Panasonic DMC-ZS1 Digital Camera

Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS1

Is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS1 an Under-rated Camera?

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS1
Big Zoom – Small Price

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS1 is a camera with a Big Zoom and Small Price tag. I am now on my fifth digital camera and still have never owned a Canon, the world’s proclaimed favorite and king of them all. Every time I look for a new camera, Canon’s competition always offer me something with better features and bang for the buck. Whether it’s higher megapixels, bigger optical zoom or improved video, there is always competitive brands with supposed inferior quality that offer more for less. Of course, features are meaningless if the quality is not at least comparable to the Canon. I don’t think Canon Digital Cameras have quite the edge that they used to in camera technology. The Panasonic DMC-ZS1 offers a compelling case for this. The lens is still the most important component of photography, and other digital camera makers like Casio, HP and Panasonic have closed the gap. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS1 is no exception. Just look at the typical point and shoot camera reviews and user opinions. Canon is not that far ahead anymore in image quality. I always read the reviews and user opinions and from what I could see, for cameras under $300, there is usually no clear cut favorite. I looked for a camera with above average image quality with features that were really important to me. I don’t mean lots of bells and whistles, but things that really make the camera useful!~

What makes the Panasonic DMC-ZS1 Special?

A powerful Optical Zoom is the most under-rated benefit you will find in a camera. The 12X Optical zoom on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS1 makes it about 4 times greater than 90% of the competition. Most point and shoot digital cameras use a 3X zoom. With the DMC-ZS1, you can zoom in 4 times closer than your average camera without losing any clarity or image quality. Lumix cameras have always had great optical zoom lenses and this is where the under-rated part comes in. The Lumix is not considered a high-end camera, but it delivers benefits in a high-end way. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS1 is not even a $500 camera – or even a $300 camera! The Panasonic DMC-ZS1 cost me $250 at Costco and came with leather carrying case, 2GB SD Card and video display cables; not to mention, Costco’s great customer service and return policy. Now back to the Zoom Lens: Don’t underestimate the benefit of a powerful optical zoom lens. When you combine a powerful zoom with a high number of megapixels (8, 10, 12MP or higher), you have the ability to capture the most incredible detail from your camera. Let’s say you want to take a group shot of your cousins, Aunts and Uncles at a family reunion. Step back and bring them all into full view of the lens and press the shutter button. Not only do you have a close-up, quality shot of the entire family, but the 10 megapixel resolution makes it possible to crop a full 4×6 individual printed photo of each of them without sacrificing image quality.

More on the Lumix Zoom Lens

Imagine what you can do with a 12X Zoom. I can be sitting at a football game, 50 yards from the action, but the Lumix will allow me to take a picture so it appears the quarterback is only 5 yards away. The large number of megapixels combined with the powerful zoom results in a high quality close-up photo. One other thing you’ll appreciate when using the large, 12X zoom, is the stabilization or ‘anti-shake’ feature, which keeps your aim steady and in-focus. This is not an easy task when using a zoom lens, but it really works well on the Panasonic DMC-ZS1 Lumix Camera. I can think of many times when due to the limited range of a 3X optical zoom, I wasn’t able to get the picture I wanted, or didn’t even try. It amazes me that there are still Canon Point and shoot cameras selling for $350 with a wimpy little 3X Zoom Lens. I would never go back to a camera with such an inferior zoom lens. When using this powerful optical zoom with the macro features of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS1, the possibilities become really interesting. Imagine how useful this can be for creating web images or clip art. I took a close-up shot of my DVD remote control, zoomed in and cropped the play-icon and had a very nice high resolution image to use for web or presentation graphics.
The large 12X Zoom on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS1 opens up a whole new world of digital point and shoot photography.

Megapixels on the Lumix Camera

If I told you five years ago that I had a 10 megapixel camera, you would have thought I was from another galaxy. Gad zook! Most of us were just getting used to what a megapixel was, let alone had 10 of them! I remembered when I thought anything beyond 5MP was overkill. Boy, was I wrong in a big way. I don’t think I fully understood what a greater number of megapixels does for your pictures. A powerful optical zoom and large number of megapixels compliment each other in a profound way. A full resolution snapshot on the Panasonic DMC-ZS1 results in a photo that is 4 times larger than my 1680 x 1050, high resolution, 22″ LCD Monitor. The result is tremendous detail on each and every part of the photo. For example, if I take a snapshot of my entire office desk, my keyboard alone, can be cropped so that it still practically fills the entire screen. Each and every object on my desktop is revealed in stunning clarity. With larger screen sizes, memory capacities and hard drives, computer photography can never have too many megapixels, in my opinion. The 10 Megapixels along with the 12X Zoom are enough by themselves to make the Panasonic ZS1 a bargain, but there is more to a camera than just zoom and megapixel. How does the Lumix Camera do at shooting video and indoor photos?

