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Sunday, 08 November 2015


I bought one of these over the weekend and used it for about an hour on Saturday.


The initial cost was high, but cheaper than renting one or hiring a landscaper, amortized over 4 years.

It really moves the leaves and allowed me to get most of the stuff off of the lawn (about 3/4 of an acre) in a reasonable amount of time. I plan to follow up for with a second session when the trees are bare in a week or so.


For many situations, earplugs are a good solution. I am also a "Highly Sensitive Person" as they call us now (there are books about it), and I use them a lot, especially when trying to go to sleep.

The trick is to get really good one. Comfortable yet effective. Best I've found yet are Mack's Ultra.

Another good solution is Beneficial Products' "World's Finest".

I used to live in an area much like you are now Mike. For large amounts of leaves handheld blowers of any type have rather limited use. Typically all they can do is blow them into a small pile. If you are truly trying to clear the yard without having to resort to raking then the best bet is to put on some ear protectors and invest in or rent a walk behind blower. We have had one for years and can't imagine doing the leaves without it.

Forgot to add.

While a device like a push blower is quite noisy you will be making all that noise for a much shorter amount of time.

Rake. It's more aerobic. It's so very retro.

When I lived in New Hampshire we used the time-honored rake + blue tarp technique. Rake a bunch of leaves onto the tarp, drag it into the woods, dump, repeat. Very quiet, though we had a mere acre to content with.

I can relate to your sensitivity to noise, and to your hatred of leaf blowers. But when we moved into our suburban house 12 years ago (from a city condo), we suddenly had two enormous silver maple trees to contend with, plus some apple trees and lilacs, plus three more gigantic silver maple trees in neighbouring yards. All this on a plot of land that's maybe 60x100 feet.

I resisted getting a blower out of respect for my neighbours. By the second year I realized they had zero respect for anyone when it comes to noise (mowing the lawn at 6:30 on a beautiful summer night? When people want to have a nice al-fresco dinner? WTF!). So I broke down and got a leaf blower. More accurately, a leaf sucker, as I used in vacuum mode to suck up and mulch the leaves. Before the sucker we'd rake up almost 30 bags of leaves. After the sucker it was down to seven or eight.

But last year the leaf sucker broke down and I forgot to fix it. Fortunately, two of the neighbour's maple trees (to the west of me) were taken down this year (which I do NOT approve of, except during leaf-raking season), and the other neighbour's maple is to the east of us. The icing on the cake was some rain and high winds last week that blew in from the west.

That westerly wind blew no leaves into my yard from the neighbours, because their trees are gone. And the leaves from my trees and the easterly neighbour's tree blew into the yard of the neighbour behind me, which is suitable revenge for all their late evenings of drinking and LOUD TALKING on their back deck all summer long.

We still managed to rake up about 8 bags of un-mulched leaves yesterday, but I'm thinking I won't bother to repair the leaf sucker and will instead rely on future rains and winds.

I live in a condo complex with a view of the water. I used to get up early in the morning to enjoy the view. There is a worker who used to sweep the leaves with an manual broom contraption that pulled them into a bag like a push mower does with grass so he could dump them into a compost pile. It was a quiet peaceful sound and I used to envy him in a way.

Then someone decided a leaf blower would be more efficient. Now he carries a 25 pound load on his back, has to wear sound proof ear protection and spends the same amount of time as before, except instead of removing the leaves, he just blows them from one place to another. Of course eventually the wind just blows them right back.

The noise is deafening (literally) and the pollution from the noise and fumes keeps us away from what was a peaceful morning tradition.

We live on 6 acres; 1/4 or so of it is a swampy area with deciduous trees, another 1/4 or so is a grove of pines (planted by the man who built the house). We have scrub cherries lining two sides of the property, but the house sits in a lawn with precious few trees. The "green desert" we call it in the summer. All the leaves from all those trees fall straight down or blow around, never enough to worry about doing anything other than mowing over. And get this - we haul bagged leaves from my in-laws' 1/4 acre lot in a downtown residential neighborhood to our house to add to our garden every fall. His lawn looks a mini version of yours - mature maples that drop a thick carpet of leaves. I think you're a little far for me to haul your leaves, though.

Leaf blowers frequently are part of attitudes individuals have that really irk me. Specifically, the people who use them to blow the leaves onto a public area instead of herding them for cleanup. Make their own problem everyone else's because hey! I don't want the hassle.

Last week, my wife was driving to work on a semi-rural heavily traveled road and saw a county work crew blowing the wet leaves off the road onto a public grass strip alongside the road because the wet leaves are a driving hazard. On the drive home, she saw a homeowner blowing those same leaves back onto the road. Not his problem.


Only 1300 bucks and your problem is solved!


I couldn't have said it better. I live in a remote area because it is quiet. Noise is stress. My wife turns on morning "talk" TV every day where you have 3-4 people constantly yacking all at the same time! It drives me up to my secluded office in no time. Nearly all the trees around me are evergreens and no one uses a leaf blower except a few commercial lawn crews and they bring 5 guys and have the job done in less than 30 minutes. My advice is to hire a local kid to rake and bag the leaves then take them to a composting center then re-use the bags.

In a related news: "Macomb Township, Michigan: Fight Over Leaves in Yard Ends After Woman Emerges With Gun, Police Say
The fight broke out Thursday after one of the men became upset over leaves being blown into his lawn, police said. The woman, the other man's girlfriend, threatened to shoot if the fight continued."

Indeed Mike! You are on your way to purgatory....maybe. The leaves
fall for a purpose: to nourish the tree. Get yourself an electric lawn mower. You will instantly be shifted into heaven mode as you mulch
the leaves in the humming peace of a quiet mower. When you are finished put your back and legs to work and rake a path so that you
might walk among your passage to sanity and reap what you mulch.

You don't actually need to clear them you know. Much better for your woodland and the environment to let them rot down in situ and put that goodness back into the soil. Tidiness be damned!

I live in lower Westchester County (20 miles north of NYC) in an area where virtually no one does their own yard work. The landscapers that pick up the leaves use the biggest, loudest leaf blowers that they can find, even though each town has it's own noise limitations (probably never enforced). There are two leaf blowers going at it across the street, as I write this. The noise is deafening and if you go outside, the exhaust smell is overpowering. The only plus is that they work fast. Can't believe that when I first moved here 45 years ago everyone raked them up and bagged them.

Must have accessories for the modern leaf blower. iPod and some noise cancelling headphones. Makes all the mundane chores much more tolerable.


Leaf blowers strike me as a bizarre symptom of the disfunction in hyper-controlling western societies. Somehow, people in the west feel the need to bend the natural world to their will, to control the uncontrollable. It's perhaps some sort of shadow form of the masculine spirit, of some need to dominate. It saddens me that the leaves can be seen as rubbish to be swept away, rather than the elegant shedding of leaves from Autumn into winter.

Maybe I'm just a romantic. Or naive or something. Hey ho.

If you want quiet, then maybe you want this?


With you on Beelzebub's blower - but there's a third denizen of Dante's Dingly Dell whom you nmay not know, and that's the person who designed the siren for London ambulances, with an onset 'chirp' so loud and piercing that even when you brace your ears and nervous system against it, it still nearly slays you. Yet it adds nothing to the siren's effectiveness! Nice leaves, by the way. And good advice. Thanks, as ever.

I'm not sure this went through, I think I just moved on without clicking on POST.

"You forgot car alarms"

Whatever the Stihl equivalent of the Nikon D700 is, that's probably what you should have bought . . . .

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