A Comprehensive Guide to Squirrel Cage Fans

The squirrel cage fan the most widely used type of fan on the market today. It’s likely you’re using a squirrel cage fan right now without even knowing it. Quiet and well built, they are useful in a wide range of applications. The simple squirrel cage fan can be found in every kind of ventilation system, from heating and cooling your house to massive industrial uses. It’s also found in both large and small vacuums.


The Best Squirrel Cage Fans

PictureProduct DetailsWeight in poundsFan Speed/Cubic Feet Per MinutePriceOverall Rating
Active Air 720 CFM Inline Fan, 8-Inch

single speed

720 CFM
Active Air 720 CFM Inline Fan, 8-Inch

single speed

465 CFM
Shop-Vac 1032000 Mighty Mini Air Mover
11 3 Speed

500 CFM
Lasko Pro-Performance High Velocity Pivoting Blower Fan 4905


3 speed

374 CFM
Stanley 655704 Multi Purpose Pivoting Utility Fan

3 speed

350 CFM
Dayton 1TDP7 PSC Blower4.75
146 CFM$4.8
Fasco A166 Centrifugal Blower5.2Single Speed

115 CFM
Fasco B452276.1Single Speed

265 CFM
Fasco B471208Three Speed

180 CFM


The widespread use of the squirrel cage fan has flooded the market with many different brands and models. With so many choices it’s sometimes hard to decide what squirrel cage fan best suits your application. That’s why we’ve dedicated ourselves to finding, testing, and reviewing all the best fans available anywhere. Our one and only job is to make everything easy for you, the consumer. Our unbiased reviews will give you all the insight and guidance you need to make the right squirrel fan purchase. Before we continue, it’s important to learn a little bit about the squirrel cage fan to properly understand its many qualities and applications.


 What Exactly Is a Squirrel Cage Fan?

They’re called squirrel cage fans because the arrangement of the blades inside the fan housing looks similar to a large hamster exercise wheel. The squirrel cage fan is also known as a centrifugal fan or a squirrel cage blower.


The squirrel cage fan works on a few simple principles that apply to all types of fans, no matter what their design. The squirrel cage is a centrifugal fan design that uses the force generated by the spinning of the internal cage to draw in air and force it out through the outlet duct. After the air leaves the outlet duct, it is brought into a system that sends it wherever it’s needed. When you’re heating a house, the air is sent to all the rooms around the house in a series of ducts.


 What Are The Parts in a Squirrel Cage Blower?

A centrifugal fan is made up of a few key parts:
Ÿ  Fan Housing — Where everything is mounted and the mechanism is stored. The housing is shaped like a donut with a single entrance along the side and a single rectangular exit located on the top.

Ÿ  Inlet and Outlet duct — These are located on the side and front of the fan. The inlet duct is open to the fan and draws air into the fan housing and then forces it through the outlet duct.

Ÿ  Impeller — Also known as the fan wheel, the impeller draws air into the system through the inlet duct.

Ÿ  Motor – Usually an electric motor that drives the centrifugal fan.

Ÿ  Drive Shaft – This connects the electric motor to the fan wheel so the motor can spin the fan freely.
There are usually other parts, such as bearings, couplings and other smaller items, but the main parts are what decide the quality and the price of a squirrel cage blower. Pay special attention to the quality of the interior mechanisms.


The size and power of the electric motor dictates the power of the fan. The motor is connected to the fan by drive shaft. The fan then receives one to one movements from the motor, so any movement by the motor moves the fan the same amount. There is an older type of drive called a belt drive that links the motor to the fan by a belt instead of a direct shaft. When a belt drive is connected the wheel speed is not the same as the motor speed.


There are three types of fan blades that might be found inside a squirrel cage fan: Forward curved, backward curved and radial. Forward curved blades point in the direction the fan is spinning and are typically used in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, more commonly known as HVAC. Backward curved blades face in the opposite direction of the fan’s rotation, so they are slightly more powerful and made for moving gases at a high pressure. Radial blades have no curve and are positioned straight inside the rotating cage. These are typically used in high-pressure, low volume systems like vacuum cleaners.


Finding the Best Squirrel Cage Fan For You


The best way to know what kind of squirrel cage blower you need is to know what you’re going to use it for. If you’re trying to power a high volume low-pressure heating and cooling system, you’re going to want a relatively large forward-curved centrifugal fan that’s capable of hooking into a central air system. Once you know what you’re looking for, our website provides you with the best options for your particular needs. Trust our in depth reviews to give you only unbiased and accurate information for all the best products from the best manufacturers.


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