* Prices may differ from that shown
The JML Dri Buddy currently costs £59.99 at Argos. This is not too much of an unaffordable price, but I was still a bit doubtful about buying it, as I thought it may be flimsy or not work very well,but I went ahead mainly because apart from Tumble Dryers there doesn't seem to be much else on the market.It is portable, and I brought it home in the car without difficulty.My mum used to have a metal machine called a Flatley with wooden rails from which my school uniform used to emerge toasty warm and dry and ready to put on on a cold winters morning. The Dri Buddy seems a completely different beast , at least in looks. My daughter rather contemptuously referred to it as "that contraption" well I wasn't forcing her to use it !
In fact it does look a bit like an alien invader, standing by the washing machine on its 3 metal legs. Basically its very simple. It consists of a small but quite sturdy and powerful convector heater above its legs which blows hot air upwards. There is an inner metal pole at the top of which are 6 metal arms from which you can hang coat hangers (preferably plastic so they don't overheat. ) Each arm has grooves for 3 items, so you can dry up to 18 garments at a time, I try to load it as fully as possible so as not to waste the motor. The machine stands approximately 5 feet tall so the hangers are easy to reach, the whole thing is surrounded by a zippable cover, mine is in sky blue.
The Argos Catalogue describes the heater motor as " whisper quiet", well I wouldn't really say that,its fairly quiet ish. I don't have to listen to it as it stands in the Utility room.It exudes a pleasant warmth which smells nicely of whatever washing powder you may have used.I like it on, though I often use it at night, so am not much aware of it on. If clothes were very wet condensation could be a problem, though I haven't found this, but I do open windows and doors if using it by day.
One defect of my machine is that the zip tends to come apart a bit at the bottom, overall this doesn't really matter. The machine is turned off and on at the heater, and would run for 3 hours if necessary. The upper zip sticks slightly,which can be a bit worrying , but I have always managed to open it.
You can't hang long clothes in the Buddy as they might overheat if they touched the motor. Trousers can easily be folded to avoid this, they still dry ok.
I bought the Buddy mainly to air clothes still a bit damp after hanging outside, it does this superbly.I like to iron the clothes before putting them in the machine,then they come out perfect and ready to put on. It can be used to dry wet clothes though as long as they aren't dripping, and because of this is very useful if you happen to have forgotten to wash something,a late night request for a gym kit you forgot is no problem ,it can be dry and freshly laundered by morning.
I think a lot of people would find this machine very useful, as I do. "Is it any good" the girl who served me in Argos asked, well I didn't know then , but I do now, I think its very handy. I have had it since the beginning of last winter,so far its been problem-free. One advantage I have found is that the clothes look newer longer than if you were using a Tumble Dryer. A year or two ago I worked for a lady who used her tumble dryer all the time,I noticed the colours of her clothes faded quite badly, mine don't. I could dismantle the Buddy between uses, but it is too much trouble as I have a little space for it.
And I haven't heard my daughter refer to it as mums contraption or "that thing" for a long time, though she does sometimes say she has put something into the "dryer". It wouldn't suit everyone, but I think its pretty good
I bought a JML Dri Buddy when I moved in with my boyfriend around 6 months ago and so far it's served us well. We bought it because we often need things like work uniforms drying quickly and I don't really want to put the heating on just to dry q few things. We also don't have much space to hang things to dry so it's a useful thing to have. I paid £60 for it, which I think is pretty good value.
The whole thing was very easy to put together. What you get is basically a plastic tripod with a heater on it, hanging bars at the top, and a blue bag that goes over it. The hanging bars at the top have a couple of ridges in them to hold clothes hangers. The bag fits right around the whole thing and zips up at the front and the top, allowing you to get things in and out of it. So once it's all set up you just put your clothes on hangers and pop them on one of the hanging bars, zip up the bag and turn the heater on using the dial on the base unit.
It works on a timer so you just turn the dial to the time you want it to stay on for, the most is 3 hours, and it will automatically turn off after that time. It is quite noisy so choose carefully where you place it, we have ours in the living room just because it's the only place we really gave the space for it, and we do find we have to keep turning the tv up when the Buddy is on. It's not a really awful noise though, it's just a kind of whirr/hum, and it doesn't bother me really. One of the best things about it is that it heats the room up nicely so we've saved a lot on heating bills by having this running instead, it's really cheap to run.
The description says that the Buddy holds up to 18 garments but I'd say that's only true if they're all underwear. There are 6 arms and each arm has space for 2 clothes hangers. They're not spaced very far apart so although technically you could fit 12 items in it this is not really feasible as many things won't dry properly if they're right next to each other. Generally I stick to between 4 and 6 items, though sometimes I'll put a couple more in if I need to. I mainly just use it to dry our uniforms so it's perect for this as it will easily all go in together and it means I don't have to put the heating on just to dry a couple of things. I also sometimes put socks in the bottom if the bag rather than on hangers, they still dry fine and it saves up space I can use for hanging something else.
