Best Blowers for Drying a Car and Protecting its Paint (2019)

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What are the best electric blowers for drying your car for the money?Any contact with your car’s paint increases the likelihood of scratches. That is a fact.

When you are drying your car you should do your best to reduce how much contact you have to make to get the job done.

One of the best ways to accomplish this is to blow the water off of your vehicle before attacking it with your towel of choice. This method works best when your vehicle is properly waxed or sealed so that water beads up and rolls off easily.

There are many different tools that can be used for blowing water off your vehicle. Air compressors, leaf blowers, and purpose built blowers are the most common. Purpose built blowers are the best blowers for drying a car.

They concentrate the air flow to allow more directional control of the moving air. They usually come with different nozzles for use in different areas of the car. They are more maneuverable outside and inside the car. They often have heaters to warm the air to aid in drying.

Also, a dedicated blower will ensure you’re not blowing out dirt and debris from last years leaf cleanup (leaf blowers don’t filter the air they recycle thus suck back up a small degree of the dirt and debris you kick up while doing yard work).

My favorite, the McKee’s 37 Turbo Car Dryer pictured below, falls in the classification of purpose built blower. It was designed by automotive detailing enthusiasts, for car detailing enthusiasts, and has even been revised using feedback from the detailing community.

Top 3 Blowers for Drying a Car:

Why Should You Buy a Blower / Dryer for Your Car?

Modern day clear coats are still fairly soft. They do great job of protecting your paint from UV and industrial fallout but are very much a sacrificial layer. Even the softest of towels can and will install micro scratches over time.

By blowing water off of your car you are reducing the amount of drying left to do with your towel. You also save money and hassle by needing less drying towels.

Clearing out water from cracks and crevices that continually seep water while you’re trying to dry your vehicle saves time and frustration as well.

Given that removing scratches requires removing clear coat and new paint jobs costs several thousands of dollars, it’s easy for me to justify spending a hundred to a couple hundred dollars on a decent blower.

What Makes a Good Blower / Dryer?

The standards by which I judge a good blower or dryer are pretty easy to understand.

  • The blower needs to be powerful enough to serve its purpose.
  • It needs to be easy to maneuver, able to be used both inside and outside of a vehicle,  and not be unbearably loud.
  • It should also be built well enough to last long enough to pay for itself, like any good tool.
  • It should filter the air it’s sucking in and blowing out.

Notice I didn’t put too much emphasis on a certain price range. When it comes to tools, I’m perfectly happy spending what is necessary to get something that will save me time, hassle, and future money.

Best All Around Blower – McKee’s 37 Turbo Car Dryer

Sale
McKee's 37 MK37-9638100 Turbo Car Dryer
83 Reviews
McKee's 37 MK37-9638100 Turbo Car Dryer
  • 35 foot power cord
  • Blows heated air;5 Gallon Bucket
  • Made in USA
  • Shoulder strap
  • Vinyl-coated nozzle

Specifications

  • Model MK37-9638100
  • 6.5HP AC 120V/60Hz 12A Motor*
  • 250MPH / 22,000 Feet Per Minute Airspeed
  • ~11lb weight
  • 35’ Long Cord
  • 6’ Screw In Hose w/ Vinyl-Coated Nozzle
  • Filtered
  • Includes Shoulder Strap and Two Attachments
  • 1 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
  • Made in the USA by Shop Vac

*The motor is not switched for 240v/50Hz power found in countries outside of the US. Make sure you have AC 120v/60Hz power available before ordering for export. If you need a 240v/50Hz dryer then I recommend you look for the UK version of the Metro Master Blaster from a retailer in your region.

This little guy is a gem. To start off, the unit feels well built. Though it is lighter than your average electric leaf blower, it feels much more solid.

It has more than enough air speed and volume to dry off large panels but is maneuverable enough to use for clearing out cracks and crevices that like to hide water. The air is also filtered so you don’t have to worry about blowing dirt and sand into your car if any is drawn into the motors air intake.

