Rear Tines, Front Tines, & Cultivators… Oh My!

What’s the difference between a rear tine tiller and a front tine tiller? What’s the difference between a tiller and a cultivator? Many people use these terms interchangeably, but they mean entirely different things.

A tiller is designed to actually break into and loosen soil. They’re used to create new gardens from hard soil. A tiller can also cultivate, but generally isn’t as maneuverable as a cultivator. If you’ve decided to create a brand new garden, a tiller is the right tool to use in cutting up your lawn and turning it into fresh, loose dirt.

rear_tine_tiller

  • Rear-tine tillers have the tines in the back, which makes it easier to use the weight of the machine to your advantage in breaking up hard soil. Rear-tine tillers tend to be larger and more expensive than other styles, and therefor are also less maneuverable. They are ideal for breaking up a lawn and creating lots of loose soil over large areas.

Front Tine

  • Front-tine tillers have the tines in the front, which makes for easier maneuverability but slightly less powerful than rear-tine tillers. Front-tine tillers are great for creating smaller gardens and cultivating larger gardens year after year. They are more maneuverable than rear-tine tillers because the wheels are in the back and allow for easier turning and reversing.

cultivator

  • Cultivators are not designed for creating new gardens. Cultivators are designed for turning over loose to medium soil in old, already created gardens. Most people buy cultivators for blending additives and compost into their old garden soil or for controlling weed growth. These are handy tools to have around once your garden is created, as hoeing and weaseling your garden by hand each year can take a toll on you. In addition, these tools do a great job of more thoroughly blending the soil.

Drying Your Truck or Car – Leaf Blower or Air Compressor?

Air compressors are great tools that serve many purposes quite well. In fact, if you’re looking to clean leaves out of your garage and off of your drive, they will work quite well for that. But what if you’ve just finished washing your truck and want to give it a quick spot-free dry?

Air compressor tanks tend to build condensation in them. This condensation can produce and collect very small rust particles that aren’t easily noticeable. When you’re blasting air onto your freshly cleaned paint with an air compressor, you may be blasting tiny rust particles on it as well.

There are ways to get around this besides buying an expensive filtration system for your air compressor. One way is to substitute with an electric leaf blower. Electric leaf blowers are usually quite cheap, but work very well. They can sometimes have more power than a gas leaf blower, and the cord isn’t really an issue since you’re not likely venturing very far from an outlet.

An electric leaf blower will dry your vehicle quite efficiently with clean, dry air so there’s no need to be concerned about rust particles. You can even get an electric handheld blower-vacuum, enabling you to easily transfer from blow drying your vehicles to vacuuming leaves and small debris from your garage floor.

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Honoring the Lawn Mower Man

A month later, but not forgotten. Chris Cox, nicknamed the Lawn Mower Man, will be returning to the Lincoln Memorial Wednesday, November 13th to be honored in a small ceremony. The ceremony will be held at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial steps where he will receive a new chainsaw and $1,800 to help cover any bills or parking expenses acquired while maintaining the memorials.

Early last month, Chris Cox was spotted mowing the lawn outside the Lincoln Memorial with a South Carolina flag waving behind him. He felt that the government shutdown should not be a reason stop caring for the memorials and monuments of our nation, so he took it upon himself to care for them. He’d hoped to inspire others to help with the landscape around the monuments and memorials.

Lots of volunteers did show up to help him clean the grounds. Cox said it was quite an interesting experience, and he met a lot of really neat people. He’s still working on responding to the thousands of emails he’s received, and plans to respond to everybody.

Working 10 and 12 hour days, he found it difficult to keep up with the parking meter which gives you only eight minutes for 25 cents. He tried, but unfortunately acquired some parking tickets. The $1,800 collected will go toward his parking tickets and any other fuel and supplies he needed to maintain the memorial lawns.

Mr. Cox is a custom carpenter by profession, and as chain saws are essential for a professional wood carving artist, the new gas chainsaw will help a lot with his commissioned woodworking projects.

 

 

How & Why to Keep Your Filters Clean

It is important to check your garden tiller’s air filter, especially if you haven’t gotten much rain, because this will create dustier conditions. Not keeping the air filter clean in your garden tiller can cause your tiller to run too hard.

The purpose of an air filter is to prevent dirt, dust and other debris from getting into the combustion chamber. If your air filter gets stopped-up, it will be much more difficult for the engine to start because the proper mixture of air and fuel wont be able to get to the combustion chamber to allow for easy starting.

