Selecting a Leaf Blower

If you're in the market for a new leaf blower, you may be a bit confused about where to start. There are many different styles of leaf blowers, not to mention manufacturers and models. The good news is that you will accordingly have plenty of options to choose between, and you'll certainly be able to find something that matches your specific needs. To begin the process of choosing your own new leaf blower, take a look at these guidelines and begin narrowing down your options.

Types of Leaf Blowers

The first major consideration that you're going to have to deal with is what type of leaf blower you want to get. The five main choices you need to think about include:

Electric Leaf Blowers

  Electric Leaf Blowers: Electric leaf blowers, or corded leaf blowers, get their power supply from being plugged into an outlet. They are light and portable, however cannot cover large properties. Additionally, if your property has many trees or other landscaping features, maneuvering the cord around these obstacles can be challenging. They are ideal for smaller properties and open yards.
  Battery Operated Leaf Blowers: Battery operated leaf blowers are light and easy to use like their corded brothers, however they have the added advantage of not having to be plugged in. This means you won't have any problems maneuvering around. Still, keep in mind that the battery charge life won't last for extended periods. Best for light yard work where 15-30 minutes or less is necessary.

Gas Powered Leaf Blowers

  Gas Handheld Leaf Blowers: Gas leaf blowers are more powerful than electric leaf blowers, but will also be heavier and noisier. The huge advantage to these models is that you won't be bound by the constraints of an electric power cord, or the time restrictions of a battery. Conversely, you will have to mix gas and oil for the 2-stroke engine that most gas leaf blowers make use of.
  Backpack Leaf Blowers: A backpack leaf blower operates from a gas engine, and will be more powerful than a handheld model. Obviously these models are larger and heavier than anything handheld but you'll be supporting the weight with two shoulder straps. These are perfect for larger properties and heavier duty jobs. Also remember that many models come with variable speed settings, which will enable you to handle lighter jobs as well.
  Walk Behind Leaf Blowers: These are the largest, most powerful and most expensive leaf blowers on the market. An average homeowner may not have use for these powerful models. However, when you have an expansive property or if you are dealing with any commercial uses, a walk behind leaf blower is your ideal option.

Now that you know about the general categories of leaf blowers, it will also be helpful to learn some more information that can help you narrow down your options. Leaf blowers will come with a few different numbers and a few different options that you should familiarize yourself with.

Obviously we all know that MPH is miles per hour. For leaf blowers, you can find certain models whose fan operates at speeds well in excess of 200 MPH. Obviously smaller, lighter and less expensive models will have lower speeds. These speeds may range anywhere in the mid 100s MPH.

A big consideration when you're shopping for a leaf blower is how much ground you cover in what amount of time. This is measured in cubic feet per minute, or CFM. The higher the CFM, the quicker you can cover large areas.

If you're interested in a model with mulching capabilities, the reduction ratio is essentially how much space you can save, or how small you can make what you're mulching. A 5:1 reduction ratio would mean that you can 5 bags of leaves and turn it into 1 bag of mulch.
 
Don't forget that when operating a leaf blower factors such as noise, weight and depending on the style you're using, range, are all important. Noise will be measured in decibels, and generally speaking you'll always want to use earmuffs when operating a leaf blower, especially so for larger models.

If you're using a battery powered leaf blower, the voltage of the battery will determine its power and its durability. On the other hand, for corded electric models you'll need to think about cord length and the size of your property.

Last Word

As you can see, you'll have plenty of information to sort through when making a purchase of a new leaf blower. First think about which style best fits your needs and then pay attention to the details that will help you distinguish one model from the next. When all is said and done you'll find the best leaf blower for you.

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