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BLACK+DECKER LSW40C Review

While this blower is cheap, it isn't very good and we didn't really like it
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Price:   $110 List
Pros:  Quiet, cheap
Cons:  Pitifully weak
Manufacturer:   BLACK+DECKER
By Austin Palmer, David Wise, and Jenna Ammerman  ⋅  Jul 11, 2019
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42
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 10
  • Power - 50% 1
  • Battery - 25% 6
  • Ergonomics - 15% 8
  • Noise - 10% 10

Our Verdict

While the BLACK+DECKER LSW40C is one of the most ergonomic and quiet cordless leaf blowers we have tested, it is also one of the least expensive. Unfortunately, it delivered such a comically weak set of results in our power performance that it ended up earning one of the lowest overall scores to date and we are fairly reluctant to recommend it.


Compare to Similar Products

 
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Price $110 List$329 List$329 List
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$72.61 at Amazon
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Pros Quiet, cheapJam-packed with power, good battery lifePlenty of strength, quietExcellent power, solidly ergonomic, quieter than averageMuch more affordable, exceptionally ergonomic
Cons Pitifully weakCould be a bit more ergonomic, quieterUnimpressive battery life, so-so ergonomics and comfortModerate battery life, has a high-pitched undertoneNot the most powerful, can be earsplitting to operate
Bottom Line While this blower is cheap, it isn’t very good and we didn’t really like itIf you want the best you can get when it comes to cordless leaf blowers, we highly recommend the Ego Power+ 580 CFMThe XBUO2PT1 is a solid blower on its own merits and has interchangeable batteries with handheld Makita power toolsIf you want a powerful leaf blower that isn’t going to blow your budget, you should snap up the Snapper 82-Volt MaxIf you are a budget-conscious shopper looking for a new leaf blower, we highly recommend the Ryobi
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Rating Categories BLACK+DECKER LSW40C Ego Power+ 580 CFM Makita XBU02PT1 Snapper 82-Volt Max Ryobi 40V RY40460
Power (50%)
10
0
1
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
6
Battery (25%)
10
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6
10
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6
10
0
4
10
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5
10
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5
Ergonomics (15%)
10
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8
10
0
5
10
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5
10
0
6
10
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7
Noise (10%)
10
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10
10
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5
10
0
7
10
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6
10
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3
Specs BLACK+DECKER LSW40C Ego Power+ 580 CFM Makita XBU02PT1 Snapper 82-Volt Max Ryobi 40V RY40460
Model Number LSW40C LB5800 XBU02PT1 SXDBL82K RY40460
Measured Weight w/ Battery 4 lbs 10 lbs 9.2 lbs 8.7 lbs 9 lbs
Turbo Boost? No Yes No No Yes
Variable speed No Yes, trigger or cruise control dial Yes, dial Yes, trigger or cruise control dial Yes, trigger
Included Battery Size 1.5 Ah 5 Ah 5 Ah 2 Ah 4 Ah
Measured Charge Time 3 hrs 28 min 1 hr 30 min 1 hr 30 min 2 hrs 45 min
Measured Run Time on Turbo Boost N/A 19 min 17 sec N/A N/A 18 min 5 sec
Measured Run Time on Highest Standard Mode 25 min 10 sec 36 min 53 sec 14 min 37 sec 15 min 17 sec 26 min
# of Batteries Included 1 1 2 sets 1 1
Nominal Voltage 40V 56V 36V (2 x 18V) 82V 40V
Measured Operator Sound Level Highest Setting 73.6 dBa 94.5 dBa 84 dBA 83.9 dBa 93.3 dBa
Operating Modes On/Off switch Variable speed pulling trigger with turbo button Variable speeds with trigger and speed settings 1-6 Variable speed pulling trigger Variable speed pulling trigger with turbo button

Our Analysis and Test Results

This cordless leaf blower is basically one of our least favorite models we have seen to date, as we essentially only found it to be useful for dusting small areas.

The lightweight BLACK+DECKER LSW40C.
The lightweight BLACK+DECKER LSW40C.

