A leaf blower makes landscape cleanup quick and simple, and the variety of models and features means you can find one that will meet your needs.
Choosing the right leaf blower starts with understanding your needs. What are you using it for? There are several types of leaf blowers to choose from.
Handheld leaf blowers are the most common types for the home landscape. Other blower designs include backpack and wheeled, walk-behind models. These gasoline-powered machines provide power and more comfort for extended use in large areas.
Some blowers convert to vacuums, allowing you to collect light landscape debris such as small twigs or leaves in an attached bag. Blowers that convert to vacuum / mulchers collect and grind the debris, simplifying disposal and creating mulch for use around the landscape.
In addition to traditional blowers, there are shop vacuums and string trimmers that convert to blowers.
You may see “Bare Tool Only” in the product description of many cordless tools such as trimmers, blowers, drills and saws. This simply means the item does not come with a battery. You’ll need to buy a battery and charger if you don’t already have one.
Electric leaf blowers are low-maintenance machines. They're lighter and quieter than gasoline-powered blowers and are easier to start. Light-duty electric sweepers handle driveways, decks and patios, while higher-power electric blowers are good for yards up to a quarter of an acre.
Gasoline-powered leaf blowers deliver maximum mobility and run time. These models are suited for large areas — a quarter-acre or more, depending on the model — and frequent or prolonged use. Gas blowers crank with a manual pull start. Some models start with an optional, powered device you purchase separately, eliminating the need to use the pull cord. Gasoline-powered blowers need the right fuel — follow the manufacturer's requirements and read Fueling Outdoor Power Equipment for tips on keeping your machines running properly.
Monthly maintenance for gas leaf blowers:
Maximize your outdoor toolbox with cordless tools that use the same battery and charger. This outdoor power “family” includes chainsaw, mower, leaf blower and trimmer/edger.
Cordless leaf blower battery types include nickel cadmium (NiCd or NiCad) and lithium ion (Li-ion). A Li-ion battery is lighter and smaller than a NiCd battery of the same voltage. Li-ion batteries can hold a charge for several months between uses.
Beyond vacuuming and mulching capabilities, there are features you can look for to help you select the best leaf blower for your work.
Electric outdoor power tools noted as “corded” almost always require an outdoor extension cord to operate. The cord is not part of the tool itself.
As an alternative to a standalone leaf blower, look for equipment that handles a variety of outdoor maintenance projects with a single engine. The engine powers several optional attachments — leaf blower, pressure washer, mower and snow blower — reducing maintenance requirements and storage space. See this Troy-Bilt system — available exclusively at Lowe's — in action.