How to Choose the Best Leaf Blower

How to Choose the Best Leaf BlowerThe type of leaf blower you should buy will depend on many factors, including its intended use, your personal strength, and the amount of area you’ll need to cover while using it. Manufacturers make several different types of leaf blowers for different uses, and some are made for residential projects, while others are generally aimed at commercial use.

What Type of Leaf Blower Do You Need?

The first thing you need to know before buying a leaf blower is what specific type will be best for the project(s) you have in mind. There are two basic types of machines that you can find at your local hardware store. The first is a regular blower that does nothing but push air out through the main tube; the second is a blower/vacuum combination.

If you will need to vacuum debris from your yard, driveway or commercial property, a leaf blower with a vacuum attachment might serve your purposes best. This eliminates the need to keep track of two machines, and leaf blower vacuums are often more powerful than those you would find by themselves.

After you’ve selected the type of leaf blower you need, you will have to select the style. First, you can purchase a handheld blower, which is the most popular style. It is relatively light-weight with a handle on the top, but it isn’t usually as powerful as the other two styles. If you have more complicated projects in mind, you might prefer the backpack-style leaf blower, which is generally gas-powered fits over your shoulder for ease of use.

The last type of leaf blower you should consider is the walk-behind style, which is usually intended for commercial use. This machine is pushed ahead of the user on wheels, and is also powered by gas. It is probably overkill for a simple residential lawn, but can make commercial projects far easier.

What Power Source Is Best?

After you’ve selected the type and style of leaf blower you want to buy, you’ll need to decide what power source works best for your outdoor projects. Leaf blowers can be powered by either electricity or gas, and there are benefits and drawbacks to each.

When buying a leaf blower, it’s important to consider the terrain over which you will be using it. For example, a corded electric leaf blower would be difficult to use in an area where there are no electrical outlets. A gas-powered machine requires constant checking for gasoline levels, however, which can be tedious. It all depends on your personal preferences.

Most people who buy leaf blowers for small residential properties prefer electric battery-powered machines. They can be re-charged overnight in the garage, and the run time is increasing steadily as manufacturers add larger batteries to their products. Battery-powered machines are generally less powerful than other types, but they are fine for small jobs that don’t take long to complete.

What Else Should You Consider?

Now that you’ve narrowed down your options, you can get into the picky aspects of buying a leaf blower. For example, blowers are measured in terms of power (mph), and usually range from around 100 mph to more than 200 mph. A small residential lot shouldn’t require anything stronger than 150 mph, so don’t get one with more force than you need.

It is also a good idea to consider buying a leaf blower with multiple speed settings, which allows you to manipulate the rate at which the machine blows its air. If you’re just pushing leaves from a concrete surface, such as a sidewalk, you don’t need your machine to blow at 175 mph. This will also have an impact on the noise generated by the leaf blower, which can be an issue in neighborhood where noise ordinances are in effect.

Now that you know a little bit about buying a leaf blower, you should be ready to venture out on your own. You can check your local hardware store, such as Lowe’s or Home Depot, or you can look for available machines online. In some cases, Internet Web sites have the best prices on gardening equipment, and some won’t charge you for shipping if your order costs more than $50.00.

Spring Lawn Mower Maintenance Tips

Spring Lawn Mower Maintenance TipsAfter sitting through the cold winter months, many things can go wrong with a lawn mower. When spring arrives many homeowners find that their lawn mower won’t start or runs poorly. Here are a few simple things that a homeowner can do to get that lawn mower running well for another summer season without having to take the mower to a repair shop.

Bad Gas

In my experience with my own lawn mowers and mowers used by landscaping companies that I have worked with over the years, bad gas is the most common reason that a lawn mower fails to start in spring. If the mower’s tank is not full, it is possible to top off the tank with new gas and get the mower to start. However, it is generally best to drain the old gas and refill the tank with new. To prevent this problem you should either run the mower completely out of gas or add a fuel stabilizer to the gas before storing it for winter.

Spark Plug

A mower’s spark plug becomes fouled from the combustion of the gasoline. In addition to combustion, small oil leaks and contaminants in the gas can further add to the fouling of a spark plug. Spring is a good time to pull the plug to examine it for problems. Use a rag to wipe away oil or other deposits on the plug. Use a wire brush or file to clean hard deposits off of the spark plug. You can also simply replace the spark plug, plugs are very inexpensive and can be purchased at hardware stores, home improvement centers and other retailers.

Clogged Filter

You should check your mower’s air filter in the spring after the mower has sat idle through the winter months. Refer to the owner’s manual for the mower to determine the proper procedure for cleaning the filter and the recommended replacement interval. The most common symptom of a clogged air filter is a mower that starts fine, begins to run poorly and then dies. Even if the filter is not clogged enough to prevent the mower from running, a restricted air filter will lower the efficiency of the mower’s engine. This reduced efficiency will reduce the engine’s power and increase the engine’s fuel use.

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