With the onset of fall, most of us use leaf blowers to keep our outdoors neat and tidy. In situations when there is snowfall across the front porch, we may have to use a shovel to pick up the ice and push it to the side.
This eventually brings up the question. Is it possible for a leaf blower to be used as a snow blower for snow removal?
A leaf blower can be used to remove dry and powdery ice that is not thicker than 1 inch. However, the model of the blower used must be very powerful to act as a snowblower. Because if it is not powerful enough then you cannot use it to blow the snow as snow is heavier than the dry leaves.
Read on as I explain how this can be done to help you save time and money at the same time. I will also discuss queries related to using leaf blowers in snowy conditions. I will also review a few leaf blowers that have worked really well against snow.
Everyone desires for their front porches to be neat and clean, irrespective of the weather conditions. Leaf blowers do a great job of picking up leaves and pushing them to the side in a matter of seconds. This saves the human effort and our time while doing so.
— Also read: Why are Leaf Blowers Banned?
When winter arrives, snow replaces the fallen leaves. As a result, pathways become inaccessible due to the accumulation of snow until your doorstep. Snowblowers are available in the market but they are expensive and bulky to handle and store. As a result, not many people can afford to purchase a separate snowblower.
Instead, people resort to using their leaf blower to push snow to the side. It is possible to do so only if the ice is dry and powdery in nature, so that is light enough to be lifted by the blower. It can comfortably push aside an inch of snow, help you regain access to the pavement and road from your doorstep.
In such situations, your leaf blower must be powerful in order to lift the heavier snow from the ground. Cheaper and compact models that are budget-friendly may not be ideal for the application of pushing snow aside in such situations.
What are the dangers of using a Leaf Blower for Snow Blowing?
Using the leaf blower for too long can damage it or cause it to shut down. Exposed wiring or improper grounding in electric leaf blowers can cause electrocution and short circuits because snow is a good conductor of electricity. Using a leaf blower in temperatures below freezing can also damage the machine.
- Long exposure to the snow can result in reduced efficiency or shutting down of the blower. This is because the blower is not designed to deal with ice and water entering its mechanisms.
- Having exposed or cut wires can result in short-circuiting of your blower and electrical systems and result in electrocution. Leaf blowers are powerful machines that draw a lot of power. Snow on the other hand is the solid form of water that can conduct electricity well.
- If you do not have a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) plug or cord, be cautious to inspect the wires and plugs for faults and cuts. If snow comes in contact with exposed wires while in operation, it can lead to electrocution of the user, which can prove fatal.
Even otherwise, it can cause a short circuit that can trip your enter power supply. This is also the reason why it is not recommended to use an electric leaf blower to blow away snow.
Gas blowers will spare you the worry of possible electrocutions or short circuits, as there is no cord and power supply to worry about. Also, gas blowers are much more powerful and rugged, allowing you to use them as a snowblower even though they are not designed for such use.
- Do not use the blower to remove snow in temperatures lower than 32℉, as it can cause damage to the machine. If temperatures are below 32℉, the freezing point of water, then it is highly likely that more snow will accumulate soon. In such conditions, you can cause damage to your leaf blower, which is why trying to remove snow with a leaf blower should be avoided if temperatures are below freezing.
How to use Leaf Blower for Snow Removal
Use a powerful gas leaf blower to remove snow. Do not wait for the snow to stop falling in order to blow it away. Systematically clear snow from decks, porches, and stairs in a unidirectional manner. Thoroughly blow away the snow from all parts of the car, including the roof. Finally, use a shovel and broom to clean the snow from areas that are difficult to access.
Good planning is key to effectively using the leaf blower in removing snow. Do not aim to clear out the whole area in a single go. This will strain the motor and leave it exposed to the snow for longer, increasing the chances of your blower eventually stopping due to snow accumulation on the inside.
Instead, focus on small areas and operate the blower in short bursts to get rid of the snow while it is still falling. This will ensure that the thickness of the snow is not too much for the blower to handle.
If you are blowing away snow from the stairs, decks, and other flat surfaces, ensure that you are blowing it unidirectionally and horizontally. Changing the direction every time will create a bigger mess that will be scattered everywhere, increasing the amount of work to do.
Snow must be blown off from all parts of the car, especially the roof. The sheet of ice that forms on the top can pose a threat to the safety of the driver and others on the road if it slips off at high speeds, leading to a crash.
After clearing up space with the leaf blower, ensure that you use a shovel to remove leftover ice. This will help even out your surface and prevent accidental slips over the smooth ice. Use a brush to get rid of fine ice that may have accumulated in and around places that are hard to reach.
Best Cordless Leaf Blowers for Blowing Snow
As part of this article, I will recommend a couple of cordless leaf blowers that I used to blow snow away. While I was initially skeptical about how efficient they would be, the results pleasantly surprised me.
