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Range Front Controls May Not Be Suitable for Every Kitchen

Front Range Controls May Be Stylish, But Are They a Good Idea for Your Kitchen?

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Range With Front Controls

Range With Front Controls

Photo © Mifflin
There's a lot to consider when buying a cooking range and where the controls are located on the appliance, can become even more important after the unit is installed in your home. While front controls look very stylish and have certain benefits, there can be problems associated with this design option. This design option also adds to the cost of a range.

Unlike traditional range controls which are tucked on the upper back of the cooking range, making them harder to clean and operate, especially if your cooktop is active, front controls are right up and center within easy reach to clean and set.

While an adult-only household may not find this range design any problem, it can create a hazardous situation for a young and busy family, or when grandchildren visit. Although front controls do have a built-in safety feature that requires a press-and-turn action, children are quick to grasp how this works and could easily turn on an element without being noticed.

Leaning over the range to remove a hot pot or clean the upper area of the appliance could also cause an adult to apply enough body pressure to turn on an element. And when the neighboring counter makes a quick turn within inches of the range, doing anything at the junction of the side counter and range can easily magnify this problem.

View the second image for a look at a range with front controls, that is placed inches away from where the countertop turns. In this particular installation, the front controls continue to be a daily hazard when anyone is filling the coffeemaker or working at the side counter. The only relief from adults accidentally turning on an element, is to remove the control knob on the left side of the range control panel. The knob is then replaced when required. This is one incidence where front range controls have caused more inconvenience than they're worth.

It should be noted that these front controls are not a design flaw and the manufacturer has taken the necessary precautions for consumer safety with the push-and-turn knob action.

Front controls are a range design option that may not be suitable for every home. If you have young children or some visit frequently, for peace of mind, you may prefer to choose a range with upper back controls to eliminate this possible hazard.

When choosing a range with front controls, also consider the placement of the range, proximity to the side counter and the interaction between the cooking and food preparation workspace in your particular kitchen, to ensure you'll be satisfied with your appliance purchase.

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