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Looking for a particular World Dryer Hand Dryer but you can't make sense of those World Dryer model numbers?  In this installment, we help you to understand what the model numbers mean and how to use them.  We are specifically going to talk about the most popular World Dryer models, the World Dryer Model A, AirMax and Airstyle hand and hair dryers. There is a little bit of a Method to the Model Number Madness and also some history.  So pour yourself a strong cup of coffee and you will soon be in the model-number-know.

Here is the simplest World Dryer model number:


This is the basic Model A hand dryer, shown by the “A” in the primary location. This particular unit is the standard hand dryer and the first that was manufactured by World Dryer. It has a porcelain enamel cast iron cover, is push button, has a swivel nozzle, requires 115 volts, 20 Amps and is white. The A in the model number, with no other numbers or letters, indicates all of these base features except for white, which is indicated by the suffix of 974.

Technically, without an “A” at the end of the model number, this unit is a demo unit and not for sale. We usually ignore this last letter since it does not provide any other information, but when you receive your unit, you would see it written like this:


At some point, World Dryer started offering these units with a fixed nozzle (does not swivel for using on the face and hair) option. To show the fixed nozzle, a “5” was introduced after the primary model letter as follows:


More recently, all of the model A hand dryers were converted to Universal Nozzles, meaning they can be adjusted with an Allen wrench to either swivel or fixed. Once World Dryer made that change, they began shipping all of their models in the fixed position. If you want a swivel nozzle, you need to adjust it yourself once you have the dryer. If you have a job that specifies a swivel nozzle (without the “5” in the model number), you would still order it fixed (with the “5”) and adjust it during installation. As a result, all World Dryer Models A and M (AirMax) come only fixed and therefore must have the 5 after the primary model letter.

To show that the nozzle is “Universal” ie adjustable in the field, World Dryer added a “U” at the end of the model number. So the standard unit now looks like this:


However, since all model A’s now come fixed and we don’t need the last A anyway, most people completely drop the A and the U and write the model number like this:


Many people drop suffix (the part after the dash) and call this unit simply an “A5 hand dryer”. But you really need the 974 to know the color and cover type. So don’t specify just an A5 hand dryer. Specify an A5-974.

As the options were added to this dryer over the years, other letters and numbers were added to model numbers.

An “M” instead of an “A” indicated an AirMax hand dryer. The AirMax is identical to the model A, but almost twice as fast. We specify the AirMax whenever we can unless there is a problem with the added noise of a high-speed hand dryer.


= AirMax, push button, porcelain enamel, 115 volt, cast iron cover.

Since the AirMax blows such a large volume of air, World Dryer would prefer that users did not blow the air into their eyes, and so this unit does not come with the Allen wrench to convert it to swivel, and is therefore not a Universal Nozzle, so you will not see the “U” at the end of the model number, only the “A”. (M5-974A will be written on the box.) Can you convert it to swivel if you have the Allen wrench? Yes. Unless World Dryer used an old style nozzle.

A “B” for the primary model letter indicates the World Dryer Airstyle hair dryer. This is essentially the same as the model A but configured upside down so that long hair does not get pulled into the air intake at the bottom. These units only come with swivel nozzles, so you will not see the “5” in the model number. They also only come in push button – no automatics. If you want an automatic hair dryer, purchase a Model A, but you are taking your chances with long hair!


= Airstyle hair dryer, push button, 115 volts, 20 amps, porcelain enamel cast iron cover (good for a steamy locker room), swivel nozzle.


As other wattage options were added to these models, they were represented by numbers just after the model number as follows:

No extra number: 115 volts, 20 amps, 2300 watts

“2” 115 volts, 15 amps, 1725 watts, 60 Hz

These units are more energy efficient because the heating element was dialed down.


“4” 208 / 230 volts, 10 amps, 2300 watts


“7” 277 volts, 8.5 amps, 2300 watts


The “1” and the “3” are used only for the Model B hair dryer:

“1” 115 volt 10 amps, 1725 watts


“3” 208 / 230 volts, 10 amps, 2300 watts



If you are exporting or importing hand dryers outside of North America, the voltage requirement is usually 230 volts but with 50 Hz instead of 60 Hz used in the US. 50 Hz is indicated in an additional number slot by the an “8.”

A548-974 230 volts, 10 Amps, 2300 watts, 50 Hz “export only”

Sensor hand dryers

When automatic (hands free / infrared sensor) hand dryers were added to the model numbers, they were indicated by the letter “X.” So if you want an automatic unit (which we recommend) purchase the

XA5-974 for the Model A


XM5-974 for the AirMax

Other cover options

Cast iron has always been the standard in the hand dryer industry. But today there are many different cover options available. In the Model A, B and AirMax hand dryers, you can get steel (less expensive but easier to scratch or rust), or stainless steel, or World Stone, which is a bulk molded compound (BMC).

You can also have your cast iron in the alternate color of beige. (Almost everyone buys white or stainless.)

To change the color to beige (cast iron only) or to specify one of the WorldStone colors (automatic only – no push button), change the suffix number.

468 Beige cast iron

674 White WorldStone

668 Beige WorldStone

662 Black WorldStone

665 Granite Grey WorldStone


Model A, cast iron, beige


AirMax, Black (ebony) WorldStone

A steel hand dryer is indicated by the prefix letter of “D”

DA5-974 or DXA5-974

white steel hand dryers

To indicate either brushed (satin) or polished (bright or mirror) stainless steel, you change the suffix number, but you also still need the “D” in the prefix.

972 polished

973 brushed

DA5-972, DXM5-972

polished stainless steel hand dryers

DA5-973, DXM5-973

brushed stainless steel hand dryers

Mounting options

All of the models we have looked at so far are surface mounted hand dryers. To get an ADA compliant, recessed hand dryer, you will need an “R” in the prefix. These hand dryers come with a wall box that fits into the wall. This option is only available in cast iron or brushed stainless steel. (One used to be able to purchase a recessing kit for the other cover options, but this is no longer the case.)

For the recessed version, you must also add a “Q” to the suffix. This indicates the squashed nozzle that helps the unit meet ADA compliance. You can make a special order for a recessed hand dryer with a regular, large nozzle, but it is not ADA compliant. You can also still purchase the old “E nozzle” which is a flat grid, but these are being replaced by the “Q” nozzles.


recessed model A, push button, 115 volt, cast iron cover with a fixed Q nozzle

DXRM5-Q973 recessed AirMax, automatic, brushed stainless steel cover with a fixed Q nozzle


Recessed model A, cast iron, push button, 115 volts with a flat grill E nozzle. (Note that the “E” comes on the other side of the dash than the Q – this is just a model number glitch.)

Congratulations. You are now an expert in the World Dryer Model A, B and AirMax hand dryer model numbers.

Here is your quiz. Decipher these two model numbers - from the most basic to the most complicated:




World Dryer model number quiz