I remember when I was a teenager, pushing a giant red lawn sweeper around my grandfather’s lawn and thinking of how tedious it was. It always required multiple passes through the same areas, depending on the type and amounts of debris that were present. There were also constant issues removing the large receptacle and dumping it into neat, condensed piles on the curb (well neat by grandpa’s standards).
Don’t get me wrong, pushing a high-speed lawn sweeper was just as hard as pushing a light lawn mower, but the amount of time spent tackling a large yard with a lawn sweeper was far less than raking everything by hand.
Fast forward ten years to when leaf blowers were becoming popular. I remember having more fun playing air guitar with one of those things than doing any actual work. They greatly revolutionized my work because it was almost fun to do as a kid. After using one of those for several seasons, the rakes and lawn sweeper have been since collecting dust.
Leaf blowers are definitely the way to go because of their versatility and efficiency. I have used them to clear entire parking lots of debris before sealing/paving jobs, as well as to clear light snow from my driveway and walkways in the winter.
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I still have my original gas-powered leaf blower, and it still works after 20 years! Since then, so many variations and improvements have been made that actually get me a little bit excited to talk about! Below are some pros and cons between the different styles of leaf blowers on the market today.
Backpack and Wheeled Leaf Blowers
Backpack style leaf blowers eliminate the weight and awkwardness of using a hand-held leaf blower. You may have used a hand-held leaf blower in the past, for about ten minutes, and noticed that your hand was going numb from the vibrations.
Backpack style and wheeled leaf blowers are both convenient if you have a large property. They offer more power, but must be maintained more often than a corded or electric leaf blower. Both are typically louder than your average lawn mower, so choosing a gas-powered leaf blower should really only be for high-volume jobs.
Backpack leaf blowers make it easier to control “rouge leaves” because the handheld part is light and all the weight is on your back for better maneuverability. Wheeled leaf blowers are sometimes too heavy to quickly chase leaves that get caught in the wind or don’t go where you want them to.
Corded and Non-Corded Electric vs Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers
Corded leaf blowers are only for small jobs or for people with miles of extension cords.
There are several problems with cordless, battery-powered leaf blowers however: they typically are not as powerful, they do not have multiple capabilities like mulching or vacuuming, and they are usually way more expensive.
The problems with gas-powered leaf blowers are that they typically heavier, noisier, and more cumbersome to maintain. Gas powered leaf blowers require oil, and other maintenance tasks that electric ones typically do not entail.
If you are concerned about the length of usage time, they are about the same. The only time you will get more time out of a cordless leaf blower is to buy a more expensive electric one, which can last to up to an hour.
Corded and gas leaf blowers are more powerful and both should have variable speed or better control over the blower level.
Top of the Line
The best leaf blowers are ones with the longest charge time, have a vacuum or mulching capability, and are light, while not sacrificing power. While the more expensive, wheeled blowers are always more versatile, they have the least amount of control and are technically the heaviest.
You must decide what type of leaf blower suits your needs and can handle the task at hand. Most companies offer good warranty and service agreements, so be sure to look into them as you are shopping around. A good leaf blower will last you for years with proper care, so always read your instruction manuals for best practices!