Many different companies offer industrial and commercial ceiling fans. They all look pretty much the same– three metal blades, a round motor, and a downrod. But they are very very different, in quality, construction, features, performance, and price. Here we have taken the top models offered by the most popular manufacturers, in the most popular size (56″), and compared them based on spec and on our experience. We have divided them into three categories. Heavy Duty Industrial fans are designed for demanding environments and have extremely high airflow, ranging from 25,000 to 35,000 cubic feet per minute (cfm) of air moved. Mid-grade industrial fans are slightly lighter duty and airflow, moving 19,000-22,000 cfm and being of less durable construction. Finally, Entry-Level industrial fans move approximately the same amount of air as residential fans (6,000-10,000 cfm) and are of similar construction, albeit with metal blades. They would not be recommended for demanding environments. For the most demanding environments, see our page on Agricultural and Harsh Environment ceiling fans.
Many manufacturers of Heavy Duty industrial fans also offer lesser lines for lighter commercial duty. We did not consider these models, as across the board they were very similar in spec to the higher end models by the same brands. They are also usually very similar in price, so it is often best to go with the top models. Lastly, certain brands often import fans from the same factories, and therefore their product offerings are very similar. These brands will be grouped together so that the discerning viewer might make the observation.
Heavy Duty Industrial Ceiling Fans:
Northwest Envirofan Gold Line model 160F-7: This is the industrial ceiling fan pick of our editors. The Envirofan Gold Lines move 34,500 cfm, the most moved by any 56″ fan, and draw only 0.64 amps, among the least of all similar fans. Envirofan has been using the same fan design since the 1970s, and many of their 1970s fans are still in operation today. This is due to quality construction including a cast iron motor, which not only makes the fans more durable but also dissipates heat allowing the windings and bearings to last much longer. The motors are thermally protected and sealed, with chrome ball bearings. Envirofans are available with straight blades for ceilings over 40′, or curved blades for wider coverage on ceilings below 40′. The blades are aluminum, which withstands the elements better than steel blades, and is less of a strain on the motor. Northwest Envirofan offers some of the best customer service of all industrial fan manufacturers, and their web site has extensive suggestions for all sorts of installations. These fans typically sell for $120-150. Northwest also offers arguably the best ceiling fan guards available.
Banvil 2000 Gold Line model 160F7: Banvil, formerly the parent company of Envirofan, distributes very similar industrial fans to Canada. Their Gold Line model moves 34,500 cfm and draws 0.9 amps. Banvils also have a cast iron motor, and curved or straight aluminum blades. Price information is not known on the Banvils. They are not UL listed.
HRS (Heat Recovery Systems) model L-356: As far as this site is aware, this is the last of the industrial fans with cast iron motors (a design our editors strongly recommend). The HRS “High Performance” model L-356 also moves 34,500 cfm and draws 0.85 amps. HRS fans are outfitted with a special “firesafe” sensor that shuts down the fans in event of fire, preventing the fanning of flames. This feature is available on other manufacturers but comes standard on HRS fans. The HRS fans also feature curved aluminum blades, and locking bolts with PVC-coated threads. They are available in a variety of colors, much more than the standard white/brown/black of most industrial fans. Online these fans sell for $153.
Dayton model 4C855: Dayton is the “house brand” for Grainger Industrial Supply, their ceiling fans are made by Marley. Marley has been making industrial ceiling fans for Grainger, as well as other wholesalers and retailers, for many many years, and offers a quality product. These fans offer 27,500 cfm and draw 1 amp. They have straight aluminum blades and steel motors, however the canopies are plastic. Some experts reported bearing problems with these fans in more demanding environments, however the editors of this site have had favorable experiences. They are very popular fans. Grainger sells them for $170.
Marley/Leading Edge model 56001: This is the same fan as the Dayton model mentioned above, packed for Marley’s label (Leading Edge) rather than Grainger. It also is 27,500 cfm with straight aluminum blades, steel motors, and plastic canopy. One thing that sets the Marley fans apart is they offer a special blade set with a dulled edge designed for lower ceiling applications. The Marley/Leading Edge fans sell for $180-280.
TPI Corp (Telrepco) model HDHR-56: Ceiling-Fans-n-More does not have as much information on TPI Corp ceiling fans as we would like. This model moves 27,500 cfm and draws 1.1 amp. It has all metal construction and curved aluminum blades. The HDHR-56 sells online for $190.
Canarm model CP56: This model moves 27,500 cfm and draws 0.83 amps. Canarm claims all of their High Performance industrial fans are sealed and suitable for high moisture applications. These fans are metal and plastic construction with straight blades. Experts have reported bearing issues with Canarm fans. This model sells online for $90.
Airmaster model Mark VIII: This model offers 34,000 cfm and draws 1.15 amps. Airmaster fans are metal and plastic construction with straight blades. The Mark VIII sells for $170-180. Airmaster also offers the Mark I model that is 26,400, 0.40 amps and sells for $50-80. Experts have reported bearing issues with the Mark I, we currently have no review data available on the Mark VIII.
