Leaf Blower Recommendations (caveat: wife needs to use it ;) )

   / Leaf Blower Recommendations (caveat: wife needs to use it ;) ) #11  
A starter and battery would only add weight. That in my mind is a no-win situation.

The effort for a woman to start a leaf blower is momentary. The effort to carry a heavier one, is on going and results in fatigue and loss of interest in the job at hand.
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   / Leaf Blower Recommendations (caveat: wife needs to use it ;) ) #12  
It depends on how much blowing you need done. I have a BR85 that my wife said she would use, but never did. It is too heavy to hold for very long, so I don't really like using it either. I bought the cheaper Ego handheld blower and now have two of them. They work great for small jobs, like just around the house. I bought a BR450, but returned it because it stank. I got the BR600 with both the chest strap and hip belt and it really blows. It is a little heavy to put on, but once on I don't notice it too much. It is much better at moving stubborn/stuck leaves than my wheeled blower. But, the wheeled blower will blow a lot more loose leaves a lot more quickly. I have more than a quarter mile of driveway and lots of trees, so lots of leaves for many weeks in the Fall.
   / Leaf Blower Recommendations (caveat: wife needs to use it ;) ) #13  
I bought into the Milwaukee electric tool ecosystem last year, including the string trimmer. I definitely bought it with my wife in mind, though she has yet to use it. Your wife may be content with a remote control string trimmer (i.e. YOU). Anyway, a thing about the electric tools, at least the cordless Milwaukee ones, is that they are not light, they tend to be heavy. And the batteries are very expensive. But they work well, and my wife will _never_ use a tool that requires starting with a pull cord. I also have trouble with pull cords because of shoulder injuries. So the electrics are nice, just push a button and go.
   / Leaf Blower Recommendations (caveat: wife needs to use it ;) ) #14  
   / Leaf Blower Recommendations (caveat: wife needs to use it ;) ) #15  
I have the Ryobi 40V blower. It works decently and would be "woman" friendly just because there's no gas to mess with. The 40v battery can have a spare (i have several) so that if she wants to "blow" some more she can. Personally I don't even last the one battery let alone use the 2nd one. It lasts at least 30 minutes for me on average depending on how much I'm pulling the trigger (variable speed they are and I mostly use it next to the house garden beds). Mine was bought from Direct Tools as a refurb and was only $90 or so. I also have their weed wacker in 40v too and a hedge trimmer in 40v. That allows for extra batteries. The hedge trimmer is really powerful. Cuts 3/4" branches easily. These tools are pretty impressive considering battery technology is still in the "junior" stages of development.

All of course IMO.
   / Leaf Blower Recommendations (caveat: wife needs to use it ;) ) #16  
I also have the Ryobi 40 volt blower, weed eater chainsaw and several attachments to the weed eater, pole saw and hedge trimmer. I like them all , they are not the most powerful but they do most of what I want done. I also have the 40 volt push mower.
   / Leaf Blower Recommendations (caveat: wife needs to use it ;) ) #17  
We run 2 blowers; a Milwaukee M18 for my wife. It takes care of the garage, front porch, driveway, etc. I save the big piles of leaves for my backpack Stihl.
   / Leaf Blower Recommendations (caveat: wife needs to use it ;) ) #18  
I have a Stihl BG-KM that I bought several years ago to use with a Stihl Kombi KM-130, and a Makita XBU02Z (uses two 18V batteries as a single 36V). The Makita I use for smaller jobs just because of how quickly it'll go through a charge, though at the highest flow settings it's fairly comparable to the Stihl BG-KM on the KM-130 powerhead.

At one point when Stihl was providing flow volume/speed for the BG-KM it combined with the larger powerheads (i.e. KM-130 or newer KM-131) it had better performance numbers than some of their own backpack blowers. Having used both the BG-KM and some backpack blowers I can attest that's not just marketing either as it's had very comparable (and better in some cases) performance to some of the smaller backpack blowers (at least with the higher HP powerheads - not sure how the battery version of the powerhead would compare).

Both are entirely capable of moving matted down wet leaves (I typically don't blow leaves from between the house and surrounding shrubs until spring after the trees have finished dropping them all).

Biggest downside to both of them is that the weight is all in hand (or on a shoulder if optional straps are used) which after a while of continuous use it becomes noticeable (not sure I'd want to use either continuously for hours at a time -even with the Stihl setup being fairly well balanced).
   / Leaf Blower Recommendations (caveat: wife needs to use it ;) ) #19  
Anybody use those big blowers you wheel along the ground? Would such a blower help with heavy fall leaf cleanup in any significant way compared to backpack blowers?