Leaf Blower Key Features: What to Look for When Buying
Picking the right outdoor equipment can be hard, mainly when you have done everything by hand. A rake can be judged by its price, but what about a leaf blower? Do you measure how wide the prongs are on your rake like you would the mouth of the leaf blower hose to check out CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute)? What can other features be useful when making the switch from raking to blowing? Price, Reviews, Ratings, MPH, CFM, Decimals, Weight, Gas or Electric, Backpack, Wheeled, Handheld... All these items are essential when picking a new leaf blower.
Everyone has a budget; reviews can help eliminate some options. Depending on your yard, MPH and CFM (the airflow coming out — cubic feet per minute) can be a factor. Weight is important, as well. If you are looking to purchase a leaf blower for the first or fifteenth time, read below to find out what features work well for you and what features to look out for.
What to Know about leaf blower Price
Price may be the first and foremost thing on your mind when searching for a leaf blower. Leaf Blowers can range from $30 to $800-plus, depending on what you are looking for, how much power you need, and how big your job is. Once you figure out what you want to spend, the choices will narrow down.
What are MPH/CFM?
MPH (miles per hour) and CFM (cubic feet per minute), the faster the MPH/CFM, the more power the leaf blower will be. Measuring the mouth of the leaf blower will allow you to get an idea of the CFM (of course, you can also look on the box it comes in). If you have a tremendous job that may take a long time — such as a big front yard with a lot of trees, you may want to consider a higher MPH/CFM. Higher units per hour/minute usually does equate to a larger blower (and more costly piece of equipment).
How to pick the right leaf blower Weight
Weight is an important factor, and most leaf blowers range from 8 lbs up to 95lbs. A heavier piece of equipment can make or break an outdoor day of chores. Again, it may depend on the project you have, do you need to brush off grass clippings from your driveway or are you looking to create leaf mountains in your back yard?
Electric models don’t have a complicated motor like the gas model leaf blowers do. This feature may mean that electric (corded or battery) blowers are lighter weight. Of course, no one wants to strap something hefty to your back or carry around a heavier piece of equipment for long. If you’re concerned about how long you are going to be doing your outdoor project, make sure the weight of your leaf blower is the next feature, after price, on your list of what to look for.
How to choose between a Gas or Electric leaf blower
Each type of leaf blower comes with pros and cons, one of the cons of a gas blower is that it can be heavier, one of the cons of an electric blower is that it can come with a cord.
Deciding what works best for you can help synch your search.
Gas blowers come with two different types of engines; all use gas. Some (usually the four-cylinder engines) require a gas/oil hybrid that may cost a little more (or less) than the gas-fed motors alone. Of course, even with the gas-fed motors, you will still have other maintenance such as adding oil. Gas blowers tend to have more power.
Electric blowers are quieter, lighter, and don’t require the gas/oil maintenance; however, these blowers either come with a cord or are battery charged. Batteries can run out quickly, depending on how often they are used and cords do limit the range of motion. Electric blowers tend to be better for smaller jobs.
What to know about Handheld/Wheeled/Backpack leaf blowers
With the options of handheld, wheeled, or a backpack, chances are your price range will eliminate some of these for you.
The handheld choice will be great for smaller to medium jobs and to blow away light debris.
The backpack is great, light-weight, and usually corded. It is suitable for medium to larger jobs and has a stronger MPH/CFM due to its larger size.
A wheeled leaf blower is a walk-behind mower that can pack a punch on even the wettest of leaves. If you have a lot of trees and a big plot of land this feature might be best for you.
Always Remember Safety First with Leaf blowers!
- Wear hearing protection, and even the lowest leaf blowers make noise, it’s best to protect your ears.
- Wear goggles and a dust mask to help protect your eyes and lungs.
- Keep people and pets far away from the area you’re working in, rocks and debris can kick up and hit someone nearby.
- Avoid running blowers early or late in the day; your neighbors will thank you.
Finding the right leaf blower is important. So, understanding what your project's needs are a must. What kind of yard do you have? Is it a flat terrain? Is it rocky? Large? Small? How many trees drop leaves for you? Remember leaf blowers can be used in all seasons, not just to pile leaves up. They can clear grass clippings, dust off light snow, and get rid of gravel in unwanted places. These are all details to keep in mind when looking for your leaf blower and to search for the right leaf blower features.