Kohler Malleco Touchless Pull Down Kitchen Faucet Review

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Last Updated: November 7, 2020
By: Charles Cole

Kohler rules when it comes to making affordable home kitchen faucets. The Malleco is a very recognizable model that is known for its ease of use. You’ll have no troubles figuring out the finer point of  faucet. The best thing is that it is touchless at a price that is hard to match from other competitors. You are basically getting a product that is close to premium quality for the same price as a generic no name kitchen faucet. The closest comparison to the Malleco is the Talis M, with both faucets excelling at giving you the most possible for your money. The Malleco is one of the few Kohler products that lacks that special ‘touch’. With the right kitchen it will be an absolute steal of a buy. But without more color options/styles (get more faucet styles here), you are forced to use it with only compatible kitchen designs.

Kohler Malleco Touchless Pull-down Kitchen Faucet

Kohler Malleco

  • Vibrant Stainless Finish
  • Metal material
  • Includes Sweep spray
  • 6.54 pounds weight
  • A magnetic docking system


  • Touchless response technology for higher motion reliability
  • Better use of the sweep spray feature that uses wider angles
  • Mineral buildup is prevented on the surface thanks to MasterClean
  • Soap/lotion dispenser holds a lot of liquid
  • ProMotion braided hose is flexible, strong and extremely quiet when used
  • DockNetik magnetic docking system is a Kohler specialty to keep the sprayhead in place
  • Optional AC adapter can be purchased in place of the batteries
  • Single lever handle is easy to maneuver for adjustable temperatures


  • Would have been the perfect deal if the AC adapter was included

Key Features

Most buyers already know what they’re getting with a Kohler faucet. Powerful, reliable and with a ton of proprietary technologies. No one has ever purchased a Kohler faucet and felt they got the raw end of the deal. The Malleco is a model that is known for stuffing a lot of great features into one low cost package.

Response Technology

This is one of many Kohler proprietary features that makes the Malleco a great buy. Kohler response technology makes sure that the touchless operation is responsive, even after years of abuse. This prevents delays in the technology that causes the motion sensor to turn on and off at random intervals. Also known as ‘phantom’ touch, this is not something you will have to worry about with Response Technology. This feature is also useful when there are lots of smudges or stains on the faucet that you have yet to remove. The motion sensor will function as normal like it was 100% clean.

Sweep Spray

The spray head has an angled nozzle that is useful in getting maximum coverage. A good use for this is pizza pans, casserole dishes or gumbo pots. Despite it using a wide coverage, the power remains consistent so that it can still clean. Using a sweeping motion, you can blast through the toughest of stains in minimal time. Consumers will spend a lot of time using the sweep spray mode over the stream mode. Once you learn how to properly use it, the sweep spray becomes your go to spray head feature. You’ll never want to go back to an original wide angled spray again.

MasterClean System

Hard water is a difficult thing to deal with in a kitchen. The mineral buildup it causes can destroy your kitchen products over time. Mineral buildup is not something that happens overnight, and it takes time for it to really show on the outside, even after being a problem for years. MasterClean takes care of the surface buildup and makes it harder for those minerals to become a problem. It withstands the worst of it, prolonging the life of your Kohler product and letting the water flow freely. Without having to worry about mineral buildup, the MasterClean system has become one of the most sought-after features.


There are different types of magnetic docking systems in the industry. DockNetik stands out for being reliable and easy to use. You can have the sprayhead snap back into place with ease when it is only an inch from the faucet. The pulling action is smooth, and it never interferes when you’re using the spray functions. The locking technology is so good, that the magnet retains its power years after you’ve used it. So even when you’re on year five of using this product, it will snap the sprayhead back into place like it was brand new. There is enough force behind the magnet to make it stay this way for several more years.

ScratchShield Technology

The kitchen can be one of the busiest areas of the house. Several people will go in and out of it, and many of them will use (or misuse) the kitchen faucet. All of this plays right into the hands of ScratchShield Technology. It is the tough outer layer that withstands scratches and dents in all of Kohler’s products. With the Malleco, they did a good job of implementing the technology without hiking up the price. ScratchShield Technology is a premium feature that is also found on higher tier Kohler products. Getting it on the Malleco is one of the best things the company could have done.

Long battery Life

Consumers that don’t want to purchase the AC adapter can always use six AA batteries. This may seem like a lot, but it powers one of the most advanced motion sensing technologies in the industry. To get the most out of the product, you should use brand name batteries. Doing that will allow the motion sensor to run for months without needing to change out the batteries. This makes the Malleco very energy efficient, with the option to use generic AA batteries in less busy households. If you have rechargeable variants, it is an even better overall deal.

