New Microwave - what to select?

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ResearchMed
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New Microwave - what to select?

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:05 pm

We need a new Microwave, and haven't purchased something like this in ages.

What are the important features, and what power?

We are finally fed up with our ancient little machine, the one with no turntable <inserted embarrassed emoticon>.

We use it primarily to reheat things, defrost, make tea... nothing fancy...
But we might use it more if it, uh, worked better.

Recommendations about specific brands (pro or con) or models are appreciated.
Although we are obviously interested in price - or we wouldn't be here on BH - we are more interested in reliability, and also any especially useful features (for our uses/purposes, of course).
We would also especially appreciate info about newer microwave features, the ones we'd likely have little or no familiarity with... again, pro or con.

Do we want a convection mode?
(Does this just make it into a tiny oven, or does this work with the microwave feature?)

Thanks.

RM
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sport
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Re: New Microwave - what to select?

Post by sport » Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:08 pm

Do you want a built-in over-the-range unit, or a counter top unit? For a counter top, I would look at whatever Costco has in the store.

ResearchMed
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Re: New Microwave - what to select?

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:18 pm

sport wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:08 pm
Do you want a built-in over-the-range unit, or a counter top unit? For a counter top, I would look at whatever Costco has in the store.
Sorry - should have specified. Looking for COUNTER TOP model.

There's no Costco very close by and we'd prefer to have it delivered anyway, and minimize lugging it around, and even lifting it out of the car, up the front porch, etc. (We have someone who can help lift it on to the counter if it comes to that. We haven't even looked at weight yet.)

Thanks.

RM
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AllMostThere
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Re: New Microwave - what to select?

Post by AllMostThere » Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:20 pm

We recently added a gourmet kitchen and bought all new appliances ~ $9K. We bought what we thought was a high end product - Bosch. Huge mistake. :oops: Three of six appliances have needed major repairs in past 5 years - Frig (4X), Micro (3X), Dishwasher (1x). Luckily, I purchased an extended warranty, so the Frig was fixed free every time. I had to fix the DW myself. Last time the Micro died, it was arcing sparks badly on the inside. I had to replace the magnetron myself. My convection oven is awesome with zero issues. I'm just glad I did not purchase the oven with the microwave attached, as a lemon microwave would also cause a replacement of the oven. As another member posted, next time I would look at Costco for some appliances. I saw some really nice looking Samsungs on display and have heard good things about this product.

JimInIllinois
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Re: New Microwave - what to select?

Post by JimInIllinois » Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:42 pm

Panasonic Inverter. Low power is actually low power, not high power alternating with off.

adamthesmythe
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Re: New Microwave - what to select?

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:43 pm

For a counter top model- just go to the store and pick one with a color that you like. They are cheap enough that it's not worth soul-searching and if it fails it's not hard to replace (not like a built-in).

> Do we want a convection mode?

Bought one with a convection mode long ago and it never worked properly. Maybe they're better now.

> we'd prefer to have it delivered

That will probably cost you a significant fraction of the cost.

McCharley
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Re: New Microwave - what to select?

Post by McCharley » Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:47 pm

We got a powerful Panasonic "inverter technology" one about seven years ago and it still runs like a champ.

This looks like the newer model of the same thing:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01DE ... _qh_dp_hza

It is very fast, and the knob is a nicer interface than the buttons most microwaves have. :beer

Do not get an underpowered microwave -- they can take forever to do something like defrosting. :annoyed

rr2
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Re: New Microwave - what to select?

Post by rr2 » Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:57 pm

McCharley wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:47 pm
We got a powerful Panasonic "inverter technology" one about seven years ago and it still runs like a champ.

This looks like the newer model of the same thing:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01DE ... _qh_dp_hza

It is very fast, and the knob is a nicer interface than the buttons most microwaves have. :beer

Do not get an underpowered microwave -- they can take forever to do something like defrosting. :annoyed
Unfortunately, I have one of these models and the door switch is starting to act very flakey after about 3 years. You have to literally slam the door to get it to lock.

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Cyclesafe
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Re: New Microwave - what to select?

Post by Cyclesafe » Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:47 pm

Sharp makes microwave innards for Wolf and other high-end "manufacturers", who only add a door and then charge (a lot) extra for their own matching trim(s). So from a functionality standpoint, it doesn't matter which brand you buy. But looks and warranties do differ.

Best deal is to buy a Sharp on sale and replace it when it stops working. A $200 Sharp is easier to throw away after a few years than a $800 Wolf. Ask me how I know.....

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ClevrChico
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Re: New Microwave - what to select?

Post by ClevrChico » Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:11 pm

Cyclesafe wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:47 pm
Sharp makes microwave innards for Wolf and other high-end "manufacturers", who only add a door and then charge (a lot) extra for their own matching trim(s). So from a functionality standpoint, it doesn't matter which brand you buy. But looks and warranties do differ.

Best deal is to buy a Sharp on sale and replace it when it stops working. A $200 Sharp is easier to throw away after a few years than a $800 Wolf. Ask me how I know.....
+1 to Sharp. I bought a Sharp commercial unit for $250 after churning through cheap, big box units. (The previous Kenmore had part of the door panel secured with double sided tape!)

A good microwave will have a stirrer to distribute and disperse the energy vs. a turntable which is just another thing to clean and break. Lack of a turntable isn't a bad thing.

carolinaman
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Re: New Microwave - what to select?

Post by carolinaman » Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:36 am

My son has installed hundreds of microwaves in apartments and condos. The companies he works for use primarily GE at price point around $300 to $350 for OTR MWs. They are very reliable. It is rare for any to require service. I have GE OTR MW too and is has performed well. It replaced a more expensive Kenmore that had 2 magnetrons die within 4 years.

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lthenderson
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Re: New Microwave - what to select?

Post by lthenderson » Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:08 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:05 pm
What are the important features, and what power?
One thing I never thought about but really annoyed me when we bought a cheap counter microwave to get by until our much more expensive over the range microwave was delivered after being back ordered for a month was that the cheap counter microwave slid all over the counter. It became a two handed operation to use, one to hold it in place and the other to press the button that opened the door. I didn't like that at all. Since it was small, perhaps it was a lightness issues and bigger heavier models wouldn't have this issue. But if I was ever in the market for another one, I would make sure I could open it with one hand and not need the other one to keep if on the counter.

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