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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leaf Hog LH4500 Black & Decker, excellent plus suggestions
I purchased the Black & Decker LH4500 Leaf Hog back in September of 2008 when the leaves began to fall. It is now Jan 2009 and I hope the leaves are finally all down.

I was initially very suspicious of this Black & Decker product having been bitten by poor quality in other products, but my rating of this product is excellent. It really sucks up and shreds the...
Published on January 3, 2009 by Vernon Sandusky

versus
161 of 177 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Works well, but some substantial drawbacks
I wanted to love this Leaf Hog. For the first day I owned it, I did love it. The honeymoon is now over though, and not everything is quite as rosy as I thought. Here's where we stand:

Pros:
-----
1) Mulches leaves very effectively
2) No significant problems with clogging
3) Lightweight, easy to maneuver
4) Easy to switch between...
Published on April 15, 2009 by Joshua M. Henly


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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leaf Hog LH4500 Black & Decker, excellent plus suggestions, January 3, 2009
By 
This review is from: Black & Decker LH4500 12 amp 2-Speed Electric Leaf Hog Blower / Vacuum with Leaf Bag (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
I purchased the Black & Decker LH4500 Leaf Hog back in September of 2008 when the leaves began to fall. It is now Jan 2009 and I hope the leaves are finally all down.

I was initially very suspicious of this Black & Decker product having been bitten by poor quality in other products, but my rating of this product is excellent. It really sucks up and shreds the leaves. I use it both to pick up piles of leaves and to suck leaves from the tops of my junipers where they are a pain to rake. It is really powerful and has no problem sucking up and munching both leaves and twigs.

The leaf bag while initially very confusing is really a great design that allows you to quickly empty the bag and to reseal it. As usual, the manual for the product sucks, but once it is assembled, it is easy to use.

Pros: Does what it says. Easy to use extension cord retainer. Easy to empty bag. Very powerful leaf vac and very powerful leaf blower.

Cons: Difficult to switch between vacuuming and blowing. Until you have done it a few times, it is very confusing and the manual is no help at all. I hardly ever switch it from vacuum to blow, but that is just me. The shoulder strap for the bag is too narrow and cuts into my neck. I nearly threw away the bag closure when I assembled the unit because I could not figure out what it was for. Also the bag closure while easy to use requires a lot of hand/arm strength to remove it. I found that spraying it with silicon spray made it easier to slide the plastic over the bag. Also, silicon spray makes it a lot easier to remove/assemble the leaf bag from the engine and also to remove/assemble the vacuum or blower parts.

Annoyances: There is no way to put the Leaf Hog down without it falling over completely making it difficult to pick up again. It would have been nice if there was a way to put it down so it was easy to pick up again. This may be a small matter when you are 20, but bending over gets more difficult once you pass 60.

Notes: Because the blower and vacuum parts are separate pieces it is easy to lose track of where you have stored them. The variable speed control works well, but is a bit of an overkill. I find I use it only on the highest speed.

All, in all, I am happy with the product, but time will tell if the quality is there.
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161 of 177 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Works well, but some substantial drawbacks, April 15, 2009
By 
Joshua M. Henly (Nottingham, NH USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Black & Decker LH4500 12 amp 2-Speed Electric Leaf Hog Blower / Vacuum with Leaf Bag (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
I wanted to love this Leaf Hog. For the first day I owned it, I did love it. The honeymoon is now over though, and not everything is quite as rosy as I thought. Here's where we stand:

Pros:
-----
1) Mulches leaves very effectively
2) No significant problems with clogging
3) Lightweight, easy to maneuver
4) Easy to switch between blower/vacuum
5) Inexpensive

I primarily bought this to help me turn leaves into leaf mulch. It does that quite well. I now have nearly 2 cubic yards of well-shredded leaves to use as mulch and throw in the compost pile. I thought it was simple to put together, and it's easy to operate.

Cons:
-----
1) Collection bag is of very poor quality
2) Motor is obnoxiously loud
3) Some parts don't fit well
4) Vibration is excessive, and can cause health problems

Bad news...the collection bag developed a hole and some tears the second time I used it. The bags run $15-$20 or so. If I had to replace one each season, I might not be so upset. But at this rate I'll be spending more on bags every year than the initial cost of the blower itself. Unacceptable.

And this sucker is _loud_. It's not really a problem for me since I wear good hearing protection while operating machines like this, but I do worry that I'll annoy my neighbors if I use it frequently.

While it was easy to put together, the plastic tube that attaches to the motor housing fits poorly. Lots of dust and some other larger debris flies out of the mating surface where the pieces don't meet tightly enough.

