How to Select the Right Leaf Blower & Vacuum for You

Pile of leaves and paper bag with person using a leaf blower to vacuum leaves.

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How to Choose a Leaf Blower:

Gas, corded electric, or battery-powered leaf blower? Selecting the right blower for you really comes down to knowing which power source will best meet the needs of your yard size.

Choose a Gas Leaf Blower if…

If you have a yard measuring ½ acre or larger and not every area can be reached by an extension cord, a gas blower is likely the answer for you.

The Toro Gas Leaf Blower Vac allows you to be cord-free to go anywhere in your yard. Featuring a commercial-grade 2-cycle engine, comfortable trigger handle and metal mulching blade that shreds debris on contact.

Choose a Corded Electric Blower if…

If you are looking for the power of a gas unit and the clean-up area is located close enough to an outlet, a corded electric blower is the ideal solution for you.

Toro is the #1 rated electric blower brand. Toro’s highest performing electric blower vac clears leaves and debris from your lawn and gardens. The Toro UltraPlus blower vac is 3 machines in 1; a powerful blower, high speed vacuum and leaf shredder.

Choose a Battery-Powered Leaf Blower if…

If you are typically clearing sidewalks, decks and using the blower daily, you may want the convenience of a battery-powered unit, such as a lithium ion battery-powered blower.

Toro’s powerful 20V Max lithium ion cordless blower is perfect for smaller to medium yards where a cord just won’t reach. Its lithium ion battery provides a longer run time and up to twice the power per weight versus traditional nickel-cadmium batteries.

Benefits of All Three Leaf Blower Styles:

Whether you are purchasing a gas, corded electric or battery-powered blower, all three leaf blower styles can provide outstanding power and performance with a multitude of benefits.

All three leaf blowers cut down on noise, exhaust, emissions messes or smells, and maintenance. Other conveniences include easy starting, lightweight, and are able to be stored inside.

Which Leaf Blower Model is Right for My Yard Tasks?

After selecting which power source matches the needs of your yard size, the next step is determining which model is right for your tasks.

  • Blower-only models:
    • Perfect for clearing off sidewalks, decks, garage floors, and driveways
  • Blower/vac models:
    • Great for the same chores noted above, in addition to clearing leaves from your yard and vacuuming organic debris from landscaped areas
    • Vacuum option allows you to mulch leaves and debris into a finer mulch for compost. This reduces the amount of bags used for clean-up.

How Much Leaf Blower Power Do I Need?

When shopping for a new blower, many look at the “miles per hour” rating to assess the power of a blower. However, it is possible for a 230 MPH blower to have more power than a 240 MPH blower.

Why MPH alone is not a good measure of power:

Because a blower nozzle opening the size of a straw could blow air at 300 mph—it is good for clearing out cracks in the driveway, but not good for blowing leaves in your yard. Many of the tasks you expect to accomplish with your blower require both airspeed (MPH) and air volume (CFM or cubic feet per minute).

Why CFM alone is not a good measure of power:

Because a blower nozzle opening the size of basketball could put out 600 CFM of air—it is great for sweeping dust and sand off a driveway, but without sufficient pressure, it would have a difficult time moving anything else. You need both air speed and air volume.

The most powerful blower will be one that maximizes both airspeed (MPH) and air volume (CFM). Here’s more information on understanding leaf blower power.

Which Leaf Blower Features Do I Need?

Should you choose a 2-speed motor or a variable speed motor for your leaf blower? We break down the benefits of each.

Benefits of a 2-Speed Motor:

A 2-speed motor is fairly simple to use because you have two choices: low or high. The 2-speed motor allows you to choose and control the air stream with the right amount of blower or vacuum power for the task at hand.

  • Blower mode:
    • Low setting can be used for better control on hard surfaces or in tight corners
    • High setting can be used for clearing large areas and tougher lawn chores
  • Vacuum mode:
    • Low setting can be used for landscaped areas to avoid vacuuming up garden mulch or landscape rock
    • High setting can be used for mulch and larger amounts of leaves and debris.

Benefits of a Variable Speed Motor:

A variable speed motor allows you to alter the speed to multiple levels of airflow for the desired amount of control. This is a convenient feature for numerous yard clean-up projects.

Other Leaf Blower Features to Look For:

MPH:
The “miles per hour” rating of a blower is an indication, but not the sole factor, when judging power. Blower power is a function of both air speed and air volume. The higher MPH ratings for Toro blowers correspond with more power.

No Tools Conversion:
All Toro blower/vacs come with a quick-release latch to easily switch between blowing and vacuuming.

Mulch Ratio:
The mulch ratio is a measure of how well a blower/vac mulches and reduces the volume of the debris. A mulch ratio of 10-to-1 indicates the blower/vac will mulch 10 bags of dry leaves down to one bag after vacuuming. Volume reduction will be less on debris that is high in moisture or densely packed.

Metal Impeller:
A metal impeller will provide better mulching and durability for aggressive and/or frequent vacuuming.

Once you’ve made your choice, it’s time to put your machine to work!

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