I have recently written an article about the various methods for cleaning gutters from the ground (you can check it out here), and briefly mentioned leaf blowers in it.
During my research I found many unanswered questions on the internet revolving around this topic, so I figured it would be a good idea to write a more in-depth post about it.
So in this article, I will talk about the various ways of cleaning your gutters with a leaf blower, as well as their pros and cons. Also, I will tell you which leaf blowers are the best fit for this kind of job, and why.
Let’s get right into it!
How to clean gutters with a leaf blower
Generally speaking, there are two ways to do it. You can either use a ladder and maybe climb onto your roof and use your leaf blower from there, or you can use a gutter cleaning attachment and do it from the ground.
Before you start, please keep in mind that these methods work best on dry leaves. If you try to do it right after some heavy rain the leaves in your gutter are going to be wet, and very hard to blow out.
Also, if the gutters have been neglected for a very long time it’s possible that the wind carried so much soil into it that you have actual plants growing in there. If this is the case, a mere leaf blower won’t be enough, you’ll have to climb up there and remove the dirt manually.
Using a ladder
This may look simple at first, but you can easily get injured if you aren’t careful. Check out this video below if you aren’t sure how to make it to the roof safely:
Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to climb onto your roof to do it, you can stay on the ladder if the roof structure isn’t strong enough to support you. But in that case the whole process will take a lot longer because you will have to move the ladder a bunch of times before you can cover the entire gutter area.
Once you are up there, you can start using your leaf blower much like you would when you are cleaning up leaves and other debris from your yard. Carefully walk around your roof, and make sure to blow every piece of leaf out of the gutter and off the roof.
If you have a lot of leaves built up, you can try using the end of your blower to scoop them out.
The advantage of this method is that you can actually see what’s in the gutter, so you can be sure you have removed everything. Also, you don’t need any attachments to do it, any leaf blower will do.
The downside is just how dangerous it is. One wrong step and you can fall from the roof, causing serious injury or worse. Therefore, I wouldn’t suggest doing this unless you are confident in your climbing skills.
Using a gutter cleaning attachment
This method is far safer, because you stay on the ground through the whole process.
It involves adding some kind of attachment to your leaf blower, that is specifically designed for cleaning gutters. You don’t have to think of anything overly complicated, it’s usually a tube with an angled top nozzle, allowing you to reach the inside of the gutter from the ground level.
Attach the extension to your leaf blower, and walk around the building while holding the tube high enough so that it can reach into the gutter. Since you can’t actually see what’s in there, I’d suggest going over the same area at least two times just to make sure everything has been removed.
If you find it hard to imagine how this works, check out the video below, it covers it pretty well.
While falling from the roof is out of the question, this method can still be dangerous because the debris you remove from the gutter will fall onto the ground where you are standing. So at a minimum, wear some form of eye protection while doing this.
What type of leaf blower is best for gutter cleaning?
To be honest, the type of leaf blower isn’t that important in this case. Since the area you’ll be cleaning is relatively small, even one of the medium-sized handheld blowers should be sufficient in most cases.
So if you own a leaf blower already, chances are you can use that. If you don’t, then keep reading because later I’ll show you the blowers that I recommend for this job.
But before I get into that, there are a few things I’d like to mention.
First off, I personally feel like handheld blowers are better for working from the ground, because backpack leaf blowers often have a longer tube, making it hard for you to properly hold onto the extension. That’s not to say you can’t use them, but it may end up being more complicated than it needs to be.
Second, I’d avoid using corded leaf blowers if you want to climb onto your roof. It can be done, but the extension cord is just one more thing you can trip over, and you don’t want that.
Other than that, as long as your leaf blower is functional you are good to go. There are brands that have their own gutter cleaning kit, but if yours doesn’t then don’t worry because there are some “universal fit” attachments out there. I’ll show you all of these later.
Recommended leaf blowers for gutter cleaning
These are the blowers I would use to clean gutters. Please note that while selecting them I only had two things in mind:
- Their ability to reliably clean gutters without much hassle
- Good price/value ratio
So while they are perfect for this purpose, if you also want to use your new blower for bigger tasks such as cleaning up a huge backyard, you may want to buy something more powerful.
It’s not like they aren’t strong enough, but the battery powered models may run out of juice before you finish your task, so always check the estimated run time before buying.
Greenworks BL80L2510 80V Jet Electric Leaf Blower
This blower is made by Greenworks, a company renowned for its wide range of battery powered tools. What makes it perfect for cleaning gutters is that it’s low on maintenance, but fairly powerful. Battery powered leaf blowers don’t need fuel to run, making them very cheap to operate. And it only weighs 10 lbs, so your arms won’t get tired from holding it in an upwards angle.
It’s pretty strong for its size, so you won’t have any problems removing leaves from your gutter. This is especially true because it has a turbo button, so you can blast through a fairly big pile of leaves with that bit of extra power.
Speaking about power, this blower has a brushless motor capable of delivering up to 580 CFM air volume at an air speed of 145 MPH.
The battery offers up to 22 minutes of run time (this should be enough to finish your task), and can be fully charged in 40 minutes.
