If you want an excellent basic blower, the Hitachi 23.9cc Handheld Blower sweeps with the best of them, according to professional and user reviews. It doesn't have vacuum or mulching capabilities, but hundreds of owners praise its light weight, variable-speed trigger and low-emission engine that meets California's stringent air-pollution standards. Some say the position of the intake makes it prone to pull on clothing, but complaints about this model are few and far between.
Excels at sweeping. Professional reviewers say the Hitachi 23.9cc Handheld Blower, which performs at 170 mph and 441 cfm airspeed, is excellent at sweeping. Roy Berendsohn of Popular Mechanics commends its airstream and notes that it "worked well moving soggy leaves and prickly seedpods." Owners widely agree that it's a powerful blower for pushing leaves and debris, and one uses it to sweep light snow off the driveway. The low-emission engine, which passes strict California Air Resource Board (CARB) guidelines, also gets high marks. On the downside, it doesn't vacuum or mulch, and one professional testing organization says it's not entirely effective at loosening embedded debris.
Straightforward start, operation. Reviewers like how easy it is to start the Hitachi 23.9cc Handheld Blower. In the words of one user, "A light pull or two and it's running." The model's light, 8.6-pound weight is also considered a plus. A frequent but minor user complaint is that the air intake sucks in clothing when the unit is held in the right hand; the unit also is considered relatively noisy, so hearing protection is recommended. Still, users love how easily this model handles, thanks largely to its variable-speed trigger and large, two-finger throttle lever. Overall, reviewers say, it makes quick work of big chores.
Top-notch warranty. The majority of owners who review the Hitachi 23.9cc Handheld Blower commend its quality construction. The commercial-grade engine in particular draws accolades, with one user saying that once it's warmed up, "it never stutters, stalls, or balks." Some users complain about problems with the fuel line, but most say those who are mechanically inclined can fix a fuel line easily and inexpensively. Like other gas-powered machines, the Hitachi blower requires regular maintenance, some of which should be done by an authorized service provider. Hitachi offers the best consumer warranty in our report, covering this model for seven years.
Eight handheld gas leaf blowers, including the Hitachi 23.9cc Handheld Blower, are among the leaf blowers reviewed by ConsumerReports.org. Editors rate each on its ability to move leaves quickly, loosen leaf particles stuck in the lawn, and vacuum and mulch leaves. Handling considerations and noise are also evaluated.
Review: Leaf Blowers, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated
After testing eight leaf blowers, Berendsohn gives the Hitachi 23.9cc Handheld Blower 4 out of 5 stars. Although this blower doesn't place in the top three, he likes Hitachi's gas-powered tools and says this blower has an effective airstream and can even move soggy leaves and prickly seedpods.
Review: Which Leaf Blower Is the Best? We Test 8 to Find Out, Roy Berendsohn, Not Dated
One of Amazon.com's most popular leaf blowers, the Hitachi 23.9cc Handheld Blower gets an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars from nearly 625 owners. Most are pleased, saying it has lots of power and starts up easily, but some experience problems after a few seasons of use.
Review: Hitachi RB24EAP 23.9cc 2 Stroke 170 MPH Gas Powered Handheld Blower (CARB Compliant), Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2014
Nearly 170 owners post about the Hitachi 23.9cc Handheld Blower on HomeDepot.com, giving it an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. Users say it has good airflow, handles well and starts -- as one user says -- "like a dream." There are very few complaints.
Review: Hitachi 170 mph 441 CFM Hand Held Blower, Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of May 2014
Nearly 190 owners review the Hitachi 23.9cc Handheld Blower on Lowes.com, giving it an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. Users say it starts up easily and performs very well. Some complain that the inlet valve is positioned in such a way that it can pull on clothing.
Review: Hitachi 23.9cc 2-Cycle Medium-Duty Gas Leaf Blower, Contributors to Lowes.com, As of May 2014
The Hitachi 23.9cc Handheld Blower (RB24EAP) is among the top 10 leaf-blower picks on this website, earning a score of 9 out of 10. Editors like its low-emission engine and say the blower can "handle large quantities of leaves, debris and grass clippings," although they don't describe how models are tested.
Review: Best Leaf Blowers: Top 10 Rated Leaf Blowers 2014, Editors of 10rate.com, Not Dated