Leaf blowers are divided into two main categories from the outset. The first type is a corded version that even with a good extension cord ties the gardener to a 50-foot extension cord. It depends on the garden size whether this will be a real impediment or not. The second is a cordless rechargeable battery operated leaf blower that runs on a lithium ion battery source.
A corded lower powered leaf blower looks something like a 7-amp motor which is still capable of pushing out 160 mph. It is a lightweight model most likely with a safety cord protection to avoid the cord from disconnecting unexpectedly. The design, especially the handle, has some ergonomic features to make the model easier to hold for periods of time without hurting the inside of the hand. Weight should also be evenly distributed to make the leaf blower easier to carry without becoming uncomfortable for the upper arm which is taking most of the strain.
With a cordless leaf blower, a more powerful motor, like a 12 amp one, is quite common among available brands. Some models offer a 3-in-1 functionality and can switch between being a blower, a mulcher, and a vacuum. In the case of the mulcher, 156 bags of mulch can be reduced to one which is space saving. Switching from the vacuum to the leaf blower mode requires an adjustment, but not always separate tools to be removed or fitted. With a more powerful motor, like a 12 amp one, speeds go up to 250 mph the blower. Advanced models offer multiple speed choices too. The level of decibels with a 12 amp motor can reach 68 which is an acceptable level for daytime use.
Some products from certain manufacturers use lithium ion batteries which are interchangeable between their power tools. The option to charge up several batteries and use the next fully charged one on whichever power tool is needed at that moment is a useful feature for brand loyalists.
Leaf blowers don’t just clear leafs from around trees, but can also clean drives, garage areas, patios, decks, and other hard surfaces. They are powerful enough to shift the stubbornest of fallen leaves and probably will pick up dirt and dust along the way too. Bear this in mind during use to avoid anyone nearby getting dust blown into their eyes or on their clothes.
With almost all cordless models of a leaf blower, lithium ion batteries are used rather than older NiCad batteries. The switch to lithium provides a longer life and better battery charge retention than with NiCad-based models of the past.
The handles for leaf blowers are usually designed to avoid accidental twisting of the wrist during use, which could cause damage. The better models also balance their weight to let the gardener use the leaf blower for longer before arm fatigue sets in.
Some blower models have scraper features that help to pull up wet leaves that get stuck to a surface.
Some leaf blowers also include a collecting bag to avoid the need to rake up the leaves that have been blown into a collective pile in the corner of the garden. The addition of the bag attachment on some models of leaf blower especially suits people with bad backs or the elderly who still enjoy gardening but have problems crouching down and getting back up again.
What’s Included with The Best Leaf Blower
A leaf blower model comes with the main unit including its motor and either a corded lead to plug into the mains power or an option for a battery (some models don’t include the battery which can be purchased separately and other models include the battery). A collecting bag is also present with certain blower models.
Scant instructions are provided in the box because operating this type of power tool is fairly self-explanatory.
No assembly is required, other than perhaps fitting the collecting bag (if one gets provided), and slotting the battery into place (if it’s provided by not fitted).
What to Know Before Making a Purchase
Will a collecting bag be a useful extra to have? Is a cordless, battery powered leaf blower going to be a better idea than a corded one that can only reach as far as your extension cord is able? These are critical decisions to make before placing an order.
Think carefully about the benefit of owning a leaf blower from a brand that you already own another power tool that uses the same type of rechargeable battery. The ability to swap out batteries is very useful, especially with larger gardens that need more than one battery to cover the whole area.
Black and Decker, based in Maryland, is known throughout the world as a dependable supplier of power tools in both home and commercial markets.
Greenworks makes pressure washers, air drills, lawn mowers, chain saws, and numerous other power tools for home and commercial users.
Toro serves the home market with a range of landscape and turf maintenance equipment.
DeWalt, a subsidiary of Black and Decker, makes its bright yellow and black power tools respected by contractors and home users.
What Consumers Say
Taking a look at consumers’ reviews, these are a few of the opinions most often voiced by buyers:
Circular motion: A circular motion is useful when using a leaf blower and leaves are getting stuck inside the suction tube. The directional movement avoids leaves losing momentum up the suction shaft.
Straps: It is possible to use a shoulder strap for the leaf blower to alleviate some of the strain on the arm. Some models supply shoulder straps. However, not all models do. The straps don’t always come padded, so some buyers may like to add padding to the strap to make it more comfortable when the collection bag starts to fill up.
Back sufferers: Anyone who suffers back or knee problems, particularly people with herniated discs in their back who have difficulty kneeling down when gardening, a leaf blower is going to relieve a considerable amount of the pain they experience when cleaning leaves from their back garden.