Home > Lawn > How To Use a Leaf Blower: The Complete Guide

How To Use a Leaf Blower: The Complete Guide

Updated Nov 3, 2022

Updated Nov 3, 2022

Home > Lawn > How To Use a Leaf Blower: The Complete Guide

If lawn mowers are spring’s lawn care tool of choice, then leaf blowers are fall’s ultimate lawn care tool. Leaf blowers are powerful tools that allow you to quickly transform your yard into a much more attractive and enjoyable space. The great news is that leaf blowers are a beginner-friendly landscaping power tool that most adults should be able to operate safely and efficiently with a few pointers and precautions. 

Let’s jump into everything you need to know about how to use a leaf blower safely and efficiently. 

Choose the Right Leaf Blower

Start by considering what kind of leaf blower you need. There are many different types of leaf blowers, including cordless leaf blowers, gas-powered leaf blowers, backpack leaf blowers, electric leaf blowers, corded leaf blowers, and much more. While all of these are relatively simple to use, choosing the right one for you and your situation can make the difference in how easy and enjoyable it is to use. 

While getting the biggest leaf blower available at your local hardware store may be tempting, remember that larger leaf blowers are more unwieldy and, often, heavier. So, it’s better to opt for an appropriately sized leaf blower that fits the size of your yard. 

Use the following guide to help you identify the type of leaf blower you should be looking at: 

  • For those with small yards, consider a small, light leaf blower. You may even be able to choose a corded leaf blower if you don’t need to move around very much, which can save you money since you won’t need to buy gas. 
  • If you have a medium to large yard, look for a leaf blower with greater power. You’ll also want to consider purchasing a leaf blower that uses batteries or gas so that you can easily traverse around your yard. 
  • Consider your size, strength, and accessories you may need to operate the leaf blower effectively. A more powerful blower may be attractive to you, but you’ll be far less likely to use it consistently if you have trouble lifting the leaf blower easily. You’ll also need to invest in work gear, such as protective eyewear and noise-canceling earmuffs. 

Safety Precautions

Leaf blowers are beginner-friendly power tools, but they’re still powerful tools that you should take seriously. Take proper safety precautions by following these safety tips before using your leaf blower: 

  • Always wear protective eyewear to protect your eyes, as leaves and debris will fly around in many directions when you’re using your leaf blower. Windy days will also increase the need for protective eyewear to keep your eyes safe. 
  • Wear closed-toed shoes and long sleeves and pants to protect your body from flying debris. 
  • Wear noise-canceling earmuffs or earplugs. Leaf blowers are loud, and the noise can hurt your ears over time, so wear ear protection to keep your hearing intact. You may also want to offer protective ear gear to anyone nearby.  
  • Consider wearing a protective mask or facial covering to protect your lungs from harmful debris that you may inhale while blowing leaves. 

Planning Your Leaf Blowing Project

It’s best to always start with a goal and a plan when leaf blowing or doing any home improvement project. 

Start by making sure that your leaf blower is functioning correctly and, if applicable, is fueled up or charged enough for the length of your project. Then, gather your protective safety gear, a rake, trash bags, and anything else you may need to clean up leaves and debris. If you have a large yard, consider placing a tarp down where you can blow leaves onto it for easy disposal. 

Next, assess your yard and plan the areas you want to blow leaves to be gathered. We recommend starting your leaf blowing project near shrubs and trees or the perimeter of your yard, then directing the leaves into piles in the middle of your yard. 

Start by using your leaf blower in small intervals to keep your machine from overheating or becoming overly stressed. It’s not ideal to blow all of the leaves in one area into a big pile because the leaves can start to blow back to places that you don’t want them in. So, instead of creating large piles of fall leaves, create small piles that you can easily control.

How to Use A Leaf Blower

Now that you have a plan, it’s time to learn more about using the machine itself. 

Get a feel for your leaf blower’s power by adjusting the settings and seeing how much power you need to use to blow the leaves effectively. Too little power will make the project challenging, but too much power at one time can make a huge mess. So, take a moment to experiment with the power settings and get a feel for what level is best for your project. 

To blow leaves, point the leaf blower’s chute at the ground at a shallow angle so that the airflow is going under the leaves, not on top of the leaves. Move the leaf blower from left to right in an arc or u shape while you walk to create a pile of leaves. This motion may feel foreign at first, but it’ll become more and more natural with practice. Stay in one direction as you move so that you don’t ruin your work as you go. 

If your leaf blower has a vacuum mode, conserve this for difficult to get to leaves where you can’t easily reach the leaves with your leaf blower or a leaf rake. The leaf vacuum will be best for leaves trapped around rocks, in tight spots, or at the base of your fence. 

Use a Leaf Blower During the Right Conditions

If possible, consider the weather and conditions before using your leaf blower for better results. 

Here are a few things to consider: 

  • Clear your yard of any fallen sticks, branches, or items to prevent the leaf blower from picking up these items. Use a chainsaw or trimmer if needed to cut dilapidated branches from trees. 
  • Allow wet leaves to dry. Blowing leaves after rain or snowfall is much harder than blowing dry leaves. Wet leaves may hardly move at all even with your leaf blower at full power, so wait a day for the leaves to dry before you clear them. 
  • Wait for a calm day. Wind can make leaf blowing a frustrating and counterproductive task. Try to wait for a calm day with little to no wind or when the wind is blowing in the same direction as you want the leaves to go. 

What Can I Do With the Leaves?

After you’ve collected bags of leaves, you may be wondering what you can do with them, especially if there are too many bags to dispose of with your regular trash. 

Here are some ideas for what you can do with yard waste: 

  • Check with your local municipality to see if they have yard waste collection days. Many areas will have these in April and November, and they allow you to place the bags next to your regular trash bin for pickup. 
  • Use the leaves to create compost or mulch for your garden. 
  • Transfer the leaves to a local compost site. 
  • Never blow the leaves into the street or onto another homeowner’s property, as this is illegal. 

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to operate a leaf blower safely and effectively, you’re all set to make your yard an attractive, neat place once more. Take time to create a plan, especially for what you plan on doing with the leaves, and consider the type of leaf blower and protective equipment you’ll need for the project before starting. We guarantee this will save you time, frustration, and possibly even money in the long term. 

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