Most helpful positive review
261 of 272 people found the following review helpful
A well-designed, ergonomic blower-vac
on July 14, 2001
I almost didn't buy the B&D Leaf Hog because of some of the negative reviews I read here but I'm glad I ultimately disregarded them. I did so because I went into the local home-improvement store and hefted one. It was so much more ergonomic than the competing Toro and seemed to be so much better designed, I took the plunge and I haven't been disappointed.
It is extremely comfortable to use. B&D really thought the design out. Switching from blower to vacuum couldn't be more easily or quickly accomplished. It's quieter than I expected (95 decibels measured on the vacuum). It really does mulch well and provides a steady supply for the compost pile. And to address the negative comments:
Someone complained about the impellor wearing out because it's plastic. They can't make it out of steel because of spark and fire hazards and if it was aluminum, it probably wouldn't last much longer and in either case it would add considerable cost. Another bright reviewer complained about having to tie a knot in the chord because the clip in the handle wasn't adequate. Well, a quick overhand knot has worked extremely well since the extension chord was invented, and is used by professional tool users everywhere! Someone also complained about the bag coming off, but they never noticed the clever clip there for the chord to help hold the bag on. Someone thought the vacuum was inadequate but they're probably not realizing that it draws a lot of amps and requires the appropriate gage extension chord (I recommend at least 12 gage). I found the vacuum to be plenty powerful enough and I had to turn the blower to "low" because it was blowing the rocks out of my (desert landscape) yard! I can't directly address the long-term reliability since I've only had mine a month or so, but it seems well built for the price.
The bottom line is: The Leaf Hog is a well-designed tool with great performance that is worth the cost (think about it - it's the price of a dinner for two at a nice restaurant and people are complaining that it's not built of titanium and nuclear powered). It will probably last longer if you treat it with the respect a tool deserves. This is an extremely useful tool that anyone with a yard will be happy to own. Also, if you plan on vacuuming a lot of leaves, I recommend getting the BV-006 leaf collection system because the included bag is for smaller jobs (and would get too heavy anyway if it was bigger).