Kenmore 65132 Dryer Review
Low-frills, high-heat drying. It's old-school, but not a great value.
The Kenmore 65132 (MSRP $719.99) is about as basic as large appliances get, with a design and interface that's largely unchanged from dryers made more than 50 years ago.
Compared to other budget dryers, we found this Kenmore’s control panel imprecise, while its large pull-out lint trap proved unwieldy.Throw in over-heated drying cycles, and you’ve got a blast from the past that maybe should've just stayed there.
Design & Usability
Flip down, pull out, crank left and right
This machine's design is similar to Whirlpool’s latest hamper-door dryer, the WED5000DW. Lots of people like folding warm laundry fresh out of the dryer, but bending over and reaching into the drum for each individual piece is a pain in the neck... or back. The pull-down hamper door—which is hinged from the bottom, rather than the side— gives you a useful surface on which to put a pile of laundry, right within easy reach.
The catch? It's—quite literally—a catch. The door snaps into place using a metal prong found right in the middle of the doorframe. It’s not an issue when you're taking clothes out, but you’ll want to be careful that nothing snags while you're putting clothes in.
Another weird element that we also saw on the Whirlpool were a pair of visible moisture sensors found on the rear surface of the dryer drum. At the end of each test load, we found some fabric had been torn away, catching on the edges of these sensors. If you’re drying heavy denim and the like, you should be fine, but delicate fabrics run the risk of tearing, while soft or fuzzy objects like towels could snag.
Up top, a large pull-out lint trap is found just in front of the controls. We’ve always found these lint traps rather unwieldy, plus the very act of pulling them out almost always results in lint falling to the floor and floating in the air.
Performance & Features
Hot, but not too long
If you’re planning to dry some heavy-duty fabrics, this dryer might be a good fit for you: Standard loads came out nearly 100% dry every time. Our bulky comforter didn’t quite make it, but 75% moisture removal in just 45 minutes is still pretty impressive.
Should your wardrobe consist primarily of dress shirts, blouses, or other items that aren’t quite as hardy, stay away from this machine. Every single cycle we tested on this machine ran hot. The coolest cycle we recorded peaked at 151.4°F—and that was on the Low Temp setting. And unlike many modern dryers, this Kenmore doesn’t have an energy-saving mode that lowers temperatures in exchange for longer drying times.
The crank controls leave something to be desired. When we ran our Quick Dry test, we set the controls to a 30-minute manual Timed Dry. Both times, our stopwatches clocked the dryer at 39 minutes. It’s one thing for a crank timer to be off by two or three minutes, but nine seems a bit much.
It should come as no surprise that this Kenmore is slim on extra features. Turn a dial to select Wrinkle Guard, which will keep the machine tumbling periodically after a cycle to minimize wrinkling. Three temperature settings are available, as well as a designated “Air Only” section on the cycle timer.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
Back to Basics... Way Back
Not a hot deal, just hot
There are plenty of decent, budget-friendly dryers with low learning curves on the market today. The Kenmore 65132 simply doesn’t rank among the best of them. Retail prices hovering around $450 may make this basic dryer seem appealing, but we’ve found better ones that cost $100 less.
Even in a high-tech laundry market with fancy control schemes and innovative technology, old-fashioned dryers aren’t rare, which means you can find something with commendable performance fairly easily. If you’re comfortable with the price point, consider the Maytag MEDC300BW, an effective alternative for folks who believe laundry should be simple.
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