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Jul 18, 2008 06:12 PM

Appliance Reviews: Does anyone like anything?

New to this board and in the midst of a total kitchen redo.
After doing a ton of research, both in person & online I've come to the conclusion that 90%+ of online user reviews hate their new appliance.
If one was to form an opinion solely from the above you could draw no other conclusion but "our old insert appliance here has worked great since Noah built the ark but our new insert new appliance here is a piece of junk and so is the dealer we bought it from.

How does anyone form any kind of realistic opinion?
FWIW, I'm not new to the internet(93) or the online community but of all the "communities" I've habituated in the last 15 years the appliance related ones are definitely the most skewed.
I think noobs really need to be wary of what they read online.
With that said, I've been lurking here for a bit and find it a really nice place with the majority of people being honest and helpful.

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  1. Now that made me laugh! I'm assuming you're talking about major appliances, yes?

    What I find is that there's no consensus, rather than everyone hating everything. I see plenty of accolades out there for certain appliances, but you can always find some folks who are just as adamantly against the same items.

    There really does seem to be some truth to the idea that newer stuff isn't made like it used to be. So that sentiment may be based firmly in the realities of how stuff is made and marketed these days.

    I have a collection of stuff that basically works okay but I don't really like it that much, mostly 5-8 years old. The only thing newer and that particularly stands out is the basic Bosch dishwasher, which compared only to others I've actually used is pretty impressive. But then the others I've used wouldn't generally be seen as competitive at all. It's been here a little over 2 years. You'll find some folks who don't like these, I guarantee.

    1. From what I've read in the past few years, one factor weems to be the acquisiton of reputable companies by other firms. Maytag's advertising used to be pretty accurate, but now the label is owned by Whirlpool. I have a 20-year-old KitchenAid stand mixer that still works great. But I've seen a number of complaints on Chowhound since the brand was acquired by Sunbeam. I've avoided all GE products since reading in Consumer Reports that they have a truly abominable freezer made by a notoriously bad firm in China. And with all the globalization, a brand may change hands or factories or countries without a consumer even being aware. For my ew freezer (a Maytag), I just read Consumer Reports and hoped for the best. So far, so good.

      Added comment: For GE to sell an appliance the execs know to be bad, I figure the appliance division, at least. must be run by a pretty sleazy crew. Perhaps that's why GE wants to dump that division.

      3 Replies
      1. re: mpalmer6c

        The thrust of your remarks may be OK, but your examples are inaccurate. Maytag's quality was in serious decline well before Whirlpool bought them, and their financial weakness caused by their quality problems is why they had to find a buyer in the first place. Kitchenaid is not owned by Sunbeam, which itself went bankrupt several years ago and is now a shadow of its former self (KitchenAid was bought from Hobart by Whirlpool in 1986, so if yours is 20 years old it was made by Whirlpool which still owns KA). And I don't think shunning everything made by a company because one item gets a bad review is smart. If you rely on Consumers Report, look closely and you will see that sometimes an item is highly rated while another item of the same brand is low rated. Manufacturers making things for each other has been going on long before "globalization," and few buyers have ever been aware--most people probably even still think that Sears manufactures Kenmore appliances, or Craftsman tools for that matter. GE got out of the small appliance business years ago (Wal-Mart controls the brand for small appliances) and their plan to sell the large appliance division has nothing to do with sleaze and everything to do with the fact that large appliances aren't very profitable.

        1. re: johnb

          Whirlpool manufactures the countertop stuff? I would have guessed they do not. Certainly they don't make the cookware and gadgets and such that are branded KitchenAid. They own the brand; that doesn't mean they make everything. I would not be surprised to find a countertop KitchenAid appliance that was made by Sunbeam at some point in time (which isn't the same as Sunbeam owning KitchenAid, true, but these things get extraordinarily complicated now).

          1. re: CrazyOne

            You're right--it is complicated. What I'm saying below is to the best of my knowledge--I haven't searched the web just now to verify it.