The screw on hose is very flexible, making it easy to use in the interior (blowing out dirt from under the seats and other places that vacuums struggle to reach) as well. The length of the hose makes it easy to run behind you so that you can use the nozzle in one hand while carrying the blower on the opposite shoulder or in the opposite hand. The nozzle is also made of vinyl so there is little risk to harming your paint should you accidentally bump into it.

Speaking of carrying the dryer over your shoulder, I cannot express how much more comfortable and convenient carrying this dryer with the shoulder strap is than having to carry a blower by hand. This is one of the revisions they made to the blower from the old DP Turbo unit due to feedback from the detailing community.

It beats carrying a leaf blower or dragging it around the ground like the Metro Master Blaster. The portability also makes it a great blower for drying boats and other craft allowing you to dry off and blow out the deck, inboard storage, and outboard motors so you don’t end up with standing water when you put it back in storage.

The motor on the McKee’s 37 Turbo Blade Car Dryer is surprisingly quiet. It is much quieter than the Metro Master Blaster and the typical electric leaf blower. I rate it a little under the volume of the typical Shop Vac, not surprisingly, because this unit is manufactured by Shop Vac for McKee’s 37.

My only real complaint is that it can be awkward to store due to its shape. I’ve found the best way to store it is to hang it using run of the mill bicycle hooks mounted high up on the wall. If you’re lucky enough to have a deep cabinet for storage, that would suffice as well.

There are also complaints from some reviewers about he unit being under-powered. I suspect this is because they don’t have smooth paint covered in a quality wax or sealant and failed to properly sheet the car with water prior to drying.

There is also a retaining screw in clamp for the nozzle that you need to remember to use else it can blow off and impact your car’s paint. This isn’t really a fault of the device. I just felt the need to mention it because many reviewers have complained of the nozzle of blowing off not realizing their own error.

If you’re just looking for the best all-around blower for the money so you can get on with your day, I suggest taking a serious look at this one.

 

What Others Have Said

Awesome machine. Takes no time at all to dry a full size truck. Very portable and powerful. Makes drying a vehicle fun and fast. I love my dryer.” – AutoGeek Reviewer

Beats lugging around your leaf blower and it’s easier to hold and get that water in hard to reach places.” – AutoGeek Reviewer

Best Premium Blower – Metro MasterBlaster Revolution MB-3CDSWB-30

JUST INTRODUCED! Air Force Master...
106 Reviews
JUST INTRODUCED! Air Force Master...
  • 30 ft Hose & Attachments Included
  • Two Twin Fan, 4.0 Peak Horse Power Motors
  • The Master Blaster Revolution is Deliberately Made Better in...

Specifications

  • 8 HP Total across two 4HP 120v Motors (**20amp breaker required**)
  • 58,500 Feet Per Minute Air Speed
  • 16.1 LB weight
  • 12’ Power Cord
  • 30’ Heavy Duty Hose
  • Neoprene blower Nozzle
  • Multiple Adapters
  • Heated
  • Washable Filter
  • 1 Year Warranty
  • Made in the USA

This is the granddaddy of blower dryers. It moves air faster and pushes more heat than any blower on the market right now and it is built like a tank.

Unfortunately, it’s also inconvenient to lug around the garage and steeper in price (thought to be honest, your significant other probably spent as much or more on their Shark or Dyson Vacuum).

Metro partially solved the problem of mobility by introducing casters to the front wheels on this revised Revolution model. You definitely need them because at 16lbs, you don’t want to carry this thing around for long.

Included is a variety of nozzle attachments and wall mount brackets for storing the blower dryer and hose.

There are three modes of operation each providing a different level of drying. You change the modes by toggling the independent motors on or off; back motor, front motor, or both motors.