If this is a concern, there is a very easy way to correct this problem, and no – it doesn’t involve chain saws or sledge hammers.

Take off the filter cover. Remove the pre-filter, which is made of foam, then remove the paper air filter. You can rinse off the foam pre-filter with warm water. Let the foam pre-filter sit out until it’s thoroughly dry. 

Blow away dust and dirt from the paper filter using an air compressor. If the paper filter is at all torn, older than a couple of years, or simply won’t come clean, then it’s a good idea to replace it with a new filter set.

Leaf Blower Storage in the Off-Season

You’ve made it!

Yet another fall cleanup under your belt; but before you add another notch to your belt, you may want to take care of one final step to ensure a hiccup-free victory for next season.

As we all know, King Arthur had Excalibur, Thor wielded his mystical hammer, and Popeye had his forearms. Just the same, you wield your mighty leaf blower.

Smaller engines that are stored without taking the proper precautions are often times difficult to start when you need them. By following just a few easy steps and investing less than an hour, you can ensure a happier blower and a happier you.

If you want to be sure that you’re ready for next year’s leaves, it’s important that you take the right precautions to properly store your gas leaf blower for the off-season.

Make yourself a list of what you need:

  • Used motor oil receptacle
  • Fresh motor oil
  • Spark plug or adjustable wrench
  • Funnel
  • Gas can
  • Detergent and clean water
  • Old towels

Start by Draining the Oil (4-Cycle Blowers Only*)

Start your blower and let it warm up for a good 10 to 15 minutes. When the engine is warmed up, drain the oil from the crankcase. A warm engine will heat up the oil just enough so most of the impurities in suspended in the oil will drain out easier. Then refill the reservoir with fresh leaf blower engine oil (10W30 more often than not). If you are unsure, please consult your owner’s manual 

Note: You only need to drain the oil in 4 cycle engines to protect the engine crankcase’s prolonged exposure to oxygen.  2-cycle engines (where the oil and gasoline are mixed before use) don’t have a crankcase.

Clean the Air Filter

Smaller engines have a plastic foam air filter that is laced with oil to catch dirt and particles. You will find after extended use, the filter gets clogged with dust and may stop filtering. Simply remove the air filter and cleanse it by washing and rinsing it in warm water and dish detergent.  You can dry it by wrapping it in a paper towel and squeezing it.  Finally soak the filter with fresh motor oil and place it back where it belongs.

Drain your Gas Tank

When your engine has cooled down, drain the gas tank until it’s bone dry.  Instead of wasting that liquid gold, you can use a funnel to drain the gasoline into a 25 gallon gas storage container. Once the tank seems empty, start up the engine and let it run on the remaining gas until the engine runs out of fuel.  By running the engine out of fuel, you eliminate the chance that the gas in your fuel system will evaporate and “varnish” over time. A carburetor with gas residue in could cause serious start up issues. 

Remove the Spark Plug

Use a spark plug wrench or if you don’t have one, as adjustable wrench to remove the spark plug.

husqvarna spark plug removalOnce the plug is out of the engine, put a few squirts of oil right into the spark plug hole.  Do not replace the spark plugs just yet.  Next, pull slowly on the starter cord to turn the engine over a few times. This will disperse the oil you just applied over the valves preventing any rust from building up inside the motor.

Inspect your spark plug.  If it is dirty, clean it.  If it needs replacing, replace it silly.  Just put the plug in by hand and give it a couple of light turns.  If you decide to replace the spark plug take the old one with you to the store to make sure you get the right one.

If you followed these steps soldier, you my friend, will be prepared for next season’s worst.  All you will have to do is:  tighten the spark plug, fill the tank with fresh gasoline (mixed if it is a 2-cycle) and start it up.  You may see some wisps of smoke from the oil being burnt where the plug is, so don’t fret.  You are now one mean, lean, fall cleanup machine and you have the tool to prove it.

Clean up Mission Impossible: How to pick up Acorns Sweet Gum Balls and Pine Cones

A healthy portion of my time here in the clean-up friendly confines at Leaf Blowers Direct is spent researching specific manufacturers and models of all types of blowers, vacuums, and sweepers. 

I also get to spend a nice part of my day fielding questions that you, our valued past, present and future consumers pose to me in our very popular Leaf Blowers Direct Q(uestions) and A(nswers) forum.  This is where you get to ask me any question under the sun pertaining to leaf blowers, lawn clean up, or anything you just feel you have to know to make your clean up situation easier than it was last season.

