Garage workshops, while often well designed for the types of household jobs you need to tackle, don’t always deliver on personal comfort—but a garage fan does. It provides enough air circulation to cool a large area efficiently while withstanding the sometimes harsh environment. These fans also offer a variety of features that maximize your comfort.
If you’re unsure which garage fan is right for your space, this guide covers what you need to know to choose the best garage fan for comfortable ventilation in the workshop.
- BEST OVERALL: Lasko 20-Inch High Velocity Floor/Wall Fan
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Hurricane Classic Wall Mount Oscillating Fan
- UPGRADE PICK: Maxx Air Industrial Grade Air Circulator for Garage
- BEST WALL-MOUNTED: Air King 9020 ⅙-HP Industrial Grade Wall Mount Fan
- BEST REMOTE CONTROL: Tornado 16-Inch Digital Remote Control Wall Mount Fan
- BEST HIGH-VELOCITY: B-Air Firtana-20X High Velocity Electric Floor Fan
- MOST FLEXIBLE: Vornado EXO5 Heavy-Duty Shop Air Circulator Fan
- BEST PORTABLE: Ryobi P3320 18-Volt Hybrid Battery or AC-Powered Fan
- BEST INDUSTRIAL: K Tool International 24-Inch Heavy Duty Drum Fan
- BEST QUIET: Simple Deluxe 20-Inch 3-Speed High Velocity Floor Fan
- BEST CEILING: Westinghouse Lighting Industrial 56-Inch Ceiling Fan
How We Chose the Best Garage Fans
Garage fans can help dispose of dust and particles in the air as well as keep the work space cool. We selected the best garage fans based upon their airflow output, noise level, mounting options, and special features.
The featured picks come with multiple settings for light or heavy circulation, and the list includes diverse airflow ratings to accommodate different workshop needs. Most of these fans also operate relatively quietly in the 46- to 60-decibel range.
We prioritized models with one or more safety certifications and made sure to include options for all garage fan varieties. Additionally, certain fans stood out for their useful extras, such as timers, built-in wheels, and long power cords.
Our Top Picks
Each of the following top picks offers efficient ventilation in different kinds of garages and workshops. These top-quality designs provide outstanding air movement, durability, and value for the money. Each model stands out from its peers in the selected category.
A versatile, high-velocity fan, Lasko’s 20-inch fan offers the features that many garage users need. With a maximum of 3,460 cubic feet per minute (CFM) regulated by three speeds, the Lasko can cool a variety of home workshops and small commercial spaces with the assistance of a pivoting head. For a more detailed discussion of CFM, see the Airflow section following our product reviews.
It converts easily from a wall fan to a floor-standing configuration. Its rubber feet dampen noise and protect surfaces. The fan’s metal blades plus its steel cage and frame make for robust construction, earning it an Electronic Testing Laboratories (ETL) rating to ensure workshop safety.
- Type: Convertible fan
- Airflow: 3,460 CFM (maximum)
- Cord length: 6 feet
- Powerful and versatile fan can be either floor standing or wall-mounted
- 20-inch diameter pivoting head with 3 speed settings offer flexible airflow
- Weighs only 15 pounds with useful carry handle; ETL safety rated
- Some assembly is required and control panel needs to be attached
- Only available in black or silver, so may not suit all styles
Get the Lasko garage fan at Amazon or Appliances Connection.
Wall mounting a garage fan has two potential advantages: It keeps the fan out of the path of foot traffic, and it keeps the airflow clear of vehicles or equipment that could otherwise block it. Hurricane’s wall-mount 16-inch fan provides versatile circulation via three fan speeds and 90-degree three-speed head oscillation.
To limit airflow in one particular area, simply lock out the swing motion to keep the head in a fixed position. Pull cords provide users with speed and oscillation control in case the wall-mounted fan is out of reach.
Despite the budget-friendly price, the fan produces a competitive airflow rate of 2,118 CFM. A steel support neck and grill ensure durability, and the ETL rating ensures safety.
