Worst fan ever: CHOICE Shonkys

Adrian Lini in the CHOICE Labs – Images: https://sites.google.com/choice.com.au/shonkys2021

Knock-off fans sold through retailers Catch.com.au, Kogan, Big W, Harvey Norman and more have been awarded a CHOICE Shonky award for being the consumer group’s “worst fan ever” – and you may not even know you have it.

Shonkys ceremony available for download here: https://sites.google.com/choice.com.au/shonkys2021

Bladeless fans images and video: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1bHKXBlMWlDlHj-9zwVvb_xVUtqAbA2DP?usp=sharing

The SmarterHome Bladeless Fan ($150) from Kogan scored an abysmal 44% in CHOICE’s independent lab testing, being thoroughly beaten by fans as cheap as $45. CHOICE then found a range of fans featuring the same (or similar) design being sold under the brands Fenici, Dimplex and Zhibai.

CHOICE Expert tester Adrian Lini was shocked when conducting a tear down between models sold by Kogan and Catch.com.au.

“This fan is imitating the more effective bladeless fans on the market without the power or puff. Retailers across Australia are taking this poor imitation and selling it under different names and different logos. This product fails for its knock-off shonkiness and it’s shoddy performance,” says Lini.

How bad is it really? Shonky. Real shonky.

The CHOICE labs measured the volume of air pushed out by 50 models of fans and couldn’t believe how poorly these generic knock-offs performed.

“The volume of air pushed out by this fan was so low that it looked like an error in the measurement. For the entirety of the test, it could barely reach 0.04 cubic metres per second. It pretty much has no output whatsoever, and that’s why the score is so terrible,” says Lini.

Most of the other tower fans in the test reached at least 0.3 cubic metres/second, more than seven times the wind power of this shonky fan.

When it comes to keeping cool this summer, Lini’s advice is simple.

“Don’t be swayed by fancy features and big promises. Much cheaper fans performed much better in CHOICE’s independent lab tests. You really don’t need to spend big to cool down this summer – do your research and don’t feel like you need to get the latest features or designs. A classic bladed fan can be more effective and much cheaper.”

“Products that take popular new features and find a way to make them more affordable and accessible aren’t a bad thing, but when you have something like this that’s built extremely poorly, the only thing it ends up doing is ripping off more people. It’s also concerning to see how quickly these bad designs can appear at a retailer like Big W or Harvey Norman only to be discontinued and reappear under a different brand and retailer not long after.”

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