Slide-in ranges have contoured sides with alignment grooves and are made to fit between kitchen cabinets. They are slightly wider on top so that the edges rest on the counter top on each side, which gives the ranges a built-in look. Freestanding ranges have side panels and can fit between cabinets or stand alone.
Freestanding ranges are the most commonly purchased range and offer customers the widest variety of options for kitchen placement. They often include a bottom drawer for pots and pans or a warming drawer to keep food heated, and slide-in ranges may include a storage drawer as well.
Both range types come in gas and electric models. Some freestanding ranges offer a dual-fuel option, which combines gas burners and electric oven cooking. Slide-in range controls are normally positioned on the front edge. Freestanding controls are typically located on the backsplash for electric models and on the front edge for gas models.
Slide-in ranges are similar in appearance to drop-in ranges because both types fit between cabinets. However, drop-in ranges require owners to have cabinetry custom built to fit around the range. Drop-ins also lack a bottom storage drawer and are typically a special-order item. Cost-wise, freestanding ranges are the most economical and drop-in ranges are the most expensive.