- Type: Wall-mounted fan
- Airflow: 2,118 CFM (maximum)
- Cord length: 5 feet
- A durable, low-cost garage fan that delivers competitive airflow
- 3 fan speeds, 90-degree oscillation or lock, and pull cords for easy control
- Unlike some competitors, the mounting bracket, molly anchors, and screws are all included
- Flexibility is limited as it can only be used as a wall-mount fan
Get the Hurricane garage fan at Amazon.
Maxx Air’s tough build, which features 24-inch-diameter aluminum blades and a powder-coated steel drum back, puts up with the rigors of commercial use. The two-speed motor produces an impressive airflow rate of 2,800 or 4,000 CFM, which is adequate ventilation for many large areas. The head tilts through 180 degrees for greater control over the airflow. The fan grill meets Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety standards.
Wheels make for easy transport and repositioning, and the useful 7.5-foot power cord adds to the fan’s convenience. The Maxx Air industrial fan comes at a higher price than many of its rivals, but it’s a worthwhile investment for DIYers who spend a lot of time in the shop.
- Type: Floor fan
- Airflow: 4,000 CFM (maximum)
- Cord length: 7.5 feet
- Rust-resistant powder-coated steel construction for long-term durability
- Powerful and reliable direct-drive motor; 180-degree tilting head
- Suitable for garage or workshop use with built-in wheels for easy movement
- Available in bold colors (yellow, blue, and red) that may suit a variety of aesthetics
- Offers fewer speed settings than some rivals, and is more expensive than many
Get the Maxx Air garage fan at Amazon or The Home Depot.
The standout visual feature of the Air King industrial-grade wall-mount fan is the large mounting bracket. Many wall-mounting brackets are often relatively small and tend to restrict the fan’s head movement. However, Air King’s fan allows almost 360-degree rotation both vertically and horizontally for optimal circulation.
The fan includes a powerful ⅙-hp motor, and it offers three speeds. Users control the airflow output with a handy rear-mounted pull cord. The airflow measures at a low of 2,940 CFM; medium at 3,330 CFM; and high at 3,670 CFM. Despite the high airflow, Air King’s fan runs at a relatively quiet 62 decibels, approximately the same noise level as typical conversation.
The 9-foot power cord allows you to hang the fan nearly wherever you wish. The Air King satisfies both ETL and OSHA safety requirements and meets the Air Movement and Control Association International (AMCA) standard of 230.99 for efficiency.
- Type: Wall-mounted fan
- Airflow: 2,940; 3,330; and 3,670 CFM
- Cord length: 9 feet
- Robust bracket allows almost 360-degree rotation for effective air circulation
- Durable yet relatively quiet ⅙-hp motor offers 3 speeds for efficient cooling
- Includes secondary support cable for safety, and complies with ETL and OSHA requirements
- Some buyers report that balance is an issue, making the fan vibrate excessively
Get the Air King garage fan at Amazon or The Home Depot.
The Tornado 16-inch wall-mount fan’s impressive features include three speeds, 120-degree oscillation left and right, 60-degree vertical tilt, and a timer for 30-minute increments up to 7.5 hours. A handheld remote offers you control of each of these features. It all comes in an easy-to-mount wall unit, and ETL and UL listings ensure safety.
The three speeds give relatively modest airflow ratings of 1,574; 1,799; and 2,075 CFM, so a large area may call for two units. A very affordable two-pack is available. The remote requires two AAA batteries, which are not included.
- Type: Wall-mounted fan
- Airflow: 1,574; 1,799; and 2,075 CFM
- Cord length: 6 feet
- Convenience of a multifunction remote control with a range of 20 feet
- 3 speeds with automatic 120-degree oscillating head and 60-degree manual tilt
- Meets OSHA and UL safety standards and has thermal overload protection
- Less powerful than other fans of a similar size
- 2 AAA batteries for remote are not included and must be purchased separately
Get the Tornado garage fan at Amazon or Wayfair.
At 4,650 CFM, the B-Air Firtana-20X spreads cool air over a large space. This reasonably priced 20-inch floor-standing high-velocity fan provides the most powerful air movement of all its peers via three speed settings (1,253/1,360/1,507 revolutions per minute (rpm). Its 360-degree head rotation offers precise air direction.
Low-cost garage fans often suffer from poor build quality, but the all-metal construction of this model is designed to be durable. While it can be installed as a wall-mount fan, it is frustrating to find that a bracket is not included. The device’s 12-pound total weight facilitates movement, but the short cord limits it.
