Reviews

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.

Best Overall
Lasko 20” High-Velocity QuickMount Fan
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Summary
Summary

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.

Pros
Pros
  • Portable and powerful
  • Easy to move around
  • Strong blades
  • Pivots to control air flow
Cons
Cons
  • Cord is a little short 
  • Large stand prevents it from sitting properly on small surfaces
Best Overall
Lasko 20” High-Velocity QuickMount Fan
Best Value
 B-Air FIRTANA 20X High-Velocity Electric Fan
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Summary
Summary

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.

Pros
Pros
  • Tilts and adjusts
  • Handle for portability
  • Strong, sturdy construction
  • One-year warranty
Cons
Cons
  • It’s a little loud even on the lowest setting
  • Short cord length
Best Value
 B-Air FIRTANA 20X High-Velocity Electric Fan
Honorable Mention
 Maxx Air Industrial Grade Air Circulator
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Summary
Summary

This 24-inch fan features powder-coated steel blades and can be placed on the floor or mounted on the wall or ceiling.

Pros
Pros
  • Tolerates tough industrial settings
  • Powerful enough to dry carpet
  • Wheels make it easy to move around
Cons
Cons
  • May vibrate at low speeds
  • Wheels have a tendency to come off rather easily
Honorable Mention
 Maxx Air Industrial Grade Air Circulator
Shop Fan In The Garage
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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

Floor 

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.

Wall-Mounted 

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.

Top Brands

Lasko

Lasko was founded in 1906 and is based in Philadelphia, Penn. In addition to fans, Lasko produces a wide range of products, including heaters, air purifiers, and humidifiers. 

MaxxAir

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. 

Air King

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

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.

Key Features

Air Flow

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.

Noise Level

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.

Portability

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.

Speed

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.

Dust Resistance

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.

Other Considerations

  • 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

Best Overall
Lasko 20” High-Velocity QuickMount Fan

Portable, powerful, and adaptable, this single fan can cover a lot of your needs. It measures 24.75 x 12 x 22.5 inches in size and features three powerful speed settings. It’s a fan made for cooling tough spaces like shops, garages, and attics. And you can put it wherever you need it because it’s so easy to move around. As a high-velocity fan, this model is run by a powerful motor and strong metal fan blades to generate a cooling breeze. 


The fan head pivots so you can control the airflow up, down, or anywhere in between. It can ventilate your shop — and it’s strong enough to withstand the workplace. Most importantly, though, this shop fan is convertible: it can sit on a stand or convert into a wall mount in just minutes.

Best Value
B-Air FIRTANA 20X High-Velocity Electric Fan

The B-Air FIRTANA 20X High-Velocity Electric Fan can do the tough work of cooling down any shop at an affordable price. It delivers enough wind to cool down even large shops and warehouses, with 20-inch blades and three different settings. You can tilt and adjust the flow of this fan, and it includes a portable handle so you can carry or move it as needed. You can either set this fan on the floor or mount it on a wall to get hot air circulated out of your space. 


However, the fan does not include a mounting kit; you’ll have to purchase that separately. It’s built to last with a strong and sturdy metal housing with small grid spacing around the blades. Backed by a one-year warranty, you can also rest easy knowing this fan is protected after purchase.

Best Industrial Grade
Maxx Air Industrial Grade Air Circulator

This shop fan is rugged, tough, and built to handle challenging industrial jobs. It’s no regular fan — it’s made with powder-coated steel blades and 22-gauge steel housing, and it can be hung from the ceiling, mounted to a wall, or placed on the floor. The fan is designed for use in factories, shops, and other industrial settings. It uses 24-inch blades to cool your shop space, and it’s even powerful enough to dry out carpet. 


The fan sits on non-skid positioning legs with roll-around wheels so you can move it with ease. It can be tilted 180 degrees upwards or downwards, and it’s easy to set up and assemble with frustration-free packaging. The entire fan is backed by a limited two-year warranty, which ensures you’ll get effective cooling without worry.

Best Standing
 Air King Industrial Grade High-Velocity Floor Fan

If you’re looking for a fan that can be set up on the shop floor, the Air King Industrial Grade High-Velocity Floor Fan is a great choice. Featuring 30-inch powder coated metal blades, this sizable shop fan stands on its own—it can’t be wall-mounted. The entire fan (with its housing) measures 33.74 inches x 12.25 inches x 35.5 inches. It can deliver cool air and circulate air in your shop with a pivoting head that allows you to control the airflow direction upwards or downwards. 


