[ Note: This article is a little early, but still relevant]
With summertime here, that means that autumn is right around the corner. The trees will be changing their leaf color then they will eventually fall to the ground and need to be picked up. What better way to help clean up those falling leaves than with a leaf blower? Traditionally, only landscapers would use the machines, however, in recent years, more and more of the devices are being made smaller so that the “average homeowner” can operate one. They have become lighter and more powerful, using gas, diesel, a mixture of gas and oil (called two-stroke), batteries or electric to power them.
Three types of the blowers exist and they include the backpack type, hand held and “walk behind.” Backpack leaf blowers are worn on the back while straps fit around the shoulders to keep the pack from falling. These blowers are best for medium or small jobs. They are run with gas or a mixture fuel and have the ability to reach places others cannot with a nozzle that usually quite flexible, such as in tight spaces under steps.
Hand-held machines are the smallest and lightest of the three types and are usually battery or electric powered, although some gas powered models exist. These typically have a straight plastic hose, so it is not flexible enough to fit into all spaces. The hand-held machines that are electric or battery powered have a limit as to how far they can reach, so using them for smaller jobs is recommended, like a small front yard or a short driveway.
A “walk behind” machine is best for a home or business where there is a large area, such as a parking lot, large yard or driveway to blow. This model typically runs on gas and has blow settings that vary in strength. Additionally, the nozzle can be angled in different directions and the machine can be “driven” on sidewalks and driveways. Many have started to adapt some of the smaller leaf blowers to other activities, such as blowing snow from steps and walkways.
Some varieties of the machines, called leaf blower-vacs, have bags attached to them so the user cannot only blow the leaves and other yard debris into a pile, but he can also vacuum them up into the bag as well. Additionally, the user could vacuum as he goes, picking up the leaves and debris along the way. This is a much easier way of taking care of yard work, since there is no bending and lifting involved that can cause injuries.
Uses for Leaf Blowers:
Of course, the most obvious use for leaf blowers is to corral fallen leaves into a pile. Whether the homeowner cleans them up every few days or waits until they are almost finished to put them in a pile is a matter of personal preference. It also depends on how many and what kind of trees are on the property. When leaves are ankle deep or higher, it is time to break out the leaf blower and put them into a section of the yard or a pile. Some municipalities will go through neighborhoods with a machine that sucks them up from curbside. Others leave it up to the homeowner on how to dispose of them. While autumn is the most prolific time of year for leaves to land in the yard, it is not the only time. Some types of trees, like river birches for example, lose their leaves year-round and cause a constant need to blow them away.
Weekly lawn maintenance requires mowing, trimming, edging and blowing. As professional landscaping companies have known for years, the yard looks better when all of the grass clippings, hedge trimmings and errant pine cones do not litter the front walk and driveway. Using a leaf blower to clean up the walkways and fence lines gives property a neat, clean and professional appearance. It also keeps the lawn healthy and prevents the debris from blocking sunlight on the grass.
All work and no play makes the outdoors more boring. For a little bit of extra fun when the yard work is done, grab a few neighbors, pull out the leaf blowers and play a game of air ball. Wad up a sheet of newspaper or even use an errant paper cup as a ball. Establish teams, boundaries and goals. Feel free to improvise, using lawn chairs, empty flower pots and bushes as goal posts. Use the leaf blowers to corral the ball between the goal posts, scoring a point for each goal. This is especially fun for landscaping crews, where everyone has a blower and all have skill.
Good Tips for Buying a Leaf Blower
There are numerous factors that are involved in the purchasing of lowes leaf blowers. A number these are just about your choice and preference. However, you need to try and link the tool to the items that you want to do and the amount of work that has to be done. Here are tips that should get you thinking in the correct way:
1. Select a walk behind leaf blower if you have a lot of blowing to do, in particular if you reside in a woodland location and have a lot of land to clear, where the leaves stack up to a depth.
2. Select a backpack blower when you have a fairly large area with quite a lot of leaves to clean up. Backpack leaf blowers are powerful, but comfortable and easy to use due to the way they are made. You can use them for longer periods of time without becoming as tired.
3. Use a hand held blower for light to moderate work where the yard is a reasonable size and you don’t have to use the machine for great periods of time. Hand held blowers are quick and easy to operate, but can become heavy after using them for a time.
4. Choose a gas leaf blowers where you need a lot of blowing power and don’t mind something that is quite heavy. Gas blowers come is various engine sizes to match your power needs.
5. Select an electric leaf blowers for small yards and light leaf blowing. Electric machines use a power wire and that can restrict the distance that you can reach.
6. Choose cordless leaf blowers for very light work and where you only need to work for about 20 minutes. Some come with 2 batteries which will increase the blowing time. The batteries are rechargeable.
7. Use a blower with a vacuum attachment if you need to collect and bag the leaves rather than just blowing them away. Some tools also have a mulching feature that will shred the leaves and compress them to take up less space.
8. Choose a fast air velocity if you want to break up clumps of wet leaves and move larger objects. The air velocity is measured in MPH and should be taken at the end of the tube.
9. Look at machines that move a lot of air volume if you need to vacuum heavy, damp and big leaves You can check this out by looking at the measurements in cubic feet per minute or CFM.
Check out the last article: Growing a great lawn fast
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