ZLine ZLKB36 Review

I have featured the ZLine ZLKB36 wall mount range hood as one of the best in its category. It is relatively quiet and can be operated at four speeds. If you are wondering why it makes my list as one of the best even though its is approximately $150 - 200 more expensive than the AKDY AZ63175S and KBC STL75, it is because it's a lot cheaper than the other "well-renowned" brands on the market, while at the same time it solves a lot of problems we've come across with the AKDY and KBC range hoods. Other than this 36" model, this range hood is also available in 30", 42" and 48" dimensions.

zline ZLKB36 review

Overview on the Features

  1. Dimensions: 36” Width × 19.7 “ L × 10.5" + 16" 2× telescopic chimney extension included.
  2. The chimney is 9.2" wide and 8" deep.
  3. Weight: 44 pounds.
  4. Voltage: 120 V / 60 Hz.
  5. 760 CFM motor
  6. It comes with a square to 6" round transition piece. Therefore, for all purposes, you need to consider a round 6" duct. Can also be set-up to be recirculating.
  7. CE, GS and CCC safety approvals: US and Canada.
  8. Shipped with a grounded three prong plug that can be direct wired or plugged into a 20 amp circuit.
  9. 2 directional LED lights, 3W each at the back of the hood.
  10. They sell chimney extensions. Also available are short extensions (look for the KB model series, I sent you to the search page and not the actual product, because I see discounts of up to 40% on the kits but they duplicate the product and one is full price and the other is discounted. Weird, I know. You get a short kit in case the original 16" pieces are too long, or if you need an additional short extension. Look here for the long extension, but contact them before you buy to confirm the exact dimensions and the number of pieces they ship. Right now it's one 36" piece, but I've seen it change over the years.
zline ZLKB36 installed in a kitchen

What Makes It One of the Best?

  • It's got a powerful 760 CFM motor that operates at 4 speeds: 280 CFM, 400 CFM, 580 CFM and 760 CFM
  • The noise is relatively low compared to other models that produce this kind of exhaust at just 1.1, 2.6, 4.75 and 5.5 sones respectively, with an increase in speed.
  • It's nearly half the price of other brands that come with the same features.
  • Push buttons with LED indicators instead of touch controls. Most people prefer push buttons because they have less electrical faults in the long run.
  • The chimney is telescopic and the company sells chimney extensions to cater to all ceiling heights.
  • Press the power button once to begin the 3 minute delayed shut-off feature, press again for an immediate shut-off.
  • When shipped it has a protective layer on the stainless steel components that can be peeled off after installation. Getting the protective layer off the baffle filters is a bit tricky and you may have to end up giving it a slight cut with a blade.
  • It's got dishwasher safe baffle filters which are easy to take off using the small handles provided. The filters easily snap-back into place with a spring mechanism. The handles that hang out from the filters (as you see in the image) are 0.25 inches by 0.5 inches.
  • The hood is convertible to a ductless installation with the addition of charcoal filters that are sold seperately.
  • Zline customer service is great: quick and helpul responses from my experience and the reviews on Amazon.
  • They have a really good installation manual, you can check it out here.

Features I Don't like About It

  • 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.
  • The rear appears to be spot welded.
  • They send you some flex plastic ducting. Plastic is okay, but flex ducting results in higher friction losses and it is therefore recommended to size it well and stretch it completely or replace with metal ducting (not flex).

The Fan, Lights and Controls in Operation

I Would Buy It If:

  1. I need a range hood that has high suction at low speeds (low noise).
  2. The hood needs to be easy to install.
  3. If I was looking for an auto-shut off feature.
  4. I was looking for customer service personell that are easy to interact with.
  5. I want a range hood with an expensive look, but a cheap price tag.