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Optimus Antique Style Fan – Looks As Cool As You’ll Feel!

Optimus Antique Style FanProduct: Optimus Antique Style Fan 12″
Imported by: Optimus Enterprises
Price Range: about $70
website: www.optimusent.com (but you can’t buy it there)
Use: Home or office air circulation, interior use only
Verdict: Really cool little appliance! 8.5/10

Let Me Tell You All About It!

The Optimus antique style fan is a portable table-top fan with blades that is 12″ across (14″ with the cage). It is intended for indoor use only. It has an antique-look finish (similar to plumbing fixtures’ faux finishes – it is not really an antique, folks!).

With three-speed operation, it has simply “retro” (“old-skool”) mechanical controls for oscillation and tilt and speed. You can carry it around if you like. It’s got a handle.

There is no maintenance required except cleaning the blades, and it comes with a one-year warranty, with optional extended warranty from 3rd party where available.

The ETL Listed (This is a safety and quality verification thing like the old UL – Underwriter’s Laboratories – or Good Housekeeping seal of approval – for products in Canada and US markets)

Optimus Oscillating Antique-Style Table Fan Pricing

Who Is Optimus, And Can They Be Trusted?

Well, let’s see.

Optimus Enterprise, Inc.’s website leaves a lot to be desired. Okay, so – can this outfit be trusted? Indicates they are based in Anaheim, California (or at least that is corporate USA HQ).  The fan is on their website, but with a dearth of information.  Like they’re not really that into having a website so much. The “corporate” page is “under construction.”

Using other resources, I found out they are a privately held corporation founded in 2009. Not sure if they are the bastard child of the old Radio Shack “Optimus” brand, which was retired back in the 90s, or if they just took over the trade name.

This company is a buyer/importer. The fan is made entirely in China.

The product is available only from distributors, not from the Optimus office itself. The usual suspects are your go-to sources: Home Depot, Walmart (online), Amazon (online), Wayfair (online), Sears, etc. Lowes does not carry this brand.

What’s Different About The Optimus 12-inch Oscillating Fan?

For starters, it’s not plastic!  It’s also not electronic.  It’s beefier than your typical cheap table fans, and it comes in a variety of finishes to accent your rooms or offices. Easy to operate with manual controls, no electronic jazz.

And most of all, its décor-friendly materials and finishes make it look really cool!

More Basics:

The Optimus 12-Inch Oscillating Antique-Style Table Fan is a little fan that packs a powerful punch, and is a “novelty” in that it looks old-fashioned — it has no remote, and no  lights or beeps or readouts or counting down timers to remind you that R2D2 is coming over soon….

It oscillates 90 degrees with “whisper quiet” operation. (Not really, but that’s what they claim).  There’s no remote (you’ll have to get off your tuckus or wait until you happen to be walking past it to switch speeds or turn on/off!). It’s not “digital” so no motherboard to go bad. Not plastic (nice!).

But it’s like bathroom fixtures that are inexpensive metal with a “copper finish” on them.  It’s not solid copper. Or bronze. Or black. You know.  It’s an antique “look” = finish on alloy metal.

The blades are an interesting wedge shape, so you’ll need to play with the “aim” to get the draft you want. It can be lifted up or down, but not by much.

It has a carrying handle so you can position it with ease.

Weighs in a bit under 10 pounds (4 kilos, I’m guessing? We only tried metric one day when I was in middle school, so feel free to leave a comment to correct me!). Using either weight, it’s not likely to bounce itself off of the tabletop.  Nice and sturdy, but even so, one person said it needed more base-weight. It’s not made of iron.

It really is all metal construction, though. Except the rubber base which will leave a mark on surfaces.

The Optimus 12-Inch Oscillating Antique-Style Table Fan unit has a one year warranty – you can return the item to the store where you bought it for a replacement (if in stock), or you can ship it to Optimus directly.  The Customer Service page has instructions to do that – including listing the shipping/handling charges ($11.00 as of this writing) you have to pay.  Up front.

Amazon sells it with an optional 2-year Square Trade brand Purchase Protection warranty add-on for just under $4, bringing the price to just about $75ish (depends on taxes you’d have to pay).

It is at least partially manufactured by Zhilang Electrical Co. LTD. Entire thing comes to US from China.

What Does It Require For Care And Maintenance?

Cleaning.  Sigh.

The cleaning of a room fan is something I do after, say, oh – every 2000 uses or so.  Not historically on the top of my to-do list.  More of a just sitting there, notice the blades are dusty, get up and clean it type of person.  You’re probably a much better housekeeper, though.  So, that said:

The Optimus 12-Inch Oscillating Antique-Style Table Fan is easy to clean, by loosening the obvious screw at the base of the grill.

The manufacturer cautions against using gasoline, benzene, or thinner to clean it – but why on earth anyone would use gasoline, benzene, or thinner to clean an electric room fan is beyond me, unless it’s some weird guy who uses gasoline to clean everything!  (The only thing I use gasoline for is to run my car and small engine yard tools, and to pour on Poison Ivy – mwahahahaaa! – Hate that stuff!)

