“You have to ask yourself, ‘Do I already have enough power?’” Hickey says. “If you buy a heavier blower to get more power—power you don’t really need—it’s probably not worth it.”
Where the weight is carried is just as important as the weight itself. “In order to minimize fatigue and stress, the weight should be carried as close to the operator’s back as possible,” Nesom points out.
Padding strap thickness is key, but the width of the strap is even more important. Wide straps spread the load and don’t cut into the operator’s shoulders.
Nesom says he always recommends a hip belt, especially for extended use. “This transfers the weight of the machine to the operator’s hips, rather than the shoulders,” Nesom explains, “which creates less stress on the back. “It also helps secure the machine to the operator.”
Other important comfort features include back pads, adjustable handles and throttle control mechanisms, and anti-vibration cushions that isolate the engine from the operator.
Hickey reminds about one more important buying consideration: run time. If you’re having to stop too frequently to refuel your blower, you’re losing money as a result of downtime. Look at the size of the fuel tank and how fuel-efficient the engine is. Quiz your dealer.
While you’re at it, ask your dealer about things such as mph, cfm, engine power and creature comfort features. Each is an important consideration when choosing the right blower for the task at hand.