Speed Queen AFN51F Imperial Series Review
Though clad in steel, the Speed Queen AFN51F is no knight in shining armor.
The washer’s performance won’t fry any telephones, and its lack of custom controls may cause you to have a nuclear meltdown. At $2200 on sale, it will at least blast open your bank account. The Speed Queen lived up to half of its name: It finished cycles in no time at all. However, we couldn't trace any royal lineage. It had a middling cleaning performance and with a complete lack of features, we're not entirely sure why its so expensive.
Design & Usability
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.
Performance & Features
Clad in stainless steel, the Speed Queen AFN51F 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.
However, the largest oversight on the Speed Queen AFN51F 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.
The Speed Queen AFN51F 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.
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