© 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited.Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to thoroughly investigate the aerodynamic effects of blade pitch angle on small scaled horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWTs) using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) method to find out the sophisticated effects on the flow phenomena and power performance. Design/methodology/approach: A small HAWT is used as a reference to validate the model and examine the aerodynamic effects. The blade pitch angle was varied between +2 and −6 degrees, angles which are critical for the reference wind turbine in terms of performance, and the CFD simulations were performed at different tip speed ratio values, λ = 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 10.5 to cover the effects in various conditions. Results are examined in two different aspects, namely, general performance and the flow physics. Findings: The power performance varies significantly according to the tip speed ratio; the power coefficient increases up to a certain pitch angle at the design tip speed ratio (λ = 6); however, between λ = 2 and 4, the more the blade is pitched downwards, the larger is the power coefficient, the smaller is the thrust coefficient. Similarly, for tip speed ratios higher than λ = 8, the positive effect of the low pitch angles on the power coefficient at λ = 6 reverses. The flow separation location moves close to the leading edge at low tip speed ratios when the blade is pitched upwards and the also tip vortices become more intense. In conclusion, the pitch control can significantly contribute to the performance of small HAWTs depending on different conditions. Originality/value: In the literature, only very little attention has been paid to the aerodynamic effects of pitch angle on HAWTs, and no such study is available about the effects on small HAWTs. The change of blade pitch angle was maintained at only one degree each time to capture even the smallest aerodynamic effects, and the results are presented in terms of the power performance and flow physics.