After developing vacuum cleaners and fans that relied on a small, powerful brushless fan motor, the Dyson engineers repurposed that drive system for the bathroom. They developed a hand drying solution that was more hygienic, faster, less resource-intensive, and considerably more cost effective than anything else on the market. Unlike other machine dryers, theirs don't heat the air but instead pull it through a HEPA filter and then out a narrow opening at very high speeds. The fact that they achieve drying faster and without heat means they save on operating costs over other models. They're also cheaper than paper towels because they don't need restocking, which adds costs for materials, and for the labor of putting in new towels and removing full waste bins.
Dyson Airblade dB: A Quiet Revolution in Hand Drying
Tracing the evolution of the Dyson hand dryer, you'll find a long list of models that start with the letters AB, including the popular AB04 and AB06 that were the standard for several years. Though the current iteration, which replaced those in 2013, is technically named the AB14, it's more often called the Dyson Airblade dB. The dB stands for decibels, which is important here because these models offer a 50 percent reduction in the noise the user perceives from operation of the unit.
The engineers achieved that noise reduction by adding a scalloped edge to the apertures through which the air blows. The folks at Dyson recognized one of the only drawbacks people found in its units is that fast-moving air could be a bit noisy. As with each challenge they've faced since revolutionizing hand drying, they took it to the drawing board, spent years engineering and testing solutions, and ultimately produced something that does exactly what their customers want it to do.
In addition to that innovation, this model still carries the features and benefits of its predecessors, including:
- Touch-free automatic operation
- Durable polycarbonate ABS casing
- Antimicrobial coating to inhibit bacterial growth
- HEPA filter to remove bacteria from intake air
- 12-second drying time
- 5-year parts and 1-year limited labor warranties.
Also like the Dyson AB04 and AB06, the AB14 meets NSF standards and has been approved by HACCP International for safe use in the food and beverage industry. These models are available in grey and white finishes.
Dyson Airblade Tap: A Faucet That Dries Hands
The most recent addition to the line, the Airblade Tap models - AB09, AB10, and AB11 - have quickly become some of the most popular. These combine the faucet and hand dryer in one unit, solving the problem of wet bathroom floors created by people walking from the sink to the hand drying area. Each has infrared sensors that turn on the water when you place your hands under the faucet, then start the fan motor when you move them under the wings on either side.
Each unit uses a digital motor that draws 28 liters of air per second and a HEPA filter, which removes 99.97 percent of bacteria from that air. The digital V4 motor reaches 92,000 RPM, allowing for a 14-second dry time. That efficiency cuts CO2 emissions by up to 73 percent over other hand dryers and 69 percent over paper towels, which means they're much better for the environment.
Beyond that, estimates indicate the Tap operates its hand drying function for about $48 per year, which is a huge savings over the $1,460 average annual cost of paper towels. Other features and benefits include:
- Attractive brushed stainless body
- Touch-free automatic operation
- Available in counter- and wall-mounted designs
- Compatible with most sink types.
The AB09 is counter-mounted and has a 6.25-inch column, while the counter-mounted AB10 has a 12.125-inch column. The AB11 mounts to the wall and extends 11.125 inches out over the sink.
Airblade V: An ADA-Compliant Hand Dryer
While the AB04, AB06, and now the AB14 revolutionized automatic hand dryers, there were some people who still had issues with their designs. Some people didn't like that it doesn't look like a typical hand dryer or users sometimes bump their hands on the sides, one was a big concern: None of them were ADA-compliant. Those who stood at below what is considered average height and those in wheelchairs often struggled to use them.
To remedy that, the engineers created the Dyson Airblade V, which pushes air out the bottom of the unit much like a typical hand dryer does. That eliminates problems for those with height or mobility issues, while also making these models comfortable for those of average height to use.
Their other features include:
- Slim, 4-inch profile requires no recessing
- Meets ADA requirements
- Achieves 12-second dry times
- HEPA filtration for clean drying air
- Durable body is coated with antimicrobial substance.
Like AB14 models, these are available in grey and white finishes, and operate on 110-120V power.
For more technical information about any of these models, please see our guide to the specs of Dyson hand dryers.