Top positive review
47 people found this helpful
Leaf Hog LH4500 Black & Decker, excellent plus suggestions
on January 3, 2009
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.