KitchenAid KDTE304DSS Dishwasher Review
Right dishwasher, wrong price
The KitchenAid KDTE304DSS (MSRP $1,049) is a step down from the KDTE404DSS, but it has the edge on efficiency and a slightly better Tough cycle. Of course, both are outshone by the comparably priced KitchenAid KDTM354DSS, which cleans extremely well thanks to its unique filtration system.
Although the KDTE304DSS is a great dishwasher, its price feels off. Most other machines that cost this much are filled to the brim with luxurious extras, such as interior lights, full-color displays, three-piece cutlery baskets, or highly adjustable racks. The KDTE304DSS has none of these. Even with sale prices as low as $894, you can get more value from competing models.
Design & Usability
Attractive finish and lots of options
If you’re looking for something that will match your kitchen, the KDTE304DSS’s stainless steel finish works rather well. A hidden control panel and curved, gently protruding handlebar give the whole appliance a monolithic, professional look. The only distraction is the KitchenAid logo on the front, which some buyers might object to.
Most dishwashers come with two racks and a cutlery basket, and the KDTE304DSS is no exception. However, it has a handful of little features that provide extra loading space, such as a fold-down cup shelf on the upper rack and a long mini-basket that’s suited for chopsticks and other utensils.
The cutlery basket is huge. We were able to fit 11 place settings and a serving setting inside the KDTE304DSS, and the basket provided more than enough room to fit all the eating and serving utensils we used during our capacity test. Of course, if you actually have that many utensils, you might also have a lot of dishes—and the cutlery basket hogs valuable real estate on the bottom rack.
With a button for each cycle and wash option coupled with responsive touch controls, the KDTE304DSS’s control panel is streamlined and easy to use. Our only complaint is that its glossy finish makes it prone to pick up smudges and stains. And since there’s a good chance your hands are wet when you’re operating the dishwasher, you may have to wipe away water spots.
ProScrub and other useful extras
Most dishwashers have a Normal cycle, a Fast cycle, and a Heavy Duty cycle at the bare minimum. The KDTE304DSS adds a Delicate cycle, a Soil-Sensing cycle, and a Rinse-Only cycle to that mix, giving you some variety to work with.
One other neat trick: You can shut off the machine’s beeps and chimes if you find them bothersome.
A different animal
At first glance, the KitchenAid KDTE304DSS and the slightly more expensive KDTE404DSS seem like the same dishwasher. They share the same cycle options, wash options, exterior, and interior. However, they are like twin siblings who went to different schools. Based on the data gathered from our tests, the KDTE304DSS does things just a little differently.
Overall, the KDTE304DSS uses fewer resources and produces slightly worse cleaning results than the 404, except when it comes to the Tough cycle. In fact, during one Tough cycle run, the 304 almost completely cleared every stain.
Like the 404, the KDTE304DSS showed very few instances of redeposit. The screen and filter at the bottom of the tub do a great job keeping washed-off food particles from returning to the wash. However, the Normal and Tough cycles tend to run a bit long, clocking in at two-and-a-half and three-and-a-half hours, respectively.
We calculated an annual utility cost of $32.40 per year for the KDTE304DSS. This is only a couple of dollars a year above the average. Much of it comes from electricity costs, which are exacerbated by the long cycle times. Even the Express Wash cycle lasts 67 minutes, which is 7 minutes longer than average.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
This dishwasher has the industry-standard one-year warranty in which KitchenAid will pay for all labor and parts associated with repairing any manufacturer defects. KitchenAid’s warranty has some additional coverage, as well: Nylon dish racks and electronic controls are covered for the first five years, and the stainless steel tub and inner door liner are covered for the entire life of the appliance.
Before You Buy
An incomplete package
While the KDTE304DSS washes dishes well enough and comes with more features than a budget dishwasher, we can’t help but feel that something is missing in every department. It has a healthy selection of cycle customization options, but sandbags itself with a preset 4 Hour Delay function instead of the more popular and versatile 1-24 Hour Delays found elsewhere.
Similarly, the interior has height adjustment and foldable tines, but also an unwieldy cutlery basket that creates dead space. Finally, its filtration system is near-perfect, but it’s still shy of KitchenAid’s even better ProFilter technology.
We recommend that KitchenAid fans spring for the complete package: the KDTM354DSS. The price gap isn’t too wide to leap over, and you’ll feel better knowing that you’re getting your money’s worth. If you’re not limiting your dishwasher selection to just KitchenAid, the Frigidaire Professional FPID2497RF will get you that perfect balance of cleaning power, interior features, and wash options for around the same price.
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