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
- Powerful, variable speed motor
- Reasonable Price
- Great Leaf Mulching
- 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:
- Motor with 4-inch power cord
- 3.5-ft plastic vacuum attachment
- 2.5-ft plastic blower attachment
- Leaf Bag
- 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.