Which hand dryer would you choose? Mitsubishi Jet Towel Smart or Dryflow Viper?
Continuing the series of “Which Hand Dryer” would you choose based on head to head comparisons, we bring you the Mitsubishi Jet Towel Smart and the Dryflow Viper. Both utilise a bladed style air outlet designed to dry the hands simultaneously whilst scraping moisture off them. The house hold name of Mitsubishi brings with it innovation and quality as standard, however you will see why the Dryflow Viper is proving to be a very popular choice by consumers. Both dryers are quiet in operation, with good dry times despite this factor. They can both be set to very low energy consumption saving costs and being good for the environment. The Mitsubishi comes in 2 models, one that is set at its lowest energy consumption, without a heater element as standard. The other model includes a heater element that can be switched off, giving flexibility to change settings to user and environmental requirements. The Dryflow Viper has the same flexibility as standard as you can also turn the heater element on or off to suit.
So which one would you choose? Read on to help with your decision
Current pricing ex VAT (correct at time and date of post)
During in-house testing (see video), the Dryflow Viper has been shown to successfully dry the hands in under 15 seconds. This is a very respectable dry time for a hand dryer as there are only a few on the market that do dry around the 10 – 12 seconds mark, contrary to what manufacturers sometimes wrongly state. It should be noted that this performance is not at detriment to the sound produced as you will see in a later section. The Mitsubishi Jet Towel Smart is stated to have a dry time of between 9 and 17 seconds depending upon the model or settings selected. We would say in our experience that a sub 15 seconds dry time is a little adventurous and would expect this to be more around the 15 – 20 seconds. Again, still not too shabby for a low energy, quiet in operation hand dryer.
Both the Jet Towel Smart and the Viper have 2 bladed air outlets, which are designed to scrape water off the hands at the same time, i.e. a blade of air per hand. The Smart’s design means that the total area the blade covers is 15cm (approx. 7.5cm per hand). The Viper has 2 angled blades of air which allow for water to be forced away from the user. We have also found that the Viper is geared to create an airflow suited better to larger hands. This is because the Vipers air outlets are each 11cm long, therefore covering a larger surface area.
The Smart has a 0.1 sec response time for the motor to get to full speed from the moment it senses the hands. Other hand dryers can take a bit more time to get to full speed, therefore you get the full force of the Smarts airflow almost instantly. This increases dry time and saves energy.
Shape, durability and usage
The Smart has a unique box design which has a cover plate that gives added protection to the internal unit. This has been tested by Mitsubishi to take hammer blows of up to 15J of force! The Vipers cover is made from thick grade 304 stainless steel so is able to stand up to abuse should this become apparent. Although robustly made, both hand dryers have light net weight. The Viper weighs 5.9Kg, however the Mitsubishi is a little lighter at just 4Kg. The Smart has a tilted roof preventing people from leaving things on top of the dryer. It also has a smaller wall foot print than the Viper, so if space on a wall is a concern, then the Smarts smaller dimensions may be more suitable. That said the larger back plate of the Viper may be better suited for covering marks left by existing hand dryers. Having said this, although it is a larger unit than the Smart, it still isn’t going to take up excessive amounts of wall space.
The Viper is protected as standard against dripping water. Therefore, if located correctly will give no unusual safety concerns. The Smart however has an IP rating of IPX3 so is protected against sprayed water. This means that if the location you are planning to place the hand dryer has the chance of moisture being sprayed on to the unit from a water source, the Mitsubishi is better protected. This protection requirement is unique to the location the hand dryer is to be sited. An IPX1 hand dryer such as the Viper is more than adequately protected in normal washroom environments.
We would recommend that both hand dryers would be suitable for mid-level traffic daily. This would mean that their motors would comfortably withstand up to 300 users a day. The Smart is stated as being tested up to 700 hours continuous use and the Viper 1500 hours. However, the Mitsubishi test was the most rigorous test in the industry and was performed to military standards. Therefore, we are more than happy to recommend this hand dryer for standard daily use suitable for medium traffic locations.
The Smart is certainly a quiet in operation hand dryer and is stated as having a noise output between 58dB – 62dB. This however was measured from 2m away from the air outlet when the standard in the industry is from 1m. We do however know from experience that these hand dryers are one of the quietest on the market. They are engineered so that there are no sharp edges on any part of the internals of the machine making sure that the airflow inside is as smooth and quiet as possible. You also can’t hear the high performing motor when in use like you can with other hand dryers. The Smart has the Quiet Mark accreditation due to its low noise levels.
The Dryflow Viper has been tested from 1m and has a noise level of between 70 – 74dB. It should be noted however that for a high-speed hand dryer this really is a one of the quietest with a good dry time. So much so that it has also passed the stringent Quiet Mark accreditation, making it one of the quietest hand dryers in its class.
