A snowblower blows, a leaf blower blows. A leaf blower can blow everything else, so why can’t it blow snow? You can definitely use a leaf blower to blow snow. Is it as effective as a snowblower? Not really. But, it can be very affective in certain situations.
There are even attachments that you can buy that help the leaf blower act as a shovel.
Answer: You can definitely use a leaf blower to blow snow
When is Using a Leaf Blower for Snow a Good Idea?
There are going to be certain situations that a leaf blower will do a really great job clearing snow. It’s going to come down to how much snow there is and if it’s a wet snow or not.
Leaf blowers do really well when the snow is very dry. Unlike a dedicated snowblower, they don’t have blades to pick up the snow. This means that when the snow is wet it’s harder for a leaf blower to kick it up and blow it. When the snow is dry on the other hand, it can blow it far, just like leaves.
Quantity of Snow
The efficacy of a leaf blower in the snow is also going to depend a lot on the quantity you are blowing. A good rule of thumb is the less snow, the more the leaf blower will go. If there’s a light dusting a leaf blower will work way better than a snow shovel, or even a dedicated snowblower. Once there gets to be about an inch of snow, a snow shovel will go much faster than a leaf blower.
By the time the snow quantity gets up to a couple of inches, a leaf blower is pretty much worthless. The quantity of snow needed for it to be an effective snowblowing tool is going to depend on the wetness of the snow.
If a leaf blower is the only thing that you have to blow off the driveway, you want to make many passes and not let the snow buildup. Once there is a buildup of snow on the driveway the leaf blower will no longer be able to kick it far enough away, and it will lose its efficacy. A good rule of thumb is to not let the snow accumulate more than a quarter inch.
Here’s a video of a man blowing some snow. His technique is perfect and the conditions are ideal. The snow is powdery and dry, and there’s not a lot of it yet.
Should You Buy a Leaf Blower Just for Snow?
Absolutely not. It’s really only useful when there’s hardly any snow at all. Or, for dusting the snow off of cars. They’re great at that.
Differences in Snow and Leaf Blowers
Snowblowers and leaf blowers both utilize gas or electric engines to move debris. The main difference between them is that a snowblower is much like a giant vacuum cleaner with its brushes that agitate and lift the snow. Without these brushes, a leaf blower is not an effective snow removal tool for anyone who has to deal with a lot of snow.
A leaf blower can be just the ticket when it comes to blowing off the driveway in a place that hardly ever get snow, but it is a terrible tool for the person who is constantly having to deal with snow.
Fun Fact: At one time your author made his HOA newsletter for blowing the snow off his driveway with a leaf blower (and he owns a snowblower, sometimes a leaf blower really is the better tool)