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Top 3 Wall Mounted Range Hoods - Reviews & Comparisons

Updated on May 2, 2017
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Brandon has been working with range hoods on and off for the past 4 years and writes about them to help people make wise decisions.

When Do You Need a Wall Mounted Range Hood?

Also popularly referred to as chimney hoods, wall mounted range hoods add class to any kitchen. They are not just elements of style. They are pieces of sophistication adding a lot of value to your kitchen. For instance, they protect your surrounding furniture and appliances from oil and grease buildup. Moreover, they also enhance air circulation and purify the air in your kitchen.

It is best to get yourself a wall mounted kitchen hood only if you fulfill these two important criteria:

  1. Your Range is backed up against a wall.
  2. You have no cabinets above the cooktop.

Wall mounted range hoods add class to any kitchen.
Wall mounted range hoods add class to any kitchen. | Source

What Do I Include in This Review and Comparison?

Initially, I begin with a review of the three most popular wall mount range hoods. The popularity of which is solely based on online buying trends on the most popular retailer websites for range hoods - Amazon, Ebay, and AJ Madison.

Each review includes a general overview of the product, it's best features, the problems you may face during installation and its working life. Towards the end of each review is a list of conditions under which I would personally buy the range hood being discussed.

The article concludes with a detailed comparison of the three models where I compare the most important features that you need to look into.

Model 1: The Akdy AZ63175S

Ideal for home use, this range hood can be operated at three different speeds - low, medium and high. At the highest speed, it has a maximum suction power of 400 CFM which is sufficient for most homes.

A quick view of what you can expect. The one on the left includes an extension chimney bought from the Akdy website.
A quick view of what you can expect. The one on the left includes an extension chimney bought from the Akdy website.

What Makes It One of the Best?

  • High-quality stainless steel construction.
  • Teflon coated blades prevent rusting and increase the product lifespan.
  • An adjustable chimney allows you to adjust for multiple heights easily.
  • 3 years warranty on major parts.
  • Amazing customer support.
  • It is easy to obtain replacement parts from customer support.
  • Aesthetics: most people take a look at it and assume that it's an expensive model.
  • Superb price and value for money.

Replacing an Existing Range Hood

Before installation. Here, an under cabinet range hood was replaced by the Akdy AZ63175S
Before installation. Here, an under cabinet range hood was replaced by the Akdy AZ63175S
A perfect fit after installation.
A perfect fit after installation.

Features I Do Not like About It

  • Horrible installation instructions, but it's easy enough and there are plenty of YouTube videos from other brands.
  • A rather loud beep when operating the light, timer and speed options.
  • Lighting could be better, I'd not solely depend on it to light up my cooktop.
  • Do not blindly trust the time displayed, you may end up late for work. It's sometimes off by a minute each hour. This is a massive 24 minutes each day.

Weak LED Lights

The lights are really weak. However, the manual suggests that the bulbs should not be changed to a higher wattage.
The lights are really weak. However, the manual suggests that the bulbs should not be changed to a higher wattage.
The lights are not bright enough to even counter the shadow produced by overhead lights. Therefore, you should not solely depend on the range hood lighting while you cook.
The lights are not bright enough to even counter the shadow produced by overhead lights. Therefore, you should not solely depend on the range hood lighting while you cook.

I would buy it, if:

  1. I was ducting to the outside.
  2. I usually do not cook greasy food, as the fan at the highest speed is 65db loud.
  3. I did not depend on my range hood for all the lighting on my cooktop.
  4. I was looking for longevity and good customer support.
  5. I had a relatively low budget.
  6. I want a range hood that looks expensive.

You could read other reviews, answered questions and buy the Akdy AZ63175S range hood at Amazon. Chimney extensions can be bought from the Akdy website or you could contact the seller at Amazon and ask them to include one in your purchase, which you have to additionally pay for.

Model 2: The Kitchen Bath Collecton STL75-LED

The KBC STL75 also operates at three speeds with a maximum CFM of 412. What I personally love the most about this range hood is not the model itself, but the company and their policy of putting the customer first.

This model just like the AKDY range hood we've seen earlier also has just 2 LED bulbs. In the past, the two bulbs were at the back of the hood which is not an ideal position on a range hood. After listening to their customers, the company has now replaced these bulbs with two in the front instead.

