What exactly is a leaf blower?

leaf blower

The leaf blower was created to fight more efficiently against the accumulation of fallen leaves in the autumn or even (in regions where the season is not well defined) due to the natural accumulation of these residues or the result of some pruning work.

What exactly is a leaf blower?

A leaf blower, also known as a blower, is a garden tool that releases air with enough pressure through the tube to move waste, such as leaves and cut grass. They are basically self-contained portable units or units mounted on a backpack with the advent of a hand rod. Larger models can leave the factory with wheels and even use a separate engine for propulsion.

What is a leaf blower for?

These tools are used in a variety of situations:

  • To collect fallen leaves from a garden or patio.
  • To sweep up weeds or debris from sidewalks and streets.
  • To join the cut grass.
  • To unblock drains that have been covered by leaves.
  • To clean dust accumulated in garages or other outdoor spaces.
  • If the model has the functions: they are also used to crush accumulated residues and vacuum them (usually include a collection bag).

How does a leaf blower work?

The different types of leaf blowers are defined, basically, by their power supply. There are some models that run on gasoline and, therefore, the engine, the electric ones with cable and the electric ones with battery (without cable). Each of them serves different purposes. The following table details its characteristics and uses.
Types of leaf blowers How they work Maintenance Wattage Ideal context
Gasoline They operate with two or four-stroke engines and are started by pulling the drive rope They need periodic maintenance of the engines and special care when handling gasoline Very high power and great airflow speed Very large gardens or areas
Electrical They are started with an operation button and depend on a nearby electrical network Need little maintenance Average power Small gardens or terraces with electrical outlets
The battery They are started with a button and work thanks to a lithium battery They need little maintenance, but the batteries can lose lifetime with frequent use or prolonged exposure to the sun It depends on the battery, but power is usually limited Gardens or surfaces where there is no easy access to electrical current. Small surfaces

How long does the battery of an electric leaf blower last?

Rechargeable batteries for gardening tools, such as a leaf blower, typically last between 45 and 60 minutes. If you want to do big jobs or if your garden is very extensive, always consider having a replacement battery so you never have to stop the service to wait for the battery to recharge. Lithium-ion batteries are a more recent innovation to further boost leaf blowers:

  • They are light, up to 50% lighter than a Ni-Cad (nickel-cadmium) battery, so the leaf blower will not be as heavy or uncomfortable when used. 
  • They do not show a drop in power or performance as the battery runs out. The output power remains constant throughout the use cycle.
  • They can be recharged up to 3 times more than a Ni-Cad battery before it is really necessary to buy a new one.

What other functions can a leaf blower perform?

Although the leaf blower appeared with the first objective of providing a high-pressure airflow to be able to gather and accumulate in one place, leaves and waste from a garden, over time many models started to be manufactured incorporating other functions that they are also very useful for gardening tasks. In fact, the two functions and benefits most found in the models are shredder or cutter and vacuum cleaner.

Functions What are you doing What it takes What includes
Leaf blower Emits air at great speed, focuses the airflow and joins the leaves You need to use the narrower tube to better focus on air propulsion Blower equipment only
Vacuum cleaner Suck in the air The larger tube must be used to increase suction capacity Includes a collection bag
Crusher For specific leaves, cut and dismember branches, grass and weeds. Then vacuum everything You must install the specific metal sheets for crushing Includes a collection bag and metal cutting sheets

Is the leaf blower generally noisy?

The issue of noise is always a very controversial topic when talking about the leaf blower due to the growing concern about noise pollution. It is difficult to generalize about the noise produced by these machines because each model is different, but, in general, gasoline blowers are much louder than electric or battery blowers.The most recommended, in order not to cause discomfort to neighbors and not affect your hearing health, is to look for models that do not exceed 89 decibels. However, at the same time, you must pay attention to the power of the machine, since normally the ratio is the higher this data, the greater the noise it produces.

Is it necessary to use ear protectors to operate a leaf blower?

If you have an electric model or battery, it is not necessary. Now, if you have a gasoline leaf blower, with a powerful two-stroke engine, it may be convenient to have some kind of hearing protection.Especially if you are using the equipment in a large garden or patio and the work will last for a long time.

Is the weight of a leaf blower an important factor?

Considering that to carry out a garden task you must carry this machine on your arms or shoulders (if it is a model made with a backpack), weight is a very important aspect. The leaf blower that works on electricity is the lightest and, in addition, can be used with just one hand. The heaviest models are those that require battery or gasoline.

In this sense, almost all brands and manufacturers are concerned with the fact that they develop more ergonomic models that offer the user greater working comfort through the addition of seat belts or backpacks. The wheels are also very useful, as they prevent you from having to lift or turn the machine while operating it.

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