Rangemaster - why?

We have had a rangemaster for nearly 20 years, and it finally broke so we got a new one - almost the same, but a different colour.

Apart from the my tip of not changing the colour otherwise someone will want a new kitchen to match (I'll save that for another blog), I am somewhat disappointed with the simple control / timer (see picture).

How can something so simple be annoying?

It appears to be exactly the same as the old one. You have (left to right) a timer (that makes a ding); a cook timer (that stops over after time); a start time for cooking; reset; -; and +.

It is not like I do much cooking, but I actually use the timer. I set the cook timer for the oven. It beeps when done and turns off the oven when done - just like a microwave.

To set, you press the cook timer, then use + to get to right number of minutes.

With the old oven the + and - adjusted the timer when pressed, and if held for more than a short period they continued to adjust rapidly. It was quite fast but you could easily let go at the right time, or press "-" to go back to the right time. It was simple and intuitive.

The new one is different. Holding it moves the time very slowly, annoyingly slow, but holding longer gets faster, and then faster, and so on. Trying to set 30 minutes is a nightmare as when it gets to 30 minutes it is going so fast you are like 35 or 40 before you let go. Then going back is tortuously slow. What is worse is you cannot just press the button several times as it does not register each press any more. It is just horrid to use.

What is worse is the reset button, which puts the oven back to normal working after the cooking is done, no longer resets if the timer is running. So if you set 30 minutes, but realise the food is done at 25 minutes, you cannot reset the timer. You seem to have to try and use the "-" key to get the timer down to zero so it beeps and then press reset. Even holding it seems to do nothing.

Why the hell change something so simple, really.


  1. It annoys me that the VFD on every Rangemaster I've seen is not centred vertically in the window.

  2. There is a plentiful supply of idiots is the straight answer to why change something so simple. My oven timer works like your old one thankfully.

  3. I've always marvelled at the timer on my 30-year-old Belling oven. A slim twirly knob with click-positions and no end stops. 1 click clockwise = +1min, spinning the knob between two fingers increments more quickly. Anticlockwise decrements. Any duration or time from 1m to 23h59m can be set really quickly.

  4. For some reason cooker timers are designed to be as difficult to use as possible and different to every other cooker timer.

    Which is why I don't bother using the things.

    Instead I pick up my phone, touch the microphone button, say "set an alarm x minutes" and the "timer" comes with me too so I don't miss it because I am in another room.

  5. The thing that annoys me about modern gas ovens is the fact that you can't use them when there's a power cut, because no electricity for the clock...

  6. The one on our Miele oven isn't too bad (could be better though), but the really annoying thing is that you can only use the +/- búttons despite there being a perfectly serviceable twiddly knob right there next to the display - that's only ever used to set the temperature though.


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