Moreover, on the product specifications, it clearly states that you should ensure that a 412 CFM range hood is sufficient for your stove and that you should calculate your required CFM before making the purchase. That's a nice gesture as failure to do so may void your warranty. This is a useful range hood CFM calculator.

The kitchen bath collection STL75 installed in a home.
The kitchen bath collection STL75 installed in a home. | Source
If you're good at metal working, you can easily cut the chimney to make the range hood fit in the available space.
If you're good at metal working, you can easily cut the chimney to make the range hood fit in the available space. | Source

What Makes It One of the Best?

  • 49 tiny LED bulbs on each of the front lights. This is bright, maybe too bright.
  • Very silent operation even at the highest speed (max sound level of 58db).
  • The charcoal filters are included in the pack, this could be a pro or a con depending on whether you're installing it ductless or ducted. Maybe, they should make it an accessory and further decrease the price of the base model.
  • The model as a whole is constructed from 304 stainless steel which is corrosion resistant.
  • Aluminum micro cell grease filters are very efficient when it comes to trapping grease and fumes, this is a very important feature if you're installing as a recirculating range hood. The grease filter is also dishwasher friendly.
  • The adjustable telescopic chimney is not only easy to adjust, but it has no visible weld seams on either of the three sides, which is a plus considering aesthetics.
  • A flexible aluminum duct is included.
  • Delayed shut off is a default setting. The first power off touch activates the delayed shutoff, another tap and it's switched off instantly.
  • 1-year manufacturers defect warranty - . Note that use of the product with an incompatible stove, one that would require a higher CFM could void your warranty.

A View of the LED Lights and How They Function in a Kitchen

49 LED bulbs make up each of the two front lights.
49 LED bulbs make up each of the two front lights. | Source
A view of the range hood installed in a kitchen and a close up of how well it illuminates the cook top.
A view of the range hood installed in a kitchen and a close up of how well it illuminates the cook top. | Source

Listen to the Fan and the Beeps - by KBC

Features I Do Not like About It

  • The lights are extremely bright and can be straight in the eyes of someone who isn't tall. Unfortunately, there is no dimmer option nor a way to direct them to the rear.
  • You may need more mounting brackets than what you're provided with. The range hood does remain attached to the wall with what's given, but personally, I'd use extra mounting brackets available at any local store to fasten it firmly to the wall. Without the extra brackets, the hood tends to vibrate when in the highest mode of operation.
  • The touch sensor to turn the light on and off has a rather loud beep.

The Fan, Lights and Controls in Operation

I Would Buy It, If:

  1. I was installing it as a recirculating model because installing this model as a ducted range hood is a bit harder than one would imagine especially true if you are replacing an existing hood with existing ductwork.
  2. I needed a bright cooktop.
  3. I was looking for a range hood that operates well for at least 6-7 years, if not more.
  4. I needed a blower that absorbs/exhausts smell and fumes right out of my kitchen.
  5. I had a relatively low budget.
  6. I wanted a range hood that looks classy.
  7. Customer support was important to me.

You can check out more reviews and answered questions and also buy the Kitchen Bath Collection STL75 on Amazon. If you have doubts send them a message and they get back to you in under a day on working days.

Model 3: The Z-Line ZLKB-36

The ZLKB-36 is approximately $150 - $200 more expensive than the two models already reviewed. However, it still makes my list, because it is a lot cheaper than the big brand wall mount range hoods on the market, yet solves a lot of the 'problems' that we encountered with the Akdy and KBC range hoods earlier.

For instance, the Akdy lights were too dim whereas the KBC range hood lights were too bright and right into the eyes of some. But with this Z-Line range hood, you have 2 halogen lights at the back, which can be titled to light up the cooktop as you see fit.

The manufacturers do not specify the exact sound level in decibel. But being a 760 CFM range hood capable of operating at 4 speeds one would expect it to get really noisy, considering the fact that it's not an expensive model. However, you're rarely going to need to operate at the highest speed.

Even when standing close to the range hood, you don't have to raise your voice when in operation up to speed 3. But at speed 4 it gets kind of loud and you're going to have to slightly raise your voice.

The Z-Line ZLKB36 in a modern kitchen.
The Z-Line ZLKB36 in a modern kitchen. | Source
The range hood is the focal point of this kitchen.
The range hood is the focal point of this kitchen. | Source

What Makes It One of the Best?

