Walk Behind Leaf Blower Buyer's Guide
How To Pick The Perfect Walk Behind Blower
When you've got a large grassy property or a huge, hard surface like a parking lot to clean, you might need some assistance.
You could hire a lawn care team or expand your landscaping crew, but even if you do that, you still might need to bring out the big guns from your collection of lawn care tools.
The pinnacle of performance and power for leaf removal is a walk behind leaf blower.
Whether you're a homeowner or a pro, you can find a walk behind blower to suit your needs. In fact, you'll find four grades of wheeled leaf blowers available:
- Entry-level walk behind leaf blowers
- Mid-grade walk behind leaf blowers
- Semi-pro walk behind leaf blowers
- Commercial walk behind leaf blowers
Read on to learn how they differ and to see what other features you should look for in a walk behind blower!
Entry-Level Walk Behind Leaf Blowers
If you're looking to try a walk-behind leaf blower for non-commercial use, entry-level walk behind blowers will offer you the added power of a walk-behind leaf blower at a lower cost than the commercial-grade models.
The engines in entry-level models will not be as powerful as those in commercial-grade models, but will still have significantly more power than a handheld blower.
Mid-Grade Walk Behind Leaf Blowers
If the entry-level walk-behind blowers don't quite have the power you're looking for, you may wish to try a mid-grade walk-behind leaf blower.
A mid-grade will give you more power than the entry level along with some additional bells and whistles such as more durable housing and larger wheels.
Semi-Pro Walk Behind Leaf Blowers
Semi-pro walk-behind leaf blowers are the most powerful blowers you should ever need for non-commercial use.
These are for the person with lots of trees. If your lot finds itself covered in a thick wet blanket of leaves that require serious effort to move, this will do the trick!
Semi-pro grade means you have the power and features to move leaves with force and accuracy. This is the level at which you'll start to see features like remote chute deflector control for changing the direction of the blower without interruption.
Commercial Walk Behind Leaf Blowers
Running a landscaping business? Commercial-grade walk-behind leaf blowers are for continuous, heavy use on large properties.
Like the semi-pro models, commercial walk-behind blowers can also move heavy blankets of leaves with ease, and they sport features like remote chute deflector control for uninterrupted operation.
However, commercial grade models are designed to stand up to the most wear and tear. While a semi-pro model can handle eight hours of continuous use a couple of days a week, the commercial grade models are designed to be used eight hours per day, seven days a week.
Once you've determined which grade of walk behind blower will work best on your property, it's time to narrow down your choice of model by considering other important features:
- Directional blower
- Specialized wheels
- Housing material
- Propulsion system
In the past, walk behind leaf blowers could only blow debris in one direction, which was fine for sidewalks. However, if you wanted to blow debris along a wall or building, it wouldn't do you much good.
Look for a walk behind leaf blower with directional controls that allow you to aim where you want to blow the leaves and debris. Some models have hand-control features mounted right to the handle so that, similar to using a snow blower, you can change your blowing direction without breaking stride.
Like a push mower, all walk-behind blowers are on wheels, but that doesn't mean they're all the same. Look for a model with large rear wheels, which will maneuver across rough terrain with ease.
Another feature to look for is a front swivel wheel, which makes steering the blower much easier. Traditional vacuums only have straight-set wheels. Turning them can be a pain. However, with a swivel wheel in front, turning is a cinch.
The housing encasing your leaf blower's moving parts can contribute to smooth, uninterrupted air flow. Walk behind blowers have housings and casings made of two materials:
- Composite polymer plastic
Composite housings can make a leaf blower lighter and more affordable, but metal might prove more durable and better able to resist damage.
Just as you'll find two different kinds of housings on walk behind leaf blowers, you'll also find two different styles and ways of propelling your blower:
Push leaf blowers depend entirely on your strength and effort to push them forward. They may cost you some energy, but they'll also save you some money. If you think that you might prefer a leaf blower that takes less strength to push, look for a self-propelled leaf blower instead.