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What additional features can leaf blowers and vacuums have?

Shop for Leaf Blowers & Mulching Vacuums

Wheels

Wheels on blower vacuum Because blower vacuums can be quite heavy and bulky, some of them have wheels at the front to take the strain. Many gardeners appreciate this feature, but it does mean you can only move the machine forwards and backwards, not from side to side.

Variable speed control

Variable speed control knob Being able to alter the speed of your machine can be really useful. In blower mode, you can reduce the speed for greater control when you’re trying to get the leaves into a pile, or when blowing near delicate plants.

In vacuum mode you can slow it down to avoid sucking up stones, large twigs or other items that might damage the blades or cause the machine to clog up.

Leaf blower batteries on high and low power Being able to operate the machine on a low setting also means you can reduce both noise and power consumption.

This is particularly noticeable on battery-powered blowers and vacuums, and can give you up to double the running time before they need recharging. Read our Best Cordless leaf Blower Review!

Speed lock

Leaf blower speed lock lever close-up Also known as cruise control, this feature lets you turn a lever to set and maintain a chosen speed. This makes it less tiring working for long periods, as you don’t have to keep holding the trigger down.

Rake attachment

Rake attachment on base of leaf blower tube Some blower vacuums include a small rake that you can slide on to the base of the tube. This is ideal for rounding up the last few leaves on the lawn, or sweeping them on to a tarpaulin. It also saves you having to carry a separate lawn rake around.

Scraper

Leaf scraper at base of blower tube Many blowers have a flat edge along the base of the tube which you can scrape along the ground to dislodge stuck-down leaves and debris that the blower function alone can’t shift.

Shoulder strap

Wearing shoulder strap with blower vacuum Not all hand-held blowers have a shoulder strap, but it can make the job much easier. Blower vacuums, in particular, can become very heavy as the collection bag fills up.

Wearing the strap diagonally across your body may make the bag more difficult to take off, but it will spread the weight more equally and so cause less muscle strain than slinging it over one shoulder.

Telescopic tubes

Blower vacuum with telescopic tubes Tubes that can be telescoped down after use for easy storage are becoming more popular. Some can also be locked into position at different heights to suit the user.

However, they can be a little stiff to operate, and you need to keep the tubes clean to make sure they slide into each other smoothly.