What to look for in a leaf blower

Leaf blowers can be gas powered, electric powered or battery powered. There are pros and cons to each time, and each variety boasts several good choices, so you can’t exactly go wrong.

The big benefit of getting an electric or battery powered leaf blower is how easy they are to start. There’s no ripcord, so they’re both great choices for those with arthritis and other mobility issues. The downside of electric is the fact that it has to be plugged into an outlet, which can sometimes be awkward to maneuver. Most batter powered leaf blowers have really advanced in terms of technology, so there’s no longer noticeable power fade as the battery reaches the end of its charge during use, which is why many who prefer gas alternative leaf blowers tend to go for battery powered instead of electric.

While gas powered leaf blowers may be considered less environmentally friendly, the benefit of them is they are the most common, so there is a massive variety to choose from, pretty much ensuring you’ll find one that suits your needs. (That is, of course, provided you don’t mind a gas-powered leaf blower.)

Gas alternative leaf blowers tend to be lighter weight than gas-powered ones, so if you have back or shoulder troubles, an electric or battery powered leaf blower will likely be the best leaf blower for your needs.

If you opt for a battery powered leaf blower, check out the power stats. Go for a model that features a battery life that’s long enough to complete your task on one full charge. Typically, a good battery powered leaf blower will yield an hour give or take of leaf blowing.

Some leaf blowers are more powerful than others. If you have a small amount of dry leaves in your yard, pretty much any leaf blower will do. But if you have a large lot or live in a damp climate with a bunch of wet leaves on the ground, then you’re going to want a leaf blower that can get the job done. The faster the winder power behind the leaf blower, the more powerful it will be, so always be sure to check its speed rating. Additionally, some leaf blowers have variable speed, which will allow you to adjust the speed (and therefore power) to your needs on a particular day, as opposed to a one-size-fits-all setting.

Some leaf blowers simply blow leaves away while others also have a vacuum (commonly called “vac”) option. The vacuum feature allows you to suck up debris that you either don’t want to or can’t blow away with the blower setting. Leaf blowers with the vacuum option will often have vacuum-specific attachments to make the whole vacuuming thing a lot easier, such as a bag to catch debris. If you know you’ll be vacuuming a lot, go for a leaf blower/vac that has a large capacity leaf bag for time efficiency.

If you’re into lawncare and gardening, look for a leaf blower with a mulching feature. Leaf blowers make powerful mulchers and tend to have pretty impressive mulch reduction capabilities, which will be sure to delight homeowners who are big into making their own mulch.

While gas-alternative leaf blowers tend to be lighter weight, it’s also important to consider ergonomics. Look for a leaf blower with ergonomic design elements and a balanced weight to reduce strain and energy fatigue during use.