Can a Snow Blower Remove Leaves?

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A snow blower gets a lot of use in winter obviously, but for the rest of the year it usually just sits there in your shed. More than a few people have wondered though, can you use a snow blower to blow leaves? Is it possible to use this tool to move leaves the way it does snow? The answer to that is mostly yes.

A snow blower can pick up leaves, but it might be too powerful and scatter everything. If you want to blow leaves, use a single stage snow blower or get an attachment that turns the machine into a leaf blower.

If you are new to snow blowers, you are probably wondering what a single stage is. The following explains the different types of snow blowers and how it affects their ability to blow leaves.

Can a Single Stage Snow Blower be Used on Leaves?

While you need a powerful snow blower to remove ice, it is not the case with leaves. In most cases a single stage snow blower is more than enough.

A single stage snow blower is the best suited for clearing leaves. It is designed to blow up to 6-12 inches of snow, so it is not as powerful as other snow blowers.

This limited power is just right for blowing leaves however. Just turn the blower on and watch as it blows leaves away. Because a single stage snow blower has limited power, you it won’t damage your lawn or driveway.

A single stage electric snow blower is the best combination for blowing leaves. But even an electric snow blower like the Snow Joe SJ627E is going to work since it is easy on the surface.

What if You Use a Two-Stage Snow Blower?

A two-stage or dual snow blower is the most commonly used to clear snow and ice in driveways and the home. Most 2-stage snow blowers can handle up to 23 inches of snow. Some of them even have serrated augers that can go through packed snow and ice.

But while that is good for clearing snow, it is too much for leaves. If the snow blower is too powerful, it will blow not just the leaves but debris all over the place.

A powerful snow blower might also damage your lawn if its augers touch the surface. Remember, these are designed to go through thick snow. If there is no snow and just leaves, the augers will go through them and straight to the surface.

Can a Three-Stage Snow Blower Blow Leaves?

A three-stage snow blower has three augers and can handle even more snow than a two-stage. While it is powerful and effective for clearing snow, it is too much for leaves. Even if there are a lot of leaves, a three-stage blower might cause more problems than solutions. For large amounts of snow, this is fine. But for leaves it is way too much.

Gas vs. Electric Snow Blowers

An electric machine like the Kapoo Snow Blower is ideal for blowing leaves. It is not as powerful as a gas-powered model, but for blowing leaves you don’t need a lot of power. If you can get a single stage gas snow blower that will work too.

A cordless or battery powered snow blower is sometimes classified as a type of electric blower. Others put it in a different category. Either way, make sure the battery is fully charged before attempting to clear any leaves.

Whichever you choose, make sure to wear protective gear. A lot of people get injured in snow related accidents each year so take all safety precautions.

How to Use a Snow Blower to Blow Leaves

If you know how to run a snow blower, starting and using it to blow leaves is the same way. If you have never used a snow blower before, these steps show how it is done.

If you have an electric snow blower, make sure that it is plugged in. If it is battery powered, it has to be fully charged.

If you are using a gas snow blower, ensure that it has sufficient fuel. Add more if required. Remember, if the fuel has been sitting there for more than a month, replace it. Clean the tank if the old fuel has turned into sludge.

Position the drive to neutral. If you are cold starting the blower, set the choke to full. Leave the choke position to warm if you just recently used it.

Set the throttle to fast and turn the fuel on. Activate the ignition, put the key in (if required) and press the primer bulb. Pull the starter rope. If your gas blower has an electric start, turn it on. Set the choke to off once the snow blower is running.

Once the blower runs, let it run and watch the leaves get cleared. Have a bag handy to store all the leaves once they are cleared. You might also have to clear some debris that the blower sends up.

Can You Really Use a Snow Blower as a Leaf Blower?

With the right approach it is possible to use a snow blower on leaves. But there are limitations you have to expect.

A snow blower is designed to clear snow, not leaves. Those are two completely different things. Snow is heavier and contain ice. Leaves are lighter and even if wet, will still weigh less than packed snow.

The augers on a snow blower are designed to work on snow and ice. As shown here, it is possible to use this on leaves. But its functionality is limited compared to a real leaf blower. There are some snow blowers with special features that allow it to be used like a leaf blower, but they are not very common.

If you only need to clear leaves every now and then, a snow blower will do. But if you have to clear a lot of leaves in a large area, it is better to get a real leaf blower instead.

Related Questions

Will blowing leaves damage my snow blower?

No, it should not. Leaves are lighter so a snow blower will have no problems. A snow blower can malfunction if it is not used properly. While they are not designed to clear leaves, it is not going to overload the engine or motor.

Why did my gas snow blower suddenly stop running?

Check if there is enough fuel left in the tank. If the fuel is months old, it might have already turned into a sticky substance. Drain the tank and replace the fuel. If that is not an issue, check if the leaves have clogged the engine or augers.

How do I stop my snow blower from clogging when clearing leaves?

Before you start, remove any objects in the area that could clog the blower. These include sticks, stones, plastic, metallic objects, nails, coins, pieces of wood etc.

Any of these or a combination of them can clog a snow blower. Take the time to clear the area first and that can save you a lot of problems later on.

Are there attachments that can turn a snow blower into a leaf blower?

There are attachments that can convert a snow blower into a vac, which is as good as a leaf blower. But as shown here, it is possible to use a snow blower to clear leaves even without an attachment.

Can a leaf blower be used to clear snow?

No. Leaf blowers do not have the capacity to handle snow and ice. You can use a snow blower for leaves, but not a leaf blower for snow.

Another limitation of leaf blowers: they cannot be used in freezing temperature. Using it during winter will almost certainly cause damage. Leaf blowers however, are much more maneuverable.