Leaf blowers are powerful gardening tools that work by propelling air through their nozzles to clean up grass cuttings, leaves and weeds from lawns and gardens. They’re also useful for drying cars after washing as well as removing light snow that has fallen on pathways and vehicles.
Many homeowners have invested in different types of leaf blowers because they make the cleaning process of grass and other debris easier, faster and more comfortable. If you’re looking for a new leaf blower, here are the most common types worth considering.
Handheld Leaf Blowers
Handheld leaf blowers are less powerful, less costly and lighter in weight than walk-behind and backpack blowers. But despite their less power, they perfectly meet the needs of many people. They’re easier and more convenient to use than other types of leaf blowers because they’re designed to be held by hand. Many handheld blowers also come with multiple attachments that allow you to turn them into vacuums and mulchers.
Backpack Leaf Blowers
These types of blowers are designed for homeowners with more than 1 acre of land. They make cleaning of leaves and debris easier and faster because they produce loads of extra power and higher airspeed capacity than handheld models. However, backpack models have gas chambers, which make them heavier to carry than handheld models i.e. they weigh between 17 and 22 pounds.
Most modern backpack blowers are made in such a way that their heavier weight is distributed on your back and shoulders comfortably. Their throttle controls are also designed in a way that keeps your hand and wrist in a natural position while in operation. This greatly helps to lessen the fatigue on your hands while working for longer hours.
Walk-Behind Leaf Blowers
These types of blowers come with a large 4-stroke engine that produces the highest amount of power. Because of this, they’re suitable for people with commercial businesses or large acres of land full of leaves to clear. They are on wheels, so you have to walk behind as you push them. On the downside, these blowers require more storage space because they’re larger in size. They also weigh about 100 pounds, so they’re difficult to push around and maneuver especially uphill. Walk-behind blowers are all powered by gasoline, and because of that, they produce noise and fumes when operating.
Choosing Leaf Blowers By Power Type
Leaf blowers are powered mainly by gasoline, electricity and battery. Let’s look at each of these power sources in detail:
Cordless (Battery-Powered) Leaf Blowers
A cordless leaf blower is increasingly becoming popular among many people who don’t want to deal with the maintenance requirements of gas-powered leaf blowers or those who don’t like their mobility to be limited by a power cord. They enable you to enjoy increased range and mobility because they don’t have any power cord attachment.
However, it’s important to note that cordless blowers have less power and limited operating time than gas-powered units. Because of this, they’re more suitable for people who want to clear leaves from small and medium-sized areas. These blower models also produce less noise during operation and are lighter in weight than gas-powered models. Their light weight makes them very easy to carry and maneuver because.
They come with a rechargeable battery that can last for up to one hour when they’re fully charged. Therefore if you’re cleaning a bigger area, you have to take breaks to recharge the battery or carry a spare battery with you. When shopping for a cordless leaf blower, it’s important to consider the overall operation time of the batteries in different units before making your final decision. Batteries with longer operation time will enable you to do more work between charges. In addition, consider units with lithium-ion batteries because they last longer than other types of batteries when you take care of them properly.
Corded (Electric) Leaf Blowers
As their name suggests, corded blowers come with a power cord that you have to plug into a power outlet to power them. Their cord attachment limits your mobility considerably, so you should only consider them if the area you want to clear is 100 feet or less from the power outlet. Alternatively, investing in a longer extension cord can help you clear a larger area.
Corded models are usually lighter in weight than gas-powered and cordless models. They’re also less powerful and quieter than gas-powered models. As if that’s not enough, they have zero maintenance requirements and produce zero gas emissions, making them suitable for those who want to save the environment.
Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers
Gas-powered models offer the highest airspeeds and power, which enables you to clean leaves and other debris from a larger area faster. All you have to do is to fill the gas chamber with the right type of fuel and maintain them regularly. Since these models are not tethered to a power source, you can go anywhere to clean debris.
On the downside, gas-powered blowers emit exhaust fumes while operating. They’re also more expensive, heavier and noisier than other models. Majority of the gas models available in the market are equipped with 2-stroke engines that run on a blend of gasoline and oil. You have the option of buying gasoline and oil and mix them yourself or buying a blend that’s already pre-mixed.
Other gas-powered models also come with 4-stroke engines. Unlike 2-stroke engines that run on a blend of gasoline and oil, 4-stroke engines run only on gas. This eliminates the need for you to mix different fuels every time you want to operate your leaf blower. Note that the 4-stroke engine increases the weight, vibration, exhaust fumes and noise produced by these models. Their heavier weight makes them more tedious to carry around and maneuver.
Cleaning leaves from the lawn is a year-round activity that can be very time-consuming and tedious when done manually. Leaf blowers enable you to clean light debris and snow in your home in an efficient, faster and more comfortable manner.
If you’re planning to invest in a new model, it’s important to take your time and compare the cost, power, reliability, noise levels, comfort, emission levels and ease of use and maintenance of different types of leaf blowers in the market before making your decision.