The drawback to operating both motors simultaneously is that you need an outlet with a 20amp breaker. If you already have one installed in your workspace or garage, then it’s not an issue. If you don’t, that’s potentially another $150 you’ll have to pay an electrician to install one.

So where exactly does this blower fit into the spectrum? It’s not cheap or terribly convenient.

The answer is speed. If you value your time as much as you do your money, or you are planning to use your blower dryer to make money, then the Metro Master Blaster is your answer.

 

Best Compact Portable Blower – SK-1 Air Force Blaster Sidekick

Air Force Blaster SideKick
19 Reviews
Air Force Blaster SideKick
  • Motor: 1.3 HP
  • Amps: 8 Amps/ 950 Watts
  • Weight: 3lbsHeight: 9.5 inches
  • Cord Length: 14"

Specifications

  • 1.3HP 120v/8amp 950 watt motor
  • 18,000 Feet Per Minute Airspeed
  • 3LB Weight
  • 14” Power Cord
  • Neoprene Blower Nozzle and Air Flare
  • Filtered
  • Heated
  • 1 year warranty
  • Made in the USA

Though not as powerful as the McKee’s 37 Turbo Car Dryer, the Blaster Sidekick is more maneuverable and convenient to use due to its weight and size.

It’s easier to take out and put up.

This particular blower dryer is designed for smaller tasks such as blowing out cracks and crevices, leaf packed windshield cowls, wheels, engines, and drying smaller panels.

I know of several motorcycle owners who use this little guy to dry their whole bikes to full affect. For the price, it is tough to beat for the above tasks.

That being said, I still can’t recommend it over the McKee’s 37 Turbo Car Dryer for drying large panels, complete vehicles, or overall versatility. It just doesn’t push enough air volume.

Provided you have a very solid LSP (Last Step Product, e.g. wax or sealant) applied to your vehicle and you properly sheet the water during the final rinse, you can get away with drying a lot of it with the Sidekick, leaving only a little cleanup for your towels.

If you’re the type to use a water blade after rinsing, the Sidekick is all you need to finish the job.

It’s not all good grace, though. It’s worth noting that the SideKick is on the louder side of things. To move a lot of air in a small package the motor has to really wind up. The heated air feature is also a little slow to kick in. Even then, it’s only mildly beneficial.

There is even a Professional Series version that includes a 3’ hose and shoulder strap for added convenience, provided you can stretch your budget another $30 or so.

If you’re short on space, long on convenience, or looking to dry off small jobs or your motorcycle, I would snap up the Air Force Blaster Sidekick.

 

Alternatives I Can’t Recommend

Chemial Guys ACC_303 JetSped VX6 – Chemicals Guys has been pushing this blower hard in advertisements and video marketing. Unfortunately it has a poor balance of power, convenience, and price. It is a re-branded and up-charged True Power 01-1691, which has poor reviews if you look it up anywhere online.

Metro B3-CD Air Force Blaster – Fails to best the market need filled by the McKee’s 37 Turbo Car Dyer. Less convenient to carry as well.

Metro Air Force Commander Motorcycle Dryer – Under-powered for the price. Hose quality is questionable. Loses out again to the McKee’s 37 Turbo.

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5 thoughts on “Best Blowers for Drying a Car and Protecting its Paint (2019)

  1. Reply
    Adrian Murgatroyd - December 29, 2017

    Hi I am from the uk and I am bitterly disappointed in the fact that I ordered the McKee’s 37 MK37-9638100 Turbo Car Dryer purely on your recommendation and it as just been delivered via Amazon.com. I now find it will not work in the uk. Several people have said even with a transformer it will just die on me.
    As a pensioner I have probably been a bit naive and I am surprised that Amazon did not mention it as they knew it was going to a uk address.
    Any help would be appreciated. Would a Master blaster be better for me?
    Thanks
    Adrian

    1. Reply
      Brian - December 29, 2017

      You are correct that the McKee’s 37 Turbo Car Dryer is designed for the US AC 120v 60Hz power standard. The reason people are saying you’ll have problems using a transformer is that transformers don’t step up the frequency. Certain types of AC electric motors, such as induction motors, are sensitive to the frequency they are designed to run at. While the transformer will step the voltage down to 120v for the dryer it will leave the frequency at 50Hz.

