When it comes to the issue of comparing a walk-behind leaf blower and a backpack leaf blower, this question brings into comparison two machines that are in the real sense, different. Just like the name suggests, a walk-behind leaf blower is designed in such a way that the user can push and guide the tool from the back as they clear leaves and debris in a yard. When using the walk-behind leaf blower, the user pushes the blower ahead just like one would push a trolley ahead while shopping for groceries. However, a backpack leaf blower is designed in a way that you need to strap the leaf blower tool to your back while holding the blower nozzle in your hand as you work.
Of course, it is a known fact that bigger tasks often require bigger tools. So if you have a large garden with a lot of trees, a walk-behind leaf blower is, without a doubt, the best option for your job. For a medium-sized space or garden with several trees, a backpack leaf blower may make your task a lot easier. Likewise, when you have a little garden with only a few trees, a hand-held leaf blower may be better than a rake. That’s just how it works. Logically, large properties that contain lots of trees will require something more powerful. This is where a walk-behind leaf blower comes in. You just need to know what works best for your yard and weigh the options before purchasing it. Do you need to know the types of leaf blowers that there are, and which works best for you? Are you interested in knowing the pros and cons of each type? Don’t look too far. In the rest of this article, we have taken time to explain each type of leaf blower to help you make the right choice when shopping for one.
Below are the types of leaf blowers, their characteristics as well as their pros and cons to help you in your decision-making process.
Walk-Behind Leaf Blower
A walk-behind leaf blower is an air-blowing cannon with its motor on wheels. This equipment is capable of blowing away huge amounts of leaves as well as all kinds of dirt and debris, even when they are moist. The blower can be used to push around debris like leaves, sticks, and twigs to a collection point.
Almost similar to your regular lawn mowers, walk behind leaf blowers are designed in a way that they are mounted on a frame that has wheels for you to conveniently push them around. This feature allows you to eliminate any concerns related to motor weight and size. This makes it possible for the walk behind leaf blower to be able to carry so much power than the backpack leaf blowers. Now asides blowing the leaves, some leaf blowers are also capable of doing other tasks such as vacuuming the leaves and even mulching them.
Usually, walk-behind leaf blowers are created to have varying degrees of power, and the power is normally measured according to the cubic feet per minute. Now, while most blowers often range between 200 and 450 CFM, some walk behind leaf blowers show miles per minute rate.
Independently of their power rate, walk-behind leaf blowers are often powered either by gas or electricity. However, the gas-powered leaf blowers are currently dominating the market. In fact, most of the professional and commercial level leaf blowers that are available on the market run on gas. This is because most gas or fuel-powered leaf blowers tend to last much longer than the motor powered ones on a single charge.
Certainly, several advantages come with using a walk-behind leaf blower, and these advantages are mostly regarding their power and performance. Not only are they capable of moving huge amounts of leaves, branches and different types of dirt, but they are also able to do it with great accuracy across a considerable distance or range.
Pros and Cons of a Walk-Behind Leaf Blower
Before we talk about the best choice of leaf blower for your yard, it is important to know the advantages and disadvantages of each type, to know which works best for you.
Pros of a Walk Behind Leaf Blower
- Walk-behind leaf blowers are much stronger than the backpack leaf blowers. This is because they have bigger motors, hence they are more powerful.
- Walk-behind leaf blowers are also capable of withstanding more wear and tear than the other types of leaf blowers. In fact, the commercial models of these tools can be used for several hours in a day and even seven days a week without breaking down or requiring maintenance.
- A lot of these models are designed to have a directional blower which allows users to aim at the exact point where they want to blow the leaves and debris. Although this feature may not seem like a big deal, it actually makes the talk a whole lot easier and allows for faster results.
Cons of a Walk Behind Leaf Blower
- Due to its size, the walk behind leaf blower is a lot more expensive than other types of leaf blowers. Some of the most powerful ones can operate at an airspeed of 450 cubic feet per minute, however, the higher the performance, the higher the price.
- Because they have more parts, and a much more complex mechanical assembly, the walk-behind leaf blowers often require more maintenance than the regular leaf blowers.
How to Choose the Best Walk Behind Leaf Blower
There are certain factors that you need to put into consideration to help you make the best decision when buying a walk-behind leaf blower. Here are some of these factors:
A walk-behind leaf blower is a piece of expensive equipment. That’s why you want it to be durable and give you good performance for a long time to come. The durability of the tool will help you determine how good it will work and for how long. Choose a brand that you can rely on to give you a good quality tool. It’s OK to get an expensive leaf blower if you know the value it’ll give you for the longest period.
2. The type and size of the terrain you want to clear
Depending on the CFM rate, a walk-behind leaf blower is often classified into three grades namely: entry-level grade, mid-grade, semi-pro or commercial grade. While the entry-level leaf blowers are the best options when it comes to clearing patios, gardens, and driveways, it may not be the ideal option for bigger yards. Hence people who own yards should consider going for something bigger. Similarly, attempting to clear a yard that is more than an acre with a leaf blower that is smaller than a 450-500 CFM can prove difficult. So when making a choice, also consider the type and size of terrain that you need it for.
3. The amount of noise and pollution that the leaf blower produces
A gas-powered walk-behind leaf blower is, without doubt, going to be noisy because of the gas engine that powers it. Depending on the way the leaf blower is designed, it will certainly produce an amount of noise- only that it varies from model to model. For the gas-fueled walk behind leaf blowers, the same can be said concerning the fumes. Now since both the fume and the noise are potentially harmful to the user, it is quite important to consider these two things before you purchase your leaf blower. It is also important to know that there are some government regulations for both cases. However, some blowers produce a considerable amount of noise than others. Whenever you want to purchase your leaf blower, try to get one that comes with as low noise as possible.
