Many of us work hard to buy our food and other products from local sources. Why not our large investment items, like appliances? In the US, unless you live in Wisconsin or North Carolina, truly local appliance purchases are tough. But, sourcing your big home purchases from your home continent can be done.
There are companies that were born in the USA and never left, and there are those who are bucking the trend to move to cheaper labor available overseas and are working to bring manufacturing back to the US. Will you pay more? In some cases, but consider the ramifications of buying appliances made overseas with cheap labor and long transport. Will you have a longer-lasting higher quality product? Will you feel better about your purchase? Here's a collection of American-made appliances to consider.
(NB: We cannot vouch for country of origin of all the parts used in the appliances.)
Above: BlueStar appliances are made in a factory in Reading, PA, where Prizer-Painter Stove Works Inc. has made ranges since 1880. Family-owned BlueStar has stayed true to its focus on specialty cooking products with a line of ranges, ovens, and cooktops that are still hand built. BlueStar's RNB Series Freestanding Ranges come in five sizes ranging from 24 to 60 inches (a 48-inch range is shown above) and an ultra-powerful 22,000 BTU burner. They are available in over 190 colors (from the RAL color chart), including new metallic finishes. Contact BlueStar for dealer near you. N.B. Big Chill creates their retro-style cooking appliances using BlueStar appliances that they cover with faces of their own design in Boulder, Colorado (their refrigerators are from Whirlpool and made in Mexico).
Above: Wolf (owned by Sub-Zero) cooking appliances are manufactured in Fitchburg, Wisconsin. The Wolf 36-inch Dual Fuel Stainless Steel Range (df366) with six dual-stacked burners (other configurations available) featuring 15,000 BTU and 9,200 BTU sizes, all with simmer capabilities, and a large dual convection oven. Available with red or black knobs; $9,200 at Abt Electronics. Wolf also recently introduced a New Line of Feature-Loaded Gas Ranges.
Above: Capital was started in 2007 by a cooking appliance veteran. All of the company's products are designed, engineered, and manufactured in California (in Santa Fe Springs, just south of Los Angeles, to be exact). Capital offers highly rated professional-strength cooking for the residential kitchen; the company's Culinarian series offers great flexibility, with powerful open burners (all six are rated at 23,000 BTUs) featuring a simmer capability. Available in several configurations and with either a natural gas or liquid propane fuel option. The Capital Culinarian CGMR366 36-inch Pro-Style Gas Range with six burners and convection oven is $5,925 at AJ Madison.
Above: Viking manufactures its professional-style kitchen appliances in Greenwood, Mississippi. One of the first to bring professional performance cooking to the residential kitchen, Viking ranges are classic, sturdy, and reliable. The Viking 36-inch Pro-Style Dual Fuel Range (#VDSC5366Bx) with six sealed burners in stainless steel is available at AJ Madison or an authorized dealer near you.
Above: Both Thermador (part of the BSH Bosch group) and Dacor manufacture their cooking appliances in the United States - Thermador in New Bern, North Carolina, and Dacor (a family-owned company) in City of Industry, California. The Thermador Pro Grand PRG366JG 36-Inch Range is among the highest-rated ranges ($7,299 at AJ Madison) and the Dacor Epicure 36-Inch Dual-Fuel Range is favored for its clean look and performance ($8,399 at abt Electronics).
Above: Sub-Zero is not only the industry standard-bearer but also an American flag-waving company. Their products (including their Wolf ranges) are made in Wisconsin. High performance features standard in Sub-Zero refrigerators include an air purification system, water filtration, adjustable glass shelving, and a dual-compressor operating system that separately controls the temperature and the humidity of the refrigerator and freezer compartments. On a personal note, my own Sub-Zero was installed in 1996 and is still going strong. The classic Sub-Zero BI-36U 36-Inch Built-In Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator is available through approved dealers. N.B.: Last year Sub-Zero introduced a Space Saving French Door Refrigerator.
Above: General Electric is an example of a global company that is working to bring production back to the US. GE's highly rated, Energy Star–qualified Monogram Line of Refrigerators is manufactured in the Selmer, Tennessee. The GE Monogram ZICS36NXRH has excellent shelving and sealed drawers for food storage. Available at US Appliance.
While they are known for their cooking appliances, Viking manufactures it's professional-style kitchen appliances, including refrigerators (to match their other iconic ranges) in Greenwood, Mississippi.
Above: In the undercounter refrigeration category, Perlick is a highly regarded manufacturer, according to our sources at BSC Appliances in San Francisco. It is a Sub-Zero neighbor; both are made in Wisconsin. The company offers a 24-inch-wide (same as a standard dishwasher) stainless steel two-drawer undercounter refrigerator: the Perlick Signature Series HP24RO5. With a 5.3-cubic-foot capacity and full-extension adjustable shelving, it retails for $3,649 at AJ Madison.
Above: U-Line is another Wisconsin designed, engineered, and manufactured line of undercounter refrigerators, ice maker, and wine coolers. The U-Line 3000 Modular Series 36-Inch Beverage Refrigerator is $3,549 at AJ Madison.
Above: Part of the BHS Home Appliances Corporation, Bosch manufactures their 300-, 500- and 800-series of dishwashers in New Bern, North Carolina. The heritage of German engineering crossed with American manufacturing (not to mention their highly rated performance) make Bosch an attractive option for many US consumers. The Bosch 800 Series Fully Integrated Dishwasher (SHX68T5) is $894.60 at AJ Madison.
Above: Whirlpool manufactures washers and dryers under the brand names Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana (and for Ikea and other manufacturers). The products are made in a variety of locations in and outside of the US, but we have confirmed that the highly-rated Whirlpool Duet washer and dryers are manufactured in Clyde, Ohio. The Whirlpool Duet Steam Washer (WFW9750WW) is $895 at AJ Madison. It gets excellent ratings and is quiet, stackable, and spacious. The matching Whirlpool Duet Steam Electric Dryer (WFW9750W) is $895 at AJ Madison.
Two of our editors offer their own experience in earlier post The Ideal Washer and Dryer.
An American Kitchen Counter Icon
Above: The iconic KitchenAid Stand Mixer (owned by Whirlpool Corporation) is made in Greenville, Ohio. And, it is reported that KitchenAid moved the production of its handmixers from China to the US in 2012.
We've also rounded up 7 Sources for American-made Hardware.