The changing of the seasons can be a beautiful, inspirational thing. It can also cause quite a mess. Just as snow is a wonderful novelty every year until it impedes the course of your daily life, so too can falling leaves soon become more of a chore than a treat. Sure, deciduous trees might look pretty while their leaves are changing from green to brown and every imaginable hue in between, but someone’s got to clear them up from your lawn and pluck them out of your drains… and it’s not going to be Santa Claus.
Such a tiresome task used to involve much raking, bending down and picking up, but with the wonders of modern technology the arduousness has all been taken out of it. Now, gardeners everywhere can benefit from the ability to blow away or suck up leaves with the minimum of fuss, either using an electric, a cordless or a petrol leaf blower.
Why go electric?
Petrol-powered leaf blowers might still be favoured by commercial landscapers or those looking to undertake heavy-duty leaf clearing, but for most homeowners and garden tenderers, an electric model will more than suffice. Plus, the slight compromise in power and portability that comes with an electric model is more than made up for by its efficiency, ease of use and environmentally-friendliness.
Rather than having to mess around with the confusing and downright dirty business of fuel mixing, you can simply plug in an electric model and away you go! Similarly, you can also wave goodbye to the offensive fumes and the even more offensive noisiness that are a necessary evil attached to petrol models. They’re more reliable and easier to maintain as well, meaning you’ll never have to worry about replacing spark plugs again.
What’s more, almost every electric model on the market now comes equipped with a vacuum function fitted as standard. This means that you can switch effortlessly between blowing and sucking up detritus and debris at the touch of a button, with the inbuilt mulching system also allowing for increased bag capacity and the use of the collected leaves as composting material with the minimum of hassle. As such, it’s easy to see why electric leaf blowers are consistently popular with residential and urban gardeners keen to clean up their property quietly and effectively.
The best electric leaf blowers and vacuums
Though Flymo are perhaps better known for their range of hover mowers, their experience in manipulating air suction and pressure has clearly served them well in the leaf blowing game, too. The GardenVac 2700, for example, boasts a 2700W motor capable of achieving air speeds of 132mph, which should be more than enough to clear away debris from paths and gardens. The ease with which a user can switch between blowing and vacuuming modes is a godsend with large amounts of foliage, allowing you to collect everything into a single pile before simply sucking it all up in one go.
Meanwhile, the Scirocco 3000 (the sister model from Flymo) is a slight upgrade on the GardenVac, with a 3000W motor and enhanced mulching capabilities. Like the GardenVac, the blades built into the suction fan allow you to shred leaves as you work, but whereas the other model is capable of mulching debris to a 3:1 ratio, the Scirocco far outshines that by reducing them to a mere tenth of their previous size. This allows it to make full use of its 45l capacity bag (compared to the GardenVac’s 40l) and ensures peak performance from a wonderful leaf blowing device.
On the other hand, Bosch have spent decades building up a reputation for reliable home maintenance products and they’re not about to let Flymo have all the leaf-blowing fun now. The ALS 2500 boasts all of the same vacuum capabilities as the Scirocco, including a 45l bag and a 10:1 mulching ratio. However, despite the fact that the ALS 2500’s engine is smaller, it can actually reach much higher air speeds (186mph to the Scirocco’s 124mph) and is less than half of its weight (2.8kg to 6kg), making it a very attractive choice for those in the market for a lightweight but powerful electric leaf blower.