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30" electric wall-ovens: American Range (AROFE-30) / Wolf (S0302US)

I suppose if I had not begun reading reviews, I would not be finding myself in what has become a pain-in-the-butt task due to the many bad reviews on nearly every brand I have read. I am out to replace a ten year old 30" Bosch whereby I have put approximately $1000 into repairs over the years. A couple times it has been to replace "plastic" fingers/gears located behind the knobs. I have learned while researching that Bosch, Gaggeneau, and Thermador are all manufactured by the same company; so, I will not be considering any of these due to my experience and the many poor reviews I have read. Although, I must say our Bosch dishwasher has been great; it cleans well, is very quiet, hot, and has yet to require a repair after 10 years.

After exhausting myself in an attempt to find reliable products, I am inclined to pull the trigger real soon on the American Range 30" electric oven with French doors (AROFE-30). I have not found a whole lot of info on A.R. which is surprising considering they have been around forever on the commercial end. The only negative thing I have read were a few comments about the doors being hot; however, I have read that about many brands & I have come to the conclusion none of the residential electric ones are hot enough to be concerned about. Plus, I am beginning to believe since there are few negatives posted for A.R. out there, this is probably a good sign because most folks don't seek out forums to write positive comments; it is usually to complain.

My second product of choice is the Wolf (SO302US). Both the A.R. and the Wolf are between $3000 - $3359. I did like the Viking as well, but (to my surprise) I have simply read way too many negative comments about them.
So, any comments from users of either the Wolf or American Range electric ovens would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. Wolf is number #1 in market share in the luxury wall oven class.

    AR is a niche player.

    Ergo, there will be more compaints about Wolf than AR simply on number of units sold.

    A few years ago AR was flying high and increasing sales then they ran into quality control problems resulting into at least two lawsuits that I know of. One,it seems,got resolved.

    The other can be found at www.americanrangelawsuit.com

    Wolf received the highest numerical score for ranges,cooktops and ovens in a tie in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Kitchen Appliance Study. AR owners did not give enough feedback to qualify because JD could not find enough of them.

    Needless to say between those two brands I would take Wolf.

    1. I have been in the appliance business for 38 years. With all due respect to the Wolf products, I would choose the American Range Oven. I prefer the omission of electronics of the American Range Oven. My experience has taught me that less is better. The American Range Oven is of a heavy duty construction that is no longer found in home appliances. American Range has taken there commercial experience and produced an oven that works perfectly.

      2 Replies
        1. re: Barryadl

          Thanks for the reply. I have a slight hold-up on my pending purchase due to the size of both 30" ovens. I am going to first have a contractor take a look at my cabinetry to ensure I can pull this off. The Bosch I am intending to replace only has a cut-out height of 23"; the A.R. requires a whopping 31.38 cut-out height & the Wolf requires approximately 27". The width of both are a little wider than my Bosch; I should be able to accommodate this. However, I will likely need to lose one of two cabinet drawers below my current oven to accommodate the height. Of course, then it will simply come down to whether the contractor can remove the current floor board and build another base above the one remaining drawer. I sure hope it can be done otherwise I will have to drop down to a 27" oven whereby A.R. and Wolf are not players.
          I still am favoring the A.R. with the french doors. The past gas issues some have encountered do not concern me since it will be electric. I must also determine whether the french doors will now be an issue since I do have a wall angling away approximately 3-4 inches from what will become the oven edge. I may be forced to alternate to a drop-down door. Wolf may be the eventual winner simply due to a lack of space since it's also 1.5" less wide.

        2. another vote for AR and I love Wolf products

          2 Replies
          1. re: lcool

            I have a Wolf dual fuel range. I love the gas stove and electric oven. Both function beautifully. My only complaints about the oven are the length of time it takes to preheat and the amount of heat it seems to give off down near the floor level. It's a bonus in cold weather but a bummer when it's warm out.

            1. re: 1sweetpea

              I have a 48" Wolf back to back with a 48"Thermadore ,both propane from the factory,not duel fuel.Love them both for not exactly the same reasons.Both ovens very fast,Thermadore wins by a nose there and neither warm the floor even a little bit.
              Wall ovens are a different animal,gas or electric.I have,work in both here and in Italy.None of my wall ovens are Wolf or AR,however my sister's wall oven is Wolf,no complaints here.

          2. You have two very different ovens. On the American you have no electronics but you also have no third element convection, no baking/roasting modes and no self clean. I have both Wolf(DF range) and Electrolux ovens now and I do not have problems with heat coming from them but I am comparing them to my previous ovens that belched out heat. Without the electronics, I wonder why the American is so expensive.

            5 Replies
              1. re: lcool

                I can't get your link to work, but tell me what you are referring to.

                1. re: wekick

                  the AR is better featured than you imply ,some is in the post below Barryadl

                  1. re: lcool

                    I am only referring to the features it does not have. Everything I said is true. Some like Barryadl and maybe you consider this an advantage. I consider it a disadvantage.
                    The range of temperature on the thermostat(200-500 degrees) would also be a deal killer for me on the AR. But it is all a matter of preference and what is important to you.

                    To the OP, it looks like the Wolf oven you are looking at may be discontinued.
                    http://www.ajmadison.com/cgi-bin/ajma...
                    You should be able to get a deal on a floor model.
                    I would also take a look at the warranty on both.

                    1. re: wekick

                      For me the exercise was 3.5 to 4 years ago,neither would be my first choice,then or now,30" not for me.

            1. 1. The American Range oven fits into a 30” cabinet. According to the Wolf Design Guide you are recommended to have a 33” wide cabinet for a Wolf 30" oven.
              2. The older Bosch 23” high ovens came from an Italian supplier and were 20Amps. The American Range oven is 20 amps and the Wolf needs 30 amps because of the self-cleaning. Check your circuit.
              3. The American Range oven has a Ribbon Bake element and an Infrared Broil element. You can’t get better than that and the preheat time is incredibly FAST.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Barryadl

                Thanks for the info. I have not seen anything stating the Wolf requires 33"; if possible, please provide me a link to where I can find the info so I can provide it to the contractor in the event I go with the Wolf. If so, the A.R. may actually be the better fit since I can possibly overcome the height. Great catch on the amperage; I would not have considered that.
                As for the comments on the differentiation of features between the A.R. and Wolf, I realize the A.R. is not near as fancy. I am OK with that because I am more concerned with reliability versus features. We are very simple when it comes to utilization of our oven; my wife and I are not expert cooks by any means. I do like that the A.R. heats quickly; I have read many comments regarding the Wolf taking like twenty minutes to warm up. If I choose the Wolf, it will likely be because one of the A.R. french doors will hit my wall or the drop down door of the other A.R. drop-down door extends outward much further than the Wolf. Of course, if the Wolf requires 33", it may be too wide for cabinet. It sure was easier the first time when we built our home. I do realize with our limited usage of an oven, I could get by with a less expensive brand; but, I have an upper-market home and want to keep the kitchen appliances upscale because we could decide to sell our home one day.

                1. re: Doberman_Fan

                  http://www.subzero-wolf.com/resources...

                  Page6.
                  PS: How Many lawyers does it take to come up with the term recommend

                  1. re: Barryadl

                    Thanks; very good info to assist in determining a physical fit. My cut measurements are actually correct via the specs; but, apparently one must accommodate extra space on all sides probably because of the heat which they should note (but, do not) in the specs. It would be nice to find detailed guidelines on the A.R. to see whether it requires extra as well; one would think it does to be safe.