Getting rid of leaves and grass cuttings in your garden can be a tedious and time-consuming process. A leaf blower can help you do it conveniently, without hours of raking. However, given the numerous models this versatile machine comes in – electric, gas powered, corded, cordless, hand-held, backpack-mounted, heavy-duty, light-duty, and so on – choosing the right one to match your requirements is often a challenging task.
Before you go ahead with placing an order, make sure you refer to a good leaf blower buying guide, and equip yourself with all the necessary information about the product. Here are some basic things you should know while buying a leaf blower for your garden.
Gas Blowers vs. Electric Blowers
A leaf blower is usually powered by either a gasoline or an electric motor. Gas blowers are more powerful than electric blowers, but at the same time, they are also heavier, noisier and costlier. Mostly suitable for large yards of over half an acre, gas blowers require you to store and mix gasoline to operate them.
Early 2000 saw the shift to corded electric blowers as a lighter, quieter, and environmentally-friendly alternative. However, they required a power outlet to be located near the place of operation. Development of battery-powered, cordless leaf blowers overcame this limitation and became hugely popular. Here is interesting history of the leaf blower, explained in detail.
Battery powered leaf blowers have come a long way and the current models are capable of handling light to medium-duty tasks. Some of them even have the potential to outperform heavy-duty gas blowers.
Advantages of Battery-Powered Leaf Blowers
Battery-powered leaf blowers are cheaper to operate and offer better portability than gas blowers and corded blowers. They are lighter and quieter than gas blowers and do not involve messing around with gas and oil. They do not emit any toxic gases and hence offer a cleaner, environmentally-friendly alternative to gas blowers. Unlike corded electric leaf blowers, you do not need to worry about dragging a power cable.
What to Look for in a Leaf Blower
Before you go shopping for a leaf blower, understand your requirements. How big is your yard? How often will you be using it, and what’s the quantity you are looking to remove each time? Would you also like to have vacuuming and mulching features incorporated in your leaf blower?
Here are some factors you should consider while buying a leaf blower:
- Though electric and battery blowers are not as noisy as gas blowers, they still make some noise. Consider the noise levels and make sure it doesn’t exceed the legal decibel limits in force in your neighborhood.
- MPH or miles per hour rating measures the speed at which air exits from the blower. Read this rating along with the volume of air the blower can move (CFM).
- CFM or cubic feet per minute rating measures the volume of air a blower can blow. Higher CFM means the blower can move more leaves.
- Variable speed controls allow you to control the speed and volume of air.
- Power output of a battery powered blower is measured in volts (V) whereas that of a corded blower is measured in amps (A). Look for a rating of at least 40 volts.
- How long can you run a battery leaf blower in a single charge? It’s important to know the runtime.
Other factors to consider include chute and tube diameter, weight of the machine, and vibration reduction features. In short, go for a blower that is good for the size of your garden but not too heavy to carry around or too powerful to kill the smaller plants in your garden.