Leapfrogging the leaf blower™

Thomas Edison would love our leaf removal breakthrough. Leaf blowers would not impress him. Why? They:

  • Move each leaf multiple times, wasting energy and time: yours.
  • Are horribly inefficient: the currently most powerful backpack blower produces a mere 9 pounds of airstream force from its 4.3 HP engine.
  • Move leaves quickly initially, but that slows to a crawl when the pile thickens or when wind, or even the leaf blower itself, blows leaves onto a previously cleared area.
  • Just move leaves; they don't pick them up.
  • Are noisy and pollute.
  • Require gas. And oil. And engine maintenance. And off-season storage prep.
  • Spread weeds and plant diseases.
  • Vibrate, increasing the risk of vibration white finger (secondary Raynaud syndrome)
  • Blow everything on lawns, not only leaves, including mold, bacteria, roundworms (nematodes), animal urine and feces, decaying bodies of dead insects and animals, pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals, allergens such as plant pollen, dust from tire wear, brake-lining dust, particulate matter, volcanic ash, erionite and other fibrous zeolites, other mineral dusts, soil and everything in it, such as heavy metals (e.g., lead and cadmium). That junk and more is stirred into plumes contaminating users and others: once airborne, it spreads throughout your neighborhood: through screens of open windows into homes, onto picnic tables, gardens, and into eyes, noses, lungs, ears, and onto clothing, causing or contributing to a number of problems affecting appearance, health, mood, and brainpower.

Edison advised, “There's a way to do it better—find it.” We did; we created a way to remove leaves from lawns without an engine or motor that is so efficient it can outperform leaf blowers, sweepers, and even tractors pulling powered lawn vacuums. We can do it without pollution, dust, vibration, or noise: our method is quieter than raking. Noise isn't just an annoyance: researchers found that it adversely affects physical and mental health as well as increasing the risk of dementia.

Leaf Magnets™ superbly remove leaves even in challenging cases, such as thick matted layers compacted by a long northern Michigan winter. Our method is better than every alternative, all of which have significant drawbacks, as summarized in this chart:

Chart comparing leaf removal methods

Lawn vacuums can ingest thousands of cubic feet per minute of air, thus they expel thousands of cubic feet per minute of air—all laden with mold, disease-causing germs, allergens, and toxic substances. Unless the leaf covering is thin, they typically push leaves that quickly accumulate in front of the nozzle (a phenomenon termed bulldozing) instead of sucking them up. Among their many downsides are a need to operate them slowly. Leaf Magnets™ utilize a new principle of leaf pickup enabling them to operate at any speed; they can be pushed or pulled, or towed by tractors or ATVs (“four-wheelers”) for exceptionally rapid leaf removal.

bulldozing of leaves in front of lawn sweeper and tractor's mower deck
Leaf bulldozing in front of lawn sweeper (orange arrows) and tractor's mower deck (yellow arrow)

Want to save even more time? Leaf Magnets™ are so easy to use they can be operated by dogs: we can turn leaf removal into a game dogs love with you participating or not: you could be inside watching TV or working.

Lawn sweepers are usually pulled by tractors because their brushes waste energy, which increases the force required to spin them. That force often jams wheels so they skid (even on dry lawns; on wet ones: good luck), tearing up yards while removing few or no leaves, as shown below with orange arrows showing the sweeper's path and black arrows highlighting skid marks:

lawn sweeper skidding, passing over leaves without picking them up

One of the many other drawbacks of lawn sweepers is that they are speed-sensitive, performing best in a fairly narrow range; exceed that, and leaves can shower into a plume passing over the collector, falling back down on the yard.

Mowers are OK if you have few leaves and lots of time. Rakes also move each leaf over and over again, creating blisters and sore muscles faster than clearing yards.

Leaf Magnets™:

  • require no engine or motor
  • are virtually silent (the primary noise generated comes not from the machine but a slight sound from leaves as the Leaf Magnet™ gathers them)
  • have essentially no vibration
  • emit zero pollution
  • generate no appreciable dust or debris to inhale or get into eyes, hair, and clothing
  • don't spread weeds, such as dandelion seeds
  • are not affected by wind, unlike raking and especially leaf blowers
  • won't cause blisters, unlike raking
  • are physically easier to use than some powered alternatives
  • aren't finicky, like lawn sweepers that often need frequent height adjustments and can fail the second users change the handlebar angle
  • there is no need to strategize direction, as with leaf blowers on windy days
  • work even at high speed
  • its wheels won't jam and skid
  • won't bulldoze leaves
  • are small and easy to store
  • do not emit gasoline fumes during storage
  • require almost no maintenance
  • outlast blowers, vacuums, and even rakes
  • are easy to manufacture, requiring no precision parts
  • are inexpensive
  • width can be easily customized by users to suit their needs
  • are so easy to use they don't require humans to operate; dogs could use them A-OK
  • will not throw rocks or other debris that might damage property or people, including the operator, who might be struck by a ricocheting object
  • have no risk of impeller explosions, which, although rare in leaf blowers and vacuums, are potentially devastating
  • do not require use of hearing protection that (along with noise from leaf blowers or vacuums) can mask perception of sound relevant to safety, such as from animals or traffic
  • work quickly, clearing most leaves in one pass, even if they are old, wet, or matted

As poorly as leaf blowers perform in perfect conditions, they're even worse in windy weather or when leaves are wet. A slight breeze (3 mph) can make leaf blowing more difficult while 6 – 9 mph can waste oodles of time as leaf blowers launch leaves into the air, often scattering them in unintended directions.

Until now, there's been no superb way to remove leaves from lawns or forests (leaf litter fuels forest fires: 1, 2, 3). If you care about health or the environment, or just want a remarkably better way to collect leaves, it's time to borrow a page from Edison's book and turn over a new leaf with a quantum leap in leaf removal.

If you are a qualified investor or manufacturer, or want to develop your local economy, we're eager to demonstrate what we invented. This is the first time in history something without an engine or motor (and optionally without a person) can outperform powered alternatives. Edison would be amazed. Needless to say, it leaves leaf blowers and lawn vacuums in the dust.

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© 2017 IdeaTeem, Inc. • Patent Pending • Contact
Make Leaf Magnets™ in your town

Life is short. Leaf blowers make it even shorter.℠ Here's why.