I find most things only need to go in for 2 hours or less, but I usually just stick it on for the full 3 just to be sure. The only thing that I've found takes longer than the 3 hours is towels as if I have to put them in they have to be folded in half to fit on the hanger so they take longer. I was expecting to have the same problem with jeans but they are done within the 3 hours.
I'm really glad I bought the Dri Buddy and I now wouldn't be without it. It's not the prettiest thing to have stood in the corner of the room and it's quite big (thought it hardly takes up any floor space!) but it really is a handy thing to have and if you use it for it's intended purpose rather than expecting it to be a replacement for a tumble dryer then I think you'll be impressed with it.
We bought the dri-buddi to dry off those extra bits. It's fantastic if you have small amount of washing to get dry.
Dri-buddi was really simple to assemble, and doesn't take up any more space width ways than a normal tumble dryer. It's dimensions are as follows:
H160, W63, D63cm
The Dri-Buddi that I have has a blue cover with white writing-although as you can see from the picture above, it is now available in an improved version with a white cover with blue writing. It is available from most big retailers like Argos.
The Dri-Buddi is made up of a metal stand, with space to hang a maximum of 18 garments on hangers at a time. You then have to place the cover over the top of the stand, and zip it up. You then need to set the timer on the bottom of the buddi for the required amount of time, up to a maximum of 3 hours. When you finish with dri-buddi you push the hanger space down and it takes up a minimal amount of space.
For me to dry 18 items, it normally takes about two and a half to three hours. Jeans etc take slightly longer.
The Dri-buddi is really economical and barely makes a difference to my electricity costs. They advertise that it costs about 9p and hour to run. The buddi is practically silent-only making a slight buzzing sound.
Dri-buddi is best placed near an open window/door so that it gets adequate ventilation. Hot air circulates to dry the clothing, so it also needs to be placed away from curtains or anything else flammable.
I would recommend this product, as it uses a lot less electricity than a standard tumble dryer, but it is not a complete substitute for a dryer as it doesn't really dry larger items. We did once put towels in it and they took about four hours to dry- plus we were only able to put about six items in at once. The dr-buddi would be most suited for a small household that doesn't have a lot of washing to get through. It is pretty sturdy, but due to the wires is best out of reach of children. The frame comes in really handy when ironing items of clothing-and as an added bonus, the majority of clothes come out crease or practically crease free.
We have had our JML Dri Buddi now for about eight months. We do not have a tumble dryer (we used to but it is broken) so we bought one of these and got it reduced to just £45 as it was a reconditioned model.
It looks nice and it doesn't look out of place in our kitchen as it stands in the corner but it is tall at over five feet in height! It is meant to be quiet when it is in full drying mode but it is quite noisy and you have to raise your voice to be heard over the top of the noise.
In my personal opinion, it dries our clothes really well and you can hang quite a few things in there at once and they do come out smelling nicer than they used to in our tumble dryer - they always used to have a slightly burnt smell when we used the dryer -but that could possibly have been down to the fact that the dryer was not working as well as it should have done!
You have to be careful with plastic coat hangers in this though as if it gets too hot or they have been in there a long time then they can melt (or at least bend and get warped a bit) - and I speak from personal experience here.
Assembling this is very easy and it took me less than ten minutes and it does come with a good clear intsruction manual, which is always helpful.
You can set the timer for anywhere between nought to three hours and it is great at drying our clothes very effectively on the shorter timer and is especally good when it's raining or damp outside and you cannot get your stuff out to dry on the line.
What I really love about this gadget is the fact that it is also so much more cost effective than using our old tumble dryer - the electricity bills I have found, are a lot less when we use this rather than our ordinary dryer, and I am all for saving money.
Great product and really recommended.
This review is also published on Ciao under name of sorehead.
I live in a apartment and own a washer/dryer which is useless and expensive! After seeing the JML Dri Buddy I was in shock and thought there is no-way that can possibly work! So I googled it and finally decided to go buy one, mine cost me £79.99 and I feel it's the best thing I have ever bought I tell everyone and anyone that will listen about it I should be on commission for JML lol!! It takes less than 15 mins to put up! My electric bills have more than half'd it now takes me less time to do the ironing which is a bonus.
I put Jeans, hoodies t-shirts, shirts trousers and they all dry perfectly like I said disadvantages are that I can fit around 10 items in depending on what they are. The only things I don't bother with are towels and bedding I use my washer/dryer for those. I honestly recommend everyone to own one of those especially young mums. Ooo and another thing would be that I don't even use my heaters in my apartment (I have those stupidly expensive storage heaters) the dri buddy keeps my living room lovely and cosy.
