Hands-on Franke Fast-In Sink Review
When you’ve installed or remodeled several kitchens, eventually you begin looking for ways to improve your process. For the professional, time is money. That’s why Franke Fast-In sinks and Fast-In faucets first appealed to us. In the process of installing a new sink or faucet, any time savings turns into an advantage. We did this Franke Fast-In sink review to see if their new technology really could shave valuable time off the install. While we were at it, a Franke Fast-In Faucet review seemed a good pairing for the article. Check out that review as well.
Choosing From the Franke Fast-In Sinks Collection
Franke began back in 1911 in Rorschach, Switzerland as a sheet metal business. Currently headquartered in Aarburg, Switzerland, the Group employs around 9,000 people at 68 subsidiaries across 4 continents. Four different divisions make up the Franke Group, including Franke Kitchen Systems, Franke Foodservice Systems, Franke Water Systems, and (yum!) Franke Coffee Systems. They export their products to over 100 different countries.
Franke has an abundance of sinks. Right now, however, there are only about 8 stainless steel models which use their Fast-In technology. Of these eight, there are four different form factors, including three double bowl configurations (symmetrical and asymmetrical) and a single bowl. The rest of the models simply provide a different hole configuration (you can get one or four). We went with the Franke Evolution EVDCG901-18 stainless steel sink. This is a symmetrical double bowl sink with 9-inch deep bowls. They also have an 8-inch deep model.
Franke Evolution EVDCG901-18 Stainless Steel Sink
The Franke Evolution EVDCG901-18 stainless steel sink has two equal bowls, 9-inches deep. I’ve found that most people who often find themselves in a kitchen prefer these deeper bowls. Some will want an asymmetrical design that affords greater length on the left bowl. To keep it simple, however, we went with a symmetrical design. This sink features 18 gauge stainless steel. It’s solid enough to provide excellent wear over the life of the home, but it doesn’t have the weight or clumsiness of a granite or cast iron solution. If you’re a builder or spec’ing a sink for a kitchen, the Franke stainless steel sinks pair up very well with stainless appliances while providing a much easier installation (more on that later).
Franke Fast-In Sink Specs (EVDCG901-18)
- Dimensions of sink (LxWxD): 33-1/2 x 22 1/2 x 9 in.
- Dimensions of bowls (LxWxD): 16-1/2 x 14-3/4 x 9 in.
- Minimum Cabinet Size: 36 in.
- Material: 18-gauge stainless steel
- Number of Bowls: 2
- Faucet Hole: 1 (up to 4 optional)
- US Part Number: EVDCG901-18
One other thing to note about the Franke Fast-In sinks is that they offer much more usable space than most stainless steel sinks I’ve used. They have an unusually narrow center divider, and the bowls extend closer to the sides. That’s how they get a full 29-1/2 inches of total usable bowl width from a 33-1/2 inch sink. I also appreciated how Franke positioned the drains towards the back of the bowls to give you more room up front. Too often we see manufacturers put them nearly in the center.
Franke Fast-In Sink Technology
Franke Fast-In sinks are designed with 10 Fast-In clips mounted around the perimeter of the sink. This is a top mount technology designed for use with drop-in sinks. While the technology exists only in a select number of Franke stainless steel sinks at present, other materials could eventually be supported.
Each of these clips features a “one-way” design with eight little tongues that grab the counter. It eliminates the need for tools with most installations. You just seal the perimeter of the sink, lower it into place, and press the Franke Fast-In sink down until you hear a click. The click indicates that those pre-attached clips have snapped into their proper position and are holding your sink in place. Made from stainless steel, there shouldn’t be any issues with rust or breakage of the clips over time.
The clips also come pre-fastened in place. There are no channels, and they won’t slide out of place. Because of the way the clips work, Franke includes a “removal kit” with each sink. It consists of five metal putty knives. To remove the sink, you would use a razor knife as usual to break the caulk. Then, you’d insert the metal putty knives up from below to dislodge the clips from the counter.
The Backup Plan
If you have an unusual installation where the countertop features a slight bow, Franke has you covered. There are a couple optional pre-positioned clips mounted at the front and rear center of the sink that can be used to further press the sink against the countertop. These use standard Phillips head screws and can be easily accessed with a long screwdriver.
Sound Dampening Matters
I have to also note the sound dampening design of the Franke stainless steel sinks. If you’ve ever used a truly cheap sink you might recall that irritating ringing that occurs when water falls and hits the bowl. This is because the sink bowl is essentially a giant bell. If you don’t work to dampen that bell, it’s going to ring. Some sinks make a ton of noise under the impact of a stream of water. Franke not only coats their sinks with a dampening layer, they also provide a dampening pad on each bowl. You can hear the difference on the EVDCG901-18 as soon as you strike the bowl with an object.
Installing the Franke Fast-In Sink
About the only difficulty we had with the Franke Fast-In sink installation involved the template. We couldn’t locate it. Never one to give up, I accessed the DXF file online and found the cutout to be 32.25 in. wide x 21.25 in. deep with a 1-inch corner radius. You can use any number of tools to cut or expand your sink drop-in hole as needed. We went with a Milwaukee M12 FUEL Hackzall. This is a powerful, but flexible tool that lets you get close enough to the back edge to really do a nice job with sink cut-ins. It can also be fitted with a wood or metal reciprocating saw blade. When installing into the recommended Formica, we typically use a metal 18TPI blade. The speed of cut slows down, but it avoids chipping the countertop surface.
Of course, a trusty jigsaw is an equally good solution and makes quicker work of corners if you’re not starting with a hole saw.
- Phillips screwdriver
- Adjustable wrench & pipe wrench
- Jigsaw with fine tooth blade or Hackzall & hole saw combo
- Tape measure
- Silicone caulk, plumber’s putty
- Work light (immensely helpful—we used a RYOBI Hybrid LED work light)
I’d love to give a detailed list of all the steps involved in the Franke Fast-In sink installation. In actuality, it doesn’t take a lot of detail. All of the real work is prep. Whether your job involves replacing a sink or cutting in a new one—all the major work comes before the sink installation. For us that included removing the old sink and opening up the hole for the larger size of the Franke Evolution EVDCG901-18 stainless steel sink. We also added a water line for the refrigerator—but that’s another article. The template instructions proved accurate, but we visually lined up the sink both before and after cutting it in to make sure.
With the Franke Fast-In sink, the only real steps after the cutout was ready was adding a bead of caulk around the perimeter and dropping it into place. Once we had the back end inserted, we pushed down on the front until we heard the telltale click of the Fast-In system grabbing the countertop. The sink was now installed. Since the sink installed flush, and the countertop exhibited no signs of warp, we didn’t bother with the auxiliary clips.
In the process of installing this sink, the most satisfying moment came from dropping it in and hearing that “click”. Franke Fast-In sinks shave time off installation by simplifying one of the more frustrating aspects of sink installation—fastening it to the counter. If you’ve found yourself underneath a cramped counter searching for a clip, you’ll quickly understand the attraction. No more channels. You don’t have to search around for dropped pieces. No more reaching way behind the sink with one arm while supporting your body with the other…you get the idea. In terms of price, Franke offers these sinks at prices ranging from $275 to $315 (street price). Check with your local dealer to get specifics, but pricing is on par or only slightly above similar models from other high-end manufacturers.
For more information on the Franke Fast-In system, please visit their website.