Which is better brand of range?

boops2012November 13, 2012

I am currently comparing 3 ranges in the 800$ range at Sears. Which is better? Kitchenaide-has conv. ,self clean and adj. burner., hidden bake element. Kenmore- has all that plus a warmimg zone and a 3 size burner.GE has all the stuff as the KA but has the warming zone as well. Im leaning towards the Kenmore coz of the bells and whistles but know the KA has a great rep. sale is on till Thanksgiving so ive got some time. TIA

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You might want to think about other criteria besides the bells and whistles. How big are the burners? How many btu? Does the arrangement of the different size burners fit with the way you cook? Do you like the iron grate over the burner? I have seen some that are just way too tall for my liking. Is the stove easy to clean?

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 11:12PM
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I just re-read this and I just have to say that we have moved a lot. We're on our 4th house in 12 years...

In 2007 I bought a Kenmore all gas w/convection oven & the long center burner. It was great as far as ranges go. I am not a chef, just average home cook. I was lucky enough to buy it for around $450 at the Sears Outlet. It had some scratches and very minor dent on the side, but since it was flanked by two cabinets, those things didn't bother me. It was way better than the 1993 basic range it replaced. That one didn't have sealed burners and only 2 of the 4 burners worked. Almost anything would have been an improvement.

Here's a picture from when we sold:

I've never had a KA range, but I wouldn't buy one. To me you pay more money for the KA look and name, but they don't make them like they used to. I've owned 2 KA dishwashers, the first in 2000 was great, the 2nd in 2004 not so much. I've had a KA fridge for the past 5 years. It's ok, but if I could afford to replace it, I would in a heartbeat. In the first 3 years we had something like 6 service calls on it. I normally don't buy extended warranties, but we did on this fridge. It turns out the doors were out of alignment which would cause the close button to not depress all the way even though the doors were fully closed. After so many minutes, the whole thing would shut down - temp display, lights, etc. We had 2 circuit boards replaced and 3 different guys work on it before the last guy - the most inexperienced one, figured out to glue a 1 cent spacer in front of the button. But for what I paid, it shouldn't need a spacer at all. If that last guy had determined that the circuit board was faulty, I would have been able to get a replacement - darn!

In this current house we had KA double wall ovens and downdraft cooktop. The KA double ovens were EXACTLY like the Whirlpool Gold- builder issue double ovens I had in my house in Northern CA, but no doubt cost more. The downdraft smooth top electric cooktop was a nightmare to use.

I realize that every appliance is different, ranges are not fridges, etc. I guess that I've owned enough bad KA's that it's turned me off the brand all together - except my KA mixer. That's one that KA has not managed to ruin and you'll have to pry mine from my cold dead hands. Check more reviews, most of the KA's don't have such a great rep. KA, (most) Kenmores, Jenn Air, Maytag and Amana are all made by the Whirlpool Corp. They are the largest manufacturer of appliances in the US, but their quality is a mixed bag.

If you have a Sears Outlet in your area, check them out. For the money you are looking to pay, maybe you'll find a Bosch or other better range. Or you might just find that Kenmore for a lot less and end up with extra cash this holiday season.

Good Luck

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 2:26AM
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Thanks to those who answered. I should have clarified- Im looking at electric. Unfortunately, there is no option for gas at this house.
Kathe- I will need to drive to Orlando, an hour away, to the nearest Sears outlet,but if it has deals, might be worth the trip.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 6:57AM
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Unlike Kathe, I've had great experiences with my KA appliances, but they aren't known for their ranges.

As far as the Sears Outlet goes, you can check their inventory online as often as you want. I'm not sure about your store, but the closest one to me (35 mins) will hold an appliance if you call them and want to go see it. Well, maybe it was that they'd hold it for you if you said you wanted to buy it, but you are under no obligation if you drove, saw the item, and changed your mind. This way, it saves the drive and you can check inventory more often!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 11:11AM
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Our Maytag Gemini smooth glasstop stove has a warming zone that I barely ever use. I find that the glass holds the temp. for quite a while after the burners are shut off, so I can leave a pan on there and keep it warm until it's time to eat. Others may disagree?

Which bells and whistles appeal the most to you? Which has the burner configurations that make the most sense for the way that you cook? Our old Maytag had big burners on opposing corners. The new one has both big burners up front. Nice in theory, until I go to put a smaller pot on the back burner and I have to reach over a boiling hot giant pot on the front to stir something in the back!

Which one has controls that make the most sense for you? Again, our old stove had dials that had numbers for the different heat levels, which I liked. I didn't notice that the new one has this whoosh of grayscale for the heat adjustment rather than numbers until we got it home and started using it. It's a little thing, but I miss my numbers, especially when trying to instruct my kids in using the cooktop.

All in all, I'd be much more interested in the function and layout than in the name tag, FWIW. : )

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 2:36PM
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Hi Boops,

I can't vouch for the ranges specifically, but I have a Kenmore Elite electric wall oven, and love it. No regrets. In fact, it's the only appliance (besides the microwave) that we didn't replace during our recent remodel.

We also had a Kenmore Elite cooktop, which we replaced because we wanted the 2nd oven that a range would provide, but that cooktop was absolutely wonderful and I still miss certain things about it. It was really a workhorse.

I find the Kenmore products to be well-designed and reliable.

Good luck

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 2:52PM
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At that price point I think I would go for the Kenmore.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 3:07PM
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