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September 6, 2021 | Cooktops | Range Tops

Rangetop vs. Cooktop: Similarities and Differences

Rangetop vs. Cooktop

When it comes to cooking in your kitchen, you may not think you have as many options as you do. I mean a stove or a range top or a cooktop are all typical things that you find in your kitchen. They are all very similar, interchangeable appliances, aren’t they? Or are they? 

Believe it or not, while you can get your cooking done on either one, they are actually different appliances that have a few similarities,  but also many differences, too. Whether you are looking to get your terminology right, understand what you have, or are looking to find the most fitting appliance for your needs, let’s take a moment to show some appreciation for the range top and the cooktop. 

Rangetop vs. Cooktop: The Similarities

First up, we have similarities. Because, well, it is always good to find out how we are alike rather than just focusing on our differences, right? So before we go pointing fingers, here are a few ways in which range tops and cooktops are quite similar. 

No ovens. A range is a unit that has both a stovetop and an oven all in one. But a range top and a cooktop do not have an oven attached at all. As their name suggests, it is just the top part of a range. 

Counter installation. Both range tops and cooktops are installed above drawers or storage cabinets. They are installed directly into the counter. 

Both run on gas. While it is possible to find an electric range top or cooktop, it is not all that common. Most often they come designed to work with natural gas, but also have a liquid propane conversion capability, too. 

See, these cooktops and range tops are looking quite similar, aren’t they?  

Rangetop vs. Cooktop: The Differences

Don’t be fooled by their similarities. Just because the range top and cooktop have some similarities doesn’t mean that there are not any differences, too. In fact, there are many differences — and some of them are quite big. Let’s take a look. 

The controls. The controls are placed in different areas, depending on whether you have a range top or a cooktop. For instance, on a cooktop, the controls are on the top surface, but a range top has controls on the front of the unit. 

Installation differences. Range tops will require a piece of the countertop to be removed before it is installed. Range tops slide into the space on the countertop. A cooktop also requires a piece of the countertop to be removed before the unit can be dropped in. 

A bonus griddle. Cooktops will always be cooktops no matter what their size. And 36 inch and 48 inch model cooktops will still be just cooktops. However, while it may not always be the case, most range tops over 36 inches will often have a griddle or grill as well as the burners. 

Power burners. Each stove has a power burner. The number of power burners it has, however, will vary. For instance, cooktops usually only have one power burner while the rest are secondary burners. A range top, on the other hand, comes standard with all power burners. 

As you can tell, most of the differences come in the design and installation of the unit. Both do their part to cook your food – there are just differences in all other areas of installing and use. Your cooking habits and space will determine the best option for you. 

Rangetops Pros and Cons

Rangetops are professional-grade options that can give you the power and cooking strength of commercial kitchens. You never have to worry about wasting time when you need to get your cooking done and on to the table. They are sturdy, strong cooking appliances that can cook a steak as easy as a cup of tea, they still have their pros and cons. 

The Good: 

  • Range tops are durable and can withstand long-term heavy use. 
  • Range tops often have a lot of cooking space to hold the biggest of pans. 
  • Front knobs make it easy to maneuver around several pots and pans at one time – and keep the control. 
  • Many accessories and pro-style features are often standard with range tops and enhance the cooking experience. 
  • Very easy to use and clean.

The Bad:

  • Because range tops are often sturdy and commercial-like, they are also big. If your kitchen is not of adequate size, the range top could appear too bulky for the space. 
  • Small kitchens or those with small kids can mean front knobs are an inconvenience. They may get bumped easily or turned on/played with by kids. This is both a space issue and a potential safety hazard. 
  • Range tops require professional installation in the countertop. 

Lastly, range tops are often more expensive than cooktops, but it is often due to their sturdy construction and professional design. 

Cooktops Pros and Cons

Cooktops are great options for kitchens, too. They offer a great way to do everyday cooking. They are also built with durability in mind but don’t come as big and bulky as a range top does. This makes them more ideal for smaller kitchens – or those looking for something just a little extra. Let’s take a look at the good and bad. 

The Good: 

  • Cooktops come in a variety of heating options – gas, electric, or even induction. 
  • Knobs are on top of the unit, saving space and reducing any safety issues with kids. 
  • Located on the top of the counter, making it look sleek. 
  • Very easy to use and clean

The Bad: 

  • The knobs on top may be hard to handle when cooking a lot of different items. Pots and pans and handles can easily get in the way. 
  • Cooktops don’t have the capacity to handle large cooking projects. While they are durable, they can’t handle the heavy use that a range top can. 
  • Most cooktops won’t come with the many professional features you will find on a range top. 

The truth is, both range tops and cooktops are wonderful appliances – and would make great additions to any home. It is a matter of space, preference, cooking habits, and more. You now know the differences between both so choose the THOR Kitchen cooktop or range top that meets your demands!