When it’s all over, we still have to clear up, right? The changing of autumn leaves might be a spectacular sight, drawing tourists from all over the world to regions such as New England in the USA, but the mess caused by these fallen leaves can be a huge pain in the neck for homeowners after the event. Getting rid of this troublesome debris from your front lawn or your drainage systems used to take an interminable length of time, but thanks to the invention of modern leaf blowers and vacuums, this job can now be performed in minutes rather than hours.
There are a full range of different models of leaf blowers and vacuums on the market, all of which fall into three main categories: petrol, electric and cordless. Petrol are the original variety and remain one of the most popular, due to the boundless freedom they offer the user. Unfettered by troublesome power cables and short running times, petrol-powered leaf blowers and vacuums let their owners run free and clear away leaves to their heart’s content.
The main downside of a petrol engine is the noise pollution and gassy fumes with which they are traditionally associated. While electric and cordless models undoubtedly are quieter and cleaner, the advances made in petrol engines in recent years will surprise you. Sophisticated emissions control systems mean that they are less polluting than ever before, while compact engine size makes for less of a racket while you’re clearing up your property.
If you own premises which are susceptible to significant amounts of leaf fall – as well as if you are engaged in light commercial landscaping work – petrol leaf blowers and vacuums really are head and shoulders above their counterparts. A perfect trade-off between power and portability, the best models can achieve wind speeds of up to 200mph for hours on end and in spaces where a power cord simply isn’t capable of reaching. With adjustable throttle settings and specially-designed nozzles for optimal airflow, you can’t beat a petrol engine for performance.
If you’d prefer a model which comes with vacuum capabilities, the ES-250ES from Echo is a sister model to the PB-251 with the added functionality of sucking up leaves, thus removing the need to sweep up the debris after the event. The bag adds a little weight to the other model (coming in at 5.7kg to the PB-251’s 4.5kg) but also comes equipped with an inbuilt shredding function. This means that any detritus sucked up by the vacuum will be immediately mulched and prepared for composting, while simultaneously increasing the bag’s already roomy capacity.
Another machine with dual capabilities is the 125BVx from Husqvarna. With a lighter overall weight (4.35kg) and more powerful engine (28cc two-stroke), the 125BVx is capable of speeds of up to 170mph and represents a great balance between portability and power. It also boasts incredible ease of use, with a cruise control setting (meaning you won’t have to keep the power button depressed for the duration of use), ergonomic design and a Smart Start ignition system geared towards making it as easy and efficient to use as possible.