Editor’s Note: Please note that this blower, along with the entire 40V line, has been discontinued. This review was originally published in October 2017.
Blowers have become the go-to choice for lithium-ion outdoor power equipment (OPE). It’s an easy tool to make, requiring a motor to spin an impeller inside a housing and creating air intake and output. However, the performance of blowers can vary greatly depending on the design of the tube. This is where the DeWalt 40V Max Blower comes in, promising exceptional performance. In this article, we will explore its features, capabilities, and how it compares to other blowers in the market.
The Importance of Design
Blowers are characterized by two numbers: cubic feet per minute (CFM) and miles per hour (MPH). These numbers indicate the performance of the blower. The DeWalt 40V Max Blower boasts a maximum of 400 CFM at 120 MPH. To put it into perspective, Kobalt’s 40V Max Blower offers 140 MPH and 250 CFM, while Greenworks’ 40V G-Max Digipro blower delivers 185 MPH and 340 CFM. As you can see, there are significant differences in performance among the three 40V systems. The question is, can DeWalt deliver on its promise of gas-like performance?
Thinking Outside the Box
When unpacking the DeWalt 40V Max Blower, a few observations come to mind. Firstly, the charger is not compatible with the 20V Max series, which I found surprising but not disappointing. Additionally, the blower features a protective frame at the base, keeping the motor slightly elevated and the tube end clear of debris. While not a crucial feature, it’s a thoughtful design element.
One standout feature is the large air intake located to the right of the blower. It seems capable of drawing in a significant amount of air effortlessly. However, it may pose a slight inconvenience for left-handed users. Despite the protective frame around the air intake, the flow of air may be slightly compromised when operating the blower against your left side. To ensure optimal performance, simply keep the blower at a distance and avoid wearing overly loose clothing.
The tube design of the DeWalt 40V Max Blower does not have an apparent taper, which is common in high-performance blowers. However, there is a slight S-shaped bend in the middle, which seems to serve no practical purpose. It’s unclear whether this design is intended to deviate from the norm or if it’s purely for branding purposes. Nevertheless, this slight horizontal flex does not seem to impact the blower’s performance adversely.
Upon closer examination, the S-shaped bend in the tube actually has a subtle yet significant advantage: it reduces arm fatigue. DeWalt claims that this bend provides rotational control, which is absent in straight tube designs. Although I didn’t notice it at first, I now appreciate the difference it makes compared to other blowers I’ve used.
DeWalt 40V Max Blower Specifications
- Power: 40V max battery pack, 4.0 or 6.0 amp hours
- Air volume: 400 CFM
- Airspeed: 120 MPH
- Rated volume: 67 dBa
- Weight: 10.4 lbs (4.0 battery), 11.4 lbs (6.0 battery)
- Price: $299.00 (4.0), TBD (6.0)
- Warranty: 3 years
Like most blowers, the DeWalt 40V Max Blower has a housing made primarily of plastic. However, compared to other lithium-ion battery models, it appears to be more robust. This added durability may slightly increase its weight, but it is still within the range of other blowers in its class.
DeWalt’s decision to use a brushless motor in the DCBL790H1/M1 blower enhances its power, runtime, and overall equipment lifespan. When it comes to ergonomics, the blower is well-balanced once the battery is installed. The majority of the weight is concentrated around the motor, making it easy to pivot and direct the air. However, the handle lacks a rubber overmold, which could provide additional comfort, especially when wearing gloves.
The real test of any blower lies in its performance. Can the DeWalt 40V Max Blower truly deliver on its gas power claims? Let’s find out.
Starting on the roof, I was met with a dense layer of oak leaves, Spanish moss, and various branches. To my delight, the blower effortlessly cleared everything within a 6-foot radius, blowing loose leaves up to 10 feet away. While the DeWalt 40V Max Blower may not have the same force as EGO’s 56V Power Plus Blower, it certainly matches the power of smaller gas blowers.
Next, I decided to tackle the gutters near the front door. Although I hadn’t planned on cleaning them, I wanted to see if the blower could save me some time and effort. While there were a few tight spots that required manual handling, the blower successfully cleared fully clogged gutters that had transformed into compost piles. It’s worth noting that the DeWalt 40V Max Blower excels at blowing away leaves, but it may struggle when larger branches and moss create a tangled mess.
Moving on to the carport roof, the blower performed admirably. However, the combination of larger branches and moss tended to roll up the leaves, forming a massive, unwieldy mass. In this instance, I needed to use a leaf rake to remove it before continuing with the blower.
Finally, I put the blower to the test on the driveway. It effortlessly cleared the area in no time, impressing both my stepdad and the neighbor who takes care of our lawn. In fact, my stepdad even commented that this Li-Ion blower was more powerful than his gas blower.
When it comes to grass, the DeWalt 40V Max Blower can effectively move surface level leaves. However, if you’re dealing with oak leaves, you may need to adjust your expectations. Due to the 120 MPH air velocity, these leaves tend to stay firmly on the ground. While broad leaves are easily blown away, oak and pine needles may require a bit more effort.
The DeWalt 40V Max Blower offers a lockable trigger, allowing users to adjust the power output according to their needs. This versatility is a welcome feature, especially since there are no separate power settings. Need to clear your driveway? Keep it at half power and work your way around. Dealing with a heap of maple leaves? Feel free to set it to maximum power. In terms of comfort, it would be great to see some rubber overmolding on the locking lever to provide a more ergonomic grip. Additionally, the direct connection between the lever and the trigger is plastic on plastic, resulting in a slightly less smooth operation.
With the DeWalt 40V Max Blower, you can expect a solid 20 minutes of full-throttle performance. Even with the battery indicator showing the last bar, it will continue running until it eventually dies. For professionals who require a blower to quickly clear grass clippings, the DeWalt 40V Max Blower is an excellent choice. However, it’s important to have spare batteries on hand to ensure uninterrupted usage throughout the day. This limitation applies to all Li-Ion blowers currently available. For homeowners and casual users, the 6.0 amp hour kit is ideal for most blower applications.
It’s worth noting that DeWalt’s prices for the 40V Max Blower are higher than those of last year’s 40V or even 56V platforms ($299/$369). However, this aligns with the pricing of other new additions to the Li-Ion OPE platform. DeWalt deserves credit for offering the 4.0 and 6.0 amp hour kits, skipping the 2.0 amp-hour option altogether.
In summary, the DeWalt 40V Max Blower is a reliable and powerful tool that lives up to its promises. Its thoughtful design, enhanced build quality, and impressive performance make it a top contender in the realm of blowers.