Both hand dryers have adjustable motor speeds, so noise levels can be reduced further should this be required.
As stated, the Jet Towel Smart has 2 models you can purchase. The unheated version has a rated power between 410 – 730W as you can change the motor speed if required. The heated version allows you to be able to run the unit the same as the unheated version, but you can also switch on a heater element should the need arise. This is usually for user comfort rather than improving the drying time as it is the speed of the airflow that dries the hands in modern hand dryers, not heat evaporation. Even with the heater element engaged you can run this hand dryer at a maximum of 980W which is still a very low rated power in terms of energy savings.
The Viper does run at 2kW rated power when the heater element is engaged which does make it quite energy hungry at this setting. So, if you are looking for a hand dryer that provides heat to the airflow for user comfort, this may not be the most economical of choices. However, if you are looking to add heat to the air flow infrequently, then the rise in costs would be negligible. In a mid-use location, the hand dryer will be receiving frequent use, so residual heat from the motor will provide heat to the airflow anyway. By switching the heater element off you reduce the rated power in the Viper to between 600 – 800W making it a real contender as one of the lowest energy consuming, high speed hand dryers around.
At 730W and a dry time of around 15 seconds, the Smart without the heater element will produce an energy per dry time of around 3 watt hours, costing around 37p per 1000 dries. The Viper in comparison at 800W (full speed without the heater element engaged) with a 15 seconds dry time will produce an energy per dry of 3.3 watt hours, costing around 40p per 1000 dries. So, as you can see you would expect the Viper to cost you more electricity in the long run if the heater element is switched on for prolonged periods when compared directly to the Smart, but they both compare very well with the heater element disengaged. The costs associated with the heater element being used would only be applicable in the top end of the mid-level usage bracket. So, if you know that your hand dryers will receive in the region of 250 – 300 uses a day and you want to save money whilst still consistently using a heater element, then the Smart would probably be the preferred choice.
Just to highlight the adjustments available that have been mentioned throughout the post, here they are in full:
Mitsubishi Jet Towel Smart Lite unheated: Has no heater element but you can change the airspeed to reduce noise levels should this be required.
Mitsubishi Jet Towel Smart: Here you have the same settings as standard as the Lite unheated, with the same capabilities of reducing the motor speed. However, in this model you can choose to have the heater element turned on or off for user comfort.
The Dryflow Viper: You can reduce the motor speed at the flick of a switch and you can also turn off the energy consuming heater element should you wish.
In most locations, if a hand dryer has a heater element that can be switched on or off, it is switched on during the colder winter months and switched off in the warmer summer months. This is because as stated above, the heater element in a modern high-speed hand dryer does not really influence the drying time as the hands are dry before evaporation can take place. It is there purely from user comfort and drying perceptions.
The Smart is NSF certified and has metal ions added to resin in plastic surfaces to prevent the growth of bacteria. It also has an air filter which catches dirt and microbes in the air before they are blown onto the hands. The Viper also comes with a microbe catching filter as standard.
The Mitsubishi Smart comes with a 5 years guarantee
The Dryflow Viper comes with a 3 years guarantee
You will have seen from above that the Mitsubishi Jet Towel Smart and the Dryflow Viper have similar features but differ slightly in their delivery. If speed of dry is your primary concern then the Viper would be the favourite. If energy efficiency, even with a heater element engaged is your priority then the Smart would tip the balance here, although running the Viper without a heater element certainly makes it one of the most energy efficient hand dryers with a fast-dry time.
The size of the Smart may sway some as it certainly takes up less wall space than the Viper. But as discussed, the larger size of the Viper does have its benefits in some situations and it certainly doesn’t take up too much room in general. The Viper may also look more attractive to people, yet beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
The Smart and Viper both have filters that separate air particles from the airflow before it is blown onto the hands. The Smart however goes the extra mile with its NSF accreditation and antibacterial coatings. So this may sway you towards the Smart.
Both utilise bladed airflow to great effect, however the larger surface area of airflow produced by the Viper does have its benefits. Mitsubishi is obviously a well-known brand and a 5-year guarantee is a great offering on a quality assured hand dryer. That said the construction of the Viper is exceptional and the lengthy warranty offered on this unit provides peace of mind to any customer.
So, have you decided? Which one would better suit your needs? If you are still undecided please do not hesitate to contact us for more information. We can also arrange samples to be sent to you to test for yourselves the performance of these hand dryers.
For more information or for help in finding your ideal hand dryer, please call us UK offices: North: 0114 3540047 South: 0203 3270448; Eire office: +353 19036387, use our contact us page by clicking here or click to visit the website.