Emerson model HF956: Emerson has been making quality industrial and residential ceiling fans for years, in fact a model previously discontinued was formerly our Editor’s Choice. The model HF956 moves 25,000 cfm. It sells for $120-160.
Mid-grade Industrial Ceiling Fans:
ConTech model CTF56: ConTech ceiling fans are a popular choice for commercial settings. The model CTF56 moves 22,000 cfm and draws 0.81 amps, with curved steel blades and metal construction. It sells online for $140.
Action-Air model AA56WH: This fan moves 20,000 cfm and draws 0.75 amps, with curved steel blades and metal construction. It sells online for $65.
Nutone Proline model PFC56: Nutone has been making quality ceiling fans since 1979. Their current industrials are called the Proline series. The model PFC56WH (white) moves 20,000 cfm and draws 0.75 amps. It is metal and plastic construction with straight blades. It uses a ball-socket mounting system similar to residential fans. The 56″ Proline sells for $70-100.
Regency (Tacony Corp/Vista) model IND: Regency is a popular manufacturer of residential fans. Tacony is their parent company, and Vista is their wholesale line. Their industrial model moves 20,000 cfm and draws 0.75 amps. It is metal and plastic construction with straight blades. It sells for online for $90.
Entry-Level Industrial fans:
Glocon, Inc (Swifter Fans) model CF-56: Our editors weren’t certain how to describe these fans, as they were not familiar with them. They move 9,180 cfm and draw 0.72 amps.
The rest of these entry level industrial fans are made by residential ceiling fan manufacturers, in order to offer a consumer grade industrial fan to their regular customer base.
Craftmade model Velocity: This fan moves 8,275 cfm, draws 0.85 amps, and is metal and plastic construction with straight blades. It sells for $90-130.
Hampton Bay/Commercial Electric model Industrial (526012): This is actually a 60″ fan, and is therefore disqualified from our review. However it is very popular and the only model they sell, so we would like to include it. The Hampton Bay fan moves 9,630 cfm and draws 0.89 amps. This model has plastic blades, making it suitable for low ceiling installations. It mounts with a ball socket canopy. The Hampton Bay Industrial fan sells for $60-100.
Hunter model The Osprey: Ceiling-Fans-n-More has not yet been able to obtain spec sheets for this model, please contact us if you have this information. The Osprey has straight blades and is of metal and plastic construction. It sells for $80-130
Litex model The Utility: Litex makes Harbor Breeze fans, Aloha Breeze fans, and Ellington fans, so this model may be found under any of these labels. Ceiling-Fans-n-More has not yet been able to obtain spec sheets for this model, please contact us if you have this information. The Utility is all metal construction and is offered with straight or curved blades. It sells for $60-80.
Monte Carlo model Studio: This fan, made by Monte Carlo, is actually a residential fan designed to look industrial. However it has metal blades, so many retailers are selling it as an industrial fan. It moves 7,962 cfm and draws 0.8 amps. It has a ball-socket canopy, a three speed pullchain, and can take a light kit. The Studio sells for $130-190.
Westinghouse model Industrial: Westinghouse’s current ceiling fan line was formerly Angelo Bros, also formerly Encon. Encon made some very high quality industrial ceiling fans out of India in the 1970s and 80s. This current model is very basic, moving 6,900 and drawing 0.47 amps with all steel construction. It is available with a ball socket canopy or the more professional j-hook mount, with curved or straight blades. It sells for $40-70.
The following industrial ceiling fans we do not have enough data on to determine if they are Mid-grade or Entry-Level:
Air King model 9856: Air King is a subsidiary of Lasko Metal Products which formerly made excellent ceiling fans. Ceiling-Fans-n-More has not yet been able to obtain spec sheets for this model, please contact us if you have this information. This fan sells for around $60.
Shell Manufacturing Co (SMC) model K56: SMC is another company that has made quality fans in years past, their current models are largely marketed overseas and here as various relabels. The K56 appears to be a quality fan but we have no data on it. It has curved aluminum blades. Ceiling-Fans-n-More has not yet been able to obtain spec or price sheets for this model, please contact us if you have this information.
If a brand you are interested in is not listed here, please contact us. We would like to research it and add it to our database. If you are a manufacturer or representative and have more accurate data on your products, please contact us, again we are always looking to improve our database. All of the data posted here comes from information and documentation supplied by the manufacturers or their representatives, except where noted. The prices listed are actual retail prices of vendors offering said products. Ceiling-Fans-n-More takes no responsibility for our posted prices, these are simply the most popular prices our researchers found at the time of publication. We have no way of checking up on them or enforcing them, and are not connected with the retailers or manufacturers selling these products. All reviews, recommendations and opinions posted are that of our editors and technicians and are not the official views of Ceiling-Fans-n-More.com. As always, contact us or post on our forums if you have any questions.