While most of our readers’ lives are positively impacted by the existence of leaf blowers, we have recently encountered numerous critics asking a surprisingly common question — “Why the hell would you need these things?”.
Firstly, we thought they were joking. Seriously, it’s not that complex: In goes oil or petrol and out comes air. Well, after we have heard this question for the 20th time, we decided to write an article dedicated to this topic.
After all, it is easier to just send haters a link, rather than respond individually. We hope that you will find these tips useful and share them with anybody who you wish to enlighten.
8 Acceptable uses for a leaf blower
1. Clearing Large Amounts of Leaves
It seems somewhat obvious. After all, it is in their name! Never less, it apparently needs to be mentioned. Many people criticize leaf blowers for being dirty, useless devices for lazy people. Sure, everybody is entitled to an opinion, even if it is as wrong as theirs… Some people have lawns, large lawns, full of trees. Those trees shed leaves in the fall—hence the name of the season, and in most cases, it would be pretty much impossible to clear them manually in a reasonable amount of time, as illustrated below.
Thus, if you wouldn’t clear this giant pile of leaves for 20 bucks, I’d suggest you shut up about my leaf blower.
2. Cleaning Rain Gutters
With leaves out of the way, let’s move to the fun and creative applications. Gutters are outright impossible to clean manually—I don’t know about you, but I sure can’t reach into a 3-meter-long pipe. I almost cried when I realized I can simply use my leaf blower. It’s easy, fast, efficient and simply genius.
Quite understandably, you shouldn’t dust your shelves with a leaf blower, as seen below. But tractors, crops, roofs, cars and other large equipment or surfaces that will not be blown away by the force of the wind can be easily dusted with a single sweep.
4. Removing Shallow Snow
Now, you will most likely not be able to clear your entire driveway. After all, there are devices for that purpose—snow blowers. Still, most leaf blowers will not have an issue with snow and ice on cars and roofs! Try it out next time you’re running late to work in winter.
5. Clearing Puddles
Sure, this one may seem somewhat unnecessary, but let’s face it—Puddles are annoying. Since you already own a leaf blower, you may as well go and get rid of them. Let the neighbors whine about the noise coming from your yard, they’re most likely just jealous.
6. Chasing Out Rodents
It is certainly not safe to use a leaf blower on your pet. With that said, if your lawn finds itself invaded by mice, moles or hamsters, you will most likely not care about their safety anyway. The “humane” way to get rid of them would be poison, but in general, crops taste far better than cyanide and thus, your little visitors might end up eating the entire yard before they turn their noses to your trap. We’re not condoning this behavior, but hey … it’s easier to just find their burrow, point the nozzle at the opening and be done with it.
7. Drying surfaces
As crazy as may sound, leaf blowers work like giant hair dryers. You shouldn’t point them at your head, but in principle, the design is same. Thus, whenever you clean any surface, be it floor, car, roof, etc. instead of waiting until it dries out, which might take hours during a cold day, you can simply dry it out with a leaf blower in a matter of seconds.
8. Building A Foam Machine
Props to the guys over at Hackaday for doing that. With a tank, a submersible pump and a blower vac, you could also build your own foam machine for your next big party. Just remember to be highly cautious, as water and electricity are not a good mix.
4 odd questions on leaf blower usage
Now that we got you all hyped up about leaf blowers, we must curb you down a bit. Leaf blowers are versatile, sure, but you can’t just point them at any problem at hand and expect them to solve it. Thus, we have prepared a very short FAQ for this purpose.
- Can I use a leaf blower to dry a dog?
Not unless it’s taxidermized.
- Can I use a leaf blower to clean the house?
Yes and no. In principle, it’s a stupid idea, since everything that is not nailed down will quite literally fly away. Still, if you are cleaning out an empty room, for example after a paint job, it might not be such a bad idea!
- Can we use leaf blowers to inflate stuff?
Possibly, but there is no real way to ensure that it can be done safely without safety valves, especially in small volumes. Unless it is a jumping castle, we would not recommend inflating anything with a leaf blower.
- Is it possible to use a leaf blower as a boat motor?
Surprisingly, yes! Though you won’t manage to get very far, it seems to be possible, as seen here.