LAST UPDATED: December 24, 2019

The Best Shop Fans (Review) in 2021

Best Choice The Best Shop Fans (Review) in 2021 Tornado 18 Inch High Velocity Industrial Wall Fan
Premium Pick Air King Industrial Shop Fan Air King Industrial Shop Fan
Best Value B-Air High Velocity Shop Fan B-Air High Velocity Shop Fan

Oil is pungent, wax smells strong, and all those fumes in a small area can be noxious. Shop fans are the ultimate solution to the heat, the chemical odors, and the humidity in your garage or workshop, and they make a world of difference. We’ve rigorously tested dozens of the best shop fans on the market, and after all our research we came up with the best high-velocity fans for your workshop. It’s time to improve your air quality, snuff out those fumes, and cool the temperature down a bit.

The Best Shop Fans

This 18-inch wall fan is designed for commercial, industrial, residential, and shop use. It tilts 360 degrees and is constructed of powder-coated steel with a premium ball bearing motor for durability. It has three speeds and is one of the most powerful wall-mounted fans available with an air delivery between 3000 and 4000 CFM.

The fan is easy to operate and install using the included bracket. It is UL safety listed and features an OSHA-compliant rust-resistant grille and a sealed motor housing to prevent dust and debris from entering. One of the best features of this fan is that it’s one of the quietest ones available because it reduces the noise level by 40 percent.

Key Features
  • 18” total fan diameter
  • Ball bearing motor
  • Three speeds
Specification
  • Brand Tornado
  • Model HI-FAN-18HVWM-1P
  • Weight 12 pounds
PROS

Comparatively quiet 

Wall mount keeps it out of the way

CONS

Little difference between low, med, and high speeds

No remote

 

Lasko is known for making some of the best high-velocity fans, and this garage-specific shop fan is no exception. It features an easy carry handle (affixed) to move this fan around depending on where you need it, but you also get a metal bracket for wall mounting, which is particularly useful for garages. Everything about this fan meets ETL safety standards, so you don’t have to worry about having it around your children aged five and up. There is something peculiar about the speed dial, though: it goes from 0 to 3, and then descends from there.

You basically have to kick it on full blast straight away, even if you don’t want it. That’s just an odd design. There’s also a light whirring sound on the 1 speed, but it disappeared on the 2 and 3. You’ll notice that the blades have center cuts in all of them. This makes movements much more aerodynamic, so you’re using less power, while getting the maximum amount of wind power out of this fan. Whatever project you’re running, this is going to help keep things aerated properly.

Key Features
  • Three speeds for varied needs
  • Easy carry handle allows you to move it around the shop without hassle
  • Includes metal wall mount for garages
Specification
  • Brand Lasko
  • Model 2264QM
  • Weight 14.5 pounds
PROS

Aerodynamic blades with center cuts allow for faster spinning and more power

Motor is sealed to meet ETL standards, safe to use around kids

CONS

Knob goes from 0 to 3, so you begin on the highest setting even if it’s not what you want

Slight whirring sound at lower speeds

Easily one of the top industrial fans for small shops and garages, Stanley’s consistency over the years hasn’t gone unnoticed. Starting out right at the top, you get two separate 120 V outlets right next to the fan controller. Much like others, it has a zero to three setting, then descends from there. The entire operation is whisper quiet, even when you kick it on the highest setting. That’s partially because of the blower motor instead of blades being present. It looks good on the outside, but that luster will soon fade.

The exterior plastic is prone to retaining scratches and damage. Beyond that, the air flow is good, but only up to 18 feet away. After that, you can’t really feel much of it. The whole duct pivots in a vertical motion to give you multiple angles, while the quick carry handle makes it easy to move around as needed. There’s no option for wall or permanent mounting, but since it’s so lightweight, you won’t have an issue getting it from A to B quickly.

