Sun Joe SBJ604E Review

Think Twice

This electric blower vac impresses with its power but suffers from vibrations that numb hands and a large, heavy body that's just too cumbersome for many users.

This lesser-known brand (a sibling of Snow Joe) comes from a company that makes a variety of outdoor products, from snow throwers to lawn mowers. Sun Joe SBJ604E reviews aren't especially negative, but a middling price and specs and a few pounds of extra weight don't make a strong case for this electric leaf blower/vacuum/shredder.

To start with the positives, the Sun Joe SBJ604E (starting at $77, Amazon) is powerful and not terribly loud. The 12-amp motor shoots out air at up to 200 mph and 450 cubic feet per minute -- the highest volume of any leaf blower we reviewed. At the same time, it keeps the noise level down to a mere 68 decibels, only slightly louder than the other electric leaf blowers we compared and not as loud as most gas-powered leaf blowers. The Sun Joe SBJ604E also switches between blowing and vacuuming with the easy flip of a switch. The vacuum/mulcher component has a 10:1 mulching ratio, about the same as other combo models in our comparison. Although there are some complaints regarding the durability of the bag, this is common among inexpensive blower vacs.

Weighing in at 11.7 pounds, the Sun Joe SBJ604E is a large machine. It has two small wheels on the front of the large nozzle to help support it without straining the user's back and arms. This is a concept that's embraced by some users, but many simply find the machine too heavy and bulky to be effective. Complaints about size and weight are prevalent in reviews.

There's also a flip side to the vacuuming and blowing power, according to reviewers. One consumer posting on Amazon tried replacing the machine with a new one, but the vibrations produced at top speeds were so troublesome that the reviewer returned the second leaf blower, too. Another user found she had to stop periodically because her hands would fall asleep. There are nine speeds to choose from, and the lower power levels are useful around fragile flowerbeds, but this reviewer points out that the top speeds, which produce the vibration, are the ones that get used most often.

Overall we were left with a lackluster impression of the Sun Joe SBJ604E. Among several dozen consumers posting reviews at Home Depot, about 70 percent said they would recommend it, and overall ratings on retail sites hover around 3.6 or 3.7 out of 5 stars. Some consumers may be pleased with it, but this combination leaf blower is too cumbersome and uncomfortable for our liking.

Louis DeNicola

Louis DeNicola is a freelance personal finance writer who specializes in credit, debt, and practical money-saving tips. He loves stacking savings opportunities to get amazing deals, traveling for free using credit card rewards, and teaching others how to do the same. Connect with Louis by visiting louisdenicola.com.

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