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Hand Dryer Types

Hand Dryer Types and Categories



Hands-In Hand Dryers

Hands-In Hand Dryers are as the name suggests. You place your hands inside the hand dryer to dry your hands. The first of this type was the Mitsubishi Jet Towel, developed in 1992. The most popular is the Dyson Airblade, launched in 2007. These models activate the airflow once you hands are placed inside and use a blade or blades of air to scrape the water from both sides of your hands as you remove them. The one exception is the Veltia V7 300 which uses 300 holes inside the mouth of the hand dryer to 'gently massage' both side our your hands while they are inside the dryer.
Generally high speed with fast drying times, although these can vary quite considerably. Water is gathered inside the mouth of the hand dryer rather than getting blown onto the wall and floor. All with the exception of the Dyson Airblade gather water in a reservoir underneath the hand dryer. driplate drip tray is available to stop water from the Dyson Airblade dripping onto the floor


Usually more expensive than hands-under hand dryers. They take up more wall space than hands-under, so conversion from hands-under to hands-in may involve more labour costs and disruption. Collecting water in a reservoir if it is not cleaned regularly can create a pool of infected, stagnant, smelly water to be gathered.


Popular Hands-In Hand Dryers


Dyson Airblade dB
Aertek EcoBlade Hand Dryer Black Aertek ecoBLADE
Veltia V7 300 Snow White Veltia V7 300
X-Blade 3G - Silver Aertek X-Blade 3G
Mitsubishi Jet Towel, Slim - Silver Mitsubishi Jet Towel, Slim



Hands-Under Hand Dryers

Again, the clue is in the name. Hands-Under Hand Dryers are those which you place your hands underneath to use it. These are further categorised into blade, jet, high speed, low energy etc.



Traditional / Conventional Hand Dryers

Historically, hand dryers have used a push button to activate a motor to blow hot air onto your hands. Although the push button has almost become obsolete, the technique hasn't changed much in almost 100 years.

The conventional style hand dryer uses a heating element to warm the air which evaporates the water from your hands.

The air speed in these hand dryers tends to be low, powered by a motor in the region of 2500-7500 rpm. The overall power usage of these hand dryers tends to be high due to the large draw required by the heating element.

These are all classified as Hands-Under hand dryers


Usually less expensive to buy than more modern hand dryers. Some models available with push button. some models available with rotatable nozzle to draw face. Generally low noise.


High power usage means higher running costs. Slow drying times.

Popular Conventional Hand Dryers


SupaDry Ultra 1 - Polished Stainless Steel SupaDry Ultra 1 - Nozzle Hand Dryer
AirDri Quarto Chrome Polished Steel AirDri Quarto Chrome Polished
SupaDry Ultra 3 Silver Plastic SupaDry Ultra 3 Silver
Mediclincs Saniflow E88AC Heavy Duty Automatic Hand Dryer - Polished Chrome Mediclincs Saniflow E88AC
World Dryer DA548 Push Button
Vent Axia UltraDry SX Vent Axia UltraDry X

High Speed Hand Dryers

The advent of Excel Dryer's Xlerator hand dryer saw the emergence of a new type of hand dryer. The high speed hand dryer uses a very fast motor to generate a high speed stream of air (usually in a jet or jets but also in a blade) to blast the water from your hands. They do not need as much heat as conventional models because of the fast air. Because of the fast drying times (usually 10-15 seconds compared to the conventional models 25-30 seconds) the running costs are lowered. Some models do not use a heating element at all, further lowering the running costs. Many formats can fall into the high speed category including, Hands-In, Hands-under, Jet, Blade, Tap. These are further categorised later.


Fast drying times. Low energy. Competitively priced. Low running costs


Some models are quite expensive. Louder due to faster motors and air collision.

The 2 main types of High Speed hand dryer are categorised as Jet or Blade

High Speed Hand Dryers : Jet Hand Dryers

The Jet hand dryer uses a high speed motor to focus the air flow into a single (or multiple - Warner Howard Airforce) jet of air to blow water from your hands. These are entirely within the high speed category

High Speed Hand Dryers : Blade Hand Dryers

Air flow is focused into a blade of air which is used to wipe the water from your hands. This is formed by either a continuous air aperture (Dyson Airblade) or multiple jets or apertures to form a blade. Blade hand dryers can be either in the Hands-In or Hands-Under format.

Popular High Speed Hand Dryers



Low Energy Hand Dryers

Most Low Energy hand Dryers fall into the High Speed category, hence most are classified as High Speed Low Energy. The removal of a heating element greatly reduces the energy consumption. This can however have the side effect of less comfortable drying depending on the ambient room air temperature. Some models overcome this by taking heat from the motor inside the dryer or relying on friction at the air outlet to warm the air. Xlerator has 2 different models, one with heat and one without so the user can decide which is most appropriate. Many models have a switch or adjustment inside the machine so the heating element can be removed. Recently a new category has eveolved as Ultra Low Energy - hand dryers with 500W or less.


Low energy use. Lower running costs. Fast drying times


Higher speed air can mean louder dryers. Cold air may be make uncomfortable use. As with all hands-under hand dryers, water can end up dripping or been blown from your hands onto the wall and floor.

Popular Low Energy

Popular Ultra Low Energy



Tap Hand Dryers

This is a new development in hand drying technology.

The first of its kind was the Dyson Airblade Tap (wash+dry). It has the unique feature of being a water tap and a hand dryer in one. The user places their hands underneath to activate the water flow, then moves their hands to the sides where there are blades of air to wipe the water from your hands. More recently, this has been followed by Aertek's Tap range and Lovair's Ribbon. Both of these include separate matching water tap, soap dispenser and over-sink hand dryer.

The Tap hand dryer means the user does not need to move to another location in the washroom to dry their hands, eliminating the risk of water dripping from peoples hands while they do so. They also greatly reduce the amount of space required in a washroom. A wall mounted hand dryer not only needs the wall space it physically takes up, it also needs space around it for the user which can cause obstruction in the flow of traffic through the washroom.


More usable washroom space. No dripping water on the floor. Lower noise (motors are usually contained undernath the sink).  Better user experience.


More expensive than other hand dryers</p?

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