Finding the best microwave oven is often challenging. In addition to technologies and cooking programs, you must also consider the design. Whether you’re after a countertop, built-in, or over-the-range microwave oven, an important consideration should go to the aesthetics: should you get a microwave oven with handle or one with a button?
A microwave with a door handle shows off a more vintage feel. The push-button delivers a streamlined appearance. However, there are moments when a handle is more practical.
Now, are you wondering which is the best countertop microwave with handle you can get? I did the hard work for you and found the best models on the market. Read our guide and check our selection to find the best microwave oven for you.
What is a microwave with handle anyway?
A microwave with handle is simply a microwave oven with a door handle instead of a push button. To open the door, you have to pull the handle.
Apart from this design difference, microwaves with handles and push buttons are very similar. You can choose from a wide range, including microwaves with inverter technology, convection microwave ovens, vintage microwave ovens, and so on.
Microwave with handle vs. push button which is better?
It is difficult to say which microwave type is better. You must consider your needs and preference.
Design-wise, microwaves with handle can look more dated. Sure, there are numerous vintage design microwaves that look amazing in most kitchens. However, those with a standard design could make your kitchen look stuck in the past.
That said, microwaves with handles have fewer moving parts and are more resistant. They could also be easier to use by some people.
Advantages of microwave door handle over button
While a microwave with handles might not put off the most modern look, these models come with clear advantages:
Easier maintenance: One of the main problems with push buttons is that grime and grease can easily make their way into the crevices surrounding the button. Cleaning that tiny space is often impossible (unless you want to take the whole thing apart and then reassemble it). Keeping a handle clean is a whole lot easier – all you have to do is wipe it with a sanitizing wipe or a clean cloth.
Durability: As mentioned above, microwaves with handles have fewer moving parts. Handles are less likely to break.
Easier to fix: If your microwave’s handle has broken, the door is easier to fix by simply replacing the handle. However, if a push button breaks, replacing it is a lot more complicated (and generally involves sending the appliance in service).
What should I look for when picking a microwave with a handle?
Buying a microwave with a handle on the door isn’t as different than buying one with a push-button. Here are a few things to check before buying.
One of the most important things to check when buying a microwave is the max power output. If you want to cook raw or frozen foods fast, get an oven that can output at least 1,000 watts. A more powerful microwave is even better.
However, keep in mind that most microwaves require more power than they output. Thus, if you live off the grid or need a microwave to use with a power generator or in a vehicle, you should go for a 600-700 watt model.
In addition to the max power, you must also check the power levels. The more you have, the better.
Various power levels allow you to adjust the heat for various applications, such as defrosting foods, cooking, popping corn kernels, or reheating a meal. Some units even have a keep-warm function.
Most people use microwaves to defrost or reheat foods, mostly because they don’t know how to use this appliance for cooking (except for those microwavable meals you get from the supermarket).
What you must know is that microwaves can cook as good as a convection wall oven.
Most appliances come with pre-programmed cooking functions that even make things easy. Ideally, the oven should have at least six pre-programmed settings.
The outer size of the oven matters if you want it to fit in your space.
Countertop microwaves come in a variety of sizes, for smaller or bigger kitchens. Built-in or over-the-range microwave ovens generally have standard outer dimensions to match a 24- or 30-inch cabinet.
Last but not least, consider the capacity. You can choose from small ovens with a capacity of 0.6 cubic feet to large microwaves that can fit two dinner plates at once. Consider your needs and buy the appliance that is right for you.
Microwave With Handle Reviews
1. Sharp 15-0429 Medium-Duty Commercial Microwave Oven
Finding the perfect microwave oven with a handle is challenging, but if you want something powerful and durable enough to withstand commercial use, then the Sharp 15-0429 is it. Designed for heavy-duty use, it is very easy to clean and comes with no turntable.
Why I love it
This microwave oven comes with 10 pre-programmed cooking functions and a memory option that allows you to save another 10 preferences.
Cooking in a microwave with no turntable is a lot easier since you won’t have to worry too much about hotspots. Fewer moving parts also mean less maintenance.
Did you forget to take the chicken out of the freezer? The express defrost mode can thaw your foods or ingredients in the blink of an eye.
Although this microwave is very easy to use, it would have benefited from quick buttons, such as adding a minute to the cooking time and other one-touch functions.
This commercial-duty microwave oven will stay by your side for a long time, but it’s still expensive.
2. Toshiba EC042A5C-SS Countertop Microwave Oven
Sharp might be a heavy-duty microwave oven, but if you need a higher capacity, this Toshiba could be a better fit. It reaches a power of 1,000 watts – like the Sharp, but has a capacity of 1.5 cubic feet. Just what you need for feeding a bigger family.
