When first considering what to use a leaf blower for, the conventional application is typically the first which comes to mind. They boast a broad range of utility value, being indispensable each fall, while being just as functional at clearing away snow, cleaning vents, and even stranger uses such as threading wire through a conduit pipe at high speed.
A compact leaf blower often proves handy indoors as well, effortlessly cleaning out grime and dust from computers and other electronics. Why use a one? In this article, we’ll show you all the uses, pros, and innovative applications of this versatile garden tool.
The Most Effective Way to Tidy Leaves and Garden Trimmings
Regardless of whether you have a large or small garden, this handy tool is without a doubt one of the best for tidying up. Compact ones are perfect for small spaces, while a landscaper or those with large gardens will love the bigger models, perhaps preferring those with harnesses or mobility features.
Many argue whether using one is necessary for neatening up a garden area. Once you see just how quick and easy it is to displace leaves and garden waste from difficult areas to a single pile for collection you’ll soon wonder how you ever did without one. Maintaining a mulch pile has also never been easier.
Simply blow all of your trimmings and fallen leaves to your mulching area and witness just how much time you truly save when using one. It is much quicker than any manual means of getting all your garden debris in one place.
A Cardiologist’s Top Choice
The manual labor which accompanies garden work can quickly become extremely taxing on an aging heart. While larger models can carry a decent amount of weight, handheld cordless leaf blowers are perfect for cleaning both inside and out, while giving the user a light cardio-workout which is not straining at the same time.
For example, the light exercise which using one equates to a decent amount of calories burned – roughly 100 for each thirty minutes of use – while raking, which is far more strenuous on your heart, burns just 150 calories in thirty minutes. The rhythmic motion and light strain is perfect for strengthening the heart.
Allergy Sufferer? Say Goodbye to Pollen
If you suffer from allergies, one of the best uses is clearing away pollen(1). When the pollen count rises, it wreaks havoc on the sinuses, leading many sufferers to shut their doors and windows during a time which many feel is the freshest of the year.
Why suffer a stuffy house when you can use of a small handheld blower to gust away pollen from your home? Your porch is the most typically place where the most pollen accumulates. They excel at blowing smooth surfaces clean. They can also help to blow clean the areas surrounding entrance ways and windows, keeping your home free from pollen.
Blow Away Snow in a Jiffy
A high powered leaf blower is far more convenient than a snow blower and works almost equally well. Forget the strain of a snow shovel and save yourself the effort of a hefty snow blower if you have light snow up to an inch thick. The top rated powered models are capable of moving dry powdery snow piled up to an inch extremely effectively. However, keep in mind that if the snow is wet or if it is about to melt then most models will be ineffective.
If you do use one for clearing snow, be sure to only use it for short durations of time as cold temperatures make the motor work far harder than normal. A gas powered leaf blower is far better for moving snow than an electric blower. You don’t want to run the risk of shocking yourself after all.
Blast Out Your Gutters
Gutter cleaning is typically a time-consuming exercise which leaves you covered in grime. Not when you use a gas or high speed electric leaf blower! Without an attachment you’ll still need to balance atop a ladder but you’ll have your gutters blasted clean in record time with little-to-no mess if you’re careful.
Many models have highly functional gutter cleaning attachments available which let you reach your gutters without a ladder. Some manufacturers even make universal gutter cleaning kits, while you can easily make one at home using nothing more than some PVC piping, joints, reducers and clamps.
There are tons of guides on YouTube and an attachment typically costs under $10 to make. Even without the effort of making one or a store-bought gutter cleaner attached, you’ll never want to clean your gutter in any other way once you’ve tried using a leaf blower.
Cleaning Your Car Has Never Been Easier
If there is one place which has countless difficult to reach areas, nooks and crevices which fill with dust and debris at an alarming rate, it is the inside of a car. The power of a gas or corded blower makes it the perfect tool to clean every last area of the inside of your vehicle with a minimal amount of effort.
From the grills, console, dashboard, window rubbers, steering wheel and gear stick, to your pedals, handles, trunk interior and speakers, the whole of your car can be blown clean in no time. Your only precaution is to make sure that there are no loose items which could be blown away with the powerful air volume.
