In 10 years of blogging, this article has created more comments and ill will than any other post. To address problems, it has been rewritten 3 times.
At a Glance
This was simple to write initially. Sharp manufactures all the drawers for every brand, so your options are limited. However, there are a few tricks to buying one much cheaper.
Unfortunately, by reading comments we have to address certain concerns.
In this article, we will consider whether you should consider a microwave drawer, the models, and the answer to everyone's burning question...are microwave drawers reliable?
We will answer the reliability question first.
Microwave Drawer Reliability
In 2017, we performed 30,761 service calls in the Boston area. The number will probably be closer to 35,000 this year.
We keep statistics on every brand and product to minimize our service exposure. Most stores without service will sell every product and brand.
We sell relatively few brands compared to our competition because we have to fix issues in the first year.
I am mindful of comments left by people below who bought drawers.
However, the level of service within the first year for a drawer is low at 6.96% and almost half of the rest of the industry versus 12.92% for appliances as a whole.
Here is the breakdown of microwave drawer repair rates:
|Service Qty||Shipped Qty||Service Ratio|
What are the Issues?
They are not as easy to install as a regular trimmed microwave. Drawers are also operated with push buttons to open and close, so you cannot open them manually. Forcing them open will lead to broken tracks and problems.
I bought one for my new place. It needed a new control board. The tech replaced it within 30 minutes. That was 6 months ago.
Problems happen with all appliances. We are not seeing the fires as reported in the comments below.
Is a Microwave Drawer Worth it?
Typically, a microwave uses valuable countertop workspace or higher cabinet space (especially in the case of built-ins).
Additionally, as stoves become more powerful, over-the-range microwave vents are not powerful enough to exhaust and are being replaced with hoods with higher CFM and better capture.
If you cook high volume or fry, wok or use a griddle, an over-the-range microwave will not be much help.
But when not having a microwave is out of the question, which is often the case with families, many people are turning to microwave drawers.
Including me. This is a pic of mine cooking my daughters oatmeal.
What are the Advantages of a Microwave Drawer?
With a microwave drawer, you will like not having to bend for your hot food as the drawer slides open. You will not crouch for your food like a regular swing door microwave.
You can even lock out your children as I do with my 16-month-old.
Aesthetically, it is better looking as well.
What are the Disadvantages of a Microwave Drawer?
A drawer will cost between $900-1,200. A regular microwave will cost as little as $400 with a trim kit.
Drawer models also lack the option for convection and don’t have a turntable as the magnetron is located on the roof of the microwave instead of the side wall.
Microwave Drawer Brands
Sharp still manufactures all the drawers. It is mentioned in this article but worth repeating here. Some brands are actually better looking than Sharp.
This being the case, none are “better” than the others. Some models do have the ability to install flush with the cabinets instead of sitting proud.
Additionally, some brands have 2-year warranties vs 1 year. Wolf, Thermador, Jenn-Air would fall into the 2-year category.
Best Microwave Drawers for 2018
These units are virtually identical. Then again, the three brands are all part of the Bosch company.
The Thermador is a bit cleaner looking with a mostly black door. The Bosch name is a bit more prominent in their unit.
The Gaggenau finish will match their more modern looking line. These are $1,259, $1,499, and $1,699 respectively. Both Thermador and Gaggenau carry two-year warranties.
You can mount these models flush to the cabinet, so it is more attractive.
Bosch Benchmark Microwave Drawer Flush to the Cabinet
A great match for the much improved Jenn-Air line, this is a mid-priced model at $1,399. This is the least expensive of the models with 2-year warranties.
Wolf offers three different models, one 24 and two 30-inch models. These match their new wall oven offerings. $1,800-$1,840. They carry a 2-year warranty.
Sharp KB6524PS / SMD2470AS / SMD3070AS
Sharp offers a handle version of a 24-inch and hidden display in 24-inch or 30-inch. New for 2017 is their black stainless version. Pricing varies from $859.99 to $1,199.99.
The Best Microwave Drawers for 2018 (Video)
Best Buying Strategies
As mentioned previously, there is not one drawer unit that will be “better” than the others.
There is a price difference of close to $1000 from the least expensive Sharp to the most expensive Wolf.
The drawer is a cleaner, yet more expensive look to a regular microwave. Without any differences, I would look at prices and the ability to mount the unit flush to the cabinet.
However, many of these brands have periodic rebates.
Jenn-Air has a $1,300 rebate when you buy their cooking products. Bosch runs 10% offs during the year. Wolf has a rebate as well of $1,000.
Look at the rebate opportunities, aesthetics of the various companies and then look at Sharp for the price.
If you want to save money or want a better convection microwave, a drawer is not for you.
However, the drawer looks good in your kitchen and is very convenient to operate and use.
One last word about reliability: The drawer is tougher to install and is not a retrofit to your existing cabinets.
Just make sure you check the specs with your designer, installer, contractor and cabinet shop.
Once again, we sell many drawers in different brands. We have not experienced fires and major issues out of the norm.
Have questions on appliances? Read the Yale Appliance Buying Guide with the 10 most frequently asked questions, the best time to buy appliances as well as detailed profiles of all the brands. Well over 200,000 people have read a Yale Guide.
My goal has always been simple: I want Yale to be the best retail experience anywhere. I have tried to create a compelling environment for customers and employees alike.
A Note About Pricing