Saturday, July 28, 2007

In the Market...

After living in Childress for a little over one year now and having been married almost FIVE years, I have decided it is time to invest in a leaf blower combination machine. First, we have several big trees in our front and back yards and therefore have lots of leaves. Also, I am tired of sweeping dirt and gravel out of our driveway every time it rains (Rich says he will fix it with his engineering magic, but it hasn't happened yet). I have been doing a lot of the mowing, trimming, weed eating, etc...because Richard's back has been bothering him and he just hasn't been around much in the last few weeks. When we got back from a two week hiatus, our grass was tall and the edges needed some trimming. So, I tackled the job. It looked great afterward, but I was left with a huge mess in the yard and after all of my tedious work, I did NOT want to spend more time and energy cleaning up my clean-up!

Rich and I looked online a little yesterday but I really want to make a good decision on what we buy. SO...again I look to my blogging friends for suggestions! Here are the criteria we are looking for in one machine:

-Blower (with variable speeds)
-Lightweight (ergonomically sound)
-Under $100.00 (preferably)

Here are the two we have found so far. Please let me know if you have an experience, good and ESPECIALLY bad, with either of these or any other brand/style you know of. Looking forward to your input!

#1: From Wal-Mart: Black and Decker High Performance Electric Blower/Vac/Mulcher
(I haven't heard great things about these Black and Decker models, but I'm open to it).

#2: From Home Depot: Toro Ultra Blower Vac


  1. We have a Toro one, I don't know if it is that one you have up here or not...I bought it when Will was deployed because of the pine needles that fall all over our driveway and back patio (and then get tracked inside). Now we use it for grass as well, to clean off the driveway, sidewalk and patio after we edge. The first time I used it was for the vacuum part, and it got really heavy as the bag filled up (probably a "duh" moment, but it is already not a light machine, and I had a lot of work to do). It has various speeds for both the blower and the vac, and it seems to always do the job. You do have to switch out the parts to go from blower to vac, but it is super easy (...I'm still training Will how to do it!). I believe it was around $60. I don't think it was any more than that, or I wouldn't have gotten it without talking to Will about it first! We've had no problems with it and it seems to work great.

    Hope that helps!

  2. One more thing - I don't know if it mulches because I always suck up stuff that's pretty small, and I've never noticed. We don't have the box anymore or I'd look.

  3. Actually, I didn't want to mention in my post b/c I didn't want anyone to be biased in their opinions, but I have been leaning towards the Toro one, as well. It sounds like everything we need AND when I found it on the Home Depot website there were GREAT reviews about it...14 of them! Their average was 4.5 out of 5 stars and their descriptions all mentioned having had a B&D and either it was really old and had broken down and they liked this one better, OR they had already bought TWO B&D in TWO years and were tired of the brand. So, yes your input does help and keeps me pretty much steered in the direction I was going to begin with. I'm going to get online some more and see if I can find some more information about the Toro. Oh...did you buy a separate hose for yours for vacuum purposes, or does it come with one? I just saw a vacuum hose attachment at the Home Depot website and didn't know if it was necessary.

  4. Amy,

    Also, I've read some reviews that overall people really liked the machine but the bag was almost impossible to take off after you had collected "stuff" from vacuuming. Did you have that problem?

  5. Nope, no separate hose...It has two different long tubes that stick out the front - one for the vac, one for the blower. I didn't see extra attachments at ours. And the bag is very easy to take off, you just have to set it down to do it to take the weight off - then it has a plastic clip together part that you just press in the sides and it comes right out. I just checked in the garage and ours says "Super Blower" so it might not be the same exact thing. I know it came from either Lowe's or Home Depot, and it might just be a cheaper version of the one you have up here.

  6. Hey Charla,
    I added the ticker! Great idea :)


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