Another petrol powered blower but this one is a four-stroke rather than two. The advantages of four-stroke machines are immediately clear - there is no fuel to mix but you have to remember there is an oil-filler as well one for petrol.
We like the way the SC4 sits firmly on the ground to make fuelling easy and limit the risk of spills. Starting the machine is effortless, with the Advanced Starting System significantly reducing the tug needed to fire up the engine.
Being four-stroke, the engine naturally makes this model a little heavier. It weighs in at 5.7kg but with a well-positioned handle providing a good angle with the ground, the balance of the unit means the extra weight goes unnoticed by our testers.
But they do notice the quieter running of the four-stroke. This model has a deeper tone and it is not so shrill to bystanders' ears. That can be a real advantage when working on a residential site.
The testers also find it a "fierce" blower. "It's got a good blast, clearing everything in its sights," says Ekin. "With something this powerful you would expect gyro forces, but it is not pushing my arm out."
The SC4 has a heavy-duty fan and quickly clears everything in its path. Nothing stands in its way, not even wet leaves, puddles of water or slurry-like mud. Wind speed is nearly 150mph.
Engine MTD 25.2cc four-stroke
Air speed 66.6m/s
Fuel tank capacity 400ml
Max air volume 12m3/min
Weight 5.7kg blower
List price RRP £219 including VAT
Tel EP Barrus - 01869 363636
Tested This Issue
- Mitox 280BVX
- EGO 56V lithium-ion
- Lawnflite MTD SC4
- Makita DUB362Z twin 18V
Mike Baldwin Director of learning, Broomfield Campus, Derby College
Mark Ekin Course lecturer, Broomfield Campus, Derby College
Leaf blowers are indispensable tools in the autumn, able to clear fallen leaves and debris quickly and with little effort from the operator. But they can have other uses too.
After mowing with a rotary, a leaf blower is perfect for cleaning the pathway and blasting the clippings back onto the lawn. Similarly, following hedge-cutting duties the blower can round up the fallen material for collection and then send any remnants flying into the bottom of the hedge.
Leaf blowers are also great for dispersing water. They are marvellous tools to grab if you need to quickly dry off a park bench or a picnic table. The machines can also be used to dispel dew from lawns, enabling an early start to grass cutting.
In this test we looked at just four models. All are handheld. But we are keen to see whether today's cordless models can match the power of petrol, so we put two petrol units, the Mitox and the MTD, up against the Makita and EGO, both of which take their energy from lithium-ion batteries.
The test was conducted at Derby College's Broomfield Campus and weather conditions were wet. We will return later in the year to test the latest backpack blowers.