I asked my husband what he would like as a Fathers Day gift and he had an unusual request. He wanted a leaf blower for the yard. While most people would not see this as an strange request, to me it was since he avoids yard work whenever possible. We have a lawn service that comes and takes care of the mowing and the edging. All the planting, trimming, weed pulling and general up keep is handled by me. To get him to come outside and even watch let alone help requires lots and lots of begging. But since I was lacking for anything else to get him, I honored his request and went in search of a leaf blower.
I checked out both Home Depot and Lowe's to see what was out there since this was the first time I had shopped for a leaf blower. The only requirements he wanted was for it to be electric and inexpensive. In Home Depot I found The Toro Power Sweep blower. I read the box and it said it was the highest rated electric blower (w/out a vacuum) by Consumer Reports, it has a 140 mph air force, a 7 amp motor and weighs only 5 pounds, it sounded perfect. The price on it was only $29.99 so I was sold.
To my surprise, he has actually used it many times in the last year. Our property is bordered on 3 sides by Pine trees. Every day hundreds of needles fall off these trees and cover our driveway and walkways. The blower does a great job of cleaning them off and moving the needles to the flower beds where they actually do some good. He has also used it to clear leaves from the lawn that have fallen off the trees after the lawn guys have stopped service for the season. Since the blower is small, this does take a while for him to do but he says he actually enjoys the time it takes because it is therapeutic. I have even used it myself to clean out the dust bunnies and other assorted stuff that ends up under everything in the garage. It has the right amount of air force to blow the dust out into the open without knocking everything down in the process.
Update On Feb 27, 2010: We had some construction going on at our house an the contractors were sawing wood in our garage and because the wind was blowing in at the time, some of it blew under things we had stored in there. My husband fired up the bower and got it all out without having to move a thing out of the way to sweep.