Blown Away3rd December 2013 • Stephanie Recommends • Stephanie Donaldson
Leafblowers are generally something I avoid – too noisy, too heavy and too powerful, resulting in plants being blown away along with the leaves. What’s wrong with a broom? And I really can’t be doing with petrol-driven equipment – the garden isn’t large so there is no need – and as I’m about as far as you can get from a petrol-head, I find them a bit of a palaver and all-too-often difficult to start.
So, after this extended moan, the good news is that I’ve found a leafblower that is easy to use, easy to control and much quieter than most. Quiet Mark the organisation that promotes the development of quiet equipment (indoors and outdoors) suggested that I trial some of their recommended leafblowers and the star of the trio (the other two were petrol-driven) was the Stihl cordless lithium powered BGA B5. The trigger operation means that you can vary the speed by increasing or decreasing the pressure which makes it far easier to control and stop. It is much quieter, especially at slow speeds and is reasonably light and comfortable to use. It happily deals with piles of soggy leaves and is easy to angle so that you can remove excess leaves from the border without stripping the insulating layer I like to leave in place over winter.
The downside is the price – the blower costs £229, the batteries start at £105 and the charger units start at £35. If you already have other Stihl cordless equipment with compatible batteries and chargers you won’t need to buy these and there is absolutely no doubt that Stihl make superb equipment, but I think you need a larger garden than mine to justify the cost. Ho hum – back to the broom.