Samsung DW80M9 Chef Collection dishwasher review

Samsung’s Chef Collection dishwasher merges powerful cleaning with style for a superior performance.
Samsung’s Chef Collection dishwasher merges powerful cleaning with style for a superior performance.
Samsung’s Chef Collection dishwasher merges powerful cleaning with style for a superior performance.

Highs

  • Straightforward settings
  • Opens when cycle is finished to release steam
  • Three racks
  • Runs quiet

Lows

  • Occasionally misses a dish or two
  • Attracts some fingerprints

We had high expectations of the Samsung DW80M9 dishwasher ($1,399) — after all, it’s part of Samsung’s Chef Collection line, which is inspired by what chefs say they want to see in appliances. Personally, when it comes to washing dishes, it might be nicer to know what the kitchen dish washers want. Still, this dishwasher can handle tough dirty dishes any cook can throw at it…and do it quietly, too.

Same, but better

There are some similarities and differences style-wise between this Samsung model and its predecessor the Samsung DW80J9945US. The unit will fit in a space that measures at least 34 by 24 by 24 inches. Like that previous model, the DW80M9 has a magnetic door, so there’s a place for a dirty/clean magnet. The front of the machine also sports a similar design with a large hidden handle on the front panel that lights up blue when a cycle is in progress to let you know it’s running. Otherwise, with the machine running so quiet you may not know that it’s on. In our tests, we clocked an average sound of 61dB, which is about the equivalent of the standard audio level of background music.

Unlike the DW80J9945US, this model features black stainless steel and a more refined, sleek look.

One of the more prevalent trends we’re seeing in dishwashers these days is the dedicated third rack on the top for silverware, knives, or kitchen utensils, and the Samsung DW80M9 is no exception. Inside there are also removable silverware caddies that fit in the bottom rack. The rack has adjustable tines, so there’s ample room to fit rows of dishes or dirty pots and pans. Speaking of the bottom rack, we’re happy to report that it’s pretty sturdy. You’d need to pull hard to get it to slide off the rails. The upper rack has room to fit everything from wine goblets to 16-ounce pilsner glasses. Best of all, if you have a particularly large platter to wash on the bottom rack you can adjust the middle rack to make more room.

We ran a variety of loads on different settings and were impressed with the results.

The self-explanatory dishwasher controls are hidden across the top panel. In addition to the power button, you’ll find seven cycles: Auto, Normal, Heavy, Delicate, Express 60 (a solid choice for a quick wash), Self Clean, and Chef. Next in the row are lower rack selections: Lower Rack (the top nozzle won’t operate when selecting this option) and Zone Booster (more on that below).

Depending on the selected cycle, you can also add one of the following options: Speed Booster, Hi-Temp Wash, and Sanitize. A digital clock displays the time remaining in a cycle, and it’s easy to see when the dishwasher is operating. There are also buttons for Delay Start, Smart Control, and a Start button. Clearly there are a lot of options, but our favorites in our tests were Express 60 (fastest washing time), Speed Booster (it decreases the amount of time in a cycle without really sacrificing cleaning power), and Heavy (there wasn’t much this option couldn’t clean).

Better the second time around

The first time we reviewed a Samsung dishwasher featuring the WaterWall feature, we were not thoroughly impressed, and thought the idea was a bit kitschy (it reminded us of TLC’s song Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls). The company has taken measures to improve the technology, and it has made all the difference. Of course, there were a few things that still proved hard to clean, like dishes with dried food stuck on them after they had already gone through a dishwashing cycle.

Samsung DW80M9 Chef Collection dishwasher
Riley Young/Digital Trends

During over a month of testing, we ran a variety of loads on different settings to see how well the machine performed. Overall, we were impressed with the results. Dishes most of the time came out spotless. Once or twice, there were lipstick stains on glasses and stuck-on food on bowls , but it wasn’t a regular occurrence.

For example, when we ran the Chef cycle, which automatically uses the Zone Booster feature, most of our dishes came out clean. Zone Booster adds extra cleaning power to items placed in the lower left area of the rack.

Once you connect the app to the dishwasher and you’re ready to do a load, pick all the settings in the menu and start it remotely

We really put the dishwasher to the test when we smeared a big plate, a small plate, a bowl, a coffee mug, and a knife, fork, and spoon with peanut butter, Nutella, maple syrup, hummus, mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, and BBQ sauce, and then let them sit out for two hours. We did a quick scrape of the dishes to remove any chunky residue and then placed them in the dishwasher without rinsing. We ran the Heavy Cycle and selected Zone Booster and Speed Booster (reducing the runtime about 10 minutes) and filled the detergent receptacle with Cascade detergent. After two hours and 31 minutes, the dishes were spotless.

One neat feature we’ve never seen on a dishwasher before is that the door automatically pops open just slightly when the cycle finishes to allow the steam to escape and dry the dishes. The first time the dishwasher did this, we thought that it wasn’t installed or working properly. We then dug into the owner’s manual and realized it’s not a flaw, but a smart feature of the appliance. Anyone who has ever experienced that steamed residue on a glass that’s been sitting in a closed dishwasher for too long will appreciate this feature.

Of course, there’s an app for it

As is the case with so many appliances today, the Samsung DW80M9 has an app that works with the Smart Control button on the panel. The Samsung Smart Home app is available for both Android and iOS devices. In addition to allowing you to remotely control the dishwasher, you can use the app for other Samsung appliances as well.

Samsung DW80M9 Chef Collection dishwasher App

Once you connect the app to the dishwasher and you’re ready to do a load, pick all the settings in the menu and start it remotely. The app connected easily and worked fine, although like with many of appliances with corresponding apps, we’re still wondering how useful they actually are. Why would we want to delay a dishwasher cycle?

Warranty information

The Samsung dishwasher comes with a one-year limited warranty that covers all parts and labor. The company also cover limited motion parts (belt operating AC motor, belt v-timing, rail, and holder rail) for five years and offers lifetime support the stainless door liner and tub for leakage. Customers must contact Samsung directly to receive service under the warranty.

Our Take

Overall, we were impressed with the performance of the Samsung DW80M9 dishwasher—something we didn’t expect. In general, the unit did a solid job of handling large loads of dishes in our test kitchen, and we particularly appreciated how quiet it ran as well as the blue illuminating light that let us know it was running. 

Is there a better alternative?

There are more affordable alternatives, such as the LG LDP6797ST QuadWash dishwasher, which does a phenomenal job getting unrinsed dishes clean. However, that model is about a year old and not quite as stylish.

How long will it last?

On average, dishwashers should last between eight to 12 years. Though a recent survey of Consumer Report readers who purchased dishwashers between 2007 and 2017 rated Samsung models among the lowest in reliability. 

Should you buy it?

At $1,399, the Samsung DW80M9 is definitely spendy, but it is a member of the Chef Collection, Samsung’s premiere line of appliances, if that’s important to you. The dishwasher continually did a solid job with the dishes, and about 90 percent of the time you will be pleased with its performance. It looks great, too, and we appreciate the steam release technology. If you’re not bothered by the high price of this appliance, then buy it. You’ll definitely appreciate its versatility, smarts, and cleaning capabilities.

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