Metal Blade Fans vs Plastic Blade

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Updated August 29, 2022

Fans remain a popular choice for overcoming the thick heat of a summer day. And one question that many homeowners face when choosing the best fans is which blade material is best. To help satisfy the questions surrounding this topic, we’ll compare metal blade fans vs plastic blade fans and their specific advantages in helping you battle the heat.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Fan blade material impacts a unit’s capacity for airflow and overall cooling ability.
  • Plastic fan blades are cheaper to manufacture, are suitable for more environments, but aren’t as powerful as metal blades.
  • Metal fan blades are expensive to make and shouldn’t be exposed to significant humidity. Still, they are more durable and often provide more airflow.

Insider Tip

There are options for non-corrosive metal ceiling fan blades, like stainless steel.

Anyone in the market for an outdoor patio or deck fan should check out our guide on the best outdoor floor fans. For further reading, check out how to select the best ceiling fan for your home.

Which is Best: Metal Blade Fan vs Plastic Blade

Whether made from metal or plastic, there are many excellent fan blade options available. However, the type of environment, the amount of air circulation required, noise level, and price are all things that affect which type is best for you. Additionally, when using a fan, it’s important to know the different material fan types since they can significantly affect overall comfort levels.

Cooling Capacity

Generally, a metal fan blade is heavier and more rigid than a plastic blade. Because of its heaviness, the blades cut through the air with less resistance. So, a metal fan blade provides strong airflow and a more significant cooling effect for larger areas.

But it’s also important to remember that the weight puts additional strain on the motor and can increase the noise. This is why fans with metal blades are better for large rooms, where the noisiness is less noticeable.

Plastic ceiling fan blades are lightweight, which increases the motor’s longevity. Still, the air circulation and cooling capacity will be less than metal blades.

Another factor that affects a fan’s cooling capacity is the size. When it comes to whether bigger ceiling fans are better, the answer is that it depends on your room size. A fan that’s too small for your space won’t cool as well as a larger model. Conversely, too large a ceiling fan won’t be efficient, either.

Durability

Metal fan blades are considered more durable and often require a stronger motor, but they aren’t without weaknesses. Metal blade ceiling fans are susceptible to humidity, making them unwise to use in coastal or humid regions. Exposure to moisture causes corrosion and faster wear and tear than usual.

Warning

While metal fans are suitable for outdoor purposes, the fan will eventually rust if you live near the ocean, even if you get a maritime-approved fan.

Plastic fans are suitable for almost any environment. However, they are typically made with cheaper parts, making them more affordable but also means they won’t last as long.

STAT: The recommended and most effective height for a ceiling fan is between 8 and 9 feet. (source)

Metal Blade Fan vs Plastic Blade FAQs

What does blade pitch mean?

Blade pitch is the angle at which a fan blade is tilted. A higher blade pitch indicates a greater cooling effect but requires a more powerful motor.

Is it ok to use a ceiling fan outdoors?

Ceiling fans are used in outdoor spaces to initiate airflow. But these must be dedicated outdoor ceiling fans, as indoor ceiling fans are not built to withstand the elements, like rain, dust, salt air, and humidity.

How do I determine what the right size is for my ceiling fan?

To do this, you must know a room's measurements and determine the fan's CFM. CFM is a measurement of how much air the fan circulates each minute.
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