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Bosch ALB 36 LI Review

Verdict

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Simple design, a light weight and ample power – the Bosch ALB 36 LI offers reliable performance for those looking to clear their gardens with ease.

Pros

  • Slender and light
  • Simple thumbwheel control
  • Powerful for its size

Cons

  • Comparatively expensive
  • Review Price: £210
  • Air speed 170-250 km/hr
  • 36V
  • 2.8kg

The Bosch ALB 36LI is a light, mid-range leaf blower offering classic Bosch reliability and Syneon chip technology. Its most noticeable feature is the minimalist controls: you both start and increase the speed using a red thumbwheel. It’s also slender, well balanced and light, useful for a myriad of fiddly jobs indoors and out, and a good choice for those gardeners with a smaller build.

Related: Best leaf blowers

Once you’ve unpacked the Bosch ALB 36Li, you simply charge the battery and then clip on the unit and the blower tube. The only control on the green and black machine is a red thumbwheel on the top-front of the soft-grip handle. Roll it forward to start, and the further you roll the faster it goes.

Bosch ALB 36 LI thumbwheel

Intuitive Syneon chip technology controls the energy of the machine according to demand, so that you’re always working at the optimum power for each task. The chip controls the ratio between current and voltage, and is supposed to prevent overheating and increase the lifetime of the blower – but I wasn’t really aware of it making much difference.

The Bosch ALB 36 LI also has a bent-tube nozzle to achieve the right angle for blowing, avoiding the need to stoop. A red button enables you take this off for storage.

Bosch ALB 36 LI nozzle connector

The battery is 36V 2.6Ah and has three indicator lights. The AL 3620 charger also has three lights: for charging, charged, or battery knackered. It took 95 minutes to charge, and we managed 12 minutes’ run-time at full speed; 32 minutes at the lowest speed.

I really liked the simplicity of using a machine that’s controlled via a thumbwheel. It means that the Bosch ALG 36 LI can be operated even if you’re wearing thick winter gloves. In addition, once you’ve set the desired speed, you don’t have to keep working a trigger. You can also change hands during use without the blower stopping. The minimalist controls make the unit ideal for anyone who isn’t technically minded.

My petite girlfriend found the Bosch ALB 36 LI super-comfortable – with its soft-grip handle – and light to use, and also appreciated the simple controls. Also, it’s so compact that storage isn’t an issue and you could even use it indoors; it wasn’t long before I was using it to dust my computer and blow dirt and rubbish out of my car.

Bosch ALB 36 LI side

Its lightweight, and the slight curve on the nozzle, mean that you can use the Bosch ALB 36 LI for small gardening jobs in confined spaces – clearing fallen debris in a herbaceous border, for example, or in-between vegetables in a polytunnel.

The Bosch ALB 36 LI took 10 minutes to clear damp leaves off 40 square metres of grass. It certainly didn’t like wet leaves, struggling to shift them, especially on gravel. It was strong enough to get dry leaves over a 4-inch lip round my drive, and it could blow them over a metre ahead of me.

I’d classify the Bosch ALB LI as having mid-range power. Also, it may be good at coping with dry leaves and small twigs, but its lowest speed is quite fast. You couldn’t use it to sweep a workshop – even on the very lowest setting, it blows dust or sawdust all over the place.

The Bosch ALB LI offers a simple, sleek design, with only a thumbwheel to control the unit. It’s light and slender enough to be used in confined spaces for more fiddly jobs and is perfect for the petite among us, or those lacking in strength. It’s averagely powerful, too. In fact, its only real flaw is that it’s expensive.

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