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Kenmore 81383 Dryer review: This dryer lacks style but has plenty of practical features

You won't be bowled over by the Kenmore 81383 dryer's looks, but its practical features and flexibility are easy to live with.

Brian Bennett Former Senior writer
Brian Bennett is a former senior writer for the home and outdoor section at CNET.
Brian Bennett
4 min read

The $1,050 Kenmore 81383 clothes dryer doesn't flaunt a snazzy design or metal and glass like the $1,000 LG DLEY 1701V. It also lacks both the drying speed and the large capacity of its bigger sibling, the $1,100 Kenmore 69133 dryer. Still, this appliance does have some appeal, specifically to the logically minded who shop with their heads instead of their hearts.


Kenmore 81383 Dryer

The Good

The Kenmore 81383 dryer has plenty of special cycles and steam modes. The appliance's controls are also straightforward and easy to operate. The dryer offers satisfying cycle speed, and you can stack it vertically or place it on a pedestal accessory.

The Bad

While practical, the Kenmore 81383 dryer's design is generic and unexciting. Instead of using a dedicated water line, you must fill the dryer's water reservoir by hand. The Kenmore 81383's 7.4-cubic-foot capacity is small compared with the drum size of other dryers.

The Bottom Line

With its solid performance and extensive features, you won't be disappointed by the capable Kenmore 81383 dryer, but this machine's boring exterior won't thrill anyone.

What the Kenmore 81383 offers is a practical mix of useful features and satisfactory performance for its price. You can also purchase upgrades for this model which allow its owners to either place it on a pedestal or stack it vertically with companion washers. Of course, these add ons are common among front-load style laundry appliances and can't entirely mitigate the Kenmore 81383's forgettable exterior.

Kenmore's 81383 dryer is practical, not packed with high style (pictures)

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Design and features

With its subdued gray color scheme, which Kenmore calls "Metallic Silver", and a generic profile, this dryer is by no means flashy. Indeed you could easily mistake it for one of countless other front-loading units on the market. It's certainly no head-turner like the LG DLEY 1701V, which sports a design that's simply beautiful.

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This Kenmore dryer's generic design could be found on any number of machines.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Measuring 39 inches tall and 27 inches wide by 30 inches deep, the Kenmore 81383 is more compact than other dryers I've recently taken for a spin. Of course those appliances, such as the Electrolux EFME617S Perfect Steam (8 cubic feet), Kenmore 69133 (8.8 cu. ft.), and Kenmore Elite 81072 (9 cu. ft.) all have roomier drums and spacious capacity to match. They make the 7.4-cubic-foot capacity you'll find on the Kenmore 81383 feel cramped by comparison.

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The Kenmore 81383 dryer places its controls front and center.

Chris Monroe/CNET

As a machine built to pair well with front-load style washers such as its companion, the Kenmore 41393 washing machine, the Kenmore 81383's controls sit on its front face. Contained in a panel right above the drum, all the dryer's buttons and keys are large and within easy reach. I also appreciate the big knob that turns without much effort and clicks softly into place when you select a dryer cycle.

Designed to handle different garment and fabric types, the dryer provides many cycles to choose from as well. Ten in all, they range from "Delicates" and "Casual" to "Heavy Duty" and "Bulky/Comforter," just to name a few. The appliance is also equipped with steam modes to refresh, dewrinkle and even sanitize items. Instead of using a dedicated water line, however, the dryer relies on a small reservoir you must fill by hand periodically.

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You must fill the steam feeder by hand.

Chris Monroe/CNET

There are a few benefits to the Kenmore 81383 dryer's conventional front-load design style. Since its controls are on its front face, stacking the machine vertically with other laundry appliances is possible. The same is true for placing the dryer on top of a pedestal, and Kenmore sells kits to accommodate both arrangements.

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Since its controls are front-facing, stacking vertically or using a pedestal is possible.

Chris Monroe/CNET


Similar to its conservative appearance, the Kenmore 81383 dryer doesn't deliver earth-shattering performance. That isn't to say you won't be satisfied with this machine's ability to dry your clothes in good order; just that it's by no means the fastest model we've tested.

