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I just paid an appliance guy $100 to tell me that I need to buy a new microwave. After 11 years the ol' Kitchen Aid KHHS179L "speed oven" gave up the ghost. At least one of the suspected parts to fix it is NLA.

I think this thing was an $800 over-the-range microwave and, while we loved it, we don't need all of the features it had.

So, if you had a budget of around $500, what would you buy? There's a GE model that looks cool but I don't know who is making good microwaves these days.

Our criteria, in this order;

- needs to look cool and match the rest of our appliances (black, minimalist). We would prefer all of the buttons to be along the bottom edge of the unit since my wife is short.

- needs to vent well to the outside of the house

- needs to heat water, thaw bagels, cook oatmeal - not much else.
 

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Matnlely Dregaend
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All microwaves cook food... badly. We just bought a Chef Series Samsung to match our new range, it works exactly the same as the GE we had for the previous 15 years. Typically all over the range microwaves have a rotatable vent fan that can be set up to vent in or out of the house. Ours vents out, which was a bit of a problem a few years back when the outside vent flap got stuck open and a bird decided to build a nest in there...
 

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Schuylkill Trail Bum
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I have a GE microwave.

I'd characterize it as being the Trek bike of microwaves.

Does Trek make good bikes?
 

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Forever a Student
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Stay away from GE, Amana, Whirlpool, Kenmore, Maytag and all other "American" brands. Look into them, they're nothing like what they once were.

If you want a quality appliance of any sort, I strongly recommend buying Korean. LG is my strong preference followed by Samsung.
 

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]Stay away from GE, Amana, Whirlpool, Kenmore, Maytag and all other "American" brands. Look into them, they're nothing like what they once were.

My whirlpool oven needed servicing under warranty. They sent someone the next day.
 

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Coincidently, I was just peeling off the interior paint chips from my GE microwave before reading this. If it wasn't the only one that fits the hole in the cabinet, it would have been in the county dump. Actually, the first copy is, because it failed (prematurely). Garbage. Consult Consumer Reports, as others suggest.
 

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My employer manages 4,000 apartment units and my understanding is we're close to dumping GE as a vendor due to their appliances failing shortly after the warranty expires.

I can't help with your specific question. My own oven is a GE Advantium 220 installed 2002 and still trucking, as is its companion range.
 

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I don't believe G.E. actually makes any microwave ovens and simply rebadges some one else's. I have a Kitchen Aide. It works great but the door handle does not stay connected to the door and continually cracks where the hindge should attach. I gave up fixing it. Will probably go with a Samsung or LG when its time to upgrade. And as far as G.E goes as a brand, I don't find them as good as KitchenAide(American brand comparison) and it seems G.E. doesn't really like the appliance business. I suspect they haven't invested in it the way they should and recently agreed to sell to Haier.
 

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Stay away from GE, Amana, Whirlpool, Kenmore, Maytag and all other "American" brands. Look into them, they're nothing like what they once were.

If you want a quality appliance of any sort, I strongly recommend buying Korean. LG is my strong preference followed by Samsung.
I don't quite agree. Kitchen Aide makes good appliances. Their dishwashers are very good. I had a KitchenAide Architect refrigerator that made it 13 years before going. Just replaced it with another KitchenAide and so far very impressed with how its running. The one negative with KitchenAide is that while the units work well they lack a little on design and ergonomics. The top shelf isn't as usable as it should be. Also bought a KitchenAide wine cooler and it had to go back, not because it didn't work, but because wine bottles simply would not fit on the shelves(yes this is true!).
 

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GE makes crappy appliances.
 

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Schuylkill Trail Bum
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I bought matching Maytag "commercial grade" washer and dryer a few years ago.

Total pieces of crap.

Whatever good Maytag was at one point in history, it is no longer that. Not even close.
 

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I bought matching Maytag "commercial grade" washer and dryer a few years ago.

Total pieces of crap.

