How Does A Leaf Blower Work

How Does a Leaf Blower Work? – 2 Things to Consider Before Buying a Leaf Blower

A leaf blower is one of the most useful tools during the autumn season. This machinery can lessen the hard labor when clearing lawns and moving rubble. It offers convenience in yard keep.  

man clearing autumn leaves using a backpack leaf blower
Man Clearing Autumn Leaves Photo by Cbaile19

Aside from easing the work, leaf blowers are also used to collect compost and prevent plant diseases that can disrupt your garden from beautifully thriving. You have to be knowledgeable enough about the principle behind this tool for you to maximize its use. So, the question is, how does a leaf blower work?

1. The Principle Behind A Leaf Blower

The main principle behind this machine is centrifugal force. This is the outward force that acts on a body that pushes it away from the rotating center. Inside a leaf blower, a large volume of air enters the machine into its rotating frame with blades known as a compeller. These blades, together with the centrifugal force produced by the rotation, help accelerate the air outwards.

Diagram of air flow in a Centrifugal Blower by Republic Manufacturing
Image of a Centrifugal Blower by Republic Manufacturing

A photo from Republic Manufacturing shows how air circulates within a centrifugal blower. This uses a similar working principle as the leaf blower. The rotating frame of the machine must be fast to produce the force that will push away objects near it.

2. The Machine

Leaf blowers can either have a vacuum or just the basic blower. Both types use the same principle of centrifugal force, only in different directions. The image below is an example of a leaf blower without a vacuum. As you can see, the apparatus has a broad opening for drawing in air and a narrow exit for blowing out air. This product is available on Amazon.

DEWALT DCBL720P1 20V MAX 5.0 Ah Lithium Ion XR Brushless Blower

Refer to the photo below for the inside look at the machinery of the DeWALT Ion XR Brushless Blower.

DEWALT DCBL720P1 20V MAX 5.0 Ah Lithium Ion XR Brushless Blower

The machine works by collecting outside air and spinning it using a powerful fan. This rotation will cause the generation of centrifugal force within the machine. This formed force will then push the air outside the blower.

A large volume of air needs to be released through a narrower tube. The difference in size between the openings for the incoming air and the departing air will result in a build-up of pressure inside the case. This produced high pressure will lead to the air shooting out the blower at a very fast speed. The resulting wind speed is what helps you clear your garden.

3. Leaf Blower with a Vacuum

Depending on your preference, you can also buy a leaf blower that can be converted into a vacuum. Black+Decker, a brand available on Amazon can offer you one.

Aside from simply taking in leaves and debris, the Black+Decker with a vacuum will also shred the vacuumed waste into smaller pieces that can be easily disposed of or used as a mulch. Instead of having 16 bags to throw away, you can reduce the size of your waste into 1 bag.

Black+Decker Leaf Blower

Considerations Before Buying A Leaf Blower

1. Power Source

There are two major types of power sources for leaf blowers: electricity or gas. Machines that are powered by electricity can either have a cord or be battery powered while those running with the use of gas can either be 2-cycle or 4-cycle.

Furthermore, the gasoline-powered ones are typically more powerful and are commonly used for larger lawn operations. These are way heavier than electric ones. While electric leaf blowers are compact and lighter, these are already suitable for personal home use in smaller gardens.

2. Air Volume and Speed.

Different leaf blowers offer varied air volumes and speeds. The basic principle is that higher values indicate more air volume and faster speed. Air volume is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM) and you can choose from 90 CFM to greater than 500 CFM.

Airspeed, on the other hand, is measured in miles per hour (MPH) and options range from 100 MPH to 200 MPH. You have to consider the combination of these values when choosing a leaf blower depending on the load of work you have on your lawn.


Clearing your garden of the resulting mess of falling leaves is a bit of hard work. A leaf blower is an essential part of a hassle-free clean-up. Hours of supposed garden work can be lessened using this machine. Being knowledgeable about how this instrument is used and the principle behind it can be a huge help when you are planning to buy your own.

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