rot
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Location: Ventura County, CA, Sunset 23

Using a leaf blow/vac?

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I'm thinking of getting an electric leaf bower/vac for vacuuming up leaves and mulching them. I saw one at Sears for $50 that mulches 14:1 and comes with a shoulder bag for collecting.

The yard is small and I don't have any gas powered tools at the moment so I'm thinking the electric will work better for me.

I've got a bunch of avocado leaves to clean up on a regular basis.

Anyone had any success or problems with these things?

Anything to look out for?

Any advice welcome.

Thanks in advance
..

estorms
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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:04 pm
Location: Greenfield Township, PA

I have the gasoline version of the blower you describe. I love it! I no longer use the vacum attachment as chipmunks and mice have eaten the bag. The vacum was good for vacuming leaves out of the flower beds, or off a section of small, decorative stones. It took too long to vacum a whole yard full of leaves. I use the blower a lot. I can blow the leaves into a furrow and pick them up with the bagger on my lawn mower. I could blow them right into the woods, but I want them for the garden. It is great for blowing debries off the porches and little stones and dirt out of the driveway. If I had it to do over, I would keep it in a garbage can away from critters. I tried to blow cobwebs off a vaulted ceiling with it. It worked, but all the fire alarms went off.

Hortman
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:00 pm
Location: Chicago area

Using a leaf blow/vac?

Hey rot. Hortman here. When it comes to buying a leaf blower/vac, check to see
What kind of fan it has. They come in plastic and metal. The plastic will chip when
Stones and sticks get vacuumed up. That will cause a loss in power. Get one with a
metal fan. You won’t be sorry. Take care.
Ken here with The Home Depot in the Chicago area

rot
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Location: Ventura County, CA, Sunset 23

It's those small bits that make all the difference

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Thanks guys.

For right now, I'm renting a small place with a small yard with a mow and blow guy that comes by once every other week. I've gotten the mow and blow guy to rake the leaves onto the grass and save me all that is bagged.

Meanwhile, I like to take the kitchen scraps out each week and the three avocado trees keep shedding leaves. I just need to shred those shed leaves on a weekly basis and I think I have enough to keep digesting the kitchen scraps.

An electric unit means I don't have to store gas in the dinky place I'm hanging in for now.

I will look for something with a metal fan (that's key I think) and I will use a broom for the cobwebs. I may go with a Kellog Eco 1600 for $100 I'm chasing down on Craigslist. It's not a vac unit but I can still rake leaves easily enough.

It's those small bits of wisdom you guys share that make all the difference.

Thank you so much.
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rot
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Location: Ventura County, CA, Sunset 23

It's those small bits that make all the difference

..Somehow submitted the same post twice - w/apologies..

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gixxerific
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Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

I used to have one it was great it is now long gone, I wish I had another.

Oh and Estorms your not supposed to use gas powered equipmenet indoors, just saying. 8) :lol: :P

rot
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Location: Ventura County, CA, Sunset 23

Adventures in leaf mulch

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Well I got the eco shredder. The guy on craigslist got back to me before I went looking around again for the blow/vac thing with a metal impeller. Basically a big ol' 14 Amp garbage disposal.

Avocado leaves are large so the small egress on the eco shredder just wasn't going to cut it so I removed the top. I could kind a pour leaves in a handful at a time but it made a real mess on a breezy day with leaves falling about and then stuff rising up through the short top and blowing away in the breeze.

I went down to the big hardware box store and got a 3 ft length of 8 inch duct tubing and then an 8 in to 10 in adapter for a slight funnel top. I shoved the duct into the 7.5 in hole on the top of the shredder. The passage for branches keeps the duct from going down to far. Then I secured the top of the duct with zip ties that hold the adapter/funnel in place. The adapter/funnel thing covers the sharp edges of that end of the duct work.

I still spill some leaves about but I can pour a little faster and not loose anything rising out of the top.

Mulches dry leaves and fresh leaves and reduces the dry leaf volume better than 10 times near as I can tell.

The four foot rose canes needed to be chopped to about 1 ft lengths to work.

It'll work for me. When I run it into the ground, I'll go get a blow/vac with a metal impeller then.

Now I have a steady supply of leaf mulch for the beds and cover for the compost bin. No more waiting for the mow and blow kid to decide to come around maybe twice a month.

Thanks again everyone.
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rainingcrop
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Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:09 pm

Re: Using a leaf blow/vac?

Found this thread by accident. I am looking for a good leaf blower myself. Hate raking those leaves every year. And my back is also not what it used to be. :? Can anyone recommend a good blower for about $100-150? I found this comparison site - which was kind of helpful. But I'd rather ask people "in the flesh" you know? :mrgreen:

estorms
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Location: Greenfield Township, PA

Re: Using a leaf blow/vac?

I pick them up with the bagger on my lawnmower.

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ElizabethB
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Location: Lafayette, LA

Re: Using a leaf blow/vac?

We have both an electric and a gas powered blower/vac. We got the electric so I can blow debris off of the patio. I can no longer start the gas blower. The electric blower/vac is great for blowing debris but does not do a good job of vacuuming. The gas unit is good for vacuuming small debris. It is a high end unit with a metal fan but large debris will clog it up. I did try using the gas unit on oak leaves. It did just OK. I frequently had to stop and un-clog the feed tube.

Our yard is large enough to justify a riding mower with a 3 bin bagger. When we were younger we had a self propelled, walk behind mower with a bagger. You may want to consider that as an option. Blower/vacs are not designed to handle large, tough leaves like avocado leaves.

Good luck
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

toxcrusadr
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Location: MO

Re: Using a leaf blow/vac?

We bought an electric Toro blower/vac a couple years ago, seemed like it was well under $100 and had a metal impeller. Also had a continuously variable speed knob instead of just low and high. I would recommend a machine like that.

We have so many leaves that we use the blower mostly, to collect them in big piles which then go into wire fence 'bins' During winter they break down and compress, and we layer a few in the compost bin with kitchen scraps (pretty much all year). By spring we can mix leaves with grass clippings for compost and nutritious garden mulch. Like some others have posted, our volume is just too big to try shredding with the machine.
Tox

rainingcrop
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Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:09 pm

Re: Using a leaf blow/vac?

Thanks for the kind responses. I think I will go for an electric one. The idea of storing the gas for the leaf blower is not appealling to me. The Toro blower/vac looks promising and thanks for the tips for composting. :wink:

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