Last updated on November 3rd, 2023
As experienced purveyors and repairers of household appliances, we have delved deep into the intricate world of these machines, scrutinizing their inner workings and assessing their real-world performance. With our hands-on experience in the industry, we bring you a unique perspective on the various appliance brands that grace the homes of many Australians. In this article, we’ll embark on a journey through the maze of appliance brands available in Australia, sharing our candid thoughts on each one. From Electrolux’s Jekyll and Hyde tendencies to the sibling rivalry between Samsung and LG, the enduring quality of Fisher and Paykel, and the prestige of Miele, we’ve got the lowdown on what to expect when choosing your next home appliance. Join us as we provide valuable insights into the Australian appliance market and help you make better informed decisions.
Electrolux: The Jekyll and Hyde of Appliances
Many would be surprised to learn that various household brands actually fall under the Electrolux umbrella. Think Electrolux, AEG, Frigidaire, Westinghouse, Dishlex, Kelvinator, Chef, and Simpson. The quality of Electrolux appliances seems to be a hit-or-miss affair. You could buy one, find it to be a superb machine, and then replace it with another one that’s nothing but a disappointment.
Electrolux also tend to design proprietary parts and clips, forcing you into buying genuine replacement parts when something goes wrong. Take, for example, the capacitors in the EDP2074 7 kg condenser dryer. You need two, and generic ones would cost you a mere $4 in total. But due to the proprietary way they clip in, you have no choice but to opt for the genuine ones, which will set you back a whopping $70. To make matters worse, the real deal seem to be more prone to failures than the $4 aftermarket options. Electrolux also seem to be resolute in their commitment to use a confusing mishmash of fasteners for no apparent reason, meaning you need way more tools than should be required to take their machines apart, which makes working on Electrolux appliances needlessly lengthy procedure. Compare this against the 4kg Electrolux dryer we carry. It’s a shining beacon of simplicity, a functional work of art, and an absolute breeze to work on. Hands down the most reliable dryer you could buy, and in the unlikely event it has a fault, it can be fully refurbished in half an hour. Truly, one of the Electrolux gems.
Samsung and LG: Siblings from Different Mothers
Samsung and LG might seem like distant cousins at a family reunion, but in reality, they’re more like siblings from different mothers. Essentially, they use the same parts and boast a similar quality, with Samsung being the pricier, more prestigious option. If you’re not keen on spending more for nothing but a brand name, we recommend LG. The one major drawback both brands share is their habit of changing everything between different models. The shelves from one fridge won’t fit another, and they build everything as if it’s a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, making long-term parts availability a bit shaky, and its unlikely a repairer would just happen to have the right part in their van. This means another visit and more money for a repair. Many of their fridge models, especially those with dual evaporators, tend to struggle with icing issues due to repeated design mishaps. This leads to problems like noise, broken fans, cooling failures, and water leaks.
Should an LG or Samsung washing machine encounter issues, it’s often traced back to a fault in the main control board. It’s a relatively easy fix, but the part can be a bit pricey, and these boards can be in high demand, leading to potential backorders and lengthy waiting times for repairs. Another frequent failure point is the drain water pumps, but these can be had for $12 aftermarket and it’s a relatively easy job to replace.
If you’re on the hunt for an all-in-one washer and dryer, the LG model reigns supreme among the brands for one reason: it can dry as much as it can wash, even though it’s not officially rated for it. Most all-in-one machines suffer from a wash capacity twice that of their drying capacity, forcing you to either do half loads or empty half the washer’s contents before drying. The LG combined washer-dryers seem more capable of drying a full load, despite their label stating otherwise.
Miele: The Pricey Prestige of Appliances
Miele is often hailed as the best brand in the market, but let’s have a reality check. Beyond the prestige factor, why would you buy it? Primarily because it lasts a long time. However, with options like Whybuy, which essentially come with a lifetime warranty, greater flexibility, and a more budget-friendly price tag, Miele’s appeal is dwindling. Another reason we’re not thrilled with Miele is the array of specialized tools only available from Miele, and the hefty price they come with, if they will even let you buy them. Their appliances are nearly impossible to open without breaking them unless you have Miele’s special key tools designed to keep you out. Miele is to the Appliance world what Apple is to phones. If any issue arises, you’re left with little choice but to hire a Miele technician and bear the eye-watering Miele technician prices.
Fisher and Paykel: Enduring Under New Ownership
Since Haier took the reins in 2013, Fisher and Paykel, renowned as a high-end brand, has managed to hold its ground. On the downside, Haier has deleted many of the more affordable Fisher and Paykel fridge models, choosing instead to focus only on its prestige bigger volume fridges. Fisher and Paykel is slightly better than Electrolux but not quite on par with Miele and Asko. Initially, we feared Haier would run Fisher and Paykel into the ground, but quality has, for the most part, remained intact. There have been some experiments involving a shift from Japanese Matsushita and Panasonic compressors to more budget-friendly Chinese-built compressors, and the outcome of this change remains uncertain. Parts availability is generally excellent since Fisher and Paykel doesn’t make major changes to its models over time, a tradition which Haier seems to have stuck with. For example, you can use fridge shelves from a 1990 model as replacements for a current one. This means you have easy access to brand new and second-hand parts, and a repairer is likely to have the parts on hand in their van for replacement. Fisher and Paykel appliances can be disassembled entirely with just a Phillips head screwdriver, a flat heat screwdriver for prying, a pair of pliers, a socket set, and a hammer. However, we have a love-hate relationship with Fisher and Paykel condenser dryers. They’re easy to work on and replace parts for, but they seem to require more servicing compared to other condenser dryers.
Haier: A Conundrum of Limited Experience
Enter Haier, a brand that we’ve encountered but with not enough hands-on experience to provide a comprehensive comparison. One notable aspect is that Haier appliances, especially their front-loading washers, bear a striking resemblance to Fisher and Paykel front-loaders, although they are constructed to lower specifications. For example – comparing a Fisher and Paykel front-loader to a Haier machine, you would see that the Haier has two shock absorbers instead of three like the Fisher and Paykel and a belt-driven drum rather than a direct drive system. Oddly, these two brands often share a common design, yet their parts are largely incompatible, suggesting a deliberate choice to maintain distinction. While Haier do tend to build to a lower spec, they also tend to use premium components of the same quality as Fisher and Paykel. We can’t offer a definitive assessment of Haier, but we could see it being a dark horse break out quality brand with its Fisher and Paykel inspired but distinct product line. Definitely a brand to watch.
Our advice is to always check online product reviews before making a purchase. Don’t opt for a brand new model number without any online reviews to back it up. Fisher and Paykel for your fridge and washing machine is a solid choice for reliability and the ability to fix any faults that may arise once your warranty has expired. We wouldn’t recommend buying any condenser dryer due to their numerous flaws. The Electrolux vented clothes dryer, often branded as Simpson or Westinghouse, is a great option and comes highly recommended. If you’re in need of a combination washer and dryer, it can only be an LG.