle in the basket. And finally, this idea of taking longer to load a cutlery tray vs. a basket is wrong. Some people are very precise how they load the tray and place each utensil in each slot. Others, like me, just kind of spread the utensils out on the tray. So I don't see how it takes longer to load a utensil tray. The tray is, however, faster to unload than a basket. The utensils are spread out, easy to put away in a drawer, clearly visible, no need to untangle, no need to disengage the fork tines when they are caught in the sides of the basket, no need to pull the knives out carefully like you would with a basket.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 6:24PM
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I am so happy with the cutlery rack that I can't even put it into words. I don't find it a pain in the neck at all to put each piece of silverware in the individual slots. The fact of the matter is that when it comes time to unloading the dishwasher, I take like-silverware pieces in a bunch and put them in the drawer. It is so much easier than the basket!! I find that the silverware comes out much cleaner than in my old dishwasher with the basket, and as a bonus, I have so much extra room on the bottom that it takes me longer to fill the DW! My upper rack is adjustable up and down so it absolutely does not affect how much I can put in the top rack.

As for the decibel level, there is such a miniscule difference between 40 dB and 46 dB that you would probably never notice it. Quiet conversation happens at about 40 dB while normal conversation is typically about 60 dB. Even at 46 dB, the dishwasher is still much quieter than the average conversation. My Miele is about 45 dB and unless it's draining (I can hear a few random gurgles now and then), I can't even tell its's on without looking at its 'on' light.

At the end of the day, you have to do what's best for you and your family when it comes to the extra money spent. For us, it was definitely the right decision. No matter what, you will adjust to whichever type you choose.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 6:42PM
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Don't have one, new-ish Kitchenaid dishwasher, and no regrets. Flatware comes out clean, even when it's dirty and the basket is full. Con is that the basket itself doesn't get dry in the dishwasher, so I can't pick it out and put it on the counter near the silverware drawer to sort without wiping up a puddle. The flatware is dry, just not the basket. But I know nothing about cutlery racks- do they come out? Are they wet when they come out?

Certainly, one would have been lovely, and I wouldn't have turned it down, but for $300, I don't think it's worth it.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 8:31PM
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Neither the wife nor I particularly care for the 3rd rack in her Miele as the place for flatware. We both dislike it less than a few years ago -- I'm now up to indifferent. I wouldn't let it sway me to or away from a brand or model.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 10:19PM
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I just got home and checked on this thread. i'm thrilled to have so many responses. I'm looking at the KitchenAid/Jenn-Air (essentially identical). As far as time to put each item in a slot, that would be no problem at all. Now, with the basket, I am very precise in how I place the cutlery---I make sure that it is divided equallyamong the sections and in such a way that nothing nests. And I only put knives in 2 of the sections---of course, on the rare occasion that DH puts some thngs in the DW, I often stab myself. Some of the larger spoons, spatulas, tongs, etc. get worked into the upper rack, which is one reason I thought the extra cutlery tray would be useful. I'm just obsessive enough that I would probably enjoy loading my flatware one-by-one, also.

Karenlee, Thanks for the practical information about how the extra rack works for you, as well as so clearly understanding the budget constraints that must be factored in. What dishwasher do you have?

Thanks everyone--I appreciate hearing all viewpoints, pro and con.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 11:07PM
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Our salesperson used the 3rd rack option as a way for me to upgrade for only $300 more!!! We wanted a panel ready either Bosch or Miele. Had decided on Bosch 500 series since it was less than $50 difference. Better upper rack, one or two more features but that was all. He was going to have to order the 500 series for me, and tossed in "for only $299 more you could get..." In the end He came way down in price because they had 12 of the 800 plus series in stock. Got ours for only $109 over the 300 series. At least in Bosch, there was a big difference in size of the racks from the 300 and 500 series to the 800, which are much bigger, more like most American made models. That was a selling point, not the 3rd rack, which we suspect we will come to love.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 6:01AM
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karenlee56're welcome!

We bought the Miele Futura Dimension g5575scvi found on Miele's site.

Purchasing it was nothing more than a fluke. My husband and I bought it off of an outlet 'scratch and dent' floor, which is humongous in this particular store. I had never even heard of a Miele dishwasher before. Believe it or not, when I opened the dishwasher's door and I pulled out that third rack, I was in awe. I wanted it but decided to go home and research Miele dishwashers. I then went back the next day with our own dishes, silverware, bowls, etc. to make sure there wouldn't be any loading problems, and the rest is history.

This model retails for $1699.00 but my scratch and dent model that included the front panel and handle (all without any scratches or dents or having ever been used), was on the floor for $1229.93. Through negotiation I got them down to $1099.99. So far, it's the best appliance decision that I have ever made.

Here is a link that might be useful: Miele DW

This post was edited by karenlee56 on Sat, Mar 2, 13 at 10:13

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 10:10AM
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I have a 6 year old KA with a cutlery rack and love, love, love it. The second rack is adjustable or you can remove one or both upper cutlery racks. The cutlery seems to get much cleaner in the rack. The removal of the clean cutlery is easy and I usually scoop up a handful at a time, since I put them in going the same direction.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 11:16PM
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Julie, Thanks for commenting on the KitchenAid cutlery rack. I think most of the comments have been about the Miele. I knew you could change the orientation of the racks,which changes how high they are in the DW, but I didn't know you could remove just one and leave the other. That could be useful.

