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Leaf Blower Buying Guide

Finding the right leaf blower will give your lawn a quick and easy cleanup.

A leaf blower is a great piece of equipment for cleaning up your yard. Whether you’re cleaning up dead leaves in the fall, or grass clippings in the summer, a leaf blower will do the job. You can buy either an electric leaf blower or a gas leaf blower.

Electric Leaf Blower

Leaf Blower Buying Guide
If your yard is covered in leaves, or you need to clean up those grass clippings, you may want a leaf blower. Choose from electric or gas models to fit your yard’s needs. You’ll be seeing your yard in no time.

An electric leaf blower can be either cordless or corded. Both options are great because they’re lighter and quieter than gas leaf blowers. If you have shoulder or back problems, an electric leaf blower may be a good option.

Cordless Electric Leaf Blower

Cordless electric leaf blowers run on a rechargeable battery, not an extension cord. These lightweight leaf blowers give you the option to cover your entire yard. Your mobility won’t be limited by the length of the extension cord. However, the battery only runs for a limited time. You will have to recharge the battery about every hour. They’re great for parts of your yard that can’t be reached by a corded electric leaf blower. Cordless electric leaf blowers are great if you have a small or medium-sized yard that won’t take more than an hour to blow clean.

Corded Electric Leaf Blower

Corded electric leaf blowers run on electricity from an extension cord. If you have a small yard to work on, corded leaf blowers are a good choice. Because they’re powered by a cord, you don’t have to worry about recharging a battery or running out of fuel. The downfall of these electric blowers is the limited mobility caused by the extension cord. You can only go as far as the extension cord allows. You also run into the possibility of getting the cord stuck on bushes, trees or other obstacles in your yard.

Gas Leaf Blower

Gas leaf blowers are available in handheld, backpack and walk-behind models. They are more powerful than electric leaf blowers, but they’re also noisier and create emissions from the gas. Gas blowers are more portable, but they may come with maintenance issues (changing air filters and spark plugs) aside from the normal mixing of gas and oil.

Handheld Gas Leaf Blower

These small, handheld gas blowers are easy to handle, weighing only slightly more than their electric counterparts. They give you optimal mobility. You’re not stuck with an extension cord or having to recharge a battery. They’re great for medium or large yards.

Backpack Leaf Blower

You can take a lot of strain off your body with the use of a backpack leaf blower. You’ll be able to cover large portions of your lawn in little time. They’re great for all yards. They typically weigh between 15 and 20 pounds. While slightly heavier than the handheld blowers, the convenience is well worth the extra weight.

Walk-Behind Gas Leaf Blower

Walk-behind leaf blowers are commonly used for large commercial landscaping jobs. These powerful blowers are the loudest option, but have the most power. They’re used not only on large lawns, but can also be used in construction work.

Leaf Blower Size and Speed

Electric and gas leaf blowers are generally rated the same. There are both small and large units in each class, so you should be able to find the perfect size for your needs.

In order to figure out the right size, the number one thing to look at is air or wind speed. For just blowing leaves off of pavement, you don’t need much air speed. Air speeds of 150 to 170 mph work good for paved areas, and 200 or more are ideal for grassy or landscaped areas where grass or branches may grab leaves.

After air speed, keep an eye out for airflow volume (CFM) when looking for a leaf blower. Airflow volume is key and should not be assumed by simply looking at air speed. You can have a high wind speed but not a high volume, so be sure to compare. The higher the volume, the more leaves you’re going to move.

Vacuum and Mulcher Features

You will also find that some leaf blowers have the option to switch to a vacuum. Sometimes they also come with a mulch bag attachment. The vacuum allows you to suck up small debris around the yard. The debris is deposited in the mulch bag. The vacuum mulcher sucks up and grinds the debris. You can then use the mulch for landscaping projects in your yard.

Whichever leaf blower you choose, it’s important to use it safely. Wear eye protection to protect your eyes from the debris. You should also wear hearing protection, especially if you’re using a gas blower. Finally, keep an eye out for features relating to the ease of switching attachments. They can make your job quicker or slower, regardless of the type of leaf blower you choose.

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