Leaf blowers and vacuums are quite heavy, so they usually have two handles for ease of use. You take most of the weight of the machine through the main handle, and use the second handle to help balance and manoeuvre it.
Some models have an adjustment button which lets you alter the position of the second handle to different angles.
Others have a smaller second handle which is fixed in one position, while smaller leaf blowers may not have a second handle at all.
The power head houses the motor and fan, as well as the controls for turning the blower on and off. These can include altering the speed, changing from blower to vacuum mode if applicable, and attaching or releasing the collection bag. These can all vary according to the make and model of machine, as some have more features than others.
A metal, plastic or nylon fan (also called an impeller) inside the power head draws air into the motor. In the case of blower vacuums, it also acts as a shredder.
Vacuum blower tubes are wider than the ones on leaf blowers and have larger nozzles, to enable them to suck up leaves. Leaf blower nozzles tend to be smaller and flatter, to concentrate the jet of air for maximum force.
Some vacuums and blowers have parallel integrated tubes that are permanently fixed in position, so you only have to turn a switch or lever when you want to change from one mode to the other. Check out our Best Leaf Blower Guide!
Collection bags vary in size, ranging from around 35 litres to 50 litres in capacity. Large bags need emptying less frequently, but can become extremely heavy as they fill up – so some people prefer the smaller ones. Most bags come with a shoulder strap to help take the weight.