Best Brands for reasonably priced Ultra Low Freezers?

I just started thinking about it today. What are your thoughts? Does it make sense to buy used on ebay? Thanks!

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I agree with @Beaker, @Sidco_Cat, and others, that used cryo-freezers are a risky proposition. We bought 2 for $2k each off someone who claimed they were refurbished. One died less than a month after we got it. The other one lasted closer to a year, before I killed it, by not shutting it off after ambient went above 80f. We hit 110f some days that summer. We were coming in early and quiting at 90f or so, but the poor freezers weren’t so lucky.

For non-cryofreezers I’ve had great luck with craigslist. Including scoring a cheap -40C that actually survived last summers abuse.

In my 25years around cryofreezers, none of them seemed to last very long.

It may have been their mission critical nature and the fact that there were dozens of them in use at any one time that gave me the impression they were always dying…

I’ve been using the So-Low -80C chest cryo for about 5 months now, and have worked with other labs who have had no issues over a period of roughly 2 years. As far as I’ve seen they’re tanks. They will run 10K + though for the 27cu.ft version I favor.


High temp are a killer, I wish I had water cooled chillers. Right now we have to run the hell out of the ac systems to keep them happy.

Thanks for the input. What type of material are your containers made of that you use in your Ultra Low Freezers? Is SS the best bet?

@cyclopath uses beer kegs.

If you’re going to be maintaining -80C I’d recommend a stainless steel container for sure. N.B. Oler and Delta Separations both sell very nice stainless kegs. If you’re sticking around -40C to -55C I’ve found any of the plastic food grade containers from restaurant supply stores work well, these stores also offer a huge variety in size/shape of container. Many are actually rated to -60F

I responded to an earlier thread about this topic. Precision Mechanical here in WA sells used and working ultra low freezers. I believe he ships/delivers them too.

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We have a guy out here in mass that buys used lab equip and sells 100% no doa tested freezers for 650.00 doesnt matter size. I will he picking up a thermo revco ult2586 soon.

Will this freezer be ok operating in 85 or so degrees ambient?

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I think it would be happier at 75. Above 90 I suspect it will have a limited lifespan, and would recommend turning it off above 95f.

If it’s a newer one, it might start bitching at you about ambient above 90

It would only be powered on for a few days at a time every 1-2 months. I’m still thinking it may be overkill for my needs (10-20lbs of trim and larf extraction every month or two) but it may be nice if i expand this show a little more. Temps in the basement don’t go beyond 85 that’s typically the summer max.

The price is an absolute steal.

I paid $2k each for mine and was happy. Until the first one died.

You might find it raises the temp in the basement…

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Ya i figured it would. I have a standard -10f chest freezer down there now that raises temp 1 degree. I figured this big boy would run 5 degrees up or so. Basement hangs around 75-79 without a freezer running. I’ll soon be bringing another 4500w of lights online down there too so I will be adding exhaust and ventilation to keep temps below 85 down there during summer.

I got a used Brunswick freezer on eBay UK for £1000. It still gets down to -86c. I would say it is worth getting a used one, especially a quality brand. They can be serviced by a refrigeration engineer if something goes wrong. The price you save by buying a used one would allow for this. Btw an utra low freezer is a real beast, noisy, very heavy, expensive on electricity, and generate a lot of heat. You wouldn’t want to run it continuously at home.

Hi Square Root,
Can you send me his number, or website, We also will be needing an ultra low freezer

So how did that -80 fare in your basement in the summer?

I used the Panasonic vip eco line and they have worked great I have 3 of the big boys and haven’t had any issues they have a robust design they are definitely bulky and heavy but as far as build quality it seems top notch. It came with a 5 year parts and labor warranty as well.

I never did it. I hesitated since I didn’t really have a way to move the freezer into my basement myself and you can’t trust anyone up here to help you do anything or they will rob you LOL so I can’t even have contractors come out to the house. I have to do everything myself


We bought 2 used units from university auctions (one in Indiana another in Virginia). We got pretty lucky because one unit powered up and has been running no problem the other had a couple wires that had shaken loose that we fixed pretty easy. It is definitely a gamble but we paid $50 for one of them and $1,750 for the other.