A good balance of style, functionality, and substance
By clicking one of our links you're supporting our labs and our independence, as we may earn a small share of revenue. Recommendations are separate from any business incentives.
The 7.6 cu. ft. Kenmore 68102 (MSRP $949.99) is the Tom Hanks of dryers: It's versatile and it gets the job done. The cycle selection is broad enough that it'll cover all your bases without overwhelming. The controls are spread out and easy to read. And all the extras don't distract from its performance. No matter what you put into it, you laundry will get dry in this machine.
The design of the 68102 carries few extras. However, that reduces control panel clutter and makes for a straightforward user experience. The handle spans the entire top of the door for easy grip, and the cycle selector knob has clear indicator lights to cut down on confusion. Also, having a 7.6 cu. ft. capacity helps insure that even your bulkiest items can fit. There's a drum light as well, allowing you to do your drying in the darkest of basements.
The Normal and Delicates cycles both took about an hour and got test laundry completely dry. Just as impressive, these cycles stayed away from super-high temperatures that could damage your clothing.
The 68102 also did well with bulky items. In about an hour, our test comforter got 87 percent dry. That's really good. Most dryers recommend you run a Bulky cycle twice, flipping the comforter in between the two cycles. Most users ignore this advice.
If you're in a hurry, the Express Dry didn't disappoint either. It got a small load of test laundry half dry in 13 minutes. Run that cycle twice and you've got a wearable shirt in under a half hour.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
The Kenmore 68102 doesn't impress with features. However, it did well in all of our core performance tests. Despite a steep MSRP, sale prices hover around $650, and you're getting a lot of dryer for a little money. The cycle selection gives you a good deal of control without overwhelming. It's versatile, likeable, and good at what it does. We told you it was just like Tom Hanks.
Objective testing is the basis of our reviews. For dryers, this means analyzing temperature and humidity data. Sensors were placed in the Kenmore 68102 during Normal, Delicate, Bulky, and Express Dry cycles.
The Normal and Delicate cycle tests involve wetting an approximately eight-pound load to 1.7 times its weight. These loads are placed in their respective cycles with temperature and humidity sensors.
The Normal cycle lasted, on average, about an hour. Test loads came out completely dry. Our sensors picked up a max temperature of 153.3°F, just to the correct side of good behavior. Any hotter, and it might hurt your clothes after a lot of dry cycles.
The Delicates cycle also finished in an hour. It reached a maximum temperature of 133°F, which is a little higher than we like to see. But more importantly, even at these lower temperatures the test laundry still got dry.
The Express Dry cycle takes a four-pound load of towels, bedsheets, and pillowcases and wets them to 1.7 times their weight. After 13 minutes, we measured laundry that was 50% dry—not bad considering the short time.
A Bulky test utilizes a comforter wetted to 1.5 times its weight. After 55 minutes, the comforter came out 87% dry. That's very good considering the fact it's common practice to a flip a comforter and run a Bulky cycle a second time.