It’s amazing how just a few trees can cover the ground with a vast number of leaves. Raking them up will take the better part of the afternoon. If you live on a heavily wooded lot, you can kiss your weekend goodbye.
Compared to rakes, handheld and backpack blowers are time-savers, but their power doesn’t match that of the average walk-behind leaf blower. Walk-behind leaf blowers can tackle heavy-duty jobs, move wet leaf clumps and clear lawn edges.
However, not all walk-behind leaf blowers are on the same level in terms of power and usability. If you’ve never owned this type of leaf blower, or you’re unsatisfied with the model you have, here’s what to look for when choosing one.
Our Top Pick
Landworks Walk Behind Leaf Blower
The Landworks Walk Behind Leaf Blower is efficient and durable. Right inside of this leaf blower, there is a 7HP 212CC 4-Stroke engine.
By making use of this engine, you have access to a max Wind Force Speed of anywhere from 150-to-200 MPH. Removing leaves is very easy, when you are using a leaf blower as powerful as this one.
- PROFESSIONAL SPECIFICATIONS - This Super Duty Leaf & Debris Wheeled Walk Behind Blower has...
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Walk Behind Leaf Blower Buying Guide
Walk-behind leaf blowers provide maximum blowing power
If you need maximum blowing power, a wheeled walk-behind leaf blower may be perfect for you. A walk-behind leaf blower t is ideal not only for leaf blowing, but also for the following:
- Use a walk-behind leaf blower for moving stubborn debris
- Use a walk-behind leaf blower for removing standing water
- Use a walk-behind leaf blower for preparing asphalt for resurfacing
- Use a walk-behind leaf blower for preparing flat roofs for resurfacing
- Use a walk-behind leaf blower for any other job that requires gale-force winds
Walk-behind leaf blowers: Cost and features
A good walk-behind blower can cost $500-$1,000, depending on its features and horsepower rating. For instance, a walk-behind leaf blower with a side discharge system, which allows the operator to change air direction without tools and eliminates “blow-back,” will cost more than a walk-behind leaf blower without this system.
Extras on walk-behind leaf blowers, like pneumatic tires or a split discharge opening, can make work much easier.
Most wheeled walk-behind leaf blowers are equipped with a powerful 4-cycle engine. The torque range on these walk-behind leaf blowers is much wider than a standard 2-cycle engine, but it’s much heavier, too.
A front swivel wheel can make handling a large wheeled walk-behind blower a lot easier. Another convenient feature to look for on a walk-behind leaf blower is a hose and bag attachment, which quickly lets you convert the walk-behind blower to a vacuum and makes bagging debris simpler.
OHV, cc, 2-cycle. What do all these specs mean? Cubic centimeters (cc) is a measurement of the engine’s size, and horsepower (HP) is used to measure the blower’s power output. The higher these number, the more powerful the engine yet the more fuel consumed.
An overhead valve (OHV) engine offers the benefits of a longer lifespan, less fuel consumption and reduced emissions. Some OHV walk-behind leaf blowers are even CARB compliant. When it comes to 2-cycle and 4-cycle, a 2-cycle engine is lighter and more powerful. However, a 4-cycle engine is quieter and uses pure gas instead of pre-mixed.
Related Post: Best Gas-Powered Leaf Blower/Vacuums
Volume of Air
Manufacturers use cubic feet per minute (CFM) to measure the volume of air that a walk-behind leaf blower draws and releases in 60 seconds. The CFM is an excellent indicator of a leaf blower’s performance. A high CFM equals a strong airflow that can push a lot of leaves at one time. The higher the number, the faster the job gets done.
Miles per hour (MPH) is another performance measure that tells you the speed at which the air can move out of the nozzle. Manufacturers always list the CFM and MPH. While the MPH isn’t as important as the CFM, you’ll need a walk-behind leaf blower that produces a high air volume and high airspeed. Some blowers offer variable-speed control via knobs or a lever.
On a walk-behind leaf blower, the average tank capacity ranges from 0.75 to 1 gallon. The larger the tank, the fewer stops for refills you’ll need to make, which is important for those who own a lawn care business or have an expansive yard. Some tanks have a fuel gauge, so you don’t stop and unscrew the cap to find out how much gasoline is left.
A manual recoil starter is the most common start-up mechanism for a walk-behind leaf blower. Some cords require more force to yank or repeated pulls to start the engine. Other blowers are optimized to reduce the effort or force needed, such as those with a camshaft-operated automatic decompression system.
Walk-behind blowers have nozzles that are either stationary or adjustable. An adjustable nozzle lets you change the direction of the airflow. Ideally, you want to get one with hand controls instead of an attachment, so you don’t have to stop and stoop. Some are also split-discharge models. These blowers allow you to push the bottom and top of a leaf pile at once.
Comfort is the main concern here. Rubberized and foam-padded handles reduce vibrations and subsequent hand fatigue, and angled handles are easier on the wrist. Some walk-behind leaf blowers have an adjustable handle. There are even a few models that let you fold the handle to save storage space.
Pneumatic wheels work well on soft terrain while semi-pneumatic wheels are comparatively resistant to flats. Larger rear wheels provide the most stability. The front wheel may either be straight or swivel-style. A straight wheel moves better uphill, but a swivel wheel makes turns easier. Some swivel wheels are equipped with a locking mechanism to give you the benefits of both styles.
There’s no getting around it. Walk-behind leaf blowers are heavy, and they can weigh anywhere from 80 to 120 pounds. The lighter the weight, the less powerful the blower, which is fine for small yards. For large yards, don’t sacrifice power for weight. If you’re worried you can’t push that much weight, get a self-propelled model.
Engine size is one component that determines the walk behind blower’s weight. Another factor is the housing. Materials like composite plastic are much lighter than metals such as steel. However, a metal housing is more durable.
Steel fans are more likely to resist damage, but they’re louder than composite ones unless they’re balanced to reduce vibrations. The more blades and the longer the length of those blades, the higher the airspeed. Blades can measure from about 14 to 17 inches, and fans can have anywhere from 5 to 16 blades.
Sound and Vibrations
Walk-behind leaf blowers aren’t quiet, producing about 70 to 100 decibels, depending on the model. The more vibration-reducing materials and components, the quieter it will be. Some manufacturers slap on a muffler to reduce the sound output. Regardless, you’ll need to wear ear defenders when using a blower.
Related Leaf Blower Articles
• Best Leaf Blowers
• Best Cordless Leaf Blowers
• Best Corded Leaf Blowers
• Best Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers
• Cordless vs Corded vs. Gas Leaf Blowers
The average warranty period for residential use of walk behind blowers ranges from 1 to 2 years. However, commercial use may be covered for a shorter length of time. If the engine is made by a different company, which is often the case, the engine will most likely come with its warranty.
Vacuum and Shred Functions
Blowers that vacuum and shred are the straight walk-behind leaf blower’s versatile cousin. These multi-mode blowers are great for yards with a lot of pine trees or those who want to start a compost pile. They are equipped with four wheels instead of three and have slicing impellers and a collection bag.
If you go the combo walk-behind blower route, make sure the controls make it easy to switch functions. The bag should be durable and ideally, you should be able to empty the collection bag without detaching it from the blower.
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Last Update: 2024-02-20 | Affiliate links/Images from Amazon Product Advertising API