I got the dri buddi for a christmas present. I dont own a tumble dryer so its perfect for all my little ones clothes, t shirts ect. Not great for jeans and heavy items although i do put them in for a hour to dry off a bit so dont get that damp musky smell. I havent found that my ironing is less, as it sais I would. The downside is its quite bulky and hanging everything on hangers can get a little tedious.I would recomend to someone who hasnt got the space for a tumble dryer as it can be folded away.I have used this every day since christmas
Well after the really entertaining and promising look of the adverts I just had to have one. Anything that was going to make life more easier is a bonus for me so I thought I would give it ago. They are priced cheaper than most economy type tumble driers so this was a bonus. But after having it at home and trialling it for a while I must say im more than just a little disappointed. If you only put a few clothes in then it works quite well. The drying time wasnt too bad and the creases were a lot better than them being in the drier. But i found that loading the dri buddy up was fiddly and annoying more than anything. If you put quite a few clothes in the drying time just went up and up. I think this would be ideal for people in caravans on holiday etc or for a few items of clothing but for a busy household with big loads of washing I would give it a wide birth
If you live in a small flat with no balcony and no garden, drying your clothes might become a problem, especially during the colder months of the year. As I didn't have space for a tumble dryer (and I wasn't really interested in buying one) I decided to give a go to the Dri Buddi, despite the mixed reviews in the Argos website, where I got it from.
The Dri Buddi is not perfect; it's a bit too noisy (like an hairdryer), when assembled it looks like an alien spaceship and it's not as fast as I would wish. Although they mention "up to 18 garments" there is really no space for 18 garments, not even close, at least if they belong to a grown up. Be sure that your clothes have been properly twisted before putting them there, as it will save you quite a lot of drying time, be sure that you don't overload it (and, as I said, you'll have to trust your common sense here, as with 18 garments it's not really going to work that well) and it might do the trick for you. Not sure that for a whole family it will work very well, but if you live by yourself you can easily dry 4 or 5 shirts in an hour (the less clothes you put, the easier it will be for them to dry). When you finish, you just dismantle its legs, you fold the big bag and you put everything back in the box.
SO... no, the Dri Buddi is not perfect, but it might do the trick for you!
Perfect for the people in flats who have no space for a tumble dryer or have outdoor space for hanging clothes.
I am on my second one of these ditty's. My first one being another brand before JML tagged there brand name onto the item it was called tornado dry and lasted me about 1 year and a half.
Firstly for the price, i'm impressed, for approximately £50 its far cheaper than a tumble dryer, and im assured from the box and instructions it uses alot less electricity, and to be honest, my electricity bills have not shot up since using it so I guess the statement rings true.
The model is basically a fancy clothes horse, carousel in shape, with notches on each branch where you hang 3 garments, the notches could do with being a bit deeper set in the plastic because half the time my hangers simply slide off and slump together, making it very hard for my clothes to dry, so there's downpoint number 1!
When turned on air circulates inside the blue cover that you zip over it and kinda puff's out to look like some sort of balloon. Another downside is that if you don't have room to dry clothes outside in the summer and have only got this as an option, it heats the room too. Which as most people who live in flats know, is not a good thing! (Grab me a fan quick!)
for a full load, which would be 3 garments on each sprong, so 18 garments it can take about a day for them to dry, yep I know what you're thinking (thats Crazy!) but it still ends up being cheaper and to be honest, its my only option!
Clothes do come out smelling gorgeous, yet I wouldn't say creases fall out, my OH's work shirts end up really creased and nead a really good iron, so on that aspect it's no better than a normal tumble dryer.
Also another fault I have with my first one and it sometimes occurs with my current Dri Buddi is that the 'engine' itself, where the heat comes out from will make a nasty 'whirring' noise, which I end up smacking the unit several times before it shuts up, I don't know whether fluff collects inside the unit and causes this, or if the actual fan is playing up, but it seems to have a mind of it's own and be tempremental as to whether it will make a racket one day or not! (and I know I shouldn't whack the unit, it's just a typical British way of fixing things!)
If you have no other option of drying clothes, I would say this is your answer - Yet if you can afford and have the room for a great a+ tumble dryer...I'd go with the tumble dryer (after all the dri buddi is abit of an eyesore!)
I bought my Dri Buddy direct from JML late last year. I got fed up with hanging clothes on the radiators and wanted more economy than the tumble drier.
I was able to pay in three payments which was helpful. My husband put it together and I haven't taken it down because it seems a bit of a job to do so and then I'd have to store it somewhere. I couldn't face taking it up and down everytime I want to dry some washing. Fortunately it sits in the utility room as it is quite noisy. The room is well ventilated and I haven't found condensation to be a problem.
