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Find The Best Leaf Blower

Updated on September 28, 2009

Leaf blowers come in many flavors, there are hand held leaf blowers, backpack leaf blowers, and walk behind leaf blowers.   Each has a specific purpose and target user.  Regardless of the specific type you require, you can bet on it making your life a lot easier in the fall.  Leaf blowers can cut down hours of tedious raking, and make fall cleanup a lot more entertaining. Let’s briefly discuss the different types of leaf blowers:

Walk behind leaf blowers are great for commercial lawn care companies, because they are very heavy duty and powerful, however they are not for everyone.  They are often heavy and sometimes hard to maneuver for smaller projects, as well as expensive, due to their heavy duty commercial nature.

Backpack leaf blowers are also a commercial animal.  They are carried on the back with straps as their name implies which allows for comfort during prolonged use.  It concentrates the weight of the machine and making it easier to carry and reducing arm fatigue when compared to a regular hand held version. While many average homeowners will find them really convenient and easy to handle it should be stated that they are generally a bit more expensive than their handheld cousins.

Handheld leaf blowers are great for average homeowners with small to medium sized lawns for a few reasons:

  1. They are small and lightweight
  2. They don’t take up much room in the garage
  3. They are easy to handle
  4. They are less expensive than either walk behind or backpack styles

The Black & Decker LH4500 leaf blower
The Black & Decker LH4500 leaf blower

The Black & Decker LH4500

The LH4500 is a great choice due to its powerful 12 amp motor. It has a maximum airspeed of 240mph for moving leaves and debris. It also has a vacuum mode, that will suck up leaves into an included bag. Even though it only weighs 8.1 pounds, there is an included strap to reduce any discomfort over long periods of time.

The Weed Eater WEB160 Blower
The Weed Eater WEB160 Blower

The Weed Eater WEB160

The WEB160 is a smaller model.  Its motor is only 7.5 amps and it only has a maximum airspeed of 160MPH, however it is still extremely capable on smaller lawns.  Its reduced power and airspeed also comes wit two benefits: a lower price tag and less weight.  It only weighs 4.5 pounds and is a great option.

The Toro 51599 Leaf Blower
The Toro 51599 Leaf Blower

The Toro 51599

I’d give the Toro 51599 my highest recommendation. At 12 amps, it is extremely powerful, able to create airspeed of up to 235MPH, and if you don’t need that much, you are able to adjust the strength. It also has a metal impeller, which will long outlast AND do a better job than a plastic one. I am not alone, check its excellent reviews on Amazon.

The Black & Decker NS118 Electric Broom
The Black & Decker NS118 Electric Broom

The Black & Decker NS118

The NS118 isn’t exactly a full-fledged leaf blower, however I figured I’d include it as it’s an extremely useful product.  First off, it’s cordless, with an 18 volt rechargeable battery.  This gives you freedom from extension cords, which is great.  It’s also still pretty powerful and a great choice for a quick sweep of any outdoor surface.  I own one of these and it’s great for quick deck cleanups before company arrives.

There are also a few accessories you may want to consider when purchasing your new leaf blower. Hearing protection is a great idea, since they can get a bit loud at times, as well as eye protection. Blowing into a wall can easily shoot debris back at your face if you're not careful.  Also, You will need a good heavy duty extension cord, preferably very long.

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