THE Engel fridge is the only fridge to use the Sawafuji Swing Motor. It operates totally differently to the more commonly used Danfoss/secop unit, in that it has fewer moving parts and therefore less that could potentially go wrong. Given the longevity of the Engel brand, as well as this 26-year-old test unit, who are we to argue the point?
The internal (separate from the wall) evaporator is semi-protected from the wire basket, but should still be treated with care. Mine certainly has plenty of rub marks but has never been damaged beyond use. Being a separate plate aids in cold air circulation, leading to potentially lower power consumption.
The steel casing provides a rugged cabinet and lid, plus the steel handles double as tie-down points – although separate tie-downs can be attached.
With this older example the dial isn’t set to a temperature, rather just a number from one to five. You are left to guesstimate temperatures via use and adjustment. The latest versions do have an electronic temperature setting system similar to most others.
The newer Engel lids have fixed hinges that prevent them from accidently coming off, but I like being able to slot mine off, even if I’ve had to straighten the prongs a few times with pliers.
Auto switching is standard between 12-, 24- and 240-volt, which removes the need to switch power sources manually – provided that both leads are plugged in.
The Engel has the best ventilation around the compressor (top, rear and both sides). A semi-recessed seal is attached to the lid and a single over-centre latch compresses it well when closed.
TAKING into account the updates of the latest-model Engel, increased cabinet and lid insulation wouldn’t hurt. Given the higher cycling (compared to all others) of the compressor, I’d wonder if that better insulation would reduce the cycles and aid in the already excellent (low) overall power consumption. Other than that it’s an excellent and simple fridge that should last … well, at least 26 years.
Turning dial doesn’t indicate exact temps. After 26 years, it’s still in pretty good nick. Internal evaporator semiprotected from wire basket. Sufficient ventilation around the compressor.