When buying a piece of outdoor power equipment, relying on manufacturers’ advertisements, online reviews and salesperson’s advice without any actual comparable data just seems like a bad idea. In the past, when shopping for a leaf blower, that’s exactly what you had to do. That’s because until recently, there weren’t any set industry standards to use for comparing one model to another, leaving you to go by faith in advertising and recommendations instead of hard, reliable, accurate information.
While this may not be a big deal when purchasing a small, everyday tool like a shovel, rake, or hedge trimmer when it comes to a larger investment like a leaf blower, this can be problematic – everyone wants the best tool for the job and the right price, right? So how do you know that’s what you are getting?
Yes, leaf blower manufacturers have had product specifications listed in the past, however, they may have been inaccurate or not consistent from one manufacturer to another. Most list information about air volume (MPH) or air velocity (CFM) – but without a set standard on how to measure and test these performance points, inaccurate information and inconsistencies from one brand to the next were common.
For example, both Company A and Company B display their leaf blowers’ “power rating” in CFM, but that information doesn’t take into account that Company A’s blower has a smaller tube diameter than Company B, nor does it account for Company B’s higher MPH… Confusing, isn’t it?
Recently, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has developed a standard of measurement and a new, straightforward method of collecting that data that will be consistent across brands. This new standard, ANSI B175.2, measures the force of the airstream produced by the blower, measured in Newtons. A Newton is the force needed to accelerate 1kg of mass at the rate of 1m/sec2. In less technical terms, a Newton will take both the air speed (MPH) and air volume (CFM) to show how well it will perform moving material. The higher the Newton rating, the more powerful the blower. This new, easy to understand method is a big step towards accurate and easy to understand performance specifications.
Forward-thinking outdoor equipment companies like STIHL have already adopted this new ANSI standard, and others will soon follow suit. As an authorized servicing dealer for STIHL and other quality outdoor power equipment, we are thrilled to see companies incorporating the new standard. We are happy to have reliable, easy-to-compare specification information to share with our customers.
Interested in learning more about the leaf blowers we offer, and how they compare? Call, click or stop by today and we’d be happy to help!