Usually, a walk-behind leaf blower is powered with gas, and the engine capacity is measured in cubic centimetres. Hence, the higher the value of the capacity, the better the performance of the equipment. Also, how powerful you want your leaf blower to depend on how large your garden is and how fast you are willing to get the work done. But it is also important to note that a higher performance would also mean the walk-behind leaf blower, costing so much more.
The degree of performance of a leaf blower is often measured by the rate at which it can blow air. The airspeed of the leaf blower is measured in MPH (miles per hour). So when shopping for a leaf blower, the speed should be considered along with the CFM (cubic feet per minute). The cubic feet per minute is the volume of air that the blower can release per minute.
Normally, a walk-behind leaf blower is gas-powered. But the engine can either be a 2-stroke or a 4-stroke engine. A 2-stroke engine would give you a better performance however, this comes with higher maintenance and slightly complicated use. In this case, you will need to use a mixture of oil and gas for the 2-stroke engine. The 4-stroke engine, on the other hand, does not require this, and it also doesn’t require so much maintenance when compared with the 2-stroke engine. It also produces less noise and fume, compared to a 2-stroke one.
7. Fuel Efficiency
A walk-behind leaf blower is often designed to come with a large gas tank. This is to allow it to run for a long time before it needs a refill. So when shopping for a leaf blower, try to choose one that comes with a big gas tank so that you wouldn’t need a refill every now and then, and your garden will enjoy all the cleanup it needs. Also, if a walk-behind leaf blower comes with reduced emissions and improved efficiency, do well to choose that one.
The walk-behind leaf blower, when compared to the backpack leaf blower, is a big piece of equipment. And this makes it quite heavy compared to a handheld or backpack leaf blower. However, the walk behind leaf blower often come with different weights depending on the model. When shopping for your leaf blower, pick one that is very comfortable for you to push around the yard for a long time. Don’t forget that your comfort also matters in your decision-making process.
Since you are going to use your walk behind leaf blower for a long time, then you should definitely go for one with an ergonomic design. Ergonomic design is quite comfortable to use. This is because the handle is often padded, making it comfortable to hold while using the blower. It is also important that your leaf blower has a good set of front and back wheels. This would help with the manoeuvrability of the blower with ease.
A walk-behind leaf blower can be expensive when compared to the other types of blowers on the market. But not only will it provide you with the right amount of speed and power, but it also proves to be more durable, hence making cleaning your garden a lot easier. Yes, it may be expensive but it is okay to spend a little money if you are going to be getting the quality and performance that would last for many years.
When shopping for a leaf blower, always take into account the warranty offered on the equipment. So in case of any abnormalities, you can easily get a repair or even a replacement. Normally, the walk-behind leaf blower may come with a warranty that ranges from one year or more, and it may be based on whether the equipment is used for home or commercial use.
12. Take other built-in features into account
Usually, some walk behind leaf blowers come with additional features that complement their main one. The most useful and popular ones are the vacuuming and mulching feature which can also help with your cleaning process.
Walk-behind leaf blower vs. backpack- which is best?
As mentioned earlier, the best option for you is often dependent on the type of yard or the purpose for which you need the leaf blower. When making that decision, consider the following factors;
1. Size of area in need of cleaning
The size of the area you need to clean often requires that you consider your enjoyment. Are you clearing a huge lawn or a driveway? Do you need the leaf blower for an even bigger task? All these questions should be answered before you decide on what you need. The bigger the area that you need to clear, the bigger and more powerful a blower you need. Ideally, a backpack leaf blower is smaller than most walk-behind leaf blowers. So if you are doing small clean-up jobs of maybe an area of an acre, then a backpack leaf blower is the ideal option for your job.
Now for a cleanup that requires the entire yard, you will definitely need a walk-behind leaf blower. This is because they are powerful enough to clear up lots of debris and leaves and you can easily wheel them around the yard just as you clean up. As mentioned above, the walk behind leaf blowers also comes with powerful engines that can suck up lots of leaves and debris in a wide area. So if your lawn is wide or you work as a landscaper, then a good quality walk behind leaf blower is a great choice for you. For good quality ones, refer to the sub-topic above to make a good choice.
2. Airspeed and airflow
When considering the best option for you between the walk-behind leaf blower and the backpack, you need to also consider the airspeed and airflow of the machines in order to determine if they will meet your needs. It is normal to come across measuring units such as the Cubic Feet per Minute and Miles per Hour. Now, the higher these numbers are on the specifications of your leaf blower, the more powerful it will be when used. And the more powerful the leaf blower is, the more work you will be getting out of it.
Usually, the walk-behind leaf blowers are more powerful than backpack leaf blowers. Hence, if you need to clean up small areas, get a backpack leaf blower as it will be ideal for your type of job. But for big jobs, a walk-behind leaf blower will go a long way.
3. Ease of use
Generally, if you are considering a walk-behind leaf blower and a backpack leaf blower, you would notice that the walk-behind leaf blower is an excellent choice when it comes to ease of use. This is because you just need to wheel it around. Some people may also find backpack leaf blowers stressful after using them for some time. So you need to consider your comfort when making a decision as well as the capability of the machine.
Finally, after giving the subject matter some consideration, we can conclude that a walk-behind leaf blower may not be ideal for everyone. Most homeowners and weekend gardeners will get everything they need from the smaller and more portable backpack leaf blowers.
However, for people who need to clear larger portions of land that contain a lot of trees, a walk-behind leaf blower is a great option for all large-scale and commercial cleaning jobs. The choice always lies between the type of job, your comfort, and your yard. We hope that this article has been helpful in making your choice. Good luck!