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Old 07-04-2001, 09:38 PM
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 191
In '95 I bought a Sharp 700W countertop microwave (R2A55 model).

The pushbutton door-open-button seems to be getting weaker. I'd tried unscrewing the cabinet to check the innards (some job!) to see if I could replace the pushbutton easily. But it looked so complicated, that I couldn't figure out how to remove it in order to order the replacement part - that's if I could even figure out what replacement part to order. Naturally, the part seemed to be mostly plastic.

When buying a new microwave, I wonder if I'd be better off getting one with a handle? Would a handle be more durable than a push button?
Old 07-04-2001, 10:23 PM
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Decatur, Illinois, USA
Posts: 14,041
[Jally, please tell us what it is with you and appliances. I count 6 General Questions threads you've started since you came here, asking about appliances, mainly "why can't they...?" type of thing. Is it a fetish? Like shoes? I'm genuinely curious.]

Oh, well. To address the OP:
Microwave Door Handles

A microwave door handle that protrudes from the surface far enough for one to depress it with any part of the arm, a hand, or a closed fist is the easiest to use.

A door release that must be pulled but cannot be gripped easily, a pull handle that has no opening in it, and a squeeze trigger are difficult for many people to use.
Factor all this in, and make your decision.
Old 07-04-2001, 11:08 PM
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Big Rock Candy Mountain
Posts: 1,158
My non-objective observations re:microwave handles (you should have seen this coming)

Handles are undoubtedly more durable than push buttons and that's a good thing. For me it's an especially good thing.

I use my microwave oven often. I have used it to effect the irreversible denaturation and coagulation of many a dead chicken limb or dead cow slice in my time. Some may find that I use my knowledge of microwave technology cruelly or ruthlessly. They may call me a sophisticated icicle or a razor-brained sadist. Perhaps they'll even criticize my linear thinking (meat+microwave=dinner). Nonetheless, I urge you, kind reader, to not be judgmental or crass; after all, I'm not using my knowledge of technology to promote nuclear/bio/chemical warfare, I'm just hungry.
Old 07-05-2001, 01:57 AM
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 191
Is there any site anywhere which actually states that handles last longer than push-buttons?

The question wasn't re: which is easier to use, but rather which is more durable (lasting longer).

Now veering off-topic (hopefully for the last time):

To resolve someone's curiosity about fetishes, I'll pose a question of my own: Are you in the market to buy a new shirt, or some new socks, or a can of beer? If so, then may I ask you whether you have a shirt, sock or beer fetish? I mean, if my MW door-button conks out, then my food will remain inside the microwave, & I may starve to death. I think it's preferable for you to wear a frayed shirt or torn socks, than for me to starve to death. After all, if I'm in rigor mortis, then my posts can't bug anyone anymore.
Old 07-05-2001, 02:37 AM
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Deep South, USA
Posts: 918
Come on, guys. This isn't the worst question she's ever posted.

I don't have a site, but I can relate my personal experience with microwaves.

My microwave (sorry, I don't remember the brand) which I have had for 6 years has a push button door. There is no handle at all on the door. When the button is pressed the door supposedly pops open. This mechanism has mostly given out. You have to hit the button with great force to get the door to open, sometimes you have to pull on the edge of the door also.

My parents, on the other hand, have a microwave (don't know that brand either) with a door handle. There is no release button, you just pull on the door. They have had this oven for over 12 years and have had no problems with it at all, door or otherwise.

About replacement parts, try they have a good site. I tried to find out which part you were talking about in your oven, but I did not have enough info to get through the search engine. Since you have the oven right there with you, you should have no problem.

If you decide to get a new oven, I suggest you get one with a handle. And a good warranty
Old 07-05-2001, 02:45 AM
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Texas, U.S.A.
Posts: 3,448
Below the handle on the built in microwave with the push button that came with our new home of two years is already cracking. The humongous old microwave we've had since 1986 works perfectly with no apparent wear to the handle or door.

Some people come into our lives and quickly go, others stay awhile. Either way, they leave footprints on our hearts and we are never the same. May my footprints always be gentle on your heart.
Old 07-05-2001, 03:08 AM
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 191
Originally posted by BooBoo316
This mechanism has mostly given out. You have to hit the button with great force to get the door to open,

Sounds very familiar!

My parents, on the other hand, have a microwave (don't know that brand either) with a door handle. There is no release button, you just pull on the door. They have had this oven for over 12 years and have had no problems with it at all, door or otherwise.

My sister also inherited such a microwave from my aunt. And considering that, and your parents' and Abby's experiences, I wonder whether the durability of those handles isn't so much because they're not buttons so much as the fact that construction in the good 'ole days was meant to last!

About replacement parts, try they have a good site
Believe me, I done my research & weeks ago I tried them, but apparently it's against the law for them to provide people with clear diagrams & instructions for repairing microwaves (due to the danger of microwaves). I couldn't even figure out from their site if they have my exact part. So I'm not about to go & order a cat in a bag without guidance. And RepairClinic did not offer the guidance, upon emailing them. Maybe they give guidance with other stuff, but not, in my experience, with microwaves.

Anyway, thanks to both of you for your input!

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