Having the right tools for any given job is, no doubt, critical to success. Another important factor, though, is having the right environment for it.
In some cases, that might mean having your workshop organized in the right way. In others, it might mean having a jobsite speaker so that you can listen to music while getting the work done. And, in others – especially when it’s hot outside – it might mean having a jobsite fan spinning next to you.
In this article, we’ll look at the last of those. We will look at what some of the best jobsite fans that you can get are as well as at what the things to consider when buying one are.
Before that, though, here’s a quick overview of my top picks.
TOP PICK: DeWalt DCE511B Jobsite Fan
Fan with durable construction and variable speed control. Can run for up to 40 hours with the right battery.
Makita DCF102Z 18V LXT Fan
Automatically pivots from left to right and back. Equipped with a hook and a tripod mount.
Tornado 24-Inch Metal Drum Fan
Industrial-grade high-speed corded fan. Can be rotated 360-degrees around its horizontal axis.
7 Best Jobsite Fans
Let’s start with brief reviews of the jobsite fans that I think are worth considering if you are planning to get one.
Keep in mind that they are in no particular order and that the right one for you will depend on a variety of factors some of which I talk about later in this article.
1. DeWalt DCE511B 20V MAX 11″ Jobsite Fan
The DeWalt DCE511B jobsite fan is a great one to get if you are looking for a relatively small and versatile fan to keep you cool in your workshop or at a construction site.
It can be powered either with a 20-volt DeWalt battery or using a standard 120-volt power outlet. In the former case, the runtime varies depending on the speed setting and so on, and can be anywhere between 6 and 40 hours. In the latter case, you will need a standard extension cord to reach the fixed plug in the fan’s base.
As its name suggests, the product is equipped with an 11-inch fan blade. And, it’s equipped with variable speed control – i.e. its speed can be controlled with precision rather than the fan just having two or three different speed settings.
This dust and water resistant fan can be either placed on flat surfaces using its built-in stand, hung on pipes and other things using hooks, or mounted on walls.
One downside of this fan – at least according to some of its users – is its relatively low power.
2. Makita DCF102Z 18V LXT Fan
Next, let’s take a look at a fan by my favorite power tool brand, the Makita DCF102Z featuring a 7-1/8-inch blade.
It can be powered either with an AC adapter or an 18-volt Makita battery, neither of which comes included with the fan. Besides offering three different speed settings, it is also equipped with a timer that can shut the fan off in 1, 2, or 4 hours.
With a 5.0Ah battery, it can run up to 8 hours on “high” and up to 17.5 hours on “low.”
Like all the other ones in this list, this fan can be manually tilted (up to 90 degrees up and 45 degrees down). What makes it unique, though, is that it can also automatically oscillate 45 degrees to the right and left.
In addition to just being stood on a flat surface, the fan can be hanged using its built-in hook or mounted on a Makita tripod.
While overall, this is a decent fan for your workshop, it’s unfortunate that the AC adapter is not included with the product. Also, depending on your use – especially if you plan to take it to “rougher” construction sites – you might find it a bit too flimsy.
3. Makita DCF201Z 18V LXT Fan
If you like Makita but would like something more rugged than the one above, you should take a look at the DCF201Z 18-volt jobsite fan. While it’s not as feature-packed as the DCF102Z, it can survive in much harsher work environments. Especially so thanks to its protective bumpers.
The fan has two speed settings – high (1,700 RPM) and low (1,200 RPM) – as well as three automatic shut-off timer settings (1, 2, and 4 hours). It can be tilted by up to 90 degrees, and so you can easily direct the airflow wherever you need it.
Its mainly designed to be sitting on the ground.
While the fan can be powered using the included AC adapter, ideally you would use it in its cordless mode. In that case, you will need an 18-volt Makita battery. Using a 5 amp battery, users reported it lasting anywhere between five and eight hours on the “low” speed setting.
4. Milwaukee 0886-20 M18 Jobsite Fan
The Milwaukee 0886-20 M18 is another fan worth considering if you need something to keep you cool at a construction site or in your workshop. It comes with an AC power adapter and can also be used with Milwaukee’s M18 batteries of various capacity.
It has three different speed setting with the highest one offering a maximum air velocity of 18 miles per hour.
On the lowest setting, it can last up to 15 hours when using a 5.0Ah battery. If you want to run it on the highest setting, you might want to consider getting a 9.0Ah battery on which it will run up to a full workday.
The fan can be tilted up and down manually, however, it does not pivot left and right. Being built for use on jobsites, it is fairly durable. That said, it is not as rugged as some of Milwaukee’s power tools are.
5. Ryobi P3320 18V Hybrid One+ Fan
If you own some Ryobi 18-volt cordless power tools, the you might want to consider getting the P3320 18V Hybrid One+ fan. Besides using it with a standard extension cable, you will also be able to power it using one of your spare batteries.
Other than that, however, this jobsite fan is not as nice as some of the other ones in this list. And so, if you are building your kit from scratch, you might want to consider one of the others.
Rather than three speed settings like most other fans offer, it only offers two. Its plastic construction is fairly light and not as rugged as many of the other products on this list.
That said, it is still a decent product that can be both placed on a flat surface as well as hung on pipes, etc. And, while it does not automatically turn left and right, it can be manually tilted up and down to provide airflow where you need it.
