Is a Leaf Blower a Power Tool?

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Leaf blowers come in many forms but they have the same function, clear leaves. It is a garden and outdoor tool to be sure. But can you call a blower a power tool? Drills, chainsaws and routers definitely belong to that list, so can we add a leaf blower to that?

A leaf blower is a power tool because it requires an electric motor or fuel engine to run. Any tool that needs more than manual labor to run is a power tool, so leaf blowers fit the description.

Why Leaf Blowers are Power Tools

The difference between a hand tool and a power tool is how they work. A hand tool only requires your hands to function. A shovel is a good example of a hand tool. A chainsaw is a power tool. Yes you need to power it up, but the chain cuts automatically.

Now that we have a basic definition, you will see why leaf blowers are accurately labeled power tools.

Operation. Now compare something like the Mueller UltraStorm Cordless Leaf Blower with a rake. A rake is a hand tool because you need to use your hands to clear leaves and other debris.

A leaf blower does the job automatically. Once you turn a blower on, it generates air pressure and picks up leaves like a vacuum.

Speed. Power tools get the job done faster than hand tools. Try clearing a bunch of leaves with a rake and a blower and you will see the difference. This applies to other tools as well. A pressure washer washes a car faster than doing it by hand for example.

Power source. A power tool cannot run on manual labor. In most cases the tool depends on electricity, batteries, air compression or engine fuel. This is true for leaf blowers as they run on gas, electricity or battery.

Some but not all leaf blowers are waterproof but you should not use it in heavy rain. This applies to a lot of power tools as well, especially electric models.

Do Leaf Blowers Work Like Power Tools?

Any way you look at it, a leaf blower fits the description of a power tool. And if we take a look at how these blowers work, the similarities become even more obvious.

A leaf blower is powered by a fuel engine, electric motor (corded) or battery (cordless). There is some overlap between electric and battery blowers because batteries use electricity to recharge.

Electric power tools rely on a simple motor and so do leaf blowers. The motor consists of a stator and rotor. A commutator produces electric current and the power source generates a charge. A corded electric blower runs on AC while a cordless battery model is powered by DC.

A gas leaf blower runs on a 2-stroke or 4-stroke engine (can also be called 2-cycle or 4-cycle). A 2-stroke blower combines oil and gas, while a 4-stroke blower has separate compartments for the two. The CRAFTSMAN CMXGAAMR51BP is a good example of a gas blower.

A 2-stroke engine is lighter, needs less maintenance and cheaper. But it is also noisier and generates more pollution. A 4-stroke blower costs more and is not as common. But it is more fuel efficient and durable.

All gas leaf blowers have a carburetor, exhaust, spark plug and other components. The engine or electric motor turns the blades and produces centrifugal force . This is what causes the air to get blown into the blower along with leaves.

Gas vs. Electric Leaf Blowers

Power tools have different sources of power, but many depend on gas or electricity. This is also true for leaf blowers. There are three basic types: electric, gas and battery. However, battery blowers are often classified as electric since they depend on electricity to recharge.

Gas leaf blowers are more powerful and clear leaves faster. Electric blowers are less expensive and more portable. Gas blowers produce smoke but are more durable. Electric and cordless blowers are cleaner but you are limited by the cord length or battery life.

Electric blowers are available corded or cordless with battery. Gas blowers are sold as handhelds, backpacks or on wheeled, large machines.

Gas Leaf Blower ProsElectric Leaf Blower Pros
Great for heavy duty work Light
Durable Easy to use
Freedom of movement Less noisy than gas
Gas Leaf Blower ProsElectric Leaf Blower Cons
NoisyNot as powerful as gas blowers
Produces smokeMovement limited by cord or battery life

Which you buy depends on your needs. Here are some of the factors that you may want to consider before buying.

An electric or battery leaf blower is for you if:

  • You have a small yard
  • Portability is very important
  • You do not need to use a leaf blower for long periods
  • You only clear a few leaves
  • Noisy tools bother you
  • You prefer an environment-friendly power tool
  • You are on a budget

A gas leaf blower is for you if:

  • You need a heavy duty blower
  • Clearing leaves is part of your work
  • You have a large yard
  • Noise is not an issue
  • A durable blower is required
  • You do not want to be constrained by a cord or short battery life
  • Willing to invest in a quality leaf blower

Tips for Buying a Leaf Blower

Now that you know what types of leaf blowers are available, it becomes easier to decide what to buy. Here are guidelines.

If you have a small to medium sized garden, a corded or cordless blower will be sufficient. There are probably not enough leaves to warrant a gas blower, and one battery charge or two should be enough. If there is a power outlet outdoors you can clear the leaves easily. Since it is a small yard or garden, the cord length will not be a problem.

A large garden will require a gas leaf blower. This will allow you to clear more leaves in less time, and you do not have to be constrained by a cord. With a powerful gas blower, you do not have to worry about recharging either.

Frequently Asked Questions

As a power tool, which requires more maintenance, gas or electric blowers?

Gas leaf blowers need more maintenance because they have more complex engines. You also need to buy gas and oil whereas electric blowers will run on electricity. The more complex the engine, the more maintenance is required.

Which is easier to use, gas or electric blowers?

Electric leaf blowers are simple to use. Plug it into a power outlet, turn the blower on and it is ready. A gas blower requires fuel, and if it is a 2-stroke you have to mix oil and gas.

There are handheld and backpack gas blowers, but their operation still needs fuel. Electric blowers run on corded power or cordless. Cordless models have a rechargeable battery so it is more mobile.

Do leaf blowers last as long as other power tools?

It depends on the leaf blower. In general, gas blowers last longer than electric or battery. But it depends on the manufacturer design and how the blower is used. Power tools have different lifespans and the same rule applies to leaf blowers.

Are all leaf blowers noisy?

Electric blowers are less noisy than gas, which is why they are preferable in residential areas. In some cases you may need the heavy duty capacity of gas, but check with the local laws first. Some areas have strict noise pollution rules.

Why is leaf blower suddenly smoking?

There is probably too much oil in the tank. Let it run off and the smoke will stop. If the blower is electric, there could be problems with its motor. This guide LNK can help.

What if I put the wrong fuel in my leaf blower?

The effect will be similar to other power tools. The engine will not start or if it does, produce a lot of smoke. Even if you somehow get it to run, performance will be not be as good as with the correct fuel.