Now I am used to hanging the washing up in the best manner to dry it, I can get quite a lot of clothes dry in a couple of hours and they aren't nearly as creased as they would be in the tumble drier. I bought one of those hangers with pegs on from JML at the same time as the Dri Buddy and that works very well to hang the pants and socks etc to dry. I use heavy duty plastic hangers, triangular shape, for the clothes. Trousers and jeans have to be turned half way through or else they only dry on one side. I don't rate it much at all for items other than clothes (tea towels are OK and flannels) because they take ages to dry.
My electric bill is less this quarter than usual but we have been trying to be economical in lots of other ways so I don't know if it is all down to the Dri Buddy being more ecomical than the tumble drier.
Overall it's quite useful but the advertising blurb definately is an exaggeration and I wouldn't want to completely dump the tumble drier!
As a Mum doing the laundry of 4 adults I am always amazed at the amount of clothing I end up putting on an airer in case the drier shrinks it, or just because the label says I mustn't tumble dry it ! So when I saw the Dri Buddi it seemed like it would kill two birds with one stone . It would dry a lot of garments quietly and efficiently and cost-effectively, even bedding ! So I ordered it, and as is always the case in this house had a pile of washed clothing waiting to be dealt with the day it arrived, so assembled ( relatively easily ) the Dri Buddi whereupon it instantly seemed to take over my living room ( it was too broad for the kitchen and taller than I imagined - over 5 feet I reckon ). Everything had to be carefully hung up on coathangers, trying to avoid any two garments touching each other and leaving as much space as possible between it all as possible so the warm air could circulate. Zipped the cover on to it all and set the timer and off it went. Quite noisily. When the timer finished I checked the washing only to have to re-set the timer as it was all still quite damp. Three hours in total later, most of it ended up - on my airer !! In my opinion this piece of equipment is a wonderful idea in theory but not so brilliant in practise. It's now boxed up and taking up room in a cupboard. Very disappointed.
I thought it was a good idea and the ads seemed to suggest a quick and easy way to get your clothes dry without hanging them everywhere else in the house for days AND wow, so little creasing you could almost not bother ironing - oh and so portable ... maybe this was the answer for my prayers at our caravan?
Okay, very curious here and so was my friend and we went and bought one and yes it was light and yes, quite easy to set up, unless you have any disabilities that it, can't bend or stretch etc.
Could not find out in the instructions or the ads just how much power it takes or timing etc ... mystery hunt or purposely omitted?
Hubby put it together easily and I obliged with some wet washing (well spun I might add on a 1600 spin) and together we struggled to put the cover on after loading the 8 items as apart as we could and stood for a moment and stared at this huge round green thing blocking the light out of the room. Mmmm, maybe not so good for caravan here ....
Switched it on - "turn it off, can't watch tv with that thing on!"
Later hubby went to bed and I stayed up and switched it on (with much difficulty trying to see under the green monster as I have trouble bending)
I gave it an hour and checked it - green cover rolling in condensations inside - clothes still wet.
I gave it another hour. Still the same - though by this time the lighter blouses bottom halves were feeling quite promising.
Another hour? Well, bottom bits fairly dry but shoulders and sleeves still very damp.
Thoroughly disgruntled by now and very tired, I removed the cover - carefully so as not to let condensation roll everywhere and left the stuff on the hangers and went to bed.
Removed damp clothes and hung them on bedroom door to dry out as I normally do.
Dry bedding? Not on your Nelly - I think it would have to run for a week.
Dri buddy was returned to the shop the next day as useless to me.
Will stick to my washer dryer which although takes two hours to dry bedding, it does dry them.
He's Jake the Peg, deedle eedle eedle um,
With his extra leg, deedle, eedle eedle um.
As a wife and mother I am used to not having any say whatsoever in what we watch on television. During the day when Holly is not at pre-school she wants to watch CBeebies and in the evening when Darren gets home from work, the programme schedule seems to consist of Top Gear, The A Team and any other manly programmes he can find whilst surfing the Sky channels. One thing he does hate is adverts, so whatever channel he is watching, as soon as the adverts come on, he starts channel hopping. So one night late last year when the adverts were on and he was bored, Darren started channel hopping and ended up on one of the shopping channels. However, he paused too long on the JML channel which was selling an item called the Dri Buddi. Before he even had a chance to change channels he knew the damage to his wallet had already taken place. I already had the JML Dri Buddi page up on the internet.
