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When fall comes, the leaves soon follow. Typically, it would be time to whip out the trusty old rake and get on with the long, tedious work a few times every week. If that does not sound like fun to you, maybe it’s time to invest in a good leaf blower. This piece of equipment will change your life, taking away hours of tedious work while keeping your lawn clean and tidy.

Leaf blowers are amazing for their effectiveness, especially when compared to the typical rake. However, they are also as complicated as they are effective. This article will break down how a leaf blower works, in an attempt for you to better understand it.

How do Leaf Blowers Work?

All leaf blowers work on the same principle – centrifugal force. This force is directed to the center towards a spinning object. The inside of a leaf blower has spinning blades that create a fan. As it spins it takes in air through a vent that is directed to the back of the leaf blower and ushers it down to a funnel.

Since the funnel has a smaller volume, the air inside speeds up reaching speeds of up to 250 miles per hour. As the air is shot out of the funnel, it generates enough force to blow the leaves around your garden. This is basically how leaf blowers work.

How are Leaf Blowers Powered?

Regarding how leaf blowers are powered, they primarily fall into two camps, the gas-powered variant and the electric-powered version. Gas models can be broken into 4-cycle leaf blowers and 2-cycle versions, while electric versions are divided into corded and battery-powered.

What this essentially means is that leaf blowers fans are either powered by using gasoline or electricity.

Leaf blowers that run on gasoline tend to be more powerful and hence are suited to heavier duty tasks. The downside, however, is that they are also louder and have greater emissions which in turn pollute the air.

They can be handheld, which is smaller and held by hand. Or as a backpack that is tied to your back due to its weight. Backpack leaf blowers will typically be more powerful. Gasoline leaf blowers are better used for commercial purposes or in the case you may have a large area to clear up.

Electric leaf blowers, on the other hand, are much lighter and overall make less noise. They do, however, pale in comparison to the gas counterpart when it comes to the power they give out. They are better for general home use or in small to medium-sized spaces.

Leaf blower and rake

How is Power Measured in Leaf Blowers?

There are several ways to accurately measure the power output of a blower. Gas blowers’ power is measured in CCs, which describes the amount of air it can displace. The higher the CCs, the more powerful the blower. When buying a gas-powered blower you have to factor in that the higher the CCs are, the greater the fuel consumption is.

Power from electric blowers is measured in watts or amps. The higher the amp or wattage, the more powerful the blower is.

Power is not the only factor to consider; just as important is the volume of air it can move and the speed of air. The greater the volume at higher speeds is, the more effective it is.

A leaf blower blowing at high speeds but blowing a small volume of air would not be as effective for large-scale commercial scale. At the same time, a large volume at high speeds could be too powerful for use in small and medium-sized properties. To determine how much air a leaf blower can move a minute, you have to look at the CFM rating – which is Cubic Feet per Minute.

If you are looking for the highest performing leaf blower on the market, the key is to look for a healthy combination of high CFM, speed rating, and a powerful engine.

Shredding and Mulching

Some leaf blowers can be used to suck up leaves. This is accomplished in the same manner as blowing the leaves, but the airflow is reversed which allows it to suck up the leaves as opposed to blowing them. The leaves could either be funneled into a bag or they can later be shredded for mulch.

The leaves could be shredded for mulch in two different ways. The most common way is for the fan to double as a shredder and chop the leaves as they go through the leaf blower. There is, however, a risk of damage when something gets stuck in the fan. The shredded leaves are then shot out to the bag.

Through the entire shredding and mulching process, you have to keep an eye on the mulching or shredded ratio. This refers to how small the machine should cut the leaves. A ration of 10:1 means that for every 10 bags of leaves, you will have one bag of mulch.


As autumn comes around, the leaves around you will begin to fall and someone has to keep the ground neat. A leaf blower is an invaluable tool for that task, especially when compared to alternatives like rakes. It is convenient and exceptionally effective at keeping your garden clean and tidy.

Understanding the basics of leaf blowers is the first step towards adopting this technology as a means to better your life. It also helps you learn the basics of maintenance so you can keep the machine in good condition for as long as possible.

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