So, you’ve just invested in a great backpack leaf blower. But how do you get the most out of your new machine? In this article, we’ll look at how to start, stop and use your machine effectively and safely.
Before you start
Before you start your blower, it’s best to do a few preparations. Perhaps most importantly, make sure you’re appropriately dressed, wearing clothing that covers your arms and legs completely. Ear and eye protection are also a must, and we strongly recommend wearing a pair of work gloves and boots as well. Blowers produce a strong blast of air that can cause debris to rebound and hit you.
Have a quick look around the area you’re planning to work, making sure there is no glass or metal debris (like cans). Check no passers-by are in the area either, as flying debris can hit them unintentionally.
Now make a quick plan regarding how you’ll proceed. Where will you make your piles? Which areas will you tackle first? It’s best to make sure you don’t attempt to cover too large an area in one go – you’ll find it much easier to break the job down into bitesize sections.
Starting your backpack leaf blower
Now you are ready to start the blower. Quickly check there is fuel in the tank, then proceed in one of two ways. For a cold start (more than 45mins since last use), set the choke to the on position, and pump the fuel primer a few times until you see fuel heading into the carburetor, or it becomes hard. For a hot start, you can skip those two previous steps, and proceed to put the throttle into the ¾ position and check the off switch is set to on.
With the blower on the ground, put one hand on the top to the machine to steady it, and grasp the start cord in the other. Pull the start cord gently until you feel it become harder, and then pull it sharply. Repeat this a few times until the motor starts.
If the machine doesn’t start after 7-8 pulls, then stop and leave the leaf blower for a few minutes. After the time has passed you can then return and try again.
Once the leaf blower starts, then switch the choke off immediately, and you are ready to go. Put the leaf blower on your back, and you are ready to start
How to use a leaf blower
Using a leaf blower isn’t hard, but there are a few things to keep in mind to work most effectively. Most owners will be running their machine in the same place, so you should develop and refine your technique as you get more experience.
Leaf blowers are best used to clear debris and loose leaves off lawns and paths. You can either blow this material into piles to pick it up and collect it, or you can blow it into the underside of hedges or other areas you aren’t looking to keep as neat and tidy. Remember that blowers can throw up quite a lot of debris, so make sure it doesn’t hit any windows or cars. Another think to be mindful of is damaging plants, which is easy to do with the powerful air blast.
Keep the nozzle as close to the ground as you can, and move the air pipe backward and forwards in a smooth steady motion. You should try to use the minimum throttle setting you can – not only will this reduce noise and keep your neighbors happy – but it’ll also help improve your fuel efficiency.
Stopping your blower
Stopping your machine is a very straightforward procedure – simply press the off switch and the machine will stop instantly. Be careful when you take the machine off – the muffler will still be hot and you can easily catch loose clothing on it.
Rake up your piles of leaves, and you’re done! It’s time to survey your handy work.