- Type: Floor or wall fan
- Airflow: 4,650 CFM (maximum)
- Cord length: 5 feet
- Provides exceptional output while remaining compact enough for garage or household use
- Light enough to mount easily on a wall (though bracket not included)
- 3 speed settings and 360-degree tilting head to direct airflow
- The power cord is rather short, so an extension cord may be needed
- A few owners have reported durability issues
Get the B-Air garage fan at Amazon or The Home Depot.
Flexibility ranks as the key feature of the Vornado EXO5; you can position this garage fan just about anywhere. A stable tripod allows for placement on the workshop floor or on a workbench. A powerful three-jaw clamp attaches to shelves, racking, scaffolds, or other surfaces. The three-speed motor provides outputs from 159 to 236 CFM. Vortex airflow and a pivoting head increase efficiency.
While better suited to personal use than the cooling of an entire shop, it makes a great choice for DIYers who move around frequently and would be inconvenienced by a large stationary model. The motor is Ingress Protection rated 54 (IP54) to resist water and dust, so it can handle typical jobsite environments.
- Type: Floor fan
- Airflow: 159 to 236 CFM
- Cord length: 8 Feet
- Tripod design provides stability, and head can tilt at virtually any angle
- Optional clamp can attach to work surfaces, or it can be hung from an overhead support
- High-impact case is dust- and splash-resistant to independent IP54 standard
- Limited airflow means this is best as a personal fan rather than room cooling
Get the Vornado garage fan at Amazon or Acme Tools.
An 18-volt rechargeable lithium-ion battery (not included) keeps this fan running for 5 hours or more on a single charge and eliminates the need for an outlet. It’s also compatible with any standard two-pronged plug when in range of an outlet. Ryobi reports the airflow speed in rpm, which is 1,400 or 2,100 rpm from the 7.5-inch fan with a pivoting head.
This fan offers numerous positioning options with screw holes for mounting or hooks for hanging. While this is better used as a personal cooling device than a whole-room fan, this is one of the best portable options on the market.
- Type: Convertible fan
- Airflow: 1,400 or 2,100 rpm
- Cord length: Cordless
- Battery power allows unlimited portability and plug-in (extension cable extra) offers backup power source
- Wide variety of positioning options including floor standing or hanging with mounting holes for screws
- At less than 2.5 pounds, it is very lightweight
- Twin-speed motor and pivoting head helps direct air
- Many retailers do not include battery or charger, which makes a considerable difference to cost
Get the Ryobi garage fan at Amazon.
An industrial-grade garage fan needs two things: rugged build quality to put up with busy working environments and high output to cool larger spaces. The K Tool International 24-inch drum fan provides both.
The main body is a tough steel drum that will endure a few knocks, and it’s powder coated to prevent rust. The strong steel tube frame is similarly treated. The belt drive motor offers two speeds, with maximum airflow of 7,850 CFM. Despite high performance, the use of aluminum fan blades helps keep weight down to only 30 pounds. There are two handles and rubber-shod wheels that make it easy to move when necessary.
- Type: Floor fan
- Airflow: 5,250 or 7,850 CFM
- Cord length: 6 feet
- Heavy-duty construction and performance designed to provide high airflow for large spaces
- Aluminum fan blades help keep weight down and reduce operating noise
- Rubber tires and twin handles make it easy to move around
- Some found it louder than expected, while a few have experienced breakdowns
Get the K Tool International garage fan at Amazon.
One of the drawbacks with some powerful garage fans is the amount of noise they make. The Simple Deluxe 20-inch high-velocity model tackles that problem in two ways. First, the aluminum fan blades are light and designed to keep sound levels low. Second, the motor uses permanently lubricated ball bearings, which run smoothly and quietly. While the manufacturer does not quote figures for the three-speed fan, one leading retailer rates it as low as 50 decibels.
The head can tilt through 360 degrees to direct up to 4,650 CFM where required. Weighing in at less than 12 pounds and with a handle on the rear, it is also relatively easy to move around. Its all-metal construction helps with durability.
