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The 5 Best Industrial Fans
Did you know the best industrial fan today looks very much like the electric fan invented by Schuyler Skaats Wheeler in 1882? He got the U.S. patent number 494,978 for the device in 1893. Over the years, the motor, the fan blades, and the materials have improved for efficiency, but the general design stayed nearly the same. I have compiled industrial fan reviews and ratings for the best industrial fans on the market today.
In This Article
Best Choice: Maxx Air Industrial Grade 24-Inch High Velocity Drum Fan
The Maxx Air Industrial Grade 24-Inch High Velocity Drum Fan is the best industrial fan because it is portable, safe, and easy to operate. It can also be mounted to a wall securely.
The Maxx Air Industrial Grade 24-Inch High Velocity Drum Fan comes in bright red and yellow. When I first started looking for an industrial fan, I thought they would be boring and come only in black. I was wrong. This unit has 24-inch fan blades and operates at two speeds. It is comfortable to sit in front of when the fan is running at a slower speed to cool off. When on the high-speed setting, it will blow your wig off.
This wall fan is super easy to move around on the attached two wheels, which are secured to a sturdy tubular steel frame. You just lift it up by the handle on the side of the fan that is opposite the wheels. The frame allows the fan to be tilted. The side knobs can be tightened to hold the fan at the perfect angle. As an option, the frame can be used to mount the fan on a strong wall if securely connected to the wall studs due to the fan’s weight. Most people like to use it for its portability and capacity for air circulation in large spaces.
- Excellent customer service
- Frame is 22-gauge steel
- OSHA compliant for safety
- Arrives fully assembled
- Two-year warranty
- This fan vibrates and may move slightly when operating
Premium Pick: XPOWER Black Warehouses 24 Inch Industrial Fan
The XPOWER Black Warehouses 24 Inch Drum Fan is the best industrial fan because it includes safety features and a one-year warranty. The motor is very powerful.
The XPOWER Black Warehouses 24 Inch Drum Fan is a nicely finished industrial grade fan in black with smooth edges. This fan is a tiny bit more expensive than others in the best industrial fan category because it has a variable-speed dial. You can set the fan to blow at any speed best for the job you need to complete. The 1/2 HP motor is brushless and creates up to 9,500 cfm of air movement at the top speed. Even at this speed, the motor is very efficient and uses only 1.8 amps of power. This is useful if you cannot plug it into a dedicated circuit.
It has two handles to pick it up and wheels to roll it around. It tilts. The tilt setting is held in place by tightening knobs on the sides. The design has nice safety features, which include a sealed motor for protection and to prevent water damage. If the motor starts to overheat, a thermal switch automatically shuts it off to cool it down.
- Includes steel housing and fan blades
- Sturdy construction
- Quiet operation
- OSHA compliant and ETL/CETL safety certified
- Comes with a one-year warranty
- Even though the motor is sealed, it is not suitable for exterior installation
Best Value: Air King 9318 Industrial Grade High Velocity Multi Mount Fan
The Air King 9318 18-Inch Industrial Grade High Velocity Multi Mount Fan is the best industrial fan because the motor has three speed options. It is constructed of strong material and it is lightweight.
The Air King 9318 18-Inch Industrial Grade High Velocity Multi Mount Fan has a 1/6 HP, one-phase, 120 V motor, which runs at three speeds. At the highest speed, it is capable of moving up to 3,190 cfm of air. The ball-bearing motor is fully enclosed for protection. The construction is very strong with a steel housing. The metal blade is powder-coated for durability and rust-resistance. It is made to mount on a wall or hang from the ceiling by its bracket mount. It comes with a rear-mounted pull cord switch to operate it when mounted on the wall or up high.
There is a nine-foot black power cord to use for plugging it into a nearby outlet. The motor uses 1.5 amps when running at its highest setting so it does not need a dedicated outlet to operate. The head pivots on the mount, which makes it easy to direct the airflow where it is needed. The 18-inch fan is a good size to mount on a wall or hang from the ceiling to get plenty of airflow for a decent-sized space.
- Lightweight at only 21.4 pounds
- ETL and OSHA compliant
- Tested to meet the 230.99 AMCA standards
- Includes a one-year limited warranty
- Needs to be mounted on something – it cannot be used as a floor fan because it will fall over
Runner Up: Air King 9718 18-Inch Industrial Grade Ceiling Mount Fan
The Air King 9718 18-Inch Industrial Grade Ceiling Mount Fan is the best industrial fan because it is lightweight and ETL and OSHA compliant. It has three speeds and a 10-foot cord, plus a powerful motor.
The Air King 9718 18-Inch Industrial Grade Ceiling Mount Fan is very similar to the model I also reviewed above – with a few exceptions. This model is designed specifically for mounting to the ceiling. It comes with an extra mounting piece, which allows more rotational flexibility to be able to direct the airflow where it is needed. It has a 1/6 horsepower motor fully enclosed with permanent lubrication. The motor runs at three speeds. At the highest speed, it is capable of moving up to 3,190 cfm of air. The motor uses only 1.5 amps when running at its highest setting, so it does not need a dedicated outlet to operate.
The three-blade fan is made from powder-coated steel for durability. The fan is all finished in black. It has a nice long 10-foot electric cord to make it easy to plug it in.