Key Features
  • Entire blower duct pivots to meet multiple needs
  • Easy carry handle for quick transporting
  • Three high velocity blower speeds
Specification
  • Brand Lasko
  • Model 655704
  • Weight 7.6 pounds

As far as a high velocity fan, Hurricane did a fantastic job making one of the most viable ones on the market. The price is in the higher range, but it gives you so many options to circulate air in your workshop or garage that it’s crazy. Use the oscillation lever to mess with the three speeds and change the direction, all without worrying about the motor overheating—there’s thermal protection in place to automatically shut it down.

The thing is, that oscillation lever I mentioned isn’t sturdy. It’s prone to being bent, so do be careful. The only major downside to this fan is that the unique grooves on the fan blades just harbor more dust, so cleaning needs to be done often, and can take a while. Your 1400 RPM motor is built tough, so you can circulate air in your workspace with a single, wall mount-ready fan in no time.

Key Features
  • 3 speed settings
  • Six-foot cable gives some leniency
  • 1400 RPM motor
Specification
  • Brand Hurricane
  • Model 736474
  • Weight 17.06 pounds
PROS

Pre-drilled holes for wall mounting on base

Powerful air circulation for over 70 ft

CONS

Oscillation speed lever is prone to bending

Blades take a while to clean due to grooves on the edges

You need a shop fan, one single fan to do the entire job. If you’ve got a bigger space, this high velocity 7,680 CFM fan is just the ticket. You can choose from three variable speeds, just be warned that it’s powerful enough to send some papers flying. Not ideal for super small spaces. That’s because it’s powerful, but also because it’s very noisy, and the smaller the space you’re in the louder the noise will be.

With all that power, the motor vibrates a bit. This can loosen the torque bolts without any manual intervention, so perform maintenance on this fan once a month to check for loose bolts. Speaking of the motor, it’s thermally protected, meaning when it reaches a certain temperature the kill switch engages, and powers everything down. Plug in the long power cable, leave it on, and it will take care of the rest.

Key Features
  • Three variable speeds to choose from
  • ETL-listed for safety
  • Eight-foot long power cable
Specification
  • Brand Tornado
  • Model ETL Safety Listed
  • Weight 32.2 pounds
PROS

Thermal motor protection automatically shuts off when things get too hot

7,680 CFM for maximum airflow

CONS

Extremely loud

High vibration makes the torque bolts loosen often

While this might not be an industrial fan, it behaves like one. You get a good amount of airflow through the three variable speeds, as well as the different positions you can rig the fan in. Choose to either wall mount or leave on the stand, but if you want an opinion of someone who’s tested this, the wall mount option is better. The stand can tip over sometimes, making it a bit difficult to position it without mounting it.

Mounting the fan is simple, and everything is included, but you might need to use a wall stud finder to get a good spot before continuing. Overall, it’s the most affordable fan on our list with this much power, because B-Air wants to introduce you to their brand and their higher line of fans. This gives you a moderate amount of circulation for, say, a two-car garage, and isn’t very loud either.

Key Features
  • Can be wall mounted or used with included stand
  • Easy to assemble
  • Simple cleaning by removing the grate
Specification
  • Brand B-Air
  • Model SAFF-20
  • Weight 11 pounds
PROS

Extremely affordable

Durable all metal construction

CONS

Only comes with a one-year warranty

Stand is easy to tip over

You might know Lasko for all those window box fans you had when you were a kid, but they also make a great small high velocity fan. This 20” fan comes with enough power to circulate air in a one-car garage with ease, and still provides good ventilation for larger spaces as well. The floor grips on the stand are decent, but don’t really provide enough traction to be considered excellent.

There’s a low hum that comes from the motor when you turn it on. The blade is a bit loose and needs to be tightened from time to time, which can be mildly inconvenient. Using the wall mounted bracket, you can just pick this up and pop it on the wall whenever you like. Choose from three variable speeds on this ETL-listed, safe shop fan to keep things moving.

