Shoveling snow can get pretty tiring rather quickly, so can you use a leaf blower for snow?
You can get a snowblower, but it would require additional storage and expense.
If you already have a perfectly working leaf blower, wouldn’t that suffice?
Here is what you need to know about using a leaf blower for getting rid of piled-up snow on your yard, deck, patio, and driveway.
Can You Use a Leaf Blower for Snow?
The answer to this question is actually yes, but only on certain occasions.
Leaf blowers function the same as snowblowers in that they both use air to blow away light objects, like leaves and other small debris.
However, you also have to think about the difference between leaves and snow; whereas leaves are dry and light, snow can be wet, heavy, and packed.
Because of these differences, it can be more difficult to blow away snow using a leaf blower than when you are removing leaves.
In general, here are some considerations to think about before using your leaf blower to clear out the snow.
Volume of Snow
You can use a leaf blower to remove a bit of snow from your patio, deck, or driveway.
However, you will have to make sure to only use it on snow that is less than four inches thick.
Any higher than this, and your leaf blower’s engine may not be able to handle it.
Also, you will have to use it only for a short period to avoid moisture building up in the engine and causing it to fail.
Using a leaf blower on a thick pile of snow will take a lot of time, which may cause your leaf blower to break down.
In addition, thick piles of snow are generally denser and heavier, so your leaf blower may not be enough to clear them away.
Light vs. Heavy Snow
Just as you don’t use your leaf blower to move heavy rocks, you should avoid using it to move heavy snow too.
When snow piles up, it tends to be packed and extremely heavy.
As a result, your typical leaf blower won’t be able to clear it out, even at maximum power.
This may result in two unfortunate events. Firstly, overexerting your engine may cause your leaf blower to overheat and break.
Secondly, you might end up spreading the snow all over the place rather than blowing it away.
Generally speaking, heavy snow that has piled up can resist even strong leaf blowers.
You may be able to remove a bit of the top layer, but once the snow has packed together, it’ll be too thick to be blown away.
Rather than stubbornly trying to blow the snow away, you might save more time shoveling it instead.
Wet vs. Dry Snow
Trying to distinguish dry and wet snow is almost the same as light and heavy snow.
As mentioned, you wouldn’t want to use your leaf blower on heavy snow.
Unfortunately, wet snow tends to be heavier than dry, powdery snow. Therefore, it is also more challenging to move using a leaf blower.
A heavy-duty leaf blower should still be able to handle a bit of wet snow.
However, you should test it out first to ensure that the engine can take it.
In addition, you must also take precautions to ensure the wet snow won’t get into the machine.
If you want to make sure your leaf blower does not break down prematurely, it’s best to stay away from wet snow.
On the other hand, there is no issue if you use your leaf blower on dry snow.
Because it is lightweight, it will be effortless to blow away with your leaf blower.
Precautions When Using a Leaf Blower for Snow
Leaf blowers are versatile and can be used for clearing away snow.
Still, you should remember to take sufficient precautions when using them for this different purpose.
At the end of the day, blowing away leaves is vastly different from blowing away snow.
For this reason, it is no surprise that some dangers or disadvantages come with using a leaf blower for snow.
Here are some considerations to keep in mind:
Use a gas-powered leaf blower.
Cordless and electricity-powered leaf blowers are convenient and easy to use.
The problem is that they are not the best option for blowing away snow.
Snow is made up of ice crystals that melt into water, and water and electricity make a dangerous combination.
When using a leaf blower to clear away snow, you risk having moisture building up in your machine’s motor or engine.
Ultimately, it may cause your machine to short-circuit and break if you are lucky.
If you are not careful, it may even electrocute you and lead to severe injuries.
In addition, electric leaf blowers are often less powerful than their gas-powered counterpart.
Hence, if you are dealing with a lot of snow, using a gas-powered unit is the safer and more efficient route.
Choose a powerful model.
If you are extremely sure about trying to use a leaf blower for snow, you should only use powerful, heavy-duty ones.
Snow is denser and heavier than dry leaves, and therefore requires more power to get blown away.
Using a handheld leaf blower with low CFM and MPH won’t be enough for snow.
Instead, you should go for units that reach up to 1,000 CFM or higher to get the best fighting chance.
In line with this, it is also a good idea to stick with reliable brands with a good history of manufacturing powerful yet durable equipment.
Don’t use it for extended periods.
You may find that your leaf blowers are less efficient in clearing away snow compared to snow blowers.
Even so, that does not mean you should use them to clear all of the snow away!
On the contrary, be careful only to use your leaf blower for a short time.
Once it starts working less efficiently, that is a clear sign to take a break and store it in a dry place.
Clearing away snow generally uses the engine way more than blowing leaves ever does.
For this reason, you should expect using leaf blowers for a long time to take a toll on your machine.
Consider the outside temperature beforehand.
Unlike snow blowers, there is a good chance that your leaf blower will not be able to handle the extreme cold outside.
Thus, it is best not to use it when the temperature is extremely low.
The cold temperature may cause moisture to build up inside your machine, causing it to malfunction.
In some cases, it may even cause injuries if the blower ends up electrocuting your hand.
Hence, use the machine only when it has stopped snowing and the temperature is more tolerable.
Also, do not forget to store your leaf blower in a dry area to protect it from the elements and keep it in good condition for longer.
So, can you use a leaf blower for snow?
As you can see, it is possible to do so, but only with specific conditions and precautions.
Since leaf blowers are not for clearing snow, you should know the extent you can use them for this purpose.
This includes evaluating the weather, the type of leaf blower you’re using, and the weight and state of the snow you’re expecting to clear.
As long as you follow the precautions and tips outlined here, you won’t have to worry about damaging your leaf blower.