In the past during the winter and on wet days I had always used the dehumidifier to dry my washing but this had recently decided to only sometimes work for about ½ hour before switch itself off, thus leaving me with a room full of still wet washing. So the Dri Buddi seemed the perfect answer. I checked out the website and found that the Dri Buddi (from here on in the Dri Buddi will be known as Jake) used hot air, circling in a large bag to dry your washing. Uses 1/3 less electricity than the standard tumble drier (this I can not confirm as I have never had a tumble drier). Leaves your clothes uncreased and with the smell of the outside. Sounded great and it was cheaper than buying a new dehumidifier. That was it I had to have one, but at £59.99 is it not cheap. I noticed on the JML website that Tesco on-line sold them so that was where I decided to buy it from. I would get extra club card points, cash back through Cashback Kings and they were offering free delivery on anything over £50.00, plus I knew if I was not happy with the product I could just send it back. Credit card in hand I set about ordering and waited for delivery. I had planned to put some washing in over night on the Tuesday night ready for the expected Wednesday delivery. Then horror upon horrors I received an email on Tuesday evening saying that my delivery had been delayed until the Thursday. I sulked for the rest of the evening. Low and behold a courier man knocked on my door Wednesday morning and there in his hand was Jake, I grabbed Jake, nearly kissed the courier man, signed my name and rushed in to open the box.
A bit about Jake.
Jake has three legs, is 5 foot 2 inch tall and rather skinny. He is made mostly from aluminium and comes in 8 pieces. Above his three legs sits the motor unit, sticking out of this is a tube which connects to another tube that looks rather like an umbrella with 6 arms. Jake took me all of 1 minute to put together and is quite light when you pick him up, so light in fact that I can pick him up one handed when empty although his height makes him wobble about a bit. When his arms are open he has a spread of 64 cm. Each arm is 25 cm long with 3 x 1 cm slots 6 cm apart. He holds 18 hangers worth of damp washing and is enclosed in a large bright blue plastic type bag which has 6 holes in the top to allow moisture to escape and zips up the front and about 1/3 of the top. On the motor unit is a timer switch, which allows you to set the time you want the machine on for, left for continuous or right for up to 3 hours in 30 minute sections.
Hang your washing on up to18 hangers (not supplied), pop them on the arms making sure the the clothes are not touching to ensure that the air can circulate easy, zip the bag up and turn the timer to the required time. The hot air from the motor rises up and dries your washing. Jake uses around 900 watts of electricity per hour when in use. I have checked this out with our electricity monitor meter and have found this to be correct.
My thoughts on Jake.
Jake has some good points and some bad points. For me it is convenient for drying my washing. It would be nice to hang the washing out, however even on the sunny winter days that we get, the sun does not reach my washing line in the back garden. We have economy 7 electricity metering so I always do my washing one night, hang the clothes on Jake without using the bag during the day then at bedtime, zip the bag up, switch the machine to fill the bag with hot air, get down on my hands and knees to make sure there is a proper seal on the bottom of the bag. Jake is plugged in to a timer, so he only ever comes on over night. The first time I used Jake I set him for the maximum time on the clock of 3 hours during the day, kept going upstairs to check how he was doing. After the 3 hours I found that my washing just wasn't dry so set the clock for another 3 hours and this seemed to do the trick. With Jake only having a clock that works for 3 hours, I was expecting my washing to be dry, so was disappointed that this was not the case. I now set Jake on continuous and set the timer that Jake is plugged into to come on for around 6 hours to dry my 18 garments.
The only time I use the machine to full capacity is with the whites, which contains most of Holly's clothes, so these are on small children's hangers with a few items of mine on adult hangers. I peg any smalls on to adult hangers. I have found that after 6 hours about 95% of the washing is dry, the parts that are not dry tend to be sleeves on t-shirts, any socks that have not been opened up to their full length and some corners of clothing that are touching. I normally remove all the dried items and leave the slightly damp items on Jake without the cover on and within a couple of hours the clothes are dry.
Darren's work clothes which consist of high visibility trousers made from a thick cotton material and two fleece jumpers and some t shirts seem to fair about the same even though there only seems to be about 12 items and I try to jig the hangers about to ensure the are not touching. I peg the trousers onto the hanger during the day, then before switching the machine on remove the pegs and fold them over the hanger otherwise they are too long for Jake.
Jeans are a nightmare, they are just too thick, so I leave them in the machine for 6 hours then put them on the radiator to finish them off.
Thick woollen jumpers are not bad as I normally only have about 7 or 8 items in this load, so they tend to have a lot more room to themselves to dry.
Towels are an absolute no no. I washed three bath towels, three medium towels and 1 hand towel. The bath towels were folded over two hangers but Jake did not dry these at all. I haven't even attempted our super king size quilt cover or king size sheets. These just go in front of the dehumidifier along with any towels.
I do sometimes struggle putting the bag on without pushing some of the hangers back, this then means trying to manoeuvre your body around to grab the hanger that has moved to put it back in the correct position. If you do not do it that means those two articles will not dry.
