Leaf blowers. Those screaming-loud, smoke-belching destroyers of weekend morning quiet. Of all tools in the entire world, these things are my least favorite. I just don’t get the attraction. Why do you need a leaf blower when you have a perfectly good rake or broom? Nothing personal to leaf-blower lovers out there, but I think you need to seek professional help. That is what I thought until I was introduced to the Kobalt 80 volt cordless electric leaf blower. Wow. Maybe I was just a little bit off-base about these things….
The leaf blower was provided to Home Fixated for review as part of a set of the new 80 volt MAX line of outdoor equipment by Kobalt, the house tool brand of the Lowes chain of home centers. You can find my reviews of the 21” lawn mower, the string trimmer and the 18” chainsaw all here on the Homefixated website. Spoiler alert: I liked them all quite a bit! I left the leaf blower until last because I did feel a bit intimidated by reviewing a tool that I have been so philosophically opposed to for so many years. But considering the quality and surprisingly quiet performance of the other tools in the MAX series, I decided to set my biases against leaf blowers aside and check this unit out with an open mind.
Like the other 80 volt max tools, the leaf blower runs on a mondo lithium-ion battery that I have lovingly nicknamed the “powerbrick.” This gigantor battery sits under the handle of the tool roughly where the gas tank would be on a gas-powered leaf blower. The variable three speed trigger gives you up to 500 CFM of air volume, making it pretty similar to a gas unit. It manages this in such a small package by utilizing an axial jet fan, unlike most leaf blowers, powered by a tough little brushless motor. The fan gives up to 125 miles per hour of air flow. It turns on with the touch of a button, no more pull start, hooray! The variable-speed trigger and 3 power settings allow you to control debris removal.
Run time for this unit is up to 70 minutes at low power setting, and considerably less on high- more like 20…but the 80V Max 2-amp-hour battery fully charges in 30 minutes or less. Initial no-load voltage, when fully charged, peaks at 80 volts; nominal voltage under typical load is around 72 volts. It comes with a 5 year hassle-free guarantee on the tool, and a 3 year hassle-free guarantee on battery and charger, which is pretty decent in the cordless tool world. Watch it here where it almost blows the lawn off:
The greatest thing about this blower is that is is pretty quiet. More like a vacuum cleaner than a chainsaw. And, one of my favorite advantages of this battery-powered unit is… it is safe to use indoors! Holy cow, I can just open up the overhead door in the wood shop and blast about three years worth of sawdust right out the door! The dog’s not so crazy about it, though.