A leaf blower can make dealing with autumn lawn maintenance easy. However, the many models to choose can make it difficult to choose the model that is best for you. Leaf blowers range in cost from $100-$600, so there is a unit to fit everyone’s needs and budget. Here are some things to consider before purchasing and two of the best consumer models.
There are three styles of leaf blowers. The most common, a handheld leaf blower, is a light, simple device. It is the only style of leaf blower that is powered by electricity, although gas units are also available. In general, these units are also the least expensive but cover smaller areas, making them appropriate for small yards and small budgets.
A backpack unit, which is always gas powered, makes use of a harness to support the leaf blower. Backpack units are often used for larger yards, or when the weight of the unit is a concern. This makes them more appropriate for larger yards.
Walk behind leaf blowers are also available, if somewhat unusual and more expensive. These are used to cover the largest areas, and are mounted and wheels and pushed, similar to a lawn mower. Walk behind units are always gas powered.
There are also two types of leaf blowers. First is the simple blower, which will only move the leaves. That means you must still bag and dispose of the leaves after you have finished using it. The other type, a blower vacuum, has an attached bag that can collect leaves while using the vacuum feature. You can also use it as a standard leaf blower if the vacuum feature isn’t appropriate for the job.
Leaf blowers are powered by either gas or electricity. Electric leaf blowers are quieter, but often are less powerful than gas units. They can be cordless, with a rechargeable battery, or have a long cord that brings electricity to the unit. They are often the best choice for smaller yards.
Gas leaf blowers are more powerful than electric leaf blowers. They are more powerful, but both heavier and louder than electric models.
You should also consider if you require any special features in the leaf blower you buy. Various speed settings will allow you better control of your unit, while attachments will allow you to use your leaf blower to clean out rain gutters or hard to reach areas in your yard.
Once you know what features, style, and type of leaf blower will best suit your home, there are a few terms to keep in mind. Although you should always wear ear protection when using a leaf blower, you should check the decibels that the unit emits. This will tell you how loud it is in comparison to other models.
You should also check how many miles per hour (MPH) the unit will perform at. Standard units range from 125 to 300 mph. If you buy a vacuum unit, you should also check the cubic feet per minute (CFM), which ranges from 350 to 600 CFM.
Black and Decker Leaf Hog 12 Amp Electric Blower/Vacuum
Retail Price: $136.95
Available at: Amazon.com
This electric model is best for smaller yards. It performs at 230 mph and weighs only 10 pounds. The unit comes with an adjustable shoulder strap to offset some of the weight, although it is considered a handheld unit.
Poulan Pro 25 cc Gas Blower/Vacuum
Retail Price: $159.99
Available at: Amazon.com
This gas powered, handheld model performs at 205 mph and vacuums at 400 cfm. It is also particularly light for a gas powered unit, only 10.7 pounds.