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When we moved into our new house just over a year ago we knew full well the first thing that would need replacing was our old and most definitely worn out tumble dryer. As with most of our purchases we knew we would need a cheap replacement and had nothing else in mind other than the price, and the fact that it should dry clothes when we spotted this White Knight tumble dryer in our local Asda store. We had already been putting off this purchase for a couple of months but getting towards the end of October the need for a tumble dryer was becoming quickly apparent with minimum space for drying clothes inside.
Getting it home and Installation:-
Being such a small machine this was easy enough to get into the back of my car space wise after the seats were dropped, two helpful Asda employees managed to easily lift the machine into the car. I did not struggle too much to get it out when I got home, I cannot find a weight anywhere for the tumble dryer but would hazard a guess that it's in the 20-30kg range.
Once home and out of the packaging it was simply a case of finding somewhere convenient to put the tumble dryer where it would reach both a vent point and a power supply. Far easier said than done given that it needs to be near a window or vent for the vent hose to pass the warm damp air out of, and the power lead is quite short.
A big bonus is that the vent kit is supplied inside of the tumble dryer and is as easy to fit as just pushing it over the vent on the back of the tumble dryer. The instructions are easily understood for both installation and use of the tumble dryer not that I actually read them until afterwards to put my mind at rest that I had done everything right (typical male???).
The instructions advised not to connect this via an extension cable to the mains however we didn't have much choice as if we didn't we would have been nowhere near enough to a convenient vent point for the dryer. This meant we ended up settling for a short extension lead rather than a steamy garage.
Once I had got round the problem of tugging it one way and the other to get both the vent hose and power lead to the right places and eventually settling on the extension lead, a comical scene I'm sure but not all that funny at the time, it was as simple as turning the power on and the machine was ready to go.
Price and Specification:-
When we spotted this tumble dryer it was on special offer for the princely sum of just £85 and we felt this was too good to pass up. We quickly found someone to take our choice of purchase to the checkout as they had obviously been selling well and there were only two left on the entire shop floor.
This is a free-standing tumble dryer meaning complete freedom when deciding where abouts in the house to locate it with the only deciding factors being the length of the disappointingly short power cable and the fact that it is vented.
The tumble dryer has a 3kg load capacity which was plenty big enough for the washing produced by the two of us at the time. However since having a child we have found on some wet days we have ended up drying a bit of our washing in the old fashioned way and hanging them on laundry horses at various points around the house.
The door is not much smaller than a standard tumble dryer making for ease of loading and unloading which I was quite surprised at for such a small machine. The dimensions of the machine are:-
W50 x D47 x H67cm
This makes for a very small tumble dryer compared to larger models with a higher load capacity, meaning one plus point for this machine is that it fits nicely in the corner of our garage not taking up too much all important storage room that is at a definite premium in our house.
The machine is simply started by twisting the large dial on the front left of the machine all the way in the anti-clockwise direction and then back again to the desired running time in a clockwise direction. The machine will start if just twisted in the anti-clockwise position however the timer is activated when it reaches the limit in this direction. This means that the machine could easily be left running if the user isn't aware of how to use the timer dial in a proper fashion.
There are two different heat settings, half heat and full heat. This is about the limit of the functions on this tumble dryer but not having lots of confusing programs to choose from suits me down to the ground. There is a small chart on the front right of the machine which gives a drying guide for cotton, polyester, and acrylics suggesting drying times and which heat setting to use.
The inbuilt auto-cool feature on this machine does mean that if the contents get too hot it will run on a cool cycle for a bit minimising the risk of shrinking the contents of the machine. The machine also runs on the cool setting for the last 15 minutes of the drying cycle, apparently this is to avoid spontaneous combustion of your laundry if being left in a heap or in the dryer after it has finished drying.
As with most tumble dryers there is a fluff filter in the front just underneath the door, the instructions advise cleaning after each use but we have found emptying it every other use to be plenty. I wouldn't want to leave it much longer than this as the fluff does build up quickly. Thankfully removal and replacement are both simple procedures as long as you remember which way it comes out else it may take a minute or so of turning it round and head scratching before it slots back into place. This is however impossible to get wrong as the filter will only go in one way and the door will not shut if has been replace the wrong way round.
When it comes to having a reverse action drum unfortunately there is not one on this machine but for something so cheap do not feel I can complain just feel it is something worth mentioning. The price paid for this is that whatever you happen to be drying will stick to the drum when it is spinning and the clothes do not separate, resulting in more severely creased clothes, and longer drying times than in a more technologically advanced machine.
The energy rating is another slight bug bear of this machine with me being a class C, not the worst but somewhere around the middle. The energy rating was not advertised on the machine or anywhere in the instructions, so in all honesty I was expecting it to come in at somewhere around the lowest rated G. I guess C isn't so bad for the price of the machine and to tell the truth it does dry clothes so how much can I complain?
Well for the price and the limited features it has I definitely cannot complain at the functionality of this little machine. It usually dries most clothes in around 40 - 50 minutes with denim, trainers and thicker garments taking a while longer. The machine is almost silent when running apart from when drying things like trainers that clunk about inside. To give you an idea when I leave the garage and shut the by no means thick door to the hallway I would have to press my ear against the door to hear anything at all.
Reliability wise I have been quite impressed the dials and buttons do not seem to be of the best build quality but I can be quite ham-fisted at times especially when rushing doing things I do not want to be doing and it hasn't broken in the almost full year that we have owned it. The door does however feel like it will stand up to quite a bit of harsh use being quite well built. The quality you would expect from a White Knight product is also visible in the minimalistic but well-built metal casing and the drum is also quite solid putting up with wet washing being shoved in and pulled out with nearly no movement.
The machine is definitely worth the price that we paid for it and in all fairness I was expecting it to break well inside of 6 months of use especially as we brought it at the onset of winter and it has seen some pretty heavy and constant use. It is still going and has been used to dry trainers and the like with no damage, no visible signs of wear and it is not getting any louder.
Apart from the issue with the short power lead (hence only 4 stars) the only other things worth mentioning as above is the fact it does not have a reverse spin action, so dry clothes come out rather creased. The fact that the timer dial needs twisting all the way round then back again to activate the timer seems a little odd however shouldn't cause a problem safety wise because of the cool down feature.
All in all for such a cheap machine definitely worth the investment as far as I'm concerned and comes with recommendation from me. I have noticed on the Asda website this dryer is now listed at £112 with free delivery, however if you are lucky enough to see one in store (the season is nearly here for such things) it may well be close to the £85 I paid last year.
Short name: White Knight CL300