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vazbmw
vazbmw HalfDork
3/24/12 5:37 p.m.

Thread from 2012:

Dudes and dudettes, I am new to the leafy backyard thing. Normally I hire a person to do it, but I am thinking I might be able to stay Grassroots if I did it myself. What should I know about buying a leafblower? What is the minimum I can spend and get the job done? What is best, gas or electric? Thanks Vazfx16

Grizz
Grizz Dork
3/24/12 5:41 p.m.

Do you have any 18 volt tools laying about?

If you do, see if that company makes an 18 volt leafblower. Cords are stupid if you have any kind of yard.

MG Bryan
MG Bryan Dork
3/24/12 5:43 p.m.

I like a two stroke engine on my leaf-blowers.

vazbmw
vazbmw Reader
3/24/12 5:50 p.m.

I am leaning toward 2 stroke because of the size of the property and the amount of leaves. I am in the PNW and we have some serious trees plus rain that makes leave sticky.

I am feeling I need strong- "A" blower

MG Bryan wrote: I like a two stroke engine on my leaf-blowers.
jrw1621
jrw1621 PowerDork
3/24/12 5:55 p.m.

I bought a cheap Black and Decker blower and mulcher two years ago. It was great but I would have gone with a more expensive unit or tried to get a better bag system.
Leaf Hog.
http://www.blackanddecker.com/outdoor/lh4500.aspx

When sucking in leaves it grinds them at a rate of 16 bags to one. This really helped my situation since I had to haul the leaves offsite.
I think I spent around $69. I now wish I had spent more to get a better bag and less cheap plastic at the closures.

BARNCA
BARNCA HalfDork
3/24/12 6:20 p.m.

going on 2 yrs.. no issues.. starts 2nd pull each time. sucker and blower work primo first class.....

http://www.lowes.com/pd_51371-86886-BVM200FE_4294747189_4294937087_?productId=3397586&Ns=p_product_prd_lis_ord_nbr|0||p_product_qty_sales_dollar|1&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl_Blowers_4294747189_4294937087_%3FNs%3Dp_product_prd_lis_ord_nbr%7C0%7C%7Cp_product_qty_sales_dollar%7C1&facetInfo=

Derick Freese
Derick Freese Dork
3/24/12 7:02 p.m.

Do you just want to blow things, or are you sucking up stuff, too?

I like Echo and Stihl backpack blowers. A backpack blower from either company will last 5 or more years doing lawn service duty. I don't think you'd ever have to replace one if you are only using one for your own yard.

If you don't already have batteries that will work with a blower, don't get a battery powered model. You're going to spend more time charging it than using it, so you want to be able to have at least a pair of battery packs on hand, one in the tool and one on the charger. With gas, you never have to worry about it.

fritzsch
fritzsch Reader
3/24/12 7:32 p.m.

Call me oldfashioned or maybe my parents didnt want to deal with leafblowers/ snowblowers etc. Rakes and shovels work fine for me, nothing wrong with a bit of work.

mikeatrpi
mikeatrpi Reader
3/24/12 8:35 p.m.
Derick Freese wrote: I like Echo and Stihl backpack blowers. A backpack blower from either company will last 5 or more years doing lawn service duty. I don't think you'd ever have to replace one if you are only using one for your own yard.

I'm with this guy. I have an acre with a LOT of trees. I raked my first leaf-season in the house, and that was it. After that, I bought a Stihl BR-600 Magnum. It will literally blow bricks across my lawn if I want it to. Yes, it was expensive, yes, I'll probably have it forever.

If you have a big yard and a lot of leaves, get a big blower. If you have a little yard / not a lot of leaves, get something small or electric.

wlkelley3
wlkelley3 Dork
3/24/12 8:58 p.m.

Kinda depends on the size of your yard along with your patience with cords. Battery powered ones will work well if your yard is the size that comes with condos or patio homes. Unless you have a couple batteries charged. I have one I use for driveway cleanup, that's about all it will do between charges. Chorded ones are difinitely cheaper and more reliable but limited to chord reach and tangles. Have one of these too and use it around the outside of the house and with a gutter attachment to clean the gutters. More powerful than battery. The one I have will also convert to a vacuum/mulcher (like someone posted) and is great for cleaning up under and behind bushes. Takes time to vacuum leaf piles though. Gas is great for larger yards. I have a weedeater that takes attachments and a leaf blower is one of the many attachments I have for it. Works great, especially with my large 1.2 acre wooded lot. Although I gave up blowing/raking leafs a few years ago and now just use the blower/rake to get the leafs towards the center of the yard away from obsticles and run over them repeatedly with the rider mower to mulch them and I try to direct the mulch to the thin areas of the yard. If have too much mulched leafs I then hook up the grass catcher to pick up the excess. Much easier and quicker since I don't have help. Kids are grown and wife finds something/place else to do/go.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve PowerDork
3/24/12 9:26 p.m.

Weed-whacker and leaf-blower engines are as reliable as a Kardashian marriage. And run about as long.

vazbmw
vazbmw Reader
3/24/12 9:28 p.m.

