I haven't owned a microwave in years until six months ago as I did not feel that we needed one or were missing out. We make a lot of fresh meals and I generally like cooking foods in an oven if given an option, it takes longer but I find tastes much better from an oven. However we were offered this microwave from a friend at work who had barely had chance to use it before their builder father got them a fancy new one. It is the Daewoo KOR-63F7 model.
To Look At
The microwave is not much to look at and it won't win any style competitions! It is white all over with the typical main door ¾ of the size of the front of the microwave and the remaining ¼ is the dials and options for cooking. The glass door of the microwave has a white netted piece behind so that you can't see all of the way through the glass to inside but light can came through it.
The microwave has approximate dimensions of 46 cm width x 28 cm height x 36 cm depth and a quite heavy weight of 13 kg. I would say it is a regular sized microwave. The Daewoo branding logo is subtly written on the front of the machine, along with the model number KOR-63F7. It is very simple to set up, you simply plug it in and go.
The microwave cooking dials consists of two circular handles on the right side of the front of the machine and underneath this is the large push button to open the microwave door. The top one is the heat/cooking options, with seven selections available.
This is a 700 watt microwave and the cooking power you set it to will alter the percentage power that the microwave cooks with as follows:
High - 100 %
Med High - 88%
Medium - 73%
Low Stage - 59 %
Defrost - 44%
Heat - 26 %
Gentle Heating - 18 %
The second dial is the timer and the maximum time that this microwave is capable of in one sitting is 35 minutes. The timer goes from one to ten minutes in minute intervals, then 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35 minute options. The dials are very simple to turn and it is a swift one movement to get your microwave working. However the times are not very accurate as the dial does not click or stop on the different time options and so you have to judge as best you can whilst turning the dial. I don't particularly mind this as I tend to use my microwave most often for reheating food which has no accurate time needed. I am aware however that digital microwaves are much better for more accurate timings.
This is a very plain and bog standard microwave with no frills or fancy options. There is no On/Off button; as soon as you turn the timer dial the microwave starts working. Similarly there is no stop or start button. It is all controlled by the timer dial or by opening the door which obviously immediately stops the microwave from working. The open door button is quite big and easy to push and releases the door catch lock inside.
Inside the microwave is the usual plain white interior, with a plastic roller guide and the glass cooking tray on top of this. The microwave has a 20 litre capacity and is pretty big, though I do struggle getting my dinner plates in it and have to tilt them slightly to fit in. Just a millimetre or two bigger and it would be a perfect fit. Sometimes when I do get my dinner plates in I worry the door could pop open as it doesn't feel the most secure of kitchen equipment.
When the microwave is in use it is offensively loud, with a large reverberating humming coming from it that I can hear throughout my entire flat! As I have said we do not use this very often or for long periods of time so I can live with it. I couldn't imagine having it on for the whole 35 minutes though! It would drive me crazy. To make up for it the microwave has a nice chirpy bell 'bing' when it has finished.
The microwave is very easy to clean, with it being white it attracts dust and dirt but is easy to wipe down after use and the glass cooking tray can be removed and washed up separately.
This would not be a microwave that I would have picked for myself. The majority of my kitchen equipment is black and I would in an ideal world have a black stylish microwave to match, but I cannot complain as I received this for free. It is simple to use and simple in nature. The microwave does what I want it to do and has thus far been very reliable so I don't want to be too harsh on it.
The RRP for this microwave is £59, though I am not sure when this was first available, secondhand microwaves are available for around £25. I would say for that kind of money you could definitely get a nicer and perhaps digital microwave.
Regular readers of my reviews will now be able to paint an accurate picture of my kitchen - its small, most things are from Argos - but I haven't mentioned my microwave.
As with most white goods in my house, this was here when I got here - which is handy as its a key bit of kitchen kit I can't live without, but begrudge paying for. As with most other important things, they are not usually that much fun so I always like it when houses come kitted out with them, and like it even more that when they are decent. So far, I have a good cooker, a good toaster and a good kettle, but how will the microwave fare in the kitchen Olympics? Bronze, silver or gold?
As a cook, I work with microwaves a lot, pinging them off and on hundreds of times a day - so I like to think I have a pretty good idea what makes a good microwave (everyone has got to be good at something, right?) So, to judge this microwave I'll look at; power, cleaning, ease of use and value for money.
This is 700w, pretty normal for a normal household kitchen - with that being enough power to do regular tasks in a reasonable time. As a guide, on full power this will boil a cup of water in about two minutes (this is good tip too to test your microwave is working OK too) as apposed to the 1 minute in a 1400w commercial microwave. It has a varied range of settings from very low (boil water in about an millennia) defrost, medium and upto high, with a few options in between these settings. Personally, I don't make much use of these settings, usually either high or defrost does the job for me but the options are there if you want them. In terms of how the power is used, this microwave has a plate that turns in an attempt too evenly heat what is inside. After a couple of years or so of fairly heavy use I can say this microwave has cooked well and evenly every time it has been used. To add to this, its also a good size at 20 litres but the base is not huge. You will have no problem getting a regular sized plate inside it, but anything bigger like an oval plate will not fit. To sum up, powerwise it has done the job but on a couple of occasions it has been too small.
This might be the right place to interject on issues of noise - as this is quite noisy when in use and a pretty aggressive ding when done. Personally, noise does not bother me - but if it bothers you then I would give this a 3/10 in terms of how much it encroaches aurally.
I challenge anyone to have a perfectly clean microwave - mainly because they are usually a pain to clean and prone to mess. Things often spit and bubble over with food debris on the roof, at the back and all over the plate. As well as this, microwaves can be hard to get into clean an the internal surfaces not that great. I have to say the KOR63F7 does not fare that well - having a grated roof for a start is a problem. With grates in the roof for airflow this means its tough to clean, food getting stuck in the gaps and it being as less than easy surface to clean. As well as this, the plate is a bit of a pain to get in and out, but when you do its wipe clean and does not have that many raised surfaces for food to get stuck in. Inside the microwave again, its not great with lots of holes and gaps just waiting to trap food and breed bacteria. The inside of the door too, a meshy surface that does not have wipe clean in mind. On the front too, the dials (one for power, one for time) are both turn dials rather than a touch pad meaning food can get stuck in the gaps around the edge where it is not perfectly flush - again, another breeding ground for bacteria. So, on this front the microwave is poor - a difficult to clean bit of kit.
-------EASE OF USE------
Conversely to the poor cleaning, it fares well here. To install its simple - place on a sturdy surface where the rubber feet can grip, plug in and control with the two dials - time and power. The only area I would say is a problem is the analogue time dial - trying to set this to anything other than minute intervals is a pain, with the increments being very small. That said, its free of a digital display meaning no real instructions on how to use are needed - just turn it up to the time you need. I don't know about you, but over the years I've spent hours trying to figure out how digital timers on ovens and microwaves work.
------VALUE FOR MONEY------
This is an area I have little to say, as I didn't buy it but a quick search tells me second hand these go for £20, or newer models in the same range are about £50. I would say for £20 this seems OK, but not a bargain - maybe a new value microwave from say Argos would be a better choice, as at a glance they look similar. It does the job, but its hard to clean - from what I can tell the newer models have addressed some of the problems with this, with things such as a touch pad and a more flush interior - so, £50 seems like a good, but not great price to pay - if newer models have the reliability this does.
All in all, this gets a safe Bronze - its does the job but better models are out there at better prices.