- Type: Floor fan
- Airflow: 4,650 CFM
- Cord length: 6 feet
- High-velocity fan with impressive airflow but low noise levels
- The permanently lubricated ball-bearing motor should provide long-term reliability
- All-metal construction yet weighs under 12 pounds
- Built-in metal handle make it easy to carry
- Some users worry about how hot the motor gets
- Limited use as only designed for the floor
Get the Simple Deluxe garage fan at Amazon.
Portable floor fans have their advantages. However, in large garages, they may need to be moved frequently as work is carried out in different areas. It can be more convenient, and more efficient, to install a ceiling fan.
This Westinghouse industrial-style model is recommended for rooms of up to 400 square feet and provides up to 5,973 CFM of airflow. With five forward and reverse speeds provided via a wall-mounted switch, it offers greater control than many rivals. When the garage is used during cold weather, the reverse function can help spread heat more evenly.
The three steel fan blades have a brushed-nickel finish that not only looks smart but is rust-resistant and easy to clean. While installation isn’t particularly difficult, those without the necessary electrical experience should consult a suitably qualified electrical contractor. All mounting hardware is included.
- Type: Ceiling fan
- Airflow: 5,973 CFM (maximum)
- Cord length: Not applicable
- 56-inch-diameter fan is effective in rooms of up to 400 square feet
- Brushed-nickel fan blades are rust-resistant and easy to wipe clean
- Has convenient wall-mounted controller with 5 forward and reverse speeds
- Requires permanent installation including electrical wiring for the controller and fan
Get the Westinghouse Lighting garage fan at Amazon or The Home Depot.
What to Consider When Choosing a Garage Fan
Anyone shopping for a garage fan may be pleased to find so many different models available. That said, a wide selection makes it hard to deem any particular one the best garage fan. The following section can help guide you on some of the most important technical aspects of these devices to aid in your decision-making.
There are several types of fans that can be used in a garage. Each of the fan types comes with beneficial features.
- Tall pedestal fans provide air circulation at approximately head height. However, some easy-to-knock-over pedestal fans may not withstand the bustle of a busy garage.
- Floor fans don’t lack stability like pedestal fans, but they can get in the way from their position on the floor. Still, most floor fans are easily portable. A drum fan, also called a blower fan, may be the most robust option.
- A wall-mount garage fan stays off the floor and out of the way. However, the fixed position may limit its range, in which case the garage may require a second unit.
- Convertible fans sit on the floor, mount to the wall with an optional wall bracket, or clip to a fan stand.
A number of different safety and performance standards serve as metrics for the quality of a garage fan, but tests to determine whether a fan meets these standards come at a cost to the manufacturer.
Because manufacturers don’t face legal requirements to meet safety and performance standards, few bother to submit their products to these tests. That investment in certification often reflects a manufacturer’s greater confidence in their product.
The following organizations administer tests of safety and performance:
- ETL (Electronic Testing Laboratories) and UL (Underwriter Laboratories) are Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTLs) that test products on an agreed-upon set of safety standards.
- The Air Movement and Control Association (AMCA) is an international body set up by manufacturers of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning equipment to provide ratings for associated equipment.
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a section of the U.S. Department of Labor that sets and enforces standards in commercial environments.
OSHA recommends hearing protection for any device that consistently produces 85 decibels or more, but few of the best garage fans reach 60 decibels. In fact, most run at considerably quieter levels on lower speeds. While likely not harmful, the consistent drone of a garage fan may be a bit annoying, at the least. If that’s the case, basic earplugs should provide sufficient personal comfort.
Many garage-based DIYers often wear ear protection to protect their hearing against the noise of impact wrenches, grinders, and sanders anyway, so a fan’s sound output may not be relevant.
Airflow ratings, a key indicator of garage-fan performance, come in the form CFM, the volume of air moved. Both the diameter of the garage fan and its speed in rpm affect the CFM. The best garage fan for the designated area should provide one CFM per square foot of space.
A large-diameter industrial garage fan will deliver a higher CFM than a smaller-diameter model when running at the same speed. Higher speeds, though, can make an area feel cooler regardless of the CFM. For that reason, buyers may want to consider both CFM and fan speed.
