Kenmore 60412 Top Freezer Refrigerator Review
This budget-friendly refrigerator wants to be your second fridge
If you're looking for an economy refrigerator for a small kitchen, a rental unit, or the basement, and you don't want any fancy features, get to know the Kenmore 60412 (available at Sears for $459.00). It's only 18 cu. ft., but its wire shelves and boxy shape make the most of almost every inch of space. The white textured plastic exterior won't win any design awards, but you can get it in Black (60409) for the same price, or Stainless Steel (60413) for about $100 more.
We spent a week testing this refrigerator in our lab, and found that it does a decent job keeping food fresh, without blowing the budget.
The fridge interior is basic, but acceptable. Gallon bins in the door keep big bottles off the shelves, which maximizes usable space. The wire shelves that make up most of the storage space won't help if something leaks or spills. You'll want to keep on top of that, or you could end up with a lot of cleaning to do. If you'd like a different configuration in the fridge, the shelves are moveable.
Crispers are clear plastic, and they creak when you open them, but they keep humidity in, so fruits and vegetables you store there can stay crisp.
Don't expect an elaborate lighting scheme at this price point, but the fridge is bright enough. The freezer has no lighting.
The refrigerator compartment stays good and cold on the recommended setting. In our labs, the freezer required a temperature adjustment to get down to 0°, and it still vacillated. This is typical of what we've seen in economy top freezers. On the plus side, this freezer only took 86 minutes to pass the 32° mark.
We found it inexpensive to run this fridge, estimating the energy cost at about $23 a year.
What the owners had to say
The user reviews for this refrigerator are generally positive, and many people commented that it was a good buy. A small number of owners complained about the running noise, and a few noticed, as we did, that the freezer ran warm.
The bottom line
If you're looking for a budget refrigerator for your small kitchen, basement or garage, and you don't mind wire shelves and plastic bins, we think this top freezer model could do the job. It's very basic—the only customizations you can make are adjusting the temperature and moving the shelves. If you'd like a fridge with more features, there are many of them on the market, but not at this price point.
Whether you fill it with beer, cold cuts, and snacks, and invite your friends over to watch the game, or load it up with milk, orange juice, apples, and American cheese, to feed a small family, this refrigerator could meet your needs at a budget-friendly price.
If you buy this model, adjust the freezer temperature down from the recommended setting to make sure it stays cold enough to keep food safe. You will probably still encounter some temperature fluctuations, so watch out for freezer burn. But if you go through frozen pizzas quickly, you might never notice.
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