The powerful fan motor, which is fully enclosed, features three different speeds and works quietly. Wheels attached to the fan’s stand and a rubber handle are added for portability, so you can position and move this fan wherever it’s needed. 

Best for Air Circulation
Vornado Large Heavy Duty Air Circulator Shop Fan

This incredibly powerful fan is designed to cool large spaces like shops, garages, worksites, and warehouses by delivering strong airflow that gets the air moving quickly at a colder temperature. It’s a true workhorse — this fan is built with a nearly indestructible body and a rugged grab-and-go handle so you can move it as needed. The fan sits on a stable steel base with non-slip feet and includes an easy-to-clean removable grill. 


You can place this fan anywhere, adjust the pivoting head, and feel whole-room circulation start as the fan moves air up to 100 feet. You can adjust the air circulation to meet your needs with three different speed settings of 950, 1200, or 1550 RPM.

Honorable Mention
Comfort Zone High-Velocity Industrial 3-Speed Slim-Profile Pedestal Fan

The Comfort Zone Pedestal Fan is designed for use in various work environments. It is ETL compliant and features a metal safety grille that covers the blades. The power cord is also grounded. It has three speeds (low, medium, and medium-high), so you can choose the one that best suits your needs. The fan also features 180-degree tilt and height adjustments to direct airflow as required. Made entirely of metal, the fan's blades are constructed of durable aluminum and are designed to last for a long time.


The best part about this fan is that it has a slim profile and is lightweight, making it easy to move and find a place to set it up. Unfortunately, it may get banged up during shipping and be scratched or dented out of the box. You may also have to tighten the screws to stop it from rattling.

Honorable Mention
Maxx Air Wall Mount Fan

The Maxx Air Wall Mount Fan is a commercial-grade unit designed for the garage, shop, patio, etc. Many people purchase this fan to use in barns because the enclosed motor makes it a safe option. The 18-inch wall-mounted fan is constructed of powder-coated steel and is designed to be durable. It has an OSHA-compliant grill, a 10-foot grounded power cord, three speed settings, and the ability to tilt 180 degrees. The premium motor is tough and built to last. One of the best things about this air circulator is that it comes in "frustration-free packaging" and is simple to assemble and easy to mount. 


The low setting is also somewhat quiet and allows you to listen to music or TV without too much of an issue. Unfortunately, it can be a hassle to clean it because it requires some disassembly. Also, the tilt feature could be improved.

Honorable Mention
Aain 20'' High-Velocity Floor Fan

The Aain Floor Fan is a black-colored industrial fan featuring a metal cage and three speed settings. Users love that it is easy to assemble and take apart for cleaning, making it ideal for garages, workshops, and warehouse settings. The fan is powerful and efficient and features a 360-degree tilt adjustable head, so you can direct the airflow to suit your needs. It has a premium motor and is made of steel to withstand demanding work environments. One of the best things about this fan is that it's not overly loud. It's also quite portable and can even fit in some windowsills. 


One problem is that it's a little lightweight and may need to be weighed down to keep it stable. Also, the packaging is not that great and may not protect the unit very well during shipping.

Honorable Mention
Tornado 24-Inch Air Circulator Fan

While a little expensive, this shop fan features more than make up for the price tag. Built for basements, garages, workshops, and warehouses, the fan tilts 360 degrees and features three speeds: high (7800 FM), medium (5000 CFM), and low (5000 CFM). The thermally protected PSC motor makes it one of the more powerful drum fans available. Two top handles and wheels make it easy to transport, while the non-skid legs keep it stable and in place. It also features aluminum blades, an OSHA-compliant and rust-resistant grille, an 8-foot power cord, and a UL Safety listing.  


The manufacturer also provides a five-year warranty on the motor. Some users, however, have complained that there's not much difference between the three settings. Also, the wheels aren't the best quality.

Honorable Mention
Tornado 18-Inch High-Velocity Industrial Wall Fan

The UL Safety-Listed fan is designed to be mounted on the wall and tilts a full 360 degrees. Made of powder-coated steel with a premium ball-bearing motor, it has three speeds (low, medium, and high). The opening is 22.5 by 7.3 by 22.5 inches, and the metal wind blades have a radius of 8.3 inches. The 12-pound fan is easy to assemble and hang using the included bracket. The grille is OSHA compliant and rust-resistant, while the motor is sealed in its housing to prevent dust and other debris from penetrating. 


Users like that this fan is quieter and less bulky compared to some competing brands. It also holds up well over time. However, one issue is that the mounting hardware isn't the best quality. It can also be hard to turn the fan off if it is mounted on a ceiling.

Tips

  • 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.

FAQs

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.

Final Thoughts

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.