Updated April 2013
Much has changed since I wrote this article over 2 years ago. Viking has been acquired by Middleby of Ohio, the manufacturers of TurboChef and other industrial cooking lines. I still like this article, and the information is still good, but I have placed links of more current articles at the end of this post
With all due respect to the others, Wolf and Viking are the best names in the appliance business. A name can be important, especially if you are reselling in a tight market. There are plenty of worthy options, but these two are considered the best in pro ranges. The 48 inch range is the marquee product of both companies.
Wolf Vs Viking
Top: Viking has a powerful 18,500 BTU right front burner, and the rest of the units are 15,000 BTU, whereas the Wolf has just 15,000 BTU...Advantage Viking.
Simmer: Wolf has a 3 stage simmer with a low of 500 BTU. Viking has the Vari-Simmer, but Wolf has the lower temperature...Advantage Wolf.
Controls: Wolf has the lighted knobs and a flip down control for clock and timer. Viking(new feature) displays on the knob...Tie
Ovens: Wolf has 2 convection fans, and Viking has one larger fan. The Wolf has more cooking modes, so advantage(especially if you like to cook)...Wolf.
They actually both have self cleaning convection in the smaller oven.
Accents: Wolf has the ubiquitous red knobs, whereas Viking is available in tons of colors. If you have the right design scheme, the colors really look sharp. But then again, 98% of sales is stainless...Slight 2% advantage Viking.
Rebates: Wolf has a $2500 rebate with qualified purchases of any other SubZero/ Wolf products.
I am calling this one a tie for political reasons. It's funny, but it really is close for the first time. Viking owned this market until 2003(?), and then Wolf stole considerable share by designing a better product. Viking woke up in late 2008 and actually improved.
We will look again.......In the meantime, there are plenty of Pro Range options with a bunch of new features. Download the Yale Professional Cooking Buyers with specs, features and insider buying tips to all the major professional ranges and range tops. Well over 25,000 people have read a Yale Guide