dish drawers: Fisher Paykel vs. Kitchenaid vs. kenmore

chuckie137June 2, 2008

I am trying to decide on dishwasher drawers for my small kitchen and can't decide because the options between manufacturers appear to be very similar. I heard alot about F/P, but rarely do I hear anything on the other 2.

Is one preferred over the other? Who has the best Dish drawers. Your feedback and/or experiences with these products would be very helpful in finalizing my decision.


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KA drawers are sourced from F&P, so are mechanically identical. Differences between them are on cosmetics -- front panel and handle design, rack design & silverware basket. KA defaults to lower temps & shorter times on the cycles, with a "Hi-Temp" button to increase cycle intensity. F&P is the opposite, defaulting to higher temps & longer times, with an "Eco" button to reduce cycle intensity.

Kenmore drawers are a completely different mechanical design and are not sourced from F&P.

I have a F&P DD603 that will be five years old in August. Never any trouble with it. Racking/loading is different than other dishwashers, but they can hold a lot once one gets accustomed to it. (The best dishwashers I've ever used for rack design are the "classic" 1970s/1980s KitchenAid.)

F&P always heats the main wash and final rinse to specific target temperatures, so can work with a cold water connection (although the user guide & installation instructions don't specifically say so). I assume KA does as well, but I've not used one to confirm it. Kenmore's owner guide recommends incoming water temp of 120°F minimum, so its heating capability may be limited.

I've seen Kenmore drawers at Sears and in a few model homes. Other than the mechanical differences that I know are "under the hood," they look and function similar to F&P/KA. Rack differences of course. Kenmore has a sprayer on the rear wall of the drawer, F&P/KA does not. Kenmore has a sensor-wash cycle, F&P/KA does not. Kenmore's owner guide outlines the number of washes & rinses in the cycle descriptions but does not state the target water temperatures. F&P does state target temperatures, so you know what you're getting on each cycle choice. Kenmore can use gel & tablet detergents (powders are recommended), F&P/KA can take only powders.

You can Download the owner guides at,, and to further compare the differences.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 12:36PM
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Thanks for all of the feedback. This was very helpful. I am going to take a look at the owner guides. So far, I am leaning toward the F&P.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 8:05PM
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I liked the way the F&P held stemware, and I found the racks in the F&P had pins slightly closer together. I could fit in more dinner plates. But if you have "chubby" dishes, you may want the KA or Kenmore. I'd suggest taking your dishes into the store.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 11:01PM
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I was told recently by a sales rep at a well-known local app. store that ALL drawer type DW's are made by F&P for the various brands. The difference is in the cosmetics, racking & heating systems. Needless to say, this quite surprised me to learn that the KA 2-drwr. I was considering was actually made by F&P for KA!!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 11:36PM
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queenbee589, the sales rep told you wrong. The Kenmore drawers are a design developed by Maytag, which Whirlpool acquired when they bought the Maytag company and decided to market them under the Kenmore Elite label. Kenmore has separate pumps/motors in *each* drawer for recirculate and drain, F&P/KA has one pump/motor per drawer. Kenmore has a different filtering system, and a different lid/seal system, different detergent dispenser, etc.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 3:06AM
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In addition to KitchenAid and the F&P name, the identical drawers are also sold under the DCS name. F&P bought DCS a couple of years ago.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 9:24AM
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dadoes: Wondered about that. I did question differences between Kenmore, KA, F&P, etc., so was surprised when told "they're all really made by F&P". Stand corrected.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 4:07PM
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For whatever this is worth, the latest Consumer Reports dishwasher issue listed the Kenmore dishdrawers very last - said they didn't clean well.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 7:13PM
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The new Kitchen Aid models KUDD03DT and KUDD03ST are not made by Fisher Paykel. They are similar to the Kenmore models from the Maytag platform.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 2:31PM
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I heard last year that KA was making a change on their drawers, but couldn't find any further details or a target time-frame for the change. I suspected it would be changing to the Kenmore design, since KA is a Whirlpool-family brand. KA's web site lists the new models and mentions a Sensor Wash feature ... so there you have it!I heard last year that KA was making a change on their drawers, but couldn't find any further details or a target time-frame for the change. I suspected it would be changing to the Kenmore design, since KA is a Whirlpool-family brand. KA's web site lists the new models and mentions a Sensor Wash feature.

So ... the newest KA drawer models KUDD03 series are not sourced from F&P ... but previous models were.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 5:01PM
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Do any of you know if racks from the F&P will fit the KitchenAid? We had a DD602 and replaced it with the KitchenAid. For us, the DD602 racks worked better, so I'm wondering if I can buy a set of F&P replacement racks and have them fit the KitchenAid.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 3:20PM
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Read Fisher Paykel annual report, should shine some light on who makes these and financially how the company is trying to stop bleeding.
Also note new Fisher Paykels going back to tradition design. One door, keeps from pulling and pushing all external hoses, electric lines, FLOOD PANS, etc., in a environment of cold, hot, humid, dry, not stable, but moving parts with every open and close. It is pretty easy to see that no company has copied this design, it's poor. look good, that is it.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 4:29PM
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I have a Kitchen-Aide 2-drawer dishwasher model# KUDH03DTBL that was installed in Feb 2009. Worked well for several months then started leaking and shutting down mid cycle. Whirlpool has sent A&E service techs in 12 times and the dishwasher still leaks. We had another authorized service tech come in 3 times and he declared the dishwasher unrepairable. Whirlpool refuses to replace the dishwasher, but they did offer to sell me a new one for $600. I do not consides this an offer, but an insult.
Moral of the story, stay away from Whirlpool products, the company does not stand behind their products.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 11:51AM
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have the original F&P dishdrawer purchased 1997 or there abouts. serviced once. Bottom drawer went out 2 weeks ago and now the top drawer has an error code requiring extensive service. I am purchasing another F&P as I just love the versatility of the 2 drawers and it works well for just 2 in the household.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 9:26AM
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I have the original model F&P single drawer, I forget the model but 604 sticks in my head.

We purchased it from Expo , with their extended service contract and installed by Expo. it's been serviced a number of times, usually by A&E, who I find to be quite uncooperative.

it's been serviced enough times that it should have been replaced under the no-lemon clause of the service contract.

It's been a nightmare since day-1, though now, finally, Home Depot's executive offices are making an effort to replace it with the KA Single drawer unit. the problem they are having is sourcing, since Home Depot no longer sells KA or FP products.

but one thing I was told by the service tech, is that the KA models made by FP use a heavier-duty main motor. not having opened the internals of a KA i'm not sure this is true, I only have the service-tech's word on it.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 5:07PM
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Kenmore is not made by Fisher Paykel! Fisher Paykel does make kitchen aid! Kenmore is made by whirlpool-Maytag! I have read reports that FP and KA need repairs often, do not know the truth in this!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 2:28AM
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The first-generation KitchenAid drawer units (KUDD01) were sourced from Fisher & Paykel.

Kenmore and Maytag (and Jenn-Airî) were never F&P. They're manufactured by Fulgor for Whirlpool using a design that Whirlpool got from Maytag upon purchasing the Maytag company in 2006.

Second-generation KA units are also the Maytag design, not F&P. KA no longer sells drawer units on the U.S. market but still uses the F&P design on the European market last I checked.

DCS-branded units are also F&P. F&P owns DCS.

The designation DishDrawer⢠is trademarked by F&P and should be used only in reference to their units. KA, Kenmore, Maytag & Jenn-Airî refer to their machines as "drawer dishwashers," not DishDrawersâ¢.

My DD603 will be 9 years in 19 days (8/21/2012) and no repairs thus far.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 12:03PM
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