What you must know before buying a leaf vacuum or blower!
A leaf blower is a tool that modern-day gardeners use. It propels the air from the nozzle to move the debris. They can be powered by either electricity or by gasoline. The gasoline models generally operated using a two-stroke engine. The four-stroke has been introduced only recently, as a step to reduce air pollution caused.
As soon as a tree sheds its leaves, the leaf blower is used to quickly gather the leaves. While some argue that leaf blowers have a use, only for the fall season, regular users would agree that they are used throughout the year. Even when there is light snow and you would like nothing more than to make your walkway windblown, you can use leaf blowers. Apart from the more traditional leaf-blower, there are modern versions of the leaf blower, which vary from hand-held and wheeled, to backpack models. Because of the variety available, it is not easy to decide the model that will suit you best.
Factors to Consider before you Can Buy a Leaf Blower
Before you can purchase a leaf blower, consider a few factors.
- The size of the area that has to be cleared.
- Decide how much you would like to lift, using the leaf blower.
- Figure out if you want a corded or a cordless model. If you have access to a power socket right in your backyard, the corded model works well.
- Decide if you want an encumbered battery or if you would prefer a gas powered model.
- Think about the money that you are ready to invest in the leaf blower.
- Determine how much space you have to store your leaf blower when you are not using it.
Once these factors are figured out, making the right choice becomes easy. However, keep in mind that these factors will only help you, by acting as a guideline and not serve as the decisive factor. To make a well-informed choice, read on to learn more about leaf blowers.
Terminologies you MUST know
When you start looking up leaf blowers, you are bound to be bombarded with terminology that you do not know anything about. So here is a list of a few basic terms that you will do good to know.
- MPH Ratings- This is used to indicate the speed at which the air from the nozzle escapes to the external world. As the nozzle size increases, the MPH rating falls, and with the smaller nozzle, the MPH increases. This measure is used only by products made by companies like Sears and MTD. Companies like ECHO and STIHL and Shindaiwa, however, measure CFM which stands for Cubic Feet per Minute. Based on this, the power of the blower can be evident.
- Nozzle- While the flat nozzle will have higher MPH and lower CFM ratings, the round nozzle will have higher CFM and lower MPH. Higher CFM rating means that the leaf blower will reduce and the price increases as you go for options like a backpack and walk behind.
- Vibration Reduction Features– These are features that basically improve comfort.
- Speed Settings- They are present to allow the speed at which air flows. This subsequently also controls the speed with which debris moves. In some blowers, the speed settings are fixed and in some, they are variable. In certain other types, it is possible to set a specific speed and lock down the values.
- Reduction Ratio: The reduction ratio is the ratio between the number of bags of debris that was actually present to the number of bags it was reduced into by mulching capabilities. It is generally denoted by the number of bags that can be reduced to a single bag. The ratios can be 10:1 or 16:1.
- Larger Diameter Tubes: Also known as larger diameter chutes, is the model that is capable of removing the debris by vacuuming methods.
- Simplified Choke Operation- It makes starting the blower easy, on the gas powered blower.
- Ratings: The performance and the power output are all measured by the ratings. For a corded blower, the current is rated, in Amperes and in the cordless blower, voltage is rated in volts; in gas powered blowers, the volume is rated in cc or cubic centimeter.
- Two Cycle Engine and Four Cycle Engines: With a two cycle engine, the user can expect to have a balance of power and weight. However, it has to operate on both gasoline and oil. The oil can either be purchased pre-mixed or they can be mixed before usage. In the 4 cycle engine, it uses only gasoline. So, there is no need for mixing the gasoline. It is heavier than 2-cycle and requires oil change more frequently.
Leaf Vacuum types
There are four basic types of leaf blowers namely electric hand-held, gas powered hand-held, gas powered backpack and the self-propelled blower. By using certain types of blowers, first, the blowers use a vacuum and allows the blower to collect the debris and the leaves and twigs in a bag that are attached to the blower for convenience sake. It also makes it easy to dispose it off. The conversion type of leaf blower is ideally best suited for landscaping, when tidiness and class, determine the quality of the work done. A simple DIY method for the same is to use vacuums and string trimmers together.
Pro-Tip #1: When the product description found on the box says that it is a ‘bare tool only’, it means that only the tool is present in the box; there is no battery in the packaging. You will have to buy both a battery and a charger to use on the tool.
By using a corded blower, you can expect it to provide consistent electricity, without being held back by the weight of the battery. However, it will restrict the mobility; this makes it ideal for clearing small areas and for house yards. You will also have to find a compatible cord for the corded blower. The cordless leaf blower, however, has high mobility. The batteries that are of higher voltages last longer and provide more time. They also add weight. The batteries will, however, have to be recharged periodically. Based on the importance of the work you do, make sure you have a spare battery with you, in the case of battery failure.
Electric Handheld Blower
It works really well on smaller areas and is compact in size. The biggest advantage is that, it is smaller in size. It is not very noisy and fairly quiet when it starts up. It is generally corded, but battery powered variants also exist. Among the battery powered variants, there are different capacities and most of them are not as powerful as the gas powered variants. Before you can purchase this type of leaf blower, make sure you evaluate the area that you have that must be cleared and also decide if the cord will get tangled up. And the most important factor of them all, is to see if there is a power source at a convenient place.
