Editors' note (August 14, 2019): This review reflects the results of the 2018 TR7 washing machine. Speed Queen claims it has updated subsequent TR7 models.
I'm not sure where to start, so I'll just jump right in. Whatever you do, don't buy the $1,049 Speed Queen AWNE9RSN115TW01 top-load washing machine (also known by its product code, TR7000WN -- TR7 for short, which is how we'll refer to it throughout this review).
Its outdated design, shocking inability to remove stains and small internal capacity make its inflated price all the more absurd.
Speed Queen's vocal devotees often choose Speed Queen appliances because of their industrial build. And they're willing to pay more for traditional agitators and heavy, stainless components with the assumption that better cleaning performance and a longer product lifespan inherently follow. I can't speak to the TR7's durability over time, but this 2018 washer got such a low performance score we thought it was a mistake until we looked at the raw data and confirmed our lab results.
Please don't buy this thing.
Speed Queen is a lesser-known US appliance company that sells washers and dryers through select dealers, rather than typical retail stores. Where similarly priced top-loaders like Whirlpool's $999 WTW7500GC and LG's $1,150 WT1801HVA emphasize modern accents -- see-through lids, gray finishes, impellers (read about the difference between impellers and agitators) -- Speed Queen keeps it simple.
For a lot of people, that's a good thing. Speed Queen has a huge following of people looking for basic, commercial-grade washers with strong warranties. Most washer warranties last a year; this model has a seven-year warranty. But that isn't enough to recommend this particular model.
See how the TR7's specs compare with a couple of Whirlpool and LG top-loaders:
|Speed Queen TR7||Whirlpool WTW7500GC||LG WT1801HVA|
|Capacity||3.2 cubic feet||4.8 cubic feet||4.9 cubic feet|
|# of cycles||8||5||12|
|Energy consumption||64 kWh/year||212 kWh/year||135 kWh/year|
|Dimensions (width, height, depth)||25.6 x 42.8 x 28 inches||27.5 x 42 x 28 inches||27 x 40.2 x 28.4 inches|
|App||No||No||Yes, Android and iPhone|
The Speed Queen is priced somewhere in the mid-to-high-end range. But its white color finish and old-school design look more like Kenmore's entry-level $600 25132 than the top-loaders that cost around $1,000. The TR7 also has a small internal capacity -- even for a model with an agitator. The 25132 has an agitator and manages a 4.3-cubic-foot capacity (compared with this Speed Queen's 3.2-cubic-foot drum).
You can read more about washer bin size here, but you typically want a washer that's at least 4-5 cubic feet to fit a typical 8-pound load of laundry. Eight pounds roughly translates to a few pairs of jeans, six shirts, a towel or two, a set of sheets and several pairs of socks and underwear.
It's fairly easy to see the various settings on the TR7's touchpad display -- it even has more cycles than Whirlpool's WTW7500GC. Even so, its layout is unnecessarily cluttered on one side of the instrument panel.
Beyond its eight cleaning cycles, this Speed Queen washer has an autofill function that's designed to sense the amount of water needed for each wash run. You can also choose your own fill level if you want to go rogue. But that's about it -- there's no app, no detergent reservoir or anything else as far as advanced features go.
To test a washer, we run three identical "normal" cleaning cycles, each time with a set of new stain strips and mechanical action strips.
Stain strips come from a company overseas that specializes in uniformity (so that the batch used to test this washer can be compared directly with the batches we use to test every other washer). The stains include skin oil (sebum), mineral oil (carbon), pig's blood, cocoa (a mix of milk and chocolate) and aged red wine.
After every run, we calculate the percentage of the original soils left on the stain strips. Historically our results have fallen between about 39 percent (our best score ever) with the Kenmore 25132 and about 52 percent (the LG WT1801HVA and the Samsung WA52M7750AW are tied for the worst score at 52 percent).
Speed Queen's TR7 had a surprising 71 percent of its original stains remaining on average after going through a single normal wash cycle. Whirlpool's WTW7500GC and LG's WT1801HVA didn't do particularly well by our previous standards, with 50 and 52 percent left over, but that's nothing compared with over 70 percent of the original stains.
The Speed Queen's default 29-minute "Normal/Eco" cycle probably didn't help things here, since nearly every other washer's default cycle lasts closer to 45 or 50 minutes.
We aren't the only ones who have found fault with this specific 2018 Speed Queen model. I'd suggest checking out Lorain Furniture on YouTube. He says he used to be a Speed Queen dealer, but was "blacklisted" by the company after giving a negative review of the exact model we're testing here. I can't confirm that, but it does mirror our experiences with the TR7.
Where stain strips tell us how well a regular cycle removes stains, mechanical action strips help us determine wear and tear. Often, but not always, there's a correlation between these two results -- the better a washer does removing stains, the tougher it is on clothes. We weigh stain removal more heavily than wear and tear, especially since we're using the normal cycle (and most machines, including this Speed Queen, have delicate cycles for more fragile items).
Mechanical action strips are thin squares of fabric with holes punched in the middle in the shape of a quincunx (the 5 face on a six-sided die). They are shipped to us new, with no frayed edges, but after one wash cycle, threads of fabric appear inside each of the holes. We count them and the higher the number of frayed threads, the tougher that washer is on clothes using its default normal cycle.
Speed Queen's TR7 was way too gentle, with only 113 frayed threads. Whirlpool's WTW7500GC had a count of 195 frayed threads, which is pretty gentle and the LG had 243 attached threads (verging on being tough on clothes).
I can't recommend the Speed Queen TR7. Its boring, old-fashioned design and $1,049 price wouldn't necessarily be deal breakers if it performed exceptionally well. But it doesn't. It scored significantly worse than any other washer we've ever tested. Its internal capacity is smaller than that of other average size top-load washers, too (with or without an agitator). There's not nearly enough value here to make it worth your money.