  • A 760 CFM motor which makes it powerful enough for all homes.
  • The two lights even though placed at the back of the range hood can easily be tilted to ensure the cooktop is lit as required.
  • Push buttons with LED indicators instead of touch controls. Most people prefer to use push buttons because this is what they are used to on long lasting appliances. I'm in the same boat here and cannot argue otherwise.
  • The default chimney extends within the limits of 26.3 inches to 40 inches.
  • Easily available telescopic chimney extension that allows installation in homes with up to 12-foot ceilings.
  • Plug and play setup. The fans and motor are already assembled, all you need to do is join the pieces of the puzzle while you mount the hood.
  • It's got a delayed shut-off feature (3 minutes).
  • The best packaging among the three reviewed here, it has a protective layer on the stainless steel components. You can either peel it off before installation or once the hood is installed, which is definitely the better route. Getting the protective layer off the baffles is a bit tricky, you may need to use a blade and snip at it a bit.
  • It's got a good 1 year parts warranty and you can read more about it here.

The original halogen lights are sufficiently bright to light up the cooktop.
The original halogen lights are sufficiently bright to light up the cooktop. | Source

Features I Do Not like About It

  • It may be a personal choice, but LED's would be better than Halogens.
  • The plastic duct that is shipped along with the range hood is a joke, you're better off buying a metal flex tube from your local hardware store (some localities even require you to have a metal tube). It's not necessarily a con because metal flex tubing is cheap.
  • The mounting wall screws are not strong in my opinion and you're also going to need more than what they provide. You could definitely use the ones that they have included, but you're better off getting a few more just to be on the safe side.
  • The baffle filters are not securely fit in place. The only reason I would do this when designing baffle filters myself is to make sure that they do not bend over years of use on high suction. If the filters are not firmly attached they have the freedom to move and prevent distortion (to some extent). If you wish, you could easily fix this issue with some simple DIY hacks.

I Would Buy It, If:

  1. I often fry stakes or fish that results in a lot of fumes, as that's when I could use a motor with a strong CFM. But in general when searing meats you won't need to go above level 3.
  2. I need good suction even at low speeds with low noise levels.
  3. I intend to use the inbuilt range hood light to brighten up my cooktop.
  4. I was looking for a model that is very simple to install.
  5. I need a model that plugs into a socket.
  6. Longevity is an important feature to me.
  7. I am looking for customer service personnel that are easy to interact with.

The ZLKB36 viewed from two different angles.
The ZLKB36 viewed from two different angles. | Source

If you want to know more about the Z-Line ZLKB36 you could always take a look at additional reviews and answered questions on Amazon. This model does fluctuate in prices very often and you could end up saving $50 if you buy it at the right time. Therefore, before you buy it, make sure that you take a look at a price tracker (a simple google search to find one) to see if the current listing is a good price.

My Best Wall Mount Range Hoods Compared

Features
AKDY AZ-63175S
KBC STL75-LED
Z Line ZLKB 36
CFM
400
412
760
Ducting
Convertible
Convertible
Convertible
Max Product Height
41.7" adjustable chimney
41" adjustable chimney
40" adjustable chimney
Lighting
2 LED lights at the back
2 LED lights on the front
2 movable halogen lights at the back
Controls
Touch
Touch
Buttons
Noise
Less than 65db
Between 48 and 58db
Not measured
Charcoal Filters
Not included
Included
Not included
Connection Type
Plug in
Plug in
Plug in
Vent Diameter
6"
6"
6"
Warranty
3 year parts warranty
1 year manufacturer defect warranty
1 year parts warranty
Grease FIlters
Aluminum
Aluminum
Stainless steel
Fan/Blower
3 speed
3 speed
4 speed
A comparison of the best selling and top performing range hoods.

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    • profile image

      Jenny 7 weeks ago

      Brandon,

      Which 36" wall mount range hood has "hinged baffle filter"? It is very hard to clean the inside of the baffle filter if it is not openable. Thanks.

    • lobobrandon profile image
      Author

      Brandon Lobo 2 months ago

      Thanks a lot Sandi for the kind words. Glad that it helped.

    • profile image

      Sandi 2 months ago

      This was very good information. I was happy to see that your review included the Zline hood because that is the hood I was considering purchasing. You covered all of the important considerations.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 9 months ago from the short journey

      This info helps me think through aspects of range hoods that I've not thought of yet. Thanks.