Key Features
  • Three variable speeds
  • ETL-listed for safety features
  • Heavy duty steel design
Specification
  • Brand Lasko
  • Model 2265QM
  • Weight 14.5 pounds
PROS

Converts from a floor fan to a wall fan with a little bracket

Fast assemble requires no tools to get started

CONS

Could use more sturdy floor grips

Humming sound caused by loose blade

You need a high power fan? Maxx is one brand that won’t let you down. Unlike many brands that do their primary manufacturing in China, Maxx handles most of its practices in America, where they have high standards for what passes. This fan rarely comes with any defects; it’s a well put-together unit. Taking the grate off to clean it is a bit of a chore, though.

Maxx asks for a pretty high price point for this fan, but when you look at the versatility and power, it’s not unreasonable, just high budget. You can mount this on the wall, ceiling, or use the two-wheel stand to move it around on the floor. Everything is OSHA-compliant thanks to the 10-foot grounded cord, and the 180° swivel function helps to circulate air in larger areas.

Key Features
  • Completely assembled in America, tested for imperfections
  • Designed with steel for durability
  • Wall, ceiling or floor mounting options available
Specification
  • Brand Maxx Air
  • Model BF24TFREDUPS
  • Weight 39.6 pounds
PROS

Convenient two-wheel stand allows you to move it safely while still plugged in

OSHA-regulated 10-foot grounded power cable

CONS

High price point, even when on sale

Difficult to clean

A fan is a fan—if it serves its function, then I’m happy with it, but Air King has a bit of a problem maintaining aesthetics with this industrial fan. The black metal finish wears down after a few months, but it doesn’t impede upon the function. You still have 7,400 CFM of power to seriously circulate the air in your workspace. Mix that with the convenient two-wheel floor stand, and it’s usable just about anywhere you need airflow.

It works well to prevent mold and mildew growth, while simultaneously complying with OSHA and ETL standards for safety. Pivot this any way you want, and feel just how powerful this three-blade fan can be. It’s simple to clean, but when it comes to the warranty, it’s anything but simple to understand. They layer in so many different clauses, making it difficult to properly fulfill that warranty if you run into issues down the road.

Key Features
  • OSHA-certified 10-foot grounded power cable
  • Pivot function gives you more versatility with this fan
  • Energy efficient for long periods of use
Specification
  • Brand Air King
  • Model 9230
  • Weight 44 pounds
PROS

Convenient stand has two wheels for easy moving

7,400 CFM grade power

CONS

Warranty information is extremely specific and generally excludes a lot of normal wear and tear

Black metal finish wears down after a few months of use

This high velocity floor fan brings you 100 ft of distance when aimed in a direct path on its highest setting. With three variable speeds, you get drastically different amounts of airflow to contour to different tasks you’ll be performing in your shop or workspace. They include a five-year limited warranty, but it has one odd stipulation: you can’t use this fan outside of the US, otherwise it voids the agreement.

On top of that the handle is basically useless. You can move the fan with it, but the grip holds almost zero traction, so you might feel this fan swing in your hand unless you have an iron grip. In terms of safety, it’s OSHA-certified thanks to the ten-foot grounded power cable. On the bottom of the fan stand, those four rubber grips do an excellent job of keeping it in place even when it’s on max.

Key Features
  • Three variable speed settings
  • Ten-foot grounded power cord for safety
  • Four rubber points on the stand keep it upright
Specification
  • Brand Vornado
  • Model CR1-0089-16
  • Weight 14.04 pounds
PROS

Moves air up to 100 ft

Impressive five-year warranty

CONS

Warranty is void if you use it outside of the United States

Handle grip doesn’t provide much traction

Patton wasn’t a brand we thought of when we decided to make a list of the best shop fans, but it surprised us. This high-velocity fans gets the job done for a while, but eventually you can notice that the motor starts to wear down and the high velocity wanes a bit. It’s quiet and directs a good amount of airflow through the 18” blade diameter, kept upright by the sturdy stand.

