Last winter we bought a Milwaukee M18 Compact Blower for $79. We chose that brand because we already had batteries and a charger. When we got it we thought it was a like a hair dryer on steroids. Turns out, this is definitely not a hair dryer.
The M18 blower (0884-20) has a variable speed trigger and three distinct “speed” ranges, which can be set with a switch on the grip. It has a two-piece removable nozzle; the 9-inch end piece is flexible to resist crushing and cracking. The trigger can be locked on and the tool comes with a universal inflator/deflator attachment. It’s compact and at just over 4 pounds (w battery) is light and easy to use.
This little blower has a lot of power, topping out at 100 cfm. We thought we’d mostly use it to clean out the cab of our work van or dust off the tools in the back. As it turns out, we take it out of the truck almost every day.
We use it to quickly blow the dust off the floor when we need to do some layout. We still keep a gas-powered blower for blowing serious sawdust and dirt off of large areas. But if we need to clean a small section of floor for—say for cabinet layout—this is the tool we use (video below).
Before we apply Zip tape to our walls, we blow the seams off with the cordless blower. It’s more convenient than using the gas blower: we don’t need fuel, there’s no starting, and it never stinks like gas.
A cordless blower is perfect for blowing debris out of stud bays. It cleans without kicking up huge clouds of dust like out gas blower does. Last week I was ripping 4x LVL for a roof we were framing; LVL dust is nasty stuff and I don’t like getting it all over me so I had another framer hold the tool and blow away the dust as I was cutting.
I use it around the house too. This is the perfect tool to clean out the garage; my wife uses it to clean off the yard furniture. This is one of those tools every tradesman should have because it’s convenient, inexpensive, and very useful.
Milwaukee isn’t the only company that makes cordless blowers so you’re not out of luck if you’re on a different battery system. And with many brands, you will be able to choose between compact models (like the Milwaukee) and larger models that fall into the category of outdoor power equipment (OPE).
DeWalt has a 40-volt max blower with a power rating of 400 cfm. Packaged with either a 4.0 Ah pack (DCBL790M1; 10.4 pounds) or 6.0 Ah pack (DCBL790H1; 11.4 pounds), it’s bigger, heavier, and more expensive than our Milwaukee. Then again, it’s also more powerful.
DeWalt also has a 20-volt max blower (DCBL720P1) that puts out 400 cfm. It too is bigger than the Milwaukee; it has a brushless motor and weighs about 7 pounds.
It’s not out yet, but at a recent media event there was a DeWalt branded compact blower on display that looked very much like Milwaukee’s. Specs, pricing, and release date are as yet unknown.
Makita offers a couple of cordless blowers, an 18-volt model (DUB182) similar to Milwaukee’s that puts out 91 cfm, and a 36-volt model powered by two 18-volt batteries. The dual-battery model (XBU02Z) weighs 9.9 pounds and puts out up to 473 cfm.
Hitachi offers an 18-volt blower (RB18DSLP4) that is similar to Milwaukee’s in size and power and a larger 36-volt model (RB36DLP4) that puts out 470 cfm.