freezers
Expert Score
7.1

Danby DUF408WE Compact Freezer Review

It's cheap and it works. Enough said.

June 30, 2014
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

If our time with the Danby DUF408WE (MSRP $323) is any indication, a mini freezer is far from perfect but is still a serviceable machine... as long as you don't expect stellar performance.

The Danby has no ancillary features to speak of, and a very basic design. We recorded some issues with temperature consistency throughout the interior from one shelf to another, and you'll need to fiddle with the controls to get the unit sufficiently cold.

That said, it was really consistent over time, and if you can get it sufficiently cold enough, this could serve as a reliable little icebox for folks who are short on space but need some extra frozen food storage.

Design & Features

Danby DUF408WE Interior
Six assorted storage areas are available, and none of them are adjustable. View Larger

Unexpectedly sturdy

The Danby is a very basic product. A glossy white finish masks fingerprints and other smudges, while the recessed handle gives the whole machine a smooth appearance that keeps it from looking too cheap.

A scratch-resistant top makes it a viable choice for folks who plan to leave it on the ground, where it could double as an end table.

Inside, the shelves use a coiled structure as opposed to traditional wire tines. As a result, the shelves feel quite sturdy, and there’s essentially no risk anything will fall through.

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Usability

Usability? What’s there to use?

There’s little to say about the Danby's usability. Without any features, interacting with this mini freezer is always straightforward. Its small size means actually reaching for food is easy, and given the lack of shelf customization, grabbing food or putting food in is really all you’ll ever have to do with it.. aside from defrosting, that is.

Danby DUF408WE Removable Drip Tray
The removable tray is useful both for storing food and catching water when you're defrosting the interior. View Larger

The controls are located inside the freezer near the top. The rotating dial is stiff enough that you shouldn’t move it accidentally, but loose enough that adjusting the controls for defrosting or any other temperature changes won’t be a hassle. The removable pan in the bottom is a nice touch, but it’s not a game changer.

Performance

Bring on the freezer burn

When testing the Danby, we put the controls at 4, the midline manufacturer-recommended setting. The result? Don't listen to the manufacturer. More often than not, temperatures clocked in anywhere between 2-6°F. That's well above 0°F, which means you'll want to crank this bad boy down. Fortunately, it was very energy-efficient when set to 4, which means you should be able to afford some extra chilling power.

Danby DUF408WE Controls
The barely visible control dial uses a 0-7 numeric scale. View Larger

Despite its small interior, the Danby had some trouble maintaining even temperatures from one shelf to the next. Fortunately, it's very consistent over time. As long as you don't regularly move your TV dinners from one shelf to another, they should be alright.

For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page

Niche, Not Luxury

Danby-DUF408WE-front.jpg
The glossy white door is great at hiding fingerprints and other smudges. View Larger

Make sure you really need it

The Danby DUF408WE definitely has some strong aspects working in its favor: The storage space is accessible, long-term temperatures are very stable, and it's exceptionally energy efficient. That said, it'll take some fiddling with the controls before the unit gets cold enough to store anything more sensitive than a Hot Pocket.

With most retailers asking $240 or more for the Danby DUF408WE, plus shipping, you're going to want to make sure you really need a separate mini freezer before buying.

Many budget chest freezers are available for as little as twice the cost, and you get at least three or four times the storage capacity. You'll need to be both hurting for space and craving some frozen pizza to make this a worthwhile purchase.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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