JML claims that Jake dries your washing and reduces the amount of ironing you need to do. Well I'm sorry but that is complete rubbish, I still need to iron 90% of my washing, the other 10% is smalls so these don't get ironed anyway. They also claim that your washing smells as fresh as when you have dried it outside. OK so the washing doesn't smell musty but I can say I have not smelt the outside freshness. When I first got Jake, the room smelt rather plasticy however this smell dissipated quite quickly. As for their claims that your towels come out soft and fluffy, my towels just came out still wet, so maybe you need to leave them in for around 24 hours.
Another of JML's claims is that Jake makes a quiet whistling noise, well the people that came up with that claim must be deaf. He is quite noisy but I have him working in a spare bedroom with the door shut so it is not too noisy when in bed, however if I wake in the middle of the night I can hear him working away although he does not keep me awake.
In the morning after I have dried a batch of clothes the windows are saturated with condensation so it is worth keeping a window slightly open to relieve this. Jake does not heat the room up at all, Darren was expecting the heat to come out of the top of the bag and was surprised when he walked in the bedroom one morning when Jake was still on to find that the room was of a normal temperature, unlike using the dehumidifier which heats the room up so much, you could cook your dinner in there.
I purchased some cheap plastic hangers to use with Jake but I have found that some heavy items and the heat has made them bend, so I found some really strong plastic hangers and these seem to have lasted better.
I do find Jake cheaper to run than using my dehumidifier. The dehumidifier would need to be on from about 10 at night to about 7 or 8 in the morning, which would be round about 10 hours of electricity at approx 1.5 KW thus costing, on economy 7 (approx 5p per unit) about 75p per night, however Jake uses around 6 units of electricity over night thus costing about 30p. If we had a standard tariff of electricity I would wash and dry my clothes on the same day, but to keep costs down my washing machine, dishwasher and Jake are only used on cheap rate electricity. My normal everyday usage, on my electricity monitor is approx., 11 units per day when I use Jake it goes up to 17 units per day.
One annoying thing is that for some reason, whenever I am loading the machine up with washing I find myself singing the Jake the Peg song which is why I have nicknamed him Jake!
I am keeping Jake because he does not do too bad a job. Jake now costs £58.71 with the VAT discount and is available at the JML website, JML TV Shopping Channel, by ringing 0871 221 2677 or Tesco.com. Ebay sell a similar item called the Tornado Dry for between £45 and £50.00 which I spotted when I was searching to get the best deal for Jake, however I had never heard of the company selling it so decided to steer clear.
JML say that the Jake would be ideal for camping trips. Yes he would be as he is quite light and compact when packed up, however I have no idea if caravans or tents come with the standard 3 point domestic plug which is what Jake is supplied with, as the last time I went camping it was about 25 years ago, so I'm sure things have moved on a lot since then.
You can watch the demo video of JML's claims of Jake at http://www.jmldirect.com/Dri-Buddi-PD2001/
Many thanks for reading, Anna and Jake
This review can be found on other review sites
Replacing a tumble dryer when you've had a gas powered one for the best part of fourteen years isn't easy to replace, particularly in light of whether its cheaper to keep using gas as the means to dry clothing or to consider electricity; it may well be justifiable to hang clothing outdoors if you're down in the coast of England - or even in London if I care to remember the hot humid nights I endured in many months of Augusts in many years. Generally thanks to the almost taken as granted cold wind and rain, it's just not feasible in Scotland to put clothing out wholeheartedly - and I don't care what anyone says - I've done the outdoors fandangle to the point that socks have been frozen to the line on dry days - and if it's frozen, then it means it's wet! In lieu of the bigger and more capable tumble dryer, I have invested in a JML Dri-Buddi in the short term and since May 2008 have been using this in lieu of what we normally use.
** This is a long review! **
JML advertises the Dri Buddi quite extensively; if you missed it on their shopping channel late at night and during the weekends then there's a chance that you may hear of its selling power if you come across JML's audible video sales in branches such as Poundstretchers, Wilkinson's and even TJ Hughes had this on sale seasonally. JML state that the Dri Buddi is the only economical and convenient way to dry clothing against mains power dryers- or so they would have you believe.
Priced at a cost price of £59-99, you get the Dri Buddi machine in a flat pack design plus a very natty and handy laundry basket to put all your damp clothing into at the end of your washing machine's tasks. Carrying the box out of TJ Hughes was easy enough, even if it is the standard size of a microwave and weighs in at something around a 5kg total weight. However before you consider finding your nearest TJ Hughes stockist, there's a bit more to the Dri Buddi than meets the eye. It does however make sense to phone in advance to find out if your chosen stockist has it first of all to avoid disappointment or a long haul from where you reside! Certainly if you are a student who is fed up feeding coin operated dryers, JML's Dri Buddi could be your answer but as with everything "Just Minor Lies," JML produces, there is a catch, or quite a few of them...
