Leaf blowers were first invented as chemical sprayers for agriculture, but they were soon modified to blow air and not chemicals, and the leaf blower, as we know it, was born. Manufacturers saw the potential for great sales with a leaf blower product because it is much easier to use and faster than raking a lawn or sweeping a driveway. It is now an indispensable garden tool and there are many models from which to choose. The best leaf blower to buy will depend on your gardening needs. Examine the models available and choose the one that fits.
As summer cools into autumn and the gorgeous leaves begin to fall all over your garden, driveway, front porch and back patio, a leaf blower begins to seem like a good idea. The leaves will become unsightly in your beautiful garden, and it will feel like there are millions of them.
Types of Leaf Blower
Leaf blowers have been divided into four basic categories that are based on function and intended use.
- Handheld electric leaf blowers for small areas
- Handheld gas leaf blowers for large areas
- Gas powered backpack leaf blowers for large areas and less weight on the arms
- Gas powered wheeled leaf blowers with high power for very large areas
For performance, the handheld electric blowers always outperform the gasoline counterparts and cost less. However, if power is what you need, the gasoline backpack or wheeled blower is your best option.
The electric type is the most popular type. It is light weight and easy to maneuver and can be held with one hand. Most models have one button that turns it on and off so it is easy to use. Also, electric blowers have no exhaust emissions. The main drawback is the cord. It may obstruct mobility and limit your range. However, the cord also has a benefit. It will give the same power throughout the whole job. There are battery operated blowers, but they don't last very long, are not as powerful and tend to lose power as the battery drains, so the end of your job will not be as efficient as the beginning.
The gas variant has an edge over the electric because it is cordless. It can also be used with one hand, but it is usually a little heaver that electric ones. There are two types of gasoline blower engines, two stroke and four stroke. The four stroke engines are heavier, but they are more environmentally friendly than the two stroke. Consider horsepower when looking at gasoline leaf blowers. Does it have several speeds? Higher horsepower blowers have more blowing capacity.
The backpack leaf blower is easier on the arms and is more powerful. It has padding in the harness that makes it comfortable to wear. It is the best option for commercial spaces but is also a good option for a large estate. Along with the power, it is light enough to be easy to wear for an extended period. This is the best option for professional gardeners. There is also a walk-behind and push model that is more powerful and usually used by professionals.
The blower vacuum does the opposite job of a leaf blower. It sucks up the leaves and other debris into an attached bag. This makes it easy to dispose of the leaves when the work in finished. This model is especially good for people who compost. Some blower vacuums come with a shredder that shreds the debris while it is being collected, and this makes it very easy to put the mulched leaves into a compost heap. It is a good investment to have a shredder/vacuum combination because it means you don't need to have two machines to store and maintain.
Buying The Best Type For Your Lawn
To be sure you buy the right tool for your requirements, there are several things to consider.
- First you should determine the size of your garden. The amount of foliage and debris that needs to be cleared should also be considered.
- You also need to determine if going cordless is necessary or if a corded version is suitable for your garden. The cordless model has better mobility without getting tangled in a cord but for a small area where you need not move the plug, a corded blower is fine.
- The cost of the leaf blower is just the first cost. It will require maintenance regularly, like any engine, and the gasoline blowers require the most maintenance. Determine the running costs before purchasing.
There are many advantages to using a leaf blower instead of a rake. The rake costs less but there are other things to consider.
- It is timesaving-cleaning can be done quickly
- It is less tiring-just turn it on and point
- It reaches tight corners and under trees that are difficult for the rake
- People with physical disabilities can also use a leaf blower
- A lawn vacuum doubles as a shredder for composting
Some tips that will help you be more efficient without any hazardous or humorous repercussions.
- Some cheaper versions vibrate a lot and some don't. If yours starts to vibrate, shut it down and restart it after a few minutes. Vibration will cause your arms to become fatigued quicker.
- Only blow dry leaves on a calm day. Wind and rain will just make you job more difficult and will not help you get the clean results you want.
- Wear protective eye and protective earmuffs and clothing. It is a messy job as well as loud and there may be debris flying around.
- Always blow the leaves in one direction where you will collect them when you are finished.
Once you know the different types of blowers available, it shouldn't be too difficult to buy the best one for your situation. A rule many gardeners follow is to buy the most powerful one that they can afford. It is the power that will make the job easier even though maneuverability is important. There are many companies that manufacture leaf blowers and vacuums with shredding functions and you can test them in stores, but the best way to compare prices is to look online. If you have tested one you like in a store, you may be able to find the same leaf blower for a cheaper price online.