Taking the guard/front grate off is easy, making fan cleaning time a breeze. You can position the fan by adjusting the stand, but after a while, you’re going to have to use some WD-40 on the hinge. It squeaks after a few weeks due to how tight the stand is, so it’s like a small problem created because the fan prevents a bigger problem; tipping over.

Key Features
  • Total of 18” in diameter for good air flow
  • Sturdy stand doesn’t tip over
  • Black metal finish
Specification
  • Brand Patton
  • Model PUF1810C-BM
  • Weight 11.5 pounds
PROS

Adjustable head allows you to direct air flow

Quiet operation

CONS

Hinges get squeaky really fast

High velocity fades over time

Designed for the front porch, but versatile enough to be used in your shop, Maxx Air brings you a simple wall mount unit. It’s lightweight enough to mount easily and not have a ton of drag on the wall, which is good if you’re putting it through a simple sheetrock stud. Position it any way you want with the 180° swivel function, and let it circulate the air in your room. I would only use this when you’re home or actually working in your shop, because the motor can heat up a bit.

It takes a few hours and there’s no fire hazard, but it’s still something that makes most people (myself included) uncomfortable). It’s also quite loud, which won’t be an issue if you’re using power tools. Assembly is quick right out of the box, and everything is OSHA-compliant for that extra peace of mind. You get good air flow from the 18” diameter, and a middle-of-the-road price point to even everything out.

Key Features
  • 180° swivel operation
  • Upgradable to a Wi-Fi enabled function
  • Fast to assemble
Specification
  • Brand Maxx Air
  • Model HVWM 18 UPS
  • Weight 14 pounds
PROS

Excellent wall mounting kit (fan is fairly lightweight)

OSHA-compliant with 10-foot grounded cords

CONS

Motor heats up after a couple of hours

Louder than most 18” diameter fans

This is a ton of power packed into a small fan. Before testing, we were fully expecting it to not meet the necessary standards. It actually lives up to the 170 ft distance promise very well, despite only being 14” in diameter. If you position the fan to blow straight down, you can cool up to 85 ft in all direction, making it very handy for drying out a garage all in one motion. It’s a high price, and while it’s worth it there’s no budget option, like choosing a lower diameter fan.

Apart from the price, it’s been known to arrive with missing parts. The fan itself still functions, but you might be left without washers or a handle. XPOWER is quick to resolve the issue, but it’s still an extra step that shouldn’t be a concern. You can’t underplay the power here—if you position this properly, this is the last fan that you’re ever going to need in your shop.

Key Features
  • Five-blade design
  • 360° design allows you to reposition it with ease
  • 85 ft circular distance if you position fan upwards
Specification
  • Brand XPOWER
  • Model FC-300
  • Weight 16.55 pounds
PROS

Wildly energy efficient (5 amps at 2100 CFM)

Extensive 170 ft air flow distance

CONS

High price for a 14” diameter fan

Known to arrive without washers/handles

Air circulation is important for plenty of reasons that we list below in our buying guide. B-Air made this circulation fan to help with water damage, but that makes it perfect for your shop. Choose from one of the three variable speeds and let it go to town, blowing air throughout the bottom of the room to circulate it upwards. You can use the quarter circle handle to position it to directly aim upwards. It’s a good fan, but when it comes in the box, it might have some scratches in the plastic body.

This isn’t surprising since it arrives a bit dusty and not in proper packaging half the time. Even if it’s brand new, it might not look like it. Utilize the extension inputs under the variable speed dial, and aim it where you need it to prevent mold and mildew growth in your shop, while keeping the air fresh. Floor fans like this help prevent chemicals from gathering on surfaces as well.

Key Features
  • Durable quarter circle handle aids with positioning
  • Three variable speeds to choose from
  • Medium weight at 11 lbs
Specification
  • Brand B-Air
  • Model VP-25 RED
  • Weight 11 pounds
PROS

Removes moisture and prevents the spread of mold and mildew

Key at maintaining proper air circulation

CONS

Product arrives loose and dusty; need to tighten bolts

Known to arrive with scratches and dings even if brand new

Stanley is basically the old reliable of tool and equipment brands. It just works. This fan only comes in their hazard yellow color that they’re famous for, but it delivers on all the quality aspects you’d expect from Stanley. First and foremost, it’s a high velocity unit that maintains good air flow even at the total 20” diameter (largest model). It runs pretty heavy though, so your energy consumption is going to increase.