      However, since the Turbo Car Dryer uses a simple universal brush motor, which isn’t as sensitive to frequency as induction motors, it should run just fine on a transformer. The turbo car dryer’s motor is no different than any other typical universal vacuum or shopvac motor. Just make sure the transformer is rated for the wattage of the dryer (around 1440 watts). Use your own judgement here though. Because I did not manufacture the motor or the transformer I cannot guarantee it will work.

      If you want to be on the safer side, then yes the UK version Master Blaster will be a solid pick. Make sure when you purchase it you check the specs for the UK plug. Here are a couple sites I found that mention that specification:

      https://www.cardryers.co.uk/Master-Blaster-Revolution-Car-Dryer.php

      http://www.cleanyourcar.co.uk/washing-and-drying/metro-vac-master-blaster-8-0-hp/prod_1334.html

      So that nobody else falls into the same trap you did while researching dryers I’m going to update my post to warn about the US/UK differences. Thank you for letting me know!

    2. Reply
      John - January 11, 2018

      It not being able to work in the U.K. does not warrant a 1 out of 5 star. Unfortunately, that is something you should have checked before ordering.

      Thank you

  2. Reply
    Mike - November 29, 2018

    Ok I just noticed why did you not put the fpm for the McKee’s. Every sight talks about the FPM. Seems kind of biased. I did see one person on another site say it was only 18k FPM. That means it’s not very powerful. Seems like it is over priced for its low power. Just my thoughts.

    1. Reply
      Brian - December 7, 2018

      McKees advertises their air speed in MPH. I went ahead and computed the FPM equivalent of their rated airspeed, which is 22,000 FPM and listed that next to the specs to remove any confusion. I do not have the equipment to measure air speed myself so I can only advertise what they list.

      The 22,000 FPM of the McKee’s 37 Turbo Car Dryer is indeed half that of the Metro Master Blaster, which makes sense since the Metro unit is a dual motor blower. It’s also less than half the price of the Metro unit.

      The power, while not extreme, is sufficient for blowing water off of a vehicle that has a good LSP (wax, sealant, coating) applied and was rinsed using the flooding method so that most of the water has already been pulled off by the sheeting of the water. With the included nozzle the air is concentrated enough that chasing water off of the paint is super easy.

      To be honest, on a car that doesn’t have a good LSP applied, and is sheeting water sufficiently, even the Metro Master Blaster will not do a great job at blowing the water off in a short amount of time. That’s why you can still find reviews of people who bought the Metro and returned it because of poor performance.

      At the end of the day, FPM is really only half the story anyway. You also need good CFM, another measurement that’s not given by any of the blower manufactures. I suspect this is because the CFM would be low compared cheap leaf blowers with the same air speed. Not good marketing on their part, especially for those that are critical with statistics.

      Also, both airspeed and volume measurements can be cheated based on how and where they perform those measurements. The same goes for metrics like HP on electric motors. This is why I don’t obsess over metrics like this. Instead, I compare the overall real world performance, reliability, value, and reputation of the manufacture.

      In my evaluation, I determined the McKee’s 37 Turbo Blower was a great value for what it can accomplish at its price point and power requirements on top of being sold by a reputable company. While you can accomplish the same things with a cheaper leaf blower I find moving around a tight garage with the leaf blower’s long fixed nozzle to be cumbersome, increasing the probability of me bumping the paint. I also cannot use the leaf blower inside the car when trying to knock debris out of hard to reach places.

      Hopefully this clears things up a bit. If there is anything you’d like to know, or anything else you feel I missed, then please do not hesitate to let me know.

      Happy detailing!

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