Pros: King size capacity, wrinkle routine, moisture sensor, drying rack, comfortable dials
The Kenmore 64892 does a fine job of drying a range of items from delicate to heavy work clothes in a super-sized drum that holds a giant load of wash. The dryer sports automatic features such as moisture sensing and wrinkle guard and comes with a dryer rack that increases the machines overall utility.
The end-of-cycle signal jabs my sensibilities with the usual tormenting buzz, but on the 64892, it comes with a three-position volume control (low, high and off, thank you).
Quick Overview of the Features
King Size Capacity
Auto Moisture Sensing
Timed Dry cycle
Wrinkle Guard cycle
Air Dry cycle
Touch up cycle
Fabric temperature control
Adjustable End-of-Cycle Signal
A Look at the Control Panel
The Control Panel has a very simple layout. On the left is the large main dial for timed or automatic drying, the only one you need to set if youre doing a standard load. On the right is a cluster of three controls: Fabric Temperature, Signal (End of Cycle), and Start.
The control panel has a very clean design aesthetic. Also, the dials on the 64892 are comfortable to use. Each of the dials has a light gray rubber (soft plastic?) grip that is decidedly easy on the fingers. Why put up with even the minor annoyance of a hard-to-turn or sharp-edged dial?
The Main Dial
The main and largest dial is on the left and controls three different drying modes:
Automatic Moisture Sensing, where drying time is set by information received from an electronic moisture sensor somewhere inside the drum;
Timed Dry up to 90 minutes (which includes the Touch Up cycle of 15 minutes of heated tumbling followed by ten minutes of cool air);
and Air Dry up to 40 minutes.
Additionally, these dials glide silently until passing the off position of a drying mode, when they click once. If youre sensitive to grating sounds, youll like this little extra.
Wrinkle Guard Feature
At the end of the Automatic Moisture Sensing cycle is the Wrinkle Guard routine. After the auto sensor senses the clothes are dry, the machine begins a 30-minute no-heat cycle with intermittent tumbling, while sounding the end-of-cycle buzzer every five minutes. Unfortunately, if youve turned the end-of-cycle signal off, you will not be alerted that this function is running.
My Evaluation of the Auto Sensor
The Moisture Sensor is perhaps the most important feature on this machine, representing the most advanced dryer technology available today. As clothes pass over the sensor, their moisture content is gauged by the sensor. When the desired level of dryness (which the consumer sets on an infinite range between "More Dry" and "Less Dry")is detected, the dryer goes into a cool down phase of ten minutes.
My impression of the Auto Moisture Sensing feature is that there is some trial and error involved with learning where to set it. The setting for normal dry which to me should result in completely dry clothing still left my clothes very faintly damp along some seams. Was the sensor set to leave a trivial amount of dampness in the clothes to minimize electricity use and fabric wear? Or is the machine a slacker dryer? I really dont know. The amount of moisture left in the clothes was not significant enough to cause mustiness when clothes were removed from the dryer and placed in closet or drawers. Maybe this is the new dry
The Other Dials
Next on the Control Panel is a cluster of three controls: Fabric Temperature, Signal and Start.
So as not to be tedious, suffice it to say that the Temperature control has four positions from low to high which accommodate the full range of drying needs.
A Look Inside
The drum interior measures approximately 27deep X 26 high and appears to be made of white plastic although its glossy appearance suggests enamel paint over metal or plastic.
It has three small shelves to lift the clothes during tumbling.
There is a 10-watt appliance bulb located at the top of the rear wall behind a translucent plate that illuminates the interior very brightly. There is a grated vent on the same rear wall.
The Dryer Rack
The 14" X 20" plastic rack slips easily over the bottom of the door and extends into the cavity of the drum, where it rests stationary while the drum spins. The ample openings on the grid allow air to circulate over, under and through drying items.
It is useful for small sweaters, tops and sports gloves but for bulky sweaters, the 14" X 20" dimension makes it too small for efficient drying. Normally, I keep my rack on top of the dryer, where it receives secondary heat and essentially converts the top surface into additional drying space.
King Size Capacity
To give you an idea of the 64892s capacity, I dry-loaded one of the suggested loads in the owners manual (actual items loaded are in parentheses):
10 bath towels (six bath sheets, four bath towels)
10 hand towels
14 washcloths (2 bath towels),
1 bath mat
This load filled the drum about 4/5 full, so the load size claimed by the manufacturer doesnt seem to be overstated.
This machine has sophisticated features and well-designed controls.
You may be interested in reading about the front loader washing machine I use with this dryer:
Or the Kenmore Elite 1630 Dishwasher I also purchased for my home: http://www.epinions.com/content_219118407300
Thank you for reading, and I hope my observations are useful for you!