The Dyson Airblade vs. The Excel Xlerator

Speaking of men’s rooms, let’s talk about hand dryers. This is the Dyson Airblade:

Dyson Airblade
(Or it may be some sort of strange silver bullfrog)

Airblades aren’t terribly common, but they can sometimes be found in the restrooms of large public places like the San Francisco International Airport1. Posted near any Airblade will be a set of instructions, which is a bad sign right off the bat. Far more work is required than just punching a button to activate this dryer. The machine is fussy and rather particular, which makes sense given that it was designed by the British.

Nevertheless, the Airblade has won several prestigious design awards and received a great deal of hype since its release approximately 5 years ago. At the time, it was the first air dryer that really worked. Despite the fact that the Airblade looks like hand guillotine, your formerly-wet paws emerge from it intact and remarkably dry2. With unheated air and automatic activation, the Airblade should be energy-efficient and hygienic as well.

So what’s the problem, besides the egregious $1600 price tag? The issue is that the Airblade’s hand opening is simply too narrow. As countless disgusted users online attest, when you use the Dyson, your fingers will inevitably be blown against the front or back edges of the device. At best, this will leave you with hands that are not at all clean. The more obsessive-compulsive may find themselves in an infinite loop of washing, then drying, resulting in dirtying which then sends them back to washing all over again.

Fortunately, just as the Airblade was beginning to get some traction, a new challenger stepped into the bathroom. Behold the Xlerator, from Excel:

The Xlerator

Like the Airblade, the Xlerator is automatically activated and energy-efficient, matching Dyson’s “80% less energy than regular hand dryers” claim. The similarities end there, however, because this is not some expensive English fop of a hand dryer.

No, the Xlerator is made right here in the good ol’ US of A, and it’ll set you back just 400 bucks. Instead of an overwrought solution, the Xlerator carries on our proud tradition of sticking an enormous freaking engine in there to get the job done3. When you shove your sopping mitts under an Xlerator, its vacuum blower motor will automatically spin at 20,000 RPMs to fire a powerful jet of warm air directly down onto your hands at over 150 miles per hour.

But does it work? Oh, you’d better believe it. If you’re fortunate enough to have any skin left when the Xlerator’s done, it’ll be drier than the Mojave. It’s simple and effective.

Best of all? The Xlerator’s “instructions“ consist of just three little words:

Feel The Power
Feel The Power

National Pride: It’s not just for hot dog eating contests anymore.


  1. Yes, I pulled out my camera and took pictures in a bathroom. I do these things for you. ↩︎

  2. Rumors that a disgruntled Dyson employee managed to produce a small number of units wherein the “air blade” was replaced with an actual blade are as yet unconfirmed. ↩︎

  3. Detroit automobiles and the Space Shuttle being but two other examples. ↩︎