Fan blades: It’s not just size that counts!

A fan blade is a fan blade, right? Yes, but there is a bit more science to it. There are many factors which affect how effective a blade (or to be more precise, a set of blades) will be in moving air.


Size (Length) – The longer the blades are, the larger area they will cover. As a general rule, you can expect to feel the air a metre further than the diameter of the fan blades. The standard size you will find today is 52” (1.3m diameter), and this is a good size for most situations. However, there are large ceiling fans which go up to a 2m diameter. And of course, for very small areas, you might only need a small fan, and these are available too!

Weight/Material – As you can imagine, a heavier blade will move more air than a lighter blade. Most blades do not vary very much in weight. However, there are some fans which use very light materials, such as real palm leaves, to create a tropical look. These fans will still move air, but less than fans with plastic, timber or metal blades. Just a matter of balancing how much you want the fan for looks and how much you need it to move air!

Shape – A blade which is too wide will be less effective as it will create too much weight on the motor and this will mean the fan will not reach optimum speed. As a result, you will get less air movement.

Pitch – A decent pitch is very important to moving air. A blade which is at a flat angle won’t push any air down. Of course, you don’t want to take it to extremes because a blade with too much pitch won’t be effective either! A decent pitch is normally between 12 and 22degrees.

Quantity – Contrary to popular opinion, when it comes to ceiling fans blades, less equals more. All other things being equal, a fan with 3 blades will move more air than a fan with 4 or 5 blades.

So how do I choose?! In reality, you won’t get a lot of choice because most of these factors are fixed. The manufacturers take these factors into account and try to balance function and aesthetics. The next best option is to talk to a ceiling fans expert and explain what you need to them! You can discuss your needs with our friendly and knowledgeable sales staff on the phone and have your order shipped to you. It couldn’t be easier!