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Cyber Akuma

Trying to decide on a new countertop 2.2CF Microwave

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Ok, so our old 25-or-so year old Microwave is really performing pretty poorly, parts of food aver overcooked while others are still partially frozen. Time for it to go. 
 
The old microwave was a Sharp 700@att 1.6 Cubit Feet countertop with dimensions of roughly 18L x 24W x 14.5H on the outside. 
 
I have been trying to find a decent countertop (most of them these days seem to be "Above the Range" type) and have been having issues trying to find a good reliable one. 
 
Originally I wanted a convection microwave, but there are almost no countertop ones, and the ones that do exist max out at around 1.2CF and cost more than double most of the top-of-the-line countertop ones... and are generally an afterthought lacking features that the over-the-range models have. 
 
So I guess I am just going to go with a non-convection countertop, preferably a model that is 1200+ Watts and has 2.2 cubic feet of interior room. After reading many reviews and guides, including this one: https://www.bestbuy.com/site/buying-guides/microwaves-buying-guide/pcmcat324600050002.c?id=pcmcat324600050002
 
Seemed like my only choices for ones with an inverter were Panasonic and Samsung, and I hated some of the newer models that instead of a number-pad have a dial you need to turn or other silly method to enter the time other than just a dialpad. 
 
So my first choice was the Panasonic NN-SN736B. I ordered one, and wasn't too happy. The front screen of the door actually fell off it's holder while putting it up, I don't know if this was a fault of the microwave design or that particular model since the box was a little banged up when it arrived, I returned it. It was apparently being sold by a third party and was their last one.... so I wouldn't be surprised if that one was a little sketchy. I was considered getting another one from somewhere else, but also was looking into other models. 
 
I was looking at the Panasonic NN-SN966S, which seemed to be better than the previous one in just about every way.... but then I saw this review: https://kitchenlola.com/panasonic-nn-sn966s-countertop-microwave-review/
 
The part where they mentioned "According to some customers, this microwave has a very short “life expectancy” as it tends to develop mechanical issues from 5 to 9 months of consistent use." I don't know how true this is, which is why I am asking. Consumer Reports also claimed the "Predicted reliability" of all the Panasonic models I looked at was just "good"... which is pretty much a low score for that site. 
 
And then many recommend the Panasonic NN-SE985S, but on top of it costing significantly more than the other two, it's display is a mess. It doesn't seem to have numbers OR a dial, just odd characters, I hate that. There is also the issue of reliability.

 

Consumer Reports claims that Faberware seem to have the best reliability... but that feature and general usage/consumer satisfaction wise they are fairly mediocre to low, while Panasonic appears to be the opposite according to them, great features, quality, and satasfaction... but mediocre reliability.
 
So can anybody give me any hints or suggestions? Are Panasonic and Samsung really the only ones with Inverters? Are Panasonic really not reliable? Do I basically have no good options if I want a countertop convection that's not smaller than my old 1.6CF microwave? Any suggestions for a good one that has an inverter, is 2.2Cubic Feet, 1200 watts, and uses a numberpad to enter the time?

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I feel your pain because I am going through the same and I want my original Amana microwave back.

i had a larger Panasonic for about 18 months and then it started overheating on defrost until finally it burnt a dish of green beans that were in it on the keep warm feature...they were in for 10 minutes until we wondered what that smoky smell was.  Not on warranty any more.

 

i did a lot of research on what would be a good replacement...I do not have my notes anymore and got really confused with all the different model numbers from Panasonic and all the conflicting reviews.  I also want the inverter.  I ended up getting the Panasonic  model NN ST6815..it had a lot of favourable reviews and was available locally.  That was about 3 weeks ago.  All was well until a couple of days ago...the defrost heats too much as in bringing the liquid in frozen baked beans to the boil .  I weighed it and it was not in too long.  I had noticed other items seemed too hot after a spin at defrost.  So, it is going back soon for either another or a refund.  Not sure what to do.  I too would like other comments.

