Bosch Cordless Leaf Blower ALB 18 Li May 2012
Light but powerful
This new leaf blower is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which will also fit in other Bosch cordless machines. At 1.8kg it's lighter than most corded and petrol leaf blowers. But does it have the power to move damp leaves stuck to a patio?
This cordless leaf blower from Bosch claims to be powerful enough to remove leaves from the garden and patio. It is lightweight and promises to be convenient for working in any position without putting strain on your arms.
It’s also part of the Bosch Cordless range of tools, which means the battery can be used in other Bosch Cordless machines. It comes with a battery and charger, but, at £79, is still expensive compared with corded models.
Easily directed 210mph airflow
This blower has a strong jet of air for a cordless model and it shifts both damp and dry leaves on grass very easily. It can also blast stuck-down damp leaves off paving.
The forceful blowing capability meant that leaves caught up in our border were easily blasted free and the plants, though rather buffeted, were unharmed. When we blasted hedge trimmings off a gravel path the blower removed the trimmings and left the stones behind. However, this was larger gravel of 2-3cm diameter. If you have pea-gravel, the blower has enough power to blast both the trimmings and the small stones, so be careful.
The blower tube is narrow enough to get in crevices and around patio furniture to remove leaves caught in awkward spots. And as it’s cordless you can reach any part of the garden.
Comfortable to use and convenient
We found that the design of the leaf blower meant that the natural angle to hold it was the right angle to use it. The large trigger on the handle was comfortable and easy to hold down. It did become a little heavy after five minutes of continuous use, but it was easy to hold and direct in the other hand. The leaf blower has a detachable tube, which is simple to remove and replace.
Limited blowing time
The battery takes more than three hours to fully charge and gives only 10 minutes of blowing time, but with no loss of power as the battery discharges. This might be enough to clear the patio in most gardens, but for larger areas you'd have to wait another three hours before you could carry on with the job. It does have a strong blast, though, so a lot of leaves can be moved in a short time.
Which? Gardening verdict on the Bosch Cordless Leaf Blower ALB 18 Li
Pros: lightweight; easy to use; easily moves dry litter and damp, stuck-down leaves
Cons: short battery life and long charge time; expensive compared with corded models