Apart from that, the only downside is the lackluster warranty, which came as a bit of a surprise from Stanley. You can chose from four separate sizes, so that it can fit your budget as you see fit. With sturdy rubber grips on the bottom of the stand, this stays where you put it regardless of the flooring material—concrete, tile, doesn’t matter. It’s sturdy and reliable, but expect to see a spike on your energy bill if you have this running for multiple hours each day.

Key Features
  • Total of 20” fan diameter
  • Portable; not too heavy to move with one hand
  • Steel guard construction
Specification
  • Brand Stanley
  • Model ST-20F
  • Weight 16.6 pounds
PROS

High velocity power with fair diameter

Durable rubber stops on floor stand

CONS

One-year limited warranty doesn’t cover much

Not very energy efficient

Shop Fan Buying Guide and FAQ

The best shop fans will have variable speeds, decent velocity, and a high capacity to cover a wide are at once. That being said, it’s important to weigh all the options against each other. What you seek in a shop fan might be on the bottom of someone else’s priority list, so let’s take this one feature at a time.

Features to Look for in a High Velocity Fan

  • Breeze Distance

How far the breeze can travel, more or less. You’ll often see this in the details of a shop fan sales page that says “30 ft of distance” or something similar. If your garage is a simple 10×20, then having a shop fan with over 30 ft of distance is perfect for circulation and dispersing the odor of various fumes from chemicals that you use. Larger shops don’t necessarily need one single fan with a longer breeze distance, there’s nothing wrong with getting two separate high-distance fans and placing them at a 45° angle in two separate corners of the room.

  • Size

The physical size of the fan, hence the diameter of space that the blades cover, is important for larger spaces. It doesn’t matter if your fan can propel air 50 ft away if it’s in a narrow 8” diameter. Larger fans are often called high capacity fans, because they can move more air. Size does not equal power—keep that in mind.

  • Rotation

Do you want it to blow air into the space, circulating it and cooling you down, or is it just to pull air out of the room and propel it outside to keep things nice and clear? Well, why not both? High-quality shop fans can either rotate forward, sending cooled air into your shop, or pull air in, and push it outside through a vent or the front of your garage. If you work with a lot of fumy chemicals, having both rotations available is a good idea.

  • Speeds

Variable speeds are important, at least if you’re doing multiple activities in one space. If you have a woodworking table, you don’t want 32 ft of breeze on the highest setting. That means you’ll be spreading sawdust everywhere; you’d need a lower setting. If you’re only working on your car in the garage, you can stick with a single-speed fan if you wish.

Easily Converts From a Floor Wall Fan

Why You Should use Shop Fans

So why do you need one in the first place? Let’s go over everything you could possibly want a shop fan for.

  • Circulation: Air circulation is imperative to maintaining a clean workshop that’s entirely free of mold, mildew, and debris. You’ll notice less dust building up when you regularly circulate the air in your garage or workshop, but you’ll also avoid pockets of moisture from damaging the wood frame of your garage or that wooden workbench you made. It reduces the moisture in the air to a hospitable amount, one that doesn’t threaten your health or belongings.
  • Comfort: Nobody likes being stuck in the middle of humid, sticky heat. It’s uncomfortable. Even if you aren’t using chemicals or anything of the sort, having a shop fan is still good to just keep you in a hospitable environment. When you overheat, you exhibit signs of dehydration and certainly fatigue, which could short the time that you would normally spend on your project. Basically, the more comfortable the temperature and air is in your workshop, the longer you’ll want to stay in it.
  • Safety: You’ve probably got a dozen different chemicals in your workshop right now, and that’s okay, but you can’t be inhaling those fumes over and over again. If you pay attention to the warnings on a ton of different adhesives, solvents and other chemicals, the ingredients could be lethal if inhaled. Having a face mask isn’t good enough; those chemicals settle and remain in the room, and family members who don’t know any better are susceptible to harm as well.

