What Is an Electric Leaf Blower ?
Sweeping leaves off lawns is backbreaking work, and given how often some trees shed their leaves, can become a highly cumbersome one as well. Now how would it be to have an electric machine remove the leaves and/or blow them into neat piles for you ? Enter the best electric leaf blowers which, At their simplest, can be seen as carrying out the exact reverse of vacuums – while vacuums suck debris inside, blowers use a powerful stream of air to blow the leaves and debris in the desired direction. This in turn makes collecting and cleaning the yard, sidewalk or patio easier. However, buying the best electric leaf blowers is not as simple as going for the most powerful or feature-packed product, since a lot of sub-categories exist within the market, each with its own train of technical jargon. To help you avoid wasting your money on inferior goods, we’ve compiled a short guide to help you obtain leaf blowers that are best suited to the unique needs of your outdoor environs.
Top 3 Best Electric Leaf Blowers Ratings on the market
- WORX WG508 Blower Vacuum Mulcher 12.0 Amp
Complementing this excellent leaf blower system is the leaf mulcher function, which can be activated with a simple flip of a switch. Assembly of parts and attachment of the spacious bag being a simple affair, the option for quick switching makes the product as versatile as it is efficient.
- Best rated: Black & Decker BV6000 High Performance Blower/Vac/Mulcher
One of the lightest electric leaf mulchers of the medium duty category, the Black & Decker BV6000 exceeds the performance of many peers with a maximum blowing speed of 250MPH even as it increases the number of modes offered by including both vacuum and mulcher modes alongside blower. As expected though, the speed can be lowered to moderate levels courtesy of the dual speed functionality. At full speed, on the other hand, it can easily remove matted and/or dense leaf covers quickly.
While achieving all this, the product remains surprisingly quiet, making it ideal for hospitals and schools. Lastly, the product comes with a choice of reusable bags and disposable bags, thereby ensuring compatibility with both people with time to clean the bags and those in a hurry.
- Black & Decker BV6600 High Performance Blower/Vac/Mulcher
Focusing on both efficiency and convenience, the Black & Decker BV6600 offers a powerful system capable of achieving 250MPH blowing speeds along with a shoulder strap and 3 disposable bags for removing the leaves quickly. The 12 amp motor, further, provides excellent service even as one shifts rapidly between the three modes – mulcher, vacuum and blower – supported by this machine. In doing so, it produces minimal noise, and this when considered along with the EN ISO 3744 certified noise level, makes this product a quiet but powerful candidate.
This product is the next generation of Black and Decker BV5600 With special parts like diffuser and concentrator being included as part of the package, this product is also one of the most cost-effective offerings in this price bracket.
Which kinds of electric leaf blower should you select ?
It goes without saying that greater the ability of a leaf blower to put out air at high speeds, the faster it will be able to clear a given area of leaves. In technical terms, we say that the greater the speed of air (in miles per hour) put out by a blower, the greater cubic feet per minute (CFM) it will be able to clear of leaves. However, with increasing speed/capacity, weight and price of the product rise as well. Indeed, based on these three points, leaf blowers are classified as –
Sweepers – Having CFM of less than 200, sweepers are essentially mechanical equivalents of humans with brooms. Designed in most cases to be held in one hand, these small leaf blowers are ideal for clearing small patios and lawns with light leaf cover. Due to their small size, furthermore, these are highly portable as well.
- Light and single-handed leaf blowers with great portability.
- Ideal for patios, driveways, outdoor courts and very small lawns.
- Require no special gear for operation.
- Can be used to clear window ledges, etc. where other leaf blowers cannot reach.
- Very weak and cannot remove matted leaves or dense leaf cover.
- Not meant for extended periods of use.
Light Duty – Having CFM of between 250 and 400, the best electric leaf blowers in the light duty category are the lowest grade of leaf blowers that can be used in small lawns of up to a quarter acre having moderate leaf cover. They are heavier than sweepers, but can be used for longer periods of time and often come with special functions aimed at clearing specifically leaves and garden debris.
