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Top 4 Best Box Fans of 2018

Best box fan reviews 2018

Best-in-class
Fan-Tastic Vent 01100WH

Fan-Tastic Vent 01100WH Endless Breeze Box Fan

Up to 10mph breeze

Three-speed fan is perfect for tabletop or recreational use in the RV or camper.

Fan-Tastic Vent 01100WH Review

The Fan-Tastic Vent 01100WH is, as its name suggests, fantastic. This compact box fan impresses with three-speed settings that blow air up to 10mph. A 12V DC power source converts to a traditional 110V AC unit and is ideal to use in your RV or office to cool you off on the hottest days.

Designed for tabletop or suspended installation, the fan comes with both legs and retractable clips which allow hanging it from a grated structure. The clear fan blades enable light to pass through, a huge advantage when using it in a vehicle, while the low power draw has a minimal impact on the lifespan of a RV battery. Sturdy, reliable, and able to provide a pure breeze, the Fan-Tastic Vent 01100WH is the best box fan you can find to mount in your RV or to keep on your desk.

Best value
OPOLAR 4335396799

OPOLAR 4335396799 8-Inch Desk Fan

Natural wind effect

Unique seven-blade design and quiet operation allow using this device like a box fan or white noise machine.

OPOLAR 4335396799 Review

The OPOLAR 4335396799 is no doubt the best box fan on the market in terms of both performance and price. It brings real value for money and stands out thanks to its unique curved blades design developed to mimic natural wind. Besides, the fan has four additional speed settings that reach a maximum rotation speed of 1,200 RPM.

A low level of noise transforms the fan into a convenient white noise machine when the fan is running at high speed. Adjustable up to 90° and powered by either USB or AC outlet, this box fan is easy to place on your desk or hang in the room. Four operating modes and natural wind effect, a reliable timer, and multiple power options make the OPOLAR 4335396799 the best-value pick.

Also great
Lasko 3300

Lasko 3300 20″ 3 Speed Wind Machine

Energy efficient operation

A pivoting head ensures an easy adjustment of the air flow direction, delivering fresh air where is needed.

Lasko 3300 Review

Similar to our best-in-class pick but less versatile in its use, the Lasko 3300 appeals to homeowners who need a reliable box fan for their interior but don’t care too much about mobility features. Indeed, this fan box comes only with a wall plug and draws its energy from a traditional 120V outlet. It doesn’t have a USB or vehicle adapter and is inadequate to use in an RV.

Nevertheless, the unit does an exceptional job in the house and impresses with its three-speed settings and pivoting head which allow you to direct the air where is needed. A safety device makes it safe to use during nighttime, as an electric cutoff switches it off in unsafe conditions. Easy to handle and perfect to use in your home or office, the Lasko 3300 makes a great second best value pick.

Best budget
Holmes HABF120W

Holmes HABF120W 10-Inch Personal Size Box Fan

Inexpensive but efficient

Compact box fan ideal to use in small spaces fits well on a desk, countertop, or shelf.

Holmes HABF120W Review

The Holmes HABF120W appeals to those who need a reliable cooling device that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Its sleek, compact design makes it perfect to place on a counter or tabletop, while in restricted areas the unit can even fit on a narrow shelf thanks to its slimline profile. Ideal for a small space and occasional use, the fan boasts two-speed settings and draws power from a traditional wall outlet.

Quiet and efficient, the Holmes HABF120W makes a great personal use box fan and is an excellent alternative to the units above if you’re looking for a simple but affordable option.

2. Types of box fans

A quick search on the market reveals dozens of kinds of fans, and among them, the box fan stands out. This versatile device is constructed with mobility in mind and is usually compact enough to use in a vehicle or a tent. Yet, the right box fan can give a cool breeze to a whole room or larger area.

Among all the features to account for when buying a box fan, the first step is to decide which model you want. In essence, there are two types of fans to consider:

  • Freestanding box fan: Comes with legs or retractable supports that allow you to place it on a countertop or table. This model is ideal for office or home use, and most freestanding fans come with carrying handles that allow to transport them easily from one room to another.
  • Suspended box fan: Comes with clips instead of legs, which may also be retractable. This fan is easy to hang from a grating structure or a hook and is ideal to use either in your home or a vehicle, depending on its power source.

