Mailbag: Appliance Brand Recommendations

by Samurai Appliance Repair Man on September 24, 2003

in General Appliance Wisdom

Julie Mento wrote:

IF you were to begin your life all over again, and get all the RIGHT appliances, instead of trial by fire, and years of education, what would you buy? We are building our first home in Warner and need appliances. Like most young, first home buyers, we don’t have money to burn but heres a summary…

We’d like a grant fridge for under $1,700

a QUIET and reliable dish washer (quiet being the key word) for a good medium range price.

a good workhorse of a dryer that will last like my dad’s – he’s had his for 25 years and its easy to fix.

We’ve already purcahsed the front loader washer Frigidare Crown Energy Star – and I think we got lucky – its the best thing since sliced bread.

We’d like to spread this luck around. Give us good, and specific answers and we promise to give generously to your beer fund.

Can we offer microbrew thoughts? Tuckermans is one of our favorites!

-julie and anthony mento, contoocook

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Konichiwa, Julie.

Each day I begin my life anew. Zen mind, beginner’s mind.

General appliance rule of thumb: Avoid GE like the West Nile Virus. If you read Consumer Reports and they recommend a GE product, crumple up that page and use it for toilet paper ’cause that’s all it’s worth. Despite horrendous quality problems, outrageous markups on repair parts, and a damn-near universal agreement among appliance servicers that today’s GE appliances SUCK out loud, people keep buying GE and so the freak show continues. Ok, with that out the way…

Refrigerators: Stick with Whirlpool products, this includes Kitchenaid. More information on who makes what here.

Dryers: Either Whirlpool or Maytag. Period.

Washers: You lucked out and picked what is, in my opinion, the best front loader out there. We’ve had our Gibson front loader (a Frigidaire brand, same guts as yours) for about six years, used every day, sometimes twice a day, and not a single problem. A workhorse!

Dishwashers: The Kitchenaid is quiet and under $1,000. Bosch isn’t bad. If you want the best dishwasher made today, buy a Miele. But get ready to plunk down $2,000. 8O

Ranges/Ovens/Stoves: Avoid the once-venerable Jenn-Air range (a Maytag brand). Way too many electronic problems. We have a Jenn-Air and if I weren’t a practitioner of the repairing arts, we would have declared bankruptcy long ago due to all the repairs I’ve done to it. Also avoid Thermadore–way too over-engineered and unnecessarily complicated to work on. There’s a reason their sales are in a tailspin. Beyond these caveats, you have a bewildering array of choices.

Happy Shopping!


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