Have you ever been outside on a sunny day, enjoying the peace and quiet, when suddenly your tranquil moment is disrupted by the loud roar of a leaf blower? Many homeowners rely on leaf blowers to take care of their landscaping needs, but why are they so loud and disruptive?
We’ll explore some possible reasons why leaf blowers can be so noisy. We’ll also look at potential solutions that might help reduce the noise level in order to create a more peaceful environment while still allowing homeowners to maintain their lawns and gardens.
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Why Are Leaf Blowers So Loud? – Complete Guide
The power of a leaf blower comes with the components and features built-in in it. With a powerful engine, an impressive torque will be produced and a faster work process will be achieved.
However, this requires the combined effort of all the leaf blower features and this could produce some decibels. The work done by leaf blowers is impressive but the noise produced by them is the reason why most users and even non-users find using a leaf blower annoying.
One reason for the loud noise is the vibration produced by the leaf blower engine. These vibrations are caused by the combination of the fuel combustion process and the vibrations produced by the engine cylinders on the crankshaft. During operation, these reverberations travel throughout the entire unit producing a large number of decibels.
Another reason is the force at which the air is produced from the leaf blower nozzle when it is operated at its maximum speed. At this maximum point, the device has reached its limit and can no longer speed up. This sound is similar to the rush of air heard when driving with the windows down.
The fans of the leaf blower also contribute to the noise produced by the leaf blower. Most leaf blowers come with blades of 10 inches.
When one of the 10 inches blades runs at a speed of 6,000 rpm, it would make a sound. Now, imagine 5 blades spinning at that speed.
Most leaf blowers are powered by 2-stroke engines. These 2 stroke engines are very powerful and because they are not covered with thick materials, the noise escape in loud volumes. They are most times covered with lightweight materials which are too thin to contain the noise.
But come to think of it, if they were to be covered with thicker materials, the leaf blower might become very heavy. The noise might be minimal but it will cause a high level of vibration.
So the vibrations, fans, air velocity, and the thinness of a leaf blower cover contribute to the amount of noise produced by leaf blowers.
Also Read: Do Leaf Blowers Take Mixed Fuel?
Can You Make Leaf Blower Quieter?
Many people would love to find a way to make leaf blowers quieter so they can still get the job done while not disrupting the peace of their neighborhood. Fortunately, there are a few strategies that can help reduce the noise coming from your leaf blower.
First, check the age and condition of your machine; an older blower may not be as effective at containing sound as a newer one. Another option is adding accessories like noise-reducing nozzles or silencers.
Finally, you can consider investing in an electric or battery-powered leaf blower, which tends to be much quieter than gasoline-powered models. With these tips in mind, you should be able to reduce your leaf blower’s noise output and enjoy a more peaceful outdoor experience while you work.
Are Electric Leaf Blowers Quieter?
The short answer to this question is Yes, they are. Of course, they produce their noise but compared to gas leaf blowers, they are quieter. Using a gas-powered leaf blower for a small yard would generate more noise than it would in a large yard. This is why an electric leaf blower is a better option for a small yard owner.
Any type of electric blower is way quieter than its gas-powered counterparts. The quietest leaf blower is Ryobi RY40440 and it is a cordless electric leaf blower. It works at 59 decibels. So if you are a small yard owner unwilling to be disturbed by any kind of noise, get an electric leaf blower.
Some parts of the US even placed a ban and restriction on some leaf blowers because of their noise. And if you check, you would find that the most used type of leaf blower used in those places is powered by electricity both cordless/battery and corded.
How Loud Is A Leaf Blower In Decibels?
Leaf blower noise from a distance of 50 feet varies between 64 and 78 decibels, according to Dangerous Decibels, a public health campaign aimed at reducing hearing loss (dB). Operators of blowers are exposed to higher noise levels ranging from 95 to 115 decibels.
Compared to typical speaking which is around 60 decibels, washing machine which is 75 decibels, and chainsaw which is 90 decibels, it is way louder. Hearing loss can occur when noise levels reach 85 decibels (dB) or higher.
Since there are not many leaf blowers that operate at decibels lower than 85 dB, wearing ear blocks is mandatory. And even if you get a leaf blower that operates less than 85 dB (there are a couple of them), still make use of ear blocks.
The constant use of a leaf blower without the appropriate gear will cause damage and for the ears, it won’t be long before words have to be said repeatedly and close to your ears before hearing them. In case you don’t understand, that is ear damage.
How to Tackle the Noise Problem?
- Reduce the speed to low
Most leaf blowers come with dual variable speed controls that allow you to use the leaf blower at a high or low speed. The low speed is most likely to produce less noise because it produces less air. High speed will produce more noise because it produces more air.
