Kenmore appliances: Why they're not better than Frigidaire

Many a customer has probably faced a dizzying array of gas stoves and thought to themselves, which is better, Kenmore or Kitchenaid? Should I buy this Whirlpool refrigerator, or the Kenmore? Isn't Bosch a more trusted name than Kenmore for dishwashers? The answer to those questions is probably, in order, "neither," "either," and "not really."

Because even though Kenmore is proudly advertised by Sears as "the best known name in appliances" with a product in 60% of American homes, Kitchenaid, Whirlpool, Bosch, and a host of other manufacturers are the ones that made your Kenmore appliance.

Kenmore isn't the only brand to appear on products actually manufactured by its competition, but it may be one of the biggest. At Appliance411, a chart demystifies the Kenmore purchasing process. According to the web site, you can deduce who manufactured your appliance by reading the model number on your appliance's identification tag. The first three numbers (or in some appliances, the first three numbers plus the initial "C") correspond with a manufacturer. Does your refrigerator's model number begin with 106? You have a Whirlpool. If your dishwasher's model number starts with 630, it's made by Bosch. A microwave starting with 401 is a Samsung. And so on.