For some, the air conditioner can represent an unsustainable investment – and for others, the ubiquitous ceiling fan doesn’t quite have the reach to cool down far-flung corners, which is why appliance makers have addressed this Goldilocks zone with the directed airflow delivered by oscillating fans for tabletops. To help bring the temperature of your home down to tolerable levels, we assembled the following selection of dependable – and relatively affordable, ventilation options that fit on almost any table surface.
With most other fans, a trade-off exists between high-speed rotation and quiet operation – where the former is a requirement for a satisfying flow of air – and the latter is preferred by those who simply can’t put up with the constant whirring of fan blades. Dyson needs little introduction here, as their ground-breaking impeller has garnered mentions in our previous round-ups of vacuum cleaners and hair dryers – with the same low-tolerance and high-efficiency design principles imbuing their Cool desk fans with the purported ability to operate with 75 percent less noise and 30 percent less electricity.
The heart of any fan is arguably its motor, and KDK has perfected theirs over the course of a century in manufacturing ceiling fans and desk fans. The four-pole condenser motor incorporated into the 40-centimetre diameter KB-404 from KDK purportedly delivers stiff breezes in excess of 3,000 cubic meters per hour – essentially a generous living room’s worth of air every hour. The powerful airflow is supplied without comprising on the need for quiet operations, as this particular fan’s operational noise has been measured beneath a threshold of 60 decibels in anechoic chambers.
The second bladeless entry in this list comes to us from Khind – in the deceptively diminutive and gracefully ovoid body of the BS006L. While the Khind’s desk fan comes with the kind of automatic oscillation expected of all other desk fans, what sets this particular offering apart is the array of innovative design features not seen in other desk fans. The BS006L crosses into the territories of other devices with the option to select one out of 16 available colour settings for its built-in LED lights via remote control, and the ability to add one’s own blend of potpourri into the removable aroma tray.
Originally a French firm named after an annual cold air-stream that chills the Rhone Valley of France, the Mistral brand has been residing within the purview of Khind since the turn of the millennium. The MDF600I from Mistral – codenamed “Ivy”, is a deceptively powerful little device that wields a trio of 6-inch aluminium blades mounted on a low-energy 14-watt motor to deliver a light breeze. The tiny footprint of the “Ivy” is maintained with a motor shaft that oscillates left to right within the cage, and a simplistic stand enabling it to direct air upwards from the floor.
Recognising the superiority of KDK’s fan motor and brand equity in the realm of ventilating devices, Panasonic acquired KDK and incorporated their dependable motor into Panasonic’s own desk fans. With the F-MN404 from Panasonic, one gets a desk fan that is nearly identical to KDK’s own entry to this list: with a generous 40-centimetre diameter, three speed settings, quiet operation, and a quality breeze – in the boisterous shades of “Aqua Blue”, “Meadow Green”, and “Grape Purple”.
* Brands are listed alphabetically