Blower - Squirrel Cage (12V)

This DC Blower really moves some air! Pulling about 1Amp @ 12VDC, this blower is rated at 16CFM (although it seems like more to us). We've used this blower to build small hovercrafts and to cool off on a hot day, they're also handy for inflating "transforming" e-textiles garments!

  • Rated Voltage: 6-12VDC
  • Rated Current: 1Amp
  • Rated Airflow: 16CFM
  • Rated Power: 10W
  • Outlet Diameter: 33mm
  • Fan Speed: 3000-3500rpm

Blower - Squirrel Cage (12V) Product Help and Resources

21st Century Fashion Kit: Inflation

December 10, 2014

Learn how to use a blower and thin sheet plastic to create designs that change shape and volume!

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Power Supply Requirements

These units require 1.6A to start up. Only after reaching the 1.6A startup load can the unit continue to function at 0.6A.
We recommend using this power supply.

Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

2 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • chepecarlos2 / about 5 years ago / 1

    Can you reverse the direction in which the air goes?

    • santaimpersonator / about 5 years ago / 1

      Hi there, it sounds like you are looking for technical assistance. Please use the link in the banner above, to get started with posting a topic in our forums. Our technical support team will do their best to assist you.

      The short answer is no; it isn't designed for that. For more details, look up centrifugal fans/blowers on the internet.

  • Bret Cooper / about 8 years ago / 1

    Any CAD files for this?

    • Member #148266 / about 7 years ago / 1

      Also chasing CAD general arrangement or dimensioned drawing. Anyone had luck or drawn their own?

  • Member #466449 / about 8 years ago / 1

    16 cubic feet = 453.1 liters

    That means, 16 CFM = 453.1 liters per minute = 7551 cm³ per second

    Outlet diameter is 33mm, so its area is Pi x (1.65 cm)² = 8.553 cm²

    7551 cm³ per second / 8.553 cm² = 882.9 cm per second

    So the air speed in the outlet is 8.829 m/s, or 31.78 kilometers per hour!

  • Bravo Sierra / about 12 years ago / 19

    I have to tell you something...

    This blows.

  • Shane2 / about 12 years ago / 5

    Where is the ruler picture?

    • chartle / about 12 years ago / 2

      Yes its a little tough trying to extrapolate from just knowing the outlet 33mm.

    • Thimplum / about 12 years ago / 1

      Outlet: 33mm. In the middle picture, from the flat part with the black nub straight over is about 105mm. That should give you some idea for the size.

  • Member #370408 / about 12 years ago / 4

    I went through and measured the screw hole pattern and made a drawing of the positions. I also made a drawing of the outer profile (slightly inset from the profile of the device). I used 8-32 screws to mount it, but I think M4 screws should work as well. I made a 3D FDM part using these dimensions and verified it fit. Take a look:

    screw dimensions

    other dimensions

    If you do an inlet on the intake side, use a filleted inlet with a radius of at least .2*Diameter (12mm), as this design will produce the lowest entrance loss.

  • MostThingsWeb / about 12 years ago / 3

    This would make a good fume blower for soldering.

    • Good idea, I need one of those. I'm using this now.

      • MostThingsWeb / about 12 years ago / 2

        Ok, so I tried using this as a fume blower a few weeks ago, and it sort of worked. The problem is that when you are working with SMD parts this thing will very easily blow them out from under you while you are trying to solder them in place. For that reason, I don't suggest using this while assembling boards with SMD parts. Through hole parts are probably heavy enough to resist the gust, though.

        • MikeGrusin / about 12 years ago / 3

          You might try running it on 5V instead of 12, it will turn more slowly and not blast as much air.

          • MostThingsWeb / about 12 years ago / 1

            Good point. I had a 9V laying around, so that's what I tried, but next time I'll try 5V. Awesome little $5 fan regardless.

        • Thisisaperson / about 11 years ago / 1

          What about a piece over the output of the blower that is almost like a shower head or something, where it breaks up the airflow over a larger space. Less focused, but still gets the fumes.

        • cjueden / about 12 years ago / 1

          What about having the fan suck up the fumes.

          • MostThingsWeb / about 12 years ago / 1

            Worth a shot! However, since the fan doesn't have a single intake (the entire side is where the air flows in), it would have to be really close to the iron to be effective. Might get in the way

      • MostThingsWeb / about 12 years ago / 2

        Just bought one for the purpose of fume blowing. I'll let you know how it works when I set it.

  • LightManCA / about 10 years ago / 2

    Where are the squirrels?

  • Member #444103 / about 10 years ago / 2

    Could the motor be used as a generator?

  • Member #510263 / about 10 years ago / 2

    you might be able to make a small hover craft using four of the blowers as the engines and having balloons on the side to make the hover craft float I'm going to try this let me know if you figure it out good luck!

