The Kobalt Battery Powered Leaf Blower is the third in a series of cordless lawn and garden tools I’ve bought from Kobalt. Last year, I bought the Kobalt Battery Powered Mower and have been pleased with both its performance and reliability thus far. Next, I purchased the Kobalt Battery Powered Hedge Trimmer. So far, I have been impressed with this light weight chain-saw substitute, but I have not had enough experience with it to complete a review. I hope to give the hedge trimmer some use in the next few days and will review it soon, so check back soon. One thing all of these cordless tools from Kobalt have in common is that you can buy them from here: Lowes Sells Kobalt Tools. Now, back to the Kobalt leaf blower. Before, I get into the specifics of this product, let me do something I rarely do and give you a quick run-down on the pros and cons of the Kobalt battery powered leaf blower:
Pros and Cons of the Kobalt Battery Powered Leaf Blower
- Convenient – no cords. Quick charge.
- Affordable for a lithium ion re-chargeable tool.
- Light Weight and small for portable, easy storage.
- Easy to Handle – nice ergonomics.
- Weaker air flow than with other corded and gas blowers – Only good for grass blades, leafs and other light-weight, dry debris.
- Kobalt forces you to buy both the battery and charger whether you need them or not. With my hedge trimmer and mower, I have more than I can use.
Do the Cons outweigh the Pros?
While I’ve only listed two cons here, there is no doubt in my mind that the first one is going to be a deal breaker for a great number of people who are in the market for a powerful debris blower. The reviews on its ‘less-than-impressive’ air power is the one reason I did not jump on this Kobalt blower last summer when I picked up the hedge trimmer at Lowes. My temptations, however, got the best of me. If not for the fact the Kobalt already uses the same batteries of my other favorite Kobalt power tools, I may have shopped a little more diligently for a more powerful battery powered leaf blower. I bought this blower knowing that it would probably not completely replace the use of my corded, Toro Leaf Blower. Before I begin to compare the two, it helps to gain some perspective on the two, industry specifications that manufacturers used to boast air blowing power.
CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute) and MPH (Miles Per Hour)
CFM, or Cubic Feet per Minute measures the velocity of the air volume that is blow through the blow per each minute. MPH is exactly what it says: How fast or far air travels if it were to blow for one hour. Obviously, the higher both of these numbers are, the better the results. A higher CFM is better suited to blow larger volumes of debris in less time. MPH indicates a stronger air speed for perhaps lifting up heavier debris, or debris which is perhaps wet or sticking to the surface. In theory, these performance metrics might sound pretty believable, but how does it work in actual practice? The best way I know for determining this is to compare the specifications with the results of both my blowers. How does the new, smaller, and more convenient Kobalt Battery Powered leaf blower stack up with my current Toro leaf blower?
Kobalt Battery Powered Leaf Blower in Action
Battery Powered Blower vs Toro Electric Blower
My current, corded, Toro electric blower has done an excellent job for me these last 4 years. It has more than enough power for just about any job I’ve needed. Also, it serves another purpose that a the Kobalt battery powered blower cannot do: It vacuums and mulches leaves. The Toro features speeds of up to 235mph and a cfm of 255. The Kobalt is listed as a 140mph blower with a cfm of 250. One might hope that 140mph is close enough to 235mph to satisfy most jobs. Sadly, I have my doubts about how well the battery powered blower will serve me through an entire spring, fall, and summer. The biggest noticeable difference is the amount of time it takes to get the job done. With the battery powered leaf blower, I need to do more walking, while placing my hand closer to the debris to get things moved out of the way. There is a significant difference betwee 140mph and 239mph. While the cfm ratings are comparable, the wind speed proves to be the difference in the ease in getting the job done. As the video below illustrates, the battery powered blower struggled mightily to blow off the little tree buds on my pebble stone surface which were stuck-on from the rain. In all fairness, however, even my mightier Toro leaf blower had a difficult time with these little buds. When it comes to blowing off big volumes of dry debris, however, the Toro beats the rechargeable hands-down. I fact, it is so superior that I don’t intend to put away anytime soon. It will remain in my garage, ready to use, especially during the fall season when I need to mulch leaves. With that said, which of these blowers will get used most frequently from spring through fall?
The real purpose of the Kobalt Battery Powered Leaf Blower
For blowing off grass blades, leaves, and other light, dry debris, I cannot imagine unraveling the cord and getting out the Toro corded-blower each and every time, when I have this handy little, portable Kobalt, charged and ready to go. It may take a few more walking steps to get the job done with a battery powered leaf blower, but with the time I’ll save reeling and unreeling the cord each time, it won’t amount to much of a difference. There are numerous small, and easy jobs where a battery powered leaf blower will come in handy – jobs that one might even skip with a corded tool for the dread of messing with a cord. With summer around the corner, my plan is to take the Kobalt leaf blower out to the swimming pool with me. The Toro was difficult to use without getting the cord in the pool. It should be easy and fairly quick to remove most of the dead leaves and debris from last winter with this handy, little rechargeable leaf blower.
As I write this, there is another, more powerful, 80V, Kobalt battery powered leaf blower which is rated at 500CFM. Obviously, this would be a significantly more powerful blower and if I did not already own previous tools using the same 40-Volt battery, I would consider the $100 upgrade. If you do not already currently have any type of blower at all, I would probably not recommend this unit. On the other hand, if you’re like me, have other Kobalt tools, and want the convenience and readiness of being able to do quick, frequent, spring, summer, and fall clean-up jobs, the Kobalt battery powered leaf blower is a logical choice.
Need More Power?
Don’t think you have to go corded or gas to get the power you need. Worx makes makes a 465-CFM 125-MPH Heavy-Duty brushless, battery powered leaf blower that will blow the cement right off your front porch. This 56-Volt cordless leaf blower by Worx can be purchased on Amazon. There are more than a few models of cordless battery powered leaf blowers that can compete with the gas powered ones, but they will cost you a little more.