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Old 04-26-2010, 07:35 PM   #1
somebody else
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Default Microwave Ovens - which are reliable?

C/N which inexpensive microwaves last longer than a couple of years?

So I need a new microwave for the kitchen.
Reheat leftovers, make popcorn, the usual.
I'm not a caterer, nor do I prepare every meal in one.
I maybe average 1 use per day.

OK... I did the requisite OT Search and came up with nothing of relevance so... OT, do my homework for me.

I looked at Walmart, Target, Sears and several other sites to see what's available for under $100 and of course there's plenty, but most have abysmal reviews -- 3-stars or worse. The negatives range from "display numbers not displaying," "buttons not working," all the way to, "It just stopped working."

OT, Pop My Corn!
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:37 PM   #2
saltYmirv
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all of them?I've never had a microwave break on me
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:40 PM   #3
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Seriously. Next to no moving parts = cheap, reliable appliance. Get one that looks good and you can fit your food into and you've got a winner.
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:40 PM   #4
cwb124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saltYmirv View Post
all of them?I've never had a microwave break on me
This. They are all but a commodity now. Its really about looks and size at this point. Overhead or counter top are the options you need to be worried about only.
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:46 PM   #5
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those kind that double as convection ovens seem to work alright. my mom and grandma have them. grandma even makes pies/cookies/small chckens with hers.
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saltYmirv View Post
all of them?I've never had a microwave break on me
Now that he mentions it, I completely agree. I dont even know anyone who has ever had to replace a microwave.

The only times to buy a new microwaves are:

You move out on your own for the first time.
Your kids take the microwave when they move out for the first time.
You get approved to get a microwave for the break room at work.
You redo your kitchen and the old one doesn't match.
You are recovering from a drug addiction and you need a new one cause you hocked your old one.
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:52 PM   #7
Mike Wevrick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saltYmirv View Post
all of them?I've never had a microwave break on me
Same. I have one that I bought for $30 in 1993. It has rotating knobs--probably more reliable than the usual electronic pads.
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TarmacRally View Post
Now that he mentions it, I completely agree. I dont even know anyone who has ever had to replace a microwave.
Timely thread is timely! Ours just started making some awful noise when the dealie spins. It cooks okay, but grinds pretty badly as the turntable goes around. Just noticed it tonight.

It's 8 years old... Hotpoint (Korean) Countersaver plus. No aftermarket mods that I can see, but I haven't checked the microwavefax report.
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:58 PM   #9
rlin0997
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meat Supply View Post
those kind that double as convection ovens seem to work alright. my mom and grandma have them. grandma even makes pies/cookies/small chckens with hers.
Yeah This ^

I have one and its great.
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Old 04-26-2010, 08:04 PM   #10
somebody else
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meat Supply View Post
those kind that double as convection ovens seem to work alright. my mom and grandma have them. grandma even makes [puppies] with hers.
Yer grandma makes puppies!!

Say, is Granny spry?
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Old 04-26-2010, 08:04 PM   #11
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I bought a Panasonic at Target in the 90's and it still works. Doesn't look out of date, either.
My wife and I use it a few times a day heating up water for tea.. .
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Old 04-26-2010, 08:04 PM   #12
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it's 2010, none of them are reliable.
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Old 04-26-2010, 08:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeythejew View Post
I bought a Panasonic at Target in the 90's and it still works. Doesn't look out of date, either.
My wife and I use it a few times a day heating up water for tea.. .
This. We bought our Panasonic in '95 or '96 and still works like a champ. It even has a sensor reheat function that works very well still.
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Old 04-26-2010, 08:20 PM   #14
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Whirlpool GH5184XPS craptastic pice of junk feel apart within six months of use. This thing came with my brand new house and is the biggest regret I have about buying the house.

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Old 04-26-2010, 08:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psychoskip View Post
it's 2010, none of them are reliable.
This.
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:00 PM   #16
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Let's see. We have a Magic Chef that my mom bought in the early 80's....maybe late 70's that we now have and it still works. Then there's the Sanyo that was built into our house back in 1984 and we still use daily. And a little Sanyo that a boss from a former employer left in his office that he vacated in 2001 and I got to keep. It works fine, dispite being used as a skate manuel pad.
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TarmacRally View Post
Now that he mentions it, I completely agree. I dont even know anyone who has ever had to replace a microwave.

The only times to buy a new microwaves are:

You move out on your own for the first time.
Your kids take the microwave when they move out for the first time.
You get approved to get a microwave for the break room at work.
You redo your kitchen and the old one doesn't match.
You are recovering from a drug addiction and you need a new one cause you hocked your old one.
Its true.
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:06 PM   #18
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I've had this bastard for several years now and it's been a tank.
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:41 PM   #19
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I typically buy Panasonic. I bought a Kenmore over-the-range model a few months back that seems to work fairly well. Was the cheapest one at Sears to boot.

The only one I've had "fail" is a Sanyo I bought for the office a while back. I guess they didn't do a good job coating the interior at the factory as it was arcing between the door and the frame. Ended up tossing it due to safety concerns.
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:46 PM   #20
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The only microwave I've broken involved a fistful of fireworks and a third story balcony.

grant
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:54 PM   #21
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If you are reheating popcorn, you NEED at least 1,000 watts of power. Trust me on this, the $39.99 Target microwave won't cut it at a measly 500-600 watts.

At my old job, we had a Sharp Carousel that was used at least 50-60 times PER DAY for TEN YEARS! without fail.

Therefore, I recommend the following, which is the same exact model, just updated for 2010 looks.

Amazon.com: Sharp R-305KS 1-Cubic-Foot 1100-Watt Microwave Oven, Stainless: Home & GardenAmazon.com: Sharp R-305KS 1-Cubic-Foot 1100-Watt Microwave Oven, Stainless: Home & Garden

edit: just periodically wipe the number pad with a damp cloth to keep the keypad clean.
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:57 PM   #22
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Funny how cheap-o microwaves last forever because as soon as you pay $250+ for an over the range microwave you are ****ed.
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:01 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plunk10 View Post
If you are reheating popcorn, you NEED at least 1,000 watts of power. Trust me on this, the $39.99 Target microwave won't cut it at a measly 500-600 watts.

At my old job, we had a Sharp Carousel that was used at least 50-60 times PER DAY for TEN YEARS! without fail.

Therefore, I recommend the following, which is the same exact model, just updated for 2010 looks.

Amazon.com: Sharp R-305KS 1-Cubic-Foot 1100-Watt Microwave Oven, Stainless: Home & Garden

edit: just periodically wipe the number pad with a damp cloth to keep the keypad clean.
I have a sharp carousel that is right at 15 years old and gets used all the time

and have seen many of the same or similar vintage ones still in use

Last edited by Uncle Scotty; 04-26-2010 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:20 PM   #24
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My Sharp Carousel II was about 12 years old and everything about it worked perfectly.

Due to an overzealous cleaning which resulted in water incursion into the electronics section, it started making noises like R2D2 was trying to mate with my garbage disposal and the display looked like some sort of hyper-jacked Sanskrit video game. All this without touching any buttons or turning it on in any way. The touch pad was unresponsive.

As old as I am, I'm still not quite ready to hook up with my 72 virgins so I unplugged it and let it sit for a few days. When I plugged it in today it just whimpered and smelled like R2D2 was hit with a Jawa restraining blaster.

Of course this model is no longer available...

So while looking up replacements, all I saw under the reviews was: "Worked fine for [6 months | 1 year] then just quit." Wonderful.
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:56 PM   #25
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As someone mentioned wattage was the deciding factor for me. Anything under 1000w just isn't going to cut it for general use like heating a dinner
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