A shop fan is not like your average box fan or oscillating room fan, they have higher air velocity output and a more rugged design to work best in a shop or garage type environment. Higher velocity air flow also means more noise which can not only be annoying but also a drag on your productivity.
The constant throbbing of typical high-velocity shop fans can make it hard to hear yourself think, hear your tools, and generally wears on you. A good quiet shop fan can make working in your garage or tool shop more enjoyable and productive, especially in the summer months where stagnant humid air can make working outside the AC unbearable.
In this article, we’ll show you exactly what features to look for in a fan to help you get the job done year-round. Working in your shop will be more enjoyable and productive with one of these 5 best quiet shop fans.
Top 5 Quiet Shop Fans Compared
After reviewing dozens of fans, collecting data, and sifting through hundreds of user reviews, we have come to recognize these workshop fans as the best and quietest. Compare the specs side by side in the chart below.[amazon table=”1625″]
*Last updated 2022-10-07 at 07:33 / Product Links & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
What to Look for in a Shop Fan
- High-Velocity Air Flow – Garages, shops, gyms, and outbuildings tend to be warmer than a home or office, so shop fans should be capable of pushing a lot of air through your space. The higher velocity helps circulate the air faster, keeping you cooler and working longer.
- Low Noise Range – With higher velocity fans comes more noise, it’s just the way things work. An acceptable “quiet” noise range is somewhat subjective, but the best quiet shop fans have good designs that keep the decibel ranges in acceptable ranges. We did our best to find published decibel ratings, but we also researched what actual users had to say about it. If people thought it was excessively loud, it won’t be on our list!
- Portability & Adjustability – Do you need to frequently move your shop fan based on the days’ projects? Then a fan that is both adjustable and portable is going to be key. Get one of the smaller units with small adjustable bases, swiveling heads, a handle, or even wheels. Avoid fans that are overly large and can’t easily fit on a bench or cabinet.
- Dust Resistance – Being able to operate in a dusty, dirty environment like a shop is important, especially in wood shops that generate a lot of dust. Grit and grime collect on the blades, get into housings and can eventually make the fan motor fail. Shop fans are designed to be resistant to dust and last for years with some basic maintenance and cleaning.
5 Best Quiet Shop Fans
Now that we know what features we need, it’s time to dive into more depth on the Top 5 models.
1. Lasko Pro Performance Utility Fan[amazon box=”B077BMBR5B” template=”vertical” title=”Lasko Pro Performance Utility Fan” link_title=”Lasko Pro Performance Utility Fan” /]
The Lasko U15617 utility fan is an updated version of the popular U15701 utility fan. It has all the great features of the previous model with an updated body. The “Hamster Cage” housing style is great for directing air and runs much quieter than regular box fans. All you really hear is the rush of air while the motor runs quietly.
Speaking of the rush of air, the U15617 owns a pivoting head that blows a steady stream of air. There are three-speed settings on a mechanical switch, and the max CFM is 374. The outside has two integrated 120V outlets that can be used for stereos, shop lights, power tools, or you can even daisy chain several fans together for the ultimate in air circulation.
The Lasko U15617 lives up to its “Pro Performance” name and is a fan of many uses beyond your shop. Thanks to its versatile design you can place it indoors to boost your AC, in an exercise room for some sweat relief, and of course, anywhere you need to dry a floor or carpet after cleaning.
2. Vornado 293HD Air Circulator Shop Fan[amazon box=”B0013LNKIY” template=”vertical” title=”Vornado 293 Heavy-Duty Air Circulator” link_title=”Vornado 293 Heavy-Duty Air Circulator” /]
The Vornado 293HD is a powerful, yet quiet fan for its smallish size, perfect for small to medium workshops. The fan features a rugged plastic housing, metal frame, generous 10ft power cord, an excellent 5-year warranty, and it’s assembled in the USA!
It’s designed specifically for a more rugged environment found in workshops and garages and puts out a big airflow and a satisfactorily low noise level of 55 dB on Low, and 68 dB on High.
Like all Vornado fans, the 293 is built with the Vortex design that efficiently circulates air throughout the workspace. Once switched on, the Vornado 293 uses its unique Vortex Action to circulate your workshop or garage’s air completely. The air doesn’t just push out in one direction, but rather reflects off walls to create an efficient flow. This fan can move air up to 100 feet, which is plenty for even the biggest garages.
