Scythe KM-01 Review

Scythe KM-01

Front panel of the Scythe KM-01.

The Scythe KM-01 is a 4-channel, 12 watt per channel manual fan controller. It comes in both 3.5-inch and 5.25-inch versions, so if you don’t have a 5.25-inch drive bay to spare, it’s definitely worth considering. It comes in two colors (black and silver), and features a vacuum fluorescent display (VFD) display which should provide a bright and easy-to-view screen.

The box that the KM-01 comes is a simple, mostly black box. The front has a picture of the KM-01’s front panel and has a few small boxes near the top listing some of the features of the fan controller. The bottom of the box contains warranty information as well as a rear view of the controller. The side mentions product specifications and contact information.

Opening the box reveals a polystyrene box inside the outer cardboard box. The polystyrene box contains separate compartments for the Kaze Master and the cabling. The box contains the fan controller, installation manual, 4 3-pin fan cables, 4 thermal probe cables, 1 male-to-female Molex power cable with a mini 4-pin connector, 4 screws and adhesive tape for the thermal probes.

The front bezel of the KM-01 features 4 numbered knobx and a small Scythe logo in the top left corner. The front display uses vacuum fluorescent display (VFD) technology. Unlike liquid crystal displays, a VFD emits a bright light with a clear contrast and can easily support display elements of different colors. While VFDs are easier to read from different angles (unlike LCD displays), they can suffer from fading.

Looking at the rear of the KM-01 reveals a well-designed PCB. On the left is the speaker, which can be controlled via a jumper below and to the right of it. The sensor cables are attached to the pins at the bottom, to the right of the power cable connector. Fan cales are attached to the headers on the far right. The KM-01 will handle fans with an output of up to 1A (12W), which should cover most fans.

Scythe KM-01

Rear view of the Scythe KM-01, including the fan, sensor and power cables.

Installation of the KM-01 is not difficult. The unit is secured into place with 4 screws, and there are versions for a 5.25-inch drive bay and a 3.5-inch drive bay. All you need to to is connect the fan cables, put the thermal probes in place and secure them with the provided tape, and connect the power cable to the header. Once everything is connected, you can power up your computer and check to make sure all the hardware that you have connected is being monitored. If it isn’t, the RPM monitor in the top row will flash depending on which channel is not connected or reading properly, and the alarm will sound until the problem is fixed.

Once the controller is up and running, you will find that the display is generally easy to read and the controls are responsive. One issue is that there seems to be a lag time between when you change the speed and when the fan actually changes speed. On the plus side, unlike some fan controllers, you can actually bring a fan to a complete stop with the KM-01. As mentioned, the controller has an alarm which you can set to go off at a set temperature for each channel, which can come in handy in detecting a malfunctioning fan or other problems.

In summary, the Scythe KM-01 is a stylish, well-designed and durable fan controller that is reasonably-priced as well ($42.95 on Amazon as of this writing). It’s likely to be a sufficient controller unless you fall into one of two categories of users: [1] those who want a controller that automatically adjusts the speed of fans when the sensor reaches a certain temperature, and [2] those who need to control more powerful fans or more than 4 fans. For everyone else, the Scythe KM-01 is likely to be a reasonable choice.

Scythe KM-01 Specifications:

Model Name: Kaze Master 3.5 (3.5 inch Version)
Model Number: KM01-BK-3.5 (Black) / KM01-SL-3.5 (Silver)
Dimensions: 103 x 25 x 93 mm (WxHxD)
Display Dimension: 60 x 15.5 mm
Length of Control Dial: 12 mm / 0.47 in
DC Input: 5V or 12 V (From PC Power Supply)
Fan Adjustment Range: 3.7V (±10%) – 12V (±10%)
Fan Channels: 2
Maximum Fan Ampere per Channel: 1A per channel
Fan Speed Range: 0 – 7,500 rpm (Display Range: 30 rpm Increments) [Package indicates the maximum range as 9,990 rpm, but the actual range is 7,500 rpm.]
Temperature Module Channel: 2
Temperature Range: 0 – 100°C / 32 – 199.9°F
Measurement Frequency: Every 2 Second
Weight: 125 g

External Links:

Scythe KM01-BK Kaze Master 5.25 inch Fan Controller on Amazon

KM-01 product page on Scythe web site (U.S. version)

NZXT Sentry Mix 2 Review

NZXT Sentry Mix 2

The NZXT Sentry Mix 2 is a 6 channel, 30 watt per channel single bay manual fan controller. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles of NZXT's much fancier touchscreen controllers. On the other hand, 180 watts of total power is nothing to sneeze … [Continue reading]

Aerocool Touch 1000 Review

Aerocool Touch 1000

The Aerocool Touch 1000 is a 4 channel, 6 watt per channel automatic fan controller which fits in a single (5.25-inch) drive bay. It has a touchscreen display, an overheating alarm temperature warming, and a lock function to prevent inadvertent … [Continue reading]

Aerocool CoolTouch-E Review

Aerocool CoolTouch-E

The Aerocool CoolTouch-E is a 4-channel, 20 watt per channel touchscreen fan controller which fits into a single 5.25-inch drive bay. The touchscreen is aesthetically pleasing, although not as much as some of Aerocool's other touchscreen controllers. … [Continue reading]

Thermaltake F5 Review

Thermaltake F5

The Thermaltake Commander F5 is a manual slider-style fan controller. It is a 5-channel, 8 watt per channel unit that is compatible with 3-pin and 4-pin fans, and it will fit into any 5.25-inch drive bay. Thermaltake obviously intended this as a … [Continue reading]

NZXT Sentry 3 Review

NZXT Sentry 3

The NZXT Sentry 3 is a full system fan controller with a touch screen interface. It is compatible with any 3-pin or 4-pin PWM fan and fits in a 5.25-inch drive bay. Once again, NZXT has done a superb job at providing a high-value, touch screen fan … [Continue reading]

Lamptron Fan-Atic Review

Lamptron Fan-Atic

The Lamptron Fan-Atic is a 5-channel, 60 watt per channel manual fan controller. It fits into a 5.25-inch drive bay. There are 5 switches on the front panel (one for each channel), and each switch has three positions, corresponding to the three modes … [Continue reading]

Kingwin Fan Controller Sighting


Does this look familiar to you? I was browsing on Amazon, and I came across this product, which looked familiar to me. The reason for this was that I bought a virtually identical controller on eBay a few months ago; I even posted an article about it … [Continue reading]

Lamptron FC5V3 Review

Lamptron FC5V3

The Lamptron FC5V3 is a 6-channel, 30 watt per channel manual fan controller. It has the many of the same features as the FC5V2, but adds a few more features, the most notable of which is that it increases the number of channels from 4 to 6. It is … [Continue reading]

SilverStone FP335 Review

SilverStone FP335

The SilverStone FP335 is a three channel, 4.8 watt per channel manual fan controller. The unit is available in both silver and black. The FP335 is actually two fan controllers. One unit fits into a 3.5" drive bay in the front of the case. The second … [Continue reading]