Ryobi Model RY40411 Cordless Leaf Blower
I needed a leaf blower after I dropped my corded electric blower from my ladder while clearing pine needles from my roof. It was a workhorse for the past 20 years. It survived the fall onto concrete but was in bad shape to consider using it for many more seasons. I knew I wanted a cordless blower and also knew that Lithium Ion battery power was the only way to go.
I looked at several blowers that ranged from 110 CFM to 500 CFM and the prices seemed to follow their CFM ratings. I was prepared to pay $100 – $150 for the right one.
While reading up on my choices, I came across a factory refurbished Ryobi 40V Li Ion blower on sale. I decided to buy it and let you all know what I found.
Price is Right
The refurbished blower was priced at $109 plus tax, shipped to my home for a limited time sale. Other websites had new ones priced from $149 to $179 plus tax shipped to my home. If you already have a Ryobi 40V Li Ion battery tool, you can buy just the blower without the battery and charger (model r40402) for about $90. I’ve had good luck with refurbished products so the $40-$70 savings was very appealing. One note though. For some reason, the Ryobi factory refurbished unit comes in a plain brown box with no packing to keep things from getting banged around during shipment. I may have been lucky, but the unit I received was in like-new condition.
First and foremost, it was rated at 155 MPH and 300 CFM. That’s a lot of leaf-moving air and what I needed. It was also relatively quiet at 67 dB which is somewhat louder than conversational speech but less than a vacuum cleaner or shower. I figured (correctly) that I wouldn’t need hearing protectors like many of the gas powered blowers out there require.
It weighs in at about 7.5 lbs which can get heavy when you try to hold it up high with one arm. The fan speed is completely adjustable using the trigger on the handle from a light breeze to a full gale wind.
Performance and Battery Life
A slight pressure on the trigger gives a little puff of an air stream that is useful when clearing closed in spaces like a corner of the house, garage floor or stairway. Pulling the trigger fully results in a strong, forceful push of air that moves a lot of leaves for a good distance. It also dislodges those pesky pine needles from the grass. I like the broad usefulness and control that the variable speed trigger offers making it so versatile for many jobs around the house.
The battery is a 40 Volt 92 Watt Li Ion powerhouse. You can buy a spare battery for about $100 if you need a long run time. This same battery fits Ryobi’s other 40V tool series including a lawn mower!
At full power with the trigger all the way depressed, the battery lasted 25 minutes. That was just enough to give my arm a rest but not enough to clear a pretty thick carpet of leaves from my lawn of 50′ x 120′ or 6000 sq feet. I got about 80% of it done having to spend time clearing leaves from shrubbery and mulched areas of the lawn. The mulch will get blown away of you direct the air blast from a short distance. The mulch fared better when I stood 4-5 feet away while blowing. In all fairness, I was using full power all the time so I could get an accurate minimum battery discharge time. On subsequent tests, I used the variable speed to better control the air flow and lengthen the battery time.
A full battery charge can be completed in 2 hours using the supplied charger. I ran the battery down until the auto cut-off stopped the blower completely which prevents overly discharging the battery. The smart charger blinks while charging so you will know when it is finished charging by the steady green light that illuminates. The battery itself has a battery test push-button battery gauge that lights up 1 to 5 LEDs 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 curved handle allows one to hold the unit with either hand and has a semi-soft grip. The angle of the curve lets the unit naturally point downward at an angle that is convenient to aim at the leaves or other debris that you are blowing. You can hold the grip higher or lower to change the angle.
The nearly 8 lb weight of the unit can get a bit tiring on the arm especially if you are swinging it low to high or side to side. I kept my arm fully extended and let the weight hang down from my shoulder. I could feel my forearm getting a bit tired before the battery ran out after 25 minutes of full power blowing.
Powerful and balanced (although somewhat heavy), this leaf blower is great for blowing both hard surfaces like driveways and walkways, plus excellent at leaves and stubborn pine needles from grass lawns. It’s a good tool for the home owner’s outdoor cleaning projects. It’s also really nice not to be limited by one or more extension cords while still getting a powerful leaf blower. I recommend it,