Leaf Blower Tips and Tricks
A leaf blower works only as well as the person controlling it. Without knowing how to correctly and effectively use a leaf blower, you’re going to have a much harder and longer fall season.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you breeze through autumn.
Work With the Wind
The wind is natures own personal leaf blower. Unfortunately, the wind likes to blow leaves on your own property, rather than rounding them up for an easy clean up.
When you begin leaf blowing, always take the wind into consideration.
If the wind is blowing in one direction, it is best to blow with that same direction. If you go against the wind, you’re just going to end up wasting money, energy, and time.
If the wind is really bad and totally ruining your leaf blowing process, maybe wait until the next day or a few hours for it to die down.
Blow When the Leave are Dry
Have you ever tried blowing leaves in the rain?
It’s damn near impossible! Wet leaves are heavy and sticky and you’ll have a miserable time cleaning your property.
Avoid leaf blowing in inclement weather or when the ground/leaves are wet. Pick a day or time when leaves are dry.
Imagine blowing leaves like herding sheep. If you try and herd sheep from all different directions, it’s going to be a nightmare.
The same goes for leaves. Try starting from one end of your property and blowing the leaves to the other side in one specific area.
Starting from one side will ensure that you get all the leaves and don’t waste time.
Grab an Extra Hand
If possible, get a friend or family member to help you!
Leaf blowing doesn’t have to be a miserable job!
Having someone to work with makes the job more fun and you’ll finish quicker.
Just make sure you work as a team and use the technique rule mentioned above.
Leaf blowing is loud and annoying to your neighbors.
Think of it like throwing a party with loud music. You wouldn’t want to wake up to the sound of leaf blowers at 6am, and neither do your neighbors.
Most neighborhoods have quiet hours from 7am-10pm on weekdays and 9am-10pm on weekends.
Be mindful of these quiet hours and always consider your neighbors before leaf blowing.
Extra tip: Some leaf blower are way louder than others. Consider this when purchasing a blower.
Don’t Forget a Rake
Rakes are perfect for sweeping up small piles of leaves and areas where a leaf blower may be too strong to use.
In these instances, a rake can come in handy. Rakes can also help you load leaves onto tarps and trailers.
Start off by using a blower and finish with a rake. The combination of both tools will have your property spotless in no time!
Use Leaves as Compost
After raking and compiling your leaves, don’t hesitate to use them as compost. If you have a garden, shrubs, or plants, using leaves as a compost can help them grow.
Leaves are carbon rich and help re-mineralize the soil, helping your garden and plants grow.
Extra Tip: Shredded leaves will decompose faster, and you’ll receive quicker results.
How to Pick the Right Size Leaf Blower
Leaf blowers come in many different shapes and sizes.
Depending on your line of work will decide what leaf blower is best for you.
The two main types of leaf blowers are heavy-duty gas powered backpack blowers and handheld blowers.
There are also electric and battery powered blowers which are not as powerful, but are becoming more and more popular.
Backpack Blowers: Pack a more serious punch. They have larger fuel tanks and a higher velocity stream of air, able to push large piles of leaves. They’re perfect for landscaping teams and professionals. They also allow more control with a sensitive throttle.
Handheld Gas Blowers: Powerful, but will usually have less horsepower and are better for the average homeowner who just needs to clean up their yard.
Electric Leaf Blowers: Better for the environment, these blowers need to be plugged into an electrical socket. Unfortunately, this is also a negative, and you could be restricted by the electrical cords length, as well as getting entangled/tied up.
Battery Powered Leaf Blowers: Brands like ECHO are pushing the way for these battery styled blowers. They are super quiet and have no mess (no oil.) These usually have a maximum 30 minutes to 1 hour run time, so they might not be your best choice if you have a large yard or blow leaves all day.
Leaf Blower Safety Tips
As harmless as a leaf blower may sound, they still shoot a powerful stream of air that can send dirt, rocks, and debris flying everywhere. If you’re not careful, you can end hurting yourself or unsuspecting civilians.
Inspect the Leaf Blower
Is your leaf blower damaged or leaking?
Get it fixed before you even consider getting to work.
Watch for Dirt, Dust, and Debris
Always look where you’re pointing and operating a leaf blower.
Leaf blowers are powerful and will shoot small rocks and sticks in the direction your pointing.
The last thing you want is your own kid or neighbor to get pelted in the face or eye because you were being careless with a leaf blower.
Avoid blowing or using full power on dirt areas.
Wear Safety Equipment
Safety goggles are at the top of the list.
Protect your own eyes from projectiles by wearing a simple pair of safety glasses.
It’s also a good idea to wear ear muffs, especially if you own a high powered gas blower. Ear protection is essential for those noisy blowers. Too much exposure can temporarily affect your hearing.
The other major safety clothing and equipment you should wear are:
This doesn’t go for just leaf blowers, but any equipment that’s powered by gas.
Always carry your gas in a gas container, never a bucket. Use the nozzle to dispense the gas properly in the leaf blower.
Try and avoid spilling any gas.
Spilled gas isn’t just a hazard, its bad for the environment, and can land you in hot water with the law.
Never dump unwanted or unused gas in the woods or on someones property. It has to be properly disposed of. Check your local and state laws to find out where and how to get rid of gasoline.
Use the Proper Oil to Gas Mixture
If you have a gas blower, always read the manufacturers brochure.
You must mix the right oil to gas ratio in the tank, especially for 2 stroke blowers.
If you don’t, you’ll end up destroying the motor and ruining your leaf blower.
Don’t just eyeball the oil and gas mixture either. A lot of 2-cycle fuel will come pre-mixed with both gas and oil.
Many oil brands will also come the proper ratio-per-gallon so you don’t have to measure or calculate anything.