Hitachi RB24EAP Review
The gas-powered Hitachi RB24EAP rises to the top of the list for its easy start, manageable weight, and effectiveness even on stubborn debris.
Pros: Scores of favorable reviews of the Hitachi RB24EAP (starting at $129; available on Amazon) extol the easy start on this gas-powered leaf blower, along with solid performance. On Lowe's.com and Amazon, Hitachi RB24EAP reviews say the machine feels light and well-balanced, starts right up whether hot or cold, and neatly blows away yard waste and even debris littering the garage and roof. One reviewer crows that the machine has nearly hurricane-force power. Users also report minimal vibration and seemingly quiet operation despite a 107 decibel rating.
Cons: Some Hitachi RB24EAP reviews quibble about one thing or another. They note the absence of an on-off switch, which forces operators to constantly press down on the trigger. They also report that the side intake can pull on the operator's clothing, and a few say the machine seems underpowered. A short review by Popular Mechanics finds the nozzle a tad short but still awards this model 4 stars owing to its effectiveness. Finally, there are reports of early breakdowns, and some reviewers who have tried exercising the seven-year warranty grumble about roadblocks thrown up by customer service representatives.
Features: The Hitachi RB24EAP blows air at a maximum speed of 170 miles per hour and has a maximum velocity of 441 cubic feet per minute; it is controlled with a two-finger throttle. The tank holds 17.6 ounces of fuel and the machine (when empty) weighs 8.6 pounds. Reviews offer a bit of preventive advice: Use only ethanol-free fuel to avoid problems with the fuel lines. This is a low-emission design that meets the requirements of the California Air Resources Board (i.e., it is CARB compliant). The noise rating is fairly high, at 107 decibels, but many users say it's not as loud as some gas-powered blowers they've owned in the past.
Takeaway: A gas leaf blower that starts without fuss, meets performance expectations, and sells at a budget price deserves a top spot on our list of picks. And that's where the Hitachi RB24EAP resides.