A leaf blower is a great help for cleaning up leaves, debris, grass and hedge clippings. But what should you think about when buying a new blower? Here are a few things to keep in mind before you buy one.
The Types of Blower
There are three main types of leaf blowers: handheld, Walk Behind Leaf Blower and backpack models. Both types are usually powered by either a 2-stroke or 4-stroke engine. Some handheld blowers also provide a blower-vacuum combination. There are many different models, attachments and performance options available for different applications.
Handheld Leaf Blower:
For maneuverability, versatility, and lightweight, this is perfect for porches, gazebos, and any small lawn. Lacks the power to blow large debris away but can handle light snow, dust, and sawdust with no bogging down.
Backpack Leaf Blower:
This is the blower you need to look at if you need more power and longer run time. Ideal for garages, large shops, and fields that have to cover a lot of ground. Can easily blow away wet leaves, twigs, pebbles, and metal shavings. If you are working long hours, make sure that the backpack blower come with harnesses that are comfortable, and have a hip belt and wide shoulder straps for load-reduction.
Walk Behind Leaf Blower:
The big guns for jobs that need lots of power and completed quickly. Walk Behind Blowers are what a professional crew would use as it can blow away leaves, heavy paper and cardboard, and other garbage left out on the ground.
Other Things You Should Consider
Leaf Blowing Speed
When it comes to analyzing leaf blowers for performance the most important specs are the MPH and CFM numbers. CFM or MPH measurement units are both used to indicate the speed at which the air exits the tube. CFM stands for cubic feet per minute which references the total volume of air that moves, while the MPH measurement we’re all familiar with, indicates the miles per hour of the air that exists the tube.
Leaf Blower Noise Level
The amount of noise a blower makes can influence what you are shopping for, and keep in mind who might have to hear you when you are working outside. For residential uses the quieter, the better.
Electric leaf blowers are low-maintenance machines. They don’t require gas and oil, and are lighter and quieter than gasoline-powered blowers. Electric blowers are easier to start and operate with less vibration and without the fumes that a gas-powered machine creates. Light-duty electric blowers handle driveways, decks and patios, while higher-power electric blowers are good for yards up to a quarter of an acre.
Cordless leaf blowers offer good mobility. High-voltage batteries provide power and longer runtime. Gas leaf blowers deliver maximum mobility and runtime. These models are suited for large areas — a quarter-acre or more, depending on the model — and frequent or prolonged use.
When using any leaf blower, don’t forget to wear the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). You should always make sure your eyes are protected from dirt and debris if you’re blowing it around the garden.