Black & Decker Cordless Sweeper/Blower
I use my corded electric blower for leaves, pine needles, garage floor cleaning, roof clearing and even car drying after I wash it. I dropped my corded electric blower from my ladder while clearing pine needles from my roof. Although it survived the fall onto concrete, it was in bad shape to consider using it safely much longer. I knew I wanted a cordless blower to replace it and I also knew that Lithium Ion battery power was the only way to go cordless.
I looked at several blowers that ranged from 110 CFM to 500 CFM and the prices seemed to follow their CFM ratings.I had my corded blower for so long that I don’t know how many CFM it is. I was prepared to pay $100 – $150 for the right one.
While reading up on my choices, my wife bought me this Black & Decker 130 MPH 100 CFM 20-Volt Max Lithium-Ion Cordless Handheld Sweeper after I showed it to her. It had Li Ion batteries and I’ve had good luck with B&D before so I thought it a viable candidate for my needs.
Price is Right But Function was Wrong
The cordless blower/sweeper was priced at $89 plus tax, shipped to my home. It was very reasonably priced and labeled as a Sweeper/Blower. I thought I would give it a try. It turns out is is more a sweeper than a blower as it’s name suggests.
First and foremost, it was rated at 130 MPH and 100 CFM. That’s not a lot of leaf-moving air but I wanted to try it out to see if 100 CFM would do the leaf blowing job. It was also rated as “quiet” but I could not find dB ratings. The battery was rated at 2A at 20 Volts which I thought would provide a reasonable run time.
It weighs in at about 3.5 lbs which is pretty easy to carry and hold with one arm. The fan speed is essentially two-speeds: normal and “Power Boost”. The normal speed is fine for sweeping loose dust and dirt but the Boost button is needed for nearly everything else.
Performance and Battery Life
Switch on the unit and it blows a column of air useful for sweeping bare surfaces like floors and driveway, sidewalks, etc.. It will move leaves but not many nor will they go far. It was very good at “sweeping” the garage floor and driveway and every hard surface area that I tried.
Depressing the “Power Boost” button causes the air pressure to go up quite a bit and it will blow dry leaves around fairly well from a lawn or driveway. .It was not very good at moving those pesky pine needles from the grass though.
The battery is a 20 Volt 40 Watt Li Ion brick. There is no battery gauge to let you know how much charge is left in the battery. So I timed it’s operation while on Boost speed since I would need it for most jobs.
At full power with the boost button depressed, the battery lasted 25 minutes. That was just enough to give my arm a rest but not enough to clear a moderate carpet of leaves from my lawn of 50′ x 120′ or 6000 sq feet. I got about 20% of it done. I spent a little time clearing leaves from shrubbery and mulched areas of the lawn. The mulch does not get blown away of you direct the air blast from a short distance because it is not powerful enough. Moving the leaves on the grass was only moderately successful.
A small 25 sq feet area clear of dry leaves resulted after 10 seconds of blowing. Imagine the 25 minute battery run time would allow less than 3750 sq feet to be cleared. This extrapolated number of course does not take into account that the leaves keep getting deeper as you go and the leaves do not clear as easily when that happens. I only got about 1000 sq feet cleared before the battery stopped working.
A full battery charge can be completed in 3 hours using the supplied charger. I ran the battery down until the auto cut-off stopped the blower completely which prevents over-discharging the battery. The small charger clips to the battery and has a blinking green light while charging. There is no way to determine how far you might be in the charging process. Also, there is no indicator giving you an approximate idea of how much battery charge is left while you are in the yard using it.
Using the Leaf Blower
The angled handle allows you to hold the unit with either hand and the thumb can easily reach the Boost push button. The angle of the handle lets the unit naturally point downward at an angle that is convenient to aim at the floor with only a slight bend of the wrist.
The less than 4 lb weight of the unit is easy on the arm while holding it. I kept my arm fully extended and let the weight hang down from my shoulder. My arm was not tired before the battery ran out after 25 minutes of full power blowing.
This B & D 20V Sweeper/Blower is great for blowing hard surfaces like driveways and walkways, bit not so good moving leaves and stubborn pine needles from grass lawns. It’s a good tool for the home owner’s outdoor hard surface cleaning projects. If that’s the type of work you need to do, this elegant little blower is perfect and for that I recommend it.