Reviewed Saw: Hitachi RB24EAP Gas-Powered Leaf Blower
Look & Feel
The Hitachi RB24EAP gas-powered Leaf Blower offers a lot of portable blowing power to clean up yards of any size. Because it's gas-powered, you won't have to deal with long stretches of extension cord to get your yard cleaned up.
Below are some of the main features that the Hitachi RB24EAP has to offer:
The RB24EAP must be powered with a fuel and lubrication mixture. You'll need a special gas can for this mixture and you can only add this fuel to two-stroke tools. A good rule of thumb: if your tool has a dipstick to check the oil level in the oil pan, the tool just needs gas. For tools that can't sustain a level oil pan, such as chainsaws, string trimmers, clippers and other gas-powered tools that may need to be angled in order to work effectively, you'll need blended gas and oil.
The Hitachi RB24EAP fuel mix oil comes in a 2.6-ounce bottle. Check this oil to blend it with the right amount of gas, and keep this blend in its own gas can. If at all possible, purchase ethanol free gas for your blended gas can, as ethanol can be hard on fuel lines and connectors on your gas-powered air blower. Your Hitachi leaf blower gas mixture shouldn't be hard to figure out.
Buy the manufacturer's recommended oil additive and follow the instructions on the container for the best blend for your leaf blower. Also, take care and spend some time getting the fuel cap on correctly; if your fuel cap gets cross-threaded or isn't closed well, you may find fuel dripping on your clothes and shoes when you turn or angle the blower.
Because the tool is so lightweight, you can grip it with one hand; however, the force of the air stream could lead to bucking or bouncing of the blower motor. Luckily, the throttle trigger is large and can be controlled with a relaxed grip. If you would prefer to move it from hand to hand, there is an auto return stop on the throttle switch to keep the blower on while you adjust the tool.
The choke on your Hitachi is very close to the pull rope. Place your blower on the ground before starting it so you can brace it and get plenty of power from the pull rope.Once your Hitachi leaf blower has been used for a while that day, you shouldn't need to use the choke and primer. It’s good to remember to check the killswitch if you're having a hard time starting the blower.
Remember that preparing the space you're working on is just as important as starting the blower safely. Pick up debris, send pets and people indoors and out of the path of blowing leaves, and work in swaths for an effective cleanup. Below, you can see the Hitachi RB24EAP in action:
In most cases, this tool will perform consistently for you if properly cared for. Should you have trouble, remember that you'll have a 7-year warranty to address any problems if you purchased your blower for home use. Short of starting and fuel line problems, this tool is quite straightforward.
You won't have a lot of Hitachi gas blower parts to repair or replace; there's the motor, the air chute, the pull rope and the fuel system. When using this tool, you may find that it is overpowered for its weight. A blast of air at 170 MPH is a lot of force, and a ten-pound blower may feel out of control and a little scary.
This is where the auto return stop switch can really help you out. If the force of the air causes fatigue or stress in your hands and forearms, you can use a two fisted grip along the handle. Keep your hands away from the fan, and be aware that you'll be working right in the exhaust stream from this position.
Any time you're using a hand-held tool with a pull rope, it can be very tempting to pull the rope with one hand while holding the tool aloft with the other. Fight this temptation! Some further recommendations:
A point about fuel storage: If you mix a single can of fuel and run out in the course of one season, you're better off than if you have fuel left over when you shut down for winter. You'll want to burn or drain as much fuel from the leaf blower tank as possible before the cold weather hits, and you'll want to get rid of the blended fuel in the tank and start fresh in the spring.
Forgiveness from your neighbors may be a challenge to earn. Leaf blowers are loud and are banned in many neighborhoods during certain portions of the day. You may be thrilled with your new Hitachi RB24EAP 23.9cc 2-cycle gas-powered 170 mph handheld leaf blower, but it may cause hard feelings up and down the street. Before you buy, check your ordinances.
This is a plastic tool; that's why it's so light. For home use, it's a great option to corral leaves into one location or pile them up for easier raking. When not in use, store it flat and avoid putting anything heavy on it that can damage the air hose or impact the motor housing.
A note about ethanol: Technically, most two-stroke engines can tolerate the ethanol blend found in most fuels. However, because these small engines use so little fuel, why risk it? Buy a good oil additive, specific to the manufacturer, and purchase a bit of ethanol free gas. It will save replacing fuel lines and priming bubbles.
The RB24EAP, while a very lightweight tool, is built for balance. Each of the Hitachi RB24EAP parts is designed to function helpfully in alignment with the next. The weight of the fuel tank balances the weight of the motor and housing, and the length of the air tube makes it easier to control the force of the airflow.
If you notice the tool bucking or moving errantly, check your fuel level; if it's very low, you may have a hard time controlling the tool because it's out of balance. The Hitachi green plastic housing on the motor fits with the company's theme; these units are simply built little workhorses with few frills and a lot of power.
The RB24EAP is in the middle of the price range for power; while some with similar air speeds are a bit more economical, they are battery powered and call for more specialized attachments and equipment. In addition, electric versions of these tools are even lighter and could be much harder to control. For the corded units, your freedom of movement will be severely curtailed as you drag around enough extension cord to finish tidying up your lawn.
This section will focus on several leaf blowers that compare to the Hitachi RB24EAP. Some of the models discussed have similar features, and only minor differences can be noted between them.
The Husqvarna 2 stroke leaf blower is a bit lighter but has a much more awkward handle with a small throttle. However, the fan speed can be adjusted to reduce blowing power.
The Husqvarna would be a better choice for anyone who wanted to use it to clean away dust from shops, but the Hitachi is better for leaves.
Poulan also has a 2 stroke gas-powered leaf blower. Be warned that the Poulan unit s a bit heavier and has a max air speed of 215 miles per hour. If you've got a strong grip and powerful forearms, the Poulan may be a good pick.
Be prepared for a tired trigger finger and a lot of chatter from this tool.
The Remington brand is a bit smaller than the Hitachi, but their unit comes with specially formulated QuickStart Technology. If you've ever wasted time trying to start a gas-powered unit, the Remington may help you get over that fear.
Not only is there a system to help you start it in place, but there's a decal on the handle if you run into trouble. This leaf blower is shorter and lighter than the Hitachi, so be prepared for some control issues.
If you are looking for powerful-yet-lightweight leaf blower and without the hassle of a power cord, then the Hitachi RB24EAP gas-powered leaf blower will be an excellent option. With its impressive airspeed of 170 mph and robust air volume at 441 cfm, its lightweight design and safety features, and offered at a reasonable price for its convenient features, the Hitachi RB24EAP is another highly-recommended gardening tool. A good alternative to this leaf blower is the Remington RM430 Hero.