The design of the Dri Buddi is like a simple vertical clothes horse, somewhat similar to a coat or hat stand with 9 or so arms that push up and lock into position creating a stand in which damp clothing has to be hung off hangers before the body of the tent cloth can be pulled on and around the clothing to be dried. If you can't envisage that, try to imagine the traditional collapsible whirly gig washing line that you usually find in most gardens. The JML copies this design making it extremely storage friendly and at 4kg is extremely lightweight.
Putting the Dri Buddi together is incredibly easy; you get four legs with plastic sturdy feet on them that have to be pushed in at the bottom of the heater base, a ring that has to be fitted over the vent of the main fan heater at the bottom and a two part pole that can be twisted and locked with the last part of the hooks and arms of the push up and lock stand to be put in place. The tent itself is a washable acrylic net that simply hooks on at the bottom of the base via an elasticated neck and at the top fits over the 8 arms creating a water boiler look when it has been completed. In all by following the useful user manual it shouldn't take anything other than 3 to 5 minutes to put everything together.
Now the heating element that is contained within the Dri Buddi measures at 900 to 1200 watts and similar to a hair dryer, the Dri Buddi has a similar sound from its fan system. Although it generates a lot of heat, there are air holes at the top of the Dri Buddi which should never be covered up as these allow the apparatus to push out the hot air at the top and dependent on how strong your washing detergent and fabric conditioners are at the time of the wash, the air holes also allow the sweet smells of clean washing to absorb the air. Sadly by JML's reckoning, the motor isn't "whisper quiet," and infact it is comparable to a hair dryer being left on continually on its highest speed. Could you sit in a room for four hours listening to that? I know I can't! One good advantage of this airer is that it will heat up a room nicely but it also accompanies damp hot air in the process; opening a window is much needed if you intend to dry big loads of clothing in one go.
Of the nonagonal (9) arms that spring up at the top and lock (but on a ill-fitting lock that doesn't feel entirely locked in), three notches on each arm allows up to three hangers of clothing to be placed which therefore accommodates a lot of clothing such as a maximum of 18 items of clothing or even more if you consider an extra sock hanger or similar for smaller items. If you do the Maths and reconsider the 9 individual arms with three points on them to rest hangers you could in theory add up to 27 items of clothing - but doing that will prevent the Dri Buddi from quicker drying times.
Once the "tent 'has been placed around the main platform of the Dri Buddi motor and protection shield, the tent's top can be pulled over the top of the nonagon hanger arms and forms the body of the Dri Buddi you see in the photo, here on Dooyoo. The whole idea of rising fan heat circling within a heat proof mesh cloth is a good idea for general drying. Make sure that it has been completely zipped upwards both horizontally and vertically as the two zips on the tent need to be zipped upwards otherwise the hot air will escape. Underneath the tent for example there is one main activation control - a 120 minute stiff to turn one way timer which mimics electric dryers at their best - a red LED light on the twist rotary control dial alerts the owner to show the machine is on - but like most things of JML quality the control dial is rather cheap feeling and a pity that its located at the bottom forcing the owner to bend down to activate the dryer. Once switched on the clothing hangs on hangers and gets circulated into the hot air that flows upwards, whilst the tent shape will automatically push itself outwards forming a tall oval shape and feels bouncy to the touch when it has completely inflated due to the hot air from the fan.
One of the early indications that I noted whilst in use however isn't the helpful inclusion of a plastic perforated washing basket that holds all the parts in place if you have to dismantle it all, but of the heat generated from the Dri Buddi itself, particularly through the drying process. Despite JML showing plastic hangers in the adverts I must point out that the heat is hot generally and clothing on plastic hangers may melt the plastic slightly - therefore using wooden hangers to get a better peace of mind whilst the machine is in use minimises the threat of melting and allows clothing to be dried without being additionally impinged and emblazoned with the imprint or body of the plastic hanger whilst in use. I had to throw away a prized Ben Sherman t-shirt because I used a plastic hanger that managed to leave its ribbed imprint on the shoulders for example. JML claims this airer doesn't damage clothing - well it does if you use plastic hangers! Later JML Dri Buddi airers no longer come with an additional laundry basket either - so you may need one!
The performance sums up my own reckoning of the acronym of JML; "Just Minor Lies," and in no way should the adverts or video adverts of the JML Dri Buddi should be taken as viewed.