Perfect for Patios, Cement Driveways and Other Hard Surfaces
Earlier we touched on just how well one works at blowing flat surfaces clean. We can’t stress enough how quickly and effectively you are capable of cleaning your patio, driveway, pool areas, and any indoor-outdoor space. It allows you to move all of the dust, dirt and debris towards one area to clean up in a single sweep.
From brick-paved driveways to linoleum flooring, cemented areas, tiles, wooden floors and anything flat, a leaf blower makes cleaning effortless. Just make sure that any light items are securely packed away.
Less Common Uses – Try Threading Cabling
A favored use by those who lay long lengths of cabling is the threading of wire through PVC conduit or trunking. This is common to electrical installations, network cables over long lengths, and other forms of wired-connectivity such as telephone lines.
Simply attach a piece of foam, a cork, or something else which is extremely lightweight but large enough to be caught by a gust of air to your cable which needs to be threaded. Put it in the pipe or trunking and insert the end tube, switch it on for a moment, and fetch your threaded wire at the other end. A lightweight, cordless leaf blower is invaluable to any contractor who lays a lot of cabling. It’ll get the job done far faster than any other way.
Clean Dryer Vents Easily
Another one of this tool’s most functional uses is the cleaning out of dryer vents. Without using one you’d need to remove the entire ventilation pipe system which is a complicated, tricky job. Unplug your dryer or switch its gas off and move it away from the dryer exhaust. Loosen the clamp which secures the vent pipe at the back of the dryer.
Remove as much lint as you can from both ends of the pipe as possible by hand before blowing the pipe clean. The nozzle will either fit on the inside or outside of the pipe depending on its size. Secure the connection to the vent pipe with duct tape and switch the power on.
After letting it run for roughly two minutes check to see if there is any lint compacted at the end of the pipe. If so, run it again. When the vent pipe is clear, reattach the clamp and slide the pipe back over the dryer exhaust.
The value of one can’t be denied but there are certain things which it is not suited to blowing around. There are numerous safety precautions to be aware of. Children should never be allowed to operate one and they should never be used to move large amounts of gravel, pebbles, grit, or other fine stones.
A child can very easily cause themselves or another a great deal of harm by playfully blowing around harmful materials. Shards of grit, plaster, or even stone-filled dirt can take out an eye if ill-directed. Never use one to clean construction dirt, cement or concrete dust, and stay away from displacing topsoil.
It is best to avoid loose-fitting clothing and don’t wear flared or cuffed pants, jewelry or anything else that could be sucked into the blowers intake. Some models can create a high noise level, always use hearing protection, opting either for ear plugs or ear muffs. A dust mask or respirator must always be worn, and ensure that you’re wearing googles which meet secure protection standards.
Non-slip work gloves are highly recommended and it is best to never operate one while standing on an unstable surface. Always secure your point of operation when using one in high places such as atop a ladder, tree or rooftop.
While it goes without saying, never use one when intoxicated in any way. The City & Guilds organization lists a comprehensive qualification guide for the safe operation of leaf blowers and vacuums for those who would like further specifics.
Which Leaf Blower is Best for Me?
Light-duty electric leaf blowers are the best option for those who will be using them in small suburban spaces. If you don’t have a large garden and want to use it for light cleaning and the occasional clearing of your patio, a rechargeable cordless electric leaf blower is perfect for you. For longer run time you might want to get one with at least a 20v max rechargeable battery.
Some people prefer electric models for their energy efficiency and cleaner operation, however if you have a large landscape to clear (anything bigger than a large lawn), or can’t do with the restriction of a cord, then a gas backpack blower will be your best buy.
Never use electric leaf blower models in the snow; the chances that you will be electrocuted are simply too high. Gas blowers are for use in cold conditions. Handheld gas leaf blowers are typically the best pick for most frequent users, and gas backpack leaf blowers are optimal for large areas, or those who operate a landscaping or garden service business where a blower will be in use all-day, every day.
You might also like: Saving Money with the Best Leaf Blower Reviews