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How Many Blades Are Best for Ceiling Fans?

3 blades vs 5 blades, 4 blades vs 5 blades, does it really make a difference?

Updated: 8/7/2021

You'll be surprised to know that the amount of blades on a fan makes very little difference in the amount of air the fan generates. But when push comes to shove and all else is equal, fewer blades will outperform more blades by a small fraction because there is less weight and drag on the motor. Ultimately, the difference is not enough to be of any concern. Yet there are some other things you might want to consider besides airflow to help you choose the amount of blades you want on your fan. Read more below.

Shop Fans By The Amount Of Blades:

2 Blades 3 Blades 4 Blades
5 Blades 6 Blades 7 or More

What's more important than the number of blades?

It's actually pretty rare that you can choose the amount of blades you can put on a fan. A 3 blade fan is made to hold 3 blades and a 5 blade fan 5. So comparing the actual performance of 3 blades vs 5 blades is not realistic. The amount of blades has much less to do with performance than the actual motor inside the fan, the size and shape of the blades and the RPMs at which the fan spins. So just looking at whether a fan has 3, 4 or 5 blades is not a useful way to evaluate their potential for performance. It is best to just look at the specifications of the fan. Our website actually gives you a Breeze Rating for most fans, which is calculated in MPH (Miles per hour). This gives you an idea how much of a breeze you can expect from each fan. You will see that the amount of blades does not determine which ones create the strongest breeze as there are many fans with lots of blades that move more air than fans with fewer and visa versa.

What's looks best?

Although how something looks is quite subjective, the trend today is definitely towards 3 blade fans. Fewer blades tends to make a fan less conspicuous and appear smaller in a room. A typical 52" 5 blade fan might look overwhelming on an 8 foot ceiling whereas a 3 blade fan that is 60" will be less imposing. This is where you get the real benefit of less blades because you can use a larger fan that will cover more area without sacrificing the appearance.


There is however a difference in the noise level of fans with varying amounts of blades. 2 or 3 blade fans tend to create more air noise and can produce somewhat of a helicopter effect or pulsating wind noise on the highest speeds. Fans with more than 3 blades do not typically have this problem.


Fans with 2 or 4 blades are much easier to balance than fans with an odd number of blades. This is because you can easily determine which blades are causing a fan to be out of balance when using a balancing kit since the blades are exactly opposite one another.