Petrol-engine or battery-powered blower: which should you choose?

Power, ease of use, ergonomics and eco-sustainability

/ Inspirations


Estimated reading time 5 minutes

Chances are that whenever you read about blowers, the first thing that pops into your mind is carpets of dry leaves. But a blower isn’t just useful for ridding the lawn and driveway of fallen leaves that end up in every nook and cranny.

Whether it runs on petrol, battery power or mains electricity, a blower has various other functions, offering cleanliness, tidiness and safety on the one hand, and speed on the other. If you think about it, a blower does more than just clearing leaves, because the simple matter of keeping your lawn tidy can evolve into a health problem. Dead leaves, along with grass clippings and other plant debris, can become embedded in the lawn and form thatch, which weakens the grass by depriving it of sunlight, oxygen, water and nutrients.

The best blower is the one that suits your needs

The air jet from a blower doesn’t just help you to get rid of dry leaves, but also to clear grass cuttings, pruning waste... After you’ve done your gardening, you can blow all the litter into manageable piles so that it’s easier to bag up, put in the garden waste bin, or deposit in a composter. If you grow fruit trees, hazelnut trees, olive trees and the like, you can quickly collect the fallen fruits. With a blower you can also clean outside flooring (paths, steps, etc.), gardening tools, furniture and play equipment. You can clear away light snow and dry out paving, driveways or patios. You can also dry the lawn, if it’s slightly wet and you urgently need to mow it: we talk about it this in our article on cutting wet grass. Here you will find an overview of all the jobs you can do with a blower.

There are different types of blower on the market. In terms of power source, there are petrol-engine blowers, battery-powered blowers and electric blowers. All these types are available in handheld or backpack versions. Handheld models are lighter, easier to handle, equipped with a handle and in some cases also a shoulder strap; backpack models are heavier, bulkier, and carried by means of a shoulder harness. Which is better: a handheld or backpack blower? Click the link to read our advice on the subject.

There are even multifunction blowers, like the Efco SA 2500. They tend to be petrol-powered and combine the functionality of a blower with that of a garden vacuum, so you can use them to vacuum up leaves after blowing them into a corner with the air jet. Usually a blower-vacuum also has a shredder function, which chops up the vacuumed waste by means of a blade and conveys it to an attached collection bag, making it easier to dispose of or compost.

Here you will find a detailed explanation of how a blower-vacuum works and how it differs from a conventional blower, or watch this video presentation of the SA 2500 blower-vacuum.

Which blower to choose? There’s no simple answer to that: which is the best blower depends on your needs and preferences. So, before deciding, take stock of the situation:

  • Is the space to be cleared big or small? Is it a garden or an area of countryside? Is it a quick job, or will it require a longstanding commitment?

  • What do you want to clear with the blower: just dry leaves, or something else? How much material do you need to shift, and is it light or heavy?

  • How often do you plan on using the blower, occasionally or regularly?

Based on the size of the job at hand, the blower will need a commensurate power output, which determines the speed and volume of air it can deliver, as well as its price.

Finally, you should ask yourself a couple more questions before deciding which blower to choose:

  • Do you have specific needs? For example in terms of noise emissions, if you intend to use the blower in a residential area. Or as regards weight and handling, because maybe you don't want tired arms or an aching back.

  • Are you familiar with internal combustion engines?

Which is better: a petrol-engine blower or battery-powered blower?

Let's look at the pros and cons of each type of blower. Let's start with petrol-engine blowers like the Efco SA 2500, SA 2063 and SA 9010 models, which all have two-stroke engines:

  • The power rating varies according to the engine characteristics and is generally superior to that of battery-powered blowers. Petrol-engine blowers are more suitable than other types for demanding jobs, such as when you need to move heavy materials and have a larger area to cover, so they are the go-to choice for people who buy a blower for professional use.

  • Run times are affected by average fuel consumption, workload, maintenance frequency and, of course, fuel tank capacity.

  • Ease of use: engines require careful maintenance (cleaning the air filter, spark plug and so on), as well as pull starting and refuelling, so you will also need to think about fuel. If the engine is two-stroke this also means preparing mixture.

  • The weight of these machines is higher compared with other blowers.

  • Their noise is louder than that of electric blowers, whether cordless or mains powered.

  • Emissions are an inevitable effect, as the combustion that takes place in the engine generates exhaust gases.

As regards maintenance of petrol and battery-powered blowers, here you can find a guide on how to clean a blower.

By contrast in the case of a battery-powered blower, like our SAi 60:

  • The power output depends on the battery. As a rule, the power output is halfway between that of a petrol-engine blower and an electric blower. Depending on the battery, therefore, the blower is suited to less demanding jobs covering medium-small areas.

  • Run times are affected by the capacity of the blower battery, which must be charged using the supplied battery charger. With a second battery you can continue working while the other one is charging.

  • Ease of use: you turn on the blower at the press of a button, without the hassle of a cord that electric blowers are attached to, or the maintenance that an engine-driven model typically requires. In fact, battery-powered blowers require minimal maintenance and only a little caution to ensure safe operation of the battery.

  • The weight is lighter than other types of blowers, so battery-power models are more comfortable to use than petrol-engine blowers.

  • Noise is no problem: the quiet-running motor on a battery-powered blower is perfect if you don’t want to disturb the neighbours.

  • It doesn’t generate polluting emissions: to learn more about the low environmental impact of battery-powered blowers, read our article entitled Battery-powered products: an eco-friendly choice”.

To round off this comparison between petrol-engine and battery-powered blowers, we invite you to watch this video on how to get the best out of a blower.

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