When I lived in the South rakes worked well, but here in the PNW you would not believe the volume of wet organic matter. It boggles the mind when you live here. If someone would have tried to explain it to me I would not have believed.

I purchased a gas hand-held, and it did a good job.

Thanks folks

fritzsch wrote: Call me oldfashioned or maybe my parents didnt want to deal with leafblowers/ snowblowers etc. Rakes and shovels work fine for me, nothing wrong with a bit of work.
Derick Freese
Derick Freese Dork
3/24/12 10:44 p.m.

In reply to pinchvalve:

I've never had any serious issues with well maintained equipment. I've had Stihl and Echo weedeaters last for 3 years with nothing other than a fresh spark plug once a year. At that point, the rest of the machine is pretty worn out and not worth repairing when it does finally fail.

fritzsch
fritzsch Reader
3/25/12 12:04 a.m.
vazbmw wrote: When I lived in the South rakes worked well, but here in the PNW you would not believe the volume of wet organic matter. It boggles the mind when you live here. If someone would have tried to explain it to me I would not have believed. I purchased a gas hand-held, and it did a good job. Thanks folks

Ah I never thought to check the location. Yeah I know a bit about PNW weather, Ive visited my aunt and uncle out near seattle several times. They literally only get a couple weeks of sunshine. Although how well does a leaf blower work on damp leaves? Seems better suited to dry stuff?

Derick Freese
Derick Freese UltraDork
3/25/12 12:08 a.m.

A good blower is like a honey badger. Pushing bricks around isn't exaggerating.

wbjones
wbjones MegaDork
3/25/12 8:02 p.m.
pinchvalve wrote: Weed-whacker and leaf-blower engines are as reliable as a Kardashian marriage. And run about as long.

not sure which ones you've had that were so bad ... but 'til my Stihl leaf blower and my Stihl weed eater were stolen ( from under my car port ) they had lasted 7 yrs and 8 yrs respectfully

DaveEstey
DaveEstey Dork
3/25/12 8:48 p.m.

This is pertinent to my interests. I hauled 15 large wheelbarrows full of leaves today and that's not even a dent in what this yard has...

I don't care about blowing them, I want to suck up and mulch them.

failboat
failboat Dork
3/26/12 7:17 a.m.

We got a shop vac, the motor pops off it and then you can use it as a leaf blower.

It works and I can use it with 100' extension cord, but its definitely not the best. I really only use it to blow E36 M3 out from under the bushes in front of the house and around the garage.

Quite frankly in the fall I just fired up the riding mower and blew all the leaves around with that all into one area, then raked them all onto a tarp, dragged the tarp over to the woods and dumped the leaves. Again not ideal but easy. We don't really have crazy amounts of leaves though, and you probably couldnt do that with wet leaves.

I got lazy last fall and blew a bunch of leaves under some coniferous trees along my yardline, I spent yesterday afternoon raking all those wet leaves out and onto the tarp. They looked like E36 M3 piled up under the trees and it probably wasnt good for the trees either.

RossD
RossD UltraDork
3/26/12 7:44 a.m.

I just mulch with my lawnmower. No raking, no blowing, just normal mowing whenever the leaves or the grass gets too tall. (5 good sized maple trees on a 1/2 acre lot)

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
3/26/12 8:25 a.m.

I am officially buying a Stihl string trimmer then. I have only owned Craftsman and WeedWhacker brands and they both sucked eggs.

Ian F
Ian F UltraDork
3/26/12 3:48 p.m.

I have a RedMax back-pack blower I bought at the local landscaper supply store. I see a lot of guys around with the same model. It works really well, except it still takes a really long time... Since I'm usually just blowing leaves to the curb for community pick-up, I think my next leaf blower will be the push-type you walk back and forth in a slight zig-zag pattern. Either that or a lawn sweeper for the riding mower to pick up the leaves and then dump the remains at the curb.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/26/12 5:18 p.m.
fritzsch wrote: Call me oldfashioned or maybe my parents didnt want to deal with leafblowers/ snowblowers etc. Rakes and shovels work fine for me, nothing wrong with a bit of work.

We did about 14 bags of leaves last weekend--all with a rake, a shovel and two backs.

We have a leaf blower/vac, but to be honest it blows/sucks. Maybe it's time to look at the newer models.

darkbuddha
darkbuddha Reader
3/26/12 9:35 p.m.

Damn, and I was hoping this thread was in the wrong section and that it was about this:

http://www.hotrod.com/techarticles/engine/hrdp_1105_leaf_blower_supercharger/

Chebbie_SB
Chebbie_SB Dork
3/26/12 10:01 p.m.

The Echo backpack blowers are great to move/pile leaves!

The electric ones are ok for sweeping a driveway...

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair PowerDork
3/27/12 12:06 p.m.
Derick Freese wrote: A good blower is like a honey badger. Pushing bricks around isn't exaggerating.

on my way to work one day, a landscape truck cut me off in an obnoxious fashion. :-(

at the next left-hand curve in the road, a backpack blower rolled across the flat bed and off into the grass on the outside of the turn. :-)

used it for a couple years, then traded it for car parts.

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