Three GE microwaves top our tests

Three GE microwaves top our tests

How hard can buying a microwave be? That’s what we thought until we tested three different GE over-the-range (OTR) microwaves that look alike and found that they performed similarly, yet have very different price tags. Each has a stainless-steel finish, touchpad controls, and about the same amount of usable space. Of the dozens of microwaves tested by Consumer Reports, these three GEs were the top OTR models. They were easy to use, excellent at defrosting, and impressive at evenly heating food and venting. … (read more)

5 gross things Consumer Reports buys for testing

5 gross things Consumer Reports buys for testing

Dust, pet hair, soap scum and other dirt and debris that homeowners struggle to get rid of are coveted items in the labs at Consumer Reports. In fact, we pay for the yucky stuff. What better way to determine if the vacuums, air purifiers, washing machines and other products we test are up to the job? Here are five gross things we buy that no one else wants and how we use them in our tests.

Household dust for air purifier tests

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5 low-cost vacuum repairs you can do yourself

5 low-cost vacuum repairs you can do yourself

When is a broken vacuum cleaner too old to repair and when is it worth saving? According to Consumer Reports’ latest surveys, upright vacuum cleaners usually aren’t worth fixing after five years and canisters after seven years. But some repairs make sense even on an older vacuum, provided the repair is no more than half of the cost of a comparable new model. Here are five low-cost repairs you can do yourself.
 
Problem: Vacuum is especially hard to push … (read more)

Coffeemakers that missed the mark in Consumer Reports’ tests

Coffeemakers that missed the mark in Consumer Reports’ tests

Coffeemakers are a popular holiday gift, so if you’re looking for a machine for the coffee achiever in your life, check our coffeemaker Ratings. You’ll find many low-priced models that hit the mark, including traditional drip, espresso, and pod machines.

But not every coffeemaker we test deliver the convenience and optimal brewing that count, including those featured here.

Flashy with flaws

Panasonic NC-ZF1, $ 230 Michael Graves Design (JCPenney), $ 115 Calphalon Quick Brew 1838804, $ 100

Paying big for the … (read more)

Bounty cleans up in our latest paper towel tests

Bounty cleans up in our latest paper towel tests

Blowouts are rare in Consumer Reports’ tests, but our latest report on paper towels saw a landslide victory for the latest Bounty product, from Procter & Gamble. With an overall score of 96, Bounty DuraTowel was 21 points ahead of the next best, Bounty Extra Soft. Yet another Bounty product took third place, with Viva rounding out our recommended list. Even with DuraTowel’s decisive victory, finding the best paper towel for your family … (read more)

Consumer Reports tweaks its washer tests

Consumer Reports tweaks its washer tests

Washers are getting better and better at getting clothes clean using less energy and water. They also extract more water in the process, and that means less time in the dryer. Following this welcome trend, the appliance experts at Consumer Reports have raised the bar in our tests for cleaning and water and energy efficiency. As a result, some of our washing machine scores have changed.  

As the result of innovations, some manufacturers have been able to update their washers so that they … (read more)

Cascade and Finish top dishwasher detergent tests

Cascade and Finish top dishwasher detergent tests

 

Dishes that sparkle and metal pans that shine: Dishwasher detergents have come a long way in reliably producing clean loads. In fact, two-thirds of the 35 tablets, packs, powders, and gels in our latest dishwasher detergent tests were excellent at resisting the buildup of white film that consumers have complained about since phosphates were banned from dishwasher detergents for environmental reasons.

Most of the detergents we tested aced our hard-water performance test, which uses water with a hardness level well above that … (read more)

The five best food processors from our tests for $100 or less

The five best food processors from our tests for $ 100 or less

Consumer Reports’ top-rated food processor, the Breville BFP800XL/A is masterful in just about every way, and it’s incredibly quiet. But at $ 400, it’s also the priciest model in our Ratings by far. What if you can only spend $ 100? Or even $ 50? It turns out there are some decent models at that price point, though you’ll have to settle for one or two deficiencies. Here are five to consider from Consumer Reports’ … (read more)