Long have been the days when Almond, Avocado, Bisque, and Off-White were the standard options for finishes on appliances. Stainless Steel made its debut in the 1990s and since then, it’s been the preferred choice of finishes in over 90% of today’s upscale kitchens.
Available in all tiers, from very basic to luxurious, stainless is here to stay. However, that hasn’t stopped manufacturers and their efforts, in trying to tap into something new. With that, we welcome Black Stainless Steel.
Over the past year, brands like KitchenAid, Samsung, Frigidaire, and LG have launched their new line-up of Black Stainless Steel Appliances with the potential of other brands to possibly follow.
These brands have set themselves out to be the beta testers in this new category. Given the popularity of stainless steel, the other brands may sit on the sidelines waiting to see what the future sales and popularity thereof may be, prior to them diving in head first.
Since its release, it’s been hard to compete with stainless steel because it provides a very professional look that blends in very well with about every possible décor imaginable. Black Stainless can also match and potentially be the different finish you might like.
Additional things to consider:
Replacement - If the popularity of Black Stainless Steel diminishes (or never takes off) and production of that finish also slows down, you’ll also want to keep in mind what the replacement possibilities would be like in the future.
Only a few select brands have offered limited options in these finishes and the same may be true for black stainless. So, in 6-10 years you may not be able to match your current appliances, unless black stainless has become more accepted.
Scratching - Black Stainless is an anodized coating. In scratch tests, we’ve noticed that the top layer is removed, leaving a discolored marking. With that, a scratch on black stainless steel would appear much more visible than a scratch on standard stainless steel. When selecting your finish, keep this in mind. Scratching is one of those things that will more than likely happen at some point - it’s inevitable.
KitchenAid vs. Samsung Black Stainless Steel
The following is a comparison between the KitchenAid and Samsung brands:
KitchenAid is part of the largest appliance family in the world, Whirlpool. Recognized as one their premier brands, KitchenAid has consistently been and continues to be a very reliable manufacturer with very respectable service rates.
Originally, KitchenAid was known for manufacturing great dishwashers. This still holds true today, as they’re recognized as one of the best makers of dishwashers made in the USA. For kitchen suites, they offer an array of choices much improved since their new product launch of last year.
KitchenAid is made in the USA.
Samsung is a total consumer brand. They’re very well diversified in the marketplace and well known for all that they manufacturer, which of course is not limited to just appliances. Samsung offers two different appliance product lines, the Chef Collection and the standard Samsung Series.
With respect to their electronics, they’re based out of South Korea. Samsung has been under recent fire, with some Galaxy Phone issues and issues with some top-load washers but given the amount that this brand offers and manufacturers, they've respectively considered a reputable brand with industry better than average service ratings. (For more read: Is Samsung Reliable?)
Samsung appliances are manufactured in a number of countries in Asia and Eastern Europe.
The following is a Black Stainless Steel Package comparison on similar items for both brands.
KitchenAid 4-piece Kitchen Package:
As listed, this KitchenAid package currently qualifies for $400.00 in mail-in rebates.
Samsung 4-piece Kitchen Package:
As listed, this Samsung package currently qualifies for $950.00 in mail-in rebates.
Comparatively, both these brands are similar in many ways. They were first to market with black stainless steel and their appliance offerings are relatively similar. They’re recognized as respected brands in the appliance industry, however, there are some differences.
KitchenAid has always been well known for manufacturing solid refrigeration. With, Samsung, they too are well known in the refrigeration category but their refrigeration offers some unique differences that KitchenAid does not.
They offer Twin Cooling Systems, which will condition the air being transferred into the fridge from the freezer, allowing for better food preservation in that compartment. They now offer a 4-door fridge with Family Hub Wi-Fi LCD Touchscreen, built-in cameras, and a 5 temperature FlexZone Compartment.
For dishwashers, the KitchenAid without a doubt is the better of the two. It is proven but the Samsung new system is not as of yet.
For the ranges and microwaves, I would consider that to be pretty even in comparison. However, on the higher end, KitchenAid has the largest interior, but Samsung has more technical features like the Flex Duo to cook two items in the same oven. In induction, they have the VirtualFlame or blue LEDs to indicate it is on. In terms of these packages, KitchenAid will be larger.
As far as the black stainless steel finish, the Samsung offers more of a glossy finish with theirs whereas the KitchenAid is more subdued and dull.
So Which Do You Buy?
For eye appeal, the Samsung refrigerator is exceptional. The Family Hub is a great piece of technology whereas the KitchenAid is somewhat basic. KitchenAid has a more functional dishwasher and stove.
They are both reliable. However, when you have a problem (and you will) KitchenAid has better infrastructure and support.
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Eddie Jacob has 15+ years of sales & consulting experience and is in the appliance sales department at Yale Appliance + Lighting. He takes pride in total customer satisfaction and enjoys coaching youth soccer.
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