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A long-time contributor to SeriouslySmoked. Jim has had a lifelong relationship with the art of grilling, passed on from his father and grandfather to him.
Doug is a hardcore barbeque enthusiast and connoisseur. While he spends most of his time on editing and research, he sometimes moonlights as a product tester for particularly interesting things he comes across.
Spring and summer are hot in most places, including where I live. While air conditioning is useful and usually reliable, sometimes it’s just not enough, especially if you’re outside or in some semi-enclosed space like a garage without proper cooling or ventilation.
That’s where fans come in, getting air moving so it doesn’t become stale, moving contaminated or dusty air out, and cooling people inside. Floor fans come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so let’s go over what makes one great, and some of my favorite examples of the type.
What Should I Look for in an Outdoor Floor Fan?
If you’ll need a heater during the cold winter, then you’ll also need a cooling fan and misting fan for the extreme heat of summer. Performance is the big thing here; how much air can the fan put out, and how adjustable is that number?
The average fan should have at least 3 variable speeds; a low, medium, and high speed for varying circumstances. If you’re looking at blueprints in your makeshift office you want to be cool, but you don’t want your fan to be blowing so hard it flings your papers and such around.
A good fan should be able to cool a decent sized room on its own as well, providing comfort and air flow to each part of a reasonably sized area.
Construction is likewise important. This doesn’t only refer to the actual materials used in the fan, but the design and shape of it. Steel is preferred as far as materials go; steel blades can spin faster because they can handle more stress, and a steel shell is great for job sites and high traffic areas, as they can survive being bumped or jostled without issue.
But the shape here is perhaps more important in many ways. Plastic fans can perform just as well in some circumstances, so long as they’re designed with a certain job in mind. Light duty fans, for instance, are fine if they’re plastic, so long as the shape and adjustability is good.
A fan should have some way to change the vertical angle built into the fan, and the horizontal angle if possible. A fixed angle fan is next to useless in a lot of places, since it’s unlikely that the default angle will be perfect for you.
The angle also determines its extra use, which is where some of the other little bits come in. A fan doesn’t have to just be for air flow and cooling for your patio and backyard, it can be used for other things: like drying carpets. Utility fans are a legitimate option, but can be a bit pricey.
On average you should expect to pay over $50 for a good outdoor floor fan, and double that for a decent utility fan, or one with some unique gimmick like being battery powered. Keep that in mind when purchasing; the fan with the highest utility is not necessarily going to be the best.
Lasko High Velocity Quick Mount Fan
Lasko High Velocity Quick Mount Fan
hOmeLabs 40 Inch Oscillating Tower Fan
hOmeLabs 40 Inch Oscillating Tower Fan
Maxx Air Industrial Grade Air Circulator
Maxx Air Industrial Grade Air Circulator
Top 7 Best Outdoor Floor Fans Reviews of 2021
1. Lasko High Velocity Quick Mount Fan
- Durable all metal construction.
- Variable 3 speed design.
- Easy to use no tool setup.
- Quickly converts between floor fan and wall fan modes with included mount.
- Vertical adjustment for adjustable air flow.
- No horizontal adjustment or oscillating feature.
This is a high performance, versatile fan which is right at home in any outdoor setting. The high velocity fan is specifically made to cool down hot partially enclosed outdoor spaces like garages and shops, and performs excellently in that role, blasting air out in three adjustable settings.
While designed as an easy to use floor fan (it doesn’t even require any tools to put together) it also comes with a wall mount, easily swapping between these two functions.
In both roles it has an adjustable vertical angling, letting you hit your personal sweet spot in air flow, though sadly it doesn’t have an oscillating function or even any horizontal swiveling at all; you’ll need to manually adjust the fan any time you want it to be moved.
For the price though, this is pretty much the best possible fan of this specific design, with its combination of performance and construction making it stand out. Steel blades are a huge plus, and the overall metal construction sets this apart from cheaper plastic fans.
2. hOmelabs Remote Controlled Oscillating Tower Fan
- Adjustable 3 speed settings increase versatility.
- Adjustable wind modes for added comfort; oscillating function included.
