Gardening Tool Site

Leaf Blower

How to Use a Leaf Blower

Using a leaf blower in your yard is a quick and easy way to clear debris. Leaf blowers are useful for clearing leaves, snow, grass clippings, dust, and small gravel pieces. At first, it may seem straightforward to use a leaf blower. Just pick it up, switch it on, and wave it back and forward to shift leaves—what could be easier?

Although you will clear garden debris with a leaf blower using a sweeping action, there is more to it. The better you know how to use a leaf blower, the better you will keep your front and backyard clean.

In this article, you’ll learn the best tips on using leaf blowers to clear your yard.

Choosing the Right Leaf Blower to Use in Your Yard

To choose the best leaf blower for your yard, take into consideration a few factors. It is vital to consider factors such as property size, power source, weight, and type of debris to clear. There are gas-powered blowers, rechargeable leaf blowers, and electric leaf blowers. Some blowers also have vacuum and mulching attachments.

Leaf Blower

Here are some tips on choosing the best leaf blower:

  • Gas-powered leaf blowers—Ideal for clearing large yards and heavy debris like wet leaves and small stones. However, they tend to be noisy and require ear protection. Gas-powered leaf blowers can be handheld or backpacks.
  • Rechargeable leaf blowers—Rechargeable leaf blowers are perfect for small to medium-sized yards. These blowers are less noisy than gas ones. You can also operate them without being attached to a cable. But they may have a limited operational time of 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Electric leaf blowers—The cheapest type of leaf blower, and its range of use is limited to the extension cord’s length.

The Best Way to Use a Leaf Blower

The optimal way to use a leaf blower in your yard is to blow leaves into several small piles. Use a gentle sweeping motion to blow leaves together, rather than apart. And always direct the blower’s nozzle at the ground, rather than the tops of the leaves.

Before you start clearing leaves or other debris, it’s a good idea to have a plan.  It’s always best to position a few tarps around your garden to create leaf piles directly on them. It would be best if you also planned to work in one direction to prevent blowing leaves on to cleared areas.

Here is a step-by-step guide for using a leaf blower to clear your yard effectively:

  • Decide where you want your leaves to go
  • Start by blowing leaves that are under hedges and beside buildings.
  • Use a gentle “U” shaped sweeping motion and work in a straight line.
  • Then, gradually work around the blown leaves to create piles on the tarps
  • If you have a large yard, create multiple piles of leaves to make clearing and removing easier.

Creating smaller piles of leaves is a good idea if you have an electric leaf blower or battery-powered blower. Generally, these blowers have less-powerful motors and take more time to shift a large volume of leaves.

When using the blower, don’t be fussy about shifting every leaf with the blower. The best way to clear all leaves from lawns, paths, driveways, and patios is to finish off with a rake if necessary.

Top tip for using leaf blowers efficiently: Hold the nozzle at a shallow angle to clear more leaves quickly.

Consider Weather Conditions Before Using a Leaf Blower

The weather in fall can be unpredictable. Sometimes, wet leaves on hard surfaces can create a slip risk. Also, soggy leaves are difficult to clear and take more time and energy. Therefore, it’s vital to clear leaves when the weather is at its best. The two weather factors to consider are wind and rain.

It best to wait until the weather is calm and it’s not windy before venturing out with your leaf blower. Even if the wind is blowing in the direction you want, it can still mess up your neat piles of leaves.

If possible, clear leaves from patios, driveways, gardens, and lawns when it’s relatively dry. Even the most powerful gas-powered backpack leaf blowers will have problems moving leaves that are soaking wet. Some handheld blowers are not designed for clearing wet leaves.

The best way to check if leaves are dry enough to blow is to do a test. Put the leaf blower on full power and direct the nozzle at the base of the wet leaves. If they hardly move, put the job off until it is drier.

Safety Gear When Operating a Leaf Blower

When operating any powered leaf blower, safety is paramount. Always wear safety goggles, protective gloves, and ear protection. It’s also good to remember that garden power tools can cause injury. Gas-powered leaf blowers contain flammable liquid and powerful motors. Electric leaf blowers with faulty cables can cause a severe electric shock.

When using a leaf blower—gas, electric, or battery—you should wear earmuffs or earplugs. Most leaf blowers produce between 70 and 90 decibels (dB) of noise. According to a 2019 report, this noise level far exceeds the World Health Organization’s recommended 55 dB.

Although you generally blow debris such as grass cuttings, leaves, sticks, and gravel away from you, you should still wear safety goggles and gloves. If you are clearing your yard in dry weather, it’s wise to consider wearing a dust mask.

Here are some more safety tips when operating a leaf blower:

  • Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing, necklaces, scarves, or jewelry. These items can get drawn into the air intake.
  • If you have long hair, tie it back or put it under a hat to prevent personal injury.
  • Don’t use a leaf blower in the rain.
  • Keep on the lookout for pets, children, and other people to avoid injuring them with flying objects.
  • If using an electric leaf blower, ensure no one can trip on the extension cord. Additionally, the cable must be approved for outdoor use.
  • If operating a gas leaf blower, take extra care with the flammable liquid and don’t run the unit near any fire.
  • Don’t use leaf blowers to clean construction dust, plaster dust, or dry garden topsoil.

The Best Techniques for Using Your Leaf Blower Like A Pro

Whether you are using a gas leaf blower or an electric one, the best techniques will help you clear your yard with ease.

Here is a checklist on making sure that you’re using the leaf blower to its full potential:

  • Leaf blowers are noisy, so don’t use them during quiet hours.
  • Wait until it’s sunny and dry before blowing leaves.
  • Don’t use leaf blowers after applying pesticides or fertilizers to your garden.
  • If it’s windy, work with the wind to make your job easier and use less power.
  • Visually divide your garden into smaller areas to make clearing leaves more manageable.
  • Remember the “need for speed.” Blowing leaves from harder surfaces requires less power and speed than clearing lawns.
  • Always point the nozzle down, keeping the angle shallow.
  • Don’t blow debris in the direction of people or open windows.

Alternative Uses for Leaf Blowers

You can also use leaf blowers for several other tasks around the home and yard. Leaf blowers are not just for moving piles of fallen leaves into piles. Most handheld electric leaf blowers or rechargeable ones are versatile enough for any job that requires a strong jet of air.

Leaf blowers are not just “one-trick” pony garden power tools. Here are some other ways you can use your handy leaf blower:

  • Clearing snow—Don’t pack the leaf blower away at the end of fall. You can use it to clear powdery snow from driveways, paths, and patios.
  • Drying your car—If you wash your car, you can use the leaf blowers as a giant dyer to remove all excess water.
  • Getting rid of puddles—After rainfall, you can use the powerful blower to displace water that has gathered on paths and driveways.
  • Cleaning garages—Put on a dust mask and use the leaf blower on low power to blow debris and leaves out of your garage.

Using a Leaf Blower — In Conclusion

Leaf blowers are a versatile garden tool for clearing leaves, snow, garden clippings, and other debris from your yard. If you choose the right type of leaf blower, you will find that using it makes many garden tasks more manageable.