120 minutes on its total time availability for example failed to dry a whole load of 12 cotton shirts and 8 pairs of socks; the toes and ankles of the socks fairing the worst. So I increased the timer to another 30 minutes giving a total of 150 minutes; this was still not enough time to dry the clothing perfectly. Infact the shirt test proved disappointing initially; the first time I tried, I ended up putting the Dri Buddi on continually for three hours and after my return found that the arm pits of the shirts were still damp despite everything else being bone dry - but on the account that JML claim the DB uses 35% of power, compared to a much higher powered tumble dryer, I assumed that the energy used to dry the clothing would work out cheaper - as many do with this kind of gadget. It took four hours in all to get the clothing I put in to dry. Faster than a tumble dryer? Not quite! If anything the Dri Buddi is excellent at drying hand washed only articles like woollen jumpers and sweaters however.
Early reflections I had outlines that the more this dryer is used, someone has to be present when its being used and to constantly check on the state of the clothing being dried; because no matter how many times JML would have you believe that the Dri Buddi can dry different textures, leaving clothes which have a different texture to anything else you've loaded in to over dry leaves a mouldy smell. The downsides don't just stop there;
Firstly, towels do not come out warm and fluffy! They come out warm but they aren't fluffy but incredibly stiff and rough; this also applies to jeans. In fact, if you were to put all manner of Terry cotton towels and jeans on a washing line outdoors and bring then back in, you'd expect to find them stiff and tough to your fingers - expect the same from the Dri Buddi. Secondly, creasing does occur unfortunately from stuffing the Dri Buddi to the capacity that the hanger points suggest; shirts for example come out somewhat creased whilst no creasing occurs if say, you only load in three shirts at a time and forget that the JML has a capacity of 18 hung clothes. Jeans were a nightmare too - normally I hang my jeans on a hanger over a double armed hanged as I would do in my closet - so when it came to putting it into the Dri Buddi, the machine failed to dry the clothing all the way through whilst the bend of the clothing on the hanger had a thick damp strip. The jeans also came out wrinkled and stiff. Thirdly performance does improve - if you use the same type of fabric - so you can imagine the fun and joy I had separating everything out of my laundry basket when it came out of the washing machine! Time saving? Not quite! Thank god there's no filter to clean though!
Additionally, the quality on the JML Dri Buddi's exterior is disappointing; the silver painted metal pole scratches all too easily revealing cheap plastic underneath and unfortunately despite four well stubbed feet on the Dri Buddi, the machine will sit safely on a flat surface. Put it on a carpet however and the Dri Buddi starts to sit at an angle looking unbalanced whilst the weight of the clothing adds to the overall weight. Both my mum and I were shocked at how easy the Dri Buddi could be knocked over after clothing had been taken out.
Then the inevitable happened. The rotary power control dial broke after three months use, used every day and short of moaning to JML, we got a free one after much debate! Nice to know now that JML are offering an extra two year guarantee for £9-99 on their current Dri Buddi systems, then! The next one gave the same performance although we had fun and games trying to fathom how to put a double duvet cover in the Dri Buddi; final result it took 8 hours to dry out! The second JML Dri Buddi died in late December when the same-fault control knob came away in our hands revealing a nib behind which had cracked down the middle and indeed because of possible over use (when one's tumble dryer dies you forget how many days you really rely on it) reveals that the machine is not built to handle every day drying yet the adverts would have you believe otherwise. The Dri Buddi will accommodate a total 10kg weight of clothing but doesn't mean it will dry it all at the same time. This dryer lacks a sensor, so if you leave clothing to dry that is damp amongst clothing that has dried, mouldy and stale smells on the clothing appear.
When our three month electricity bill came in, there was a slight decrease to what we spent - and in that instance the JML Dri Buddi has proved to be economical - but for the fuss of constantly checking, revealing half dried clothing, creased linen, damp arm pits, plastic hanger dramas and through time and patience single reliance on a product that claims to be better than a tumble dryer through its performance and general use, the Dri Buddi hasn't been a true friend but rather a relentless pain in the rear!
The kind of consumer that could appreciate the Dri Buddi's worth could well be someone who is happy to stay at home and will be happy to separate textures and fabrics to get the best performance available or for students who like to burn the midnight oil, leaving this dryer on in another room - but may not get dry clothing by morning dependent on load and fabric mixes. However whilst it's a good invention and may well be cheap at £59-99 for short term single to three items of clothing to be dried in one go, I don't think JML have executed the design of the Dri Buddi finely enough. Our experience finds build quality to be shocking not helped by two airers with the same fault of weak control dials in less than a year malfunctioning. Sadly it adds to the general consumer opinion of JML that the company have no actual idea of what they are selling let alone consider good quality design and thinking; which, in this day and age for buyers suffering under a credit crunch environment is bad news. Would I have one again? No. So instead, I've invested some money in radiator hangers until such times an A rated energy efficient tumble dryer comes onto the market that doesn't cost an arm and a leg to buy. Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2009