How to Select the Right Handheld Leaf Blower for My Yard
Most people understand the advantages of a handheld leaf blower after raking leaves and sweeping their yards for ages. It is a time consuming process that works your back out – sometimes, it is literally impossible to do it. These are the main reasons wherefore these tools have gained so much notoriety.
However, handheld leaf blowers can be quite diversified and raise some question marks. They come in all shapes and sizes, not to mention their operating principles. So, what kind of handheld leaf blower should you buy? What do you need to pay attention to?
Benefits of Handheld Leaf Blowers
The actual convenience is the main reason wherefore handheld leaf blowers have gained so much notoriety. Forget about having a back workout every week during the fall season, but enjoy the comfortable experience of a handheld device.
Diversity is another plus. You have more types of motors to choose from based on whatever works for you. You can opt for electric (corded or cordless) or gas powered handheld leaf blowers. Each type comes with its own advantages.
How about the fun part? There are quite a few fun things to do with a leaf blower. Get some bubble solution and come up with the craziest bubble party for your kids. Not only will your kids love it, but this whole experience will cheer adults up as well.
Apart from fun things and the actual uses of a leaf blower, you can use this machine to blow snow off your drive during the wintertime too. Some people use it to quickly dry their cars once they are done washing them as well.
Now that you know what to expect from a handheld leaf blower, what are the main types and what particularities do they come with?
Different Types of Handheld Leaf Blowers
Electric Leaf Blowers
Electric leaf blowers work with electricity. When comparing electric vs gas leaf blower, there is one major difference – the missing tank. In other words, they are extremely lightweight. However, weight is directly proportional with the motor – a more powerful motor implies a larger size and more weight. All in all, some models weigh less than five pounds.
They also have less to no vibration, while the noise is insignificant. You should still wear ear protection though. Other than that, forget about mixing or refilling fuels and enjoy the startup phase – push a button.
Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers
Gas powered leaf blowers are powerful and bulky. They are also louder, so you risk disturbing some of your neighbors too. However, they come with their own benefits too.
Efficiency is certainly a plus. They are way more powerful, so they can easily blow wet leaves and debris. Given the extra power, they are more suitable for large areas or places surrounded by many trees.
They do not require an electrical cord, which means you can move freely without feeling restricted. This is the main reason wherefore many professionals rely on gas powered units. Despite being heavier, it does not mean that they will break your arms.
Cordless Electric Leaf Blowers
Looking for an in-between option? You do have one – the cordless electric leaf blower.
This model grabs some of the benefits of both main categories. In other words, you have the easy startup method regardless of how cold it is. You also have a clean gas-free operation, as well as less noise. They have no cords attached to them – free movement.
On the downside, they work with batteries. Make sure they are properly charged or you risk running out of power in the middle of action. Besides, batteries are less likely to last for too many hours.
Check out one of our favorite cordless leaf blower from Greenworks, the GB80300.
What to Look for in a Handheld Leaf Blower
The power is one of the first things to consider in handheld leaf blowers. It is given in two measurements – the MPH rating and the CFM rating.
The MPH rating measures the air speed out of the unit. The CFM rating – cubic feet per minute) is usually more important. It relates to the amounts of air moved by the blower in one minute. While both measurements count, a high rating in one will be irrelevant if the other one is low.
The CFM rating should be around 300 if you have simple tasks to deal with, while professional projects require more than 500.
Size and Comfort
The size and comfort overlap each other. The size refers to two aspects – the size of your yard and the size of your machine. If you only have a small or middle sized yard, you need a basic blower that does not weigh too much.
Comfort comes into play when it comes to powerful gas powered leaf blowers. You might want to consider some extras as well, such as straps or perhaps a backpack model.
Who Makes the Best Handheld Leaf Blower
There are plenty of manufacturers out there and each of them has its fair share of fans and enthusiasts. Most specialists recommend going with a reputable brand specialized in professional tools. Most of them also design low powered models for residential uses.
Some of the top brands out there include:
Companies like Hitachi, Husqvarna or Makita are better known for their professional handheld leaf blowers – recommended to businesses. They do have small collections of leaf blowers for residential uses too.
Other companies like Toro or Greenworks have a larger amount of low scale leaf blowers though.
All in all, models in a certain range will share similar features and capabilities. Choosing the right one is usually a matter of small details, as well as power and size requirements.
Bottom line, handheld leaf blowers can be quite diversified, yet top models have many elements in common. You will mostly find positive reviews when you research them, yet nothing is perfect, so do not be surprised to find some unhappy customers too.
Going for a top brand and a product to match your personal necessities will pay off in the long run.