18 July, 2011

Bladeless Fan

I bought a bladeless fan from Taobao, China's auction site, like eBay. I think the site name literally means "search/find treasure". There are many shops selling similar items here, and it's hard to find a reliable one. I chose this because this shop had videos of a person standing on the ring and dropping the motor, and the fan still worked. Oh when I went to Shenzhen there were lots of shops selling these fans as well.

The supposed advantages of this fan are, in order of importance to me:
  • easy to clean
  • safe
  • efficient/brushless motor
  • low centre of gravity
  • balanced
  • no buffeting
  • continuous power control
  • small footprint (added by me)
The main advantage, if it is true, is that it's easy to clean, supposedly you can just wipe it. However, I'm sure there are blades/vanes/impellers/moving things hitting air inside, which will accumulate dust, so I highly doubt it's that simple. I can't find any pictures of the inside of an Air Multiplier online, the best I found was:
Which probably isn't of the original. Still, it seems to have blades. After using this fan for a while, I find dust begins to accumulate on the intake ports (those rectangular patches of holes on the base), especially the fibrous kind of dust (as opposed to the powdery kind). Is all the dust being deposited here, or is some still sucked inside and left there?

I didn't think much of its safety at first, since I don't tend to stick things into fans. However I've found it's more useful than I thought, especially with things like curtains, which my old fan used to suck in. I used this with a mosquito net and could place the fan anywhere without risking it entangling. Another advantage is since the intake is all around the base, it's difficult to block.

Another nice advantage is efficiency, if the fan induces more wind than the motor alone produces, it should be more energy efficient than other fans. This needs to be tested though, as I'm sure it uses some energy squeezing the air through a tiny gap. I'm not sure if this has a brushless motor as advertised.

Another thing I've noticed is that I can look through the air intake ports to the other side, meaning the lower part of the fan is hollow. I looked at the Air Multiplier and it was the same. Why don't they make it smaller then?

Having the fan pivot about its centre of gravity sounds nice, but the movement is very stiff, and it can't be adjusted with 1 hand. Its tilt is also very little compared to normal fans. I've tried the Air Multiplier and it's not easy to tilt either.

Buffeting seems like something they came up with just for marketing. I've never noticed it before, and I'm not sure I can feel it, even when looking for it.

Stuff to do:
  • make cyclonic air purifier
  • blow smells

I had a chance to have a look at a real Air Multiplier:
  • it's more powerful and quiet
  • the base pivots more smoothly, but still can't be adjusted with 1 finger
  • also hollow near the air intake 
While I'm sad that mine isn't that good, I'm glad to know that the money spent on the Air Multiplier actually goes somewhere.


  1. Thanks for your review, it's useful.!

  2. Blades in the base... A-ha, very helpful. Thanks!