Leaf Blower – The Most Essential Tool for Gardening
There are lots of tools that help perfecto maintain our household garden in a perfect shape. Some common gardening tools are hand rake, gardener’s knife, shears, scissors, shovel, spade and leaf blower. Leaf blowers are most essential tool in keeping the garden neat and tidy. Leaf blower has a motor inside that rotates to suck in outside air and propels out through a nozzle to blow away the fallen leaves and debris. They are very efficient compared to brooms that are conveniently used for the purpose. The power source used is either electricity or gasoline. Leaf blowers propel air at speeds higher than 200miles/hour. Usually they are hand held equipment but for larger gardens, back mounted machines are also available. Another variation of leaf blower is the vacuum shredder that collects garden debris and shreds them for disposal.
Specifications of Leaf Blower
Leaf blowers are specified based on cubic feet per minute (CFM), Miles per Hour (MPH) and decibels (DBA). When buying a blower, all these specifications need to be considered. CFM is the volume of air coming out of machine that is used to propel out the debris. Common blowers have CFM ranging from 200-400. Professional blowers have CFM higher than 500. The speed of air exiting is measured in terms of MPH. The faster the air exiting, the faster is the cleaning process. Lower is the decibel rating, better is the machine as it produces less noise. There are various restrictions on the decibel levels to prevent the noise pollution. When selecting the blower, the area of cleanup and type of waste should be well known.
Types of leaf blowers
The common types of leaf blowers are hand-held, electric, back mounted, 2 stroke engine blower, 4 stroke engine blower and vacuum shredder.
- The hand held blower is used for cleaning up smaller areas. It is simple to use and very efficient but it suffers some ergonomic issues if used for long hours.
- A variation of hand held blower is the electric blower which uses electricity to propel the air through the nozzle. It has a higher power that assists in faster cleaning. Some are battery powered while others use power cords.
- The electric back mounted blowers are used for cleaning big gardens or parks. It has the powerful air stream which blows of grass cuttings, debris or even paper cups and other wastes.
- The 2 stroke engine blowers have low emissions and noise compared to the 4 stroke engine blowers. But 4 stroke engine blowers run for longer times. The 2 stroke blowers are cheaper compared to 4 stroke blowers.
- Vacuum shredders are multi-purpose; they collect fallen leaves, and trimmed grass and shred them into approximately 10% volume. The resulting debris can be directly used as a compost or organic fertilizer.
Disadvantages of Leaf blowers
While leaf blowers are highly efficient tools for gardening purpose, they suffer from some disadvantages. The emissions from blowers have raised concerns of air pollution due to the gasoline usage. The exhaust contains harmful gases like carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons. Also the dust caused by blowers may result in allergies and diseases. Another abuse is the noise pollution caused by blowers. Hence, leaf blowers should be used only when absolutely needed without disturbing the peace of the living place. The restriction on decibel levels in the neighborhood should be followed. Wearing the ear buds while using a blower is essential. Sometimes blowers are used for other purposes like spraying pesticides and chemicals but this is not really recommended. The safe usage of blowers will result in best results.
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