How Does a Leaf Blower Work?

Dave Donovan

Leaf blowers, both gas and electric models, use centrifugal force in order to move the fallen leaves across your yard into manageable piles. Centrifugal force is equal in magnitude, but opposite in direction, of the force directed toward the center of a rotating mass.

Centrifugal Force

Centrifugal Force in the Leaf Blower

Within the leaf blower's casing is a motor and a fan with many blades. As the fan spins, it takes the outside air and spins it, forcing it through a smaller opening (the leaf blower tube). Because of the pressure that is built up (due to the centrifugal force), the air comes out of the tube at a tremendous rate of speed, sometimes as high as 250 mph.

Gas, Electric or Battery?

All leaf blowers use centrifugal force to create the powerful gusts of wind needed for blowing leaves, but only 2-stroke, gas-powered blowers are capable of creating the most powerful gusts. Electric models don't offer as much oomph, but they are typically lighter and quieter than their gas-powered counterparts. Rechargeable leaf blowers are good if you have a very small yard or very few trees.