Getting the most from your blower vac

Choose a model with fea­tures that suit your needs, and fol­low our tips to en­sure you stay safe while us­ing the kit

Gardeners' World - - Blower Vacs On Test -


Com­bined assem­bly model For an easy ad­just­ment be­tween blow and vac modes, which is ideal if you find us­ing tools fid­dly Shred­ding ra­tio Choose a higher num­ber (e.g. 16:1) for finer shreds. A ra­tio of 10:1 re­duces leaves to 1/10th of their vol­ume. A high ra­tio is best for small gar­dens Shoul­der strap Look for a wide, ad­justable strap to ease the strain on your back Vari­able blow­ing speeds Makes it eas­ier to adapt to con­di­tions, giv­ing more power if leaves are damp or less if used over gravel. Where ma­chines do not have this fa­cil­ity you can move closer to or fur­ther from the leaves Switch op­er­ated start A fea­ture of elec­tric mod­els, giv­ing a re­li­able start, while petrol ma­chines have a more com­pli­cated start-up pro­ce­dure to fol­low Petrol en­gine type Do­mes­tic gar­den blower-vacs usu­ally have 2-stroke engines. Th­ese tend to be more com­pact and lighter than 4-stroke engines so the ma­chine is eas­ier to carry and ma­noeu­vre


Wear safety gog­gles and ear de­fend­ers. Work a few me­tres away from any­one else in the gar­den to pro­tect them from fly­ing de­bris Check all at­tach­ments are clipped se­curely in place be­fore turn­ing on, as some mod­els won’t start if any are loose Close all zips and clips be­fore be­gin­ning to vac­uum up leaves and de­bris Dis­con­nect the power or stop the en­gine when chang­ing at­tach­ments to vac mode Blow leaves or de­bris into a sin­gle pile first, be­fore us­ing the vac­uum, for an ef­fi­cient tidy-up. Use vari­able speed, blower aper­ture size and dis­tance to con­trol the leaves Use the shred­ded ma­te­rial straight away as a mulch, or add to your com­post heap to rot down. Don’t dig shred­ded leaves into beds as they need to rot be­fore mix­ing into soil Turn off the ma­chine or un­plug it be­fore brush­ing off any de­bris on the cas­ing and dis­con­nect­ing at­tach­ments ahead of stor­age Reg­u­lar main­te­nance through the year will help pro­long the en­gine life of petrol mod­els

Blow leaves into piles to make re­mov­ing them from lawns easy

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