Clearing leaves can be time-consuming. While a rake may be enough to do the job in smaller spaces, a leaf blower can save you time in larger gardens, especially those with big lawns with lots of deciduous trees, or where leaves have collected in awkward corners. They can also be used to help tidy up hedge prunings, twigs and general debris.
Petrol blowers can be noisy and smelly, but electric blowers are often just as effective. The next decision is whether to go corded or uncorded. Corded blowers are usually less expensive and will provide hours of blowing. So, if you have easy access to an electric point and a small garden, this might work for you.
However, cordless blowers mean you don’t have to worry about the cord and they’re usually lighter and easier to use. Consider the battery life you’ll need – new lithium batteries are particularly efficient. If you’ve already invested in a battery system and charger for various other tools such as hedge trimmers, you could consider just buying the body of the blower. Stihl is a good brand to consider with a choice of blowers from back pack models for bigger jobs to lighter hand-hand models. Stihl BGA 57 cordless blower has a 22-minute AK 20 Battery and takes around 40 minutes to charge. The battery life of blowers can vary depending on the speed setting you use, but if you need longer, it’s worth investing in several batteries.
Other features to look out for include a choice of nozzles, with narrower nozzles delivering a more focussed blast of air for wet stickier leaves. A range of different speeds is also useful so you can increase or decrease the power depending on the job. Some blowers also have vacuuming features now too so that you can collect the leaves into a bag as you go round the garden. The downside of this is that this is often not as powerful as the blowing function and can take forever to do the same clearing job. You’ll also have to carry the leaves around with you too.