If you’re looking for a new leaf blower, there are a lot of options to choose from. Do you need a remote throttle? How does speed and air volume affect performance? Is it worth buying a walk-behind blower? Here’s what you should know, so you can make the right decision for your next equipment purchase.
There are two measurements of power for leaf blowers: speed and volume. Faster air is better at moving heavy material, like wet leaves. Volume increases the amount of leaves the blower will move at one time.
Speed and volume are controlled by engine power and nozzle size. Most commercial backpack blowers come with a pair of nozzles. The standard nozzle has a wide opening to move large quantities of leaves. The turbo nozzle has a small opening, increasing air speed to move heavy leaves.
Leaf blowers are loud, which can be a major annoyance for neighbors, and may violate local noise ordinances. With that in mind, most blowers are rated for sound from 50 feet away, not from the operator’s position. Users should always use hearing protection, regardless of their blower’s noise rating. Keep in mind that decibels are logarithmic. Every 10 dB is a doubling of loudness.
Do I Need a Backpack, Walk-Behind or Stander Blower?
Air speed on walk-behind and stander blowers is only a little higher than a backpack blower. However, air volume is much higher. Step up to a stander, and you also get faster movement speed. Depending on performance, walk-behinds and standers can clear leaves 4-10 times faster in open areas than a backpack blower. However, they don’t do nearly as well around obstacles or in confined spaces. Walk-behind and stander blowers use four stroke motors, which last far longer than the two strokes used in backpack blowers. While the upfront cost is high, savings in maintenance and labor give these machines an advantage. Most professionals use large blowers for yards and fields, then switch to backpack blowers for cleaning out areas around buildings and other obstacles.
What Design Features Should I Look For?
A loop handle makes it easier to hold a backpack blower when you start the engine, and makes it easier to lift it onto your shoulders. A swiveling tube makes the hose and nozzle easier to maneuver, while a hip-mounted throttle lets you change the blower speed without accidentally moving the nozzle. Some models have a “cruise control” that holds the throttle position, keeping your hands free.
If you want to use a walk-behind or stander blower near buildings, you need to have a way to direct air forward. While some models use an elbow that attaches to the nozzle, a door system lets you change air direction on the fly.
Looking for Better Lawn Care Equipment?
Do you need a better leaf blower for your business? We sell and service leaf blowers from several major brands, including Shindaiwa, Echo and Cub Cadet. If you’re looking for new equipment, visit our shop at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. Do you need parts or accessories for your leaf blower? We can ship what you need to any address in the United States or Canada. To order, visit our website, www.shankslawn.com.