Review 2021 – Dyson Airblade AB14 DB

This is the 3rd generation Dyson Airblade. It’s hard to believe but the AB01, which looks pretty much identical to the current version was launched back in 2006. Since then, there has been the Airblade Mark II and the Airblade DB (AB14). Each model has had slight motor and construction enhancements and noise reduction. How does the Airblade AB14 DB compare now?

It’s the dryer that changed the hand drying world and 15 years on from its launch it’s still a great dryer. It does have a downside though, water drips down the sides unless you purchase a special additional device to collect the water. This calls into question why it’s necessary to have a big bulky design, if the water isn’t going to be collected as it would in a D-Flow, Mitsubishi Jet Towel Slim or Vapordri. The energy efficiency has been improved on by other Dyson and competing models. There are quieter, less expensive options that perform similarly well.

Still a great dryer but it is gradually being surpassed by newer products to the market. We particularly like Dyson’s over-the-sink options, which provide a really practical solution.

From £849 + VAT

At around £800 at the time of writing the AB14 is one of the most expensive dryers on the market. It is £200-250 more than the equivalent Mitsubishi Jet Towel Slim and £350 more than the classy-looking Vapordri. There are even similar ‘hands in’ blade hand dryers that are £500 less! We still give this a 3.5 though as its performance does just about justify the price.

The Dyson Airblade AB14 is the fastest dryer we have tested by 1 second. It is the only dryer that the manufacturer states 10 seconds and it does dry consistently in 10 seconds. So full marks!

Calculating the energy efficiency of a dryer depends on 2 things, rated power and the dry speed.

When the Dyson Airblade AB14 was first launched its energy efficiency was a revelation but it has now been superseded by other models. It still remains highly efficient though, we are talking small margins.

The AB14 has a rated power of 1.6kw and consumes 4.4 watts per dry. The best around are just under 2 watt/hours and traditional dryers are 20 to 30 watt/hours per dry.

1000 dries would cost around 59-69p with this dryer, a 95% saving vs paper towels.

Dyson state 84 dB(A) for this product which we found to be accurate. The smooth sound quality and design ensure not too much of a spike in real-life environments, increasing by 4-5 dB(A). So despite having an officially high noise level, you can trust Dyson to be accurate, which isn’t always the case with advertised decibel levels.

We don’t tend to recommend this style of dryer for vandal-prone areas, there is too much to grab hold of and they are more of a target than compact dryers for idiots to try and abuse. It is still the case with the Dyson AB14 but it’s so well constructed, all but the most determined vandals will be hard-pressed to do much damage to this machine.

Dyson provide a 240,000 or 5-year warranty, however, we think they could extend both of these without any issues. It has a long-life digital brushless motor that has been through a continuous operation 240,000 cycle testing process. In situ they seem to go on for a very long time, we rarely hear of any issues and mechanically they are very reliable.

We asked Dyson for the embedded carbon emissions in their products but they declined. We found this quite strange. A lot will depend on how they are transported from Malaysia to the UK and Ireland. Based on the Dyson AB14 weight and average embedded emissions for blade dryers we would estimate this machine to account for around 70.51 kg/co2. It is worth considering whether you could buy a far smaller dryer which could save 2/3 of the embedded emissions and only take 1 second longer to dry. Something like the Mitsubishi SMART or the Machflow Brushless hand dryer.

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