The best box fans on the market combine the best of both worlds and come with both legs and clips which allow for a freestanding or suspended installation, based on your needs.

3. Box fan power source options

Box fans come in multiple styles and choosing the right power source is key to a versatile usage. In broad lines, there are four options to choose from:

  • 12V DC box fan: Designed for recreational purposes, the 12V DC box fan draws power from your vehicle’s cigarette lighter and is ideal to install in an RV or camper. Most 12V DC fans come with AC adapters or batteries that allow using them both indoors and outdoors, for example, to use in your tent.
  • 110/120V AC box fan: Perhaps the widest spread models, these box fans come with traditional AC plugs and draw power from a wall socket. Like the model above, the AC fans can come with adapters that connect them to the vehicle’s DC outlet, for more versatile use.
  • USB box fan: Ideal for students and office clerks, these fans draw power from a USB outlet and typically connect to a laptop or PC port. They are ideal for tabletop use and often come with legs, or retractable table supports only. Some models have adapters that allow plugging them into a wall socket or vehicle outlet too.
  • Battery box fan: Built for portability, the battery box fans can be used They are perfect for camping and outdoor recreational activities; the most compact models even double as reliable stroller fans. Just keep in mind the battery needs periodical replacement, and this will build up additional costs in the long run.

Since most box fans come with adapters that allow plugging them to various power sources, it is recommended to choose a model with a primary power source that serves your needs; you can then use adapters to utilize the fan in different settings.

4. Best fan blades

The blades on your fan can make or break the deal. There are two variables to consider, their shape and their number.

All box fans use propeller style blades which can be:

  • Square: Equipping the most performing models, the square blades are wide and designed to provide a more efficient airflow. These fans are usually capable of delivering a higher CFM (cubic feet per minute).
  • Oval: A classic type of blades encountered on the entry-level and mid-range fans. These blades have a wider base which narrows down towards the tip and are less effective in blowing air.
  • Curved: The design of these blades is inspired by the real propellers, and they deliver exceptional air management. While it is rare to find them on box fans, some higher-end models boast this type of blades.

How many blades do I need?

Box fans come with a variable number of blades, usually between three and ten. While there are many factors that determine a model’s capabilities and performance, a higher number of blades can generally provide a better air management which translates into a higher airflow.

A ten-blade box fan, for example, can deliver up to 900 CFM, or around 10 miles per hour of airflow.

5. Operating modes

A box fan with multiple operating modes is more versatile, allowing you to adjust the speed of the fan to meet your needs. These settings vary widely from unit to unit, from simple single-speed fans to devices with over four speeds.

  • Single speed fans: typically reach speeds around 500 RPM (revolutions per minute).
  • Dual speed fans: can reach maximum speeds in the 800-1,000 RPM range.
  • Three-speed fans: have variable speeds in the 500-1,000 RPM range.
  • Four+ speed fans: typically exceed 1,200 RPM on the highest speed setting.

6. Fan noise level

Another essential consideration must go to the noise level. Luckily, box fans are quiet machines although some can be louder than others. When deciding what box fan is the best for you, consider the application.

Do you need a box fan for your office or recreational purposes? A fan with a noise level around or under 60dB may be ideal as long as you don’t plan to use it during the night.

However, a fan with a noise level around 55dB or under is much more versatile. These units can usually double as white noise machines and are ideal to install in a bedroom or nursery to promote better sleep.

7. What other features to look for?

  • Most box fans are fixed, but if you want some control over the airflow direction, you might want to consider a model with pivoting head.
  • Box fans are compact and lightweight devices, but a carry handle makes it easier to move them from one place to another.
  • If you need a freestanding fan, make sure the one you want has anti-skid feet. Desks, shelves, and countertops can have slippery surfaces, and the rubbery feet boost up stability, preventing the fan from sliding due to vibrations.
  • Some higher-end box fans come with a timer feature that allows for an automatic shutoff of the unit at a preset interval.
  • Choose a box fan made of durable materials. A robust construction guarantees adaptability to different environments.
  • A current cut off mechanism is an important safety feature to look for. This system turns off the fan if the fuse detects a hazardous electrical fault.
  • Also, check the energy efficiency of the model you like. Box fans have minimal energy requirements but running the device day and night on the hotter days can have a negative impact on your bill. Some of the models on the market consume as little as 15W per hour, whereas most models will require around 30-80 watts.
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