Choosing Gas Powered Leaf Blowers

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Question: I’m looking to purchase a gas powered leaf blower.

I have about 1/4 acre home but with lots of trees. Which gas powered blowers would work best for me – handheld, backpack or perhaps even a walk behind blower? Michael, Virginia

Answer: Leaf blowers powered by gas engines are the most powerful tools in use today to move leaf and debris in the landscape trade.

Gas powered units allow users to “cut” the electrical umbilical cord, taking advantage of these higher performance machines when electrical and cordless blowers do not meet the needs.

Most of the “machines” are powered by 2-cycle engines although 4-cycle engines are becoming much more common in both handheld and backpack models.

Power is rated in cubic centimeters, the more cubic centimeters an engine has the more powerful the machine.

Small properties (under 1/2 acre) should be fine with a blower model in the 25-30 cc range. If you plan or need a larger unit, move up to and engine with 50 cc on up.

Manufacturers:

ECHO | Toro | Stihl | Troy-Bilt | Husqvarna | Ryobi | Homelite | Tanaka | Makita | Swisher Shindaiwa

 

3 Types Gas Blowers

  • Handheld
  • Backpack
  • Walk Behind

Handheld Blower Models

Handheld blower models are an excellent option for homeowners who have small to medium sized properties and landscapes to maintain and when electrical blowers are just not practical due to obstacles in the landscape or distance from electrical service.

Pricing of handheld blowers range from the low end of around $75 to a high of about $200.

It is important to keep one thing in mind with all gas powered blowers – maintenance.

Like lawnmowers, most leaf blowers need the pull of a cord to start, along with gas. Two-cycle engine need gas mixtures.

On cold mornings and other ties of service they sometimes will not start. When this happens, the longing for electric blowers quickly crosses the mind.

Besides fuel and potential engine starting issues – gas models are heavier.

Some handheld models weight in at a hefty 14 pounds. Keep this in mind when looking at the pros and cons before purchasing.

Gas blowers are usually much noisier than electric blowers.

This can be annoying to the neighbor and some cities and towns have put noise standards in place to address the noise issue. Again check you local “noise pollution” laws or ordinances before purchase.

Handheld blowers are heavy and the weight can be difficult to handle and cumbersome.

The next step up from handheld blowers are the more powerful gas powered backpack leaf blowers.

Backpack Style Leaf Blowers

Backpack leaf blowers are good choices for larger yards.

Backpack units deliver a high displacement and increased air speed make clearing heavy duty debris such as twigs and bark along with trees that love to rain leaves serve this job well.

The cost of backpack models typically cost between $200 and $500. The high priced models are higher performance commercial grade units.

The higher price tags and higher performance often require more regular maintenance. They also carry an increased noise level.

Backpack blowers places the high RPM engine much closer to the ear drum raising the importance of hearing protection and hearing safety.

Weight is also a consideration in selection the right model for your needs.

At approximately 25 lbs carrying these powerful units can get old quickly even though they are very efficient and make short order of large task.

Should padding and adjustable straps need to also be reviewed before purchasing any model.

Walk Behind Models

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The top of the line in leaf blowing power is the – Walk Behind Leaf Blower – The units operate much like a lawn mower and can push large volumes of leaves like a they were met by a hurricane.

These monsters do come with a downside – again maintenance and they take up more more storage space, more noise and are not as maneuverable as backpack blowers.

But if your yard is very large walk behind units may fit the bill.

Conclusion and Safety

Gas powered leaf blowers are major time saving equipment, and we all know time is money. Moving leaves are no longer only in the hands professional landscapers and in commercial use.

They have since made their way into the hands of the homeowner in search of a time saver and professional results. Leaf blowers send all kinds of fine particulates flying into the air.

In fact they could be labeled as dust blowers; they blow dust from one place to another, containing fertilizers, pesticides, twigs, bark top soil and more.

When operating any type of leaf blower safety is of utmost importance, make sure you wear protective eyewear or safety goggles to protect the eyes and hearing protection for high noise levels.

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