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Blomberg tries to break into U.S. appliance market

The name Blomberg might not come to mind when you’re shopping for a dishwasher, refrigerator, or range. But the 130-year-old German manufacturer has been trying to boost its U.S. presence. The company’s products are already being sold at the regional stores P.C. Richard & Son and HHGregg, and have an online presence at ajmadison.com. And there are plans to be on the floor at Best Buy stores by year’s end. If the latest models we’ve seen are any indication, this is a brand to watch.

Some Blomberg dishwashers we tested more than a year ago were nothing to write home about: unimpressive washing and more noise than we usually measure. But the company’s claims of sprucing up its line seems to be showing results. The Blomberg DWT55300SS, a recommended model at $850, and the Blomberg DWT54100SS, $750, ranked among the best in our recent tests with top-notch washing and efficient running. What’s more, the normal cycle of the Blomberg DWT54100SS ran only 85 minutes, short for high performers. While neither was especially quiet—the Achilles heel even for some better performers—the manufacturer says it’s working on it.

Among refrigerators, the bottom-freezer Blomberg BRFB1800SSIM, $1,800, fell about mid-pack for that category with very good but not great temperature consistency. Still, two- and four-door bottom-freezer refrigerators we’ll soon be purchasing to test—plus a side-by-side model later this year—could repeat the same trend we’re seeing in dishwashers.

For anyone planning to replace a major appliance this year, we’ve got test results for 168 dishwashers, 283 refrigerators, and 184 ranges in our Ratings of those products. Be sure to check out each category’s buying guide before you hit the stores.

—Ed Perratore (on Twitter, @EdPerratore)

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