6 On Your Side: Consumer Confidence, Fall Yard Clean-Up

[anvplayer video=”5194165″ station=”998128″]

(ABC 6 News) – Outdoor fall clean-up is in full swing, and the right leaf blower can make a back-breaking job a lot easier.

If you’re ready to upgrade from a rake, the experts at Consumer Reports blow through hundreds of pounds of leaves each year to reveal the best handheld blowers for your lawn.

“In our testing we routinely find that a handheld leaf blower is perfect for most yards, it’s a step up from a rake but it’s not as big or bulky or as expensive as backpack or wheeled blowers,” says Consumer Reports’ Paul Hope.

Consumer Reports puts every leaf blower through the same tough tests. Testers weigh and strategically pile leaves into a marked area then time how long each blower takes to clear the pile.

CR also assesses how thoroughly each blower removes the leaves we all dread at the bottom of the pile, you know those wetter ones often embedded in the grass.

“Beyond performance you want to consider the weight of any handheld leaf blower. The heaviest models in our ratings can weigh nearly twice as much as the lightest models and that can make a big difference even after just a few minutes,” says Hope.

For tiny lawns or patios, the Ryobi corded electric may be all you need.

But a cord has its limits. A battery-powered blower can cover as much area as you need. Consider the recommended EGO which earns impressive scores for loosening and sweeping away leaves.

The Skil is also a smart buy, holding its own against blowers that cost twice as much!

And a final tip, always remember hearing and eye protection.