A leaf blower is a replacement for the traditional rake or broom. Leaf blower was first invented in Japan and later introduced in the US in the 1970s. A leaf blower is used to clear away the leaves and debris at any time of the year from the outdoors easily and quickly. It is widely used in lawns, sidewalks, patios, decks, balconies and porches. The leaf blower is especially useful during autumn months.
The leaf blower is a versatile gadget. It can be used to rake out the leaves and debris as well as vacuum, mulch and clean gutters or spray trees. It can function as a driveway sweeper and snow cleaner too. Leaf blower is an engine powered handheld maintenance tool. Normal weight of a leaf blower is 2.7 to 5.5 kilograms.
Some handheld blowers have a shoulder strap. Large industrial blowers have a backpack style for wearing comfort. The leaf blower is a time saver and a must-have for city maintenance crews. Professional gardeners and homeowners with lots of trees around their houses would do well to equip themselves with a leaf blower.
Selecting leaf blower
Types of leaf blowers
Leaf blower styles
Handheld leaf blowers: These hand held blowers are very popular. They are available in gas, electric powered versions. They are portable and convenient to use. The weight and balance of the handheld units have to be considered while making a choice of such leaf blowers. Some heavy handheld units also vibrate slightly at full throttle and make it difficult to use.
Backpack leaf blowers: These blowers fit in a harness worn by the operator on his back. There is a hose, which reaches to the front where the user operates the throttle and blows or vacuums with the tube.
Walk behind leaf blowers: These units are normally used in large yards with acreage. They are mounted on wheels and are usually gas-powered. Typically these leaf blowers are put to commercial use.
Leaf blower selection
A leaf blower can be either electric or gasoline charged depending upon the power source used. The kind of power source depends upon how much portability is needed and the area in which it is used, whether indoor or outdoor. Electric blowers are less noisy and easy to start and maintain. Gas blowers are usually more powerful and mobile because there is no cord attached. Price is no longer a huge factor since electric blowers are available for less than $30, and some gas machines are priced as low as $50.
Electric leaf blower
Electric leaf blowers are lightweight alternatives suitable for leaf removal. These are lighter, quieter and vibrate less compared with gasoline powered units. They are used in smaller yards. They are either battery charged or corded. Electric leaf blowers use universal motors which spin at around 10000 rpm (revolutions per minute) or more depending on their size and design. Some electric leaf blowers come with two functions - blower and vacuum modes and can be easily switched to either mode.
A good-corded leaf blower provides constant power as long as there is easy access to electrical outlet. The attached cord length is important for mobility. It is however not suitable for lawns with lots of trees. Some electric models come with rechargeable battery packs to avoid the hassle of using electric outlet and trailing cord. A rechargeable battery operated leaf blower is a good alternative for small areas or jobs. It works well on solid surfaces like drive ways and garages. A battery-operated leaf blower is limited by its run time.
Gasoline powered leaf blower
A gas powered leaf blower is usually heavy weight. It is suitable for removing leaves from large yards and grounds. These leaf blowers come with vacuum and mulch functions. A gas-powered leaf blower uses a two stroke engine - a regular mix of oil and gas. The mobility and work output is higher. Gas powered leaf blowers are usually louder and heavier than electric blowers. The typical cost of small electric handheld leaf blower is $ 40 to $ 70. Gas powered leaf blowers with backpack models cost $ 200 to $ 400. Powerful walk behind machines cost $ 600 to $1000.
Leaf blower information
The regular charge against the use of leaf blower is the high decibel ear splitting noise that it emanates. The older versions of leaf blowers can be as loud as 78 decibels in noise. This can disturb the peace and tranquility in residential areas. Some critics maintain that the decibel level of leaf blowers can cause acute hearing loss.
The gas powered leaf blowers emit extremely high levels of pollution. Landscape operators are fighting the ban because it would mean an increase in 20% costs if done manually. Several city municipal crews defend the use of leaf blowers for professionally doing away with leaves and debris in the least time.