Tested: Ultrafast Hand Dryers

Illustration by Jason LeePhoto: Courtesy of Dyson

America follows Japan in so many ways: video games, product packaging, hand dryers. For years, we’ve been using the slow single-nozzle styles; Japan left those primitive methods behind long ago. A few months back, I felt the jet-engine blast of the Xlerator dryer in the men’s room at Rudy’s Bar & Grill (627 Ninth Ave., nr. 44th St.; 212-974-9169). It looked not unlike a standard wall dryer, and yet my hands were dry in seconds. Now two more Mach-speed hand dryers are beginning to spread across New York: the Dyson Airblade, found in the AMC Theater in Times Square (234 42nd St., nr. Eighth Ave.; 212-398-2597), and the Mitsubishi Jet Towel, which blows hands (and minds) at Drom lounge in the East Village (85 Ave. A, nr. 6th St.; 212-777-1157). Both are mounted at waist level and activated by sticking your paws between horizontally moving air jets. In terms of drying, they’re equally powerful, but the Dyson gets points for its robo-trendy steel-and-yellow color scheme (the Mitsubishi is a dirt-prone porcelain white). If you happen to be designing a boutique hotel bar, the Dyson’s the way to go; if you’re opening a day school, the Xlerator will get the job done for less than half the cost; and if you’re fanatic about not touching a towel—and have a lot of space to work with—I suppose any of them would look nice in your bathroom.

Dyson Airblade

$400 to $550

Mitsubishi Jet Towel
$1,240 to $1,450

Tested: Ultrafast Hand Dryers