I talked about it a couple posts ago, but here it is, my first impressions of the new (green) fan.
You can see right away the difference in vertical height on a horizontal surface, it’s about half the height. The fan diameter itself is smaller, but deeper.
The overall depth in deployment mode is the same, however it is what it is for storage – there’s no space gained by folding anything up, because there’s nothing to fold up. It’s not very apparent in this picture but it is below, that trying to insert or remove a battery while it’s up on a wall will be much easier with the new one. The old one had to have it’s leg kicked out at least partially to accomplish this.
The power switch on the old one is right below the battery, convenient no matter the position of the leg. The new one has its switch on the back of the fan housing, which unfortunately moves the fan. Not a huge deal, but I would have preferred it on the legs somewhere so it gives solid feedback. It annoyingly also has in huge lettering the fact that it runs 10 hours (more on this later) and is ‘30% more.’ 30% more what? Of course the answer is airflow, at least that’s the claim. Over the old one, but once the old fan stops showing up in stores, people aren’t going to care. One thing that has puzzled me since I saw it was the claim of 10+ hours on the front of the fan: On the back of the old one, it claims five hours. I thought, great, the new fan is either claiming more time with the Lithiums, or the fan is more efficient and can run 10 hours. Well, on the back of the new fan, it has the same five hour ‘replace batteries’ notification sticker. Either no one thought to update that, or you can still only run the fan five hours. I have no idea which one is which, since I doubt I’ll want to spend five hours in the shop this summer at one time.
The wall mounting options on the new one are varied. You can use the dual hooks to latch on to any wire-type surface (think a metal dog pen) or to perhaps a taught wire itself. Chain-link fence, that sort of thickness. There is also a swivel hook in the front that can function the same. The base has four holes in it to permanently mount it, or to mount to a board that could be used in a french cleat system. Instead of hanging the old fan on a screw or putting it down, you do have a lot more areas where this could go. It could even go upside down (ceiling?), provided you could still get to the battery.
Now, for a direct comparison between old and new. I fitted each with a fully charged P104 (the slim LiIon one) battery, and checked the performance. While it certainly feels like the new unit processes more air, I wonder if that’s actually true. While the airflow is a bit stronger on the highest setting, I wonder if the smaller diameter of the fan lets you get more air, or the same air on a more concentrated area. I’m certainly no expert in fluid dynamics. What’s important to me, and probably most people in a shop setting, is how the fan impacts how you feel. I think a stronger force is better than a weaker one, and if it can reach farther away, that’s a good thing. I think the new one accomplishes that. Not only is the new one a smaller diameter, it has less (but larger) fan blades, and I think just as important is the fact that the fan intake is conical. More surface area to bring air in to expel it out than the old one. Even with the smaller outflow diameter than the old one, I think the new one has an increase intake surface area. If air can’t get in, it’s not going to get out. And that was a huge problem with the old version when it was flat up against the wall, which rendered a large aspect of it’s flatness irrelevant.
In addition to doing the ‘face feels good’ test, I measured sound with my iPhone. I got a difference in about 7-8dB, with the new one being louder. This was at about a foot, though. At about three feet, there really was no difference in noise. At that distance, either one is only about 10dB above ambient, which for my shop is about 50dB. Since I always have the radio on, the 60-62dB rating either fan got won’t make any difference.
I think I like what they did for this remodel, but still leaves me with questions. I wish they could have incorporated lateral adjusment, but perhaps that took away from the ruggedness. I don’t feel quite comfortable with the handle. If it was about a half-inch longer, it would work fine. The lip works fine. However, if the underside of the handle was of a rough texture, it would feel more secure in my hand. I was worried it would slip, and I wasn’t using gloves and my hands were dry. Gloves, or slick hands, it might present an issue.
I’m not sure where this fan will go. The mounting location of the old one isn’t permanent, just some place out of the way until I find a better spot. Largely because the fan doesn’t really work on the wall and has to be moved to function. With this one, I’ll have to plan a bit more, or put it on a french cleat holder for mobility.
Either fan runs $30 at Home Depot right now. I say right now, because even the new fan rings up under the old SKU. In fact my receipt stated ‘blue fan,’ or something to that effect. However when the new radio replaced the old, I believe they did the same thing and the price stayed exactly the same.
I certainly appreciate the effort One World continues to show in making this lineup stronger, and updating the non-tool tools. It also appears that Ryobi is going all in with the electric green color scheme, something which I really had confirmed when I saw an unreleased Ryobi jigsaw in the green livery in HD’s overstock area. No model numbers to share, although I can tell you it will be at least 6 amps. I put an inquiry into their marketing department but haven’t heard back yet. I also shamelessly asked for review materials so I can try out some products from time to time. I don’t expect to get a positive reply, but I asked. I continue to think these are the best bargains for homeowners, but I do wish they would adopt some of the policies they’ve given their big brother Ridgid – namely, lifetime guarantee on batteries. I haven’t had any go out on me yet, but it would be a great marketing tool. Which is exactly why they haven’t done it, to give the Ridgid line a leg up. Oh well, I like Ridgid as well.
Final impression is that this is a worthy tool for my workshop. 4.5 stars