Fagor LFA-75IT Panel-Ready Dishwasher Review
Custom panel on a budget
Dishwashers usually come in one of three flavors: black, white, or stainless steel. But if you want a panel-ready dishwasher that can match your kitchen's cabinetry, you’re usually going to spend over $1,000 on the machine alone... without the price of the custom panel. However, the panel-ready Fagor LFA-75IT (MSRP $699) is significantly less pricey.
Even if you’re not that concerned about aesthetics, the LFA-75IT is still a great unit to consider. It cleans well, looks good, and uses a little less energy than some other dishwashers. However, there are some other machines in this price range that offer more interior features, cycles, and customizable wash options.
Design & Usability
Flexible finish on the outside, inflexible racks on the inside
The LFA-75IT we tested came with an optional blank, logo-free stainless steel door with a protruding handlebar. It sells separately for $149, in case you don't want to add a custom panel. We installed it ourselves, and found it easy enough that even one person alone could manage. If you start with the stainless and decide to change it later, swapping out the front is a very simple process.
Between the camouflaged exterior options and generally quiet operation, the LFA-75IT is like a ninja that seamlessly blends into your kitchen, washing dishes in secret. Unlike actual ninjas, though, the LFA-75IT isn't silent, partly because the bottom of the tub is plastic. The rest of the interior walls are stainless steel, but chances are you’ll still be able to hear water splashing around during a wash.
It also lacks the physical flexibility of a ninja. The interior racks lack any foldable tines, something that could make loading large or oddly-shaped items a bit difficult. You're also unable to adjust the height of the upper rack, which limits space for items like baking pans and oven racks. Altogether, we were able to fit ten place settings and a serving setting inside the LFA-75IT.
The control panel is located on the top of the door, and is hidden under the counter when the door is closed. It features a bright blue LCD screen, responsive mechanical buttons, and a cheat sheet to tell you what all the icons on the screen mean. The design feels a bit dated, but it’s still functional and practical. The LFA-75IT is also ADA compliant.
The cycle selection has you covered, but the options feel lacking.
The LFA-75IT has five cycles to choose from. Heavy, Normal, and Quick are pretty self-explanatory. Eco is a low-energy, low-water cycle for light stains, while Glass uses lower temperatures to clean more delicate items.
In terms of customization, the LFA-75IT has a Hi-Temp feature that boosts wash temperature, a Heat Dry that activates an exposed heating element to speed up drying, and a Delay function to postpone the start of a cycle for up to 24 hours. On the whole, it feels like slim pickings. There’s no Sanitize option, and our temperature data found that no cycle ever surpasses 155°F.
Strong results, minus a few details
In general, the LFA-75IT’s performance is great. We found no instances of redeposit—when food particles on one dish get transferred to another during a cycle. It's usually the result of improper filtration.
We did notice a problem with water coverage, however. At the end of all tested cycles, we consistently noticed food on dishes located in the rear corners of the upper rack. For an otherwise excellent machine, that's especially disappointing. Coverage aside, there was only one test that this dishwasher did not ace: burnt cheese.
The LFA-75IT has an estimated annual utility cost of about $25.30 a year, making it pretty efficient. Although water usage is on par with other dishwashers, this Fagor uses less electricity.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
Why We Like It
This low-cost, customizable dishwasher is a rarity
Custom-panel-ready dishwashers tend to be expensive, so we’re happy to see the LFA-75IT offer this option to budget-conscious consumers. In fact, it's the second-cheapest panel-ready dishwasher on the market. We’re also glad that the lower price doesn’t come at the expense of cleaning performance; this isn't a case of cut corners to preserve a fancy design.
If you’re not interested in custom panels, there are other, arguably better, dishwashers you can get for $700. For example, the Bosch Ascenta SHX4AT75UC has adjustable racks and a Sanitize option, and the Frigidaire Gallery FGID2474QS lets you customize a wash down to very fine details—up to and including the intensity of the spray jets. Keep in mind, though, that this is a matter of bells and whistles—the Fagor cleans just as well as these other two, even without the extra perks.
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