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Oct 3, 2009 11:29 PM

Danby, Summit, and Avanti Reputations?

More kitchen remodeling questions...

What is the general reputation of Danby, Summit, and Avanti appliances (especially dishwashers and refrigerators)?

I have never heard of these brands but am seeing some really great prices on them. Are they bottom-rung appliances that people usually use in rental units or starter homes? Or are they fine but not as heavily marketed as the big boys--GE, Bosch, Jenn-Air, Kenmore, etc.

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  1. Bottom rung appliances usually found in apartments owned by cheap landlords.
    That said, I have one and I even have to DEFROST it. In this day and age!!
    My friend has her landlord replace her new Summit frig every few years.
    'Nough said.

    1. I bought my apartment 15 years ago. The previous owner replaced her stove top and oven with Summit brand. The stove top was awful and I had to replace it immediately. Short of cash at the time, I waited to replace the oven but never got around to it because that oven is still working just fine. I bake bread every week at 450F. Summit is a local manufacturer that hires locally.

      I also own a Danby portable air conditioner that isn't used that much but is still functioning after 10 years.

      Both the oven and the air conditioner have minimal extra features but they have lasted and still do what they're supposed to do.

      1. Danby was a fairly significant Canadian manufacturer of low end appliances, mainly of small refrigerators and air conditioners. They have been around for at least 50 years. They now describe themselves as a "marketing company", which is significant - they don't actually make anything anymore.

        Their products are widely advertised here as "sale" items at low end stores and, occasionally, by mainstream, stores. They are best known for very small refrigerators, gas stoves, and air conditioners that lack any complex features. I can't exactly call them "bottom rung", in the sense that some Danby products have unique characteristics. For example, a Danby 4 burner stove is only 20" wide, and they sell a countertop electric dishwasher.

        I suppose they would be considered a second tier brand name in Canada. Since they no longer make the products bearing their brand name, it is quite possible that some models could be identical to "major name brand" appliances, but you would need to discover that for yourself.

        I had a Danby countertop dishwasher at one time, which worked and which is still available, but it really wasn't worth the bother. Their "standard" under counter dishwasher is 18" wide.

        I know many people who have lived with Danby refrigerators, stoves, and window air conditioners in various rentals, and they seemed to work reasonably well. But I don't know anyone who has ever chosen this brand for a "kitchen reno".

        One interesting "hidden" brand is W.C. Wood. They make refrigerators and freezers, which are sold under many major brand names, as well as under their own name, in many countries.These are still made in Canada as far as I know. I'll probably jinx myself by even thinking of this, but my Wood's chest freezer has been silently keeping food frozen, with never a service call, for more than thirty years. I have seen "Whirlpool" branded freezers that appeared to be exactly the same.

        I don't know whether they've kept their quality up, since most people who own a Wood's product probably don't even know.