Whatever good Maytag was at one point in history, it is no longer that. Not even close.
Have a maytag combo washer/dryer. It's fantastic! 14 years and going strong. But maytag sold out to whirlpool so can't buy that unit ever again should it fail.
 

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I bought matching Maytag "commercial grade" washer and dryer a few years ago.

Total pieces of crap.

Whatever good Maytag was at one point in history, it is no longer that. Not even close.
Maytag is Whirlpool.

I have a pre whirlpool washer adn dryer that I bought years ago that are humming along fine.
 

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Schuylkill Trail Bum
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Have a maytag combo washer/dryer. It's fantastic! 14 years and going strong. But maytag sold out to whirlpool so can't buy that unit ever again should it fail.
14 years is the key, I guess.

In my old house, I had a Maytag "Super Highlander" model, which was probably 30 years old. It was bulletproof.
 

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We reno'd our kitchen this spring, got all KitchenAid. A friend manages a big box store and her recommendation was either KA or Samsung. She sells thousands of appliances per year and knows what causes them grief and what does not.

She said Samsung was absolute crapola but in the past year they have totally revamped their product and it is now even best with Whirlpool.

Whirlpool makes JennAir, KitchenAid, Whirlpool, Maytag, plus private brands for chains like Sears. IKEA major appliances are mostly made by Whirlpool.
 

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Couple of thoughts- while I subscribe to Consumer Reports and consult their ratings, sometimes their ratings can be off base. It may be that quality control is that bad that one item to another is of varied quality. I use it as a guide, but certainly not the bible. Sometimes it really helps to talk with appliance repairmen, who can really give you firsthand info.

A few years ago we bought a Samsung dishwasher. It never cleaned all that well and then stopped working at less than 3 years old. It ended up being a circuit board problem that would have cost us hundreds to fix, so we decided instead to replace it with a better product. What a piece of junk. I have since been told that some of their other appliance lines are better.

Certainly things are not like the old days of Maytag. We have a washer and dryer that are close to 25 years old and while there have been some repairs over the years, they are still going strong.

GE microwaves went downhill since Jack Donaghy is no longer VP of East Coast Television and Microwave Oven Programming :D

 

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Couple of thoughts- while I subscribe to Consumer Reports and consult their ratings, sometimes their ratings can be off base. It may be that quality control is that bad that one item to another is of varied quality. I use it as a guide, but certainly not the bible. Sometimes it really helps to talk with appliance repairmen, who can really give you firsthand info.

A few years ago we bought a Samsung dishwasher. It never cleaned all that well and then stopped working at less than 3 years old. It ended up being a circuit board problem that would have cost us hundreds to fix, so we decided instead to replace it with a better product. What a piece of junk. I have since been told that some of their other appliance lines are better.

Certainly things are not like the old days of Maytag. We have a washer and dryer that are close to 25 years old and while there have been some repairs over the years, they are still going strong.

GE microwaves went downhill since Jack Donaghy is no longer VP of East Coast Television and Microwave Oven Programming :D

Not a fan of consumer reports. With cars its based on user feedback which introduces a certain bias. With appliances the problems often don't develop for years. And the organization seems to have its own bias with high priced items, at least I find. Bought many items over the years cars, cd players etc with supposedly good consumer report reviews and was very disappointed. I found looking at Amazon.com reviews more helpful which is what I should have done prior to buying the Kitchenaide wine Frig which had to go back.
 

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I like the Panasonic inverter models. I thought the idea of actual varying power levels instead of just on and off pseudo levels might be a bit of a gimmick but it's actually a pretty nice feature. I use a microwave as my melter for chocolate work because it's much faster than a water bath and much less expensive (as well as much faster) than dedicated melters. Some chocolates, lighter milks and all white, can scorch pretty easily so you have to be careful with traditional microwaves that are putting out bursts of full power even at the lowest settings. It's proved to be a fairly significant time saver not having to constantly babysit the chocolate while it's melting. Whether or not the inverter technology means all that much for the more common microwave purposes, I don't know. I don't use a microwave to cook anything, just for heating leftovers and the kid uses it for popcorn.
 
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