- Lightweight at only 23.1 pounds
- ETL and OSHA compliant
- Comes with a one-year limited warranty
- The fan’s controls for on/off and the three speeds are rotary switches on the back of the fan
Honorable Mention: Comfort Zone 24 Inch Barrel-Direct Drive Black Industrial Drum Fan
The Comfort Zone 24 Inch Barrel-Direct Drive Black Industrial Drum Fan is the best industrial fan because of its all-metal construction and lightweight aluminum blade.
The Comfort Zone 24 Inch Barrel-Direct Drive Black Industrial Drum Fan has two speeds. The motor is a direct drive. It has an all-metal construction with a steel housing; however, the fan blade is made of aluminum. It has a cradle mount with wheels that can be moved easily using the handle on the fan’s side. Everything is finished in black glossy paint, except for the fan blade, which is left unpainted as brushed aluminum. The tilt angle is adjustable up 180 degrees and can then be locked in place by tightening the knobs on each side. The power cord is five feet long. The weight of this fan is 29 pounds.
The maximum speed of the 1/4 horsepower motor puts out a 1,270 cfm airflow, which is fairly modest compared to others in the same category as the best industrial fan.
- The fan blade is made from aluminum and is very lightweight
- Operates continuously in most environments
- Frame and wheels need to be assembled
Features to Consider for the Best Industrial Fan
I took a look at many features to make my choice for the best industrial fan, which includes size, mount/portability, adjustable speeds, airflow capacity, durability, and the warranty. In the end, there was one more feature that was able to override all the others. Can you guess which one? I will tell you in the conclusion below.
If you want significant airflow, you will want to buy the best industrial fan with a strong motor and larger fan blades. There is a considerable difference between units with 18-inch blades and units with 24-inch blades, in terms of where you can feel the air blowing in the room. Bigger fan blades blow more air around. However, the difference in airflow strength comes from having a stronger motor.
The best industrial fan for a wall or ceiling mount is different from the ones made for portability—like an air purifier fan. If you plan to mount the fan permanently, you need to think about the weight and how to mount it properly so it will not fall. Also, be sure to think about getting access to the controls if you put the fan up high because you may not be able to reach any controls on the back. You may need a unit with a pull-string switch instead of a unit with a rotary switch on the back of the fan.
How you want to use a fan is going to determine whether the best industrial fan has to have adjustable speed. In my case, I wanted the fan for a specific purpose and that was to move as much airflow as possible, so adjustable speed was not important to me.
Be aware of the high-speed settings on these fans, as they produce very strong airflow and can be noisy as well. The best industrial fan is supposed to blow air very strongly.
The way to measure airflow is in the units of cubic feet per minute (cfm). A higher cfm rating means the fan blows more air volume.
The durability of these fans comes from the all-metal construction and the quality of the motor. Steel construction is more durable. Sealed motors are better for dusty and humid environments and places with other airborne contaminants that can get into the motor and damage it. Sealed motors also do not need lubrication.
The best industrial fan should have a good warranty for the replacement of any defective parts. It costs so much just to ship a fan back that many people do not even bother and just buy another new one. Industrial fans assembled in America, even if the parts are manufactured elsewhere, have a better reputation for customer service and spare parts are much easier to get.
Benefits of Using Industrial Fans
When you want to clear a room of bad air quickly, an industrial fan is what you need. It’s a great addition to an air curtain, because it can cool the air and create ventilation, while an air curtain can prevent bad air from entering to begin with. An industrial fan will surprise you if you compare it to a typical home tower fan. An industrial fan really can move a lot of air. When I was repainting, using my choice for the best industrial fan was fantastic. Then, I cleaned the carpets and it once again helped me to dry them very quickly.
My family is not known for their patience, so keeping them out of the living room for the repainting and carpet cleaning would have difficult. By using my new industrial fan, I was able to dry everything out before anyone got home.
An industrial fan lasts a long time. If you decide to get a portable industrial drum fan, then you can expect to come up with plenty of uses. I bought some new furniture to go with my newly painted living room. Some people like the smell of new furniture. I do not like it. Outgassing triggers my allergies. So, all I had to do was leave my best industrial fan on all night with the window slightly open to blow all the outgassing outside. The next day, the smell was gone.
Precautions of Using Industrial Fans
An industrial fan is really strong. If you sit in front of one and wear contacts, do not be surprised if your eyes dry out. These are major air blowers and not really something you would sit in front of to cool off, unless the air-conditioner broke and it is a very hot summer day. They can also get extremely hot around the power box.
These fans are exremely powerful, so they may kick up a lot of dust. If this is an issue, you might use an air scrubber alongside it to help clean the air in the area.
Did you guess the feature I did not mention in the features section? My top pick for the best industrial fan is the Maxx Air Industrial Grade 24-Inch High Velocity Drum Fan because it has all the other features I like in terms of portability, airflow, and motor strength. Also, it is bright red.
Even my teenage boys thought the industrial fan I selected was cool because of its color and strength. Little did I know, their attraction to the fan’s strength would lead them to think up a way to “punk” me with some confetti. It still makes me laugh. Just wait until one of them has a birthday. My fan and confetti will be ready for them.