I started to notice a bit of a trend in the clean-up questions I was getting.  Questions where I had to do some digging to find out because the answer was either a bit foggy, or it was just not on page-one of the owner’s manual.

Lawn clippings, leaves, and other light debris are common knowledge in the world of lawn tidiness.  Many of you can recommend a product to do this task, or a unique way like when ol’ Uncle Herschel taught you to first gather all of the leaves on a great big tarp so you can drag them all to be disposed of at once.  No, these aren’t the clean-up questions I am here to address.

I am here to set the record straight.  Out of all of the clean-up equipment we have here at Leaf Blowers Direct:   Can this ___________ pick up _______________?

The three most often asked items people want cleaned up from their lawn are:

Acorns and other small nuts:  The acorn, or oak nut, is the nut of the oaks and their close relatives.  It usually contains a single seed (rarely two seeds), enclosed in a tough, leathery shell, and borne in a cup-shaped cupule. Acorns vary from 1–6 cm long and 0.8–4 cm broad.  You could find several hundred of these covering your lawn in any given season.

Sweet Gumballs:  If you are one of many unlucky owners of a sweet gum tree, then you’re probably frustrated with the sweet gum pods or “gum balls” that are impossible to pick up, damaging to a lawn mower, and generally annoying.

Pine Cones:  These are seed pods from the coniferous order that contains the tree’s reproductive structures. The familiar woody cone is the female cone, which produces seeds. The male cones, which produce pollen, are usually herbaceous and much less conspicuous even at full maturity. The name “cone” derives from the fact that the shape in some species resembles a geometric cone.

Due to the density, and shape of these clean up abominations a simple leaf blower has rarely been able to welcome the task.  People are drawn to Leaf Blowers Direct’ s line of products to help save the day.

They focus on our amazing line of sweepers and leaf/lawn vacuums.  The chart below first highlights a product from our line, and then specifies its capabilities (or limitations).

 

Can this?

Pick up this?

Lawn Sweepers

Acorns/Other small nuts

Sweet Gumballs/Other seeds

Pine cones

Ohio Steel (50″) 26 Cubic Foot Pro Lawn Sweeper

                   YES

Yes, but not tested

YES

Parker Suburbanite (36″) 17 Cu Ft Commercial Lawn Sweeper

YES

Yes, but not tested

YES

Agri-Fab (44″) Tow-Behind Lawn Sweeper

YES

NO

YES

Walk-Behind Lawn/Litter Vacuums

 

 

 

Little Wonder (29″) 205cc Walk Behind Litter Vacuum

YES

YES

YES

Parker (30″) 6.75HP All Purpose Litter Vac (With Hose)

Yes, but in dry conditions

Yes, but in dry conditions

Yes, but in dry conditions

Parker (30″) 6.75HP All Purpose Litter Vacuum

Yes, but in dry conditions

Yes, but in dry conditions

Yes, but in dry conditions

Troy-Bilt (3″) CSV 206 205cc Chipper Shredder Vacuum

YES

NO

YES

There you have it.  Our stand alone winner is the Little Wonder (29″) 205cc Walk behind Litter Vacuum.  The others have potential, but have issues truly coming to task.

The most important item to take away from this is that all of your lawn clean-up is going to be easier and more effective in dryer conditions when everything is brittle and lighter.  Moisture and soggy situations just add unwanted weight and mess to an already tedious task.

Cyber Monday’s Almost Here!

cyber-monday

It’s Coming…

 

cyber-monday

Everyone knows about Black Friday sales, and most of us have become familiar with Cyber Monday sales by now.

If you’re not familiar with it, Cyber Monday is a day when online retailers drop prices and list significant sales on their products. It’s a day when millions of online shoppers can get Black Friday style prices without the hassle of fighting strangers at the door.

Well, we too are going to be celebrating Black Friday and Cyber Monday with deals on all of our power equipment sites.

However, we will not be here for Black Friday! While other retailers make their employees work overtime and weekends to capitalize on the shopping-based holidays, we choose to send our employees home for the weekend to do some shopping of their own.

Every site we have has Buyer’s Guides to help you through the decision making process, so even though you can’t reach customer service or our experts, we’ve done our best to provide you with answers to as many questions as possible. If you want more information, you can scroll to the bottom of the site and click on “How-to Library,” where you can find many articles about our power equipment.

Furthermore, most of the items on our site have customer reviews and expert reviews as well as accurate up-to-date ratings generated by our cutting-edge algorithm so you can feel confident in your selection.