Video on the Panasonic DMC-ZS1

Video on the Panasonic DMC-ZS1 Digital Camera surpass any other digital camera I’ve had, but it’s still not where I’d like it to be. The picture quality is pretty decent for outdoor video, but I found the frame rate to be a little choppy. The Panasonic DMC-ZS1 Digital Camera is definitely not going to replace even your typical, cheap $250 video camera. I guess I was spoiled with the awesome zoom lens and picture quality thus far. To shoot decent video and store it on your SD card would make the Lumix nearly unbeatable for a camera in this price range.

Indoor Photo Shooting on the Panasonic Lumix

Poor quality, grainy pictures seems to be the norm for digital, point and shoot cameras. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the Panasonic DMC-ZS1 Digital Camera does in this regard. I’ve found that most digital point cameras, due to their smaller size, have a tiny flash that just doesn’t produce enough light. At one point, I turned the flash off the Lumix Camera and forgot about it. I wondered why my pictures were turning out somewhat grainy indoors until I finally realized I had the flash turned off. I must say, the DMC-ZS1 does an impressive job shooting indoor pictures. When, I look back at the number of pictures I took in the dark, I am even more impressed at how well the Panasonic Lumix took these pictures sans flash!

Image Quality

Here’s the simple fact about the Panasonic DMC-ZS1 Digital Camera. You can’t really take a bad picture with it. Obviously, it’s not going to win a side-by-side contest with cameras that cost hundreds of dollars more, but I dare the camera snobs to find one that does as much, as well as this one for $250.00 or less. It can’t be done. My previous cameras always seemed to wash-out bright images in the sun and were way too grainy in darker scenes. The ZS1 does a great job of retaining the true color of images, both in bright outdoor light and in dimmer indoor situations.

Final Ratings Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS1

  • Image Quality: 84
  • Functions: 90
  • Features: 80
  • Value: 98
  • Overall: 88
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Coffee Roasts

Coffee Roasts

Light Roast Coffee or Dark Roast Coffee?

Do Light Coffee Roasts Have More Flavor?

Coffee Roasts
Light Roast Coffee

My taste in Coffee Roasts has changed dramatically. I’ve come full circle over the years in how I like my coffee. Even when I gave up cheap canned coffee 15 years ago, it took me some time to become endeared to the very dark roasted Starbucks Coffee that is now my favorite. When I bought the dark roast coffee beans and brewed it at home, it would consistently taste flat. One day I decided to try a fresh cup at Starbucks and became sold on the piping hot, smoky flavor. In order to get that same flavor from my dark roasted coffee beans at home, I would have to use about twice the amount of coffee. So, I don’t think light roast coffee is more flavorful, but I do think the majority of lighter coffee roasts are stronger, which is why they require less coffee. It’s all in the Coffee Roasting and the Coffee Maker.

 

Green Coffee Roasting

Green Beans Coffee Roasts
Green Coffee Beans

Green Coffee beans are nearly odorless before they are roasted. It’s really no different than a good steak or roast. Most meat does not have a very pleasing aroma or flavor until it is heated up and cooked. But overcooking can have the opposite effect. A steak loses its flavor as it is grilled to the point where the juices are cooked out of it. Such is the case with coffee. Even the best Arabica coffee beans can only endure so much roasting before the flavors inside disappear into the smoky air. So we start with flavorless or bitter Coffee Green Beans and need to roast them to the point where Coffee Roast perfection is recognized. Under roasted coffee will taste raw and green where-as over-roasted coffee will taste more like smoke than coffee. How do we find the perfect coffee roasts when the coffee makers we most often use at home do not match that of a super-expensive Starbucks Machine made to achieve that perfect brew from the precise unlocked Coffee Roasts of their select beans? My theory is that we need to find coffee roasts that matches are coffee maker.

