Customer Review

246 of 265 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as previous Vornado compact fans, July 25, 2007
Is the new model 530 as good as older Vornados that established the company as a quality innovator? In this review, I compare the new 530 to two older compact models that I own. These are the excellent model 180 compact fan(infinite speed, no longer available) and the very good 510 compact (3-speed and in very short supply - watch out for merchants who substitute the current model 530 for the 510). These (and the larger, venerable model 280) have great features, quietness, quality, and durability. My comments should apply to the model 530 regardless of the color of the plastic case, since color has no bearing on performance in this product.

The 3-speed compact design is similar to that of the older models (note that some slightly more expensive Vornado models have infinite speed control instead of 3-speed but are otherwise the same). But the 530 has one major disadvantage that you're likely to miss in the promo copy. The fan head doesn't tilt as much as those in the older models. This model tilts only about 50 degrees, while the older fans tilt about 80 degrees. The older design is much better at getting air from the floor to the ceiling.

The whirring fan blades make as little noise as the older models (whisper quiet on low, moderate amount on medium, a lot of "whoosh" on high), but the 530 has an irritating low-pitched motor noise the older models don't have. Because it's low frequency sound, it will even go through walls.

Personally, I think the motor, because of the noise, must not be up to the quality of previous models. One of the fan blades on my 530 still had plastic from the molding process that hadn't been removed. Definitely a quality-control problem. My older models were all manufactured in the US; this one in China (judging from a recent visit to a store that had a number of Vornado models, the company's moved manufacturing of most, if not all, of their consumer market fans offshore).

We'll have to see. Comes with a limited 5 year warranty (you must get an RMA and ship to Vornado in Kansas and other reviewers have complained about shipping and handling costs nearly equaling the cost of a new fan).

In my view, this fan departs from the Vornado tradition of quality and quietness. I don't recommend using the model 530 in a bedroom or other place where you need quiet due to the low-pitched motor noise. Note that the user manual pictures both the model 530 and the R2D2 looking model 630.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 15 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 9, 2010 1:08:33 PM PDT
faffie says:
This was very helpful... I was actually looking for a compact fan in order to generate white noise. Hard to tell otherwise, but this feedback gave me the info I needed. I would have found the low-pitched hum to be irritating and counterproductive. Thanks to this review, I got a different model. I appreciate the time you took to write this review.

Posted on Jun 23, 2010 6:03:01 AM PDT
Gail A says:
I just bought one of these fans at Target and after reading this review, checked the model number. It's a 510 model manufactured in 2010 in the USA. While this reviewer presumes a level of fan expertise most of us can never aspire to, he obviously has his facts wrong with respect to the availability of certain models. This completely undermines his argument about the supposed superiority of the older (sic) 510 versus the newer 530. Either that or Vornado felt the sting and changed the model number back to the old one on the basis of this review.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 25, 2010 6:38:45 PM PDT
Or maybe they just had some old fans in stock? I've bought small appliances, new in the box, that turn out to be 2-3 years old. It happens.

Posted on Jun 11, 2011 10:44:47 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 12, 2011 3:58:29 AM PDT]

Posted on Jul 7, 2011 5:33:37 PM PDT
Casey says:
i own this fan (purchased at cvs) no low pitched motor hum, i would assume yours is defective

Posted on Jul 16, 2011 9:08:53 AM PDT
thx for the feedback esp. with regards to the low pitched hum. I like fans for white noise but hate it when they hum so I won't be buying this one.
Has anyone noticed that fans in general are getting cheaper - and not in the good way!

Posted on Oct 30, 2011 11:18:22 AM PDT
Fiream says:
Bought one of these on 06/10/11 and it died on 10/30/11. The little Lakewood it replaced was ~10 years old and ran 24hrs a day during that time. I guess we'll see if that 'five year warranty' is actually worth the paper it's written on.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2011 3:58:14 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 17, 2011 4:00:34 PM PST
Mike Hall says:
I just checked ( ) and they make a 3-speed 510 and 3-speed 530. Similar in design and specs; the 530 moves a little more air than the 510. No infinite speed compact fans anymore (I seem to recall they offered an expensive US built compact fan a couple of years ago). I don't know the country of manufacture for each model at this point. Would guess it's China, but perhaps someone can clarify that.

As for Casey's observation that I might have had a defective fan, I purchased two (sent one back) around the same time. Same issues with both, so I was a) extraordinarily unlucky or b) there was a systematic problem. Perhaps Vornado has obtained higher materials and QC from their overseas factories over the past couple of years. Would be nice to get posts from folks who purchased recently made copies to find out.

Posted on Jan 31, 2012 7:53:07 PM PST
Kent Damon says:
Thanks, very helpful indeed. The bearings just wore out on the model 183 that I've run in my bedroom almost 24/7 since 1995 and I was preparing to purchase a 530 to replace it, but now I think I'll find a store with one and try it out first to check out the motor hum. Much appreciated.

Posted on Jun 1, 2013 5:02:51 PM PDT
KC Cowgirl says:
Excellent review..Thank You!
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