Touchscreen induction cooktop help!

eowynAugust 21, 2014

Hello! We're in the market for a new cooktop, and I'm inclined towards induction. Here's my only reservation: almost all of the ones I've seen are touchscreen models.
I have nerve damage and decreased blood flow in my fingers, and due to that, sometimes touchscreen phones don't recognize that my fingers are fingers. I'm worried about not being able to turn on my stove!
Do any of you have really responsive induction cooktops, or induction cooktops with manual knobs?

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Not sure of your budget, but check out the Miele, From what I read in past posts, it doesn't use a sensor like those on touch screens, but some method of blocking out the ambient light. So what you are doing is blocking light from the sensor. Good Luck.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 1:52PM
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Viking is the first that comes to mind for induction cooktops with knobs. Don't know if they're any good though.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 2:02PM
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I would say that you need to try them in a showroom.

I can control my electrolux with a cloth over my finger (why did I do that?), as well as directly.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 3:24PM
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Gaggenau also has an induction cooktop controlled with a knob. I believe it is the 36" model. The Gaggenau vario induction cooktop models also uses a knob. The miele combiset single induction burner also uses a knob.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 9:51PM
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The Gaggs with a central knob for all burners are not the same as a true knob controlled induction cooktop. The Gaggs still have touch pads for turning the power on/off and activating various features.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 10:42PM
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I have the Gaggenau cooktop with the knob and it does, indeed, have touch buttons, though for most cooking you limit it to the on/off button. It does require some hand strength/dexterity to operate the knob. You have to slide it against the magnet that holds it in place.

The touch buttons are for on/off, memory, automatic boil (boils and returns to the set power level, for things like cooking rice), power boost and timer. The knob is actually a big strong magnet. To turn on an element, you slide it against the magnet that holds it in place, towards the display for that element, to select it, then turn the knob to select the power level. The element indicator blinks for several seconds during which you can adjust the setting. After it stops blinking, you must select it again to make a change. If your fingers aren't warm enough to operate the on/off and other controls, you can dip the corner of a sponge in hot water, squeeze it out, and use that. I've tried. It works fine. Just don't have it wet enough for loose water to come out, or it'll trigger the boil over sensor and the unit will start beeping at you.

The Gaggenau Vario units, the 15" wide ones, do have knobs. I haven't inspected them for many years, but the 200 series have knobs on the front of the unit, and the 400 series have knobs that you mount on the cabinet apron. The 400 series are as powerful as similar elements on a full sized cooktop. I don't remember about the 200 series. This is a very expensive option, however, and requires special installation if you're getting more than one unit. You'd have to check, but I think the only controls on these are the knobs, which are standard dial knobs with a raised center to pinch.

Some commercial units, which are okay for residential installation, also have knobs. The main thing that's offputting is that they tend to be loud. They also may require a larger air channel for cooling the electronics. This is also a case of buying individual or paired elements.

While Viking has an iffy reputation, I'd think they'd be buying their inductors from one of the major makers of inductors, and their control units from computer board companies, and fans are pretty simple devices, so of all things, if I were going to take a chance on Viking, I'd think an induction cooktop is a safer bet than many of their products.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 1:05PM
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You really need to try out the induction and see how your fingers work. Also have another person with you to compare the reaction of your fingers and another person. Be aware that there is a learning curve involved whether there is nerve damage or not.

There have been complaints that the cooktop doesn't work when in fact, the user hasn't yet learned that a light touch is needed. When I first got my Bosch 30 induction, I, too thought that it wasn't working properly as it didnt turn on when I pressed the touchpad. Well, I was pressing too hard and it took a little bit of time for me to learn that I just needed to rest my finger. My daughter got it right away. I really thought I had a faulty unit. I was wrong.

Another thing. There are not a lot of 'hooked up' inductions to try out. Miele has showrooms with connected induction cooktops but I never got to try any other brand. I'm in Chicagoland but I think inductions haven't yet caught on here in the midwest. Perhaps better luck on each coast. So call first.

It takes less finger strength to operate a touchpad than to turn a knob, but I have no idea how that relates to your own particular fingers-whether the machine will recognize your fingers. And there is a learning curve whether you have perfect blood circulation or not. Don't confuse the often 'user error' with an impaired function of your fingers. It is easy to do. Good luck. Once you get the hang of it, you will love it.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 6:59PM
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I agree- give them a try in the show room.
I totally understand your problem and have a similar issue that I can't always operate sensors.

One funny and unrelated story - I was training in a new classroom and I couldn't operate the LCD projector buttons, so thinking the control panel wasn't working, I climbed up on a chair and used a dowel to push the buttons on the ceiling mounted projector. Later, one of the other instructors came in and I was explaining the broken touch screen controller when she touched it and it came to life. By then, my hands had warmed up enough and I tried it also- it worked- we both scratched our brains until I realized my Raynaud fingers were still frozen from the cold morning.
Now, I warm up my paws when in a classroom with touch screen projectors.

I also have problems with O2 saturation fingertip probes. One rep kept trying to sell me a less expensive clinical model and he kept coming with newer models that he was sure would work. I would put the good model on one finger and his new and improved model on the other. He would leave promising a new model in a couple months.

As far as induction- I never have problems with my Wolf. I am not sure what is uses but it is always responsive.

Good luck on your choice

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 7:29PM
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We had the same experience westsider describes when we first used ours (Bosch 500, if it matters). My husband was trying to "mash" the controls, which is kind of what our stove in our old house requires. I finally got him to just rest his finger there for a nanosecond longer and everything worked. But with regard to circulation and cold fingers, I wonder if you turned your hand over and touched the control panel with a knuckle, would that be more "recognizable"? I agree you need to find some in a showroom to try,but the number of models hooked up will be very limited.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 11:53AM
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