High Durability

No one has ever knocked Kohler for their lack of durability with their products. This is another example of a kitchen faucet that retains its value even through years of use. You shouldn’t have any major issues associated with durability when using a Kohler faucet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are The Core Parts Of The Faucet Made With Cheap Plastic?

That is not a problem with this model, as you will instantly notice a difference with the pulldown sprayhead. The heaviness of it should tell you everything needed about the quality of this faucet. Even the buttons and lever use high quality material that has just enough weight to it.

How Long Do The Batteries Last?

With brand name batteries, you are looking at over six months with high usage. Beyond that number, it will depend on the brand quality. Rechargeable batteries will be slightly less powerful, and over time they will hold less of a charge. It isn’t noticeable unless the rechargeable batteries have less than 60% of their max capacity depleted. Generic batteries should be good for a couple of months, but overall time varies wildly. For the same set of generic batteries, you may get four months or eight months. Brand name batteries are the most consistent choice for this kitchen faucet.

Does The Hose Auto Retract?

Manually retracts until you get close to the magnet, then it snaps back into place. Pulling out the sprayhead is easy, smooth and one of the least difficult things you’ll have to do in a day. Kohler designed the braided hose to retain its smoothness even after several thousand pulls.

Will The Sprayhead Work Without Holding Down The Button?

Yes, it locks in place so that you can freely move the sprayhead without being forced to hold down the trigger. This is helpful in many ways, especially when you have to maneuver it to wash several dishes. It also seamlessly goes into the two different spray options with the flick of a button. This is the easiest sprayhead you’ll ever use from a Kohler product.

What Does The Customer Say?

The Batteries Last A Long Time

A big pain for any consumer is having to buy batteries for their kitchen faucet. Although there were complaints about the batteries needed, consumers were generally happy with the battery life. The most amazing stat came from the amount of life you could get from rechargeable batteries. Usually they would be hit or miss, even with a good brand. Buyers were very happy when their rechargeable batteries lasted for months more than they expected. This is a sign that the Malleco has good power draw performance.

Great Purchase For The Price

Kohler products are considered to be the top five in the industry. When you get to low priced models, things get a little more competitive. Buyers were surprised to see a Kohler product in this price range with so many features. The price is so good that they would often compare it to the competition, leading to the Malleco coming out on top multiple times. The talking points for this model has been positive from the moment it was introduced.

Kohler’s Proprietary Features Are The Best

Lower tier models don’t always get the best treatment. What customers got with the Malleco was a lot of proprietary Kohler features that was still in their price range. For most people, a lot of these features were fun buzzwords. But for plenty of vocal customers, it showed them how much they could get for their money when they put it on Kohler. This is a really good deal if you’re a fan of the ecosystem provided by the brand. The only other brand that stacks this many proprietary features in a low-priced product is Moen and Waterstone.

The Power Adapter Is Essential For This Faucet

Batteries will work just fine, but a lot of customers found that springing for the optional adapter was a better choice. It’s a painless installation and it guarantees 24/7 power without the messiness of changing batteries. That was a priority for buyers that continued to push for the purchase of the power adapter. This of course became less of a talking point for customers that didn’t have easy access to an AC outlet. Mileage may vary on setup, but it is generally recommended to get the adapter if your kitchen supports it.

Learning Curve Is Higher Than A Normal Faucet

This is an interesting bit of information that really isn’t as bad as it sounds. A lot of customers talked about the learning curve when going from a regular kitchen faucet to a Kohler. Touchless isn’t exactly new technology, but there are plenty of kitchens that are still using manual style levers. Despite the high learning curve for some customers, they explained that it didn’t take long before they settled into the new setup. In no time at all, buyers were teaching family members and friends how to use their new touchless faucet.

Final Words

Kohler isn’t a name that you forget when you’re looking for kitchen faucets. They always pack the best technology in their products, giving you an incredible amount of options to play with. At such a low price, it is hard to make a comparison with another product. Malleco kind of sits by itself, but the Hansgrohe Talis M is a worthy competitor. At an even lower price, you get a better-looking kitchen faucet with a fewer bells and whistles. In a way, buyers that aren’t interested in Kohler specific features will enjoy the Talis M a lot more. At the very least, it will be a better deal.

And if you’re annoyed by having to buy an optional adapter instead of relying on batteries, then once again, the Talis M is a better deal. These are two of the best available, and they will no doubt end up in several top ten lists. The Malleco is an incredible value from Kohler that has just the right amount of bells and whistles. Passing up this kitchen faucet will leave you with only a few comparable options.

Charles Cole

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