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Electric Leaf Blowers
Leaf Blowers Features (continued)
Electric Leaf Blowers.If you are clearing an area of less than 150 feet, electric leaf blowers have a lot of advantages. In addition to being quieter than gas blowers, electric leaf blowers tend to be lighter than their gas counterparts because they don't have the added weight of a fuel tank and fuel.
Electric leaf blowers start and change functions with the flip of a switch and don't give off gas fumes. They are also an option in some municipalities that ban gas-powered leaf blowers. Of course, you need a power source and a cord, which can turn into a tangled mess if you have a lot of plants and shrubbery to walk around. Using an electric leaf blower also limits the size of the area you can clear, although you can always use an extension cord -- just choose one designed for outdoor use and check the owner's manual to make sure it's the proper gauge. If the extension cord is undersized, the motor can fail. Be aware that typically, the longer the cord, the less wind force will come out of the blower. Still, a user who posted a review of the Toro 51599 at Home Depot reports using that blower with a 400-foot extension cord with very little decrease in power.
Leaf Blower Speed.Most budget leaf blowers operate at a single speed, but others have multiple speeds or variable speed controls. Variable speed gives you control over how much air gets blown around delicate plants or water features that could be damaged by the full force of a blower. The Toro 51599 Ultra and Craftsman 74828 electric leaf blowers have infinite variability; you are not limited to pre-set speeds. The Weed Eater FB25 also has a variable speed throttle. The Husqvarna 125B and the electric Worx TriVac WG500 (starting at $76, Amazon) offer only one speed, but they have regulators that can lower the airflow when you're working around plants or dust.
Leaf Blower Comfort.While most handheld leaf blowers are designed to be used with one hand, for many people that's easier said than done. Many leaf blowers come with a shoulder strap to help ease some of the strain; you can also buy a shoulder strap separately for about $10 to $15. Gas blowers tend to vibrate significantly, which can make them uncomfortable to operate for an extended period of time. The Weed Eater FB25 has a soft handle that is supposed to minimize discomfort from vibration, and one user who bought it to replace an older model has noticed less vibration, according to a review on the Walmart website. The Husqvarna 125B has cruise control so you don't have to maintain a heavy grip on it at all times. Several users who have posted reviews of the 125B on the Husqvarna website say the machine is easy to carry around without wearing out the user.
Don't Bother Cheap Leaf Blowers
Rather than requiring users to switch nozzles when they move from blowing to vacuuming, this gas-powered machine lets them simply flip a switch, a feature that users admire. However, it's heavy, it's very loud, and its emission levels are too high to meet California standards. Many users complain that it's hard to start and doesn't last long. Read more »
Toro Power Sweep 51585 Review
Black & Decker BV2500 Review
Troy-Bilt TB310QS Review
Craftsman 74828 Review
Weed Eater FB25 Review
Toro 51599 Ultra Review
Husqvarna 125B Review
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