Leaves are Falling! Time to Break out the Leaf Blower

Leaves, leaves everywhere! This can mean only one thing -- time to break out the leaf blower. If you've never used a leaf blower before or you are in the market for a new model, here's a review of the different types available along with their pros and cons.

Electric handheld leaf blowers

If you have the typical suburban yard, this is the model for you. Electric leaf blowers are lightweight at 7 pounds or less. They're a cinch to start with convenient push buttons and are environmentally friendly with zero emissions.

Electric blowers are as powerful as gas-powered blowers but usability is restricted by the electric cord. Choose an electric powered blower if you have an outlet within 100 feet of your work area.

Gas-powered handheld leaf blowers

Those people without the convenience of electrical outlets within 100 feet or who have large work areas, should consider a gas-powered blower. Gas leaf blowers average seven to 12 pounds and you have unlimited mobility.

The not-so-convenient side of gas-powered leaf blowers are their pull-cords. The pull-cords are considerably harder to start than the push button starters and they are considerably noisier. Gas blowers also need periodic tune-ups and their two-stroke engines require mixing oil and fuel.

Gas-powered backpack leaf blowers

Now we're talking power. With a backpack leaf blower, you get better performance and more mobility than an electric model. But you also get the added weight of up to 15 to 25 pounds. The added weight may or not be an issue for you since the weight is carried on your back not with your arms. The drawbacks? Backpack leaf blowers are noisy, heavier, more expensive than handheld models.

Gas-powered wheeled leaf blowers

The upside to this model of leaf blower is it's ability to handle large areas of leaves relatively fast. Their big four-stroke engines don't require you to mix oil and fuel and there is no cord so you have unlimited mobility.

The downside is they're bulky, weighing in at 100 pounds or more so maneuverability could be a problem. They are also noisy and quite pricey.

So remember these tips as you shop around for your best leaf blower. Get ready to clean up your yard, but not before making a pile and jumping carelessly in the foliage a few times!


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