The Vornado is meant to sit on your garage floor or hung from the provided hooks on a wall. Repositioning does not require tools or time, simply move from one spot to another.
The Vornado is also powerful, with three-speed settings: 950, 1200, and 1550 RPM to dial in the precise amount of air necessary for your workspace. The motor features sealed ball bearings to resist shops kicking up a lot of dust, an important feature for the extra messy projects.
3. Lasko 4900 Pro Performance Blower[amazon box=”B001DNGSCM” template=”vertical” title=”Lasko Pro Performance Blower” link_title=”Lasko Pro Performance Blower” /]
The Lasko Pro Performance Blower has a lot of the same features as the number one rated Max Performance Utility Fan, only much cheaper. You’ll get a rugged fan with a fully rotating head, built in power outlets, and even an integrated circuit breaker with a reset switch.
The 4900 Blower Fan is quite small for a utility fan, it’s basically a 14” square, and weighs just 10.1 pounds. Of course, smaller is not always a drawback for fans. For the Lasko 4900, it becomes one of the most portable utility fans around. Tuck it in the exercise room, a basement, a garage, or stash one in the truck and take it to the job site.
The airflow is not the highest on this list, but a max rating of 350 CFM is a lot of air. Most people are amazed that you don’t ever hear the motor except on High, and the only other noise is the whoosh of air. It only has a 1-year warranty, but Lasko is a big name in heating and cooling and they are known to have excellent product quality and customer service.
4. DeWALT DXAM-2260[amazon box=”B07JHDTL47″ template=”vertical” title=”DeWALT DXAM-2260″ link_title=”DeWALT DXAM-2260″ /]
Another shop fan that looks more like a floor dryer, the DeWALT DXAM-2260 can provide cooling airflow to your garage workshop as well. This little fan has a convenient handle that doubles as a cord wrap (great feature since it has a 10 foot cord), as well as the ever-convenient AC power outlets.
The DeWALT DXAM-2260 has a three-position rotating head (0deg, 45deg, 90deg) but makes up for it with three sets of rubber feet, allowing it to be tilted up at an angle. The blowers are also stackable and can be daisy-chained to really attack wet floors.
The 600 CFM max output of the DeWALT air mover is impressive for a fan of its size. Lesser fans would walk and vibrate from cheap construction, but the DXAM-2260 is solid and stays put. Noise levels are satisfyingly quiet, where you can talk to the person next to you without raising your voice. Some users have estimated the noise rating to be in the 60-70 decibel range on the High setting.
5. Lasko 20” Shop Fan[amazon box=”B078TZ1WGT” template=”vertical” title=”Lasko 20” Shop Fan” link_title=”Lasko 20” Shop Fan” /]
The Lasko 20” Shop Fan is an excellent high velocity shop fan with a classic wire cage design. Don’t let the looks fool you however, this fan is quality all around. It features a powerful motor and metal blades that really push the air. This is a great choice for a gym, garage, or shop, but probably not inside your home.
The Lasko also has tubular steel construction, so it is a durable addition to your garage or workshop. It is light and easy to carry, thanks to its integrated (and hide-able) handle. The fan comes with a wall-mount bracket for swapping from floor to a higher placement. This switch requires a little bit of work each time, unlike the simple Vornado switch.
This industrial-looking shop fan excels in one area: high velocity cooling air flow. Being a high-velocity fan, it is not as quiet as an indoor tower fan, but for what it does (move lots of air) it is very efficient and not as noisy (starting at approximately 75 dB) as some big box fans and industrial blowers.
While each of the reviewed shop fans is a quality product, the best quiet shop fan is the [amazon link=”B077BMBR5B” title=”Lasko Pro Performance Utility Fan” link_title=”Lasko Pro Performance Utility Fan” /]. It has excellent air output and an enclosed motor/impeller housing to minimize the noise output. The pivoting head and rock-solid body make this one awesome utility fan.
If you don’t like the blower style utility fans, we recommend the [amazon link=”B0013LNKIY” title=”Vornado 293HD Air Circulator” link_title=”Vornado 293HD Air Circulator” /] for your workshop. It has the highest CFM ratings and lowest published noise levels. It’s the type of fan that works well sitting on the floor as well as hanging on a wall which is something the other models can’t say.