Walk-behind leaf blowers (sometimes called push blowers) are heavy-duty leaf blowing devices designed to be pushed and/or possibly pulled by the user. The engine of the device is located on a tri-wheeled chassis, eliminating the need for its carrying and by extension expanding the weight limit of the blower. The nozzle is positioned at the foot of the device from the side. The design allows for enormous engine displacement compared to its hand-held and backpack counterparts. It is consequently the most powerful of the leaf blower design.
Characteristics – What to expect from walk-behind leaf blowers
The engine displacement of walk-behind leaf blowers exceeds by far the displacements of hand-held and backpack devices. With an average displacement of 304 cc, they topple the backpack’s displacement of 57 cc close to six-fold. The CFM follows the same trend, reaching an average value of 1967. On the other hand, the speed, or the MPH is leveled with the hand-held devices and is exceeded by backpacks, averaging a value of 169. To learn more about these values, visit our guide which breaks down the topic in further detail.
Most of the walk-behind blowers are powered by gasoline (shortly gas blowers), utilizing both 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines. Nowadays, the 4-stroke engines are more common – unlike 2-stroke engines, they do not require mix of oil and gasoline. Our database also includes two devices that are powered by electricity. However, they are corded and function as a walk-behind leaf vacuum with mulching capacity.
The size and weight of the fuel tank is not limited by the user’s physical abilities. Thus, walk-behind blowers quite commonly facilitate a fuel capacity of 200+ fl.oz.
Walk-behind leaf blowers commonly feature variable speeds, depending on the way your pull their throttle. Other fancy features, such as blowback limitation and self propelling may be included in high tier devices. These features make walk-behind blowers some of the most technologically sophisticated blowers on the market. A couple of electric walk-behind leaf blowers can both vacuum leaves and turn them into mulch.
The blower’s chassis may be a benefit when it comes to the amount of labour needed to move it. However, it can also be challenging to operate in irregular terrain. The ease of manipulation is ultimately determined by the weight of the device and quality of its wheels. Self-propelling may further reduce the force required to move the device.
In addition, most devices do not offer any flexibility in the positioning of their nozzle. It is required to reposition the entire chassis when changing the direction of blowing. Thus, most push blowers may not be suitable for rough surfaces.
Wheeled leaf blowers are by far the loudest of the designs. Their noise ratings commonly exceed 80 dB and reach up to 100 dB. Hearing protection, such as ear muffs or ear plugs is crucial for their operation, as the blower may otherwise cause permanent hearing damage. This also disqualifies them from any residential areas.
The maintenance of wheeled leaf blowers can be time consuming, mainly due to their size, but also the specifics of their design. The wheels need to be kept clean an oiled, as does the engine. Consider that the engine is located near to the ground and will end up accumulating some debris. If that was not enough, their tires will wear out over time and must be replaced.
While there are some cheap exceptions, most push blowers are very expensive. The price of most models included in our database exceeds $1000 and at the high end reaches $3264.
According to our research, the most popular products in the category of walk-behind leaf blowers come from two brands: Little Wonder and Billy Goat. Both Billy Goat and Little Wonder blowers are spread throughout the entire spectrum of prices; Billy Goat push blowers start at roughly $730, while Little Wonder ones can be found from $1192.
Who are they for?
Walk-behind leaf blowers are ideal for professional use on large properties. Golf courses, long stretches of sidewalks, roads and football fields come in mind as an example for perfect use. Leaves, dry or wet, debris and even small rocks are unlikely to withstand the power of these devices.
However, their noise can be very limiting and we do not recommend their use in residential areas. They are unnecessarily over powered for gardens, small lawns and driveways. In addition, the mobility of blowers of this type is limited by their design. Thus, irregular terrains are out of the question. Hand-held blowers and backpack blowers are a better option for the above scenarios.
Walk-behind blowers are extremely powerful devices that will cost a fortune. They are intended for professional use in non residential areas. While their power and fuel capacity exceed by far anything that other leaf blower designs can provide, and make for a great long-term investment, since they dramatically reduce the amount of labor required for groundskeeping, they are limited by their loudness, mobility and the need for thorough maintenance.
- Extremely powerful
- High fuel capacity
- Mostly 4-stroke engines (no need for gas/oil mix)
- Greatly reduce labor
- Often expensive
- Very loud
- Low mobility