Why I love it
Microwave and convection cooking
Not everyone has a big kitchen that can accommodate both a convection oven and a microwave. If you don’t want to give up the convenience of microwave cooking, but still need convection now and then, this model packs both cooking technologies.
Do you have kids or simply hate the loud noises that let you know the cooking’s done? This microwave oven enables you to mute the sound. Just press the button “8” for a few seconds to silence the machine.
Whether you want to make popcorn or keep food warm, the one-touch buttons make the oven easy to operate. The unit also comes with plenty of cooking functions.
Low heating power in convection mode
While you can still bake and roast in this oven, expect the process to take some time. The convection heating element is not the most powerful.
This microwave oven comes with a LED interior light, but the bulb is not bright enough. You’ll still have to open the door if you want to check the cooking progress.
3. Nostalgia RMOD7IVY Retro Microwave Oven
If you want a white microwave with a handle, the Nostalgia Retro could fit the bill. The color isn’t a true white – it’s more of ivory – but its old-school appearance makes it perfect for any interior. Looks aside, this microwave is small and perfect for apartments and dorms.
Why I love it
If you’re looking for a no-nonsense microwave, rest assured that this one can suit all your needs. The oven has analog controls and you can set the temperature and cooking time in a heartbeat.
In addition to its analog controls, this oven stands out thanks to its retro accents. The white enamel finish, chrome microwave handle, and rounded corners make it perfect for a shabby chic interior or those with the 50s nostalgia.
Fully customizable cooking
This unit may not come with pre-programmed settings, but the 30-minute dial and six power levels enable you to set the perfect temperature and time for all your recipes. The unit outputs 700 watts and has a capacity of 0.7 cubic feet.
No internal light
This is one of the few microwave ovens that doesn’t have an internal light. It still comes with a glass door, but you won’t be able to see much.
The minimum amount of time you can set is two minutes. This is often too long if you want to heat a cup of water or melt some butter. A separate timer can help you keep track of time, and the low price still justifies buying this unit.
4. Farberware FMO11AHTBKB Countertop Microwave Oven
Style-wise, this microwave oven is very similar to the Toshiba. It has clean lines, a sturdy handle, and a brushed stainless steel finish. It outputs 1,000 watts and has ten power levels. The only difference with the Toshiba is that it has only six cooking programs.
Why I love it
This microwave oven has a capacity of 1.1 cubic feet, yet it still fits seamlessly on smaller countertops. It is a good choice for most kitchens.
While similar to Toshiba, this unit comes at a fraction of the price.
The pre-programmed settings have one-touch buttons for easy operation. Options include popcorn, pizza, potatoes, frozen vegetables, and beverages.
This countertop microwave comes with hard plastic feet. They are sturdy but slippery. It is easy to pull the microwave along the counter as you’re opening the door.
This unit is loud, and it doesn’t have a mute button.
5. Winia WOR07R3ZEL Retro Microwave Oven
Do you like retro microwave ovens? Another one that could fit your bill is this model from Winia. The design is similar to the Nostalgia, but the unit has a modern control panel. Yet, the buttons are fashioned as knobs, in-line with the 50s look of the unit.
Why I love it
If you’re looking for a dorm or RV microwave, this compact unit might be it. It fits seamlessly on countertops and you can even store it in a cabinet.
This microwave might look retro, but it comes with pre-programmed settings – five of them, to be precise. In addition, the unit is a cinch to operate.
You can pick from four pastel colors, including blue, red, cream, and green. Moreover, the unit is eco-friendly, saving energy by only consuming electricity when in use.
While cute and performing, this microwave is expensive for its size. It only has a capacity of 0.7 cubic feet.
This microwave is ideal for heating and cooking quick dishes. However, it often overheats when cooking more elaborate meals.
Microwave with handle comparison table
|Sharp 15-0429||Toshiba EC042A5C-SS||Nostalgia RMOD7IVY||Farberware FMO11AHTBKB||Winia WOR07R3ZEL|
|Capacity||1 cu. ft.||1.5 cu. ft.||0.7 cu. ft.||1.1 cu. ft.||0.7 cu. ft.|
|Max power||1,000 watts||1,000 watts||700 watts||1,000 watts||700 watts|
A microwave with a handle is an excellent choice if you don’t want to repair a push-button over and over again.
From commercial models to one suitable for RVs and dorms, I hope this guide can help you find the best microwave with a handle for you.