  • Naughtius Maximus / about 11 years ago / 2

    What hose can I use to attach to the blower? I see 1-1/2" Sump Pump hose for sale at Home Depot. I think it's 1-1/4" ID.

    • Naughtius Maximus / about 11 years ago / 2

      The Sump Pump hose was too big.

      I think I found the perfect hose to use: It's a bit pricey at $3.00/ft., but it's the cheapest I have been able to find.

      I'm going to order 25ft. of 1-1/4" hose and see how it works.

  • Member #232973 / about 11 years ago / 2


  • MostThingsWeb / about 12 years ago / 2

    For anyone interested in getting a general idea of how large this thing is, watch the part of the video where Robert is holding it: It's a pretty good size, but it's not huge.

  • Member #730171 / about 9 years ago / 1

    can i please know its overall dimensions? and its weight?!

  • Cjhazdroid / about 9 years ago / 1

    Does anyone have a decible level for this?

  • SirIon / about 9 years ago * / 1

    This is used as a blower for a dust collector I designed. and Very effective on foam, wax and copper / fiberglass millings. For those that want to attach it to a hose, there is an adaptor STL and a hose part from Homedepot.

  • Member #424486 / about 10 years ago / 1

    Has anyone loaded it with a power supply of 12+ volts at 1+ amps? Considering using this for a cool quadcopter type project (4 in a square) but my current blower (this) isn't as powerful on 12VDC so might try a power input of a little higher...


  • Member #522758 / about 10 years ago / 1

    they are the greatest things since sliced bread

  • Member #522758 / about 10 years ago / 1

    do not expect much from a $4.95 blower. I purchased 10 to test. 5 went up in smoke at initial power. 5 ran fine but after 10 min the next one went up in smoke. after 3 hr. run time the next one went up in smoke. All went up in smoke on the initial start up. buyer be aware

  • Member #509493 / about 10 years ago / 1

    I need some technical data,

    Somebody knows the static pressure what this system can maintain ? ( Inch-H2O )


  • Member #488157 / about 10 years ago / 1

    I am underwhelmed. I found the fan to be rather noisy and anemic. I do not understand how you guys managed to make a hovercraft with these fans. Perhaps careful attention to the skirt/surface tolerances and over-driving the fans would do it. I had hoped to improve combustion in my fireplace by forcing air through a 1" copper pipe above the fire, and then down to exhaust through multiple holes at the bottom edges of the fire. I don't think these fans will do the job. I should not be surprised; 10 watts (800 mA at 12 V) is not much power. I am considering a ducted fan "jet" engine for RC airplanes. Unfortunately, they are quite pricey. These blowers may find a use animating the thin filmy skirts of ghosts and ghoul decorations on Halloween.

    • Member #305895 / about 10 years ago / 1

      Interesting that your plans for this fan were so similar to mine... I am building a double barrel meat smoker and have constructed a "manifold" of sorts from 1" black iron pipe tee-d into two 3/4" pipes with holes drilled along their length. This is inserted into the lower barrel, bringing the pipe out the end of the barrel. I intend to seal up the combustion chamber very well so the ONLY combustion air available to the firewood is what I pump through the manifold apparatus so that I can closely control temperatures in the upper barrel or smoke chamber using an Arduino as a PID controller, taking inputs from thermocouple and thermister inputs. I intend to drive the fan forcing the air through the manifold using a 12 v system with variable speeds using a PWM control by the Arduino through a Darlington transister circuit.

      Unfortunately, I did not encounter your comment until now -- after I've already ordered this fan. Luckily, the 5 dollar loss won't be a huge burden on me ;). I like your idea of using a ducted fan for RC jet plane... I do happen to have some speed controllers for some RC projects laying around. I'll have to research if I can send usable PWM info from an Arduino to an RC speed controller...

  • FusedIon / about 11 years ago / 1

    Now, since mine arrived today, it occurred to me that this would be nice if it was waterproof. So my question is: Is it waterproof and if not, how can I waterproof it?

    • Thisisaperson / about 11 years ago / 1

      There are many ways to make things waterproof. It depends on where the water is leaking. If it's just in the seem on the cover, you could tighten it, and put maybe some hot glue on the seem, or maybe even petroleum jelly I believe?

  • am8w7ra4 / about 11 years ago / 1

    Sparkfun, I'd like to know the air pressure, small as it may be, in cm of water... thanks

  • JakeD / about 11 years ago / 1

    I want to use this as a blower in my desktop CNC to blow plastic/wood chips off my parts. If I nozzled this guy down to say, 1/4" outlet, do you think i would have enough pressure?

