Cordless leaf blowers are more popular than ever. When you consider all the benefits that modern-day battery leaf blowers offer, it's easy to see why.
For the budget-minded (and eco-minded) consumer, cordless blowers are a great tool for cleaning up leaves and debris for several reasons:
Yet thanks to recent innovations, today's cordless leaf blowers can be almost as powerful as gas leaf blowers. So what should you look for when buying one?
Low-Maintenance Li-Ion Battery
Because they don't run on gas, battery-operated leaf blowers are easy to maintain. There's no fuel to refill, no oil level to check, and no spark plug to replace.
Instead, today's cordless blowers run on powerful lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries with voltages anywhere between 18V and 120V, depending on the blower model. Li-ion batteries offer several advantages over the Ni-Cad batteries of old:
Up to 50% lighter
Provide consistent power even as the battery's charge wears down
Can be recharged more times throughout the battery's life
However, keep in mind that cordless leaf blowers will drain a battery more quickly than any other handheld garden power tool. This is the reason that cordless blowers don't double as handheld leaf vacuums: current batteries can't provide the power needed to vacuum debris.
When shopping for a battery-powered blower, look for the following information:
The estimated run time of the battery at full power
The amount of time the battery needs to recharge
To save yourself time instead of having to wait until your battery is fully charged before you use your blower, consider buying a backup battery so you can work without waiting.
The motor is the part of a cordless leaf blower that takes the power that the battery provides and uses it to drive the work that the blower does.
Traditional motors transmit the battery's charge through carbon brushes. This can be inefficient, as some of the charge gets lost due to friction.
To overcome this inefficiency, modern brushless motors instead use magnets to help transmit a charge without bringing parts into contact. The result for cordless leaf blower users is consistent power output that can be on par with the power output of gas leaf blowers.
For a blower that provides steady performance, look for a cordless leaf blower with a brushless motor.
Fuel emissions aren't the only kind of pollution that leads some homeowners to consider cordless leaf blowers. Noise pollution is a negative quality that some people associate with leaf blowers, particularly gas-powered models.
Battery-powered leaf blowers are designed to reduce all kinds of pollution, even loud noises. The quietest models can operate at noise levels around 57-60 decibels, which makes them quieter than many vacuum cleaners.
Before you buy, see if your cordless leaf blower has a noise rating so you can determine how thankful your neighbors are going to be.
Lightweight and Easy to Carry
Because of their batteries, cordless leaf blowers will weigh slightly more than corded electric leaf blowers. However, without fuel tanks and heavy-duty gas engines, they're likely to be lighter than many gas-powered blowers.
Many cordless leaf blowers weigh around 5-10 pounds. When shopping for a cordless leaf blower, be sure to check the weight of the machine both with and without the battery in place.
Even if a blower weighs 10 pounds with a battery, it still will provide you with the untethered freedom to roam your property and keep it clean and debris-free all year around.