Quieter Times For The Neighborhood
The leaf blower was invented by Dom Quinto back in the late 1950s. With the advent of today's quieter and more powerful leaf removal systems, these units have become an essential tool for every home and garden. Leaf blowers are typically self-contained hand-held units or backpack mounted units with a hand-held wand, but you'll also find blower-vacuums that let you blow or vacuum and mulch your leaves at the same time. There's a large variety of gas and electric models to accommodate any job.
If you're looking for power or expect to use these tools for extended periods of time you may wish to consider purchasing a backpack model. Typical units in this category are propane or gas powered, have an air velocity of approximately 150 MPH to over 250 MPH and are built for heavy-duty use and a longer life cycle. The modern backpack unit weights in at about 15 to 22 pounds. If you need something with more power then this consider looking into a walk-behind leaf blower.
Today's hand-held leaf blowers are the lightest (e.g. typically 4 to 8 pounds), cheapest and most prevalent models on the market for the average home. These units typically generate 150 MPH to 250 MPH of air speed, have 2 speed controls, and are perfect for clearing leaves and debris from sidewalks, decks and driveways. These units are available in corded, cordless, gas and propane powered styles.
Leaf Blower / Vacuum / Mulcher
The leaf blower vacuum mulcher allows you the ability to blow leaves or vacuum them up and mulch them at the same time. These units typically come with a second nozzle for vacuuming and a debris bag. When checking for these models be especially sure to compare the air speed (MPG) and the air volume (CFM). A convenient quick-release latch lets you convert your blower into a vacuum in seconds without any tools, while a metal impeller makes it easy to mulch debris. The impeller shreds leaves and other unwanted debris into a fine mulch that you can use around your lawn and garden, saving money and recycling important nutrients. It also makes it easy to dispose of unwanted yard waste, since the impeller can reduce over a dozen bags worth of leaves to a single bag.
Walk Behind Leaf Blowers
Walk behind blowers typically run on gasoline engines and are the most powerful models available on the market today for the home. Although these leaf blowing systems are not as flexible as hand-held and backpack models, they are better suited for heavy-duty jobs and large lawns.
Gas Versus Electric
If you're looking for the most powerful systems on the market with the longest lifespan then you're in the market for a gas-powered leaf blower. If you want to be a little more gentle on planet earth consider a propane powered tool. For maximum convenience take a look at one of the many styles of cordless leaf blowers. These units are lightweight, quiet and easy to maneuver. If these qualities sound good to you but you don't mind having a power cord running to your house in order to be more environmentally friendly (e.g. no batteries in the dump), then today's corded electric models are the right choice for you. Additionally electric models start instantly, require no messy gas-oil mixtures and produce no fumes.