- Easy to setup and use.
- Convenient remote controlled operation.
- Programmable for variable use.
- Tall but with a small footprint; easy to tuck into a corner.
- Whisper quiet and easy to tune out.
- A bit expensive.
- Can be in the way if needed in more cramped or high traffic areas.
A gentler fan this time, hOmelabs has made a fan that is perfect for your home office as well as your porch or garage workshop in warmer weather.
While not a high velocity, “max performance” fan like the Lasko model or some others, it does produce a fairly hefty wind, but the main draw here is that this fan is whisper quiet and oscillating, so it’s perfect for giving you great cooling power without breaking your concentration.
It’s also highly variable, with not only three speeds, but three different wind modes: you get a low, medium, and high speed, with choice between natural, sleep, and oscillating modes, which can be used together in any combination.
The use of a remote control adds an extra touch of convenience which is nice to have with a fan like this, especially if you’re using it in a room you’re going to be sleeping in, or that might charge temperatures wildly throughout the day. Instead of needing to go all the way over to the fan, just keep the remote nearby and slap whatever button you want.
Even better, it’s programmable; you can set it to change modes and speeds automatically at 1, 4, or 8 hour intervals. Perfect for situations like a home office that gets significantly warmer during the day than at night, or hits peak heat at certain points for whatever reason.
In terms of pure convenience and use in a light work room, this is my favorite, but it certainly wouldn’t be my first pick for use on a shop floor of the like, particularly given that it’s both a bit more expensive and significantly more fragile and…bumpable for lack of a better word than a shorter, more durably built fan.
3. Maxx Air Industrial Grade Air Circulator
- Extremely high performance air circulator.
- Durable, powerful 22 gauge steel construction.
- Can be mounted on the wall or ceiling and serves well as a floor model.
- Two powerful settings.
- Perfect for semi-enclosed outdoor work spaces.
- Rolls well.
- OSHA compliant.
- Fairly expensive for a fan, though fair for the performance.
- May be too high performance for many peoples’ needs.
When you hear the words “shop fan”, this is probably exactly what pops into your head. Maxx Air has been making fans like this for a long time, and the design has been refined into the compact, high power fan you see now.
This fan has two settings: high and higher. It’s made to blast air into places with poor circulating, and keep the place cool, yes, but more importantly breathable. It’s perfect for barns, body shops, and anywhere else where the air can quickly get dusty or oppressive, either due to less than ideal ventilation or particles and chemicals that can build up in the air.
Those things, combined with oppressive heat, can make working conditions unsafe and unpleasant.
The durable, rugged construction also compliments these conditions perfectly, and it can be used either as a rolling floor fan (as you see here) or as a wall fan or even ceiling mounted fan with the included mounts. It can’t be easily swapped between the three modes, but it doesn’t really need to be: this is the kind of purchase you need to be sure on where you’re putting it to maximize ventilation anyway.
4. Honeywell Turbo Force Air Circulator Fan
- Lightweight and compact.
- Can be set on most tables easily.
- 90 degree adjustable swivel.
- Variable 3 speed controls.
- Easy to use.
- Extremely inexpensive.
- Suitable only for exceptionally light duty usage.
This Honeywell fan isn’t anywhere near as high performance as the options above, nor even a fraction as durable or convenient. What it is, however, is affordable.
This fan costs less than a quarter what most other things on this list do, but it still provides great performance for the price.
You get most of the same options here: 3 speeds of variable use, and vertical adjustments to optimize the angle you need for comfort.
While not as high power as other options, it doesn’t really need to be. This is a great light duty option for setting on a table outside on your porch or some such. It’s perfect for sitting and reading on a slightly too warm day in the shade.
For most purposes I wouldn’t recommend this option, but for what it is it’s absolutely perfect.
5. Geek Aire Rechargeable Battery Operated Floor Fan
- 20 hours of battery operated fan use per 6 hours of charge; perfect for short to mid term blackouts.
- Good performance.
- Strong all steel construction.
- Easy to use.
- Fairly expensive for the performance.
