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As the summer draws to a close, our attention turns to cutting back and tidying our gardens. Why not cut the time in half by using one of a number of powerful leaf blowers or garden vacs?
Professional gardeners often start at the beginning of September by cutting back herbaceous perennials and removing debris from borders. Before we know it, September is over and the leaves are starting to turn and drop. The autumn leaves can make October such a pretty month from the bright yellow of gingko buloba to the vivid orange of a liquid amber. However, there comes a point when you may just have to go out and clear them before they turn wet and mushy or just simply to give the lawns a chance. Plants are easier to cut back at this time as the frost hasn’t turned them to mush.
Medium size to large gardens require powerful equipment so we use Stihl Back Pack
Blowers and, of course, we are never without our plastic fan rakes which are invaluable for finishing off and picking up the piles of collected leaves.
There are many different garden vacs and leaf blowers on the market but which one should you choose?
Cordless Leaf Blowers
With great advances in battery technology, garden power tools are becoming a definite contender when selecting machinery to help you in the garden. Back in the day, the old Nicad batteries would lose their charge over weeks of no use. When you came to use a tool the battery would be flat and would need to be charged for the next five hours.
The new Lithium Ion batteries which we are now starting to see in cordless appliances for the home and garden hold their charge for 3 months or more without use and bundled with smart chargers they are actually designed to be left on charge permanently so the appliance is always fully charged and ready to go.
Cordless Garden machinery is now coming onto the market with basic machines at 18 volts right up to 56 volt machines. This means lots of power, nearly equal to that of a handheld petrol blower often used by tree surgeons. These cordless leaf blowers are extremely light too weighing as little as 2.3kg.
Are Cordless Leaf Blowers Powerful?
The answer is most definitely! The run time can be between 18 and 30 minutes before they need to be returned to the charger. There is no mixing up and refilling of petrol, no smelly exhaust and no power cords to plug in and stretch across the garden, just simply push and go.
There are many different models on the market so we have compiled a table below to help you decide which one is the best value for you.
Some of the basic models go straight to full power as soon as you squeeze the trigger which is fine if you are using the 18v – 20v models. However, if you have a larger garden and require a bit more power (36v-56v) then a few of these models come with variable speed which gives you a lot more control. This helps when you’re corralling the leaves into a corner of the garden to make a nice neat pile ready to collect.
When researching the best price for cordless leaf blowers beware of unusually low prices. Manufacturers do not always supply cordless power tools with the batteries and/or chargers included in the price. This is not a cheeky move to get more money as they produce a range of tools which all take the same battery pack so the batteries are interchangeable between appliances.
Backpack Petrol Blowers
Of course, the perfect solution is a powerful petrol backpack leaf blowers. These machines can have wind speeds of up to 200 mph which can shift even the wettest of leaves and debris in no time. If you have a large garden or many trees these machines could be for you.
Handheld Petrol Blower/Vac
Handheld petrol leaf blowers/vacs are a great tool and can switch between blowing and sucking the leaves with the flick of a lever. These machines can have a maximum velocity of up to 150 mph and are often used by tree surgeons for blowing debris and sawdust into a pile ready for collection. These machines are reasonably light and often come with a collection bag. This is a useful addition but beware that it can add some serious weight to the machine as the bag fills up.