When buy a premium dishwasher, many people will consider Miele, Bosch, and KitchenAid. But what about Viking? After all, they have $15,000 ranges. You would think a dishwasher would be simple by comparison.
However, what is true of ranges is not necessarily true of dishwashers. In fact, many products lurking behind a fancy badge may not be all they seem (in many product categories).
KitchenAid was the premium dishwasher for many years. In the early 1990’s, Bosch changed all that by manufacturing a quieter dishwasher with a stainless interior tub. KitchenAid soon responded with an equally competitive product and continued to improve in order to compete with Bosch and Miele.
KitchenAid is a subsidiary of Whirlpool, and the dishwasher is made in the U.S.
Viking is an interesting company, headquartered in Greenwood, Mississippi. Not only is Viking a professional product, residential application, appliance manufacturer, they also offer the most popular culinary program in the United States.
In recent years, Viking has been criticized for its product and service issues. However, since being purchased by the Middleby Corporation in 2013 (one of the largest commercial kitchen manufacturers in the world), Viking has been trying to reinvent itself and re-engineer its products for better performance and reliability.
Since being backed by Middleby, Viking has introduced new products and a full new product line up as well. However, many products like refrigerators have been outsourced to Electrolux.
The dishwasher is actually manufactured in Turkey. To be transparent, Yale does not sell Viking products.
KitchenAid vs. Viking Dishwashers
KitchenAid KDTM384ESS – $1,079
KitchenAid manufactures an American style dishwasher. American dishwashers will protrude 2-3” from a 24” deep cabinet. Their models also feature a recessed heating element and fan to remove moisture and give you solid drying results.
- Window With Lighted Interior
- Clean Water Wash System
- ProScrub Option
- Advanced ProDry System
- ProWash Cycle
- SatinGlide Max Rails (Upper Rack)
- 6 Wash Cycles
- Delay WashStainless Steel Tub
- Utility Basket (Upper Rack)
- Stainless Steel Finish
- 44 dBa
The first thing you will know about this model: It has a window. Now, instead of watching your laundry tumble during a wash cycle, your children and pets have a new form of entertainment, the dishwasher. However, KitchenAid’s decision to include a window isn’t purely for entertainment.
With the interior light in this model, they claim it will allow you to quickly determine whether your dishes are dirty or clean at quick glance. Aesthetically, the dishwasher matches the windows on KitchenAid wall ovens, ranges and microwave.
The second feature that is unique to certain KitchenAid dishwasher models are their satin-glide racks. This may just be my favorite feature. I never thought I would say this, but the racks on a KitchenAid dishwasher are a dream to open. The KDTE254ESS ($989) also includes the satin glide on the bottom rack as well.
Some other features worth mentioning, the lower wash arm is produced from stainless steel versus plastic as seen on many other manufacturers.
The dishwasher arms are engineered to evenly and precisely distribute jets of water throughout the dishwasher cavity. Plastic arms may slightly warp with time from the high heat produced. With KitchenAid, this is guaranteed not to happen.
The Clean Water Wash feature continually removes food particles from the wash water and helps prohibit these particulates from settling on the clean dishes.
If you have sport bottles or baked on dishes, KitchenAid has the ProWash system with 40 concentrated sprays to power out stains and reach taller items like sport bottles.
Finally, KitchenAid states this dishwasher has a quietness of 44 dBA so it is nearly silent.
Viking RVDW102SS – $1,089
Viking’s dishwasher offering are two core models with an optional water softener for each model. Each model also offers three different paneling options: Stainless Steel, Tuscany Panel, and Panel Ready.
- 12 Place Setting Capacity
- 5 Cycles
- Adjustable Upper Rack
- Cycle Run Floor Indicator Light
- Multi-Level Power Wash
- 50 dBA
Viking’s dishwasher is generally underwhelming in extra features. One feature that separates the Viking from the KitchenAid is the implementation of a full size third wash arm. Seen in high-end brands, like Miele, the full size wash arm provides better coverage for the upper rack.
This dishwasher also comes with expected features such as a turbidity sensor, to sense the cleanliness of the water and adjust the cycle time appropriately. It also has adjustable tines, adjustable upper rack, and a silverware/cutlery basket.
The quietness level on this dishwasher is 50 dBA, so it is 60% more noisy than the KitchenAid.
Unlike most of the articles on the Yale Blog, KitchenAid is a clear winner. Viking is manufactured to round out a Viking Kitchen. You would not buy one to simply replace another dishwasher, because KitchenAid has better wash action, drying, special cycles, and especially quietness.
It is the difference between a company in the dishwasher business versus a company simply sourcing a simple product with an aesthetic.
I recommend to buy the KitchenAid dishwasher.