Best countertop microwave?

littledonkeyJune 2, 2014

The best location for my microwave is on the counter. While I realize the microwave is much less expensive than other appliances, I'd still like to make the right decision. Should I focus on one of the brands that makes their own (Sharp, Panasonic, Samsung) or get something else? Any specific recommendations greatly appreciated - thanks!

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hvtech42

The 3 you listed are in my opinion, the best. In that order too. Sharp is the only one to my knowledge who is still making them in the USA.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 6:59PM
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weedmeister

We had a Panasonic at work. It was an inverter model, meaning that it didn't cycle on and off, but actually reduced the power. I liked it.

I owned a Sharp convection microwave for a while. I replaced it with a GE which is junk. When the GE dies (or I blast it with my 12 guage), I'll replace it with another Sharp.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 8:07PM
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sahmmy_gw

I like Panasonic MWs the best, but the Sharp MWs are good too. Don't get a convection countertop MW; they're not good from any brand.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 10:28PM
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littledonkey

Thanks! Any specific thoughts on the following Sharp models?

R651ZS
R551ZS
R520LKT

Or any other ones you specifically recommend?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 9:55PM
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ak0402

Littledonkey - I don't have the time to compare the 3 models you listed. However, if you want to do some homework, and compare the 3 yourself, and then post here about the differences, we can let you know which features are worthwhile or preferable.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 8:04AM
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JamieHarris1790

@littledonkey , I have the R520LKT and have had it for quite some time now and it's working out pretty well.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 1:03PM
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Bungalow14

Another vote for Panasonic. Just installed a "Genius Prestigeâ model # NN-SE982S in a deep cabinet upper for a built-in look, but it can sit on the countertop as well - it is full stainless steel front, top, and sides.
It is very powerful, quiet, and looks terrific.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 2:54PM
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Buddyboy546

The last two microwaves I have had have been GE low end countertops. They were reasonable quality. I have just purchased a Panasonic NN-ST652W, a 1200 watt inverter. My first impressions are that it is a quality machine,,smooth, quiet, powerful, and I like the inverter technology. BUT, and it's a big but, it is not possible to see what power,level it is cooking at once it is running. The only way to be sure what,power level it is running at is to cancel the programme and start again. Customer service at Panasonic have verified this. Nor is it possible to change the power level while it is cooking. Again you have to cancel the whole programme and start again. My GEs did this in an snap.

Imagine buying a radio and, after starting to use it, find there is no way to know what station it is tuned into,that you have to turn it off,turn it back on again and re-tune it. Who at Panasonic dreamed up the acceptability of such a basic absence? Is this just the model I happened to buy? I doubt it. Panasonic microwave owners, does your countertop model do this? Do you find this acceptable, or is it just me?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 4:30PM
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sahmmy_gw

Buddyboy546 - I must admit that once I set the power level at the beginning, I never need to look at it again. I.e. I set the power level at 10, and it is 10 until the food is heated. Or, for the "sensor cook" setting, there is no power level - the MW just senses the power needed and microwaves until the food is heated. I do not find your issue an issue, in 25 years of having MWs.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 8:14AM
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Buddyboy546

Sahmmy: That's odd. I honestly used it all the time, especially changing the level during a cook cycle.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 9:30AM
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littledonkey

I ended up ordering the Panasonic genius model based on various reviews on this forum. Of course, after I ordered it Panasonic tells me it's backordered with no ETA for shipment! Hopefully I'll like it once it comes.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 4:16PM
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