Tool Review: Big Ass Fans Yellow Jacket portable fan

The Yellow Jacket portable fan, from Big Ass Fans, is constructed of a heavy-gauge steel carriage, engineered to withstand the harshest environments. Using Powerfoil-inspired blades that offer maximum efficiency and airflow coverage, this acoustically designed fan, motor and carriage offers extremely quiet operation. Multiple speeds and an easily operated locking position mechanism put the amount and direction of airflow at the operator's control. Ceiling, wall or multiple floor mounting options available.

The review

Mike Steptoe, owner of Reliable Auto Repair in Fort Atkinson, Wis., tested the Yellow Jacket portable fan in his shop.

After Mike received the fan, he said assembly was quick and easy, taking “15 minutes at the most." 

Once up and running, Mike appreciated the quiet operation and easy manueverability of the fan.

He liked the ability to rotate the fan a full 360 degrees, allowing him to direct air wherever he liked. The wheels also helped Mike move the fan wherever he wanted it in the shop.

As far as quiet operation? “You can still talk over it. It wasn’t like you had to yell over (the noise), or turn it off to talk over it."

The yellow jacket offers a variable speed control, allowing users to gradually change speeds from high to low, and anywhere in between. “The control itself was very nice. It’s way more than just three or four speeds,” says Mike.

Mike also liked the basic construction of the fan.“The shrouding’s made out of plastic. That’s another nice feature,” says Mike. “The steel (fans), I would imagine, they have to start vibrating as stuff loosens up because they have to be riveted together and they’d get noisier with time.”

Reliable Auto Repair previously did not have any cooling or ventilation in the shop. After testing the Yellow Jacket, Mike is reconsidering having a fan in his shop.

“It does everything a fan needs to do,” says Mike. “It moves air quietly, it’s easy to control, easy to move. Overall, it’s put together pretty well.”