If you are wondering what the differences are between Kuhn Rikon 3344 and 3918, you are not alone. Many consumers who have done enough research and have narrowed down to the two finalists would have the same question.
On the surface, they look like they have so much in common such as stainless steel, capacity size and the safety features, yet they are different enough to warrant the substantial difference in price.
The Kuhn Rikon 3918 is an improved version of 3344 with a new design feature. The 3918 is one of the Duroamtic Top model series while the 3344 is in the Duromatic (without “Top”) collections.
The Kuhn Rikon 3918 is about 2 inches shorter (14 inches vs.16.1 inches in 3344). However, the 3918 is heavier than the 3344 by about 2 pounds (9 vs 7 lbs).
The biggest differentiator in the 3918 model lies in the added top cover to the previously exposed vent stem in 3344. The new top fulfills several functions:
First off, it covers the vent stem and the primary safety valve. Secondly, it is also equipped with a big knob that has 3 dial settings on it.The stem of the knob will be pushed upward as the pressure starts building in the cooking pot. When the pressure reaches to 8 psi (pounds per square inch), the first red band on the stem will be shown and followed by the second band upon getting to 15 psi.
The three dials on the knob are designed for pressure releasing. The three dials are marked in three “steam puffs” icons: A big one sandwiched by two small ones. If you lift the vent stem very slightly and turn the knob clockwise by 75 degrees to one of the small steam buffs, the pressure insider of the cooking pot will be released as “slow release” while at a 90 degrees angle toward the big steam puff, the pressure will be released rapidly as “fast release”.
This new feature has several advantages: 1) It makes it foolproof for the person to easily see when the pressure is reached at the desired level and decide whether or not he or she needs to adjust the heat level to maintain the pressure level. 2) It enhances the safety of pressure release since you don’t have to touch the vent stem with your bare hand. Thus it’s impossible for you to get scolded by the hot steam. 3) It saves time from conventional pressure release method as you just need to turn on the knob to get the job done.
The 3918 has fewer reviews due to the shorter time on the market. The ratings for the 3918 are 4.5 vs. 4.7 for the 3344. Of course, the slight difference could be due to one happy or unhappy customer. I wouldn’t consider it as a material difference.
The Kuhn Rikon 3918 is about $50 more expensive than the 3344 due to the enhancements discussed above. Is the price hike justifiable? This is really a tough question for me to answer. Yes, it’s quite an increase with one significant feature, but in the life span of a well-made pressure cooker such as this, it might be worth it. After all, safety features are the most critical component in a pressure cooker design.
These two pressure cookers resemble each other in more ways than one:
- They have the same liquid capacity size of 7.4 quarts. This is one of the most popular sizes among consumers. Buying a pressure cooker is not about “tight fit” in terms of capacity sizes as most people tend to use it to cook a large batch of food to freeze it in smaller containers for future consumption.
- Both pressure cookers are made of high quality stainless steel with an aluminum disk inserted in the center of the base. By doing so, the cooking pot combines the benefits of both aluminum and stainless steel. The aluminum is used for its high heat conductivity while stainless steel is non-rust, non-corrosive from acidic foods and less porous than aluminum. With this construction, the aluminum will never be in contact with the food. The reason why stainless steel is such a popular material is also due to its durability and beautiful shine.
- The signature five-safety release systems are found in both pressure cookers. For more details, please click here to read the detailed product review.
- Two pressure levels are available at 8 and 15 psi which covers most of the pressure cooking recipes.
- Both pressure cookers are suitable for all cooktops (electric, gas, ceramic and induction).
- A stainless steel trivet and a Quick Cuisine Cookbook are included.
- Both have two handles (one short and one long) for easy transport.
- 10-year manufacturer limited warranty is applicable to both cookers.
- Both products are rated highly by many happy customers (4.5 or better).
Now you are informed with hard facts, I am confident that you are going to make a knowledgeable choice based on your budget and your cost-vs-benefit analysis. If $50 is not a big deal for you in the long run, (we are talking about 10, 20, even 30 years), then choose the Kuhn Rikon 3918 with the more advanced and safer features. On the other hand, if you could use the $50 for something else, then buying the 3344 model is not a bad decision, either. Remember, you are getting the “Rolls-Royce” of the pressure cookers no matter which one you’d select.
Below is a comparison chart between Kuhn Rikon 3344 vs 3918 for your quick reference.
|Model||Kuhn Rikon 3344||Kuhn Rikon 3918|
|Dimensions (Inches in H, W, D)||16.1 x 9.8 x 9.2||14 x 9 x 8|
|Materials||stainless steel + aluminum disk in the base||stainless steel + aluminum disk in the base|
|Pressure Regulator||5 safety pressure release systems: primary valve, safety holes in the rim of the lid, secondary spring-loaded-valve under the lid, self locking gasket & lid||5 safety pressure release systems: primary valve, safety holes in the rim of the lid, secondary spring-loaded-valve under the lid, self locking gasket & lid|
|Lid||twist onto the pot, automatic locking||twist onto the pot, automatic locking|
|Pressure Level Indicator||yes, two red lines on top of the vent stem||yes, two red lines in the large knob|
|Pressure Setting (psi-pounds per square inch)||8 and 15 psi||8 and 15 psi|
|Pressure Release Methods||automatic by pressing the vent stem, cold water and natural||2 automatic release settings by turning the knob to 75 degrees for normal release and 90 degrees for rapid release, cold water and natural|
|Handle||1 long, 1 short||1 long, 1 short|
|Cooktops||all cooktops||all cooktops|
|Accessories||trivet + Quick Cuisine Cookbook||trivet + Quick Cuisine Cookbook|
|Warranty (year)||10 years||10 years|
|Consumer Ratings||4.7 out of 5 by 61 customers||4.5 out of by 41 customers|
|Read Review||Kuhn Rikon 3344 Review||Kuhn Rikon 3918 Review|
|Price||Check Best Price||Check Best Price|