Ranges: Ratings of Sources
ConsumerReports.org provides ratings on its website for nearly 100 gas, electric, dual fuel and pro-style ranges. Ranges are rated on how quickly they heat water, as well as their performance at melting, simmering, broiling and baking. Electric ranges perform better overall than gas and dual-fuel ranges, and some mainstream models prove just as adept at basic cooking tasks as very expensive ones. Advantages and disadvantages of each model are discussed, along with frequency-of-repair ratings for different brands.
Reviewed.com does hands on testing to find the best ranges of all types and in all price categories. Testing is explained, and scores are awarded. Top ranges earn an Editors' Choice award, while the best of these are further recognized with a Best of Year designation.
Most might think of CNET when it comes to reviews of TVs and smartphones, but their ovens category includes a good number of recently reviewed ranges. Even better, the editors bring their typical thoroughness to the task of reviewing ranges, subjecting each to well documented testing and comparing it to other options.
Testers at Good Housekeeping look at some of the top electric ranges currently available. Testing is referenced, but not thoroughly explained. A best overall is named, along with a trio of other electric ranges suitable for other users -- such as foodies and those on a budget -- but no mention is made of any other ranges considered. Gas range reviews, as well as other electric range reviews, can be found elsewhere on the site, but the most recent of those date from 2013.
HomeDepot.com sells hundreds of electric, gas and dual-fuel ranges. While most of the ranges sold here receive only a handful of user reviews, we found several models with more than 150 reviews each -- though in some cases that's inflated by reviews that were originally posted at the manufacturers' site. In general, electric ranges get more feedback than gas models.
Like HomeDepot.com, Lowes.com lets users post reviews of ranges that they've purchased. A first look turns up lots of models with good feedback, but a second glance reveals that some of those reviews -- and in some cases, many of them -- were originally posted at the manufacturer web sites. Be that as it may, these reviews appear to be unbiased, and Lowes.com uses a third party service to help make sure that they are.
BestBuy.com lists over 550 ranges; many get only a handful of reviews, but others get hundreds. Unlike similar user review sources, while BestBuy.com provides a link to ratings originally posted at manufacturer web sites, the ratings that appear at the site are all original and written by site visitors.
Sears.com allows owners to post reviews on the site, and it's one of the few places where Kenmore appliances (sold only by Sears) are rated. More than 500 ranges are listed on this site. Many receive only a little feedback, others receive dozens of reviews.
Compared to other retail sites, AJMadison.com makes it easy to sort through user reviews of ranges. Not only does the main page show the model number, overall star rating and number of reviews for each product, but the full list of products can also be sorted in several ways. We found several models with more than 200 reviews and high overall ratings, but again, some of these originate at the maker's site and are the same as those seen elsewhere.
More than 5,600 consumers that purchased kitchen appliances -- including free-standing ranges -- are surveyed in J.D. Power's 2015 survey about home appliance satisfaction. In the free-standing range segment, LG finishes first, with a score of 844 out of 1,000. Other brands that score a notch below but still above the average for the category, are, in order, Kenmore Elite, Samsung, Whirlpool, KitchenAid and Amana.
This Boston area appliance dealer maintains a useful blog regarding things appliance-related, including ranges. While recommendations are based on factors such as reliability track record and value rather than testing, opinions appear to be unbiased regarding brands and models, and articles such as a comparison of freestanding stainless ranges priced under $799 can be useful.