Fisher & Paykel Washing Machines Review
If you’re looking for a new washing machine for your home, Fisher & Paykel is almost certainly worth a look. Unlike some leading manufacturers, F&P still produces both front and top load washers, giving you plenty of options to consider. While they may not boast some of the extravagant features that you see with other brands, Fisher & Paykel washing machines are stacked full of value, giving you all the basics at a very reasonable price. This is generally true for all Fisher & Paykel appliances, including clothes dryers, dishwashers and refrigerators. But in this report we’ll look specifically at washing machines.
As it stands, Fisher & Paykel offers 11 top loader washing machines and seven front loaders. The entire range varies in price from about $700 for the most basic top loaders, all the way up to about $1,800 for the top-of-the-line front loaders. Let’s get a better look below.
Fisher & Paykel Top Load Washing Machines
Fisher & Paykel has a large choice of top loaders. Capacities range from 5.5kg to 10kg and expect to find an extensive amount of features throughout the line. This model boasts the fastest full-load wash time. The wash time is between 59-69 minutes and this beats out other top models from the likes of Samsung and LG, but comes with a $1,199 retail price. F&P’s most budget-oriented washer costs $679 and comes with a capacity of 5.5kg (MW513). The dearest is $1,549 and has a large capacity of 10kg (WL1068P1).
Fisher & Paykel MW513 QuickSmart 5.5kg Top Loader
Small washing machines – such as this MW513 QuickSmart 5.5kg top loader – can be an ideal choice for small households or those living in an apartment. This model is designed with a stainless steel bowl and a maximum spin speed of 1000RPM. It’s also available in a 6kg variant for additional capacity. Some of its main features include the following:
- Smart Drive: this is the motor that F&P has developed to deliver a gentler wash that is kinder on your clothes. It consists of three parts – a small computer, a flexible agitator and a direct-drive motor. This means that the washing machines sense each load and adjust water levels and wash cycles more intuitively.
- Direct Drive: this works in conjunction with the Smart Drive system. It continuously adjusts the speed to the movement of the laundry and is said to have no mechanical brake gears, meaning fewer moving parts and improved reliability from its previous models.
- Auto-lint disposal: lint is automatically disposed without the need to manually clean a lint filter after every wash.
It features four wash programs, and while that’s not a lot, it covers the basics – delicate, heavy, regular and wool laundry loads. It also allows you to choose from three different spin speeds, as well as an Eco options, claimed to use up to 25% less water than a traditional rinse. However, it doesn’t feature a fast wash.
Safety features include an auto out of balance correction and lid lock. While the Smart Drive system is stated to adapt the wash action and water levels to save on water and electricity, it has a 1.5 star energy efficiency rating and according to the Standard Test it will add around $144 to your electricity bill each year.
- RRP: $679
Fisher & Paykel WL1068P1 CleanSmart 10kg Top Loader
For a larger capacity top loader, suitable for large households, you may like to opt for Fisher & Paykel’s CleanSmart 10kg washer. Similarly to the model above, it’s designed with a Smart Drive motor but with the addition of eight other wash programs, including a ‘Quick Wash’ cycle (12 programs in total). It has a slightly higher maximum spin speed of 1100RPM, which helps to reduce drying time. The WL1068P1 also allows you to delay the start time for up to 18 hours. Several other features include:
- Eco-Active: helps boost water ratings, giving the 10kg model a four-star WELS rating (102L water consumption per cycle).
- Smart Touch: the control panel with a rotating dial that is boasted for 12 cycles for all manner of washing – towels, sheets and bulky items. The cycle is illuminated when selected along with the default settings for that specific cycle.
- Soft-close lid: lid closes gently with the addition of a child door lock, plus a key-lock button that locks the controls on the panel, perfect for little curious fingers.
The WL1068P1 model is said to be robust, allowing you to place a basket of washing on top of the lid. It also lets you pause a cycle and add clothes mid-wash. With a much higher energy efficiency rating than the model above – four stars in total – it should only add around $100 to your annual energy costs.