 I am rethinking the whole microwave idea.  I like the keep warm feature, I like the defrost feature and other than that we use it to reheat stuff.  So maybe I just get a cheap one and forget the inverter.


Edited by Okanagancook (log)

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I am still fuming over the shitty quality of Panasonic.  I have decided to get a refund and get a cheap Danby which has decent reviews and instead of costing well over $300, it is $120.  It has the features we use most frequently, it is 1.1 Cubic ft and 1000 watt.

 Fed up with poor quality we get nowadays.  Fridges and freezers included here.

 

grrrr

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FWIW, our Sharp microwave gets used at least 4-5 times a day and it has also held up well for many years.  When the time comes, I will be inclined to go with Sharp again.

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Recently, we were looking at "over the range" microwaves.   One thing that struck me was the way the new ones open.  They all seem to have pull down  doors which may or may not be a  issue for you, depending on where you put it.  Our microwave is built in over the oven.  When it comes time to replace it, that is a feature I will have to consider as I am not that tall and having to reach that extra distance to remove a hot plate of whatever will be a problem.

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When we remodeled the kitchen we relied on the designer (no charge) at Lowes. We did all Bosch. She sees a lot of kitchens and had good practical input. Ours is over the oven built in tthough.  

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I have an el cheapo WalMart one, I forget the brand, that I paid $44.78 for, five years ago. It does what I need it to do, which is :

1. Melt butter

2. Melt frozen blocks of stock

3. Heat water

4. Warm up a quick plate of leftovers, though I am using the CSO more and more instead.

 

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16 hours ago, kayb said:

I have an el cheapo WalMart one, I forget the brand, that I paid $44.78 for, five years ago. It does what I need it to do, which is :

1. Melt butter

2. Melt frozen blocks of stock

3. Heat water

4. Warm up a quick plate of leftovers, though I am using the CSO more and more instead.

 

 

With CSO and BSO, I barely use the thing for more than melting butter, stock, and warming plates.

And maybe a hot dog.


Edited by gfweb (log)
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Ditto what @kayb & @gfweb said.   I thaw stock, melt butter and rewarm coffee in the MW.   It actually gets the most use as a cat-free bacon safe when I need to leave the kitchen for a few minutes. 

When I can afford it, I plan to replace my over the range microwave with a proper exhaust fan and will likely put a cheap MW in a closet around the corner 

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On ‎4‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 8:18 AM, ElsieD said:

Recently, we were looking at "over the range" microwaves.   One thing that struck me was the way the new ones open.  They all seem to have pull down  doors which may or may not be a  issue for you, depending on where you put it.  

A door that pulls down makes no sense to me.  I am (was) tall (until I shrank) but I would not want that kind of door.

Too awkward to use/

My issue in this house is that the m/w is the over-the-range type which is in no way a vent.  I cannot have a hood because there's no way to vent it anywhere (rooms overhead and it's on an inside wall- no access to the crawlspace).

The lack of a hood definitely limits the ways I can  cook.  

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I returned the Panasonic for a full $310  refund.  Got a $100 Danby.  It is only 700 watts and quite small inside but it will work just fine and I have $210 in my pocket!  I wish it had a one minute button though.

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@Cyber Akuma I can't speak to longevity, but we just got this, and like it so far:

 

https://us.toshiba-lifestyle.com/products/us/Cooking-Appliances/Microwave-Ovens/Toshiba-1.6-Cu.-Ft.-Invertech-Microwave-Oven,-Stainless-Steel.html

 

The latest Wirecutter reviews rated Toshiba models very highly, and it seemed to be a good mix of power, features, and size for us. It's 1.6 cubic feet, but seems larger inside than the Kenmore it replaced. And it does have an inverter, 1200W, and a simple numeric keypad. My only slight irritation is that you have to hit "cook time" to enter a time directly -- but it has shortcuts for 1-6 minutes and +0:30, so I don't actually need to do that very often.

 

I ended up getting it on sale at JCPenney (of all places!) for $145 shipped.

 

They do have a 1.5 cu ft convection model, but I didn't consider that as my Breville already sits on top of the microwave :D


Edited by dtremit (log)

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