Outdoor

Ladies, here is my review of the Ryobi 18V ONE+ garden blower

Why Baby’s first power tool does the opposite of suck.
Nicole England

My kids got me a Ryobi 18V ONE+ garden blower for Mother’s Day. I know. My son is a tradie and it’s the first time he’s thought of an awesome gift for me. He was so proud and shared the idea with his sister by text (accidentally sending it to me instead, so I had a heads up!).

I have to admit I was sceptical. I quite like sweeping my deck and verandah. It’s a nice physical outlet between writing sessions when I’m working from home and I find gardening generally to be a good excuse to move around, use my body and connect with nature.

We recently refurbished our deck so I’m in love with it again and want it to be swept clean all the time. I’m sure the novelty will wear off before long though – daily sweeping sessions are already beginning to wane – but, since the local possum visits every night, we have to clean up after them every morning (eew!).

So, when I saw the missent text and first thought a leaf blower was something I didn’t need, then realised if the rest of the family enjoyed using it I might be excused from constant deck-sweeping duties! Only now that I’ve had a go, I don’t want to give it up. Turns out Baby’s first power tool does the opposite of suck. Here’s why.

Ryobi’s One+ 18V cordless leaf blower review verdict

  • Our rating: (9 of 10)
  • Why we rated it a (9/10): This blower is powerful yet compact, lightweight and easy to use. It stores easily and the battery pack system works with other Ryobi household tools and avoids messy cords.

Pros

  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • No lifting or moving objects to clean around
  • Use in damp and dry leaves
  • Battery operated as part of Ryobi ONE+ range
  • Compact size for handy storage
  • No fuel smell or hassle

Cons

  • Battery and charger sold separately for a minimum $89
  • Leaves still need to be picked up
  • Still makes a distinctive power tool noise
  • Blows dirt and dust around until you hone your skill (eg. onto your wet washing)

What’s so special about the Ryobi 18V ONE+ leaf blower?

I know there are rules and etiquette around using leaf blowers and I live in the inner city, in close quarters with my neighbours. My family often comments about the borderline obsessive nature of one of our near neighbours and her patio sweeping. I don’t want to be “that person” over the fence constantly blowing.

It took me only 30 seconds to clear my 29sqm deck. Not enough time to be annoying, I reckon. I figure 30 seconds of leaf blowing is comparable to 15 minutes of sweeping noise and I blew away every last leaf. So fast in fact that I ran out and did the front path too, I was having so much fun.

Ryobi One 18V cordless blower

Ryobi 18V ONE+ leaf blower materials and size

  • Weight 1.6kg
  • 245km/h max air speed (3.8N blow force)
  • Noise rating 92.5 dB
  • 18V motor
  • Run time up to 22 minutes with 4.oAh battery
  • Light to medium garden cleaning jobs

How to use Ryobi 18V ONE+ leaf blower

It’s simple to use – plug and play! It’s powerful for its weight, yet easy to manoeuvre and get into tight spots. There are no messy cords to grapple with as it’s battery-operated. This model blower comes as a tool only (my son already has a bunch of these batteries to use with his other Ryobi tools) so, if you don’t already have them, this is a hidden cost – the recommended 4Ah 8V battery and charger will set you back $149.99 from Amazon.

A leaf-free, manicured pathway marks the entrance to this graceful period home in Melbourne. (Photography: Shania Shegedyn)

Results from our test

  • You don’t have to lift anything

Once you’ve got your technique down, there’s nothing you can’t budge with a leaf blower. Shift leaves collected under the fully laden washing line? No problem – it dries as it goes! Possum poo? Gone! Underneath and around potted plants? A cinch! 

  • You can clean behind things

Under our folding table and BBQ is where all the leaves collect down the side of my deck. My broom could never get underneath it but I didn’t want to leave them there to rot and stain. This blower moves them in two seconds.

  • Use it in wet and dry weather

Have you ever noticed the council guys clearing your local park of leaves as you circle the park on your morning walk (you will once you get your own leaf blower!!)? Those leaves are wet and dewy and the leaf blower moves them anyway. It’s the same in your yard – you can blow damp leaves off hard surfaces or grass to move them onto your garden beds or a corner of your deck or yard. Then collect and mulch or dump it all into your green bin. 

Coastal, tropical garden with curved wall, fence and lawn.
The expansive lawn and mixture of timber and concrete in this South Coast beach house form the perfect backyard environment to put a leaf blower to good use. (Photography: The Palm Co)

Overall, is Ryobi 18V ONE+ leaf blower worth it?

Hell yes! This product is now a valued member of my household cleaning lineup, taking pride of place next to my stick vacuum cleaner in the cupboard under the stairs. It’s compact to store – the engine is a bit bigger than an iron and the long nozzle is removable so you can pack it down after each use. I leave mine assembled and ready, though.

While I say I’m keen to retain the leaf-blowing crown in my house, I’m not opposed to anyone else in the family doing a little outdoor cleanup. With a leaf blower, there’s no need to convince them. “It takes two minutes” is now the catch cry in this house.

Where to buy Ryobi 18V ONE+ leaf blower

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