How to Use a Leaf Blower

Clean up your yard safely and efficiently. Read on to learn how.

Time

A few hours

Complexity

Beginner

Cost

Varies

Introduction

A few things to know before you start to blow. Fuel up, protect yourself, clear the area and have a plan.

Tools Required

  • Hearing and eye protection
  • Leaf Blower
  • Leaf rake
  • Tarp

Materials Required

  • 13-gallon plastic garbage bags

Project step-by-step (6)

Step 1

Fuel Up

  • Fully charge the battery to your leaf blower before you start. (It’s nice to have two charged batteries.)
  • For gas-powered leaf blowers, fill the fuel tank and check the oil before you start. (Have plenty of fresh fuel on hand.)

Step 2

Protect Yourself

  • Always wear protective eyewear.
  • Always wear earplugs or noise-canceling earmuffs.
  • You may also want to protect your lungs with PPE.

Step 3

Inspect the Area

  • Walk through your project area and pick up any large branches, debris and lightweight lawn ornaments.

Step 4

Have a Plan

  • Decide in advance where you want to start your project and how you will dispose of the yard waste.
  • Work one area at a time. Maybe start in the front yard then move to the back or side yards.
  • If you have a large area, divide it in half or quarters and work one section at a time.
  • Blow the leaves into a few small piles instead of one big pile. (However, your kids would love the big pile!)

Step 5

Blowing Technique

  • Start your blowing project at the outer perimeter of the yard, directing the leaves in toward the middle of the yard.
  • If you have trees and shrubs near or around your house, blow or rake those leaves out first.
  • First get a feel and understanding for your leaf blower’s power. Adjust the airflow settings before aiming it at the leaves. Too much power and airflow will just make a mess.
  • Point the blower’s chute toward the ground directing the airflow under the leaves, not on top of the leaves.
  • Move the blower chute from left to right creating an arc-like motion as you walk and move the leaves into piles. This may take a little practice, but you’ll get the hang of it.

Step 6

Yard Waste Removal Options

  • Blowing the leaves onto a tarp may help you organize yard waste removal.
  • Bag the leaves and put them out with your trash. Most municipalities have yard waste collection days in April and November. Leave the bags next to the trash container, not in the trash container. Check with your city or waste management service before doing so.
  • Compost the leaves in your garden.
  • Take the leaves to your local compost site. (Having a pickup truck or trailer comes in handy for this.)
  • Do not blow your leaves into the street — it's against the law.
    • Pro Tip: Try to avoid windy days.