Power Leaf Blowers
For years I watched my neighbor use his power leaf blower in the vacuum configuration to pick up his leaves and wondered why he would even use such a tool instead of a rake to pick up the leaves? I actually thought he was lazy at one point since I did not find it that hard to rake and stoop to pick up the leaves. What I did notice was that his yard always looked cleaner than mine and of course it was always clear of leaves. He never put out as many bags full of leaves as I did either in the fall even though we had approximately the same number of trees in our respective yards.
Well one day I was at a Black and Deck outlet store browsing around and looking for something to purchase when I came across a power leaf blower on sale for half price that also doubled as a vacuum . One of the store clerks asked me if I had any questions so we started to talk about this power leaf blower. He had one and thought it was one of the best tools he had for his garden. I was a bit surprised and of course challenged him on this subject to see why he felt as he did, figuring I was just getting a sales pitch.
Advantages of a Power Leaf Blower
Turns out that you can collect all of your leaves into one big pile in less than half the time it takes to rake them into a pile. If you happen to have trees and shrubs together, the leaf blower can easily blow the leaves from out of the garden and from around the shrubs much easier than you ever could with a rake. Everything works better on a day when there is little or no wind since you may end up competing with the wind in blowing the leaves into one pile and it works much better when the leaves are dry.
This same store clerk also said that once you convert the power leaf blower into a power vacuum, to pick up the leaves, this machine will mulch the leaves and compact them into a much smaller space. He apparently had a large yard with lots of trees and would put out 40 or 50 bags of leaves every year to the curb. Now with the mulching leaf blower he is able to cut this down to less than twenty bags. At $5 for 5 bags, that is over a $20 savings in bags alone, not to mention the time he saved.
The power leaf blower I ended up purchasing cost me $45, so in 2 years it would be paid for just in the number of leaf bags I save every year since we also have a large yard with lots of trees.
There were two other advantages that I had not considered about this leaf blower. The first was that we have a tree with tiny leaves which are next to impossible to rake and pick up. Now with the power leaf blower in vacuum mode, it is a simple quick job to pick up all of these small leaves. The second advantage is that traditionally I would wait until all of the leaves were down and then I would go out and rake them. As a result many leaves would blow into our pool making it a a bigger job to clean out the pool in the spring. With the power leaf blower, I am out there a couple times a week collecting the leaves since it is actually so easy.
I have not apologized to my neighbor for all of the negative thoughts yet and I probably will not. I really should since this new tool – power leaf blower – is such a great solution to picking up leaves in the fall.
A Word of Caution
All tools should be used with care and with safety in mind and the power leaf blower is no different especially when you are using it to pick up leaves in the vacuum mode. The way this machine works is that there is an attachment that you place on the machine that will pull the leaves into the machine, were they encounter a spinning disk with blades on it. These blades spin and a very high RPM and mulch the leaves as they come in contact with the leaves. The mulched leaves are then blown into a bag which you must empty from time to time.
Always turn the machine off before emptying the bag and before making any adjustments or repairs to avoid putting fingers in the wrong place. When you are picking leaves up with the power leaf blower in vacuum mode, be very careful that you do not suck any large sticks, pieces of bark or large nuts such as walnuts into the machine. At the very least it will make a loud grinding noise and at the worst you could shear off one of the blades making the power leaf blower unusable! Better to pick them up by hand than ruin your new power leaf blower.
When you are blowing the leaves into a pile, never point the blower at someone or have someone in the path of were you are blowing the leaves. There can be small pits and pieces thrown into the air and they can end up hitting a bystander in the eye if you are not careful.
These machines do a great job, allow you to make more efficient use of your time and also actually save you money by reducing the number of leaf bags you need every year to bag your leaves. One of these days I think I will go over and let my neighbor know how great these machines are and it was because of him that I purchased one. That probably is as close as I will get to apologizing for all of those negative thoughts I had about his power leaf blower.
If you have comments about power leaf blowers feel free to leave your comments particularly if they will help our readers.