How do I choose a leaf blower? – Simple Yet Expert Guide


When you want to buy a leaf blower/vacuum, it is important to know what you need and what you don’t want! There are different models of blowers, and not all of them may be suitable for your garden, your use or your budget. Let’s discover together how to choose your blower in 6 steps!

1. Choice of blower type

There are 3 main types of leaf blowers. They are:

  • Hand-held blower
  • Backpack blower
  • Foot-operated blower

Portable blowers are generally the cheapest on the market. In order to remain light enough to be used, they are usually limited in power (because small motors = lighter blowers). They can still feel quite heavy after prolonged use, so they are only recommended if you have a yard or a fairly small area that you can clear relatively quickly. If you have a larger yard, this may not be the best leaf blower for you.

Backpack blowers shift the weight of the motor to your back for long periods of use. They are more powerful than hand blowers and are suitable for larger courses up to 1 acre.

Walk-behind blowers are generally the most expensive on the market. The motor is mounted on a wheeled chassis, giving it unlimited size and weight. If you have several acres to maintain, this may be the best option for you.

2. Optional built-in features

The 3 types of blowers can be delivered with a vacuum cleaner and/or a grinder. vacuum leaf blowers have a black bag that attaches to the main body. After stacking your leaves, you can vacuum them out of the bag and take them easily to the sidewalk. vacuum leaf blowers and shredders shred the leafs as they are sucked in, saving space in the bag.

You can then spread the mulch leaves on the lawn as fertilizer. Shredders tend to have a reduction ratio that tells you how many bags of leaves a shredder can reduce to 1 bag (e.g. a 10:1 ratio means that a regular blower vacuum would need 10 bags to place as many leaves as this shredder can hold 1). These features are useful for large job sites where using a tarp to transport leaves can be extremely tedious, but they are also more expensive.

3. Power cubic metres per minute (Air flow rate)

Now that you’ve chosen the type of blower you need, it’s best to choose the fan power.The amount of air a leaf blower can blow out at a time is measured in cubic metres per minute. Some fans also have a km/h rating that sounds similar to a m3/min rating, but it does not always correlate to m3/min because it is measured differently. For this reason, it is best to avoid using Km/h to determine the power a fan can produce.

  • Blowers less than 5 m3/min are best used to clean patios and driveways only. They are not strong enough to easily push leaves on grassy ground or to clear bushes.
  • Blowers of 5 to 10 m3/min are best used to clear patios, driveways and small yards. They are not recommended for clearing yards larger than a quarter of an acre.
  • Blowers with a capacity of 10 to 12 m3/min can be used for patios and driveways (although they are a bit heavy if that’s all you plan to use them for) and are ideal for small and medium sized yards. They are not recommended for courses larger than one acre.
  • Blowers of 12 to 14 m3/min are best used for jobsites of less than an acre, but are powerful enough to handle larger jobsites.
  • Blowers over 14 m3/min are best used for yards larger than an acre and can also clear smaller yards.

4. Local laws

Leaf blowers emit carbon emissions and noise when they are in operation. For this reason, some local governments have passed laws limiting the amount of carbon a blower can emit and the noise it can make.

The sound level is measured in dBA, or decibels. The lower the dBA rating, the quieter the leaf blower. Leaf blowers that are clean enough for most emissions laws are classified as “CARB compliant”. Be sure to check local laws before making a final purchase on a leaf blower.

5. Thermal vs. Electrical

Gasoline-powered blowers tend to be heavier and noisier than their electric counterparts, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that electricity is better. Then how do you know which one to choose? Take a look at our computer graphics for a list of pros and cons, but here’s what you should know:

Gasoline powered leaf blowers are better for long periods of use. They are the most powerful and are not encumbered by battery life or cord length. If you have a very large area, you need to clear then gas is a good way to go.

Keep in mind that the more powerful the fan is, the heavier it tends to be. You can buy 2- or 4-stroke blowers. 2-stroke engines are lighter and easier to maintain, but require a special mixture of gases to operate. 4-stroke engines are heavier and more expensive, but many 4-stroke engines can be used with regular gas. Check before you buy whether a 4-stroke engine can use regular gasoline or not.

Electric leaf blowers are better in neighborhoods because they tend to be quieter than gas blowers. They tend to emit fewer emissions and are better for the environment. Battery-operated blowers are not limited by the length of the cord, but blowers are powered by batteries and batteries discharge quickly, so estimate how long it will take you to clean your yard. Pay attention to the battery life, called run time, on models as you shop.

6. Protective equipment

Don’t forget to buy protective clothing when shopping for your best leaf blower. You do not want to risk injury by using an unprotected leaf blower! Some important accessories to purchase include

  • Safety glasses or visor with side shields to protect your eyes from all angles.
  • Earmuffs or earplugs to protect your ears from noise pollution.
  • Gloves to protect your hands from flying debris.
  • A dust mask if the area is particularly dusty to protect your nose and lungs.

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