Leaf Blower and Leaf Vacuum: Specialists for the fall

Leaf blowers and leaf vacuums are the specialists for autumn: When the colorful autumn foliage on the trees shows nature from its most beautiful side, the colorful leaves in various shades of yellow and red are beautiful to look at, but unfortunately the splendor does not last long and the leaves gradually land on the ground. Depending on the tree species, the accumulating foliage in the garden can reach enormous proportions. Here, the leaf vacuums and leaf blowers come into play, they save us tedious hours of raking. Nevertheless, there are also many voices against their use. This article is therefore dedicated to this controversial discussion, explains the operation and applications of leaf blowers and leaf vacuum, shows legal regulations and gives more tips for use.

Leaf Vacuum: Function and Application

Leaf vacuums are usually 2-in-1 talents, because they are often able to suck leaves both in the integrated leaf catcher bag, as well as blowing to a heap. The suction function is similar to a vacuum cleaner, whereby the sucked leaves are comminuted on many models by a shredder. The blowing function replaces the rake. Because two functions are combined in one device, leaf vacuums usually weigh comparatively a bit more than pure blowers. Therefore, they are often equipped with carrying strap and small rollers on the front of the suction tube, so you will not be heavy even with larger amounts of leaves the arms.

Leaf Blower: Function and Application

In contrast to the leaf vacuum, which can suck leaves as well as blow air, leaf blowers focus on one area: With air speeds up to 350 km / h they sweep away everything that stands in their way. With the leaf blower, you effortlessly sweep up leaves, cigarette butts, sand and even smaller branches from paths and paved surfaces to practical heaps. This also works on lawns. Unlike the usual raking the lawn is not damaged. With less than 2 kg, most leaf blowers are also pleasantly light and agile.

Battery, Cable or Petrol? Which Leaf Blower or Leaf Vacuum do you need?

The professionals like gardeners and landscapers, as well as municipal companies often have to work on park-like surfaces and therefore use gasoline-powered leaf blowers. These devices have higher performance than power or battery-powered devices, are mobile and yet long operational.

For normal home use, electric leaf blowers offer, which are powered by electricity or batteries. Why? The performance of these devices is usually sufficient for private applications, they are emission-free and, above all, they are much quieter!

For larger properties, you should turn to the battery variant. The modern lithium-ion batteries are amazing energy suppliers and ensure a quiet but quite powerful mode of operation. Of course, these devices also score in terms of mobility over the wired devices. If the garden is completely defoliated, the change to the front garden and the sidewalk with the cordless blower is much easier - the search for a free socket and tangled extension cords are no longer necessary. Einhell has a whole range of rechargeable batteries in its range: with the Power X-Change rechargeable battery platform, all devices can be operated with one rechargeable battery - including, of course, cordless leaf vacuum and cordless leaf blowers.

Leaf Vacuums and Animal Welfare

Especially leaf vacuums are a thorn in the side of many animal rights activists and environmental associations. Many find that the devices should even be completely banned. One reason for this is that the foliage gives many small animals, such as Hedgehogs or butterfly larvaes serves a shelter for the winter. As a compromise you should therefore not eliminate the whole foliage in the garden and always pay attention to a cautious approach when using the devices. On beds or under trees, bushes and hedges, the leaves usually do not disturb and the little creatures like to take the offer as a retreat for the winter. However, there are good reasons for foliage removal - at least in certain places:

Why you should clear the Lawn of Foliage

Although it is significantly simplified by the use of leaf vacuums or leaf blowers, depending on the size of the area to be liberated, it can still be a complicated matter to remove the foliage of lawn, garage and Co. Many then ask the question: Is this necessary? Here is the clear recommendation: From the lawn you should remove the fallen leaves in any case, because the grass gets through a thick layer of leaves less light and thus sustainably damaged. For a beautiful green lawn in spring you have to remove the foliage!

Also on sidewalks, entries and other paths where people are traveling, the leaves should be removed. Wet leaves that are tramped on the ground can quickly become a dangerous slide. And then there is the legal obligation…

This is what the law says about the use of Leaf Blowers and Leaf Vacuums

The thing with the autumn foliage is even regulated by the legislature in Germany and in two respects: First, the obligation to remove leaves and on the other hand, how and when leaf vacuums and leaf blowers may be used.

Do I have to remove the foliage on my property?

This question can be answered with a clear "yes and no". First of all, no one can tell you to clear the foliage on your property. And here comes the exception: Except, of course, if it can be dangerous for other people! As mentioned, wet foliage on the ground can become very slippery and cause bad falls. Similar to snow clearing in winter, landowners are liable for sidewalks bordering the property. Who does not, is responsible for any (personal) damage!

When may Leaf Blowers / Vacuums be used?

Here the law is quite clear, as most devices cause a lot of noise. Depending on the model, this can be more than 110 decibels, which roughly corresponds to the volume of a noisy chainsaw or rock concert. Incidentally, the average pain threshold is around 120 decibels! So in order to protect against particularly overzealous neighbors (we all have this one ...), there is a clear regulation in the Federal Emission Control Act under § 7 of the Machine Noise Ordinance: In residential areas leaf blowers and vacuums may only on weekdays and only from 9 am to 1 pm and be put into operation between 3 pm and 5 pm. Violations threaten high fines! So if you want to work late or on Sundays, you should prefer the rake.

Do I need a protective gear when using the Leaf Blower / Vacuum?

But even during times when working with leaf blowers and leaf vacuums is allowed, you as a user should arm yourself against the noise and take protective measures. Headphones or earplugs help against noise. For paved areas such as the terrace, the paving in the driveway or sidewalks you should also wear gloves and safety goggles, as flying stones or whirled sand grains can quickly become a danger.

Personal Conclusion

In conclusion, it remains to be seen that these specialists make the annual problem much more pleasant. Anyone who decides on the electric version avoids the problem with the volume and harmful emissions.

And even outside the fall, there are even more applications for the leaf blower.

Here are a few examples from practice:

  • Sweep sidewalks or terraced areas
  • Keep lawns clean, e.g. after using a cordless lawn trimmer
  • Dry blowing of emptied plastic pools
  • Driving wind chimes to delight the kids - comfortably out of the deck chair
  • Leaf Blower Hockey with a tennis ball and three other leaf blower owners.

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Picture of the author Monika Aigner.
Written by Monika Aigner
Published on 15.09.2019

Monika Aigner is a Project Manager for Media & PR at Einhell. Through regular internal product training, she possesses extensive knowledge of the functionality and application of various Einhell tools and garden equipment. Combined with clear instructions, she imparts this knowledge in her blog posts.