Snapper 82-Volt Max Review
Pros: Excellent power, solidly ergonomic, quieter than average
Cons: Moderate battery life, has a high-pitched undertone
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This blower finished just behind the Makita XBU02PTI and ahead of the DEWALT DCBL790M1. The Snapper did a bit better in our power tests than the DEWALT but couldn't quite match the strength of the Makita. However, both the Snapper and the DEWALT are more comfortable to use and have a better battery life than the Makita. The Snapper is the loudest of this group but it is also the least expensive by a significant margin, making it a much better bargain option.
To pick out which cordless blower topped them all, we started off by researching and comparing a whole bunch of different blowers, then bought all the most compelling models to test out head-to-head and find out for ourselves which blower beat them all. We rated and ranked each cordless leaf blower's performance on a variety of different tests spread across four weighted testing metrics, with the Snapper's results in each discussed in the following sections.
First and foremost, we started off by evaluating the strength of each leaf blower, which is responsible for a whopping 50% of its total score. To evaluate the power of each blower, we used each one to clear a variety of different rubbish from our parking lot, to levitate a beach ball, and measured each product's maximum effective range at moving sand. The Snapper 82-Volt did very well, meriting a 7 out of 10 for its powerful performance.
We spread out sand across a paved surface, then set the Snapper at a fixed point and measured how far away it could move the sand on its most powerful operating mode. It did quite well — comparable to the top-tier blowers — moving sand that was up to almost 17' (202 inches) away!
It didn't do quite as well in our beach ball levitation test, only able to float the ball up to a height of 5.5' or so. This didn't quite match up with the top machines, which could get the beach ball to hover at up to 7' on their highest setting.
Finally, we used the Snapper 82-Volt Max to clear off a section of our paved parking area, forcing it to move not only leaves but pine needles, dirt, sand, and small stones as well. This blower did an excellent job at blowing the debris around, even moving the clumped up pine needles and small rocks rather easily. However, it did struggle a bit with the larger rocks and if a huge number of pine needles matted together. It was also quite good at loosening packed dirt from cracks in the pavement and blowing it away.
Our next series of evaluations graded the performance of the power system of the Snapper. This metric has two different tests, with the first focusing on how long this cordless leaf blower lasted and the second dealing with how long it took to recharge. Overall, this pair of evaluations is responsible for 25% of the final score for the Snapper Max, which earned a 5 out of 10 for its so-so performance.
The Snapper has one of the highest nominal operating voltages, running at 82 volts. However, the included battery only has a capacity of 2 amp hours, which didn't combine for a particularly impressive battery life for the Snapper. This leaf blower only lasted for a paltry 15 minutes and 17 seconds on its most powerful operating mode, which pales in comparison to the 30+ minutes many of the top blowers lasted for.
However, the Snapper 82-Volt Max did distinguish itself from the rest of the group in our recharge test, being one of the fastest of the entire group. Using the included charger, it only took about half an hour for the battery to completely refill.
Responsible for 15% of the 82-Volt Max's overall score, our next metric is concerned with the comfort level of the Snapper while in use — its overall balance, how its grip felt, location of the air intake, and its weight. This cordless leaf blower is actually one of the more comfortable and ergonomic models we have tested — well, at least above average — earning it a 6 out of 10.
This cordless blower is approximately average when it comes to weight, weighing in at 8.7 lbs. with the battery installed.
Our testers found the 82-Volt Max to have great balance, holding itself at an acceptable angle to clear leaves and litter without too much effort on the operator's part. However, it is just a tad bit back heavy and it can actually be a little fatiguing to hold for longer periods of time since the air leaving the nozzle has enough force when combined with its natural balance point to push your arm backward. Fortunately, this isn't too much of an overall issue, given that its battery only lasts for about 15 minutes at a time.
The grip is fine for most people, offering you easy access to the trigger controls, along with the cruise control lever on the side. The intake for the Snapper is on the back of the main module but it isn't shielded by the battery, so we did notice that this leaf blower would occasionally try and suck in whatever shirt we were wearing when switching hands.
Our last metric dealt with how loud each of these cordless lawn tools are, constituting the residual 10% of the Snapper's total score. To determine points, we measured both the sound level for the person using the blower and the sound level for a bystander roughly 50' away, then compared them to the rest of the group. In addition, we also deducted points from blowers that have exceptionally distressing tones, such as a high-pitched whine or whistle. The Snapper finished out with a solid performance, earning a 6 out of 10.
The sound level from the Snapper doesn't attenuate all that much, measuring in at 83.9 dBa for the operator and 83.3 dBa for the bystander.
While this isn't the loudest blower in terms of decibels by any means, we found the noise generated by this product to be quite annoying. It has a high-pitched undertone that can sometimes present itself that can be solidly irritating.
The Snapper 82-Volt Max is an excellent value option, holding its own with the top-tier models all while retailing at a more affordable price.
The Snapper is a great option if you want to balance keeping your budget with excellent performance. It isn't necessarily our top recommendation if you are shopping on a tight budget but does cost considerably less than the top models with only a small reduction in performance.
— Austin Palmer, David Wise, and Jenna Ammerman