Really! Can you use a leaf blower for snow? Yes, but they have their limitations. Here I cover the Do’s and Dont’s along with sharing my tips and tricks.
Shifting snow with a leaf blower won’t work for more than a light snowfall. Having said that, they can be a great alternative if light flurries of dry powdery snow are all you usually experience.
Here I will explain how to use a leaf blower to clear snow and what you need to consider.
Snow Blower Vs. Leaf Blower (What Is The Difference?)
A snow blower and a leaf blower are definitely two different things. But if you’re a little creative, you may be able to use your leaf blower as a lightweight snowblower.
What Is A Snow Blower?
Snowblowers are designed specifically for the job of snow removal in the depths of winter. They make light work of gathering up snow using an auger, which then throws it out of the way through a discharge chute.
They vary in size and types, for example, a single-stage snow blower has an auger only and is great for low snowfall areas. Whereas the larger 2 stage and the 3 stage gas-powered snowblowers have an auger and an impeller. Meaning that these models are great for medium to high snow states as they are designed to be able to get through deeper, heavier wet, and compacted snow or even ice.
Clearing snow from the driveway or sidewalk is a breeze with a snowblower, there is no better tool and here’s why.
- Using a gas-powered model gets you through thick layers of dense/wet snow
- They are less tiring than using a snow shovel
- Snowblowers make quick work of snow removal from sidewalks, driveways, and lawns
- They are designed for use in cold weather
- 2-stage and 3-stage models often have extra features, such as headlights for better vision and speed control, etc.
- User-friendly features that make the job more comfortable
- Gas-powered snowblowers need regular maintenance for good performance
- The more powerful models are larger and will need storing correctly
- More storage space is required
What Is A Leaf Blower?
Leaf blowers are specifically designed to clear leaves and light debris. By using the power of air only, they blow fallen leaves and grass cuttings, etc into piles making clearing them less of a chore.
- Most models are lightweight and easy to maneuver
- Using a leaf blower is a quick and convenient way of clearing a light snow flurry from steps etc
- Electric leaf blowers can be dangerous in wet conditions, and personally, I would never recommend you do
- They only work for light powdery snow under 3 inches
- They can only be used for short sessions because of potential damage from the cold
Using A Leaf Blower For Snow
I’ve seen videos for all kinds of leaf blower hacks, including clearing snow. I have to say in the right situation and with the right precautions, they can be a useful tool to have around.
Leaf blowers rely purely on airspeed, unlike a snowblower that has an auger, and for the 2 &3 stage snow blowers an auger and an impeller. They easily drive through the snow and throw it off to the side. What I’m trying to say is that you can’t blow much snow with a leaf blower.
For smaller areas such as steps, a small patio, or a short walkway use your leaf blower to clear a light snowfall and avoid a frozen and hazardous area.
Best Leaf Blower For Snow Removal
As I have said, personally I would never recommend that you use any electric power tools in wet conditions. By far the safer option is a gas-powered leaf blower with a small engine and preferably a model with a larger nozzle for more force.
These tools are still less powerful than snowblowers, so you have to find a balance between engine size (for safety and maneuverability) and enough CFM and MPH to actually clear snow.
Don’t Damage Your Leaf Blower Blowing Snow
Remember, leaf blowers are not designed for use in icy cold weather conditions. The fluids inside can thicken or even freeze, causing serious damage to your machine.
Freezing is not the only problem I want you to be aware of. Wet conditions, even light snowflakes, are also less than ideal because this can cause rusting.
Therefore, if you are going to use a leaf blower during winter, please do so with some careful planning. Only use for smaller areas that can quickly be cleared and only for snow under 3 inches thick.
Once finished, bring your blower back inside with you, and should it be wet, be sure to dry it off completely. Just like you, it needs to warm up a little before it can be safely stored away.
When Not To Use A Leaf Blower For Snow Removal
It is worth noting here that some states have banned the use of gas-powered leaf blowers. Please don’t go rushing out to buy one for any reason before checking your local regulations.
If you live in a med to high snowfall area with regular amounts over 3 inches I would not recommend trying to use a leaf blower for your snow clearing. The same applies to compacted snow, once it gets above 32 degrees the snow is too heavy and wet even for the most powerful gas-powered leaf blower.
Don’t let the snow sit as you will not be able to use your leaf blower. Your best chance of success is when the snow has just stopped falling and is still dry and powdery.
Frequently Asked Questions (People Also Ask)
I hope I have been able to answer all your questions that you may have had about can you use a leaf blower as a snow blower. I will run through just a few more things by answering a few of the queries I often get asked.
What’s more important in a leaf blower mph or cfm?
CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) is more important than MPH (Miles Per Hour) when talking leaf blowers. Cfm is the volume of air per minute, therefore even with a fairly low Mph, you will have a greater blowing capacity.
Why are leaf blowers banned?
Leaf blowers are banned in some states due to the environmental impact that they have. Along with the very aggravating noise pollution that they cause to the surrounding neighborhood.
Can a leaf blower overheat?
A leaf blower can overheat if the engine is not venting correctly or is running too hot. If you think your engine may be overheating you need to check a few things. First, make sure that your fuel mixture is correct, then check the cooling fins, air filter, and muffler.