The 10 Best Battery Powered Fans
This wiki has been updated 30 times since it was first published in July of 2015. Whether you’re vacationing at the beach or hard at work in the office in summertime, a battery-powered portable fan is sure to come in handy. These personal mini devices don’t require mains electricity to operate, so you’ll be able to stay cool if the power’s out or you’re not near an outlet. Some are designed to be held in your hand, while others can be set on a flat surface or mounted to a desk. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
October 27, 2020:
When people think of battery-powered fans, they may automatically picture small handheld models like the Jesir Pocket and VersionTech Handheld, or compact tabletop options like the AceMining Wind Rechargeable, but, as evidenced by some of the selections on our list, there are a number of larger fans to choose from as well.
If you want something that can rival the airflow of a corded floor fan, but which still offers the convenience of battery-powered operation, you'll want to look to the Geek Aire Outdoor. It moves an impressive amount of air and, thanks to the variable speed control, can be adjusted to produce just the right amount of wind for any situation. The fact that is is water resistant and has a rugged metal grate and blades are just added bonuses. Though a bit smaller, the DeWalt DCE511B, Ryobi Hybrid P3320, and Ridgid Gen5x R860720 are also quite durable and provide a lot of airflow. As with the Geek Aire Outdoor, all three of these are suitable for use in warehouses and on jobsites. Plus, they are no brainers for anyone who already owns tools from their respective companies, since the batteries are compatible with their power tools of the same voltage.
Those who don't need something so durable and prefer a model that is small and attractive for desktop or nightstand use will be well served by the attractive AceMining Wind Rechargeable. It is obvious that the manufacturer took aesthetics into consideration when designing it, however they haven't done so at the expense of functionality.
Probably the most convenient to take along on outdoor activities is the Jesir Pocket, which is so small it fits in the, well, pocket. It also features a integrated light, which can come in handy in a number of situations. The O2Cool Treva FD10018L is also equipped with LEDs, though it is considerably larger and better suited to use at home, or perhaps taken along when camping.
November 06, 2019:
We had to remove three items — the D-Fantix Travel, Opolar Aroma and Sunpollo Activity — due to a lack of availability. We also dropped the Coleman CPX 6, which seems to leave users frustrated by its noisy operation, lack of wind speed, weak blades and cumbersome design.
The collection of new items includes a miniature folding model (with a handy lanyard for portability), a convenient pocket-sized option, an efficient little desk fan, a versatile fan-light combination, and a powerful cordless jobsite fan.
We describe the Jomst Desk as versatile because it allows the user to be creative and flexible in how it’s set up. Its stable base — which allows it to serve as a nice desk fan — features a flip-out hanging hook, enabling you to hang it on a tent, tree limb, or any similar location. It can also be used as a clamp-on model, or you can attach it directly to the wall using its mounting holes.
Qushini Portable There’s nothing revolutionary about this simple handheld fan, but you’ll likely appreciate its nearly silent operation, lack of vibration, and rechargeable lithium-ion battery. If you’d rather not hold onto it, you can stand it upright on its base, making it suitable for office use as well. qushini.com
Tempest VS-1 You won’t mistake this model for a run-of-the-mill battery-powered fan; it has a stout, 18-inch diameter impeller, and a rugged aluminum frame helps it withstand wear and tear. Two sturdy rubber wheels on one end of the base allow you to effortlessly wheel it to wherever it’s needed next. tempest.us.com
Scrambling To Stay Cool
With some of the larger fans on this list, you'll also notice a gradual evening out of a small room's temperature.
We do a lot of pretty silly things to stay cool. I like to freeze grapes and pineapple and snack on them when it starts to get uncomfortably hot outside. Some people take cold showers or hemorrhage money running central air conditioners all day and night, all while an elegant solution to cooling your person, if not the space itself, is right there waiting for you.
We're talking, of course, about these battery-powered fans, which get plenty of juice from their replaceable batteries to keep heat stroke at bay. Those batteries power a pretty simple motor, after all, and the blades of each of these fans are designed to cut and move air with maximum efficiency.
You've no doubt noticed that you sweat when it's hot out. While you may think that your sweating is a cruel trick perpetrated by your creator or by evolution to rob you of your body's water when you need it most, the truth is that your body sweats to keep itself cool.
When your sweat evaporates, it draws lower pressure air toward you by enough minute degrees to regulate your body temperature and help keep you from actually melting. One of the variables in the rate of evaporation of water is the movement of air. So, when you have a fan running, the movement of air across your body evaporates more sweat more quickly.
With some of the larger fans on this list, you'll also notice a gradual evening out of a small room's temperature. Since thermodynamics dictates that hotter air rises and cooler air falls, a fan big enough to circulate the air in a bedroom will redistribute the cooler air by your feet up into the rest of the room, taking a room with a floor temperature of 80˚ and a ceiling temperature of 84˚ and giving you a central temperature of about 82˚, with the added benefit of increased sweat evaporation.
A Fan To Fit Your Space
There's a ridiculous scene in a consistently ridiculous movie called Ace Ventura: Pet Detective in which Jim Carey, as Ace, uses one of those handheld fans to propel a small boat across about 10 feet of water. You can dissect the absurdity from any angle: the inability for a motor and fan that small to actually work as an outboard engine, the fact that the fan would immediately short out when submerged in water, the disturbing Hawaiian shirt he's wearing in the scene.
It has a feature to it that none of the other fans have, and that feature can keep you especially cool.
I bring this example up because a lot of people expect small fans to do big jobs. It's important for you to take a close look at the actual sizes of each fan on this list, as they vary quite significantly from much smaller personal desktop fans to units capable of cooling a bedroom.
Those smaller fans are great if you need a little breeze at work or on a stagnant day by the pool or at the beach. They help more with the evaporation of sweat than with the circulation of air in a space. They do, however, work wonders in a tent, and, if you're that kind of outdoorsy, there's a fan on this list specifically designed to hang from the ceiling of a camping enclosure.
The larger fans on this list won't get quite as much battery life, but you can use them to cool down whole rooms. They're especially effective by a window in the bedroom on a hot night.
There is one fan on this list, however, that's a bit of an outlier. It has a feature to it that none of the other fans have, and that feature can keep you especially cool. I'm talking about the bucket-top model, which is both a fan and what's called an evaporation cooler. In addition to circulating air and aiding with sweat evaporation, this fan draws water from a bucket or any attached water source, and it sprays a fine mist into the air that evaporates as it flies, creating a lower pressure environment in your space and cooling you to the max.
A Fantastic Voyage
The fan has come a long way since its origins as a giant leaf waved over a hedonistic prince by a young slave. Such images come to us from Egypt and the surrounding desert territories, but such leaves could hardly be considered manufactured fans.
The first electric fans showed up on the scene in the late 1800s, and they were all direct current units, which were both more dangerous and less reliable.
Before the folding fans you might immediately think of when fans of antiquity come to mind, there were similar handheld fans that simply didn't fold. They weren't necessarily the exclusive dominion of the rich either. Simple, solid handheld fans could be made out of almost anything, so they belonged to the princes and peasants alike. What the royals did have over everyone else–in China specifically–were hand-cranked and hydraulically powered fans in the 2nd and 8th centuries.
Electricity changed a lot in fan manufacture. The first electric fans showed up on the scene in the late 1800s, and they were all direct current units, which were both more dangerous and less reliable. Within a decade, alternating current units arrived, and sales soared throughout the US.
The 1980s and 1990s saw a significant uptick in the number of appliances running only on batteries, as both the technology of the batteries themselves and the efficiency of simple motors allowed batteries to last longer and provide more consistent power.