You should never confuse an air mover (sometimes referred to as a utility fan) with an ordinary fan. Air movers vide a constant, targeted blast of air, and offer a much higher output than an ordinary fan, yet are much smaller than industrial-sized fans that move comparable amounts of air. Because of their compact size, you can use an air mover in places where a comparable fan would never fit.
Topping the charts as the best air mover for the money, the X-Power P-230AT is a lightweight package with a lot of capability. At its highest speed, the X-Power can churn out 800 cubic feet per minute, but it only pulls 2.3 amps while doing so. Perfect for use in the shop, at home, or on a job site, this little workhorse is popular because of the 3 speed design and unique kickstand which allows you to aim the airflow to where it is needed. For big jobs, you can chain multiple P-230’s together using the built-in outlets on each model.
There are not many complaints about the X-Power air mover, and the ones you hear about are mostly in regards to the noise created by moving so much air through a directional chamber. It is not that the machine makes a lot of noise, simply that such a high volume of air moving through it creates a rushing sound that can be distracting in small places. You may notice an oily odor during the first few minutes of operation, but that is related to the manufacturing process and will not be an ongoing problem.
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The Mighty Mini packs a lot of power into a small package. Designed for shop and jobsite use, this unit can be positioned for drying walls, floors, or ceilings, making it a wonderful asset for drywall companies, painters, and water damage restoration projects. With a maximum output of 500 CFM, the Shop-Vac 1032000 is a little quieter than the top mover on our list, and is designed for stackable storage so you can store several units in one convenient location. This model contains built-in power outlets for daisy-chaining, and has a 10-foot cord that allows you to position it where the airflow will do the most good. It is not quite the number one air mover on the market, but it is a close competitor and maybe the best option if the extra airflow of the X-Power is not needed.
Stanley has a well-established reputation for manufacturing equipment that performs well without problems, and the 655704 Utility Fan is no exception. A popular feature is the inline circuit breaker that will shut the unit down if a short occurs, an importnat trait for working in areas where there is excessive moisture. At only 350 cubic feet per minute, the Stanley Utility Fan is only about half as powerful as the winner on our list, but it also weighs a lot less, and the smaller motor is less of a drain on your power meter. It would be nice to have a longer cord so you could move the unit anywhere in a room, but 6 feet is long enough for most jobs, and you can always plug into an extension cord.
The 655704 is designed more for your garage or workshop than an industrial site, but it is hardy enough to use anywhere you need to get the air moving. It may be a little noisy when you first put it to use, but after an hour of operation the newness will wear off and the unit will be much quieter for as long as you use it, and since this is a Stanley product, you will probably be using it for many years to come.