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What is a Drop-In Range? (Reviews/Ratings)

Tam Nguyen  |  December 15, 2015  |  3 Min. Read

Slide-In Ranges  |  Ranges  |  Freestanding Ranges

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Appliances can be confusing, because the terminology is interchanged.

For example, cooktops and slide-in ranges have been incorrectly called drop-in ranges.

A drop-in range is quite simply a range without a bottom drawer.

It's mounted on a base cabinet, rather than seated on the floor. Drop-in's are mostly sold as replacement units in older kitchens.

We will look at the different types of ranges, the history of drop-in ranges and compare them to the other style of ranges. 

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First, to understand what a drop-in range is, it’s best to look that all the different types of ranges. Have a look:

Freestanding range vs. slide-in range vs. drop-in range

Freestanding Ranges

This is the most common style due to its versatile design and affordability. The oven controls are located on the backguard. They feature a storage drawer, warming drawer or oven. Installation is simply pushing the range in the space and connecting the gas line or electrical.

Slide-In Ranges

The most recognizable difference compared with the freestanding, is the lack of a backguard where the oven controls reside. Instead, all knobs and electronics are in the front. Slide-Ins traditionally have unfinished side panels so cabinets on each side are needed.

The cooktop part usually has a “lip” that overlaps your countertop to cover up the seam between the range and cabinets, so spills won't drip between the range and counter.

Slide-In vs. Freestanding Ranges

There are several new hybrid slide-in models that recently became available with finished side panels which can be installed at the end of cabinet runs.

These are great options when replacing a freestanding or slide-in range. Due to the different slide-in designs, installation is slightly different with each model.

History of the Drop-In Range

The first drop-in ranges were manufactured in the 1940's and 1950's and were supplied to one of the largest builders of the time. Campanelli Homes ordered tons of these ranges. Interestingly, they were designed to a 27" width.

Ranges are mostly 30" with the smaller ranges being 24" and 30". GE was and still is the only vendor manufacturing this product.

GE Drop-In Electric Range - JM250DFBB

GE Drop-In Electric Range - JM250DFBB

Drop-in's now are manufactured in the more popular 30" size. However, they are only manufactured in electric.

Drop-In Ranges

Frigidaire 30" Drop-In Electric Range - FFED3025LSFrigidaire 30" Drop-In Electric Range - FFED3025LS

Drop-In ranges are simply slide-in ranges without the drawer beneath the oven.

They arem't as popular now due to the installation requirements. A bottom cabinet or shelf needs to be built along with the cabinets to accommodate the unit. Once the base cabinet is ready, the unit can be “dropped in” for a more integrated look in the kitchen.

Pictured above is an example of a Drop-In range by Frigidaire. You’ll see a cabinet base needs to built first before the range can be installed. You will need to build a storage cabinet drawer beneath or a matching toe kick.

Best Drop-In Ranges

There are not many left. There are two major companies still manufacturing them, the best would be Frigidaire and GE.

Final Thoughts

Unless you need to replace the 27" GE, you should reconsider buying a drop-in range. You cannot buy it in gas, induction or with any decent upgraded features.

If you like the custom look of the continuous toe kick, consider placing a cooktop over a wall oven, the granite will run continuously as well.

Additional Resources

Want to learn more about Electric Ranges, then get the Yale Electric Cooking Buying Guide with features, specs and detailed profiles of every electric range. Well over 130,000 people have read a Yale Guide. 

view our electric cooking buying guide

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Tam Nguyen

Tam is an Appliance Sales Consultant at Yale Appliance. In his spare time he enjoys watching and playing sports and spending time with his two children.

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