While at first a battery operated fan might seem unreliable, or a novelty, it’s something that comes in handy more often than you might think in my home climate. We get hurricanes every year over here, and inevitably at least once a year I’ll lose power for at least 8 hours. In the peak of summer, with temperature in excess of 90 degrees Fahrenheit (not to mention the humidity), it can be torture.
Geek Aire Outdoor Floor Fan is perfect for situations like that, and provides a reliable compact option for any similar situation.
But even beyond that, there’s all sorts of scenarios you might want a battery operated fan. Whether it’s to provide extra air circulation somewhere that doesn’t have electricity (cleaning out a shed, for instance, or renovating an old house) or just to have a reliable fan to travel with if you’re on the road a lot (in my experience a lot of hotels tend to have spotty air conditioning) most people are likely to be able to find some use for a fan like this.
But none of that would really matter if the fan didn’t have the performance to back it up, which thankfully this does. It has the same variable speed you’d expect from a floor fan, and has an adjustable 1200 degree angle as well to make the most of its provided air flow. The battery also provides an excellent 20 hours of operating time on only 4 to 6 hours of charge, which is perfect.
Combining that performance and convenience with its durable all metal construction gives you a reliable (if pricey) fan.
6. XPOWER FC-300 Professional Grade Air Circulator
- Excellent multifunction use; cooling fan, air circulator, and drying fan.
- 360 degree adjustable angles.
- Powerful air projection; up to 120 feet or every corner of a smaller room.
- Variable four speeds.
- Settable 3 hour timer for power conservation.
- Very expensive, as not all people will need many of the features that drive the price up so much.
XPOWER FC-300 is a great high performance utility fan. Versatility is the name of the game here, with the fan being usable in all sorts of positions and for a variety of different functions.
At a base level it’s a great floor fan, which blows a steady stream of air in four adjustable speeds that can be tuned to your preference and a 360 degree adjustable usage angle that lets it be pointed anywhere.
But not only is it usable as a cooling and air circulation fan, it’s usable in several unconventional situations (like using it flat on its back to bounce the air off the walls and ceilings to every corner of small rooms), and it’s also usable for carpet drying purposes; it can dry 85 square feet of floor by just pointing it downward.
It makes a great fan for any small business, and is useful for a variety of uses in your own home for DIY projects, cleaning, and renovation work. Large rooms and small rooms it’s equally good in, able to project air 120 feet from the fan itself, or to every part of a small space if angled right.
If it weren’t for the price, this would be at the top of the list, but as-is it has a lot of functions that many people don’t need, so they’re not worth paying for in that case.
7. STANLEY ST-310A-120 Air Blower
- High amount of utility.
- 3 variable speeds.
- Good power.
- Adjustable angle.
- Lightweight and portable.
- Handy accessory outlet.
- Weird price and performance point.
This is a fan with similar use to the XPOWER model above, and at half the price.
Much of the functionality is similar, with a 3 speed variable air flow that gives you a lot of adjustability in how it’s used.
Similar to the above, it can be used as a carpet dryer, and can be turned at different angles to bounce the air as needed.
Unfortunately it’s significantly more cumbersome than XPOWER’s offering, and as such is a bit harder to recommend as an option, even if it does have the nice little accessory outlet that lets you plug other stuff into it.
It’s not terrible, but it’s in a weird spot where if you need this functionality, you’re better off shelling out for the better XPOWER model, even if it does cost twice as much, but if you don’t need the extra utility then you’re better off with a less cumbersome dedicated fan.
All of these fans are great in their own way. While I stick by the Lasko model as the best pure floor fan, having excellent performance and construction for the middle range price point, others have higher performance or utility, or fit a more comfortable pricing for other people, and so might be the preferred option there.
With some things it’s easy to point toward an overall best, but in this case it’s difficult, so it’s left up to what’s within your price range and needs; depending on those requirements the best fan here will change, but the Lasko will probably be best for the average user.
Read also: Cleaning and maintenance of all types of fans.
While on the subject of getting your comfort outside during the summer days, you might also enjoy our articles on other outdoor appliances and electronics like outdoor televisions and how to protect it.