Is Your Leaf Blower Up for the Snow Clearing Challenge?

Throughout the ages, humans have contemplated life’s greatest mysteries. From pondering the meaning of existence to exploring the vastness of the universe, we have always sought answers. And now, we present you with a new question to ponder: Can your trusty leaf blower handle the task of removing snow from your driveway?

Owning a leaf blower comes with a multitude of benefits. Beyond the obvious task of leaf clearance, these versatile tools have proven their worth in various other scenarios. From unclogging dryer vents to cleaning gutters, leaf blowers have demonstrated their adaptability. In fact, I once used a gas-powered, backpack blower to push litter from sidewalks to parking lots before vacuuming it up later.

Today, we focus on harnessing the power of a leaf blower to combat snowfall. When those delicate, white flakes begin to descend from the sky, your leaf blower can become your secret weapon.

Snow Blower vs. Leaf Blower: The Distinct Differences

Naturally, there is a distinction between snow blowers and leaf blowers, evident even in their names. Each tool was designed with a specific purpose in mind. While snow blowers excel in a singular task, leaf blowers can prove to be a multi-functional device. If you’re curious to learn more about the disparities between these two formidable tools, check out our dedicated article.

Some may argue that your neighbor with the hefty 8- or 13-horsepower, self-propelled Toro snow blower has the upper hand. They might claim that there is already a proper tool for the job. However, it’s important to note that traditional snow blowers employ an impeller to push or throw snow to the side, making them technically distinct from your leaf blower. Your trusty equipment, on the other hand, becomes a true snow blower when directed at those unique and mesmerizing ice crystals.

Further reading:  Bud Light Faces Setback as Glass Bottling Plants Shut Down

Safety: Making Smart Choices

One strong argument for utilizing a leaf blower in snow removal is safety. Shoveling snow can pose significant risks. According to a report from the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, from 1990-2006, an average of 100 people lost their lives, and 11,500 ended up in the hospital due to injuries and heart attacks while shoveling snow. Don’t let yourself become a statistic – work smarter, not harder.

Of course, it’s crucial to follow basic safety precautions and gear up appropriately before venturing into the winter wonderland. Sturdy shoes or boots with excellent traction are essential to avoid slipping and falling on icy surfaces. Additionally, depending on the force of the air blowing from your power tool, it can be enough to throw you off balance.

If you’re using a corded blower, ensure it is plugged into a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet and be cautious not to drag the power cord through any puddles you create to avoid the risk of electrical shock.

Donning a warm jacket, gloves, and covering your head and face are vital. Your blower is bound to kick up a significant amount of snow, and you don’t want it landing back on you, causing discomfort. Eye protection should also be a priority whenever you operate this equipment.

Unlocking the Optimal Snow Clearing Experience

While leaf blowers may struggle to keep up in snow-heavy regions like Buffalo, NY, where fathoms of snowfall are the norm, they remain a convenient solution for occasional light snowstorms in other areas. Follow these tips to maximize your leaf blower’s efficiency:

  1. Choose your snow wisely: Light, powdery, and dry snow is the easiest to tackle with a leaf blower. It occurs when the temperature drops well below freezing, and the snowflakes are less dense. Simply aim the nozzle in front of yourself, and watch as the crystals dance away. However, wet snow will put up a tougher fight, so choose your battles wisely.
  2. Beware of the wind: Avoid blowing snow directly into a stiff wind. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself enveloped in a cloud of freezing particles that will melt upon contact with your skin, leaving you feeling damp and uncomfortable.
  3. Don’t step on the snow: Before you begin clearing, refrain from walking on the snow. The weight of your footsteps will pack the snow tightly onto the surface, making it more challenging to remove. Start from the door of your garage or house and work your way out.
Further reading:  Create Your Own Pork and Poultry Rub

If you don’t have the luxury of a garage to shield your vehicles from the elements, prioritize snow removal from them before tackling the driveway. Using your electric or gas-powered leaf blower is much quicker than a brush or broom. Once your car is snow-free, you can seamlessly transition to clearing the pavements. Skipping this step will inevitably result in pushing snow from your vehicle back onto your freshly cleaned driveway or parking area.

The Heavy Snow Conundrum

Timing is key when facing heavy snowfall. If the local meteorologist predicts substantial accumulation, don’t wait until the snowfall stops if you plan on relying solely on your leaf blower. Remember, it’s best suited for smaller quantities of snow.

To avoid future regrets, try not to let the snow build up more than a few inches before clearing it. Once the snow becomes too heavy and compacted due to its weight, you’ll wish you hadn’t been so dismissive of your neighbor’s powerful snow-removal machine.

Keeping up with the snowfall might require multiple trips outside during a storm, but it will save you from being stuck in your driveway once the tempest has passed. If you live in an area prone to heavy, wet snow, your leaf blower’s utility may be limited. However, on days when the snowfall is light and sporadic, it can be a true time-saver.

The Reward: Cozy Comfort After a Job Well Done

When the weather outside is frightful, why not make snow clearing delightful? With your trusty leaf blower, you can quickly banish that winter’s blanket and reward yourself with a well-deserved mug of hot chocolate by the fire or in front of your big-screen television.

Further reading:  The Magic of Blue Light for Plant Growth

Have you ever used a leaf blower to clear snow? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!


  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on X
  • Share on Telegram
  • Share on LinkedIn
  • Share on Pinterest
  • Share on WhatsApp
  • Share via mail

Ames Farm Center
Image source: Ames Farm Center

Leaf Blower for Snow Video
Video source: Leaf Blower for Snow