"Industrial strenth" hand-dryers?

What is it with those “industrial strenth” hand-dryers that are powerful enough to deform the skin on your hands as they blow you dry? Who decided to increase the power level, and for what reason? Also, are they actually any better or more efficient than paper towels? What is the advantage here?

I’ve heard it claimed that by emphasizing air velocity rather than temperature, such dryers actually use less power and thus are more energy efficient. My reservation has to do with the noise, which if you hold your hands close to the nozzle seems enough to make ear protection advisable.

Assume you’re referring to the Dyson Airblade dryers. They use a lot less electricity and money than traditional warm air dryers - most warm air dryers pull 18 amps (on 120 volt power) and the Airblade pulls 12 amps, but the big difference is in the shorter run time.

Compared to paper towels, Dyson claims an annual cost of $76 to run an Airblade (400 uses per day - about the usage it would get in my office), and $2920 to buy and dispose of paper towels, and for the carbon-curious, one ton less CO[sub]2[/sub] released to the atmosphere.

Compared to warm air dryers, it’s a closer race - $76 for the Airblade and $244 for the warm dryer, plus one ton less CO[sub]2[/sub]

Figures are from Dyson’s cost calculator.

As **Xema **notes, they are loud. I first ran into one of the things at an airport, and found the skin-rippling to be intriguing. Certainly a lot faster than the old “Press button… rub hands, rub, rub, shake, rub, rub, shake… Hey, I’m not done! Press button… rub, rub, rub…” dryers that ultimately lead many people to give up and dry their hands on their pants.

That’s part of it. Most hand dryers like the familiar World Dryer Model A draw 20 amps at 120vac, basically the max for a conventional circuit.

The other part is that they’re said to dry hands faster. I’ve found this to be true.

I like these new dryers but I agree that they are noisy.

On preview…what gotpasswords said.

I’m wondering how many people have lost rings or the stones from them on those dryers - I always have to make sure my hands are pointed the right way, or it would blow my wedding ring right off my hand!

They sure do seem faster, though - but I saw a youngster totally freak out when her mom tried to dry her hands at one.

Do they still dispense bacon?

They are for your HANDS? No wonder people look at me funny when I use them.

Where I work, years ago we had folded-paper-towel dispensers.

Then someone decided to upgrade them to dispensers that sense your hands and dispense an infuriatingly small quantity of paper towel from a roll for you. We soon discovered you could grab the paper towel that stuck out and yank on it to override the drive motor and dispense a useful quantity of paper towel.

Then someone decided to upgrade them to to nuclear-powered wind dryers. Two of them, side by side. It was bad enough when one was running, but two were ridiculous. Plus they still took forever; I took to just drying my hands on my pants. Eventually I brought an SPL meter from home and measured one at 92 dB. I notified our safety department, who then came in and measured them at 96 dB. They decided that the exposure times were so short that this would not exceed the time-weighted average 8-hour exposure limit of 85 dB, and so they said this was OK. But they agreed to leave a stack of folded paper towels on the counter for anyone who didn’t want to use the dryers.

So many people were using the paper towels that one day they finally decided to install a folded-paper-towel dispenser, just like the ones we had years ago. In fact it’s probabably one of the ones they removed in the first place. Unfortunately the bathroom doesn’t have a lot of space, and with the dryers occupying prime real estate, the towel dispenser is now located in an out-of-the-way corner, leading to less than optimal traffic flow. Used to be you’d walk way into the bathroom to do your thing, then come toward the door to hit the sink/towels, then walk out the door. Now you walk way in to do your thing, come toward the door to hit the sink, then walk way into the bathroom again to grab some paper towels, then back out to the door. If there’s more than a couple of people in there, some shuffling/bumping is required to get around each other.

Ah, progress…

Several places around here have the Excel brand “Xlerator” dryers. I LOVE them! Yes, they’re loud, but they actually dry my hands!

About a year ago, I timed it against the old wimpy ones. The old style typically took over a minute to dry my hands, and no one should be surprised that I’ve seen stand-up comics talk about how no one actually uses them. The displayed instructions to “rub hands briskly” sounds sensible, but accomplishes nothing.

But the Xlerator dries my hands in about 20-25 seconds. I can actually see the water evaporating and dry skin appearing.