Thursday, September 10, 2009

Kenmore Front Load Washer Review Model 48102

MSRP: 699
In keeping with my theme of reviewing front load washers with a suggested retail of about $700, I've settled on this model of Kenmore front load washer to review. There are some unique things about Kenmore that don't really apply to any of the previous brands I've reviewed. Kenmore is seemingly sold exclusively by Sears. This is because Kenmore is the proprietary brand of Sears. Kenmore does seem to have a pretty good selection of models, and based on the number of reviews out there is a generally popular overall brand.

3.5 cubic feet of capacity.
Wash basin constructed of durable stainless steel
30 minute quick wash setting
multiple wash settings for optimal cleaning based on load composition
uses 69% less water and 60% less energy than a typical top load washer
high speed spin to get clothes dryer than a top load washer reduces time in drying machine
Energy Star Certified

After looking at over 100 reviews for this Kenmore front load washer, I can say with confidence that this is the least well-liked front load washer I have reviewed as of yet. The average rating is only a 3.5, which is significantly lower than the other models I've investigated. In fact, this was such a noticeable difference that I looked at the reviews for some other Kenmore front load washers and some of them were even lower, with fairly large sample sizes. In other words, I think these review are accurate and representative of what this front load washer really has to offer. Only 64% of people owning one of these would recommend it to someone else, again well below that of the other models I've reviewed.

Listed in the pros for this front load washer are its ease of use and efficiency, both of which seem to be agreed upon by most people who had anything nice to say about it. Oddly, value for money was also heavily represented in the list of pros. As with most of the front load washers I've looked at, people list the capacity as a major plus for this one as well. Even people who ultimately gave poor reviews often commented that the cycles ran quietly, and the clothes came out dryer than from their old top load washers.

Unfortunately for Kenmore, the negatives for this front load washer vastly out number those of any other I've reviewed to date. As with all front load washers, people complain of a musty smell, and mold growing on the door seal if the door is not left open between loads to dry. There seem to be major reliability issues with this front load washer. There a a far higher incidence of people reporting multiple break issues with this model of washer. The majority of them are under warranty, but a good number of these consumers report the need for multiple visits from the repairman before the problem was fully rectified. One person even had their whole machine replaced under warranty, only to have their replacement machine catastrophically fail within a month. There were multiple comments that this washer had trouble dealing with pet hair, a complaint I have not seen for other manufacturers.

All in all, I can't possibly see myself buying a Kenmore front load washer, of any make. Considering that this is the same price as the other models that I've reviewed thus far, and has by far the lowest ratings in those reviews, I don't see any reason whatsoever to choose to purchase this washer over any other.


  1. Unfortunately one can hear these stories just about any brand sold. We bought a Frigidaire front end loader to replace a Maytag (now made in Mexico) after 8 years. We bought a Frigidaire for two reasons. 1) Based on ratings in Consumer Reports. 2) It is one of the few brands still produced in USA. We are very pleased with the mashine. It is an excellent washer, very quiet and barely vibrates during spinning. Considering everything I would rather buy an US product than an imported machine.

  2. just to let everyone know --it may say matag.or kenmore,or etc but it is all made by fridgidaire...But the kenmore models have the least bells and wisells so less to break down.