I am a garden and landscape maintenance contractor, and I would like to know if it is worth buying a handheld blower.

 Most outdoor power-product manufacturers offer at least one model of handheld blower. Whether it is worth spending £200 to £250 on such an item entirely depends on the amount and type of work you do.

Blowers are useful tools. In autumn they can respond to leaf fall but they are also handy at other times of the year.

If you want to start mowing early, blowers will help disperse dew from the grass blades and make the grass-cutting operation cleaner while reducing the risk of disease infection and spread. High-powered blowers can also be used to push gravel and grit off the grass before mowing.

After mowing, a quick whiz-round with the blower will see any clippings cleared from paths and driveways. Hedgecuttings can be sent scurrying back into the hedge bottom or soil returned to beds after cultivation and weeding. The blower is really handy for tidying up after maintenance work. It's certainly less effort than sweeping or raking and I would argue the finished results are neater.

But only opt to buy a handheld blower if you know your work is only going to require short spells of blowing - otherwise opt for a backpack model. Manufacturers have reduced the weight and vibrations associated with handheld blowers, but they can still be a strain to use. If you buy one, make sure it is well-balanced and easy to use both left- and right-handed because most operations will want you to change hands.

Putting the weight of the engine on your back makes blowing operations more comfortable. Echo offers an entry-level backpack blower for £259 ex VAT. Other manufacturers offer a good selection in the £300 to £400 bracket.

- Sally Drury has reported for HW and its forerunner GC&HTJ for 25 years, and has spent more than four years testing machinery for HW and What Kit? The advice in this helpline is independent.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Sargent's solutions - how to attract the best staff for your business

Sargent's solutions - how to attract the best staff for your business

There are ways to find quality candidates for horticultural jobs if you widen your search parameters, Alan Sargent suggests.

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

IoG Saltex 2017 - Kit showcase

IoG Saltex 2017 - Kit showcase

Mowers, turf care, battery equipment, seeds, arboriculture kit and weed control will all see a wide range of new releases at Saltex, Sally Drury reports.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

IOG Saltex

Get set for IoG Saltex 2017 with our comprehensive show guide and exhibitor info.

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Industry Data

An exclusive report for HW subscribers revealing the key development trends, clients and locations for 2017.

Products & Kit Resources

BALI National Landscape Awards 2016

Read all about the winning projects in the awards, run in association with Horticulture Week.

Noel Farrer

Founding partner of Farrer Huxley Associates Noel Farrer on landscape and green space

Read Noel Farrer