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GardenSMART :: Leaf Blowers and Noise

Leaf Blowers and Noise

By Echo
Images courtesy of Echo

With fall just around the corner, leaf drops will be here soon and so will yard cleanup and that familiar sound of the leaf blower. When it comes to leaf blowers, the first thought that usually comes to mind is how irritating they can be. In fact, the majority of blowers that people are familiar with are the ones that are noisy enough to disturb the neighbors. In reality, there are “quiet” leaf blowers, or low noise blowers available that resolve this issue.

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So why is this important? Some cities want to ban traditional gasoline-powered leaf blowers. It all has to do with the level of sound that is produced. Sound level is a measurement of sound pressure expressed logarithmically in decibels [dB(A)]. Any sound that measures 85 dB(A) or above at the ear can cause hearing loss if exposed for long periods of time. To give you an idea of the sounds that can be harmful, here are some reference points:

  • Concerts – these measures anywhere from 135 to 145 decibels.
  • Gunshots – depending on the gun, anywhere from 145 to 155 decibels.
  • Shuttle launch – not an average sound, but you can imagine just how loud they can be. These generally measure anywhere from 165 to 170 decibels.

Anyone who has been to a concert lasting several hours knows that when they leave, ambient sounds appear to be slightly muffled. So we know firsthand that prolonged exposure can impact our hearing. This is why when at concerts, gun ranges, and shuttle launches hearing protection is recommended.

GardenSMART Article ImageSo knowing all this, where does the low noise, gas powered blower fall in terms of decibels? Measured at 50 feet, the ECHO PB-250LN is a mere 65 dB(A). The level of decibels this ECHO blower puts out at the operator’s ear falls well below the range of our examples. It is welcomed in neighborhoods and communities that have complained about leaf blower noise or are considering a leaf blower ban because a low noise blower is around 75% quieter than a traditional blower.

Not only are quiet leaf blowers sound reduced overall, but ECHO has designed the low noise blower to include sound absorbing materials that eliminate the whine typical of older designs. They also use a unique muffler concept that lessens exhaust sounds and incorporate a patented sound attenuator that quiets the air intake system. The fan and cowling were redesigned to lessen the airflow sound while maintaining the efficiency and performance of the device.

Where do electric blowers fall in the noise spectrum?  While the noise level may be reduced on some electric designs, it is not reduced on all. Most still generate a high-pitched scream that sounds very much like a shop vacuum. Corded electric blowers can’t match the power obtained from a gasoline-powered blower. Another serious drawback is that these blowers are attached to stationary power outlets by an electrical cord which limits where the user can go. The battery-powered blowers on the market may not scream, but typically performance and run time are sacrificed for the sake of less noise.

When it is time to determine the best solution for any leaf blower need, a low noise blower is the ideal addition to your inventory of lawn care tools. ECHO makes more low noise blowers than any manufacturer.

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During ECHO’s National Sales Event starting September 1, you can buy the PB-250LN handheld blower for $149.99 at participating dealers. Visit to learn more.


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