Buying Guide: Best Gas and Electric Leaf Blowers for Gutters, Large Yards, Pine Needles & Wet Leaves
Leaf blowers are an essential part of any homeowner’s array of grounds maintenance tools, as they can be used throughout the year. Leaf blowers are useful for clearing snow off of walkways in winter, removing yard debris in spring and summer, and for moving leaves during the autumn months.See Our #1 Leaf Blower Pick at Amazon
Some people even use a leaf blower to dry their car after washing it! In this guide, we will discuss common considerations when choosing a leaf blower and give you our recommendations on good leaf blowers right now.
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Rated: Best Leaf Blowers for the Money (2017 - 2018)our rating is based on value and quality for leaf blower use around the home
Types of Leaf Blowers
Buyers can choose from several types of leaf blower, including handheld, push blowers, and models carried backpack style. Handheld varieties can be gas powered, or they can run on electricity, and you can also use buy a model that operates on a battery. Your battery will add weight and must be fully charged when you begin working, and it is always advised that you have a spare on hand. Your handheld machines are going to be useful if you only need to cover a small area, and they have the advantage of being smaller in size. They also tend to be less noisy and do not produce a loud roar when started.
Backpack leaf blowers possess a greater amount of power than most other varieties, and they tend to weigh about twice as much as other blowers. This type of leaf blower was actually first designed with landscapers in mind, and more recently, it has become a favorite among residential homeowners, as it is good for working large grounds, and it provides great maneuverability. It will also reduce the amount of time you need to spend clearing your yard.
Push blowers, also known as self-powered or wheeled blowers, are the most powerful option on the market. They look and operate much like a traditional lawn mower and are good for residential lawns that are larger in size than one acre. These devices can be difficult to maneuver, and so, they can require a bit more elbow grease to run. These machines operate with a great deal of speed, and they are highly efficient, collecting leaves and twigs in a bag that is conveniently attached behind and saving you time and effort spent in collecting and bagging debris. These can be gas powered or corded and are not really intended for massive clean-up jobs.
Gas vs. Electric
Choosing whether to buy a gas-powered or an electric blower is essential, because each has one its benefits, and each one has its drawbacks. You can expect consistent output from an electrical blower, though you’ll need to be mindful of the cord while working. These models tend to be small and lighter than other types, making them easier to use, and these machines have the added advantage that there is no engine maintenance required and that the engines tend to last longer. There are no spark plugs or carburetors to worry with, and inside components tend to be solid state.
Your range is going to be limited by the need to be plugged in, making a corded leaf blower an ideal choice for smaller plots of land. One downside is that you’ll need to purchase a cord that is compatible with your machine, as very often, cords are not included with the device you are buying. You’ll need to take your time and research cord types, making sure to use them according to their specific parameters.
Gas powered leaf blowers deliver more power than electrical blowers and are good for landscaping jobs or for people with extensive properties. Homeowners should opt for lighter handheld models to avoid strain, as gas powered blowers weigh more than their corded counterparts. Gas powered machines enjoy a greater level of portability, as you do not have to stay close to an electrical outlet, and they are easier to maneuver.
There are some drawbacks to purchasing a gas-powered blower, and you will likely first feel this at the cash register. Gas powered devices are more expensive to buy, and you will also need to purchase gasoline periodically for fuel. Be sure to read your instruction manual, as many types of leaf blower can be damaged if you use gasoline with too high an ethanol content, and if you purchase a model with a 2-stroke engine, you will also need to buy oil for it to operate smoothly. Failing to add oil to your fuel could prove disastrous for your machine, as it will likely lock up suddenly, destroying the engine.
You can forgo buying oil if you purchase a gas-powered leaf blower with a 4-stroke engine, but you will need to perform oil changes periodically. This type of machine will be heavier than its 2-stroke counterparts, so you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons of each when making a decision. The proper fuel-to-oil ratio is 40:1, and this means that for every gallon of gas, you’ll need to add 3.2 ounces of 2-cycle engine oil.
You won’t be able to use regular engine oil, as it is too viscous and will gunk up the components. You will need to fill a gas can with gasoline first and then the oil, replacing the cap, and shaking the container. Always err on the side of too much oil instead of not enough, and shake the container again right before filling your tank. If this is too daunting, you can buy your gas and oil pre-mixed. If you know your machine won’t be in use for a long period of time, empty the engine.
Features & Options To Look For
When shopping for a leaf blower, you want to look for a device that has sufficient airflow. Popular Mechanics has stated that you can best determine this by examining the tube and by looking at the listed velocity, measured in miles per hour, and volume, notated as cubit feet per minute.
You also want to choose a brand that is known for solid construction and reliability, traits known for predicting whether a tool will stand the test of time. You can find reviews online where well-known brands like Stihl, Hitachi, Husqvarna, and others have been evaluated for their pricing, durability, ease of use, and other important features. Even in the best of circumstances, you can still run into difficulties, and for this reason, most left blowers have a warranty of at least two years, with many providing extended coverage for up to seven years.
Other Things To Consider
Look for a model that offers multiple speed settings so that you can match the leaf blower’s output to the work you are doing. Those that have the most speed options are your best choice, but even a model with only a few settings will serve you better than one that doesn’t have any.
You will need to consider the decibel output of the leaf blower you are thinking of buying, as some neighborhoods have limits on what is permissible, and other neighborhoods have placed restrictions on what times of day they can be used. You should find out if your homeowners association or other group allows the use of leaf blowers, as some communities have banned their use altogether. Be sure to obtain the proper ear protection, as some models can exceed 90 or as much as 100 decibels, and long term exposure to this level of sound can cause serious hearing loss.