Industrial Fan Cleaning and Maintenance

For the reasons listed above, and so much more, you need your fan operating at full capacity 24/7. If you truly get an industrial-strength fan, maintenance is key. This is what you do to clean and maintain it.

  • Motor: Check the motor housing for debris and ensure there’s proper ventilation to prevent overheating. Listen to the motor for any whirring or clanking sounds. If these occur, shut the motor down and open the housing (provided that this doesn’t break warranty). Inspect the interior components to see if anything is loose. If so, call a technician.
  • Dust Buildup: Dust is going to happen. It sticks to the fan blades, whether they’re made of plastic or metal, like glue. We don’t want to leave shreds of paper towels or napkins on the blades, so start out by powering down your fan and unplugging its power source. Unscrew the guard and set it aside. Use a microfiber cloth on the blades down, ensuring to clear out debris buildup near the base of each blade where it connects to the motor. Hose down the guard, dry it off, and return it to its proper place.
  • Deep Cleaning: Using a vacuum with a narrowed nozzle and a can of compressed air, vacuum out the motor housing (you may need to open it up) and remove all dust. If some dust is stubborn, you can either wipe it with a dry microfiber cloth or use the compressed air to loosen it. Remove and wipe down every bit of dust before reassembling and turning it back on.

What is a High Velocity Fan, and How Does it Work?

A high velocity fan is different than a high capacity fan, which is usually referred to as something that can move a ton of air in a short amount of time. High velocity fans are able to spin faster, creating more velocity with the fan blades, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to get more air or a stronger breeze out of them.

High velocity fans give more power to the fan itself with a stronger motor, and expend more electricity to make them run. This can result in more concentrated wind power, but at the cost of being extremely inefficient when it comes to energy consumption.

If you’re working in a space with fumes and you need to air your shop our quickly, a high velocity fan can help move those fumes out of the shop floor quicker (provided that the blades are designed well). A good high velocity fan will reach a farther distance than high capacity fans, but may cover smaller areas.

Are DC Fans Quieter Than AC Fans?

While AC fans operate faster, they’re definitely louder than a DC fan. DC fans usually don’t have as many options for variable speeds and swivel, but they will be about 60-70% quieter than an AC fan.

As a result, you’ll notice that DC fans are also usually less powerful and smaller than AC fans. If this is just a shop fan for your own home garage, a DC fan will be sufficient to handle just about everything you need.

Shop Air Circulator Fan

Can I Move the Fan While Blades are in Operation?

It depends on the fan. If you have ten feet of slack on a power cable, and you want to move a 12” diameter fan three feet across the floor, you would be crazy to turn it off just to move it and turn it back on again.

But with wall-mounted units, the ones that you can then just pull down and prop open the stands, this is a bad idea. Ideally, you’ll want to ask yourself these questions to better judge the situation:

  • How heavy is this fan?
  • How long is the cord?
  • Are the blades made of metal?
  • Are there any tripping hazards nearby?

If it’s light enough, small enough, and there’s no risk of tripping or hurting yourself, then it’s okay to move the fan while it’s still in operation. The only time that it isn’t safe is if for any reason, the blades stop moving but the power is still on. That means energy is going to build up in the motor and overheat it, which can lead to short circuiting or a fire. If the blades are still moving okay, you can continue.

Our Top Pick

The versatility and the price really bring it home for us. The 32-foot distance mixed with the agreeable fan blade diameter makes it an easy pick without having to hemorrhage your wallet over it. Some of the other choices on our list, like the #4 pick, come with a ton of great benefits at a premium price. Honeywell was just able to give the most balanced version of effectiveness and durability while keeping the cost low.