Keep in mind that we construct our tests to measure how much water a dryer can remove from fabric and how long it needs to finish the task. We also endeavor to eliminate as many variables as we can during testing, including environmental conditions and test materials. For our tests we selected the machine's normal cycle (meant for "work clothes etc.," as explained in the manual) and its medium temperature setting.

The Kenmore 81383 dryer took an average of 46 minutes to complete our test loads, just a few minutes longer than the LG DLEY 1701V (44 min.), Kenmore Elite 81072 (43 min.), and LG DLEX 5000 (42 min.). That's not surprising since, like those Kenmore models, this machine is technically an LG appliance that's been rebranded under corporate contract. The fastest machine we've tested to date is another Kenmore model, the Kenmore 69133 (38 min.) which is actually a Whirlpool appliance in disguise.

Dryers Compared

Dryer Electrolux EFME617S Perfect SteamGE GFDS260EFWWGE GTD45EASJWSGE GTD81ESSJWSGE GTD86ESPJMCKenmore 69133Kenmore 81383Kenmore Elite 81072LG DLEY 1701VLG DLEX 5000
Capacity 8 cu. ft. 8 cu. ft. 7.2 cu. ft. 7.8 cu. ft. 7.8 cu. ft.8.8 cu. ft.7.4 cu. ft.9 cu. ft.7.3 cu. ft.7.4 cu. ft.
Cycle Types 91241214910141214
Avg Cycle Time 54 min.48 min.48 min.67 min.60 min.38 min.46 min.43 min.44 min.42 min.
Avg water amount removed 5.5 pounds5.7 pounds5.5 pounds5.6 pounds5.6 pounds5.3 pounds5.7 pounds5.4 pounds5.5 pounds5.6 pounds
Energy Star Certified YesNoNoYesYesYesNoNoYesYes
Avg Power Usage Per Year 608 kWhNANA608 kWh608 kWh608 kWhNANA607 kWh607 kWh
App NoNoNoYes, Android/iOS (optional upgrade)Yes, Android/iOSNoNoNoNoYes, Android/iOS
Waranty 1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)

In terms of raw drying power, the Kenmore 81383 proved very capable but not outstanding. It turned in a water evaporation rate of 0.122 pound per minute, which places it within the top four dryers we've tested so far. This stat is key since it describes in a nutshell how capable a dryer is at performing its primary purpose. Specifically, the number outlines the measured amount of water on average any given dryer can remove from its test loads of wet fabric in a given period of time.

At the moment the Kenmore 69133, which evaporates at 0.139 pound per minute, still reigns supreme. The LG DLEX 5000 (0.135 pound per minute) is slightly below that. Check the evaporation rate table below for more details.


Kenmore 69133 0.139LG DLEX 5000 0.135LG DLEY 1701V 0.124Kenmore Elite 81072 0.124Kenmore 81383 0.122GE GFDS260EFWW 0.121GE GTD45EASJWS 0.115Electrolux EFME617S 0.103GE GTD86ESPJMC 0.095GE GTD81ESSJWS 0.084
Note: Longer bars indicate better performance

So far I haven't been extremely impressed by the steam cycles on most of the dryer's I've reviewed, the one exception being the LG DLEX 5000. The Kenmore 81383 didn't break this trend. For example, wrinkled cotton dress shirts I processed through the dryer's "steam refresh" cycle did emerge much smoother, but some stubborn creases remained.


The $1,050 Kenmore 81383 dryer's generic looks certainly won't win any awards for style. Neither is the machine remarkably fast or powerful compared with other dryer models we've reviewed. Of course the Kenmore 81383's average performance isn't slow, it's just not exceptional. Likewise, the dryer's design won't elicit praise or help it stand out from the crowd.

If you're in the market for a new dryer though, with solid performance that you can stack vertically or place on a pedestal, this an appliance you'll be able to live with. Those who have no need for these space-saving or more ergonomic configurations and primarily desire a gorgeous machine with plenty of speed, steer clear of the Kenmore 81383 and consider the $1,000 LG DLEY 1701V instead.


Kenmore 81383 Dryer

Score Breakdown

Design 5.5Usability 7Features 7Performance 6.5