 

 

The Right Coffee Maker for the right Coffee Roasts

Dark Roast Coffee
Dark Roast Coffee

Starbucks can get away with such dark coffee beans because their brewing equipment is designed specifically to extract or unlock the magic that’s left inside of them. No less – No more – just perfection. When Coffee Beans are roasted very darkly, there is a small window in which to brew them to perfection. It stands to reason, that the water, if near boiling point, is going to do a little roasting of its own. So, my cheap Mr. Coffee – which never got very hot, isn’t going to pull much flavor out of those really dark, well-roasted beans. On the other hand, my Presto Percolator, which gets dang hot, is probably going to excessively extract what’s in those beans until the point, there’s nothing left but bitter smoky water. Ahh, so would if I tried a light roast coffee (and I mean a quality-arabica, light roast coffee), in a percolator? Wouldn’t a lighter roast coffee taste better with the help of piping hot, 205 degree water to finishing the roasting process before it reaches your cup. Sounds good in theory, but as we’ve said before, nobody ever drank a cup of theory. So, does a lighter roast coffee actually taste better from a percolator?

 

 

Percolator and Light Roast Coffee Conclusion

The answer is a resounding, yes. One of my local neighborhood coffee shops uses an expensive, but lighter coffee roaster, so I decided to put my theory to the test. The Kenya and Columbia from my local brewer, which is at least 3 shades lighter than the comparable Starbucks variety, tasted delicious in my Presto Percolator. In fact, I was so impressed with this Lighter Roast Coffee that I’ve decided to make a habit of finding quality, light roast coffee beans. Coffee snobs have been whining all this time how percolators over-extract the coffee and make it bitter. I have really never found that to be the case even with Dark Roast Coffees. However, I was not completely satisfied with the taste from my percolator until I started going with lighter coffee roasts.

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Farberware Percolator

Presto 12-Cup vs Westbend and Farberware Percolator

Farberware Percolator vs Westbend
Presto Percolator

A Farberware Percolator seems to be the all time standard in this group. So, how does the Farberware Percolator compare to the contenders? I’ll have to admit that I sometimes get overly excited about products without giving them enough time to show me their quirks. I really thought the Westbend Percolator was a great percolator until it showed me it’s dark side – and I don’t mean, dark, as in coffee. The Westbend Percolator was the king of all java until it started exhibiting an annoying habit from time to time.  On a rare occasion, the Westbend Percolator would decide to take time some time off from it’s duties, and just brew piping hot water instead of piping hot coffee.  Imagine getting up at six in the morning, only to have your groggy eyes and nose see and smell nothing but steaming hot, odorless water pouring into your cup. The first time this happened, I figured it must have been a mistake. I must have done something wrong.  However, on a few other occasions, I recalled the coffee was not as strong and robust as it was when I tasted that first, magnificent cup. By the time, my Westbend Percolator decided to perk it’s 3rd, full pot of water, I had to throw the traitor out of my kitchen. It is now sitting in my basement next to my other failed coffee marriage – the Cuisinart-Coffee-Making-Grinder.

Farberware Percolator

Like anyone else, I read lots of users opinions before I decide to buy a new product. Fortunately, there are lots and lots of user reviews on coffee makers and the percolator. The Farberware Percolator has got to be America’s old, favorite stand-by Coffee Percolator, and much of those that reviewed it, agree that it makes a very tasty cup of coffee. One complaint many owners of a new Farberware Percolator share online is that the product is no longer made in the manufacturer’s original plant in America. It is made in China and so the quality and workmanship is noticeably inferior to your Grandma’s Stainless-Steel, heavy Farberware Percolator. None-the-less, most Farberware Percolator owners are still happy with the flavor that comes out of their coffee makers, if not a little bit concerned about the durability. I went to my local kitchen appliance store and took a look at their 8-cup Farberware on display. One noticable difference between the Farberware Percolator and Westbend was that the brewing pipe had a deeper fitting, which seems would make it less likely for it to become dislodged and have the water miss the basket. This is what I assumed happened when the Westbend decided to brew only water.  The average star rating for the Farberware Percolator was 4 as opposed to 3.5 for the Westbend. Could I a higher rated unit than the Farberware Percolator?

Presto. It’s the Presto Percolator

Based on user-ratings, the Presto had the highest star score: 4.5 Stars. Users of the Presto Percolator seem to unanimously agree that this coffee maker consistently makes a strong and flavorful pot of coffee. There were few complaints on the Presto, except once again, those old enough to remember, felt that the construction was not up to the standards of percolators past. Upon first looking at the Presto in the kitchen store, I would have to say that it seemed to be made from the flimsiest materials of the three. The stainless steel components seemed lighter-weight and more aluminum like than stainless steel than either the Westbend or Farberware percolator. The brewing pipe on the Presto, was noticably deeper, though, and I decided it was worth the $45 Sears was asking for it.