So to save yourself and your neighbors from the noise, reduce the speed. It might cause you to work longer but it could be worth it.
- Use ear blocks
Leaf blower users when using it hear more noise than people just standing away from the leaf blower. As earlier stated, noise as low as 85 decibels could cause deafness. So use ear blocks!
- Check out the newer class of leaf blowers
Manufacturers are not sleeping on helping users tackle the leaf blower noise problem. They are also devising more ways to reduce the noise hence the production of newer models. Most new models come with powerful engines but less noise.
They provide more convenient work time but that does not cancel the importance of wearing ear blocks.
- When in use
As a polite and nice neighbor, try not to use the leaf blower when people are not yet awake. Instead of clearing your yard so early in the morning, go for a run. An early morning run is a perfect activity for times as early as 5 am till 8 am than blowing leaves. Also, try to stay at least 50 feet away from people and turn off the leaf blower when not in use. That should not even be told because you know that not doing that will waste your fuel.
Tips for Buying Low-Noise Leaf Blower
When getting a leaf blower, there are a lot of things to look for but getting a low-noise leaf blower would require more scrutiny.
- Check for an electric leaf blower
Electric blowers are less noisy than gas leaf blowers. They are powerful too. They can clear a yard effectively and fast too. They are also lightweight. But like its counterpart, it has drawbacks too.
A corded electric leaf blower might limit the movement of the leaf blower if there is no extension cord.
In case that is a problem, a battery-powered leaf blower is another option you can try. They are also less noisy and easy to carry. As long as they are fully charged, they will clear your yard with no interruptions.
- Check for the noise, air volume, and airspeed ratings
Electric leaf blowers on average, produce 65 dB of noise which is way less than most gas blowers. It might not be as powerful but it does the same task effectively. Alongside the noise ratings, the CFM and MPH should be checked too. This is to know if the leaf blower is powerful enough to work the yard you have.
- Check the motor quality
For the motor quality, check to see how powerful it runs the unit. A good leaf blower comes with variable speed levels that allow you to use the leaf blower at a high or low speed. The change in speed should come with a change in sound but it should not be loud.
Also, check to see if the motor overheats easily. Leaf blowers with motors like that do not last long.
- The battery should be checked too
Thankfully, most battery-powered leaf blowers come with their battery and charger too. Don’t be swayed by that. Do not get me wrong, it is a good thing but if not checked properly, you will be surprised when the unit goes off just after 15 minutes of use. Check the battery to see how long it lasts after a full charge.
Compare the size of your yard to the battery life to see if it can last till the yard is cleared. It would also pay to get an additional battery for the unit.
Check if the unit is compatible with other types of batteries and how accessible they are. This is so that you do not get the wrong battery for the leaf blower.
- Most of all, check reviews and do your research
Numbers do not lie and reviews work with detailed numbers. After checking a couple of leaf blower reviews and you keep seeing a model repeatedly, it means you should give that one a try.
Reviews narrow down your choices and in some cases take you directly to the right leaf blower for you. It also prepares you for the drawbacks leaf blowers could have.
Some quiet leaf blowers to check out are Makita XBU03SM1, BLACK+DECKER BV6000, sun Joe, Dewalt DWBL700, and Ego.
Is There Any Alternative To Leaf Blower?
Yes. For a city that has bans on leaf blowers, there are a number of alternatives to leaf blowers. Or if you do not like leaf blowers because of their noise, here are alternatives.
- Lawn sweepers:
This tool comes in types; the manual lawn sweeper and the powered lawn sweeper. The manual lawn sweepers are pushed across the yard, unlike the powered ones. They also clean effectively.
These are cheaper and quite easy to use. But for a large yard and for clearing wet leaves, you might want to rethink.
if you do not mind bending over and cleaning the old-fashioned way, you might find this a good option. After a couple of back massages, you might get used to it.
Irrespective of how people might feel about the noise produced by leaf blowers, someone will always need it. Sometimes, it is the only option for clearing the yard especially when the yard is a large one.
Most leaf blowers, based on what I’ve seen, read, and tried, produce a lot of noise. As a result, ear blockers are required. This ear protection will shield your ears from the leaf blowers’ roar. Some, in most situations, can completely stop it while others can only lessen it.
Whatever leaf blower you choose, don’t make noise your priority, and make sure you have all of the appropriate gears to protect yourself, notably the ear blocks. But when in use, be considerate of your neighbors.
Even if noise is your priority, don’t be blind to the other features that can make your leaf blower an exceptional choice.