Controls and Timers
Most of the best garage fans, even budget-friendly models, offer multiple speeds. Different times of the year demand different levels of cooling. Models with two to four speeds provide the necessary flexibility to match performance to climate variations.
Speed controls vary. Floor fans often come with a rotating dial, and wall fans frequently use a pull cord. A few, usually wall-mounted fans, come with remote controls. Remotes seem convenient, but remember that fuels, oils, degreasers, paints, and other substances around the workshop can get into the device and ruin its functionality.
Many types of household fans offer timers, but garage models rarely include this added convenience. Wall-mounted exhaust fans used in commercial garages may come with timers, but cooling fans are often only needed when the garage is occupied, which makes timers largely redundant.
A good garage fan needs to put up with some harsh conditions. DIYers will eventually knock over or drop something on a floor fan, so these models need a particularly tough exterior. Painted or powder-coated steel, the most common construction material, helps prevent rust. Impact-resistant plastics reduce the damage caused by accidents and may result in a more lightweight product.
Industrial garage fans known as drum fans have a deep protective shroud around the perimeter of the fan. Other models have cages, which keep fingers from harm and stop debris from reaching the blades and causing damage.
Wall-mounted models, which avoid physical damage due to their position, tend to have plastic blades and steel cages. Their pull cords come in nylon or thin chain. The former can be prone to wear, but replacement is relatively easy.
One of the main benefits of floor-standing garage fans is their portability: They will move to whatever space requires cooling. Lightweight models, weighing 10 to 15 pounds, move easily due to their size. Attached wheels can aid in the transport of heavier industrial garage fans, though these seldom weigh more than 35 pounds.
Some garage fans use innovative tripods that sit on the floor or a bench and offer limited height adjustment. Strong clamps may allow for clipping onto a shelf or other support.
Fans designed for garage use may be simple or have extra features that make the fan easier to use and easier to cool an area. Some of the following additional features may be important considerations as well.
- Oscillating and adjustable fan heads: Oscillating heads help spread cooling air around a space. Adjustable heads tilt up or down to the preferred angle.
- Removable parts: A removable cage or shield allows for quick cleaning of blades as part of general garage tidying.
- Extra-long power cords: While many have shorter cords, 8- to 10-foot cords offer added convenience and portability.
There’s a lot to consider when shopping for a garage fan. Now that you know about some of the garage fan options out there, here are some answers to a few of the most common questions about these products.
Q. Where should a fan be placed in a garage?
Wall-mounted fans that are placed in high places and face away from the wall in a garage offer temperature regulation and remove particles from the air effectively. Floor-mounted fans distribute air horizontally throughout the garage, which cools the room. They are portable enough to achieve air circulation wherever needed.
Q. What size fan is best for a garage?
The best size fan for your garage will depend on the size of the space and how you use it. If you want personal cooling that is easy to move around, a portable 10-inch fan like the Ryobi garage fan will work well.
If the fan is not going to be moved often, then a 16-inch size or larger will be of benefit in most garage spaces. The CFM rating tells you the volume of air being moved, so higher numbers are better for larger garages.
It’s a good idea not to underestimate the size of the fan required. However, size is just one of the considerations, and the details above include other important factors in detail.
Q. Are ceiling fans in a garage a good idea?
Ceiling fans can be a good idea in a garage if you don’t need portable cooling. They can provide an efficient downdraft over a larger area. As with any fan, CFM is a consideration, and many manufacturers also give an idea of the area covered.
The Westinghouse garage fan above is rated for 400 square feet, more than enough for a typical 22-foot-long by 12-foot-wide garage. Assembly and installation is a little more complex than for portable fans, but not a major challenge.
Q. When is the best time to buy a fan?
When working with lumber or noxious chemicals on a project, a fan can help reduce the fumes, dust, and particles in the garage. A fan is also a good investment for anyone planning to work in a garage during the summer heat when cooling the hot air is a necessity.The best time to buy a fan is usually in the fall, once the hot weather is past.
Q. How much CFM power should a garage fan have?
Garage fans should have high velocity and a power of 3,000 to 6,000 CFM. The average 1-car garage can rely on a 3,000- to 4,000-CFM fan for air distribution, while larger garages often employ a 4,000- to 6,000-CFM fan.
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