Some things to consider when purchasing your first leaf blower
Want to save yourself some time collecting leaves and other debris? With the help of a leaf blower you can. It is less time-consuming and less back-breaking work compared to using a garden rake or similar tools. The general idea of a leaf blower is straightforward. A high-speed fan is surrounded by a cover. Tubes are then connected to the side of the fan to focus the air current (up to around 200 miles per hour in some units) in the direction you want to move the leaves.
Do I need a leaf blower?
First, consider your garden’s size and exposure to fallen leaves. Do you have a large yard? If you only have a small yard and no trees or bushes then a garden leaf blower would not be of many benefits. However, if you have a larger yard and wish to have it always looking tidy then a garden leaf blower would be a smart investment and time saver. You will want to bear these factors in mind when you consider the features of the different models.
Backpack or handheld?
Leaf blowers include both small one-hand models and more powerful, professional backpack models which have a harness.
Consider one with a harness, particularly if you suffer from back or neck problems, as it will take a good deal of the load off your arms and shoulders. Make a note of the weight of each type of garden leaf blower too, as backpack blowers can weigh as much as 25lb or 12kg. You would have to be doing an awful lot of blowing to be needing the 25lb model!
Handheld leaf blowers can be divided into two groups: regular blower and blower/vacuum. You can do much more than just move leaves with a blower/vacuum. These have the capabilities to vacuum all your leaves into a bag rather than blowing them all away. It is another wonderful time saver when it comes to disposing of the leaves.
An extra mulching feature is available on some leaf blowers/vacuums. Mulched lawn debris can be used in compost piles or bagged for disposal. Most of these converts easily from blowing to vacuum mode.
Something to also consider is the blowing speed and air volume different models put. A high blowing speed would reduce the time needed for the blowing operation. Most leaf blowers will have a rating of 350 to 800 cubic feet of air per minute (CFM).
- A low vibration level would also be preferable with ergonomic handles and harnesses to help you to work more efficiently with less strain on your hands, arms, and shoulders.
- Your choice of garden leaf blower should have an efficient system to minimize vibrations in the components of the machine that you or the user comes in contact with.
Gas or Electric?
Making your choice between a gas-powered or electric unit is not always an easy choice! Electric blowers are quieter, but gas ones are more powerful. The engine should be easy to start and powerful if you choose a gasoline model. Is your property massive with lots of trees, making a powerful unit the only real option? Or do you live in a busy neighborhood where a quieter operation would be appreciated?
Depending upon the specifications you choose, you can expect to pay anywhere between $100 and $600 for a decent leaf blower. Pick a model within your price range with the best selection of features.