Summary: When the regular Actifry™ (model number range FZ7000 etc) was first introduced around 2007 / 2008, there were several issues encountered with the paddle in the UK and in Europe. These issues were later largely cleared up by the release of a better designed paddle.
WHICH consumer magazine in the UK reported in October 2010, “Tefal have claimed the paddle issue was resolved, via product development, during 2008 …”1
This is a recount of those historical issues with the first paddle on the FZ7000 line, for the record, to clarify that the design issue was resolved.
Customer feedback from around the ‘Net on the first Actifry FZ7000 paddle
The following is feedback left from 2009 to 2011 found in various places on the Internet concerning the first paddle used for the FZ7000 line. (Note that as some smaller stores may hold items in stock for years before selling them, it is possible that models with the first, weaker paddle from 2009 were not sold onto people until several years later.)
- “The catches on the paddle on my Actifry have both snapped – I’m in the process of contacting Tefal about it. It seems that this problem is not unusual. ”2
- “I loved the idea of this machine and bought one, the results were very good. At the moment it is out in the kitchen with a broken paddle (the second one)… and large circles of exposed steel where the circulating paddle has worn away the non-stick coating”3
- “The first time, one of the little lugs underneath, which clip it to the pan, broke off. That wasn’t too bad, as it worked fine with just the one. It’s a combination of design weakness and getting the knack of removing it properly. With the next one, we’ll be a little more careful. This latest time, the narrow neck on the arm broke, as fizzi described, leaving a shortish stump. It still works, after a fashion, but you have to give the contents a bit of a shake every so often.”4
- “Yesterday the paddle finger snapped off due to ONE JAMMED CHIP.” 5
- “I’m about to order my third replacement paddle”6
- “9 months old and the paddle clips fell off. 13 months old and the paddle snapped.”7
Actifry paddles redesigned
Newly designed paddles for the Actifry FZ7000 line were introduced by the start of 2010. They were fed into the replacement part supply chain, as well as shipped standard with new machines leaving the factory.
“My replacement paddle has just arrived this morning from Wesco. It’s the new version with a positive action to grip the pan”8
“My third Actifry has developed a snapped paddle …. Checked one my son bought recently and that one has a cross reinforcement under the narrow part of the paddle so obviously a recognised problem.9
“We’ve had ours for several years with no problems at all except a broken paddle, which was a design fault which has been rectified in the current models.” 10
The new black-coloured “Gourmet” Actifrys also shipped from the start, in spring 2010, with the new paddle design: “Much better construction, the paddle comes off through a locking/unlocking mechanism, pan looks better, different filter,etc. And a vastly different cookbook with loads of recipes”11
Actifry paddle issues as of 2013 onwards
The stream of complaints (on the Internet, at least) dropped off rapidly with the introduction of the new design paddle. Still, the odd report of a broken paddle still emerges. The following user reports purchasing a machine in approximately November 2011 and having gone through 3 paddles by March 2013. It’s not known if a store had perhaps sold the user in question an older-stock machine with the older paddle, or what:
“I have had 2 new paddles as they snapped in half before the product was out of guarantee. The last time the advisor said it would not be replaced again free of charge. It has broken again, machine 17 months old, yet this paddle only 8 months old!”12
T-fal now apparently maintains that paddles only break if weakened outside of normal usage: “Jack Williams (Customer Relations Department Team Leader at Tefal), who stated that the paddles usually only break after impact damage or thermal shock.”13
* Actifry™ is a registered trademark of SEB, France.