The biggest negative of this product _for me_ is that the vibration is excessive. What's the big deal if it vibrates too much, you ask? Besides being uncomfortable to hold, it can actually lead to problems with the nerves in the hands and arms. There's something called Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) that can develop with repeated usage of tools like this. I'm not exactly sure what happened in my case (I don't believe I have 'HAVS'), but twice when I used it my hands and fingers became numb for an extended period of time. By "extended period" I mean 2-3 days. Now I just set it on the ground next to a pile of leaves and guide the leaves into the tube. Works fine.

If I can find the receipt, I'm thinking about returning this due to the defective/low-quality collection bag. If I do so, I might try the similar Toro Ultra 12 Amp Variable Speed Electric Blower/Vacuum With Metal Impeller #51599 which supposedly is much quieter -- and hopefully vibrates less as well.

I don't think this Black & Decker is a bad product. It works great, and it does so without a lot of pizazz or polish. Given the price, I can't really complain about how it performs. Obviously something about my physiology isn't compatible with the vibrations it produces, but I don't expect this to be a problem for most people.
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for the East Coast..., November 17, 2008
This review is from: Black & Decker LH4500 12 amp 2-Speed Electric Leaf Hog Blower / Vacuum with Leaf Bag (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
I just purchased this unit today and used it for about 3 hours. I must say I am impressed. It works well as a blower, and I was particularly impressed with its performance as a vacuum.

I shredded 13 large bags of leaves. If the math is to be believed (16 to 1 reduction ratio) that would mean that I would have had to bag 208 bags of leaves. Obviously that is a little overstated, but it definitely did a good job.

I was working with damp leaves that were kind of wet on the bottom of the piles, so it was a little slow-going, but the unit did not clog much at all. Clogs were easily remedied by popping the pick up tube off (no tools required) and pulling out the debris. The unit handles small sticks and whatnot easily as well.

A great buy for the price.
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it was hired to do!, October 26, 2008
This review is from: Black & Decker LH4500 12 amp 2-Speed Electric Leaf Hog Blower / Vacuum with Leaf Bag (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
Bought this leaf blower to replace a B&D that went up in smoke the second time it was used. I was a bit apprehensive in my decision to buy another B&D, but it was on sale and with the warranty I felt comfortable. Boy did I do the right thing! This thing really blows the leaves and vacuums them up really well. It even destroys small twigs in the process. I recommend this product to those who want a blower / vac that is powerful and appears to be designed well.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME, November 19, 2008
By 
N. C Kratzer (Bangor, PA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Black & Decker LH4500 12 amp 2-Speed Electric Leaf Hog Blower / Vacuum with Leaf Bag (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
Used this twice and let me tell you this thing is strong and tough. I never got my leaves done so fast and it handles wet leaves with out a problem. Chops up small twigs too. This is by far well worth the purchase. I bought the Toro 43 gallon collapsable bin which works great. I also bought the BV-006 attachment for this but it does not fit it. I contacted B&D and they are shipping an attachment for the LH4500 to me asap. The attachment will be included in future boxes of the LH 4500.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great tool for even the casual home maintainer, December 14, 2008
By 
Phillip Hunter (Kirkland, WA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Black & Decker LH4500 12 amp 2-Speed Electric Leaf Hog Blower / Vacuum with Leaf Bag (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
For many years I have longed for and dreaded fall, having had two different homes with heavily-leaved trees. I finally found the cure. Out of the box and working in 5 minutes and reduced hours and hours of raking and bagging to 45 minutes of vacuuming and dumping leaves, pine needles, twigs, and one unfortunate dog toy (soft, mind you). I design products professionally and this one has met my high standards so far. I certainly hope to get many years of use out of it.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lasted About 15 Minutes, April 13, 2011
This review is from: Black & Decker LH4500 12 amp 2-Speed Electric Leaf Hog Blower / Vacuum with Leaf Bag (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
I purchased the B&D LH4500 based on the numerous 5 star reviews that it and the similar LH5000 received, plus I got a good price for it. I was really only interested in this product for the vacuuming/mulching capability since my Craftsman shop vacuum has a detachable blower and is really all the blower I need. I have a small yard and I thought the LH4500 would be good for sucking up leaves and grass clippings. It was easy to assemble, but that's all the good I can really say about it.

I just mowed my lawn for the first time this year and decided to try out my brand new LH4500 on the grass clipping left on the driveway and sidewalk. Even in the first minute I was less than impressed. I had to place the vacuum nozzle directly on top of the clippings for them to be sucked up. Even still some of them were left stuck to the pavement. But I continued on even though the old lady across the street was making more progress on her sidewalk with a whisk broom.

Eventually the motor started whining loudly and it was losing what power it had, so I looked at the impeller area and removed all of the grass that had mushed up around the edges of the impeller blade. It worked a little better, but a few minutes later it started making another noise almost like there was a power dip. I looked at the unit and it was producing bright sparks from the motor housing and it was making an electrical smell. I turned it off and unplugged it at that point and then it emitted smoke.

