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How we test leaf blowers

At Trusted Reviews, it’s important that we test the kit we get in the same way, allowing us to compare and contrast between them. Leaf blowers are no exception, and we use a combination of real-world testing and direct power measurements.

Our test environment

Our home appliance testing lab has a garden outside of it, encompassing grass and trees, which drop a fair amount of leaves on them. We test all of our leaf blowers here, using the same environment.

Ease of use tests

For leaf blowers, how easy they are to use is arguably as important as raw power. To that end, we use them extensively, and comment on weight, balance and the ease of controls, marking out the good from the bad.

Leaf clearing

We test leaf blowers on real leaves, waiting until they’re damp. We take before and after pictures of three scenarios, to show how well the blower performed. Our scenarios are: easy leaves, which are loose on top of grass; tough leaves, which are caught up around blades of grass; debris, where we try and move large bits of material, such as sticks. We comment how easy it was to move the debris, and if we had to use the leaf blower’s rake (if available on its nozzle).

Power measurements

We also measure the power of each leaf blower, using an anemometer to measure air speed. We measure the power at the opening at minimum and maximum power, and we also measure air speed at maximum power at 1m, showing how well the blower maintains power.

Measuring the opening of the leaf blower, we also work out the air volume shifted at minimum and maximum speed, which gives a better indicator of the total pushing force available.

Finally, we measure sound from ear height at maximum power outside, quoting the result in dB.

Scoring and verdict

After all the tests are complete, we score the product using the criteria outlined in the criteria mentioned here. All scores are weighted based on price and the intended audience. So, a smaller, cheap blower that doesn’t have a huge amount of power but can clear a small garden can score as highly as a huge leaf blower with tonnes of power, designed for large gardens.

Have we missed anything crucial that you want to see in reviews? You can get in touch with us on Twitter @TrustedReviews or you can email the editor at editor@trustedreviews.com.

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Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

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