Presto 12-Cup Maker Coffee Taste Test

My first cup of Presto Percolated Coffee was excellent, but then, so was the coffee from my Westbend percolator. The difference, however, was that the 2nd, 3rd and 4th time, every cup tasted just as good as the first – and over a week of brewing 10 pots or so, not once did the Presto take a vacation on me. Both the Presto and Westbend make the coffee equally hot – which is light years better than my last Cuisinart, Mr. Coffee and Braun Drip makers were. Despite, the somewhat more aluminum look and feel to it, the Presto does have one huge advantage over the Westbend. It has a very elegant, narrow pouring spout, which not only looks nice, but pours better and keeps the coffee hotter. The Presto seems to take a little longer making 10-12 cups of brew, but I don’t mind that if the result is consistently strong coffee. Now, onto the Presto Percolator Ratings.

Final Ratings

No. I won’t Fall for this Trap Again

Suffice it to say, that the Presto, has so far lived up to my expectations and is the best of the two Percolators I’ve used so far. I will not jinx myself this time with a numerical rating on a product that has not yet stood the test of time. My coffee is way too valuable for that. At any rate, long live the percolator.

Updated: Final Ratings on Presto Percolator

I give the Presto a rating of 84 out of 100. Place your own Rating Below

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Spydermate Web Analytics

Web Analytics Software Review

What is the Best Free Web Analytics Program?

Web Analytics
webstats software

Looking for Web Analytics Software that  is easy and sensible? Every once in a while I find a free product that is so useful to me that I strongly feel the urge to tell everybody about it. I know that there are at least as many web analytics programs as there are websites, so why are so many website designers still looking for them? Maybe it’s because we all have different needs. A great many of these web analytics programs are completely free, but like anything else, we only have so much time and patience to learn and use them all. There’s gotta be one web analytics program, either cheap or affordable, that does just about everything we need. I’ll be honest, as a blog website creator, I do use a few free website stats programs to track the progress of my ratings site. Just to name a few of them: SubmitExpress, Website Grader, Reaction Database, Quarkbase, etc. The list is too great to mention them all. While each of them have some redeeming values, there is only one Web Analytics program that I keep coming back to on a regular basis:  Spydermate Web Analytics.

Spydermate Web Analytics

Web Analytics Software
Website Analysis Software

Spydermate is a web-based SEO Optimization and web analytics tool. Yeah, yeah – I know. Free web analytics tools are a dime a dozen, but unlike the majority of other webstats analysis software, this Free SEO Web Analytics Tool analyzes every page on your website, not just your domain url. Spydermate’s free registration will allow you to analyze up to 500 pages on your website. Also, some web analytics seem to focus on a single web statistic rather than giving you the entire analysis based on several webstats rankings and criteria. SEO Analysis of your complete website will return useful SEO Stats, Page Positioning, Page Ranking, Link Equity, Competitor Analysis, and much more. Because blogs and product review sites encompass a great number of pages on a variety of topics, a single home page analysis does not provide much useful information about the entire website. What good does it do to have a product review website if nobody can find your product review pages? It’s not enough to know that nobody is finding your product reviews, you need to know why, and how you can get people to your review pages. Spydermate Web Analytics tells you the who-what-when-how-why of your entire website.

Spydermate Web Analytics Features

As a beginning, but enthusiastic website owner, the first two things that attracted me to Spydermate last year was its ease of use, and graphic analysis results pie chart. But before we get to that, the first thing you need to do is register your product. Doing so is free, non-obtrusive and will give you a great deal more website analysis features, such as Side-by-Side Comparisons, PDF and XLS Exporting, Unlimited Crawls, scheduled crawls, and 500 page crawls as opposed to 25 for unregistered users. There is no reason not to register – it’s free.

How to use Spydermate Web Analytics

Register, Login, then type in your site name and choose how many pages you wish it to scan, and Spydermate does the rest. It typically takes about 2 minutes for Spydermate to finish crawling 25 pages. 500 Pages took me about 32 minutes. Obviously this number varies based on the density of the website being analyzed. After your chosen number of website pages has been crawled, you will get a very easy-to-read Graphics snapshot and number score indicating how your website ranks. Your number score is based on how your site performs relative to 8 different website metrics and web traffic statistics.