I got about 15 minutes of use out of it and I didn't even fill the bag half way. I am very disappointed, but it seems some other reviewers have had issues with the LH4500's motor. I did not buy this from Amazon, but I am returning it to where I bought it. It would be a nice product if it worked, but I can't endorse something that almost catches fire upon first use. I think I'll just stick to my broom and rake for now.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I WILL NEVER RAKE AGAIN!, May 16, 2011
By 
CB02864 (Cumberland, RI) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Black & Decker LH4500 12 amp 2-Speed Electric Leaf Hog Blower / Vacuum with Leaf Bag (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
I LOVE THIS LEAF BLOWER! First of all, it's very light - I am a small woman and normally the morning after using a leaf blower, my arms and back are sore. I had NO PROBLEMS at all with this one. I used it for two hours straight and only stopped because I ran out of places to do! No soreness the next morning whatsoever! The key to this leaf blower is the "Blaster" attachment. It makes all the difference in the world! It turns the machine into a little blower on steroids - I blew up leaves that haven't seen the sun in years! Wet,dry,matted - it didn't matter - everything came up. It was great for clearing around my rose bushes and getting the leaves that were deep in my groundcover. I would recommend this to everyone. I tried the vacuum and that worked well also. I opted not to use it much because I have alot of small rocks and such from the winter and wasn't sure if sucking them up would damage the machine - but it did vacuum everything up. I will probably try out the vacuum this fall when I'm clearing newly fallen leaves. As far as the noise, it's really wasn't that loud. It didn't bother me at all. I find gas ones to be ALOT noisier. I was actually a little bummed out when I finished my yard - I've never had so much fun doing yard work! I honestly can't wait to use it again in the Fall!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Improved over previous versions and a great price, November 3, 2009
This review is from: Black & Decker LH4500 12 amp 2-Speed Electric Leaf Hog Blower / Vacuum with Leaf Bag (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
I own the original model of the Leaf Hog which has performed well for 5+ yrs.with the original shoulder bag and BV006 adapter tube and collar for a trash can. With a quarter acre of leaves I wanted a second so that spouse and maybe even son could help reduce the work load. The LH4500 is more robust than the original and with a metal rather than plastic impeller does a better job of shredding. It's well balanced and easy to manipulate. The pulsating nozel works well to dislodge leaves that want to stay stuck to the ground. And, the regular nozel sends a good sharp blast. The adapter for the BV006 that one reviewer said B&D was going to include wasn't there, but contact with B&D quickly had one in the mail on their nickel.It's a perfect fit. I can even use the bag from my 5 yr. old machine with it. For those who complain about the noise, common sense (and the owner's manual, pg. 2) indicate the use of ear plugs. For complainers about the unwieldy bag, just try readjusting it for balance as it fills. If the shoulder strap wears on you, take an old face cloth and wrap it around the strap where it rests on the shoulder. We hope that the LH4500 serves as well as the original Leaf Hog. With a 2 yr. warranty, B&D offers a good product.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Value, Power, Efficiency, October 14, 2010
By 
DougF (Idaho, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Black & Decker LH4500 12 amp 2-Speed Electric Leaf Hog Blower / Vacuum with Leaf Bag (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Lawn & Patio)
This tool does all it claims to and then some.

Very comfortable and well balanced, no noticeable vibration issues in the hands. I'm able to use for extended periods with little or no strain or fatigue (I'm 54 yrs old).

Noise - yep it is very noisy. I highly recommend ear plugs or muffs when using this. The decibels produced are not significantly different than competing brands for similarly powered tools.

Blower - Great power and I love the oscillating tip. The tip is nice engineering as it really covers a wide area while eliminating the need to sweep back and forth. (the tip does the sweeping for you as it moves back & forth)

Vacuum - Very powerful; sucks up everything I ask it to.

Shredder - Shreds well, although the resulting "mulch" is not quite as fine as I'd like it to be. The average leaf is torn into approximately a fourth to one fifth the size of the original leaf. I'd love it to be dust, but I guess it does as well as it can without clogging and straining the motor. Metal Impeller seems sturdy and of a good size. DO NOT buy a shredder with a plastic impeller!

Switching from blower to vacuum - really not that difficult once you have done it once or twice.

I also bought the leaf collection system(BV-006)and this really rounds out the value of this "system." In combination they make leaf pick up and bagging so much easier than stooping, scooping, bending and grunting! I blew my leaves into long rows about 10"-12" high then just work the vacuum over the piles and deposit the ground leaves into a lawn trash bag inside my garbage can. It really does squeeze a lot of leaves into one bag. I'm not sure this is a 16:1 ratio, but you definitely will use many less bags than you will with conventional hand bag stuffing.

I am extremely glad that I chose this over the competing Toro. I bought a $450.00+ Toro mower about 2 years ago and it is the most over-priced, over-hyped, under-performing thing I have ever owned
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