How to choose a garden vacuum cleaner, blower, selection tips and reviews
A vacuum cleaner — a device that sucks up leaves, grass, small branches, sawdust, household waste. The vacuum cleaner is equipped with a bag in which the collected debris accumulates.
Ventilator — a device that blows out garbage. A more «advanced» alternative to the classic broom. Such a device is good for cleaning garden paths and hard-to-reach areas from small litter.
blower-vacuum cleaner — a device that combines the functions of previous devices (blowing-suction). To switch operating modes, many models involve replacing the blowing pipe with a suction pipe and vice versa. Universal solution.
- garden vacuum cleaner
Manual — a relatively compact, mobile and cheap device. It is supplied with a handle-holder, shoulder strap or support rollers. It is convenient to process hard-to-reach areas with a similar model. Disadvantages: low power and bag volume, modest functionality, operator fatigue. Occurs most often.
Scope of application: simple work on a small suburban area up to 0.2 ha.
Knapsack — more powerful and productive unit. Equipped with shoulder straps for easy portability. The knapsack design reduces the load on the hands, which saves the gardener’s strength. At the same time, the ability to work in hard-to-reach places remains. Cons: high cost, heavy weight, lack of suction mode, heavy load on the back and shoulders of the operator.
Scope of application: processing of a site of the average size.
Wheeled — a powerful device, it is distinguished by an effective grinder and a capacious garbage collector. This vacuum cleaner / blower has transport wheels to move around the site. Some models are self-propelled. Disadvantages: the highest price, bulkiness, inability to use in hard-to-reach areas.
Scope of application: cleaning of an area with a flat surface of 0.2-0.5 ha (non-self-propelled), over 0.5 ha (self-propelled).
- Manual blower
- backpack blower
- wheel blower
Source of power
Petrol – powerful and productive vacuum cleaner / air duct. This unit is completely mobile, as it does not depend on wires and sockets. Often equipped with knives for shredding garden debris. Gasoline models are made in different form factors (manual, knapsack, wheeled).
Cons of a gasoline unit: high price (plus fuel and oil costs), exhaust gases, difficult maintenance, massiveness, loud noise and vibration during use. The petrol vacuum cleaner / blower is designed to process large areas.
Important: When choosing a vacuum cleaner / blower with a gasoline engine, pay attention to its type. With the same volume, a 2-stroke is cheaper and more powerful, and a 4-stroke is quieter and more economical.
Electric — an environmentally friendly, relatively cheap, low-noise, compact, easy-to-use device. Electric devices are most often manual. Disadvantages: low power and performance. This technique is represented by the following options.
- network (220 V) — has no restrictions on operating time, but is tied to an outlet, and its mobility depends on the length of the cable (extension cord).
- Rechargeable — provides mobility similar to a gasoline unit, but more expensive and more massive than a network model with less power. Requires periodic charging, and the operating time is determined by the capacity and battery level (40-60 minutes). This type of power supply is typical for hand-held devices, most often blowers.
- Network + battery — combines the advantages of previous solutions. Occurs rarely.
blowing — the air flow moves the debris in the direction specified by the operator. Allows you to easily and quickly collect cones, leaves, packages, branches in a heap. Classic blower mode.
Suction – the air flow draws the debris into the unit and directs it into the bag. Ideal for clearing the area of leaves and other small materials. Standard mode in the vacuum cleaner.
Grinding (mulching) — resembles the previous mode, but unlike it, it reduces the size of the sucked-in debris by grinding it. This reduces the volume of contents in the container, and the waste itself is converted into fertilizer material or mulch. A vacuum cleaner with this function is supplied with sharp knives.
Important: The grinding factor characterizes the effectiveness of this function. Specified as a 5:1 ratio; 8:1: 10:1, 16:1. The larger the first number, the smaller the fraction will be. The average grinding ratio is 10:1.
The blowing speed directly depends on this parameter, and therefore the performance of the vacuum cleaner / blower. It is measured in kilowatts (kW) for an electric motor or horsepower (hp) for a gasoline engine.
The more powerful the device, the higher the airflow rate and the efficiency of the grinder. True, with an increase in power, the price, dimensions, weight and noise of the unit, as well as electricity / fuel consumption, increase.
Power is determined by the design of the vacuum cleaner / blower:
- manual – 0.3-3 kW;
- knapsack –0.7-3.6 kW;
- wheeled – 2 kW.
The type of engine also affects the power:
- electric –1.5-3 kW;
- petrol – 0.5-4.5 kW.
