How To Use A Leaf Blower Effectively
So you’ve just got your new leaf blower. It’s all assembled, and you are ready to go, but you may not be 100% confident knowing how to use it. Leaf blowers can be very powerful tools, so while they can do your garden a lot of good, it is important to use them properly to ensure you don’t do yourself or your yard any damage. We are going to discuss how to use a leaf blower, so you get the most out of your shiny new garden tool!
Table Of Contents
What Can I Use A Leaf Blower For?
There are plenty of uses for leaf blowers, and not all of them involve leaves!
- Dry or spread water from stubborn puddles
- Clear out your gutter
- Blast out grass cuttings
- Move leaves from your paths and driveways
- Gather leaves and debris together for a bonfire
- Clear snow
- Dust-off other garden equipment
- Threading wires
So you can really think outside the box when it comes to using your new leaf blower! There are many more uses for it than just clearing leaves away!
How To Use A Leaf Blower Properly
With your leaf blower securely and comfortably strapped to you, power it up and begin at one end of your yard. Work in one direction so that you don’t spread leaves over an area you have already covered. Alternatively, if there is no breeze, you may find it is useful to start at the edge and work inwards, towards the center – you may find that walking in a spiral pattern is more useful to ensure you cover the whole area neatly.
You can hold the leaf blower to your side, with the nozzle pointed at the ground at a slight angle so that leaves are blown in front over, not under your feet. As you step forwards, move the leave blower at a slight side to side or front to back motion so that you cover a wider area with each step.
You will want to pay attention to the gradient of the ground and the direction of the wind – there is no point in working against nature! Make sure you use the wind direction to your advantage. Otherwise, that is a battle you will never win!
Don’t be disheartened if you won’t remove up every leaf; there are usually a few leftovers – these may be heavier than other leaves or even stuck to the grass. You can always get these last few with a rake.
When Should I Use My Leaf Blower?
You’ll have the best success from your leaf blower when you are using it to remove dry leaves. Ideally, to help yourself out more, pick a day that isn’t windy, otherwise you’ll be chasing the leaves all day! Wet leaves are a lot more sticky and will not blow as well as dry leaves.
Don’t forget to be courteous of your neighbors – leaf blowers do make noise, and so it is not very thoughtful to be using it at 7 am on the weekend, or 10 pm in the week! If you live in a more built-up area, it is worth checking with your local planning office to see if there are any restrictions on outside noise at certain times of day or week.
How To Use A Leaf Blower Safely
Before you get started with your new leaf blower, you need to make sure that you have thoroughly read the user manual. Even if you have had a leaf blower before, every model may be slightly different and you don’t want to get off to a bad start by damaging your leaf blower or hurting yourself. This should help you understand the correct setup procedure for the model you have bought.
To protect yourself, you should be wearing suitable attire while you are leaf blowing. Wear ear guards to protect your hearing from the loud noise and wear eye shields to protect your eyes from projectile debris. Ideally, you should be wearing long sleeves and trousers too, to protect your skin from fast-moving debris which can cause scrapes.
After you have ensured your leaf blower is put together correctly, take a minute to survey the area you are planning on treating. Make sure that other people and animals are at least 50 feet (15 meters) away from the area you are going to be working on. Leaf blowers can produce a surprising amount of power, and some can even lift rocks, which can cause serious injuries and damage to property such as cars. It may also be worth wearing a mask too if the area you are working on is likely to kick up a lot of dust.
How To Use A Leaf Blower To Clean Gutters
You can get a gutter-cleaning attachment for your leaf blower, and some models even come with one included. This will generally be an extension tube with a curve to get over the top of the gutter.
- To make your job easier, wait until the weather has been dry for a few days so that the leaves and other debris in your gutter is also dry.
- Position yourself underneath the gutter and raise up the arm, so the end is directed over and into the gutter, just above the debris.
- Switch on your leaf blower and then walk slowly back and forth along the gutter.
You should expect a shower of leaves and other dirt, so it is worth weather eye protection and old clothes for this job!
Leaf Blower Tips And Tricks
- Give it the once-over – before you begin using your leaf blower, give it a quick check to make sure everything is in order before you start. Check for blockages in the fuel and air filters, and make sure that the impeller is not cracked or obstructed.
- Plan before you begin – before you set off on your leaf blowing, segment the area that you are going to work on into smaller workable sections, particularly if you are working on a large area such as a lawn. Also, decide before you begin where you are going to have the piles of leaves.
- Smaller piles – rather than getting all the leaves into one big pile, work towards a smaller pile in each section as these will be easier to gather up and it is easier to control the leaf movement over a smaller distance.
- Choose the right setting – you won’t need as much wind power on smoother surfaces such as driveways or paths while grass will need a higher setting.
- Work in a single direction – you don’t want to have to redo areas you have already covered. Move in one direction, so you don’t spread leaves towards areas you have already cleared.
- Use the wind – work with the wind, not against it. You will have more success and finish the job quicker. Having said that though, we don’t mean you should use your leaf blower on a windy day
- Gather leaves on to a tarp – this makes it easier to remove the leaves once you are finished.
Using A Leaf Blower And Still Get On With Your Neighbours!
If you live in a more built-up area and you are concerned upsetting your neighbors, then try to work out which times would disturb them the least. If you can, try to do your leaf clearance while your neighbors are out at work, so you don’t disturb them. Alternatively, if you know they work from home, avoid working hours and try to tackle it may be in the early evening before people are settling down for dinner. Don’t use it early in the mornings or after dark, particularly at weekends. Have a look at your local leaf blowing regulations to make sure you comply.
When buying your leaf blower, consider getting a mains-powered model. Leaf blowers that are powered by electricity make less noise than their gasoline-powered counterparts. They also do not release smoke or gas smells that could also annoy your neighbors after a while.
You should not have a better idea of how to use your leaf blower. Remember to pick a dry day when the leaves will be dry and most easily picked up. There is certainly a technique to it, so if you don’t get all the leaves on your first go, do not stress – you can always scoop up the stragglers with a rake. With time you will master the method and have a perfect finish to your garden.
Not sure which leaf blower you should buy? We compared and reviewed the best backpack leaf blowers.