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With a lack of identifying marks on the exterior, you can tell your friends built it yourself.

The Speed Queen looks quite industrial, with stainless-ish controls that are actually made of plastic. There’s no countdown timer—your wash is done when it’s done, thankyouverymuch.

Though the Speed Queen is simple, we think preset cycles are the easiest to use of all. Sadly, there’s no single “normal” setting that the laundry-challenged can choose.

Clad in stainless steel, the looks like it means business.

Despite its industrial visage, the Speed Queen’s performance was on par with most of the homebound washers we’ve tested. It struggled a bit with oil-based stains, but did a great job on red wine and cocoa. Best of all: The Normal cycle only took about 49 minutes, which is a good 10 minutes fewer than the average washing machine.

Unfortunately, the AFN51F’s cycles are too narrowly focused to be truly customizable. There’s only one wash option: Extra Rinse. It'll only come in handy when using fabric softener or bleach.

The largest oversight on the is the ability to spin out excess water.

However, the largest oversight on the is the ability to spin out excess water. This was almost entirely due to the washer’s doubling up of Heavy Duty and Delicates cycles on a single setting. On average, the Speed Queen left around 82 percent of the test loads weight in water. Such poor performance translates into more work for your dryer and a higher energy bill. If Speed Queen had let the user select spin speed, this wouldn’t be an issue.

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The will survive a hail of bullets, but won't spin out excess water from your clothes.

Spend more than $2200 on a washer, and what do you get? A whole lot of stainless steel, lovingly assembled in Ripon, Wisconsin. You also get a control panel that requires a lot of user input, but doesn’t let said user make necessary choices.

Finally, you might get soggy clothes, because the Speed Queen AFN51F sometimes has trouble spinning out excess water. If you’re primarily concerned about durability, however, this commercial-grade washer may be a good bet.

The is a spartan looking washing machine with a fairly spartan performance. Though its design is based on commercial washers, the Speed Queen's cleaning performance is on par with domestic washing machines. It had strong performances against red wine and blood stains. However, when the cycle was over, it had some real problems spinning out excess water.

Excess water should be with the fishes, not your laundry.

We weighed every test load of laundry we placed into the Speed Queen prior to running a test cycle. Each weighed approximately eight pounds. When each cycle completed, we weighed it again. For most cycles, we like to see laundry that retains 50 percent or less of its weight in water. This translates into less time in the dryer and thus a smaller electric bill. Loads that came out of the , however, retained over 80 percent of their weight in water on average. Moral of the story: don't leave anything in the Speed Queen. Soaking wet laundry tends to get musty really quickly.

Washers going to wash

To see how the tackles dirty clothes, we used standardized stain strips. Each strip has patches that are stained with common household banes of cleanliness. These strips are placed in with our eight-pound test loads, along with a calculated amount of industry approved detergent. When the Speed Queen was done, we took out the strips and analyzed them with a light spectrometer to determine how much of the stain has been lifted.

Its overall stain removal performance didn't exceed washers that cost a third of its price.

Across all cycles, the Speed Queen had the strongest showing with red wine and cocoa stains. It did moderately well with blood and oil. Unfortunately, its overall stain removal performance didn't exceed washers that cost a third of its price.

Meet the testers

Jonathan Chan

Jonathan Chan

Lab Manager


Jonathan Chan currently serves as the Lab Manager at Reviewed. If you clean with it, it's likely that Jon oversees its testing. Since joining the Reviewed in 2012, Jon has helped launch the company's efforts in reviewing laptops, vacuums, and outdoor gear. He thinks he's a pretty big deal. In the pursuit of data, he's plunged his hands into freezing cold water, consented to be literally dragged through the mud, and watched paint dry. Jon demands you have a nice day.

See all of Jonathan Chan's reviews
Keith Barry

Keith Barry

Former Editor in Chief, Reviewed Home


Keith was the Editor in Chief of Reviewed's appliance and automotive sites. His work has appeared in publications such as Wired, Car & Driver, and CityLab.

See all of Keith Barry's reviews

Checking our work.

We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.

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