A leaf blower (often referred to simply as a blower) is a gardening tool that propels air from a nozzle to move debris such as leaves and grass clippings. Leaf blowers are powered by electric or gasoline motors. Gasoline models have traditionally been two-stroke engines, but four-stroke engines have only recently been introduced to partially address air pollution concerns. Leaf blowers are typically self-contained portable units, or backpack-mounted units with a hand-held wand. The latter is more ergonomic for prolonged use. Larger units can rest on wheels and even use a motor for propulsion.
Some units can also suck leaves and small twigs through a vacuum, and shred in a bag. In that role it is called a vac fan.
What are the advantages of owning a leaf blower?
In many cases, leaf blowers function like high-powered rakes. When trees drop their leaves and other plants discard organic material, your lawns, patios, paths, beds, gardens, or other green spaces can be covered quickly. By using a leaf blower, you can direct high-powered air jets at the ground, pushing fallen leaves and other grass debris ahead until it can be formed into neat piles and collected or disposed of later.
Today's leaf blowers are designed to be effective and lightweight, giving homeowners and landscapers the option to stand upright, not forced to continually bend and squeeze their backs, as with the traditional rake. Seniors, teens, and anyone with less strength or mobility can benefit from using a leaf blower for regular lawn care maintenance. With a vacuum or mulching option, lawns and gardens can be made neat and orderly. And by using an electric leaf blower, homeowners will benefit from the low noise and zero emissions of a quick cleanup job for their decks, sidewalks and driveways.
Considerations for choosing the best leaf blower
Once you are ready to go ahead with your purchase, you may be inclined to buy the first thing you like. However, you don't want to experience buyer's remorse by choosing a product that you like in pictures but don't like when you get it home. Before making that purchase, there are a few key features to evaluate to make sure you're making a smart decision. These features will help you start narrowing down your options.
Motor and fan speed
Larger engines can create a more powerful airflow, but larger engines can cause more noise or be heavier to transport. Homeowners need to find a leaf blower with the right force for the jobs at hand.
Some leaf blowers are powered by traditional two-stroke engines, which offer first-class airflow speeds, but require messy maintenance. Other leaf blowers are electric, offering zero emissions and lower operating costs at the potential sacrifice of mobility and power.
Some leaf blowers have reversible motors, allowing homeowners to quickly suck up fallen debris and leaves. Other blowers, including a mulch option to return valuable organic material to the ground.
Since all leaf blowers are portable and intended to be transported, the overall weight of the unit is extremely important. Not all homeowners are willing or able to handle heavier leaf blowers.
With so many models to choose from, homeowners and landscapers should carefully assess their needs before purchasing a leaf blowers . Some leaf blowers are electric, and restrict users to the length and limitations of a long extension cord. Others are gas, offering greater mobility and power at the cost of some emissions. Some leaf blowers are smaller and more agile, ideal for quick cleaning jobs on sidewalks and decks after a storm. Other leaf blowers are powerful jet engines, putting debris to a full cover of tree leaves in the fall.
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