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Gas Leaf Blower

What You Need to Consider Before Buying a Leaf Blower

There is no perfect, one-model-fits-all type of leaf blower for every type of task. Before buying a Leaf Blower it’s essential to take into consideration various factors.

For example, there is no point in buying a heavy-duty blower if you only have a small yard. All you need is a simple handheld unit that is either electric or battery-powered. However, if you have a large garden with many deciduous trees, then you’ll require a robust, more powerful model.

What Do You Want the Blower For?

What You Need to Consider Before Buying a Leaf Blower

Many homeowners buy a leaf blower because it’s a versatile piece of equipment. Of course, the obvious reason to buy a garden blower is to clear leaves in the fall. However, the right leaf blower can be an all-season tool, suitable for use in winter, spring, and summer.

Here are a few ways your leaf blower can be useful in seasons other than the fall:

  • Winter—A battery-powered leaf blower or electric model is useful for clearing light snow from your car or driveway in dry conditions. However, it’s not safe to use an electric leaf blower when it’s snowing or raining. Although a gas-powered leaf blower is more powerful and safer, it won’t shift heavy, compacted snow.
  • Spring—Are you doing a spring clean of your yard in March or April? If so, your leaf blower is an invaluable tool for shifting light garden debris. A multi-purpose leaf blower with mulching capabilities will also help turn garden waste into compost.
  • Summer—After mowing the lawn, a corded or cordless leaf blower will help clear grass clipping from paths or driveways.

Before Buying a Leaf Blower Consider the Size of Your Yard

One of the crucial considerations before purchasing a leaf blower is the size of your yard. Typically, your choice is between a corded leaf blower or a cordless blower.

If you have a large yard, a good-quality battery-powered leaf blower will give you the freedom to roam. You are not restricted by an annoying electric cord, and there is no cord to get tangled in shrubs or around trees. However, it would be best to consider battery life and its limited run time. So, if your yard is extensive, buy the best cordless leaf blower you can afford and an extra battery.

A corded electric blower is usually suitable for a small to medium-sized yard. You will only need an extension cord that allows you to reach all corners of the yard without hindrance. Typically, using an extension cord up to 100 ft. is possible.

Leaf Blower-What Power Source do You Want

You have a choice between several types of leaf blowers. These are handheld blowers or backpack blowers. Then you can choose between the power source—gas, electric outlet, or rechargeable battery. Considering these options is a good idea as they have varying price tags and functions.

Here is a quick overview of the types of leaf blowers to choose from and their price range.

  • Corded electric leaf blower—Typically a handheld garden tool with as much power as a gas blower. These models are the cheapest, but issues with power cords can be frustrating. Price: $30 to $110.
  • Battery-powered leaf blower—A cordless electric leaf blower is ideal for giving you freedom of movement without harmful exhaust emissions. However, battery power rarely exceeds 30 minutes. Price: $150 to $300.
  • Gas-powered handheld leaf blower—A relatively powerful leaf blower with a two-cycle engine and plenty of power. They are noisier than electric or battery models but give you the freedom to clear large yards. Price: $90 to $220.
  • Gas-powered backpack leaf blowers—Typically suited for gardening professionals, the large, powerful blowers are ideal for clearing large parks, driving lots, and other extensive areas. In addition, because the gas engine is on your back, they cause less fatigue than handheld blowers. Price: $160 to $480.

What Features Should My Leaf Blower Come With

Buying a leaf blower with the right features is another vital consideration. The main features to look for are airspeed—miles per hour (MPH)—and air volume, measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). If you’re not sure, choose a model with a higher CFM. However, pay attention to the type of nozzle, noise levels, and vacuum function.

Many handheld leaf blowers have various nozzles you can change to adjust the shape of airflow. This feature is invaluable for clearing wet leaves, heavy leaves, and getting into tight spaces.

You may also want to consider buying a quality leaf blower with a vacuum function and mulching capabilities. This type of model typically has a garden debris bag and mulches up to 16 bags of leaves into one bag. Although it is not designed for mulching huge piles of leaves or small twigs, it will help take care of a small yard.

Leaf Blower Power

The most important factor to consider when buying a power tool to clear garden debris is its power level. When it comes to power, the two most important factors are air speed and air volume. To know how powerful a particular unit is, this is what to look for:

  • Cubic feet per minute (CFM)—This is the volume of air that the unit can push out in one minute. This figure gives you an indication as to how far the blower can move debris.
  • Miles per hour (MPH)—This number is the speed the unit pumps out air.

