Frigidaire FPHD2491KF Review
It sure flexes its design muscles, but when it comes to efficiency, performance, and capacity, the Frigidaire FPHD2491KF is more of a shrug.
For a dishwasher, a name like "Frigidaire Professional FPHD2491KF" sure is a mouthful. Unfortunately, its impressive title fails to make up for a display of resounding mediocrity that isn't worth a $799 MSRP. Indeed, the FPHD2491KF is impressively designed, with a "professional" finish, but when it comes to efficiency, performance, capacity, and features, it’s quite dull.
Design & Usability
An attractive appearance is its most impressive aspect.
This Frigidaire boasts some impressive design elements. The stainless steel exterior looks robust—dare I say, professional?—although it’s not exactly impervious to fingerprints. The control panel—located on the top of the door—is also sleek and easy to operate. We also appreciated the adjustability and versatility of the racks and cutlery basket. Even the lower wash arm is stainless steel. On the surface, you’d think these were the markings of a true performer—but not really.
As stylish as the machine looks, it was not without some functionality issues. Both racks were difficult to maneuver, for instance; the top required an all-too-excessive amount of force to draw, and the bottom had a tendency to catch on the wash tub gaskets. These complaints aside, the push-button control panel was highly responsive and easy to understand.
Our biggest complaint with the interface was the timer. Notice the digital display that lights up green to inform you of a chosen cycle’s duration. That’s cool, right? Wrong! See, since this is a hidden-control dishwasher, the display only lights up when the door is open, so it's only useful when you're choosing a cycle.
Sanitize, rinse, delay, air dry. Yawn.
The FPHD2491KF is pretty much lacking in the features department. There are the bare bones options that have become industry staples—Sanitize, Rinse Only, Delay—but not much else.
However, you don’t really need much more—at least in a consumer setting. The Sanitize function works fine; we tested it and found it reached a peak of 162.7 degrees Fahrenheit. There’s also a Hi-Temp Wash and Air Dry option, as well as a Delay Start of up to 24 hours. Finally, there’s a Rinse Only cycle, which is most often used for moistening soiled dishware for a complete wash at a later time. Once again, the cycle timer was a nice perk, but it only functions when the door is open.
Aside from those relatively minor complaints, the FPHaD2491KF has all you need for most dishwashing needs. The real decision comes down to whether you're in the market for design or performance, because you can’t have both with this machine.
The FPHD2491KF's looks are Cherry Garcia and its features are plain vanilla, but its performance is freezer-burnt maple walnut.
None of the three main cycles showed any particular strength, but none was so bad as to be unacceptable, either. As with efficiency, capacity, and features, cleaning power was just so-so. But if we had to pick one standout component of the FPHD2491KF’s performance, it’d be its handling of protein-based stains like milk, meat and eggs.
The most frustrating failure was how consistently the machine would scatter tiny bits of waste food particles across the entire load of dishes, a phenomenon known as redeposit.
In all, this machine would only be ideal for homeowners who either never have large dish loads, or tend to scrub thoroughly before loading dishes. But who wants that? It'll look good in your kitchen, but you only have to look at your dishwasher. You have to eat off your dishes.
Unless you find a major deal on this Frigidaire, you probably should keep shopping.
If you’re in the market for a basic dishwasher with tasteful design, we’d still only recommend buying the Frigidaire FPHD2491KF if you find it on sale for far less than its $799 MSRP. The most important function of a dishwasher is to clean dishes, obviously, and that's exactly where the FPHD2491KF disappointed. It certainly didn’t receive a failing grade, but it’s no teacher’s pet. At the end of the day, things like features and design are just charm from the class clown—they don’t make up for poor grades.
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