Anyway, so – yeah, if you pick this one (or any other fan we’ve reviewed), don’t clean it with gasoline or thinner or benzene.  (Seriously, who does that?!)  I would just use tap water, but distilled might protect the surface finish better. Mustn’t let water get into the housing!  Don’t put it in the dishwasher or submerge it or take it in the bath with you!

Make sure it’s totally dry before plugging it back in.  What else?  Well – nothing. Proper storage would be all.

It does not require “oiling” like old metal fans.  It’s just a retro look, not an actual antique fan.

Storage: If you want to put it away, like that winter/summer seasonal swapping that people do – ya know, flower arrangement in the fireplace for the summer type of thing – sometimes people put a Chinese hand-fan shaped cover over their firebox, but hey, I guess you could put the fan in the fireplace in the summer!

… I digress – for storage off-season, they say put it in a vinyl bag and the original box for optimus – erm, optimum (heh) – results.  I imagine a plain plastic dry-cleaning bag or bin liner (trash bag) would be good enough, but if you want to go with vinyl, knock yourself out! You could use a ‘garment storage’ bag with a zipper, I guess if you wanted to.


So – Basic Yeps and Nopes

PROS (yay!)

  • The Optimus 12-Inch Oscillating Antique-Style Table Fan is a powerful little guy, works better than a box fan.
  • It has 90 degree oscillation (left to right), and some tilt ability (but not much).
  • It’s sturdy and doesn’t vibrate.
  • This would be an attractive choice for a vintage or rustic décor setting.
  • All metal!
  • Very simple operation with old-fashioned knobs and switch.

CONS (boo!)

  • Rubber ring around the base will leave a footprint on furniture – so place it on a piece of fabric like a placemat or felt or doily or whatever – even just a paper towel.
  • The color might be slightly different than expected, and the packaging lacks foam to protect the finish – so some units arrive with rubbed-off “distress”.
  • Not inaudible. The noise it produces is variously (and subjectively) reported as anywhere from “nice white noise” to “VERY VERY LOUD.”  But again – it’s a machine, with mechanical whirling blades – one can’t have retro looks [i]and[/i] absolute silence – because that’s not a thing. At least if you want to use it. Though I’m sure it’s perfectly quiet when “off.”  Still – it will leave it’s footprint on the furniture.
  • Some unit owners have reported unseemly rattling during oscillation. One said a blade was bent and hitting the cage, but was easily fixed by a family handy-man.
  • “Too” powerful?  Some complained that it needs an “extra low” setting.  The lowest setting rearranges things on tables and causes drapes to flap around and pictures to rattle on their hangers.  “Like a hurricane” said one person.
  • Assembly is apparently required in some cases (?)– but all you need is a screwdriver.
  • The finish is rather fragile on these units.  Somehow even just operation can cause it to be distorted after a while. Don’t use harsh cleaning solutions (or gasoline or benzene or thinner!) The color you receive (if ordering online) might not be the color you expected or match the image provided on your screen.
  • The Optimus 12-Inch Oscillating Antique-Style Table Fan is made in China and imported.

Optimus Antique Style Fan – A Good Choice for Style and Simplicity

The Different Types Of Optimus Antique Style Fans
The Different Types Of Optimus Antique Style Fans

Miscellaneous:

Hunter has a similar fan, more expensive.  I actually like the Optimus grill better – it has nice curved bars stabilizing the rings, sort of a flowery looking design rather than just a grid.

There are, of course, other competitors out there – one we found actually just sits there more like a useless prop. It doesn’t operate at all!

The Optimus 12-Inch Oscillating Fan is listed with an ETL mark – which is a quality mark related to safety of operation and construction… appropriate safety for Occupational Health and Safety type stuff. Same as “UL” (Underwriter’s Laboratories) – just a competitor.  Fun fact: ETL has been around for 100 years, Thomas Edison started it up.  How’s that for a seal of approval?

Specs/Dimensions:

  • Size: 14 x 14 inches around and 18 inches tall. 9” diameter at the base (I don’t know for metric – you tell me! I’ll guess, though: 30 centimeters around and oh, 40 cm tall?)
  • Cord Length: Six feet cord length (2 meters?)
  • Operation: Electric. Grounded (three-prong) plug with fuse, so if you have a vintage-type house like I do, you’ll need an adapter or to switch out your electrical outlets.  (If it stops running, check the fuse in the plug before chucking it!)
  • Weight: Like a medium sized house-cat (around ten pounds) (or four kilos)
  • Ease of use: Comes fully assembled (also like a medium sized house-cat), or maybe will just need the grill attached. Screwdriver will do it. (But don’t use a screwdriver on the cat.) Just plug it in (not the cat).

 

 

Anyway – let us know what you think, and if you pick one up, please do relay back to us your own personal experience with this fan!

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