Sources for rating appliances?

marvelousmarvinDecember 20, 2012

Other than this forum, what are your go to sources for reviews for appliances when you need to buy a new appliance?

I used to check Consumer Reports for their reviews, but I've been burned too many times. I really like the idea of the magazine, but I've noticed that CR's best picks are never the ones that experts and connoisseurs say are the best.(I wonder if CR's problems is that the reviewers are generalists, and they place too much emphasis on cost.)

Is there something more like Cook's Illustrated for appliances? I'm not saying Cook's Illustrated picks are always correct, but they tend to be in the general ballpark and just reading their testing methods gives you a good idea what to look for. With Cook's Illustrated, cooks are evaluating the products and they're not afraid to nominate something as the best, regardless of price.

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Part of the problem with CR is they don't include long term durabilty of appliances when they give their rankings and best picks.They say there is no good way to judge that becasue the older an appliances gets the more variables are involved. They also think the appliance makers reputations are irrelevant. They dont seem to have a problem including those things in car rankings. A new Ford model is too soon to judge for reliablity but a new Toyota model gets a pass based on Toyota's track record.

Their task to judge an appliance's performance is either too simple or not a task an appliance owner would perform in real life. They try to standardize test by using the same procedure on all appliance to accomplish a particular task instead of reading manufacture directions on what procedure is best to accomplish the particular task for the test.

Then they don't create a test to explore the limits of the better appliances. Like how well can you sear a rare steak on Bluestar's 22k btu burner or how hard can the water get you feed a Miele Diamond DW and dishes still come out perfect because of the built-in water softner.

There used to be Appliance Magazine but now it is only a website.There is a trade journal about appliance design but I think that is too insider for 99.9% of consumers. There is geared toward appliance salespeople,appliance store owners/managers, and appliance distributors.There are retired people that used to work for appliance makers post there too.Other sites are geared toward appliance repair people. Appliances change too infrequently,appliances choices too limited and appliance purchases are too infrequent to support something like Cooks Illustrated. There is the Cookware Forum on Chowhound that has limited appliance discussion but this forum is much better. The other appliance forums that are active are foreign based that discuss mostly appliances not available here. Other American based sites trying to rate appliances by consumer feedback don't get enough public particpation to be relevent and mostly because sites for spam.At least to my knowledge.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 5:02AM
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AJMadison can come in handy. They have a lot of appliance reviews there, or if you are in a hurry, just count the stars, but be sure to note the number of reviews by the stars, (IE a 5 star review by only one poster) is not that much help. Same goes for Sears, Best Buy, etc etc.

You can also "Google" the appliance name and model number + reviews, and in "most cases" get quite a few "Hits".


    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 10:57AM
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For smaller countertop appliances, you can check reviews on amazon. You do have to check the negative reviews carefully because sometimes people give bad reviews because the item arrived late!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 11:02AM
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For larger appliances, there is and some related appliance review sites grouped under The number of full reviews is pretty limited but I found the refrigeratorInfo reviews to be pretty helpful when I was shopping for a new fridge. They do the same kinds of things that CR does but they post details of findings rather than trying dumb=everything down into instant graphic buttons.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 3:48PM
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You will occasionally find useful threads on chowhound and cheftalk.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 9:44PM
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