What makes the Warpfive Sidewinder unique among the company’s lineup is the fact that it is specifically designed for people who have limited space. The same stellar engineering and precision manufacturing that are the hallmarks of all of Warpfive’s products are very much on display here. The Sidewinder is a masterwork of design, and one wonders how they managed to fit so much functionality into such a small package!
Functionally, the Sidewider is similar to the MK6 model that the company sells, with the same temperature band of operation, which is from 110 to 450 degrees Celsius (230 to 842 degrees Fahrenheit). The same materials are used in the construction of both fans, and the Sidewinder features the standard four-blade design that is typical of Warpfive products. Also present is the hand-built, miniature Stirling engine, but one look at the Sidewinder, and the differences become apparent. This fan will simply fit into spaces that the MK6 won’t. It’s just that simple. The diminutive Sidewinder is just 8.8 inches (225 millimeters) high, and weighs a scant 2.2 pounds (998 grams).
At the time this review was written, you could find Sidewinders on offer starting at £222.99. Some might see this as expensive, but it has always been true that you pay a premium for miniaturization. Consider the price of laptops versus desktop PCs in the world of computers. For the same computing power, the laptop is always going to cost more, because it’s simply more expensive to engineer and build the smaller components required to make the laptop fulfill its role in that segment of the computer market. The same basic principle holds true here.
As with the rest of Warpfive’s stove fan lineup though, the fan has a sleek, futuristic look that is somewhat reminiscent of “Steampunk.” It’s a surprisingly attractive device, and is somewhat mesmerizing to watch the little Stirling engine in action.
Setup is a snap, of course, because the Stirling engine, being an “external combustion engine” does not rely on electricity or battery power to make the fan run. Instead, the engine is powered by the heat of the stove itself, which makes both the fan, and the home heating system it augments, both vastly more efficient and effective.
In terms of air circulation, the Sidewinder delivers and impressive 300 cubic feet per minute, making it ideal for medium to large sized rooms. Even better, it’s extremely quiet, so the only real indication you’ll have that the fan is doing its job is if you wander over to watch the little Stirling engine work, and of course, when you feel those warm drafts of air as the fan gently moves the hot air away from the stove and evens out the temperature of the room that the stove is in.
If you like the general aesthetic of Warpfive products, you should also know that you may be able to find a stylish and attractive “red” version of each fan, including the Sidewinder. These are somewhat more difficult to locate than the standard versions of each product, and not all retailers carry them. It’s not a huge consideration for many, but there will be some who want to make even more of an artistic statement, and it’s good to know that Warpfive also takes time to cater to that particular subset of the market.
The bottom line then, is simply this: If you use a wood stove, or multi-fuel stove for home heating, but there’s not much room to mount a stove fan, due to the particulars of your setup, the Sidewinder just might be the perfect fan for you. A wood stove is a fantastic way to heat your home, and in many parts of the world, more cost effective than other available means. Having said that, there are drawbacks and limitations that every wood stove owner is well aware of, making the acquisition of a good, high quality stove fan like the Sidewinder an excellent addition.
Excellence in engineering and design, extreme durability that will see this fan far outlive its generous three-year warranty, good air moving capabilities, suitable for any size room, and attractive. There’s so much to like about the Sidewinder that it’s hard to know which of those to place first. Then there’s the fact that it’s designed to fit into tight spaces, making it a godsend for those who need a fan like this. Unfortunately, when you roll all those attributes into a single product like the Sidewinder, the price inevitably increases, which we’ll cover in the “cons” section, just below.
All of the Sidewinder’s greatest strengths can also be seen in some lights as weaknesses. After all, if you don’t need a fan that can fit into tight spaces, then why pay extra for that feature? Of course, that brings us to price. Some people, including some who might need a fan like this, designed to go where others can’t, simply may not be able to afford a fan like the Sidewinder.
The Sidewinder isn’t for everyone. If you have ample space to deploy some other model, then you wouldn’t be well served spending the money on a more expensive model that was designed specifically for cramped quarters. Having said that, for the segment of the market that the Sidewinder targets, it is a simply exquisite fan, and would make an excellent choice. The air moving capacity that the Sidewinder delivers makes it a powerful addition to any home heating system involving a wood or multi-fuel stove, and is an especially welcome addition for anyone living off the grid. Highly recommended…for the person in its targeted market segment.