- Stainless, stainless everywhere!
- Crazy unit testing gives peace of mind.
- Racks feel super-solid.
- Control panel requires a manual to operate.
- No option for silverware pull-out tray.
In this Asko dishwasher review, we take a look at their newest models for 2016, and their new partnership with Sub-Zero / Wolf. What it means for them – and more importantly – what it means for the consumers in the U.S. from now on.
Asko Appliances AB is an interesting company, created in 1950 in Vara, Sweden by a farmer who wanted to create a new kind of washing machine for his mother. By 1965 they were producing a fully automatic washing machine and compact dishwasher. So it’s safe to say they have the design and construction of dishwasher machines down to a science.
Asko Dishwasher Review, New for 2016
Distribution has changed in the United States, which in our opinion is a good thing. Sub-Zero Group Inc. has forged an “alignment” with ASKO and formed Asko Distribution North America, LLC. Sub-Zero Group is now in charge importing, distributing, and service for all Asko products in North America. The results are already clear: more product is stocked more than ever before, service calls and parts are now handled with more professionalism than before. Overall its looking like a smart partnership for the two companies. Sub-Zero / Wolf needed a dishwasher in their line-up and Asko needed a deft hand in distributing and servicing their product in North America.
Tallest Usable Dishwasher Tub
On the Asko Dishwasher XXL models, the loading height is a whopping 22⅞”, one of the largest loading capacities on the market. On the higher end Asko models, such as the D5554XXLFI, this extra room allows them to get a unique third rack in the center of the unit, which can be used for bowls, cups, even utensils.
Super Cleaning System
A cleaning system truly designed to make loading the dishes as little work as possible. You can leave dishes soiled, no rinsing or cleaning required, and the Asko dishwasher will pre-rinse the dishes with a powerful “Super Clean” spray cycle to knock loose all large particles. The dual circulation system allows the unit to both spray the dishes and drain the tub at the same time so that the water is cleaned before the main wash cycle commences.
Unlike traditional American dishwashers which use a cow-rod heating element in the bottom to literally “bake” the dishes dry – European dishwasher use condensation to dry the dishes. While this works, and is extremely energy efficient, it doesn’t work well. Plastics especially love to hold on to water drops and condensation dry dishwashers can only go so far without a little help. This is where the turbo fan comes in.
At the end of the cycle, the Asko dishwasher will turn on a fan at the back of the machine which will circulate the dry air from the outside of the machine with the warm humid air on the inside. In effect supercharging the condensation action that occurs and drying the dishes remarkably well. You will have dry dishes without melted plastics or etched glass from too much heat and the machine is still energy star rated.
Standard in all models except the cheapest, D5424XL, D5524XXL & D5954.
Build Quality, Rugged Testing
One thing I love about the Asko dishwashers over most brands is that they use 304 stainless steel on everything. Not just the tub and exterior door, but the spray arms, the filters, the baskets, even the spray pipes are all made of steel. Now, does steel spray arms function any better than plastic ones? Probably not. But its a cleaner look, and a more expensive material and when you’re spending over $1200 for a dishwasher its nice to look inside and see nothing but expensive materials.
Asko dishwashers are also tested to an almost ridiculous level of limits. For example, at the Asko design facility they will have a robot open and close the dishwasher door over 300,000 times (!) to make sure the door locks and hinges will last. That’s equivalent to a person opening the door 40 times a day, for 20 years straight. They’ve tested each dishwasher design for over 12,000 hours of operation to make sure they will stand the test of time. In addition, every new unit built is tested under pressure before it leaves the factory for its new home.
No Dishwasher is Perfect
Gripes and issues are really summed up perfectly in three words: the control panel.
Dishwashers are fairly straight-forward machines, there are cycles, there are times. Asko dishwashers, being Swedish, are just a little different in every way. The control panel is where this shows the most in a negative light. Nothing is very intuitive, in fact the unit ships in America with a little sticker “cheat sheet”, if you will, highlighting what each icon represents so you can figure out exactly what each mode means.
The racking system is extremely well-built, and well laid out. However Asko (unlike virtually every other manufacturer out there) still is resisting moving the silverware rack to the top of the unit (a la Miele Dishwashers). This has now pretty much been proven across the board to be a much more effective and convenient design over the typical silverware baskets, and we hope to see them implement it in the future. We understand no manufacturer wants to go around copying everyone else, but such an elegant solution is well worth integrating into their current design.
Despite a few gripes, the new Asko Dishwashers are ruggedly tested, extremely well-built machines. What they lack in UI smarts, they more than make up for in keeping plastic parts at bay. Depending upon the amount of cycles needed and interior dimensions, the cost on these units range between $1,100-$2,100. The extreme testing measures the machines go through ensure they are designed for long-term use, making it a smart investment for any household.