If you have questions or concerns about your order, feel free to contact us on Cyber Monday, December 2nd, 2013.

Find Cyber Monday Deals at the Following Stores:

Snow Blowers Direct

Electric Generators Direct

Leaf Blowers Direct

String Trimmers Direct

Chain Saws Direct

Chippers Direct

Log Splitters Direct

Air Compressors Direct

Pressure Washers Direct

Sump Pumps Direct

Water Pumps Direct

Mowers Direct

Tillers Direct

Citizen Groundskeeper: The government may be shut down, but the American spirit is still alive!

While the government may be shut-down, leaving grounds keeping and trash collection unattended to, there is one American with the spirit to make things happen.

chris cox

Chain-saw sculptor, Chris Cox, pushes a lawn mower, a leaf blower, a bucket and a bag along with a South Carolina state flag on his squeaky metal dolly. He believes that just because our government can’t get things done doesn’t mean the American people should leave our great memorials unattended.

Refreshingly, the actions of this man were not at all related to political affiliation. He was just doing what he thought was right, and looking to inspire people to get out and make a difference.45-year-old Cox said he was approached by police who insisted that he pack up and leave, but not before he’d already spent several days cleaning up, mowing and leaf blowing the lawn of the Lincoln Memorial and around the Reflecting Pool.

Cox said, “The [Lincoln Memorial] behind me serves as a moral compass, not only for our country, but for the world. And over my dead body are we going to find trash pouring out of these trash cans. At the end of the day, we are the stewards of these buildings that are memorials.”

Adding further encouragement, Cox also said, “I want to encourage my friends and fellow Americans to go to their parks and show up with trash bag and rake. Show up with a good attitude and firm handshake for the U.S. Park Service.”

So get up, grab your leaf blowers, lawn vacs, mowers, and chainsaws, and go clean up your communities! This is a great way to honor our communities and our country.

Source: Washington Post

Meet The Family

In case you’re new to the Direct family, let me introduce our star players…

Air Compressors Direct – Where you can find the best in air compressors and accessories.

Chippers Direct – Leading the industry in quality wood chippers and chipper shredders with free delivery.

Chain Saws Direct – Carrying the best in chainsaws for any occasion.

Electric Generators Direct – Keeping the world running, rain or shine.

Leaf Blowers Direct – Ridding households of rakes while keeping lawns free of debris.

Log Splitters Direct – Keeping fireplaces warm and homeowners free of backaches.

Mowers Direct – Making your prized property as beautiful as a ball-diamond.

Pressure Washers Direct – Brightening walkways and stripping filth off your siding.

Snow Blowers Direct – Making sure winter stays on the lawn and out of your way!

Sump Pumps Direct – Ensuring your basement doesn’t become a lake.

String Trimmers Direct – Tackling those nasty weeds with speed.

Tillers Direct – Enriching soil so your plants will thrive.

Water Pumps Direct – Putting water in its place.

Power Equipment Direct – Leading Online Power Equipment Resource

To Sweep or Not To Sweep

When Autumn comes around and paints the trees full of color, we all stare with awe at the beautiful leaves. 

But when those beautiful leaves start falling to the ground, they can be a lot of work to clean up.  Instead of breaking your back raking all season long, consider these alternatives for handling autumn leaves.

Mulch leaves into your lawn  If you have a light, dry layer of leaves, you can use a mulching mower to “chop up” your leaves into a nutrient-rich meal for your lawn.  The finely chopped leaves your mower leaves (no pun intended) behind will settle into your lawn and decompose naturally.

Sweep instead of raking  You can use lawn sweepers to quickly pick up leaves.  Leaves are collected into a large hopper – allowing you to cover large areas quickly and easily.  Lawn sweepers are available in walk behind and tow-behind styles:

Once you have collected your leaves with your lawn sweeper, you have a number of options for disposing of them:

  1. Add them to your compost pile
  2. Put them in your garden – to be tilled into the soil
  3. Use them as winter protection for rose and other tender bushes – cage the plant and fill the cage with dry leaves
  4. Use them as mulch around shrubs and perennials
  5. If your community still allows it – you can always burn them

Now you have a much easier and more productive way of keeping your lawn clean while possibly making use of those leaves you collect. Remember to always be safe, and keep that lawn looking fresh!

Agri-Fab Walk-Behind Lawn Sweeper

Agri-Fab (26″) Push Lawn Sweeper

Ohio Steel Tow-Behind Yard Sweeper

Ohio Steel (42″) 22 Cubic Foot Tow-Behind Lawn Sweeper

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