Another advantage this model has is that it’s relatively quiet, so you don’t have to worry about your neighbors getting mad at you for using it.
Also, being a Greenworks tool means the battery is interchangeable with other Greenworks products that use the same type of battery. This makes your potential future purchases a lot cheaper, since you only really have to buy the bare tool if you already own the battery that goes with it.
- Weighs only 10 lbs
- Up to 22 minutes run time
- Battery fully charges in 40 minutes
- Brushless motor for more power and increased product lifetime
- Up to 580 CFM air volume at 145 MPH air speed
- Greenworks battery allows you to use a wide range of tools
Overall, I find this blower to be a solid choice for gutter cleaning. You can buy it on Amazon.
Hitachi RB24EAP Gas Powered Leaf Blower
I personally prefer battery powered tools, but I know not everyone is like that. For this reason, I decided to include the Hitachi RB24EAP on our list. It’s a gas powered handheld blower with high performance and an impressive warranty.
The blower itself only weighs 8.6 lbs, and features a 23.9 cc 2-stroke engine that is capable of delivering an air volume of 441 CFM at an air speed of 170 MPH.
The main advantage this blower has over the Greenworks I talked about earlier is that you don’t have to worry about battery life. On the other hand, it takes gas to operate so make sure you have some at home if you are planning to use your blower.
Also, the Hitachi RB24EAP is fairly loud so try not to use it early in the morning or late at night.
But on the plus side it delivers high air volume consistently, without the need to press a turbo button for maximum performance.
Another thing worth noting is the warranty on this product which is rather impressive: 7 years for consumer use, 2 years for commercial use, and 1 year for rental use.
Keep in mind that it has a 2-stroke engine, so you’ll have to mix oil into the fuel (or just buy pre-mixed). Check the user manual for the recommended ratio.
- Only weighs 8.6 lbs
- 441 CFM air volume, 170 MPH air speed
- Great warranty
- PureFire low emission 2-stroke engine technology
I recommend this blower if you prefer gas powered tools over electric ones, or just looking for a reliable tool in general. You can buy it on Amazon.
Using other leaf blowers
As I’ve said before, if you want to buy a stronger leaf blowers than the ones I recommended, or just prefer different brands in general – that is fine.
You don’t need a leaf blower with some special attributes to clean gutters. As long as it isn’t one of those really small handheld ones you will probably do just fine.
Gutter cleaning kits for leaf blowers
There are a number of gutter cleaning kits available on the market today, so choosing one can be confusing.
My advice is this: If the manufacturer of your leaf blower has its own gutter cleaning attachment, use that. If it doesn’t, just go for one of the “universal fit” attachments out there.
Here is a list of gutter cleaning kits that I know of:
WORX WA4092 Universal Fit Blowers Gutter Cleaning Kit
This is one of those “universal fit” variants I have talked about earlier. It’s usage is pretty straightforward, you assemble the tubes and connect the universal adapter to the nozzle of your leaf blower.
I think this video does a better job explaining how it works than I would:
It’s worth mentioning that universal fit adapters have a tendency of getting blown off the nozzle if you don’t fasten them properly. But at the moment I don’t know of any better solutions.
Greenworks GK0A00 Universal Gutter Kit
This one is made by Greenworks, but it’s pretty much the same design as the WORX above. It has the same type of adapter from the looks of it, and it’s also marketed as “universal fit”, as long as your blower’s nozzle is smaller than 5 inches in diameter.
If you have a Greenworks leaf blower, I’d get this one just to be sure. Other than that, it’s up to your preference. (Buy on Amazon)
Toro 51667 Gutter Cleaning Kit
Toro has its own gutter cleaning attachment. It comes with 5 extension tubes, and a shoulder strap – something I’m really missing from the other kits out there. It allows you to hold onto the tube with both hands, making the whole process a lot more comfortable.
It should fit most Toro leaf blowers, but check the seller’s page for the supported model numbers before buying, just in case. (Buy on Amazon)
BLACK+DECKER BZOBL50 Quick Connect Gutter Cleaner Attachment
This kit is made by BLACK+DECKER, and from what I understand it should work with all of their leaf blowers where the tube piece of the blower is detachable. Still, you should check the manufacturer’s page before buying just to make sure.
What makes this kit stand out from all the others is that the lower and of the tube is flexible, which makes it very easy to use as you don’t have to move the leaf blower itself if you want to adjust the tube’s angle. (Buy on Amazon)
What to do if your gutter cleaning kit doesn’t fit your leaf blower
This happens sometimes. If you look at the design of most kits, it feels like the manufacturer didn’t think about adding any kind of attachments to their leaf blowers, and just kinda made these as an afterthought to fill a market need. So things like this are bound to happen.
Despite this, most gutter cleaning kits work just fine for most blowers.
However, if you can’t make yours work no matter what then my advice is to use plain old duct tape to keep it in place. It may not be the most elegant solution, but it works. And certainly cheaper than buying a new gutter cleaning kit or a leaf blower.
And with this, we have arrived to the end of this article. Hopefully now you know everything about cleaning gutters with leaf blowers.
See you next time!