- Capable of handling small lawns with moderate leaf cover.
- Still light enough to be carried around for extended periods of time.
- Capable of clearing small amounts of matted and dense leaves.
- Incapable of clearing medium sized lawns with multiple trees.
Medium and Heavy Duty – With CFM between 450 and 500, these products are preferred by many suburban homeowners for clearing medium to heavy leaf cover. For many years, this segment was dominated by gasoline leaf blowers, but of late the best electric leaf blowers has taken over this segment for their comparative lightness, efficiency and ability to run for long periods without becoming hot.
- Can clear large yards up to an acre in size.
- Faster than most other types of blowers, and hence ideal for heavy leaf cover.
- Can remove matted leaves and dense leaf cover without problems.
- Extremely heavy, making extended use humanly difficult.
- Consume battery/electric power at a massive speed.
Commercial and Industrial – Having CFM of over 500, these products are extremely heavy and hence meant to be worn in special harnesses on the back. Due to their large size and massive capacity, they are used more by professional leaf clearing and garden maintenance agencies rather than ordinary consumers.
- Can clear areas larger than 1 acre with ease.
- Handles any and every type of leaf cover, regardless of density.
- Perfect for commercial and industrial concerns, including race courses, etc.
- Heavy and need special harnesses/straps to wear at the back.
- Require massive electricity/batter inputs.
What you should take notice of before buying the best electric leaf blower
Now that we’ve seen the features offered by the best electric leaf blowers in the market, it is time to learn how we – and you – can shortlist the best products for your lawn using some simple and almost universally applicable criteria
- Size of the yard – While it goes without saying that a larger yard would require a more powerful leaf blower, it is also important to consider the size in terms of availability of powerpoints. Electric blowers that lack batteries need to be connected to a source of power at all times. In general, it is possible to extend the area covered by such powerpoint-dependent blowers up to 150 feet from the powerpoint.
Beyond that, the only option is to purchase a battery-powered unit, and use it to clear the part of the yard that is beyond the reach of the power cord. However, given that batteries typically don’t last beyond 15 minutes, it is not possible to clear medium to large yards with anything short of medium or heavy duty units, as otherwise the battery would run out before the work has been completed.
- Noise levels – Electric products are far quieter than the average gasoline product, but they do tend to make some amount of noise. As technology has progressed though, the amount of noise produced has varied significantly, and currently, even medium sized blowers will work with minimal noise. This is vital for areas like hospitals, schools or homes with babies or elderly people.
- Support for mulcher/vacuum – Most blowers these days come integrated with leaf vacuums and mulchers, but the quality of these additions varies significantly. As a rule of thumb, it is ideal to purchase a product whose mulcher or vacuum can remove leaves at a speed that is at least 3/4th that of the speed at which the blower component moves leaves.
- Portability – Leaf mulchers inevitably have to be carried by the user, and as any seasoned gardener will tell you, leaf blowing is best carried out in a single session so as to avoid letting the leaves settle again. This means you would have to carry the unit along for long periods of time. Units with shoulder straps and other attachments that make it easier to carry the product are definitely worth looking out for when it comes to medium or heavy duty units.
- Removing matted/dense leaf cover – If your area is prone to frequent spells of rain and/or snow during fall or winter, it is ideal to get a product that can remove matted leaves, as otherwise these would have to be manually removed. Sometimes, instead of the blower, the vacuum function of the machine performs this task more amicably, and this should be verified before purchase using the features list.
While the best electric leaf blowers are available in a wide range of designs and power levels, it is important to remember that the one most suited for your lawn may not be the most powerful or most portable in a specific price range. Instead, as the above points have shown, the best products succeed on a number of points, thereby offering excellent versatility in the long run. Keeping these points in mind and carrying out a careful survey of your lawn, you can now proceed with studying and shortlisting the products that stand the greatest chance of defeating the endless stream of falling leaves and in doing so, provide you with a neat and good-looking lawn, patio or driveway during the fall and winter of 2016.