            Whirlpool bought Kitchenaid in 1986. That included the name, the plant(s), the employee base, the patents, everything. From that time, all products manufactured by Kitchenaid in its own factory(ies) can be said to have been manufactured by "Whirlpool" since they own Kitchenaid, lock, stock, and barrel. The mixers are manufactured (even to this day AFAIK) in the same plant in I think Ohio where they've always been made, although there may be some models made elsewhere. That guy John Ratzenberger once did a segment about that factory for his "Made In America" TV show. The food processors are made in China now (previously they were made in France by Robocoupe, the firm that made the first home food processors--I bought one of the last of these French Kitchenaid processors myself). The major appliances are made by Whirlpool in plants that also make Whirlpool-branded appliances--they are typically "higher end" versions of the same appliances (ie built on the same platform) sold as Whirlpool, and I imagine the main reason Whirlpool bought Kitchenaid was to use the brand name for higher end (ie higher profit) appliances. It is of course possible, even likely, that some Kitchenaid branded appliances are made by others as well. These days that can vary from week to week. But the definition of "others" is fuzzy too. For example, Whirlpool's high-end front loading washers are made in Germany by a German company, but if my info is correct it turns out that that company is owned by, guess who, Whirlpool. Bosch, meanwhile, a German company, makes its front-loaders at its plant in North Carolina.

            I doubt Whirlpool ever sold anything made by Sunbeam under the Kitchenaid name, but I don't know for sure.

            Nothing is simple.

      2. We just moved into a brand new house and chose all of our major appliances. We got everything from Sears, though with the caveat that we got it through our builder via contract sales and not through the normal retail store or website. We got and, so far, love the following:
        Kenmore Elite 24.8 cu. ft. TRIO® French Door Bottom Freezer Refrigerator Sears item# 04676593000 - it's got tons of space; the one "quirk" is that its got a full width drawer that you really have to get the doors all the way open to be able to open. If you've got enough space to do that, no worries.

        Our dishwasher is the Stainless Steel Kenmore 24 in. Built-In Dishwasher Sears item# 02213843000. It's brilliant and has a sanitizing cycle that we love. A lot. We got all the other stuff, too but those seem to be what people are after most and, honestly, we have used the new range enough yet to be able to offer a good opinion.

        1. Well, I love our new appliances, so maybe I'm the exception! We have the new Sub Zero fridge with the glass doors and the drawers. Love it. We have the new Miele dishwasher, and it does the first load in 15 minutes, and subsequent loads in 8. It uses the rinse water from the previous load to wash the next load, so it is super efficient and it is great to have the dishes done so quickly. We also have a Sub-Zero beverage refrigerator in our butler's pantry and it works very well with the Hojizaki ice maker next to it that makes perfect, clear cubes, also great. We have an 11 year old Viking range (6 burrners, griddle and grill, 2 full-sized ovens) that we were so happy with that we did not replace it, just cosmetically refurbished. Okay, so this is all high end stuff, I will admit, but it's worth stretching to get the good stuff rather than compromising and spending your life waiting for the repair man to arrive!

          1. That's an interesting conclusion. My take is that many on the internet seem bent on convincing the world that the brand they bought is THE best and only brand to buy.
            The biggest issue I see with a lot of help from the internet is that we all have different ideas about what's ideal. Some don't care for the commercial style ranges because they don't feel they are more reliable than a standard range while other focus only on BTU. The next person wants one with a fit finish and name that will fit in an up scale home. I don't ultimatly see any right or wrong choices only personal choices that fit your budget, needs and wants.
            The only appliance I would absolutley avoid is GE dish machines. The new models have pumps that are not attached to the machine but rather hang underneath and they cavitate to beat the band. Pretty much the polar opposite of Bosch on sound level and the one I had was over $1,000 with the super quiet sound package. I had a Bosch for five years and I liked it but I did need repairs. The top of the Bosch is hard plastic so if your machine is near a work area in your kitchen consider that. Any citric acid that gets on it will discolor the control panal that sticks out to the counter top lip or pretty close. I have an Asko dish machine now and I love it. Just as quiet as the Bosch plus it has a fan for drying.
            I have a kitchen aid mixer that is around 15 years old I love. I love the Viking hood sysytem. I like all of my other appliances and I don't recal one I ever had I hated except the GE dish machine that went back. I've had a Viking range for seven years that I like very much. I have had repairs and have not found them to be any more expensive than any other brand. The beauty of it is simplicity. Most repairs I can do myself and they are easy which I really like.
            In the end beauty is in the eye of the one writing the check. I hope you find a kitchen that works well for you.