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Why I Love SubZero Refrigerators: It’s the Hinge Dude!

Written by Appliance Dude | January 4th, 2011

Update – Jan 5 – 2011 – Below you will find a quote from the designer of SubZero’s refrigeration line on how he went about crafting the hinge system.

Update – Jan 4 – 2011 – And here’s the vid to prove that these hinges are mofo’s! Video ends without comparison to other competitors but worry not, the graphic evidence of the competitions’ inferior hinges/doors is listed below as photos.
PS – please excuse my drab, comatose delivery in the video. I’ve been handling the 3am feedings for my 3 week old son and I’m hurting!


More times than not I’m asked why one should spend the several thousand dollar upcharge on a SubZero when you can find built-in models from other manufacturers for a fraction of the cost.
There’s a couple of ways to tackle this question. The popular answer, and one that I think most appliance guys will spout is that it’s the brand-name. Sub-Zero is to pro refrigerators like Xerox is to copiers. It IS the category. Others will get a bit more technical and will talk about SubZero’s reliance on 2 compressors which prevents air flow between the freezer and fridge ( a good thing).

For me, it’s all about the hinges.

Check out the photos I’ve posted below which compare the hinge action on a Sub-Zero with the hinge on two competitor’s built-in fridges. The SubZero hinge is thick, robust and glides effortlessly when opening the door. The other fridges had hinges that were tiny and didn’t offer a smooth feel when accessing the door.

SubZero bi36 hinge- Curto's Appliances

Hinge on a SubZero Bi-36 refrigerator.

Hinge on a Built-In Refrigerator

Hinge on an unamed built-in refrigerator. Weak!!!

This thing is going to hold up a 40 lb door?

My point is that the feel of a door, whether it’s a refrigerator, dishwasher or oven says ALOT about the quality of the appliance. If you open up a door and the thing is rattling, uneven or doesn’t open smoothly it’s going to give off the vibe that the product is cheap. You can’t say that about any SubZero doors.

And the hinges on Subs do more than just hold the doors up. The upper hinge adjusts the door up and down which is a great feature for flush inset or overlay Sub-Zero refrigerators. Plus it has a 90 degree stop pin included which will hold your door open when your loading the fridge up with your wares from Whole Foods.

Here’s another tidbit on the vaunted hinges. This is a quote from Jerome Caruso, the man who designed most of SubZero and Wolf’s current offerings. In an interview with Business Week magazine he talked about how he went about re-designing the Sub-Zero and mentioned the hinges:

“Caruso broke with the standard blueprint. He removed the metal shelving and compartments and created an all white and glass interior. “I asked women what they thought,” he says. “I didn’t know if they’d like it, but they said it was so much easier to clean.” And he installed a fully lit ceiling that supplies even illumination. His internal hinge pulls the door out two and half inches before swinging open, preventing it from touching or scraping any other cabinetry or appliance.”

Posted in: Refrigerators, Sub-Zero,

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