  1. Average Page Depth
  2. Google Page Rank
  3. Alexa Rank
  4. Compete Rank
  5. Number of External Backlink
  6. Domain Age
  7. Domain Expiration
  8. External .edu or .gov links

I won’t bore you with the full details of what all these criteria mean. Part of what makes Spydermate a great Web Analytics product, in my opinion, is how good the software is at explaining what these criteria mean as well as providing you with details on what, when, where and how to improve each of these website statistics ratings.

Web Analytics Traffic Analysis
web-traffic-analysis
Web Analytics Features Explained

Your numerical score (0-100) and radar graph are provided which indicates how your site performs relative to all other websites scanned by Spydermate. This is a very quick way to get a snapshot overview of how your website traffic and search engine placement is progressing. Spydermate also provides you with some additional information such as broken links and HTTP Status codes.

Advanced Web Analytics Features

If you want to go a little deeper with your analysis and information on each of those eight criteria, this is where Spydermate web analytics really begins to shine.
Beyond the additional website analysis, there are four additional tabs: Link Equity, Schedule, Compare and History. Each of these tabs gives you an in depth analysis of the web stats that derived your score. The Link Equity tab, for instance, shows the distribution of your links on the pages that were crawled. Additionally, you can drill down each of these pages with a targeted keyword search which provides useful details on broken links, missing H1 Tags or Page Titles. The Schedule Tab lets you schedule weekly or monthly crawls on up to five different domains. The Compare Tab is probably my favorite feature. Here, you can compare crawl results of two different websites dating back to any previous website analysis you ever made on Spydermate. The reports are based on all of the criteria mentioned earlier, and once these reports are generated, you can even do a link equity comparison of two different sites. Last, but not least, is a history tab which includes all of the website analytics you’ve ever ran on Spydermate. Here, you can view past history or delete any previous reports you no longer wish to keep.

Conclusions and Benefits of Spydermate

The purpose of website analysis or webstats software is to tell us how effective are web pages are at getting traffic to our website. I want to spend most of my time developing new and useful product reviews and not become bogged down in website and SEO analysis, even if it’s Free SEO Analysis. I need a web analytics product that will consistently and quickly provide a quick snapshot of all my web statistics, yet at the same time be able to give me more details on why and how my site is performing the way it is if and when I want it. I realize that webstats software is a passion for some web designers, but the ultimate goal for me is to increase website traffic, not the time and costs spent analyzing it all. Spydermate is complex enough to give me all the website data I need, yet simple enough that I instantly knew I’d use it over and over again, the first time I tried it. Spydermate, has become a favorite and valuable seo analysis tool in helping bring visitors to Product Review Ratings (PRR).

Have you Used Spydermate? Please Rate the Product

You may leave comments or your own review at bottom of article on Spydermate Web Analytics Software

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Toro Leaf Blower

Toro Leaf Blower
Toro-Leaf-Blower

Toro Leaf Blower

Don’t Blow it with the Wrong Leaf Blower

I’ve had my Toro Leaf Blower for a while, so I will add some additional comments on the life and endurance of this product below this original review. If ever there was a ratings contest for the greatest lazy-man’s inventions, the Leaf Blower, along with paper shredders, has gotta rank right up there with the best. The leaf blower was obviously invented when some lazy guy with a sore back was raking and picking up leaves, and a major gust of wind came along and conveniently blew all of his debris into his neighbor’s yard. Thinking that was a heckuva lot easier (and faster), then doing it the old fashioned way with a rake and a broom, he decided he’d like that gust of wind to be always available where and when he wanted it.  It’s this kind of laziness that made America the great, inventive and industrialist nation that it is – and gave us the Toro leaf blower, to boot.
Not only would a portable wind storm make it easier to pick up leaves, but it would also solve the problem of having to bag them. Let the neighbor with his own sore back and rake, learn like you did to appreciate a good gust of wind. Before he knew it, every neighbor on the block of every neighborhood was taking turns blowing leaves into each others yard until finally, somebody decided we needed a way to suck them up, mulch them and put them in our compost bins. Thus we have the invention of the leaf blower, leaf vacuum, leaf mulchers which are sold at your local hardware store, today. At any rate, this is not meant to be a historical account of leaf blowing inventions, so lets get on with the review. From the consumer opinions I looked at, the Toro model equipped with an electrical extension cord seem to be preferred over gas-powered or rechargeable ones. I did not see a great deal of leaf blower reviews, but, overall, the Toro leaf blower seemed to have some very positive consumer reports. I took my chance on the Toro Leaf Blower Model 51599 for $70 at Home Depot because it had what I wanted: Leaf Blower, Leaf Vacuum, mulcher, Variable speed and good electric horsepower at a budget price.  My decision to use electrical power instead of gas or chargeable was assisted by my previous experience with weed-eaters. My gas weed eater was too heavy and difficult to start. My current, 18-volt rechargeable weed-eater just doesn’t have enough lasting power to finish a job. I was willing to go back to the inconvenience of extension cords in exchange for the reliability and light-weight power of an electrical leaf blower.

