The most powerful handheld blower I know of is the Stihl BG 86 CE. this is a 27.2 cc gas powered model that pushes 459 cfm of air at speeds up to 154 mph. Husqvarna also has their 125BVx which pushes 425 cfm at speeds up to 170 mph. looking at the specs, you would think that the blower power You’d think that the measure of blower power might be the speed or mph (miles per hour) generated by the tip of the tool, but you’d be wrong. The real factor is how much air it can move – and that is measured in cfm (cubic feet per minute).
We were particularly impressed with the 56V cordless blower when we reviewed the original EGO 56V cordless system. It had the ability to move 480 cfm. For a cordless blower, this represents a new level of performance for a battery powered product. This week, we tested and reviewed its successor, the brushless EGO LB5302 56V blower.
This new EGO blower can do 530 cfm.
This pushes more air than any handheld pneumatic blower on the market today (at least any we can think of, we did some research). In fact, most entry-level and even mid-range backpack blowers push 510 CFM or less air, even though some of them are rated at higher speeds. In the end, what you have is a product that takes the power of wireless power to its practical output limits.
Air Velocity and Volume
You can always increase air speed by adding a nozzle to the end of the tube – but the way to do that is that EGO plans to offer it in the fourth quarter for this new blower. However, you can’t increase the volume of air a blower can push by adding fittings or changing the shape of the tube. It all depends on the power system, including the motor, the fan and how much air it can move through the duct.
To reach 530 cfm and do so in any reasonable amount of time means that the EGO LB5302 56V Brushless Blower is designed to be efficient enough to push a lot of air through it within the limitations of the handheld form factor. Airspeed is useful for those occasional “stuck” items that need to be removed from the ground, but air volume is what really moves a lot of leaves and debris… EGO seems to have the volume locked down, and upcoming accessories may push the air volume component even further… …we’ll see.
Compare EGO Blowers
If you break down the various operating speeds of the brushless EGO LB5302 56V blower, you will get the following information.
Low – High Run Time, 50 mph, 260 CFM
High – Medium runtime, 85 mph, 430 CFM
Turbo – Lowest runtime, 110 mph, 530 CFM
In terms of power, the EGO LB5302 56V blower delivers over 16 Newtons. A Newton is defined as the force required to accelerate one kilogram of mass at a speed of one meter per square second. This is another way to objectively show the tool’s ability to perform its job (as a blowing force). As a comparison, the highest output Stihl handheld two-stroke blower I mentioned earlier is rated at 15 Newtons. If you like numbers – there’s always one that will impress.
Testing Noise Levels
For those interested in noise levels (which are increasingly becoming an issue in municipalities), the EGO LB5302 cordless blower does a great job in every way. Measured at the ear using a standard Radio Shack SPL meter (C-weighted), you can expect the following results.
Low speed: 72 dB SPL
Medium speed: 80 dB SPL
High speed: 85 dB SPL
Boost: 91 dB SPL
The output level of this blower is so low during use that you could theoretically run it in Boost mode for 6-8 hours without hearing protection. Anything below this value does not require any ear protection (although you may be more comfortable using it anyway, especially if you switch back and forth between different outdoor power tools). If you are working with NIOSH standards, then you are limited to 2 hours at the Boost level (which is impractical anyway) and about 8 hours at the High level. Given that there is no continuous blower operation at work, my initial assessment is valid for both OSHA and NIOSH – for a typical 8 hour shift, you can essentially use this tool without any hearing protection.
EGO LB5302 56V Blower Features
The first generation of EGO 56V blowers had two speeds and a turbo button. The new brushless EGO LB5302 56V blower has a smooth sliding dial that allows you to adjust the speed in variable increments (and, yes, you still have a Turbo button). The second switch that allowed you to activate the tool no longer exists. Now you simply insert the battery and pull the trigger. We prefer this. I mean, come on, what are you going to do …… accidentally blow on someone? The trigger kicks the blower up to whatever speed the slide switch is set to – similar to how a variable speed barrel grip puzzle works. the Turbo button is slightly out of the way, so it’s an intentional (but still comfortable) motion to use it. More on that later.
The handle has a comfortable rubber overmolding that feels comfortable in the hand. If you use the optional shoulder strap or harness, there is a metal mounting point on the left side of the tool, which is a distinct possibility if you plan to use it for an extended period of time (as well as using the brushless motor and purchasing an EGO 7.5Ah 56V battery). The use of cordless power tools is becoming increasingly popular as we see more and more cities and regions pushing for less noise and cleaner landscaping options
Using the EGO LB5302 56V Blower
I ran the EGO 56V blower through a few cycles until I noticed something – my hands didn’t have that numbness that occurs when using a two-cycle blower. As it turns out, EGO employs some very nice vibration dampening measures in the actual motor and fan assembly. There are two mounting points on each side that separate the fan assembly from the plastic housing with gaskets and rubber mounts. It’s kind of like a motor mounting system in that it separates the high-speed rotating motor from the handle. The result is that you can use the blower for long periods of time and feel very little vibration.
As you can probably tell from the specs, there is plenty of power, but using the EGO LB5302 56V blower is what really translates those numbers into a real world experience. When you press the Turbo button to bring up a particularly stuck area of wet leaves (for example), there is enough force on your arm that you actually have to work to keep the blower from moving backwards. This is not something I would want to do to myself for long (there’s a reason powerful backpack blowers have vertical handles!) . Landscaping professionals know that you don’t need to use full power 100% of the time to get the job done – in most cases, low or medium speed will be sufficient for blowers and trimmers.
When using Turbo mode and running
In fact, running the tool in Turbo when you’re blow drying leaves, etc. is harmful – you’ll be throwing debris everywhere. That said, I know a lot of people want to take these tools to the highest level possible and leave them there. Why? You don’t operate everything that way. Imagine if you drove to the store, got in your car, turned it on, and put the pedal to the floor until you got there …… Sure, it makes a lot of noise and can be fun, but you have to do it to add to your weekly food budget through traffic tickets and insurance claims for all the damage you cause along the way. As with most tools – use them correctly and they will perform much better.
In terms of run time, the EGO LB5302 56V blower runs non-stop for 19-1/2 minutes at high speed (no turbo). I spent about 10 minutes in Turbo, but in the process I found that I had to keep the back of the tool on my thighs as it worked my arms. eGO claims to provide up to 75 minutes of run time with the included 2.5 Ah low battery. Given these numbers and the results I observed at higher speeds, I have no reason to doubt this.