So did you just remove the cutlery basket, or do you use that,too?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 11:52PM
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The Miele Futura Dimension has sliding sides on the cutlery rack that can allow for larger items below, and those side pieces of the rack can also be removed. The center section can also be lowered to accommodate larger items in the utensil rack. :)

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 6:57AM
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We have the Miele cutlery tray - love it - I have friends that say they would hate it.
You either sort the flatware going into the DW or the way out - I line up the same type of silver together and just grab a handful to put it away.
I can't answer on the KA or other versions.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 1:49PM
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Dear Sail-away, I removed the large rack that went in the bottom rack, however there is a small corner, square rack that I use for utensils like serving spoons, beaters etc. This is my 3rd KA dishwasher due to living in 3 different houses and I have always had good luck with them. That said, I usually buy one of the more expensive models because I like the features.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 1:56PM
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I have a Miele Futura Dimension - bought it because it dries the dishes, and so many new dishwashers do not dry. It came with the cutlery rack whether I liked it or not.

After having the Miele for almost a year I can honestly say I would never buy a dishwasher without the cutlery rack (my last three dish washers had baskets, none were Miele). While it does take a few more minutes to load, the unloading is a total breeze! Much, much faster than unloading a basket. My guess would be that if timed, the load and unload of a basket vs rack would be equal - the basket faster on the load, the rack faster on the unload. The main difference is cleanliness, the rack having it all over the basket (which I admittedly tended to overload).

This post was edited by xamsx on Fri, Mar 8, 13 at 17:58

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 2:05PM
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I've had a KA for just over a year now. I was hoping to get one with the cutlery rack, but I bought my KA on Black Friday and it was deeply discounted. Had I gotten the one with the cutlery tray, it would have been almost $500 more. I actually called dh from the store to discuss it with him, but in the end, I really couldn't justify spending that much extra for something like that. I've lived 45 years without one and while I'm sure it would be a nice to have, it wasn't worth it to me. I know I probably would have loved it had I gotten it, but realistically, that $500 (for me) was better spent elsewhere. While this is something that is truly a personal decision, if you are on a tight budget, I would carefully consider whether it really means that much to you. I'm sure you would probably be happy with it, but only you can decide if there is something else you might also really like to have in your new kitchen for that $300.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 5:02PM
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Everyone's comments have been helpful. Now, as fourkids4us said, I just have to decide if it's worth the extra $$ to me and whether the budget will allow.

As you say, I've done dishes for twenty years without it, but do I want to continue to do so? I think the budget will let me know when we get all the information together.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 10:18PM
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Something to consider is the location of your kitchen layout and flatware storage.

I use the basket 99% of the time. My flatware is stored on the other side of the kitchen, so I carry the entire basket at once.
When I have used the cutlery tray, I had to make numerous trips across the kitchen. It involves walking around an island. It would drive me mad if I had to do this every day, making several trips for a handful of forks, then spoons, then knives.\
If your flatware is stored within a couple feet of the DW, then it's much easier with the cutlery rack.

This post was edited by Cavimum on Wed, Mar 6, 13 at 8:02

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 8:01AM
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Cavimum - my Miele cutlery tray is removable, and can be carried to wherever I want in the kitchen. Plus, all the utensils are laid out on the tray, easy to see, so makes putting the utensils away much easier than having to untangle them from a basket, some facing up some facing down, some stuck in the holes of the basket. That's been my experience.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 8:55AM
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@akchicago - Removable is good. :-) I should check and see if ours can be removed. That would make things easier when I have to use it. Thanks for mentioning that.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 9:25AM
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I haven't read all the responses completely, but I figured I'd chime in and say that having lived with a Miele with cutlery tray for almost a decade, I'd not want to go without.

I do section my cutlery by type/size, and the extra seconds it takes to do that are more than made up for in the unloading process.

Gained space on the bottom rack is huge.

My tray is removable, but it's an older (90's unit) and it's one big tray so it's not convenient, but then I have no reason to do it. One step between DW and drawer. The only reason I would maybe ever want a basket again is if it's a walk between the DW and the cutlery drawer. But probably not.

p.s. I'm not justifying my purchase, the DW was given to me out of a remodel.

This post was edited by foodonastump on Thu, Mar 7, 13 at 10:54

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 10:35AM
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Thanks all. I've appreciated every one of your responses. We're just days from buying our appliances, and the decision is . . . I'm getting the third rack. I'm pretty compulsive about how I load the cutlery in the basket now, so I won't begrudge a little extra time to load. My only concern was how it would impact the next rack and what I could put there. Since one or both cutlery racks can be removed, that should help if I have trouble fitting something in.

I work at home, and one of my client sent some extra work this month, so we're going to use that to pay for the extra rack.

Thanks, again, for sharing your experiences and helping me decide what I want to do.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 11:42AM
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Just got back from the local appliance store where we will be buying our appliances. I took a lot of dishes, glassware, pans, etc., and tried loading the DW with the third (cutlery) rack. It worked great. And I still could remove one or both trays if I had an unusual combination of items to wash.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 4:15PM
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Congratulations!! Which model did you decide on? I think you'll be very happy with the cutlery rack. :) It is my thinking that whomever developed the original design idea for a cutlery rack was brilliant!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 8:19PM
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Karenlee, We've been looking at Kitchenaid and JennAir, going back and forth. The Kitchenaid and Jennair DWs we have been considering look identical. So we ended up deciding on the Jenn-Air 8700. We're getting a package with a Jenn-Air wall oven and Jenn-Air cooktop, which offers a DW for free; for $300 more, we're getting the 8700 with the cutlery rack. We're buying from a local family-owned and run appliance store and we (and friends of ours) have been pleased with their service in the past. I just need to go over a few last details with DH and then we'll finalize the purchase.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 9:03PM
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The reason I bought my Kitchen Aid DW with the cutlery rack is:
Much more sanitary and no spreading of whatever bug anyone else in the family has.
I would have purchased a Miele but there is no authorized repair person in our northern Wyoming area.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 4:41PM
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Anita, I agree that's an advantage.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 9:10PM
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