Memorial Day weekend has arrived and it's time to set summer in motion. ...
Gas Leaf Blowers
Leaf Blowers Features
Gas Leaf Blowers.Gas leaf blowers tend to push out a higher volume of air than electric blowers. The Husqvarna 125B (starting at $143, Amazon) blows out 425 CFM at a velocity of 170 mph and the Weed Eater FB25 (starting at $77, Amazon) blows 290 CFM at a velocity of 170 mph. The Troy-Bilt TB310QS (starting at $133, Amazon) blows at a max of 165 mph. Budget electrics generally have high air speeds -- many well over 200 mph -- but lower volume. You will give up some power in a cheaper blower. The Stihl BGE 61 (starting at $110, from independent dealers only) blows out 394 CFM, while the lightweight Toro Power Sweep 51585 (starting at $35, Amazon) blows only 155 CFM. Our picks for cheap electric blowers fall in between.
While gas leaf blowers generally cost more than electric blowers, they allow you to clear a larger area without being tethered to a power source. However, you also have the added expense of gas, the worry of having flammable material around, and the task of properly mixing the gas with oil. Gas leaf blowers in our price range have two-stroke engines that require a mix of oil and gas. They start with a pull cord that often takes several tries to "take." Many consumer complaints about difficulty starting up their machines can be attributed to an incorrect mixture. It can also damage your blower and void your warranty. More expensive gas blowers tend to have four-stroke engines, which do away with the need to mix fuels.
Gas Leaf Blower CARB Compliance.California residents should be aware that gas leaf blowers produce emissions that might not comply with state standards. The cheaper the machine, the less likely it is to meet those standards, which are overseen by the California Air Resources Board. The Weed Eater FB25 and the Troy-Bilt TB310QS are not CARB compliant, so they are not available in California. The Husqvarna 125B, however, produces lower emissions and is CARB compliant.
Leaf Blower Noise.Noisy leaf blowers can threaten your hearing and offend neighbors, especially if the frequency of the motor creates a high-pitched whirring sound. In general, gas leaf blowers are much louder than electric blowers, although manufacturers have worked to reduce noise by adding mufflers. Communities that regulate noise pollution restrict decibel levels and even hours and dates for leaf blower operation. Most communities that have such ordinances limit noise output to 70 decibels. Manufacturers measure the decibel levels of leaf blowers from 50 feet away, so they will be much louder to you, making ear protection important. Almost all electric blowers come in under 70 dBA, and our picks for cheap gas leaf blowers also register 70 dBA. Gas leaf blowers can get a lot louder than that, however. The Troy-Bilt TB310QS registers a whopping 79 dBA. The quietest leaf blower we researched is the electric Black & Decker BV2500 (starting at $50, Amazon), at 65 dBA, followed by the Toro 51599 Ultra (starting at $70, Amazon), at 67 dBA. The Stihl BGE 61 comes in at an ultra-low 64 decibels.
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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