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Posted by on November 25, 2009    |    Leave a reply   

Someone might think, “Leaf blowers seem like an innocent enough power tool, surely they’re not surrounded by an enormous civil/environmental controversy.”

That someone would be wrong.

As a heated debate continues about the widespread use of gas-powered leaf blowers, these power tools do more than just sweep up leaves; they also kick up a some political compost.

On one side, there are environmental concerns because of gas usage, and advocates are pushing for cleaner technology. They are also concerned about noise pollution concerns involved with loud leaf blowers in residential neighborhoods.

On the other side of the argument, lawn and garden business owners stress the industry’s dependency on the machines, as they sharply and necessarily cut down on labor costs. Strangely, they are joined with a number of enthusiasts who just think that leaf blowers are cool.

Manufacturers are responding by providing more power options for blowers, as well as low noise designs.

Although the power of gasoline blowers is still needed for commercial use, models like The Black & Decker NS118 18 Volt Cordless Broom Hard Surface Sweeper are well-reviewed for homeowner use, being electric, efficient, and low on noise.

Black and Decker NS118 18 Volt Cordless Broom Hard Surface SweeperThen, in a completely different leaf-blower-universe it seems, an equally epic clash of turbulent ideas regarding leaf blowers is under way.

For some, the question isn’t “How should leaf blowers be powered and when?” but rather, “How can I optimize this magnificent air displacement to entertain myself?”

Although it would be best if leaf blowers were left to their real jobs, some of the bright, dim, and/or bizarre blower uses out there deserve a mention.

Here’s some youtube videos that sample these alternative blower use techniques:

The Blower + Spinning Chair Method

The Belly Crater

The Blower Hovercraft

Whether a blower is being used to make someone dizzy or get some real work done, just make sure to be safe and to keep those tools in good condition.

As a seasonal tool, it’s the time of year to hang those blowers up for the winter, so check out’s Winterizing Power Tools article.

And if it’s time for a part replacement (like a spark plug change), visit our Leaf Blowers Parts page to get started with a parts search.

Posted by on November 4, 2009    |    Leave a reply   

Individual tool pages on have necessary features for finding parts, like parts lists and breakdown diagrams. But that’s not all.

Every tool page on our website also includes a discussion feature specific to that tool, a place where tool users can ask questions, share experiences, and offer advice.

Discussion features are located at the top of every tool page, and can be viewed by clicking the “Discussion” tab. There is also a discussion box at the bottom of each tool page.

Each page’s discussion feature has three options:

1. Repair Advice for that tool,
2. Repair Questions for that tool, and
3. Reviews of that tool.

Here’s what the discussion feature box looks like:

Discussion BoxThese information tools put power in our customer’s hands by creating a space where professionals and other tool users can “talk shop” on their own terms, get to the bottom of tricky issues, and give each other a heads up on product performance.

Reviews on tools and machines are especially helpful for potential tool buyers, because several perspectives of in-the-field customer experience come together to lay down the final word.

Makita products are some of our most heavily-reviewed tools and machines, and they also have received some of the highest compliments from users. We highlight three very favorable reviews below that got our attention:

Makita Logo




“I own several different models but this is the one all my employees love…and they have demolished more concrete and dug more holes using a spade bit than you can imagine,” he wrote. “ I would buy more if they ever stopped making them and store them.”


“Very good tool have had it for 5-6 years never no problem. And I have used the &%#$ out of it.”


Ted,” an experienced trimmer user says, “The [Makita RBC251 Trimmer] is very easy to work on, fires right up, and gets the job done. It is light and powerful. I highly recommend.”

“I bought this string trimmer weed eater over 10 years ago & has been by far the best weed eater I’ve ever used,” said “Todd M.”

And, professional cutter “Winston” added, “This has to be the best and the lightest trimmer I have ever purchased.”


Thanks for the great reviews everyone, including all those not highlighted here. We’re sure your advice will help other tool users get a more accurate idea of what they’re getting into with a new tool purchase.

Of course, not all tool reviews are positive ones, and opinions often differ; sometimes a lot. The same tool or machine can be a nightmare for one user, and a perfect buy for another. “Different strokes for different folks.” “It takes all kinds.” etc.

At, we simply see the value in customer voices having a place to be heard and shared. Even in the territory of opinion, trends often develop (for bad or for good), and product reviews can at least be a starting point for heading in the right direction.