The design of the DW80M9960US is simplistic on the outside and flexible on the inside. When you close the door, the top controls disappear and leave you with a clean front, save for an indicator light. While the light breaks the seamless stainless-steel look, we like when there's some outward indication that a dishwasher is running so you know not to yank the door open. That's needed because this Samsung is very quiet, operating at around 38 dBA.
As much as the exterior is minimalist, the interior is busy with features. The flexibility of the interior sits front and center as the most useful design aspect of this dishwasher. All the tines on the lower rack fold down thoroughly, allowing very wide or irregularly shaped items to get a proper clean. The upper rack has two sets of adjustable tines on the far left and right ends.
For items that are tall rather than wide, like vases, the upper rack has an adjustable height that gives you an extra two inches in either cavity.
The 9960 also has a third rack with a removable silicone tray. No longer must you go to the third rack, for it will come with you. The tray can hold up to 15 place settings so it's perfect for cleaning up quickly after a dinner party.
Finally, to round out our look and feel section, we found that the dishes that got washed in this Samsung felt drier, on average. That's because the door automatically opens ajar when a cycle finishes. This allows for more excess moisture to escape.
After a week of testing, our testing showed that the DW80M9960US is above average when it comes to stain removal. We ran four scenarios when testing this Samsung, which tested the Normal, Express 60, and Heavy cycles, as well as the Zone Boosters. We found the Normal cycle to be the weakest performer. It cleaned up meat and oatmeal stains well enough but left behind a field of sticky spinach.
The Express 60 and the Heavy, however, lived up to our expectations. The Express 60 lasted, on average, 60 minutes and got dishes as clean as the Normal cycle, but in half the time. Heavy cleaned 91 percent of all the spinach but also dealt with baked-on cheese, burnt sugar, and pasta sauce, leaving dishes and bowls spotless of those stains.
In addition to our regular battery of tests, we also tested the Zone Boosters. We melted several a layer of cheese onto a baking sheet and placed it face down on the Zone Boosters. During the wash cycle, five nozzles blasted the sheet from every angle, producing perfectly clean results. We tallied the results and found the Boosters to be a success by every measure.
What makes the Samsung dishwashers unique
The Samsung DW80M9960US has an unusual wash system, called the WaterWall. Most dishwashers spray water by placing nozzles on a spinning spiral called a wash arm. Samsung placed the DW80M9960US's nozzles on a track that moves back and forth. You can see it in action here:
Remember, while the sprayers move on their track, sounding like a rain shower, you'll only hear a slight rumble on the outside.
What users say
Averaging the user reviews of Home Depot, Best Buy, and online retailer AJ Madison, users rated the Samsung DWM80M9960US at 4 out of 5 stars. People liked the stain-removal abilities and quiet operation. They disliked poor customer service from Samsung and that the fact that the exterior can be a fingerprint magnet.
We spent a week testing the ins and outs of the Samsung DW80M9960US and liked the Zone Boost feature and quiet operation. However, we also understand that this dishwasher pretty expensive. For the retail price of this Samsung, you can get a much-vaunted dishwasher from the Bosch 800 Series. However, the Samsung DW80M9960US has three advantages.
First, it's quieter than the Bosch, not by much, 38 dBA versus 42 dBA, but at this price point, it is a war of inches. Second, the DW80M9960US has the Zone Boosters for very tough stains. Finally, this dishwasher has the removable Flex Tray, where the Bosch MyWay Rack has to wholly taken off its track to come out. The 800 Series had boons of its own, including better cleaning on regular cycles and a better track record for dependability.
Our takeaway thought is that bakers will like the DW80M9960US better because it can get those cookie sheets clean consistently with the Zone Booster feature.
Meet the testers
Jonathan Chan currently serves as the Lab Manager at Reviewed. If you clean with it, it's likely that Jon oversees its testing. Since joining the Reviewed in 2012, Jon has helped launch the company's efforts in reviewing laptops, vacuums, and outdoor gear. He thinks he's a pretty big deal. In the pursuit of data, he's plunged his hands into freezing cold water, consented to be literally dragged through the mud, and watched paint dry. Jon demands you have a nice day.
Kyle Hamilton is a product tester at Reviewed, specializing in home appliances and technology.
Checking our work.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.Shoot us an email