The Best Shop Fans (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Cool down large spaces quickly and efficiently with a shop fan
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BY Noelle Talmon / LAST UPDATED ON December 14, 2020
Working in a shop comes with challenges, and controlling a space's temperature is one of the biggest. Shops can be frosty and cold during the winter and warm, humid, and stuffy during the summer. While fans can help combat these issues a little, few basic fans can handle or accomplish the tough task of cooling down an entire shop. Cooling down a shop and its workspaces require a lot of power and a larger-than-normal fan in most cases.
Whether you're searching for a high-powered fan that's capable of cooling down a large, open shop's space, or you need wall-mounted fans that don't require much fuss, there's a shop fan available that can meet your needs. From floor fans to wall fans to convertible models, you can choose from a wide variety of choices that might suit your space. Check out these top shop fans and start cooling down your shop.
This 20-inch fan can be used on the floor or mounted on the wall. It has three speed settings and is designed for workshops, garages, attics, etc.
- Portable and powerful
- Easy to move around
- Strong blades
- Pivots to control air flow
- Cord is a little short
- Large stand prevents it from sitting properly on small surfaces
This 20-inch fan is for the floor but can be mounted on the wall if you purchase a mounting kit separately. It has three different settings.
- Tilts and adjusts
- Handle for portability
- Strong, sturdy construction
- One-year warranty
- It’s a little loud even on the lowest setting
- Short cord length
This 24-inch fan features powder-coated steel blades and can be placed on the floor or mounted on the wall or ceiling.
- Tolerates tough industrial settings
- Powerful enough to dry carpet
- Wheels make it easy to move around
- May vibrate at low speeds
- Wheels have a tendency to come off rather easily
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Benefits of Shop Fans
- More cooling power. A basic fan just won't cut it if you need to lower the temperature in your garage or workspace. A shop fan is designed to cool down large, open spaces more efficiently than other types of fans.
- Extra air velocity. Compared to fans you use inside your bedroom or living room, a shop fan has a higher velocity output, making it ideal for a garage, workshop, or industrial setting. Often more air circulation is required in these spaces, so you need a fan that can do the job efficiently.
- Air conditioner replacement. If your air conditioner stops working, or you don't have one in your dwelling, a shop fan can cool down your living room, bedroom, etc., quickly at a fraction of the cost.
Types of Shop Fans
Some shop fans are designed to use on the floor (or on top of a workbench, cabinet, etc.). These fans typically have a solid base and "legs," so they're stable even when they're circulating the air at high speeds. Many are portable with handles and sometimes have wheels, which make them easier to move around.
Some shop fans are designed to be mounted on the wall or ceiling (and a few models can be used on the ground). Wall-mounted fans are a more permanent solution versus floor fans, so they will stay in place once you install them. Decide where you want the air to blow before choosing a floor fan versus a wall-mounted fan.
Maxx Air is a brand of Airxcel, which was founded in 1991. The company's various brands design all sorts of products, including water heaters, air conditioners, ventilation systems, and more.
Based in West Chester, Penn., Air King produces exhaust fans, range hoods, humidifiers, and ventilation products, such as the Air King Industrial Grade High-Velocity Floor Fan. It has been in business for more than 40 years.
Vornado has been making air circulators, heaters, and other products since the end of World War II. All units are designed and engineered in Andover, Kan. We recommend the Vornado Large Heavy Duty Air Circulator Shop Fan.
Shop Fan Pricing
- $50-$60: You will spend at least this amount of money for a basic shop fan. There are many good options in this price range, and they are typically heavy-duty with three speeds so that you can adjust the airflow to your liking.
- $60 and up: Larger shop fans with added features such as wheels for portability are a little more expensive. They tend to be extra tough and rugged to handle frequent use in garage/industrial settings. Some of these options cost more than $100.
If you plan on using a fan in your garage, workshop, gym, industrial space, or another setting, you need a unit that can move a large amount of air through the space. Fans that are higher velocity can do so more quickly, which will keep you cooler.
Unfortunately, shop fans tend to be louder than fans you use in your home. However, some are quieter than others. One of the best ways to determine the noise level is to read reviews as decibel ratings are typically not included in the specs. If you want to listen to music while working in your shop, for example, you need a fan that won't drown out your favorite tunes.
If you don't plan on keeping the fan in one spot, you need a unit that is easy to move. Look for a shop fan that is lightweight or that comes with handles on the top, making it more portable. Others even include wheels or have a slim profile. If portability is a priority, choose a fan that easily fits on a bench or other area in your shop.
Most shop fans have three different speeds (low, medium, and high). This is important because it gives you more flexibility when it comes to air circulation. Check the specs to determine the cubic feet per minute (CFM) as it refers to airflow: the higher it is, the more efficient the fan is, and the more air it will move around the space.
Workshop fans are frequently exposed to dust and dirt due to their environments. Over time, dust can accumulate in a fan's blades and housing and can damage the motor. A good shop fan is dust resistant and/or simple to disassemble so you can regularly clean and maintain it.
- Blades. When shopping for a new fan for your garage or workshop, pay attention to the number and size of the blades. Those with longer, wider blades will produce more airflow, while those with more blades will also do the same. One downside is that the more blades you have, the higher the resistance, which can be less energy efficient.
- Tilt. Most shop fans don't oscillate like house fans. However, a good majority of them have a tilt feature that lets you control the air's direction. Some brands can be tilted 180 degrees upwards or downwards, while others have a 360-degree tilt adjustable head. Determine what you need before making a purchase.
Best Shop Fan Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- You can purchase a separate mounting kit if you want to hang a floor fan from the wall or ceiling. However, this can add to the final cost.
- Check the cord's length that comes with the fan, and make sure it will reach the power outlet you intend to use. Extension cords aren't recommended for large shop fans unless they are specifically designed for higher electrical loads.
- Check to see that the fan's motor is covered, so it's less susceptible to airborne contaminants. If it doesn't have a motor housing, it can get clogged with dirt and grime, causing it to fail over time.
Q: What is the most powerful shop fan?
There are a variety of high-powered fans available, and we feature several in this list. Those with higher-velocity motors have higher CFM rates and are designed to cool down larger spaces in less time compared to a regular fan.
Q: What's the difference between a regular fan and a high-velocity fan?
A high-velocity fan has much more power compared to a regular fan. It’s built for big areas, such as a workshop, garage, or industrial space. A standard fan won’t provide nearly as much air circulation.
Q: Can I move the fan while the blades are in operation?
Always make safety a priority. Make sure to unplug the fan and let the blades come to a stop before moving it from one area to another to avoid injury.
Our pick for the best overall shop fan is the Lasko 20” High-Velocity QuickMount Fan. It has three speed settings and is a great option for attics, garages, workshops, and more. For a more budget-friendly option, consider the B-Air FIRTANA 20X High-Velocity Electric Fan.