Small ridiculous object du jour

Crank-operated fan

This is a fan.

I am delighted to say it is every bit as demented as I had hoped it would be when I slapped down $US3.40 at DealExtreme to buy it.

(There's a green one as well, but that costs three dollars and sixty cents. What am I, made out of money?)

It is not a big fan. The diameter of the see-through rubbery blades when they're spinning is about seven centimetres (2.75 inches). The blades fold back at rest, and can thus get in the way of the crank a bit on start-up.

Crank-operated fan

The blades spin fast, though; they're heavily geared-up, and turn something in the order of 110 times per crank of the handle.

I think this fan may actually have a substantial calories-expended-to-air-moved advantage over a simple paper fan. Both cool your face while they warm up your arm muscles, but I think the crank-fan requires less effort.

It also takes up less room, both in your bag and when you're using it.

I wouldn't expect this plasticky little thing to last a whole summer of frequent use, though. But it's probably more durable than similarly tiny fans that run off batteries or USB power; no motor brushes to wear out or solder joints to let go.

I think the principal purpose of this device is to make other people smile when you use it, though, and on that count it seems entirely successful.

And yes, you can turn it to point away from you and crank the handle the other way, and run about pretending you're an aeroplane.

EDIT: I just opened it up.

Crank-fan gears

Black plastic gears on metal shafts, and a couple of actual bushings for the output shaft. The bushings are only plastic too, but should wear slower than if there were only holes in the casing plastic for the fan-shaft to go through. This trinket was not just thrown together.

(The gears were dry; I added some fancy plastic-safe oil, and now I think the fan turns more quietly. This may be a complete fantasy.)

Even if it breaks after a month, it's difficult to complain when the thing costs very little, including delivery, for this orange one, and very little plus twenty cents, including delivery, in green.

(DealExtreme have bulk-buy discounts as well; you pay an extra $US1.70 for the whole order to use the "Bulk Rate" feature, then pay less for three or more of any given item in that order. The three-unit prices for these fans are only two cents more than the ten-unit prices.)


13 Responses to “Small ridiculous object du jour”

  1. Chazzozz Says:

    Ridiculous? Nahhhh...that's not ridiculous, it's actually somewhat useful (to varying degrees, of course). Now THIS is ridiculous! It's even a whole dollar more than the more expensive green fan. I challenge you, Dan, to find something more pointless yet, due to the exceedingly low price, almost attractive to buy.

    • Fallingwater Says:

      How is that ridiculous? It lets you write, it lets you see what you write, and it lets you set it on fire when you're disgusted with what you wrote, instead of stereotypically crumpling it up into a ball and throwing it over your shoulder!

      • Fallingwater Says:

        Or, uh, it would if it were an actual pen. Which it isn't.

        On the bright side, it's now given me an excellent product idea...

  2. dan Says:

    I converted the link in your comment into an affiliate link. I look forward to making an affiliate-point fortune when the inevitable tidal wave of people rushing to purchase that lighter/flashlight/not-actually-a-pen occurs.

  3. Lord Booga Says:

    Deal Extreme is DANGEROUS. You find things, 2$, 5$, you add them all to your cart, oh hey look you just spent 50$ on crap there.

  4. RichVR Says:

    Well, Dan. Because of you (and this is not in any way saying that I was forced) I purchased and recently received the "ceramic fruit knife". The blade says upon it "Advanced Ceramic Knife" and actually I can't disagree. It's probably the sharpest blade that I have ever owned. I have not ever owned another ceramic blade though, so it could very well be a dull ceramic blade for all I know.

    When the blade is closed into the handle it's very tight. So it is in no way a weapon that one might use in say a late night knife fight behind the local pub.

    But as to sharpness I'm pretty sure that I could shave with it needing nothing but some hot water. Maybe not even that. A test on my leg shows that with even the lightest of pressure it works like a charm.

    Now, as you might have mentioned, it still has metal in it.

    But I have noticed that you can get plastic rivets and various other devices online for very cheap. Things which I have no need for. If you understand my meaning.

    As for cutting fruit. It's a Chinese knife. I'm guessing that it's nearly pure zirconium. But the words stamped on it? The manufacturing process? I'll still be using my other blades.

  5. RichVR Says:

    BTW, Dan, did you ever get an Arctic Laser? You know the one I mean. I've had mine for a while and I haven't blinded myself or others yet. It's a fun toy. I'm now trying to integrate it into my Toe Biter Defense System. See, I moved to Orlando, Florida about 7 months ago and I had never heard about them until you mentioned them. I had heard about, and seen, flying cockroaches. There are a crapload of Anole lizards here.

    But toe biters? Now I'm scared. And tornadoes. And hurricanes. But mostly them. Thanks buddy.

  6. Cranky Franky Says:

    Dan, is there a problem @ Dansdata? Also, (related?) Im not getting any images in any otherwise normal looking blog posts?....

    ...all my other interwebs seem ok...

    Sorry to be OT, I emailed, but since it's at dansdata, I've posted here too...feel free to delete....

  7. MikeLip Says:

    Oh you guys suck. I had almost gotten over my DX addiction! Now I just bought a ceramic knife ($7.20 shipped! How can you go wrong????) and drooled over a lot of other stuff too. Somehow this isn't my fault :)

  8. James Says:

    I'm astonished at the amount of engineering in this thing. Yeah, bushings aren't much, but that's more than most crappy plastic toys I've seen.

Leave a Reply