  • PostmasterSteve / about 12 years ago / 1

    Am I the only one bothered by this "Squirrel Cage" terminology? C'mon, Sparkfun - you're better than this. How about "impeller blower fan" or "ducted centrifugal blower fan"? :)

    • Rigby / about 12 years ago / 1

      that's the colloquial term for fans of this configuration (of any size, and they do get very, very large) but the technical term is, i believe, centrifugal blower.

  • Anyone know how much thrust one of these puts out? I.e. can it lift it's own weight?

    • MikeGrusin / about 12 years ago * / 1

      No. Although as the guys showed, you can use it with a skirt to make a hovercraft.

  • Have you tried supplying it by the reverse polarity? I think you can use it as a sucker :)

    • I have a feeling this is your run-of-the-mill brushless fan motor. If it is, DO NOT do this, ICs and reverse polarity don't do well together.

  • STrRedWolf / about 12 years ago / 1

    Hmmm... where are those NATO gas mask connectors, I have an idea...

  • Datasheet? Usually the manufacturer will graph airflow versus back pressure (and/or voltage) so you know how much pressure the fan can sustain at 0 cfm. That's usually the relevant figure of merit for hovercraft-type applications.

  • tangobravo / about 12 years ago / 1

    Ok... Not sure if you'll be able to answer this one, but any idea what sort of noise this thing puts out at various voltage levels?

    • MostThingsWeb / about 12 years ago / 1

      It's not very loud.

    • ravenx99 / about 12 years ago / 1

      TB, take a look at the product video...

      He runs it at 6v, 12v, and even ~15v. You can hear quite a difference there... on the video, 6v is practically silent, 12v not so much.

  • CrazyP / about 12 years ago / 1

    Interesting! I'm wondering if this can be used (with suitable Arduino project, of course) to regulate the airflow into a charcoal smoker to control the temperature. It would need some suitable mounting hardware, but this is a great value. Most of the custom-built blowers I've seen for smokers run in the $50-$60 range. The big question: what's the best way to control the blower? on/off, PWM, some kind of DAC?

    • Ivan747 / about 12 years ago / 1

      It's better to use PWM and a temperature sensor. PWM is better than a DAC because less heat is dissipated through the transistor that is going to control the blower. As for the temperature sensor, I recommend you to use a thermocouple and an appropriate chip to receive these values. I think there's an Arduino example for that. (I even found a shield on a quick google search). Inside the chip you will basically compare the set temperature against the measured temperature and adjust the motor until the readings are the same. You have to do something to slow down the motor response, so that it doesn't en up turning all the way on or off like a clothes iron.

      • chartle / about 12 years ago / 1

        I'm assuming half of this would work.

        • gdgt / about 12 years ago / 1

          More like 1/4. Unless you need to reverse the direction of the flow a simple MOSFET will suffice

        • MostThingsWeb / about 12 years ago / 1

          That board looks like a good starting point

    • jreighley / about 12 years ago / 1

      CrazyP, at that price, it is certainly worth a shot. I have a smoker contraption that works with a similarly sized fan. You will probably want either a PID or a PID algorithm for your micro controller to pulse relay.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5

Based on 22 ratings:

Currently viewing all customer reviews.

2 of 2 found this helpful:

Way better than computer fans

I've got a kegerator, and the best way to keep your beer from foaming (and to get a really cold pour) is to blow cold air into the faucet tower. All of the how-to's on the internet say to use a computer fan and build a housing. This fan is a couple of magnitudes better, absolutely the best, it has the power to really push some air. Highly recommended.

2 of 2 found this helpful:

Great Fan

I ordered this on a whim, as part of a larger order. It was cheap, so I said why not. I use it almost every day now to cool my face! I hooked it to my power supply and whenever I get warm, I turn it on and feel the beautiful breeze of awesomeness. It's quite loud, but if desired you can reduce the voltage (it's not a PWM fan). At around 8.5-9.5VDC it is quiet enough for me while still being good at cooling. For people that need a strong burst of directed air, look no further. Only thing missing from this fan is a grill on the intake (wouldn't want to trap my finger in there as it spins). Quite loud, very powerful air pressure (16CFM is a lot coming out of a 33mm diameter hole). Recommended!

2 of 2 found this helpful:

WOW! Well worth the money!

I purchased this blower fan to provide air-cooling for my kegerator setup. I have a fridge in my garage, and taps in my bar, with about 7ft of otherwise unconditioned lines between the two. I used this fan to blow to cool air through a 1" flexible bilge pump hose to the top of the tower, and had the return air travel between the outside of that hose and the inside of a 2.5" flexible vacuum hose back to the fridge (this space is also where the beer lines are routed).

I previously purchased a 12CFM blower fan off amazon which pulled 0.3A @ 12VDC (for the same price incl shipping), and the temperature at the top of the tower was a mere 62degF. After replacing with this fan, the entire (insulated) tower sweats like a cold glass of water on a hot day. I actually reduced the voltage to around 10VDC because it was more than I needed.

