How to choose and buy a leaf blower

Gardeners' World - - Budget Blowers On Test -

CON­SIDER YOUR GAR­DEN SIZE AND TYPE

A larger gar­den needs more power so look at the mo­tor power out­put on corded mod­els in Watts or bat­tery size/ca­pac­ity on cord­less ones in Volts. A high top speed (260km per hour up­wards) is prefer­able if you typ­i­cally have a lot of leaves to shift. Ad­justable speed set­tings help if you’ll be us­ing the ma­chine on dif­fer­ent sur­faces (gravel, plants and paving, for ex­am­ple). To get into awk­ward cor­ners or be­tween pots opt for a curved blower tube. LOOK AT THE NOISE RAT­ING It is mea­sured in deci­bels (dB) PRIORITISE SAFETY AND COM­FORT Weight (typ­i­cally 1.5-6kg) is im­por­tant if you’ll be blow­ing for long pe­ri­ods. Han­dle the blower first – does it have sup­port wheels or a shoul­der strap?

CON­SIDER VAC­U­UMS

If you want a com­bined blower/vac, you’ll need to choose be­tween hav­ing two per­ma­nently fixed tubes (most types) in­ter­change­able tubes, us­ing one at a time (Bosch), and the op­tion to at­tach or re­move just the vac­uum tube as needed (Ry­obi). The lat­ter two work bet­ter in­di­vid­u­ally, but in­volve some work to change (es­pe­cially the Bosch), while per­ma­nently fixed tubes are eas­ier to change with a sim­ple lever. How­ever, the ma­chine it­self will be bulkier and so less easy to use just as a blower.

MAXIMISE BEN­E­FITS

For cord­less, con­sider whether you’ll want to buy other tools that use the same type of bat­tery to save money later.

CHECK THE WAR­RANTY PE­RIOD

Typ­i­cally two to three years. The Blaupunkt and Bosch war­ranties need to be reg­is­tered.

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