Review: Kohler K-596-VS Simplice Faucet

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A kitchen sink isn’t any good without a faucet so we decided to get one! We were initially looking at touchless faucets because they can maintain temperature with the water off. I’ve been looking for this feature because I often wash large and fragile dishes in the sink and want to turn off water while I scrub but keep the temperature when I turn the water back on. Touchless faucets are a natural fit because a knob controls the temperature and a sensor controls the flow. Traditional knobs control both flow and temperature, making it difficult or impossible to keep that perfect temperature between on/off cycles.

After trying various touchless faucets and reading  a bunch of reviews I decided they weren’t for me. I read too many stories about parts failing and faucets turning on by themselves so I decided not to mix electricity with plumbing in this case. I was bummed that I wouldn’t get my temperature control but had resigned myself to getting a traditional faucet. Then I found the KOHLER K-596-VS Simplice .

The Simplice, ironically, has the exact same external design as our old faucet, a Kohler that we installed 7 or 8 years ago, but includes new features that make it much better. It has a magnetic head that automatically snaps into place after you’re done using the spray hose, a ball-bearing that allows the head to move easily, a wide-angle sprayer to help remove food and guide scraps to the drain, and a “temperature memory” feature that keeps the temperature constant when the faucet is turned on and off. It also costs about half as much as a touchless faucet.

We’re pretty happy with this purchase. It looks great with the kitchen and we already liked the style and size of our previous model. The magnetic docking feature is really nice and allows the head to strongly “snap” into place when it nears the magnets. No more drooping spray hose!

The wide-angle spray is probably the most noticeable new features and we like it as well. The nozzles are arranged in a circle but are angled in such a way that they form a straight line at the end of the spray, creating a blade that can be used to scrape food away. It is very powerful on high and works well but can also make a smaller blade when the water is turned down. Our previous sprayer was broken and only worked on full blast so this is a nice improvement. We do have to be careful to return it to normal before shutting the sink off otherwise the spray goes all over the place the next time the faucet is used.

The temperature memory feature works as advertised too. It’s pretty simple too and boils down to one thing: friction. The water flow is controlled by tilting the handle to the left or right and the temperature is changed by moving it forward or backward. The “temperature memory” feature works because it takes more effort to move the handle forward and back than it does to move it left and right. This means that the knob won’t slide back or forward when the water is turned on and off. Simple, straightforward, and so far, working.

Even though our dreams of a touchless faucet were shattered by unreliability and high prices, I’m pretty happy with this purchase. It moves smoothly, the spray is great, and it keeps the temperature where I set it. There’s less to break too. A+.

 

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