If my other blower is a true 12CFM, this is probably more like 36CFM. Given their similar plastic squirrel-cage design I can assume they have similar efficiency, and so this one which draws 3x the current probably moves 3x the air.

Its plastic design may not be durable enough for extreme uses, but I think in most applications this will stand up very well. BUY IT!

1 of 1 found this helpful:

A durable little fan

I've had this running 24/7 for about a year at 12v. Nice air flow and with a screen over it and good air quality this thing has been a champ. However even with a vibration dampener and keeping it completely clean it is still a bit louder than I would like. I either need a bigger living room or a quieter fan, the latter being cheaper.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

They work, but not very powerful

We bought four of these to inflate a couple of Halloween costumes. Two were not powerful enough to keep a costume made from parachute ripstop nylon that measured about 7.5 cubic feet inflated. We tested the costumes with a shop vac, and they inflated just fine, so we thought that 16 cfm would be enough for mobile use. Sadly, not sure they put out that much air.

We will most likely use these for other projects.

Dud delivery

Bought 2, 2 arrived one smashed and the other not working. Poorly packed in a box with no packaging to stop it moving around. No real surprise that 2 plastic items in an empty box were smashed.

What a joke...

Sorry to hear this. We'll contact you directly about your situation. Thanks!

Nice Blower

Moves a considerable amount of air for its size. Not sure how long they last, but for the price, they're a good value.

Decent throughput, weak static pressure.

Static pressure was weaker than expected. Bought some of these for use on a 3D printer with cooling shrouds. Airflow through the shrouds was far less than through tubing.

Shrouds published at:

Worked great for me

Fit exactly and runs better than the original

Works awesome!

Hooked it to some pic pipe to make a boxing glove dryer and it works awesome!

No enough static pressure

Not enough static pressure for my purpose. Intended to use this with a blowpipe torch for jewelry making.

Search continues.

For now I just use my lungs.


I bought 2 of these. They both showed up broken.

They quickly sent 2 more. One of the 2 was broken.

Returning them all. If they show up broke, how long will they last under use?

Sorry to hear this. Glad we were able to help you resolve it.

Dead on arrival

The clips on the case are all broken, preventing it from holding together. The fan on the inside was broken away from the enclosure and it doesn't look like glue would hold it in place when in use. And, when applying power the fan doesn't turn on at all.

Looks like others have commented about also receiving defective products. Won't be ordering this thing again!

Sorry to hear that. We're going to contact you directly to get this resolved.

Keep your soldering iron handy

Both the black and red wires just fell off unexpectedly. Worst soldering job I've ever seen. I'm willing to bet poor soldering is the reason it didn't work for some of the other reviewers. It seems to work fine after reattaching the wires.

Just what I need.

Every holiday we put airblown decorations in our yard. For Christmas we put 60+ out for the town people to bring their children and grandchildren to see. We get hundreds of little visitors. These fans are a great replacement for the fans in the decorations. The have the cfm to keep them well inflated.

It’s sure fast!...especially when overclocked

This baby helped us win the Startup Week Pinewood Derby!!

(admittedly we ran this at 20v for some extra oomph...though that was informally condoned by one founder of SparkFun)

Small blower

Great airflow and fairly quiet.

I'd give it 5 stars but...

I ordered 2 of these blower fans. One worked and the other one didn't. The one that works does what i need it to do just fine. I guess cheapo's are hit or miss, but for the price, if you get one that works, you've made a great little deal!!! Good luck :)

Sorry to hear you got a bad unit! Please contact techsupport@sparkfun dot com with your order number and they should be able to help you out with a replacement.

Ideal product for my application(s)

I have purchased eight so far and used four of them. I have had no problems with them so far. They are a little too noisy for my main application running on 12 Volts, but are great @ 6 Volts. Since I primarily use 12 volt batteries, I am looking for an affordable way to vary the voltage on them.

Fairly "stout" blower for 12vdc

It is a fairly strong blower and I'd agree with the SF description that it does seem like more that 16cfm. It is however almost 100% plastic and of "snap together" construction. And it is somewhat noisy (as in vibration). Nevertheless for $5 you just can't go wrong!!!!

It's resilient!

So I'm trying to make something to suck up solder fumes in an attempt to avoid lead poisoning or something. So I thought this would be a good fan for that; just run power into it backwards and it'll spin the other way and suck instead of blow. Well not quite. Long story short, I opened the thing up and poked around a bit. Looks like it's a brushless type motor, so it won't spin backwards. And if you put power into it wrong for very long, something releases it's magic smoke. HOWEVER the fan still works! When powered the right way of course. I haven't used it for very long seeing as it's not what I needed for my current project, but this fan moves a lot of air!