23 August 2010

The good, the bad and the dangerous kitchen appliances - according to Which?

The latest report by Which? includes the usual mixed bag of advice about kitchen appliances from the Consumers Association.

Things get off with a bang on page 6 with a report of two exploding washing machines in Germany. The manufacturer (Candy) was unable to say whether UK models could go bump in the night as well but did offer the reassurance that the problem related to a "very rare and now historic anomaly seen sporadically in a tiny fraction of high spin models made prior to September 2009".

"Tiny fraction" could also apply to the amount of dust a Tesco vacuum cleaner picked up in a recent Which? test. "Every little helps" may be a catchy advertising phase but Which? were clearly looking for a little more than the 2% of dust the machine picked up and stated the appliance was "the worst model we have reviewed in recent years".

There was much better news for AEG (AEG-Electrolux surely? Ed.) on page 11 as Which? said its AUS 3965P vacuum was not only "the quietest we've tested in recent years" but also delivered "excellent" cleaning of carpet laminate and floorboards.

There was also praise for the new Bosch SMS63E12GB dishwasher which reduced the amount of water it uses on a full load by around five litres less than other full size machines.

It looks like there has been a change of policy at the Consumers Association. The Which? review of kitchen appliances that should have been a weighty tome was just three pages long. Most of the information - and there is quite a lot of it - is now online. For example visit www.which.co.uk/kitchenappliances and you can click through to reviews of 86 built-in ovens, 106 dishwashers and 125 fridge freezers.

But you need to be a member of Which? to read the full results - and that has to be bad news for dentists' waiting rooms throughout the land. It also gives Which? the chance to plug other services such as its list of expert tradespeople.

In terms of the appliances mentioned in the magazine, top marks go to: Indesit for its VIA 640C hob; Electrolux for its Intuition single oven; Miele for its W5740 washing machine; and Samsung for its RL38SB fridge-freezer.

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