we're in the market for a freezer. It will be in our (converted) garage, and due to our space constraints we want a self-defrosting upright freezer.

I found some useful-ish articles such as:
- http://housewares.about.com/od/refrigeratorsfreezers/a/chestvsupfreezr.htm
- http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/freezers/buying-guide.htm

Intended use is to store leftovers (mostly from stewy dishes), broth, ice-cream and cuts of meat (we might want to buy a 1/4 or 1/2 steer or hog, butchered and packaged). Currently we do not use our sub-fridge freezer for much in terms of veggies or fruits. We might want to get and ice-cream maker and store the bowl too. An automated ice cube maker would be nice, but not a must have.

Convenience, ease of mind, and build quality are key. Price & cost of use are important but secondary.

I am interested in opinions from current freezer owners on key features & characteristics. What are the details that you have found useful, what are those you found were gimmicky? How to assess build quality? Should we look for a longer warranty than 1 yr?

Many thanks,


  • 3
    Asking about specific brands and models is pretty iffy on stackexchange sites. It tends to be more useful to ask about specific features. (See "Q&A is Hard, Let's Go Shopping") Do you have questions about what features to look for or how to evaluate convenience and build quality?
    – Cascabel
    Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 17:39
  • 2
    I agree with Jefromi. I have a vertical freezer and find two inconveniences. 1. Less storage space than a horizontal freezer (although I may be mistaken about that). 2. The cold pours out of the freezer when you open the door. A horizontal freezer will maintain most of the cold air as it's denser than the warmer outside air. Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 17:53
  • Automatic ice cube makers in freezers are a huge waste of power: eetweb.com/news/NIST-ice-makers-Yashar-051911; you're better off buying a bunch of ice cube trays
    – Joe
    Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 17:54
  • 2
    @baffled cook I prefer vertical, with drawers: you only take out the drawer you need, and the cold air stays trapped in the other ones. Also, it takes up less space: you can't put anything atop a horizontal freezer, unless you are prepared to move it each time you open it.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 18:09
  • 2
    Another inconvenience of my freezer is that the plastic 'door' fall out and shatter :-( Buy one with drawers only. Commented Jul 24, 2012 at 18:17

1 Answer 1


From my own experience, watch out for the following pitfalls.

  1. Size. Very wide or very long items don't fit, so shop for the most interior space available.
  2. Plastic doors. Check that these are secured and don't fall out easily. Check if spare parts are available and affordable. If you can, buy one with
  3. Only drawers.
  4. Auto-defrost is nice. Check how and where the drain-water goes. Plan for it.
  5. Buy the most energy-efficient you can afford.
  • Keep in mind, also, in regards to warranty, that some credit card companies (the big network company, like Visa or MasterCard, not the issuing bank) have automatic warranty extension if you purchase using their card. It will extend the manufacturers' warranties by a year. It's helpful to register the purchase right after you make it, instead of having to backtrack for documentation three days after the warranty expired. ex. - blog.credit.com/2011/12/… Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 20:04

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