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The way we were: tumble clothes dryers

Back in 1962 we tested four dryers. Two were from Fisher & Paykel and there was also a Norge and a Dishmaster.


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Tumbler dryers were relatively new here and this was shown in their prices: they cost from $2775 to $3268 in today’s money. The most expensive model in our latest vented dryers test is a mere $900.

During our 1962 test, fine lint escaped from the machines’ lint traps and floated around in the air until it settled. Our testers thought inhaling the “fluff” was a health hazard and suggested a vent needed to be installed for dispersing steam and lint. This was an added cost!

We also found two hours wasn’t usually long enough to dry a full load – and that the way we placed clothes in the dryer made a difference to how evenly they dried.

Modern dryers are much more efficient. Back then, a “normal” load of washing used $10.28 worth of power in today’s money. A modern dryer costs around $1 for a “normal” load.

For more modern results, you can view our online clothes dryers report.