Fourteen years ago, I purchased a Craftsman electric leaf blower/vacuum. It was pretty heavy, but it did a lot. I could blow leaves at two speeds courtesy of a thumb-operated switch, it had a bag with a shoulder strap and a nozzle for sucking up leaves and mulching them and it operated at a fairly low frequency, meaning that it didn’t whine like so many of the leaf blowers I heard around the neighborhood. It finally gave up the ghost last year and I borrowed a Toro blower that was okay, but nothing to brag about.
This year, I resolved to return to the Craftsman quality to which I had become accustomed. I dreaded the weight of the Craftsman unit, but loved the ruggedness.
My new model, at a price point of $79, surprised me at the advances that have taken place in the design of the mid-line electrical blower from Sears. The new unit, model 900.748281, packed the same features as my old model, but that was where the similarities ended.
Model 900, for short, was two pounds lighter and less bulky than my previous model. The vacuum bag design was a vast improvement over the previous model; it hangs properly for good air flow and has a easy-to-use slide on clip for emptying the leaf bag. The cord holder is far more heavy duty than the previous model, but I noticed that it occasionally released the cord during very vigorous motion. The handle is far more ergonomic, especially in the vacuum mode.
The biggest improvement in the new model is the magnesium impeller which will not wear down like the one in the previous model. That improvement, the fact that it is $5 cheaper than the comparable Toro unit, and the mostly stellar Sears service makes me recommend this unit. And with the leaves in freefall here in the central Carolinas, a good blower is one of your best friends.