Though leaf blowers can be used all year to keep the lawn clean, chances are that you would be using it intensively only when the autumn begins. Due to the seasonal nature of their use, many folks put off learning how to use a leaf blower, and in many cases, don’t even bother buying one till a thick carpet of dead leaf forms on their lawn. Such procrastination can lead to two problems. Firstly, unseasonal storms, rains and hurricanes can turn your lawn into a mess that professional lawn maintenance agencies charge a fortune to clean up. Secondly, when the autumn hits, you’d probably find yourself shelling out a fortune to buy a leaf blower courtesy of a lack of discount.
The solution, then, is to hone one’s skills well in advance of any anticipated or unexpected leaf deluge. Of course, in order to learn, you’d also need to buy one of the best leaf blowers in the market. In this one-stop guide, we’ve covered both the basics of usage and also a short review of one of the top products on the market so you don’t have to do the market research.
How to Use A Leaf Blower Efficiently
Before we look into the procedure for using a leaf blower efficiently, we need to stock up on some basic necessities. These are –
- Eye goggles (or other eye protection gear).
- Sufficient blower fuel (unless using an electric leaf blower).
- Closed-toe shoes or sandals
To learn how to use a leaf blower, you would need to –
- Put on your earplugs and eye goggles. Leaves displaced by even the best leaf blower can fly up and into your face. The noise produced by a leaf blower, on the other hand, can cause ear damage over long periods.
- If your leaf blower comes with special attachments, choose which one you’d like to use. Typically use –
Broad cylindrical attachments for sweeping leaves over a broad area. Use this attachment for large open areas such as the middle of the lawn, the patio, etc.
Specialized narrow/tapered attachments for sweeping leaves and debris from narrow nooks and other cramped areas eg. between flower pots, in drains and pits, etc.
- If you’re using a gas leaf blower, check the fuel gauge to ensure you have sufficient fuel. If not, refill the gas or use a new canister (depending on what is supported). If you’re using an electric leaf blower, plug in the plug into the power socket and check if the unit runs correctly.
- Once you’re ready, note whether your blower has a sling or shoulder strap. If it does, mount the unit on your body using the sling/strap. If not, use the unit’s handle to hold it steady.
- Choose the speed at which you’d like to use the unit. Most of the best leaf blowers come with at least two speeds, to be set using either a dial or a lever on the body of the unit.
- Head out into the lawn/patio and begin with areas having the least density of leaves. Position yourself such that you are facing away from the direction of the wind.
- Start the unit using the specified button/lever.
- When learning how to use a leaf blower, blow in wide arcs away from your body, such that a large number of leaves are blown in a single direction. You can change this pattern once you’ve gained experience using such units.
- Try blowing the leaves in the direction of the areas having the greatest density of leaves. Try to ensure that such areas are near the middle of the lawn/patio (if you’d pick them up yourself) or near the exit of the lawn/patio (if you’ll move them directly into a disposal unit).
- Once the areas with light leaf density have been cleared, start with areas of greater leaf density. If you’ve been using the blower at a low setting, ramp up the speed for better results.
- Keep blowing until all the leaves have been collected in one huge heap.
- (Optional) If your blower comes with mulcher function, you can change the operating mode by pressing a lever on the unit. Now change the attachment as per manufacturer’s instructions and use the built-in vacuum and mulcher to turn the leaves into fine mulch that can be used as natural fertilizer for your plants.
- Shut down the leaf blower and store it away safely.
A Top-of-the-Line Leaf Blower :Black and Decker LSW20
Simple as the above procedure may be, it requires a top-end, easy-to-use leaf blower to smoothen that learning curve. To this end, the Black and Decker LSW20 claims to be able to reduce the effort required by providing a powerful blower set within a very lightweight frame while area coverage calculations are made redundant courtesy of a MAX lithium ion battery. Do these claims really make your yard cleaning experience a short and pleasant one? Let us find out through a detailed review!
The Product is Perfect For…..
Beginners who are learning how to use a leaf blower and having large yards would admire the clutter-free operating mechanism for easy learning and still easier portability. With sufficient blowing power, the unit is also suitable for yards with a large number of trees and hence, thick layers of leaves on the ground.
What more could you hope for in one electric leaf blower?
Easy Assembly and Light Construction
Most beginners assume that assembling a good leaf blower is a time-consuming task. Black and Decker intends to prove them wrong by providing a three-step assembly process. Attach the two mouth pieces, fix the battery unit and attach the power cord (for charging). Once charged, you simply need to remove the power cord and head out into the yard to start work!
Speaking of heading out, this is one of the lightest leaf blowers on the market, weighing just 3.7 pounds. Coupled with its compact build, the low weight also means that the unit can be carried around large yards while the user takes care of other tasks such as watering plants, clipping branches, etc.
Sufficiently Powerful Blowing Action
Considering that this is a battery-run unit, the amount of power delivered proved to be sufficient for most users’ domestic needs. Interestingly, one does not need to worry about conserving battery when running the unit at full speed because the battery capacity is sufficient to run the unit at the maximum settings for over half-an-hour.
In-Built Scraper for Easily Removing Wet Leaves
The product comes with a scraper that helps the blower loosen wet leaves from just about any surface. Once the leaves have been loosened, the powerful blower is capable of blowing such heavy wet leaves away, thus ensuring that they do not become re-attached to any surface.
Light 20V MAX Battery
One of the best options for portable garden implements, the 20V MAX battery is enough to run the blower continuously at the highest settings for about half an hour. With charging requiring only about an hour to complete and the blower capable of removing heavy leaf cover quickly, cleaning the yard would never require more than two hours of your time.
Pros and Cons
- Light and compact design reduces arm fatigue during operation.
- Rapid charging and long-lasting battery ensures better area coverage and shorter operating time.
- Good blowing speed for fast removal of thick leaf cover. Scraper ensures speed is maintained even when handling wet leaves.
- Simple design and few removable parts ensure quick and easy assembly.
- Blower not suitable for areas with tall grass or swampy areas.
- Vacuum and mulcher functions not included.
For the garden owners, the Black and Decker LSW20 is the best choice for beginner who are learning how to use a leaf blower.
As the above review shows, the best leaf blowers in the market are capable of making garden maintenance a very simple and time-efficient affair. While the amount of time and fuel/battery charge required would depend on the nature of the unit and the size of the garden, one can confidently assume that when using state-of-the-art products like Black and Decker LSW20 20-Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Sweeper and the procedure outlined in this essay, removing those unsightly leaves will become a short and pleasant task.