A great finishing touch for your chicken coop or shed.
24-inch weathervane. Hand cast with recycled aluminum. Adjustable clutch base fits the pitch of most roofs. Satin black enamel baked on for durability. Recommended for an 18 to 24-inch cupola, small garage, or garden tool shed. Holds up to the wind. Made in the USA.
Small. Good on a chicken coop or shed but nothing large.
This classic rooster weathervane moves freely and adds a rustic accent to your home.
Complete roof-mount weathervane. Powder-coated, baked-on finish. Constructed of 16 gauge steel. Stainless steel sealed. Ball-bearing in the wind cup. Interchangeable tops. Well-balanced. Moves easily. Stands up to wind storms. Made in the USA.
Metal bends easily.
A patriotic spin on the classic look.
Full-bodied eagle weathervane. Quality craftsmanship. Hand-cast from 100% rust-free, recycled aluminum. Painted with a specially formulated, weather-resistant finish to withstand harsh elements. Made in the USA. Comes with an adjustable base.
Assembly instructions are not very clear.
A substantial, medium-sized weathervane that stands the test of time.
Made of pure copper. Will weather and age over time. Easy to assemble and install. Includes all-weather assembly rod, solid brass 18-inch directionals, and copper globes. Assembled size: 25-inches long by 40-inches high by 18-inches wide. Single-point contact design allows it to spin easily in the wind. Designed by American artisans.
Must buy separate mounting hardware.
A good-looking product that is perfect for smaller structures.
Great for small structures thanks to its size and weight. Aged copper finish gives it an attractive design. Extremely easy to assemble and comes with directional and copper spacer balls.
Not suitable for gardens.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Bob Dylan famously sang that “you don’t need a weatherman” to determine wind direction, and he was right. All you really need is a weathervane.
For some, a weathervane is an essential part of a DIY weather forecasting station. For others, a weathervane serves more as a decoration. The iconic look of a rooster, a pig, or another character sitting atop a spinning arrow is timeless, nostalgic, and fun. People have placed weathervanes in chicken coops, sheds, houses, barns, and living room mantles, to name just a few locations.
Before you purchase a weathervane, it’s a good idea to find out all you can about these devices. For example, you will want to arm yourself with knowledge about weathervane size, construction materials, installation, cost, and features such as directionals and weathervane tops.
Weathervanes range in height from under 10 inches to over 60 inches. As you might expect, the price often correlates with size. Smaller weathervanes tend to cost less; these structures look great on top of sheds and chicken coops. Larger weathervanes tend to cost more; if you’re looking for a weathervane to crown a barn or similar structure, a big one stands out more.
Affixing a weathervane to a roof can add to the overall difficulty of installation. Some weathervanes ship with a mount and all the hardware needed for roof installation. Others come without the mount, which you would need to purchase separately.
An adjustable mount is easier to install on a range of roof types and pitches. Installation instructions should be easy to read and follow with both text and illustrations for clarity.
While some assembly will likely be required, this is often as simple as threading elements on the assembly rod.
The entire purpose of a weathervane is to rotate and show wind direction. Therefore, the top should spin freely. While this can be hard to verify when purchasing online, a dive into the product specs should clarify any questions you have about the spin or rotation of a weathervane.
Metal is the overwhelming material of choice for weathervanes. There are several different metals to choose from, but whichever you select, it should be durable, weather resistant, and long-lasting. Common weathervane materials include the following.
Copper: Copper has a classic appearance that holds up well over time. This is largely due to the patina that forms as copper ages. Copper can be expensive, particularly if you’re interested in a solid-body weathervane.
Steel: Less expensive than copper, steel is also quite durable. Any weathervane made from steel should have a powder coating to protect it from the elements.
Aluminum: Often made from recycled materials, aluminum is lightweight, long-lasting, and resistant to rust. An aluminum weathervane may feature some form of protective coating, like satin black enamel.
Some weathervanes have plastic components. On a poorly made product, these components can easily wear out or break.
Of all a weathervane’s parts, the top draws the eye. It may feature a flying pig, fish, chicken, mermaid, or another figure that rotates in the wind. The top is where your personality can really shine through.
The top may serve as a wind pointer, or it may sit atop a pointed arrow. Weathervane tops can be hollow-bodied or solid. The best weathervane tops are well-balanced and capable of turning easily. While rare, some weathervanes ship with interchangeable tops so you have a bit of creative freedom when it comes to the appearance of your weathervane.
Available on some weathervanes, wind cups spin freely with the wind. While largely a decorative element, you can also use them to approximate wind speed.
Standard on the majority of weathervanes are directionals that point out north (N), south (S), east (E), and west (W). These remain in a fixed position while the top rotates so you can easily tell at a glance which direction the wind is blowing.
Some weathervanes feature globes, which are used to separate the main parts of the weathervane. Largely decorative, there is usually a larger globe between the mount and directionals and a smaller globe between the directionals and the top.
Holding it all together is the assembly rod, the skewer to the weathervane shish kabob. All parts slide onto the rod, which then attaches to the mount. The longer the assembly rod, the taller the weathervane will be.
Inexpensive: For $30 to $50, you can buy a compact weathervane with a simple design and a light build. The tops of these inexpensive weathervanes are often flat as opposed to hollow or solid. The material of choice here is steel or aluminum. Weathervanes in this price range are best as in-house decorations or toppers on a smaller structure like a shed or chicken coop.
Mid-range: For $60 to $150, you will find weathervanes for general use on houses and medium-size barns. These hollow-body designs are largely made from powder-coated steel or copper. The majority of buyers should find satisfaction in this middle price range.
Expensive: For $150 and up, build quality improves dramatically. Weathervanes in this price range tend to be larger and are often made of copper. For the money, you can expect solid-body designs and multiple layers of protective coating. Weathervanes at the top of the price range are best suited for larger barns and similar structures.
Q. Do weathervanes provide weather information beyond wind direction?
A. Some weathervanes include wind cups, which can give you a rough idea of how strong the wind is. Other than that, weathervanes don’t provide much in the way of weather information, although you can mount a rain gauge and other weather station instruments to them. Unless these instruments are wireless, however, you won’t be able to place them on a roof and receive much information from them.
What a weathervane can do by itself is provide you with a rough forecast based on its behavior. For example, if the weathervane shifts from west to east, it may indicate that a storm is headed your way. Similarly, if it suddenly shifts to show wind from the south, it may indicate that warm air is headed your way.
Q. Do I need to ground a weathervane?
A. Lightning seeks a ground. When you have a weathervane on your roof, it is really only a piece of metal with no ground. As such, it is not susceptible to lightning strikes. Running a ground wire from a weathervane could actually harm the structure it is on, so you should refrain from grounding one.
The exception to this is if you already have a lightning protection system on your barn or house. In this scenario, you’ll probably want to connect your weathervane to it.
Q. What part of the weathervane actually moves?
A. Not all parts of a weathervane respond to the wind. Features like the directionals — the arms pointing N, S, E, and W — should not move. Rather, they should be fixed to always point in their corresponding directions. For example, N should always point north.
The decorative top part of the weathervane is the part that should rotate to indicate wind direction. Other parts, such as wind cups, will also rotate when exposed to wind.