1. How is it powered?
3 options: electric, gas, and believe it or not – cordless. Deciding which one you want, depends on your use. Cordless won’t run very long, so you are limited to small areas. With an electric, you will be tethered (limited) by your electrical cord. A gas powered leaf blower will allow you to cover anything from the smallest to the largest needs. If you’re considering a cordless leaf blower, check out this comparison over at YardMasterz.com
2. What type of engine will you have?
Your choice of power will help decide this, but just be aware of your options. There are 2 stroke and 4 stroke engines. We can let it to the experts to differentiate between each. There are people that love either one and hate the other.
3. Beware of the Noise
Some have baffles to deflect the noise, others have mufflers to help silence the noise and others are built to be quieter. A noise rating of 60-65 dB is pretty typical of a decent leaf blower.
4. How will it start?
Electronic ignition or pull start. Some manufacturers add features to help it start easier.
5. What type of impeller does it have?
Occasionally things will get sucked into it like sticks and stones. If the impeller is a type of metal it will be able to withstand these things, otherwise it may not.
6. How many speed(s) does it have?
1, 2 or variable
7. How versatile will your leaf blower be?
Will it blow, vacuum and /or mulch? There are choices for any or all of these. You also need to consider how easily they can be interchanged
8. How well does the air move leafs, debris or whatever?
Some manufacturers measure by volume flow, i.e., how much does it shoot out. Others measure speed of flow. i.e., how fast does it shoot out?
Typically a good volume flow is around 400 or more cubic feet per minute (cfm), while a decent speed flow is anything greater than 200 mph.
9. What about interchangeable nozzles?
If you can change the end of the nozzle shape, from say a circle to a squished rectangle, you will help focus the air and make it more powerful.
10. How will you move it around?
Will you carry it, wear it on your back or it mount to tractor?
11. How much does it weigh and how well does it balance?
If it is too heavy you certainly don’t want to carry it around too much. Also consider things like how long is the tube? If you’re tall and your leaf blower tube is short, you will be doing a lot of bending and stooping.
If you have never purchased a leaf blower before, these are just a few things to consider. Some models may not offer all these options and other may offer options not listed. In any case, having some prior knowledge about the basic features will help you tremendously in selecting that perfect leaf blower for yourself.