Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator
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Mid-Range Dehydrator, Excellent for home users

The Nesco FD-1040 boasts 1000 watts of heating power, a 2400 RPM fan motor, and a built-in timer. This model comes with four trays but can be expanded up to 20, making it one of the more spacious models available at this price point. It has a top-mounted fan but uses patented Coverge-Flow technology to ensure even dehydrating on all trays. This moderately priced unit works effectively for all sorts of dehydrating projects, and the average user should be pleased with its output.

Temperature control

The Nesco FD-1040 includes a temperature control thermostat ranging from 90 to 160 degrees, which is a greater range than similar models on the market today in its price range.

2,400 RPM fan motor

The Nesco FD-1040 includes a 2,400 RPM fan motor, making it quicker than dehydrators that do not include fans or motors. Comparable dehydrators in the same price range can boast the same, and as long as you choose a dehydrator with a fan or motor you will experience similar results.

1000 watts

The model promises 1000 watts of power to ensure speedy drying times, but in performance tests it has not outperformed similar models with 500 or 600 watts.

Strengths

Converge-Flow technology

The Nesco FD-1040 has a top-mounted fan, but uses patented Converge-Flow technology to ensure even drying. In the Converge-Flow process, air is heated and forced down an exterior chamber, where it is pressurized, and then released horizontally across each tray. The result is superior to bottom- or regular top-mounted fan units.

Easy to clean

Since the fan and heating element on this unit are top-mounted, there is no need to worry about food spillage or moisture dripping onto them and requiring regular cleaning.

Includes digital timer

The Nesco FD-1040 includes a digital timer that can be programmed for up to 48 hours, which puts it a step above competitive models that do not include a timer. Dehydrators without timers can be easily hooked up to external timing devices, so the benefit of the included timer is dependent on the user.

Opaque exterior

This model comes with a Vita-Save Exterior that helps block harmful lights that can damage the nutritional value of your food, protecting the vitamins and minerals that should be preserved in the dehydrating process.

Weaknesses

Temperature control is unreliable

While certainly not the worst temperature control system on the market, the Nesco FD-1040 does not heat to exact specifications you set on the thermostat; in general, you will have to turn the thermostat beyond the temperature setting you desire in order to get that effect.

Limited space in basic model

The Nesco FD-1040 comes standard with four trays, one fruit roll sheet, and one mesh Clean-A-Screen. This is less initial trays than you can get with other models. The Nesco FD-1040 can accommodate up to 20 trays in total, but they all need to be purchased separately, which means some users will have to expand their budget in order to use the device to its full potential.

Overall Review

The Nesco FD-1040 is a reliable and efficient dehydrator with more pro’s than cons. While it is a hassle to buy extra trays in order to make the best use of the machine, the FD-1040’s ability to expand to 20 trays is impressive. The top-mounted fan would usually be a negative, but the external pressurization system helps the dehydrator perform on par with side-mounted units. The built-in timer is a useful feature that is lacking in many similar models, and helps to ensure that your food dries to the degree you desire.