When it comes to choosing a suitable leaf blower, choose one that has both high a CFM and MPH rating. If you pick one with fast air speed but low CFM, then you may spend a long-time clearing leaves in your yard. In general, the higher the CFM, the more debris you will move quicker.

Consider What Your Budget is before Buying a Leaf Blower

Your budget will impact the type of leaf blower you can afford. Some corded electric leaf blowers sell for under $20. On the other hand, a quality branded battery blower can cost over $150. In many cases, you get what you pay for. So it’s a good idea to buy the best one you can reasonably afford.

Here is a short guide to choosing a leaf blower within your budget.

cheapest leaf blowers are corded models

The cheapest leaf blowers are corded models with an average price of around $60. For example, one of the best electric leaf blowers is the WORX WG520 Turbine. This unit has an impressive 600 CFM and 110 MPH. In addition, it features an ergonomic design and makes short work of large leaf-clearing jobs.

Expect to pay a little more if you want to buy a quality cordless leaf blower. However, prices on rechargeable blowers are coming down, and power is increasing. Therefore, you can expect to find online plenty of recommended battery-powered leaf blowers for between $100 and $200.

Gas-powered blowers tend to be for professional use due to their cost and noise levels. However, depending on the size of your yard, a gas leaf blower may be the best option. For example, the recommended Craftsman B215 has a 22cc two-stroke engine blowing leaves at 200 MPH and up to 430 CFM.

Noise Level of Leaf Blower

Leaf blowers, especially gas-powered models, can be noisy pieces of equipment. Some of the noisiest blowers can create noise over 112dB—louder than a plane taking off. Therefore, there are two noise rating factors to consider when choosing a leaf blower—hearing protection and local noise ordinances.

According to the CDC, gas-powered leaf blowers generate 80 to 85 dB. This can cause damage to hearing after two hours of noise exposure. Unfortunately, cheap leaf blowers are the biggest culprits, often with noise levels over 100 dB.

Another consideration is local noise restriction laws when working in a yard. For example, some states like California restrict noise levels to a maximum of 55 dB within a specific range between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. This means that you must check if the leaf blower is suitable for your neighborhood.

Typically, the quietest blowers are high-quality electric or battery-powered leaf blowers.

Weight of Leaf Blower

Another factor to consider is the weight of the leaf blower. Some of the heavier, more powerful units will clear your yard faster. However, they may weigh more and cause arm and back strain. Some brands have dual-handle units or adjustable straps to make carrying the leaf blower easier. Of course, if you only have a small yard and need to use the blower occasionally, weight may not be an important factor.

Consider The Length of time it takes to do a job

The suitability of a leaf blower depends on balancing the size of job and type of leaf blower. For example, cordless leaf blowers are excellent for versatility without polluting the environment. However, they can only tackle jobs that take 30 minutes to an hour, unless you run two batteries which will obviously give you double the run time. Electric leaf blowers will run for longer, but you are restricted to the cable length.

Price of Leaf Blowers

In the end, it all comes down to your budget and price of the leaf blower. Always buy the best one you can afford without compromising on the level of power you need to get a job done.

Different Types of Blowers

When you have decided on the kind of leaf blower you want to buy—gas, cordless, or electric—it’s time to decide on another question. Should you buy a handheld, backpack, or walk behind leaf blower? Let’s briefly look at the differences between these types of blowers.

Handheld Leaf blower

The most popular types of leaf blowers are handheld models. These generally are easy to carry, fairly lightweight, and versatile. All you need to do is power them up and start clearing leaves and debris from your yard. Another benefit of handheld blowers is that they are smaller than backpack models. So, if storage space is limited and you have a medium to small yard, a handheld leaf blower is a perfect choice.

Because there is a wide variation in their specifications, it’s important to pick a gas, electric, or cordless model that suits your gardening needs.

Backpack Leaf blower

Backpack Blower

If you have heavy-duty tasks or need to clear a large area, backpack leaf blowers are the best option. The best backpack units are ergonomically designed to sit comfortably on your back. Because they are gas-powered, you get the power and versatility you need to easily keep a large yard, park, or parking lot clear of debris.

Walk-behind Leaf blower

For large, professional jobs, a walk-behind leaf blower on wheels is the ultimate option. What these models lack in maneuverability, they make up for on power. Walk-behind leaf blowers can send most garden debris—damp leaves, sticks, and stones—flying. These units are usually gasoline-powered and designed for clearing large areas over 1 acre in size.

What You Need to Consider Before Buying a Leaf Blower-In Conclusion

Before deciding on which top leaf blower to buy, thoroughly weigh up all your gardening needs. Consider if you need one that can also clear snow, clean gutters, vacuum grass clippings, or create mulch.