- RRP: $1,549
Fisher & Paykel Front Load Washing Machines
Fisher & Paykel has a shorter range of front loaders than top loaders, but what’s on offer is still strong. The cost ranges anywhere between $900 and nearly $1,800. So expect a higher entry-level price, but at the top-level its prices seem to be on-par with the brand’s top loaders. However, capacity is somewhat stunted, with the largest front loader being 8.5kg.
Fisher & Paykel WH7560P2 WashSmart 7.5kg Front Loader
The Fisher & Paykel WH7560P2 WashSmart 7.5kg front loader has a maximum spin speed of 1400RPM. Similarly to F&P’s top loaders, this machine features the ‘Direct Drive’ motor, boasted to be “whisper” quiet. A common complaint among front loader owners is that it sounds like a rocket is taking off when their washing machine is in a heavy cycle. This is claimed to run more quietly than many other washers, giving you the chance to make use of any off-peak energy tariffs. It produces 49dB when washing and 58dB when spinning. Other front loaders feature:
- Wash Smart: for intelligent load sensing to save on water and energy bills.
- Timed dispensary: this detergent dispensary ensures that detergent is injected into the wash at ideal times for a more thorough wash. This varies cycle-by-cycle so you have a better chance of getting a decent wash every time.
- ‘Add a Garment’ optional add-on: This add-on allows you to pause the cycle and add something you have forgotten. What used to be an exclusive feature on top loader washers is now featured on Fisher and Paykel front loaders. Not having this option has historically been a common gripe among front loader owners, but they need not worry anymore.
It features 13 wash programs, including a Quick 30 minute cycle or Super Quick 15 minute cycle for any lightly soiled items and the occasional items that need a ‘pick me up’. You also have the option to delay start. The Smart Drive front loader has a 4.5-star WELS water rating and a four star electricity efficiency rating. It uses as little as 64L a cycle, which is potentially half of a top loader’s consumption.
- RRP: $1,099
Fisher & Paykel WH8560F1 FabricSmart 8.5kg Front Loader
The WH8560F1 FabricSmart 8.5kg washing machine also boasts the same ‘Direct Drive’ motor and fast 14000RPM maximum spin speed. Additionally, it has a timed dispenser to release the detergent into the wash at ideal times. It’s equipped with 13 wash programs, featuring a special Woolmark-approved wool cycle. A few differentiating features with this model include:
- Soak option: This is not commonly found on other front loaders – according to Fisher & Paykel – but the soak function has a duration of one hour and the gentle tumble helps lift more stubborn stains.
- Interior light: lights turn on when you open the washer door to provide visibility inside the drum, just in case you leave a red sock behind
- ‘Time Saver’ wash cycles: this option activates a special temperature profile and a specific tumble sequence to speed up the wash when you’re in a rush
This unit has a five star water efficiency rating, consuming 61L of water per cycle and a four star energy efficiency rating. According to the Standard Test, this machine will cost around $95 in energy per year.
- RRP: $1,399
Is a Fisher and Paykel washing machine a smart move?
Fisher & Paykel’s wide range of washing machines – both top and front loaders – means there is likely one that’s right for you and your family. While its range does not boast any models with ‘super-large’ capacities – it tops out at 12kg – the overall prices seem to be quite good value. This is especially true considering how many features are included. Expect Fisher & Paykel washers to include smart detergent dispensaries, quiet motors, water-saving technology and smart cycle options.
The bonus is these features do not cost extra and are generally available even with the cheapest models. While manufacturing has ceased in New Zealand and is outsourced to Thailand, Mexico, China and Italy, new products will continue to be designed in New Zealand, the company says. As an extra little tidbit, Fisher & Paykel aims to create a consistent aesthetic across the full range – even its refrigerators use the same font on the controls as the washing machines. Overall, Fisher & Paykel seems to represent a solid option for smart washing machines that won’t break the bank, but it always pays to shop around.