Judging the Ultra 51599 Toro Leaf Blower

Pros

  • Powerful, variable speed motor
  • Reasonable Price
  • Great Leaf Mulching

Cons

  • Plastic connection pieces seem fragile
  • Vacuuming ergonomics a little awkward
  • Not much, really

Features of the 51599 Toro Leaf Blower

The Toro Blower Model # 51599 is an electric leaf blower and vacuum with 16-to-1 mulching impeller and leaf bag. The Toro 51599 has a powerful, 12-Amp motor with variable speed adjustment which provides a 235MPH continuous gust of user-directed wind at full speed. The Toro 51599 weighs 7.5 pounds. The toro and vacuum includes 5 removable parts:

  1. Motor with 4-inch power cord
  2. 3.5-ft plastic vacuum attachment
  3. 2.5-ft plastic blower attachment
  4. Leaf Bag
  5. Impeller Blade Guard

Toro 51599 Leaf Blower Operation and performance

If I have any complaints at all with this product, it’s that setting it up is a bit clunky and cumbersome and the plastic snap connections make me a bit nervous. You will need to switch between the vacuum or blower attachment depending on whether you want to blow or vacuum the leaves. When using the vacuum, you will also want to snap on the bag. When using the blower, you must attach the impeller blade guard over the blade where the vacuum attachment is otherwise used. It is a bit difficult holding onto the different components while making connections and disconnections with the plastic. It makes me wonder how easy they might break off over time, and render them useless. Fortunately, the Toro 51599 does have a 2 year warranty, so the manufacturer must feel feel it will hold up for at least two years. The other thing to realize is that you will need a standard extension cord with a standard 3-prong plug. The included 4-inch power plug has a guarded cylinder surrounding it, so only a standard extension cord female end will fit inside. My first job came on the heels of a major hail and windstorm that left debris and leaves scattered all over my yard. The impeller shredder, so warn the instructions, is not made for shredding sticks, so be careful what you vacuum up. I took a good look at the impeller and it certainly seemed solid enough for little twigs, so I was not overly concerned. Here’s the cool part. After Vacuuming up a pretty large portion of my yard, I decided to check the bag. I had a total of 2 cups of ground leaves. This would have certainly amounted to at least a half a bag without the handy shredder. Anyway, with no trouble, I removed the bag, unzipped it and emptied the 2 cups of leaves into my wife’s compost bin. Very nice!. The variable speed power, by the way, worked great and will really come in handy for vacuuming up leaves around small rocks and other objects you don’t want to suck up. For my next test, I disassembled the leave vacuum attachment and bag, and installed the blower and impeller guard. The cement deck around my pool was smothered with leaves. Fortunately, there is a drop off around the pool where the leaves can be conveniently discarded into the soil and mulch, making it a perfect candidate for blowing instead of vacuuming. Boy was I surprised. Blowing the leaves off the pool deck was a breeze, both literally and figuratively. In a matter of about 7 minutes, I had completed a job that used to take me an hour.

Conlusions on the Toro 51599 Leaf Blower

I would not hesitate to recommend this Leaf Blower-Vacuum-Mulch-er for any home owner with either a small or large yard. It works as advertised and the leaf-shredder even exceeded my expectations for a leaf vacuum in the $70 price range. My only concern is with the plastic connection fittings which make me wonder about its long-term durability. The 2-year warranty does offer some reassurance. I would also describe the vacuuming ergonomics as being a bit unfriendly. The placement of the bag over the shoulder and the grip while using the unit did put a bit of a strain on my back. Otherwise, this leaf blower performs quite well. In fact, I consider my it a portable, hand-held windstorm.

Toro Leaf Blower Long Term Rating

This particular 51599 model has been one of the best lawn and garden investments I’ve ever made. It was fairly inexpensive and has gotten the job done for me every time. I really think it does a great job grinding up the leaves and vacuuming into the bag. It has great power as a leaf blower. A few people have complained that the motor burns up. I’ve used the product extensively for 5 years now and still have not had a problem where it gets the least bit over-heated. I highly recommend this leaf blower by Toro.

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