Pro-Tip #2: In corded equipments, the cord is not included in the package. The cord must almost always be bought t separately and is not a part of the tool itself. The cord needs to be chosen appropriately and used suitably.
Gas Powered Handheld Blower
In cases where the power requirement is more than the power delivered by the electric blower and when the purpose is purely residential, you can opt for the gas powered handheld blower. The absence of the cord makes it easier to handle and maneuver. The leaf blower is slightly towards the heavier side, unlike the electric model. It is also more expensive and requires maintenance of the engine. The fuels will also have to be mixed for smooth operation.
Gas Powered Backpack Blower
This type of blower is strictly not for you, if you have to work with only smaller areas of land. It is mainly intended for commercial purposes or if you have humongous residential area. Because of the higher power that they offer and the ease with which they can be maneuvered, this type is widely preferred. They weigh twice as much as a normal gas powered handheld leaf blower, which is why the leaf blower is generally carried around in a harness. The backpack leaf blower was originally intended for landscapers, who work commercially. Lately, there has been an increase in the number of residential customers who have purchased this leaf blower, because of how effective it is. With the backpack leaf blower, the time taken drastically reduces. It is advisable to compare the engine size and the weight of this type of leaf blower as well as the CFM output, to the handheld variant. Increasing the CFM reduces the time that you would actually spend in the yard, cleaning it up.
The self-powered blower, also known as the push blower, is very powerful. In fact, it is the most powerful type, currently in existence. It works and looks a lot like a lawn mower and can be pushed. It blows the debris away by using high power and speed. This makes it a good buy, if you are looking to clean a large residential area. The wheels also make it a bit hard to maneuver. The blower is the most expensive model and requires a lot of storage space. It has high CFM output. When you have land that is more than one acre in size, this is a good equipment to blow leaf with.
Pro-Tip #3: when you have several outdoor types of equipment that will require a battery and a charger, buy one battery and use it for all purposes. This way, you spend less and use more. The outdoor equipment mentioned includes leaf blower, trimmer, mower, and a chainsaw.
By understanding the area that would have to be covered and the amount of power you would need to clear the debris as well as the capacity of the user, you can easily pick the leaf blower that would work best for you.
Pro-tip #4: In a cordless blower, NiCad and Li-ion batteries can be found. Li-ion stands for Lithium ion battery and it is lighter and smaller than the NiCad battery, which stands for Nickel Cadmium, which cannot hold the charge for months between uses, like the Li-Ion can.
In addition to all the features mentioned, for a handyman who does all the work by himself, a smart move, is to also look for equipment that contains all the facilities. For instance, rather than looking for a leaf blower that does one task, look for equipment that has optional attachments such as leaf blowers, mowers, snow blowers and pressure washer. Apart from maintaining smaller storage space, it also reduces the maintenance cost.
There are some safety measures that you could use before you start using your leaf blower. They are
- Wearing protective aids on your ears. It does not matter how well your leaf blower scored on the noise tests, always protect your ears.
- Wear a dust mask and goggles. This can help you avoid endless problems, especially if you are wearing contact lens.
- The area that you are cleaning needs to be clear from pets and people.
- Do not run your leaf blower really early or very late in the day. This way, you are not a public menace and are just a friendly neighbor.
And the most important thing that you should look into, before you buy a leaf blower, is to read a lot of reviews. The leaf-blower is not something you use one day and throw away the next. It is a long-term investment. And the best place to know if you are making the right investment is by knowing what people who had previously bought it, thought of it. And always remember, the more expensive the product, fewer the buyers and fewer the reviews.
The best leaf vacuum blowers of 2017!
Leaf Blowers are never so much in demand, as they are during fall. With so many countries and states facing short spells of drought, agriculture was expected to be at an all-time low. Despite all odds, trees continue to grow, bloom, blossom and shed. Thanks to nature, leaf blowers continue to hold a place in your outdoor equipment kit. And now that fall season is coming up soon, you will probably want to buy a leaf blower.
This is an era where external appearances mean a lot. This also makes you think, if you want to tarnish the looks of your pristine house with a messy backyard, filled with leaves and even worse, leaves that are raked up in a corner or gathered together using a leaf blower. To make these problems go away, the most practical thing to do is to get a leaf blower that also converts the debris into mulch. With the market booming with variety, we are here to make things easier on you. A list of the best eight leaf vacuum blowers is compiled below.
This list consists of the best leaf vacuum blower that exists in the market. They are all exceptional products and can all do the job required. The jobs mentioned here giving you a clean yard that is free from debris like leaves, twigs, dust and plant waste. Deciding which one will do the job for you is up to you. There are several factors that you will have to consider like your budget, the area that you want to cover, the functions that you expect your leaf vacuum blower to perform and most importantly the performance that you can expect. Hopefully, these can help you decide which one you need to buy. If you have not been able to decide, then check out guides on how to choose the vacuum blower for you. Just remember, whatever product you want to buy, you will constantly have to decide between the pros and the cons. Decide if the pros outweigh the cons and if they do, then go ahead. Just buy it. It is a good investment and by making the right choice, it will serve you will for many number of years.