For much of the year, our farm’s garage serves as my workshop. I’m positive my truck, and my wife’s car, love the opportunity to get some fresh air. (When the snow starts flying, though, there had better be room in the garage – at least for the car). With several projects ongoing at any one time, I generally have at least my planer, my table saw, a chop saw, and a router table fighting for floor space. At the end of a day of generating large quantities of sawdust, the last thing I want to do is spend ten minutes sweeping, but I hate leaving a mess. The neat freaks at DeWalt recently came up with my kind of housekeeping tool – the DeWalt DCBL720P1 20V MAX Blower, which they recently sent to us for review. Let’s see if it has what it takes to tidy up your world.
Using a blower for shop or jobsite cleanup can be a huge time saver. That assumes, of course, that you don’t have to spend ten minutes searching for an extension cord, and another ten minutes untangling it. And don’t forget to factor in the time that must be spent when you’re finished, since the cord must be properly re-tangled, then hidden for the next day’s cycle to properly repeat.
A battery-operated blower eliminates those obstacles. But can a battery-powered blower provide enough wind power for normal shop, jobsite and homeowner cleanup duty? DeWalt didn’t cheap out when they put the DeWalt DCBL720P1 together. With a beefy brushless motor, and a 5.0 Ah Li-Ion battery and charger, it should easily get you through your daily cleanup routine. Here are The Official Specs:
• Brushless Motor maximizes motor efficiency and durability
• An innovative axial fan design maximizes air output and run time
• 400 CFM and 90 MPH performance
• Variable trigger and speed lock
• Lightweight and ergonomic design (7.1 lbs.)
• Low noise (61 dB)
The DeWalt DCBL720P1 Airs Out The Garage
In addition to the assorted tools, our garage generally has an assortment of cabinetry, piles of flooring, a rack of lumber, and various other remodeling components stacked up. My 50-year-old project motorcycle is also sitting in a corner, patiently waiting for me to restore it. And one of these days I will – really! Meanwhile, there’s a lot of stuff for the dust and debris to settle on and around. Trying to sweep it off would be a huge pain in the butt. Blowing it off, on the other hand…
The DeWalt DCBL720P1 is well-balanced, and very intuitive to operate. Charge up the battery, slide it on, and pull the trigger. The variable speed feature is easy to control via trigger pressure, so you can dial it down a bit if you just want your debris to move a short distance. The “cruise control” is also simple to use. You can either set the speed you want with the trigger, then lock down the lever, or just move the lever until the blower is blowing to your liking, and release it – the speed stays locked in.
The DeWalt can move a lot of air. It has a big old nozzle on it, so it doesn’t focus the air like some other blowers. Fortunately, the ability to move 400 CFM at a speed of 90 MPH means it’ll move pretty much anything in its way. I blew the dust off the saws and floor, and corralled it into a tidy pile for sweeping up, in about a minute. It easily got all the stuff out of the various nooks and crannies, which is pretty tedious (and usually not very effective) with a broom.
The battery has a protective cage around it, to help shield it from the harsh realities of life in the shop or back yard. The cage makes it take a couple of seconds longer to get the battery in place, but it’s not really that difficult. Since replacing the battery would set you back $119, it’s a few extra seconds well spent.
Field Yard Testing The DeWalt DCBL720P1
The DeWalt DCBL720P1 chose a good time to show up on my side porch. Fall has arrived in the northeast, and as the leaves start coming down, I alternate my time between cleaning them up and plotting to move to a condo. I used the blower several times to clear our 95’ driveway, and the sidewalk and street in front of the house, which is about 80’. The sidewalk in this area is bordered by ivy, and the leaves very cleverly intertwine themselves all through it. The DeWalt blew ‘em right the hell out of there, a huge improvement over trying to dislodge them with the rake!
While I was at it, I also cleared our small front and side porches, the front entry walkway, the area alongside our shed, and our 10’ x 22’ back porch. The DeWalt DCBL720P1 handled it all on a single charge. Then I figured, while I’m at it…I blew all the leaves out of our small side yard. Even though that’s not what the DeWalt DCBL720P1 is intended for, it did a great job clearing the lawn, which was covered with leaves.
Since our house is surrounded by trees, I also schlepped the DeWalt up to the roof. I used to drag a plastic leaf rake up there, to periodically clear the accumulation of leaves. It’s MUCH safer, faster and easier – on me and on the shingles – to blow those suckers off. As a bonus, when the leaves are mostly dry, the DeWalt DCBL720P1 also clears the gutters – something I normally have to do with a leaf scoop, scooting along on my butt. Not my favorite chore.
Should The DeWalt DCBL720P1 Be YOUR New Housekeeping Buddy?
The DeWalt DCBL720P1 is sturdy and well-designed and very simple to get into action. Pick it up, pull the trigger, and watch the crud take flight. I really like that the trigger can be locked at any speed, you don’t have to be cranked up to full turbo mode. You can get your dust bunnies corralled into a tidy pile. I also like the flat bottom, so the blower can be set down without rolling down the driveway – or off the roof.
If your expectations are realistic, you’re likely to be very happy with this blower. It isn’t meant to compete with powerful gas backpack blowers designed to clear leaves from your entire yard. The DeWalt DCBL720P1 is intended for jobsite cleanup, blowing out your garage or workshop, or occasional cleanup of leaves and clippings from your sidewalk, driveway and deck. It did a great job when I put it through its paces in both scenarios, along with its more elevated workout on the roof.
If you’re looking for something better suited to an extended workout in the yard, DeWalt recently came out with a blower intended for full-time yard duty, the DeWalt DCBL790H1. With a 40V MAX powerplant and a 6.0 Ah battery, this model is designed to move heavier debris, and to withstand everyday heavy-duty usage. The extra oomph comes at a premium; the DeWalt DCBL790H1 retails for $339.
The DeWalt DCBL720P1 20V MAX Blower retails for $199. That’s not cheap, but quality tools usually aren’t. When you factor in the included 5.0 Ah battery, which retails for $119 by itself, the price seems more reasonable. If you have other 20V MAX tools, it’s almost a no-brainer; I know I’ll be swiping that battery to extend the run time on my impact driver and miter saw. The DeWalt DCBL720P1 has solid reviews on Amazon and Home Depot, and comes with DeWalt’s solid three-year limited warranty, along with a year of free service and a 90-day, no questions asked return policy. Available from Amazon and Home Depot via the links below.