The optimal power of the vacuum cleaner is 2-2.4 kW. This model is suitable for comfortable work in a small area. For a 2.5 kW electrical unit, a special cable with a cross section of 1.5 mm is required2. Otherwise, the wiring may overheat.
ImportantNote: The performance of the vacuum cleaner / blower is also affected by other factors, such as the design of the impeller.
Before buying a powerful electric model, make sure that the power supply can withstand this load.
If you need to convert horsepower to kilowatts, use the ratio: 1 liter. With. approximately equal to 735 watts.
This parameter shows how quickly the vacuum cleaner / blower will complete a certain amount of work. The performance of the vacuum cleaner is estimated based on the amount of air flow (suction), and the performance of the blower depends on the blowing speed.
Airflow volume (suction / blowing) — the maximum volume of air that the vacuum cleaner distills through itself. The unit of measurement is cubic meters per minute (m3/min). With an increase in this indicator, the area covered by the vacuum cleaner expands. 10-15 m is suitable for caring for a garden plot3/ min.
The amount of air flow depends on the type of engine:
- electric — 5-18 m3/min;
- petrol — 7-25 m3/min or more.
Important: the blowing airflow volume is taken into account when choosing a blower, a vacuum cleaner-blower. This parameter allows you to evaluate how suitable the technique is for processing large areas.
blowing speed — the maximum air flow rate that is created by the blower. The unit of measurement is meters per second (m/s) or kilometers per hour (km/h). The higher the blowing speed, the higher the quality of the unit, which is especially important when cleaning hard-to-reach places.
The blowing speed is determined by the design of the blower:
- manual – 50-70 m/s (180-250 km/h);
- knapsack – 80-100 m/s (288-360 km/h).
For simple tasks and work of medium complexity, a unit that produces 70-84 m / s (250-300 km / h) is enough. This technique is suitable for cleaning the area from wet foliage, grass, cones, thick branches and other garden debris.
This indicator characterizes the autonomy of the vacuum cleaner / blower. The operating time of gasoline units depends on the fuel consumption and the volume of the fuel tank. The duration of operation of electric (battery) models is affected by power consumption and battery capacity.
The large capacity of the tank and battery extends the operating time, but at the same time the dimensions and weight of the device increase, which reduces ease of use.
Battery — a convenient option, since the gardener does not need to select and buy a battery separately. At the same time, not every regular battery is suitable for the needs of a particular user.
Shoulder strap – provides comfortable work with a vacuum cleaner / blower and low operator fatigue. Especially important for long-term use of the unit. Only manual models are equipped with such an accessory.
Bag – accumulates debris collected by a vacuum cleaner. The volume of the grass catcher is 20-200 l (20-60 l — manual, 80-200 l — wheeled). A compact bag is lighter, a large one is more capacious and does not need to be emptied as often. For a model with a chopper function, a small bin is suitable, as it will fill up more slowly.
Important: For a small area, it is better to choose a model that has a non-removable bag with a zipper. This solution does not require the grass catcher to be removed for emptying. But the removable option is convenient if there are several bags — this way you can put all the collected garbage in one place. Ideal for a wide area.
Support rollers — simplify the use of the vacuum cleaner and reduce the fatigue of the gardener. The track roller machine is a good choice for large jobs. Only hand-held vacuum cleaners are equipped with such a device.
Airflow regulation – Decrease or increase the air flow rate. It serves to adjust the vacuum cleaner for a specific task and prevents unnecessary consumption of electricity / fuel and wear and tear on equipment. This option is available on all high performance petrol and electric models.
Impeller stone protection – prolongs the life of the vacuum cleaner.
This indicator is useful for assessing the volume of the vacuum cleaner / blower. The unit of measurement is decibels (dB). The quieter the unit operates, the more comfortable its use, but the lower the performance. The optimal noise level parameter in vacuum cleaners / blowers is 90-105 dB. The maximum permissible noise level for a person is up to 120 (pain threshold).
When working with a noisy unit (more than 90 dB), be sure to use special headphones or earplugs.
Important: It is recommended to work with the vacuum cleaner / blower wearing overalls, goggles (to protect the eyes from small particles) and gloves that reduce vibration.
This indicator affects the convenience of working with a handheld and backpack vacuum cleaner / blower. Manual units weigh 3-7 kg, knapsack units — 5-10 kg. The lighter the device, the better it is for teenagers, women, and the elderly.