6. Stanley 655704 High-Velocity Blower Fan
All of the fans I reviewed until this point were “corded/cordless hybrids.” That’s not the case with the Stanley 655704 high-velocity blower fan which can only be operated using power from a standard outlet.
Thanks to that, however, it is more powerful than the fans mentioned above. And, it is also a bit more sturdy.
It is equipped with a head that can be rotated both downwards and upwards. As such, you can use this fan not only to cool you down, but also to dry wet floors, and so on. Like most other fans, it has three different speed settings.
As an added bonus, it also serves as a power strip with two 120-volt outlets. You can use those to charge your batteries, run your corded power tools, and so on.
7. Tornado 24-Inch High-Velocity Metal Drum Fan
If all of the above are too weak for your needs, then consider the industrial-grade Tornado heavy duty metal drum fan. While it needs to be powered using a three-pronged 120-volt outlet, its 24-inch blade can deliver up to 4,700 CFM on the highest of its three speed settings.
With two handles as well as wheels, it is quite portable in spite of its heavier weight. And, even though it is powerful, it’s also relatively quiet.
The fan – because of its size – cannot be hung. However, it can easily be rotated 360-degrees along its horizontal axis. As such, you can easily use it to direct air both to the floor as well as to the ceiling. Or anywhere else that you might need the wind.
While this fan is of decent quality, in case it breaks, you don’t have to worry. It comes with a five-year limited warranty.
What to Consider When Buying a Jobsite Fan
Now that you know what some of the best jobsite fans are, let’s take a look at what you need to consider when choosing the right one for you. Whether you will pick from one of the products listed above or from the other ones available on the market, the criteria below should help you with narrowing down your choices.
Power Source (Corded or Cordless)
The very first thing you should consider is whether you want a corded or a cordless fan. More precisely, you will have to consider whether you need your fan to be able to run on a battery – all of them can run using 120V outlets.
If you decide to go with a cordless fan, I recommend getting one made by the brand that you already use. The reason is that the batteries and chargers are not included with the fans and they can get quite expensive. As such, there is no reason not to pick a fan that will be able to take a spare battery from your impact drill or other cordless power tools.
Just make sure that you have batteries of the right voltage. While you can use batteries of varying capacity (denoted in Ah or mAh), you will only be able to use batteries of the voltage that the fan was built for (most often 18V).
As far as powering your fan from a power outlet is concerned, one of the main things to consider is whether the fan uses a special AC adapter or can take an extension cord. Because the former can become quite a hassle if you lose the AC adapter, I recommend getting one that can be powered using a standard extension cord. In that case, the fan has a power plug fixed to its base that you simply plug the cord into.
Also keep in mind that some of the larger, industrial-grade fans use three-pronged power plugs rather than the standard two-pronged ones.
Power and Speed Control
When it comes to a fans speed, there are two things to consider.
One is simply how powerful a fan is. That will depend on two things – how large the fan blade is and how fast the fan is spinning. The power of a fan is usually indicated in one of the following three units: RPM, CFM, or MPH. The first one is “rotations per minute,” the second one is “cubic feet per minute,” and the third one is “miles per hour.”
If you want to compare two different fans, CFM is the best unit to compare since it takes into regard not only the number of rotations the fan blade makes or the speed of the wind it produces, but also the size of the blade – and thus the overall airflow.
The other thing to consider is how much you can control the fan speed. While some fans are equipped with variable speed control – meaning they have a knob that you can turn to gradually adjust the speed – most have three-level (high, medium, low) speed control. There are also some that only offer two speed levels.
Tilting & Pivoting
A typical home fan can be set to pivot from left to right and back automatically and can be tilted up and down manually. Their height can usually be adjusted as well.
Most jobsite fans don’t offer that amount of flexibility. While there are some of them that can pivot automatically, most can only be rotated along their horizontal axes. Most can only be adjusted manually to point either higher or lower.
All of the fans mentioned in this article can, of course, be placed on flat surfaces such as on the ground or on your workbench.
Many jobsite fans are also, however, equipped with hooks that you can use to easily attach them to scaffolding, pipes, and other things that might often be found on a construction site. That will help you with directing the airflow exactly where you want it.
Some also have holes in the base that you can use to screw the fan onto a wall or a wooden board.
In general, fans only serve one function – provide airflow to cool you down, dry a floor, etc. However, some of them are also equipped with power outlets and can serve as a power strip that you can plug your tools or chargers into.
There might also be other features that some fans come equipped with. While those shouldn’t affect your choice too much, they can be a tie-breaker in case you are considering two otherwise similar fans.
Regardless of whether you are an amateur handyman spending an hour or two a week in your garage working on projects or a professional spending hours a day at a construction site, a rugged jobsite fan is an indisposable piece of equipment.
It will help you keep cool during the summer, and it will help the air keep flowing inside your workshop regardless of the season. On top of that, it will also serve as a dryer if you paint something or spill something.
While there are both cordless and corded fans, I recommend getting a cordless one so that you can easily take it to wherever you are working at the moment without having to worry about power supply. More specifically, I recommend getting one made by the brand that your cordless power tools are made by since that will allow you to share batteries.