I will discuss the features in short, and sum up their PROs and CONs to help you get a basic understanding of the products. We have used these for cleaning snow from our houses as well:
Hitachi RB24EAP Gas Powered Leaf Blower
- This product has a 441 CFM air capacity which allows for output speeds of upto 170 mph. This helps you move heavy debris with ease.
- The lightweight design has a 23.9cc engine, weighing a total of 8.6 lbs.
- The engine has low emission engines thanks to its PureFire technology.
- Lightweight design with a two-stroke powerful engine, low emission
- Easy to understand manual and quick assembly, easy to start
- 7-year warranty
- Works well for light snow removal
- Lacks trigger lock
- Issues with the fuel delivery system
- Intake can suck in clothing, especially if you are right-handed
CRAFTSMAN BV245 Gas Powered Leaf Blower
- A 450 CFM air capacity allows this product to give output speeds of upto 450 CFM, thanks largely to its 27cc engine. The two-stroke model allows for the weight and design to be light and compact, making it convenient to carry around and use
- This product comes with a vacuum 1.5-bushel capacity bag, which allows you to collect debris and leaves.
- The variable throttle control gives you more flexibility, allowing you to use more power only when required. This helps save fuel and improve efficiency while using the product.
- The 3 step start-up process ensures a hassle-free start while using the product. All the user has to do is activate the primer and the choke, before pulling to start the engine.
- Easy to start, lightweight design for easy use
- Vacuum kit to collect debris
- High output speed of up to 205 mph thanks to 450 CFM air capacity
- Good value for money
- Variable throttle control
- High vibrations make it uncomfortable over long usage
- Issues with speed changing system
- Frequent complaints of issues while starting
Will a leaf blower melt ice?
A leaf blower can melt fine snowflakes and a small quantity due to the warmth of the air that comes out of the blower. But it cannot melt the snow that covers your cars, and lawn.
A leaf blower uses an air compressor to help eject the air at a higher pressure, giving it the energy it needs to lift leaves and snow in this case. As a result of the compression, the air will become due to the ideal gas law, where an increase in pressure will result in an increase in temperature.
As a result, the snow can be melted to a very slight extent when the air contacts it. This will however not be enough to melt the entire thickness of the snow.
Can you use an electric leaf blower for blowing snow?
Yes, one can use an electric leaf blower to blow snow away. However, it must be powerful and have a high speed of air in order to be able to lift the snow away. It is generally advised not to use an electric leaf blower to avoid accidental electrocution and short circuits because a damaged cord can shock the user, so we recommend you to go with cordless powerful leaf blowers.
Here are a few electric leaf blowers that I would recommend if you are looking to use them to blow away snow in the winter.
Handheld Leaf Blower: Toro PowerJet F700 140 MPH 725 CFM
- The 12 amp motor is able to drive 725 CFM of air up to speeds of 140 mph, allowing the lifting of heavy debris with ease.
- It comes with a motor of producing 0.728 Air Horsepower.
- It has a Variable Speed Dial to control the speed of the air.
- It creates only 70.1 dB of noise while working.
- Very powerful despite the compact and lightweight design
- Lightweight design allows for easy handling (6.66 lbs.)
- Efficient thanks to the use of electrical motor
- Very short cord
- Multiple users reported product dying out on them within a short period of usage
Cordless Leaf Blower: KB Kobalt 630-CFM Brushless Cordless Electric Leaf Blower
- The 630 CFM output at speeds up to 140 mph is provided by the brushless motor for increased torque and efficiency.
- It also runs much quieter and smoother, allowing you to lift heavy dirt, debris, and even snow in the process.
- On the low setting, this product can last upto 75 minutes on a single charge thanks to its 2.5aH battery.
- 75 minutes single charge runtime
- Very powerful, 630 CFM output at speeds up to 140 mph
- Brushless motor for quieter operation, improved efficiency, and torque
- Boost button for increased output when required
- Easy to carry around
- Slightly on the heavier side
- Long charging time of 24 hours for the battery to get full
- Issues of defective battery reported
Can a snowblower be used for leaves?
Although snow blowers are capable of collecting leaves, they are not advised to remove dry leaves during the fall season. They can end up creating a bigger mess because of the chute ejection system.
Traditional leaf blowers give you control over where exactly you want to direct your leaves. This could be the corner of the house or a dedicated place from where you can scoop all your leaves together at once.
However, snow blowers have a dedicated chute ejection system that picks the leaves from the ground and ejects them immediately. This will end up picking the leaves from one spot and scattering them to another one, compounding the existing issues you are already facing.
They will also not be able to pick up leaves lying very close to the ground on hard surfaces like gravel, because it can damage the scraper blade, the skid plate as well as the surface. As a result, a snowblower will not be able to do an efficient job, while consuming more power and producing more noise.