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Can You Use a Leaf Blower for Snow

Using leaf blowers for snow removal is an excellent way to get more out of this garden power tool. Typically, most homeowners view a leaf blower as a one-season device. However, there is no need to pack away your powerful leaf blower at the end of the fall. Instead, you can use the handheld blower to shift fresh snow, powdery snow, and dry snow during the winter season.

Even though it’s possible to use a leaf blower for snow blowing, is it the best way to get rid of a buildup of snow? And are there any safety concerns when using an electric or cordless blower for clearing snow? Please read on to find the answer to these questions and more.

Can a Leaf Blower Blow Snow?

Leaf Blower to Blow Snow

A leaf blower for snow removal is ideal under certain circumstances. You can use it for clearing light snow, dusty snow, fluffy snow, and if there are fewer than four inches of snow. A gas-powered leaf blower is the safest type to use, and it’s more powerful than an electric model.

However, there are certain circumstances when using a leaf blower on snow is not advisable. For example, it typically doesn’t deal with heavier snow or a thick blanket of snow. Additionally, using a leaf blower above 32°F is not a good idea because the snowfall is too wet.

Another consideration when deciding on using a leaf blower on snow is temperature. Typically, they are not designed for operating in freezing temperatures. In addition, a battery-powered blower will have an extremely limited operating time when it’s below freezing. 

Is a Leaf Blower the same as a Snow Blower?

The main differences between a leaf blower and an actual snowblower are size and power. Leaf blowers are small and lighter and are handheld power tools. This makes them easier to handle in the garden. However, they are not as powerful as a dedicated snow blowing machine.

A dedicated snowblower can only be used on a flat, solid surface. This makes them impractical for blowing snow from decks, patios, stairs, and cars. Even on garden terrain, it’s challenging to use a standard snowblower to shift light snow because the blades can ruin a lawn.

will a leaf blower blow snow

Of course, snowblowers are necessary for clearing paths, sidewalks, and driveways after heavy snowfall. The turning blades and blower device deal effectively with a thick layer of snow, compacted snow, and large chunks of snow.

But leaf blowers have one significant advantage over snow blowers — you can use them on any surface to remove a light layer of snow.

However, if you have a choice of snow removal equipment where you get heavy snow in winter, then it’s best to buy a dedicated snowblower

What sort of Leaf Blower do I Need to be able to Remove Snow from My Driveway?

A gas leaf blower is typically the only type of handheld blower to shift a few inches of snow from a driveway. The reason for this is that gas blowers are more powerful and have a greater cubic foot per minute (CFM) rating. Also, there are fewer safety issues when using a gas-powered machine in damp weather.

It is possible to use an electric or cordless leaf blower, but only in certain conditions. For example, if the weather is dry, there is no risk of snowfall, and there is only a light layer of snow on the driveway.

Do Leaf Blowers Melt Ice?

A leaf blower can’t melt ice because it doesn’t blow warm air. At the most, a leaf blower can help remove ice from paths, driveways, steps, and patios if you break up the ice into chunks. You can then use the blower to clear broken pieces of ice to keep your driveway, patio, or stairs clean.

So, although you can use a leaf blower to clear fluffy, powdery snow, you can’t use it to melt ice.

How do I use a Leaf Blower to Blow Snow?

can leaf blowers blow snow

Use the same technique when using a leaf blower for snow removal as you would clearing leaves. But, first, decide where you want to create piles of snow. For example, when clearing snow from driveways, start at one edge and gradually work down the drive, blowing snow to the opposite side.

When blowing snow with a leaf blower, keep it pointed down at an angle and move it slowly from side to side. Suppose you come across compacted snow or very damp snow. In that case, it’s best to move on because a leaf blower is only an effective snow removal tool for light snowfall.

Using a Leaf Blower to Blow Snow off Your Car

You can also use a leaf blower to remove snow from a car. Again, start at one side and work along the length of the vehicle, taking care not to scratch the paintwork.

Top tip when clearing snow with a leaf blower: Don’t wait for the snow to stop falling to begin clearing it. Take the gas-powered blower when there is a light snow covering; otherwise, the snow may be too heavy to remove later.

What Depth of Snow is it OK to Use a Leaf Blower?

A leaf blower will generally clear up to 4 inches of snow. However, there’s a caveat. Snow clearing with a blower is only effective if the consistency of the snow is light and fluffy or you are dealing with crispy snowfall. Otherwise, it’s best to use a snow shovel to clear larger amounts of snow.

Safety When Using a Leaf Blower to Clear Snow

Safety is paramount when clearing snow, regardless of whether you are using an actual leaf blower, snowblower, or a trusty shovel.

Here are some tips when using a leaf blower for snow:
  • Never use an electric leaf blower in wet, damp conditions or if it’s snowing. If you have a corded blower, ensure no nicks or splits are on the electrical cord.
  • Only use the blower for light snowfall.
  • Plug the blower into a GFCI outlet to minimize the risk of electrocution.
  • If using a gas blower to clear snow, put on protective ear muffs.
  • Use non-slip footwear and put on a warm jacket.
  • Don’t attempt to use a leaf blower on heavy, wet snow or snow more than four inches deep.
  • Ensure the motor is completely dry before storing it in a safe place.

A Takeaway

A leaf blower is a versatile tool that you can use to clear snow under certain circumstances. You can use a powerful leaf blower to blow light snow from your car, patio, driveway, sidewalk, paths, stairs, outdoor furniture, and hard-to-reach places. After using a leaf blower on snow for the first time, you’ll wonder how you managed to deal with now in your yard without it before.