Performance Comparison


To find out which cordless blower topped them all, we researched and compared all the top models, then bought all the most promising to test out for ourselves. We divided all of our tests into four groups, with the BLACK+DECKER LSW40C's performance in each of them outlined below.

The LSW40C is very weak compared to almost every blower we tested.
The LSW40C is very weak compared to almost every blower we tested.

Power


Making up half of the LSW40C's final score, our leaf blowing power metric is the most important of them all. Unfortunately, this blower did extremely poorly, earning a 1 out of 10. This is based on the BLACK+DECKER's maximum useful range, the height at which it could levitate a beach ball, and how quickly and easily it could clear a parking lot.

This leaf blower could barely move sand that was 4.5' away, far less than the 15'-20' some of the top models could do.

The LSW40C had a poor showing when moving sand.
The LSW40C had a poor showing when moving sand.

It also could only float the beach ball to a height of 2", again far less than the 5'-7' the best blowers could.

The LSW40C almost couldn't get the beach ball off the ground.
The LSW40C almost couldn't get the beach ball off the ground.

After that pair of poor performance, we didn't really expect the BLACK+DECKER do much of anything when it came to clearing our parking area of different types of messes and we weren't disappointed. It took forever to clear even the lightest debris and our overall conclusion was that we would rather just sweep the pavement than try and use this product.

Battery


Next, we moved on to rating and ranking the battery system of the LSW40C. It did fairly well, earning a 6 out of 10 in this metric, which accounts for one-fourth of its overall score.

It is almost effortless to remove the battery on the LSW40C.
It is almost effortless to remove the battery on the LSW40C.

To score this, we started the BLACK+DECKER with a freshly charged battery, then timed how long it lasted on its most powerful setting. This blower's 40-volt, 1.5 amp hour battery made it for a little more than 25 minutes before calling it quits — handy, since it takes so long to clear any appreciable area with it.

The LSW40C has one of the smallest chargers we have seen for blowers.
The LSW40C has one of the smallest chargers we have seen for blowers.

Regrettably, the charger for this blower takes forever to replenish a fully depleted battery, taking almost 3.5 hours in our test, even though the claimed charge time is just 1 hour, 15 minutes.

Ergonomics


The performance of the BLACK+DECKER continued to improve in our next metric, with this cordless tool earning an 8 out of 10 for its solid ergonomics. This metric accounts for 15% of the LSW40C's final score and is based on the weight of the BLACK+DECKER, its balance, grip feel and comfort, and if it tried to suck in your clothes while in normal use.

The LSW40C is really light!
The LSW40C is really light!

The LSW40C is one of the lightest blowers of the group, weighing in at a measly 4 lbs.


The intake for this cordless blower is on the bottom, so it almost never tries to suck in your shirt or jacket.

This blower is quite balanced, with just a tiny bit of bias towards the front. However, this blower is so light that it takes almost no effort to lift, so you can easily compensate for that.

Ths B+D only has an on/off switch to operate.
Ths B+D only has an on/off switch to operate.

Noise


Our last round of tests focused on how loud the BLACK+DECKER is, with points determined by the noise level for both the person using the LSW40C and for a bystander at a bit of a distance away (50'). These account for the remaining 10% of the final score for this cordless leaf blower, which finished with an excellent performance that merited a 10 out of 10.

The LSW40C takes a comically long time to clean off debris.
The LSW40C takes a comically long time to clean off debris.

The LSW40C only registered about 73.6 dBa for the person operating it, with some passing cars seemingly generating more sound. This tapers off abruptly as well, only recording a little more than 64 dBa on our meter for any passersby.

Value


While the LSW40C is considerably less expensive than the premium products, it is also considerably less good, making it mediocre when it comes to value.

Conclusion


If you only need to do extremely light-duty work and are shopping on a tighter budget, then the LSW40C is an alright choice. Otherwise, we definitely would recommend a plethora of other products in this category over the BLACK+DECKER — practically any other blower that we have tested.


Austin Palmer, David Wise, and Jenna Ammerman